Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Which one is me? Er, both. If I were a fanfic reader, I would be: Bambi.

I am a small, fuzzy creature with big eyes, and a twitchy nose. I am most likely to be murdered by a morally ambiguous redhead, which, since I am one, probably says something narcissistic about me. I don't think anyone has to agree with me on the subject of story warnings, and was never moralizing to anyone that they should; just giving my view, as a reader. I'm perfectly willing to accept that I'm not an adult. Nor am I sophisticated, or smart, and I certainly don't care about storytelling. I am, after all, a small, spotted ruminant. At least Willow loves me. Look -- she's beckoning. Isn't she pretty? Er, hey, what's that in your hand? It's shiny...

Or. Um. I don't suggest that feedback is payment for services rendered. I merely pointed out -- to people who have stated repeatedly that they do, just like me, get that glorious crack-buzz from insightful feedback -- that they might never get it from me on a story of theirs that I would like because I've been scared off by them not having labeled something else. So I'd never *read* the story that I'd appreciate, because the mere name of the author, coupled in my mind with "Oh, she doesn't believe in labeling character death stories" will act as a label unto itself, and I won't read *any* story by that author. I'm not suggesting my feedback, or appreciation, or whatever, is some kind of carrot and stick, or has any value.

Yes, we all make choices, and I'm not pushing my reasoning for *not* reading certain authors/stories, on anyone else. I don't necessarily think I'm immature, unsophisticated, and unintelligent, because I won't read every story that comes my way, in order to open my mind to new possibilities, or that I don't care about the art of storytelling, just because I, personally, like to be warned that a story isn't my style. But I don't mind if others think that about me, I guess.


2001-12-06 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


Er. :-) Now I have to write a personality quiz....


2001-12-06 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Um, I suspect that you might be responding to comments that I made. I wasn't commenting on you or anything that you wrote--I'm on fca-l, and then saw debchan's post on the subject, and went with it. I just get my panties in a twirl over the idea--not disseminated by you--that writers owe readers disclaimers, and that by not including disclaimers, I was losing readers and dishonoring them in general, which I don't feel is the case.

Personally, I think we simply all do what works for us, and for some that means disclaimers, and for others, not. It means we're not likely to read each other's work, but fortunately there are people who will on both counts. :-)


2001-12-06 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Er, I'm now seeing what you wrote overall since I added you to my "Friends' List." I'm getting the sense that you weren't feeling friendly when you added me. ;-) Well, like I said, I was reacting to fca-l comments, where there's been a long and excrutiating thread on the subject. I just wanted to offer my two cents on my own reading habits.


2001-12-06 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Heh. Well, yes and no. Yes, (duh) I was responding to your entry, and no, I wasn't sure that you were speaking directly to/about me. It did coincide with a couple of the things I mentioned in Deb's and my own entry, though, so I thought it might be. (The phrase about leading by the hand, and I also made a comment about feedback, and thought you might be reacting to that.)

The funny thing is, I don't label, either. Mostly. Granted, that's because there's nothing in my stories that *I* would want to avoid in somebody else's. I think I may put a kink label on certain stories, but for anybody who's read anything of mine already, that's almost a given. So anyone who won't read fic that *is* labeled, wouldn't necesarily pass up mine.

Funny thing number two is, I *do* read your stories, at least the ones you post in your lj, or ones I come across recced somewhere. I'm unlikely to go out of my way to read HtLJ/XWP slash, just because it mostly doesn't float my boat as a fandom (though I liked both series, for a while, and just drifted away), but there is a good chance of me reading at least some of your work.

I violate my own mental rules on where to go and what to read, all the time. I was just arguing from the standpoint of what I'd do, overall. Why I *like* to see warnings, and what I think I lose by not seeing them; what the author might lose by not giving them. I consider myself above my own standards; it's called hypocrisy!

er, not that these were complete thoughts, but have to run. Must go see Monsters, INc, with roomie!



2001-12-06 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

I understand what you mean about the difference between theory and practice. Generally, I'll label enough that readers should be able to tell what's up. For example, I recently wrote a story featuring a pairing that many would consider blasphemous (in the literal sense). I knew this, and included a big-ass disclaimer wherever I posted it, because I genuinely didn't want to offend anyone, and I figured that the basic idea of the story would do that. It's just the idea that I should do it, or that I need to, or that I owe it to readers just gets to me, even if I actually do it to begin with, if that makes any sense. :-)


2001-12-06 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Funny thing #3 -- I've read part of that story -- not all, yet -- and wouldn't have been remotely offended if there hadn't been the tiniest bit of warning. I'm not Christian, nor am I terribly religious even in the sort of pseudo-pagan muddle that I laughingly call a worldview. *I* don't get why people would mind fiction about their god or anyone else's, because I don't. I get that people *do* care, but it mystifies me, rather. I can't even imagine wanting to be warned about something that might *offend* one.

(I think it goes to that same mystification in me that we can show people getting killed in TV drama, and it gets a lower warning rating than people having sex. That parents can be more worried about their kids watching two men kiss, than watching them beat each other up, or shoot each other. That it's okay for kids to see people hurting each other, but not loving each other. )

LOL -- I *can* laugh at myself. I realize I'm on no better grounds, just because the only warnings I care about are those for extreme, unalleviated angst. It still speaks to that same artistic issue that I don't have an answer for. How much is helping a reader decide if they want to read your story, and how much is spoon feeding it to them, and ruining the suspense.

And, um, yes. I get that, to the nth power, about being told you're morally obligated to do something. You want to not do it even if you were planning to, just to tell people to fuck the hell off and quit being self-righteous. I was feeling that way about spoilers for current Buffy episodes, last month. I don't usually drop big spoilers, and I was perectly willing to hide them behind cut-tags, until I was friend-surfing, and came across a big old *screaming* rant (aka, 20 point font) about not spoiling current eps in one's journal, and I stopped to think about it, and got inexplicably irate. Hell, you're surfing my journal. You don't care if I write about men fondling each other, what I had for dinner, how much I hate my mother-in-law, or how many times I had The Sex last night, yet you're going to bitch because you happen to see something about a tv episode that you haevn't watched yet? Especially when the people are on your friends pages precisely because you're all fans of the same show.

And of course, the next time I had anything spoilery to say, I hid it behind a cut tag, because I was going to anyway. I just had to get the grr-arrgh rant out of my system.

Re: the original content of this post, though: I *am* Bambi, in a way. I'll admit to some readerly cowardice. I won't, for the most part, read *bad* writing, but I will often read mediocre fluff, rather than a much better written dark piece, because I know the fluff will make me feel better, for a bit, and the dark piece will make me think. Sometimes I don't *want* to think.

I'm also Willow. She's one of the most passive-aggressive people around. I act all innocent, but in reality, sometimes I think I go looking for things to piss me off, just so I can feel like I'm in the right about something.

Er -- and actually, I only added you to my friends list just now because I remembered to do it at a time when I was actually logged in, finally. I was going on the "Don't want to add anybody else because it becomes too long to read" plan, but I realized sometime last week that every time I finish surfing my friends-list entries, I jump over to Lorna's or James' list, to see what you have to say. Something was wrong with that picture -- how is two extra clicks more efficient, just because it makes my friends-list *look* shorter?



2001-12-06 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

LOL Okay, so we both hate being told what to do, and will perversely argue against ourselves just to spite the dickhead who had the balls to do it. :g: I'd do the same thing with the spoilers: be fine until someone ranted, then I'd want to spoil everything for eternity, and call them names. Okay, so maybe that's not my most mature side, but, dammit, it's fun.

I liked your comment about sometimes needing to feel annoyed about a post. There can be something very inspirational about anger, can't there? It's like writing-reading erotica: there's a definite tingle there. I often think that my LJ reads like I've got two (or more) personalities: the big bitch who writes each entry, and then the person who replies to people's comments, who's much more sane.

Now, I can understand perfectly about not wanting to think. Hell, that's how I feel right now. But I don't need a disclaimer: I'll just peek in, see if I'm laughing, and if there are no jokes and it feels wrong, I'll just leave. My method might theoretically sound longer, but it doesn't take much, just a look, for me to decide. I could use the disclaimer, but it wouldn't tell me whether or not the story was good and mindless, or just mindless. ::coughs:: So I'm not actually opposed to disclaimers.

Oh, and I should say that your Bambi post and image made me giggle; it was a very clever smack upside the head. ;-)