Tag Archives: meta

The different fanfic eras explained as lunch

roachpatrol:

berlynn-wohl:

Pre-internet era: You walk into a room and sit down at a table. Someone brings you a turkey sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a soda. Perhaps you are a vegetarian, or gluten-free. Doesn’t matter; you get a turkey sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a soda.

Usenet era: You walk into a room and sit down to your turkey sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a soda. Someone tells you that over at the University they are also serving BLTs, pizza, coffee, and beer.

Web 1.0 (aka The Great Schism): You walk into a room. The room is lined with 50 unmarked doors. Someone tells you, “We have enough food to feed you and a hundred more…but we’ve scattered it behind these fifty doors. Good luck!”

Web 2.0 (present): You walk into a room. Someone points at the buffet and says, “Enjoy!” You turn to see a 100-foot-long buffet table, piled high with every kind of food imaginable. To be fair, some of the food is durian, head cheese, and chilled monkey brains, but that’s cool, some people are into those…and trust me, they are even more psyched to be here than you are.

Tumblr (a hell pit): You try to serve yourself a baked potato. An angry child runs up and slaps the plate out of your hand. “NIGHTSHADE PLANTS ARE POISONOUS,” the child yells. You are hungry. The child gives you a turkey sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a kick on the shin.

vaspider: roxiethehalfninja: madqueenalanna: Given that I think “My Immortal” is a troll (with…

vaspider:

roxiethehalfninja:

madqueenalanna:

Given that I think “My Immortal” is a troll (with the reason generally being that author Tara references both Marty McFly and TOM BOMBADIL), I just reread it and I’m astounded by the effort put into it.

The spelling and grammar gets steadily worse over the course of the story, messing up simple words and even the main character’s name (variations on Ebony include Enoby, Enony, Eboby, and my favorite Enopby). The author gives frequent shoutouts in the A/N at the beginning of each chapter to someone called Raven, who she considers a friend and apparently functions as a beta. In chapter 16, Tara severs ties with Raven, expels/murders Raven’s character Willow, and changes Ebony’s full name to Ebony Dark’ness Dementia TARA Way. It’s suggested that they fought because Tara stole Raven’s poster of Gerard Way. By chapter 17, they appear to have made up and Willow is brought back with no further explanation.

The plot, of course, is just insane, but the story was obviously being read; Tara begins each chapter furiously ranting about “flamerz” leaving bad reviews, terribly misspelled. At one point, Ebony was referred to as a Mary Sue and she immediately tried to shut that down, citing “Satanism” and “depression” as flaws. She held each new chapter hostage, demanding a certain number (usually 5) good reviews before she would update. Assuming the spelling and grammar mistakes were intentional, the natural progression of them getting worse and worse is incredible. The difference between Tara’s A/Ns and Raven’s edited text is also astounding, although chapter 16, during their supposed rift, is not noticeably more poorly written than the chapters immediately preceding and following it.

The misspellings of character names and general slipups get worse and worse to the point that once, “Enopby” is referred to as “Tara”, and at another point, “TaEnby”, further to emphasize that Ebony is, in fact, the most obvious self insert in the history of literature. The reference to Marty McFly (he appears at the end of chapter 35 to spirit Ebony into the future) confounds me; Tara does not seem like she’d been aware of pop culture enough to have seen “Back to the Future”, given that she describes “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as this serious, depressing, Adult movie. She’s young enough to consider “he put his thingy into my tool” an accurate description of sex. Further, she references Tom Bombadil, a character in “Lord of the Rings” who I believe just shows up and sings for a while and is strongly implied to be God and then disappears, not really relevant to anything. He’s not even in the movies. Would Tara Gilesbie have read “Lord of the Rings” when she admits she’s never read the Harry Potter books?

Read through that lens (that this was an elaborate hoax), can you believe the rest of it was so organically terrible? Even now, 10+ years after the fact, no one can agree on whether this story is a troll, and until anyone finds out who Tara Gilesbie really is, it’s going to be impossible to know for sure. This is just crazy to me.

I have done extensive digging on this subject, and there is a lot more to My Immortal than meets the eye. Read as a troll, this story is a brilliant piece of satire on fan fiction. It incorporates so many cliches of the genre, especially those from the early to mid 2000′s. The obviously self-inserted Mary-Sue (mentioned above) along with unnecessary and unexplained crossovers, nonsensical sex scenes, and allusion to scene culture and pop punk music. Not to mention the story outside the story, Tara and Raven’s falling out, critiquing the culture of A/N’s and reviews. The tropes and cliches are far too obvious and overplayed to be sincere. I am a true believer that Tara was not only a troll, but a genius of satire. After all, if it was truly so bad, it would not have survived mixed in with ten years of equally terrible fan fiction. The legend of this story is so *ehem* immortal it has sparked heated debate in the online community for years, and was even made into a web series. (https://vimeo.com/70381882) Whether you believe it was satire or not, there is something about My Immortal that is inherently fascinating. Even if it was not her intention, Tara has created the bad fan fiction. It is a perfect storm of chaotic, nonsensical drama spiraling around the least original character ever written. Story lines are dropped and picked up again seemingly at random, characters and names are inconsistent to the point of being unintelligible, and there is no consistent overarching plot. In a sense, it is the anti-story, because it so decidedly defies every literary rule in the book. Either we are drawn to My Immortal as one watches a car wreck in awe, or because it satirizes the worst aspects of every story we have ever read. Regardless, the legacy of My Immortal will live on, either as a warning, or a work of pure genius.

And then assumed a new pen name, having found their niche, and is currently known as Chuck Tingle.

>.>

emilysidhe: copperbadge: mithen: evinist: There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce…

emilysidhe:

copperbadge:

mithen:

evinist:

There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce Wayne/Batman.

I’m imagining the fanfic, and it is filling me with glee! “The billionaire playboy shrank back a little from the vigilante. ‘W-what are you doing?’ He couldn’t help noticing his heartbeat had picked up. Batman looked back at him, his gaze expressionless. ‘I’m here to save your life, Mr. Wayne.’”

Bruce probably started the trend.

“Where did this ship even COME FROM?”

“IDK, someone wrote a really popular fic about it two years ago and everyone got on board.”

“Yeah, wasn’t his username grandfatherclock or something like that…”

No, see, this is brilliant because it actually works, because their “personalities” are so opposite that this ship would really appeal.  “You need to lighten up, Batman.”  “You need to take things more seriously, Mr Wayne.”  “When was the last time you had any fun?”  “When was the last time you did anything else?”

3hr long arguments about whether the best way to reform Gotham is through the Wayne Foundation charities and rebuilding initiatives or taking down the mobs and crime families that secretly run the city.

At the end, Bruce uses his rich-boy skills to take down a few henchmen – “What, you think I’ve never swung a golf club before?” – and Batman lets himself reluctantly be convinced to go out for ice cream.

(They’ve headcanoned Batman as blond to fit the necessary slash pairing requirements)

The comments are all, “OMG, have you ever noticed how Batman always intervenes when something shady goes down with the Wayne Foundation?  I mean, not that it’s like, out of character, foil Penguin’s plot to block a low-income housing proposal so he can put up another casino there, or whatever, he does that for everyone, but have you noticed that he’s involved every time it’s Wayne Foundation?  OMG THEY ARE DATING IN REAL LIFE THIS IS TOTALLY CANON!”

It’s the most popular Real Person ship in Gotham.

(Robin: “You know like, half the internet is shipping you with yourself.” Bruce: “I am large, Tim.  I contain multitudes.” smirk.)

emilysidhe: copperbadge: mithen: evinist: There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce…

emilysidhe:

copperbadge:

mithen:

evinist:

There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce Wayne/Batman.

I’m imagining the fanfic, and it is filling me with glee! “The billionaire playboy shrank back a little from the vigilante. ‘W-what are you doing?’ He couldn’t help noticing his heartbeat had picked up. Batman looked back at him, his gaze expressionless. ‘I’m here to save your life, Mr. Wayne.’”

Bruce probably started the trend.

“Where did this ship even COME FROM?”

“IDK, someone wrote a really popular fic about it two years ago and everyone got on board.”

“Yeah, wasn’t his username grandfatherclock or something like that…”

No, see, this is brilliant because it actually works, because their “personalities” are so opposite that this ship would really appeal.  “You need to lighten up, Batman.”  “You need to take things more seriously, Mr Wayne.”  “When was the last time you had any fun?”  “When was the last time you did anything else?”

3hr long arguments about whether the best way to reform Gotham is through the Wayne Foundation charities and rebuilding initiatives or taking down the mobs and crime families that secretly run the city.

At the end, Bruce uses his rich-boy skills to take down a few henchmen – “What, you think I’ve never swung a golf club before?” – and Batman lets himself reluctantly be convinced to go out for ice cream.

(They’ve headcanoned Batman as blond to fit the necessary slash pairing requirements)

The comments are all, “OMG, have you ever noticed how Batman always intervenes when something shady goes down with the Wayne Foundation?  I mean, not that it’s like, out of character, foil Penguin’s plot to block a low-income housing proposal so he can put up another casino there, or whatever, he does that for everyone, but have you noticed that he’s involved every time it’s Wayne Foundation?  OMG THEY ARE DATING IN REAL LIFE THIS IS TOTALLY CANON!”

It’s the most popular Real Person ship in Gotham.

(Robin: “You know like, half the internet is shipping you with yourself.” Bruce: “I am large, Tim.  I contain multitudes.” smirk.)

emilysidhe: copperbadge: mithen: evinist: There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce…

emilysidhe:

copperbadge:

mithen:

evinist:

There most be some fangirls in Gotham ship Bruce Wayne/Batman.

I’m imagining the fanfic, and it is filling me with glee! “The billionaire playboy shrank back a little from the vigilante. ‘W-what are you doing?’ He couldn’t help noticing his heartbeat had picked up. Batman looked back at him, his gaze expressionless. ‘I’m here to save your life, Mr. Wayne.’”

Bruce probably started the trend.

“Where did this ship even COME FROM?”

“IDK, someone wrote a really popular fic about it two years ago and everyone got on board.”

“Yeah, wasn’t his username grandfatherclock or something like that…”

No, see, this is brilliant because it actually works, because their “personalities” are so opposite that this ship would really appeal.  “You need to lighten up, Batman.”  “You need to take things more seriously, Mr Wayne.”  “When was the last time you had any fun?”  “When was the last time you did anything else?”

3hr long arguments about whether the best way to reform Gotham is through the Wayne Foundation charities and rebuilding initiatives or taking down the mobs and crime families that secretly run the city.

At the end, Bruce uses his rich-boy skills to take down a few henchmen – “What, you think I’ve never swung a golf club before?” – and Batman lets himself reluctantly be convinced to go out for ice cream.

(They’ve headcanoned Batman as blond to fit the necessary slash pairing requirements)

The comments are all, “OMG, have you ever noticed how Batman always intervenes when something shady goes down with the Wayne Foundation?  I mean, not that it’s like, out of character, foil Penguin’s plot to block a low-income housing proposal so he can put up another casino there, or whatever, he does that for everyone, but have you noticed that he’s involved every time it’s Wayne Foundation?  OMG THEY ARE DATING IN REAL LIFE THIS IS TOTALLY CANON!”

It’s the most popular Real Person ship in Gotham.

(Robin: “You know like, half the internet is shipping you with yourself.” Bruce: “I am large, Tim.  I contain multitudes.” smirk.)

superhumandisasters: theimpendingd00m: Q: Do you want to…

superhumandisasters:

theimpendingd00m:

Q: Do you want to change the red Hydra star on Bucky’s arm to something that honors his friendship with Captain America?

A: No, I really like that arm. I don’t want to mess with it. It’s good the way it is. I kinda hope that the star is still there. Look, I think of it as like… It’s a part of him. It’s who he is now. And a part of who someone is – in order to get better – they have to sort of embrace the not so great part about themselves. So in a way I think he would want to keep that to live with it and not run away from it. (x)

I like what he’s saying from a thematic, character-based perspective, but also from a purely aesthetic standpoint. LET’S TALK DESIGN, YA’LL. The original arm looks so good, and I’m very curious about its future film replacement. How do you improve on that?

The red star is a genius little detail that takes the Winter Soldier’s look from pretty good to fantastic. I’ve read fanfic and meta that explore SebStan’s interpretation, and I’ve read alternative takes where Bucky removes or changes the star as a part of his recovery, and both are great conceptually. However, on the page is one thing, but in a visual medium like comics or film? A white star or mini-shield are never as good.

I haven’t read notes by Brubaker or Epting about their process for the Winter Soldier’s design when they reintroduced him in 2005, but it’s so easy to reverse engineer that I’m reliving the journey in stylish flashbacks like Will Graham. First of all you gotta dress your blue and red uniformed sidekick in black, duh. HE’S A DARK ASSASSIN NOW. All those extra buttoned chest straps are an homage his old outfit, but more BDSM. Next, give him luscious locks as a shorthand for passage of time. Check and check. Domino mask as another homage, wisely (in my opinion) changed to the ‘muzzle’ in the films. Give him a fuck-off metal arm as a symbol of his permanently altered self/visual reminder of his superhuman abilities/interesting textural contrast against his matte black uniform. 

PRETTY GOOD SO FAR.

It’s all coming together, but something’s missing. He looks unfinished. Buck’s still pretty monochromatic, so how do we make this guy distinct, make him pop? A primary color detail! Classic. Even better if we can borrow from Cap’s color scheme. White doesn’t add anything, blue is good with black, but red? Red for spilled blood, red for passion, red for Russia – not really a contest. A star isn’t emblematic of either HYDRA or the Red Room (their logos are too busy for a detail, unless you went with an X for Department X maybe) but a star is about as iconic a symbol as you can get, interesting without being complicated, and so widely used that you can retroactively map just about any backstory onto it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Steve is wearing a big ol’ star in the middle of his chest. Now the Winter Soldier is a dark mirror of Captain America; now he’s set apart from the other black-clad goons; now you can put down a red star and instantly know what character is being referenced. It’s a small change that makes a huge difference.

image

Nailed it.

superhumandisasters: theimpendingd00m: Q: Do you want to…

superhumandisasters:

theimpendingd00m:

Q: Do you want to change the red Hydra star on Bucky’s arm to something that honors his friendship with Captain America?

A: No, I really like that arm. I don’t want to mess with it. It’s good the way it is. I kinda hope that the star is still there. Look, I think of it as like… It’s a part of him. It’s who he is now. And a part of who someone is – in order to get better – they have to sort of embrace the not so great part about themselves. So in a way I think he would want to keep that to live with it and not run away from it. (x)

I like what he’s saying from a thematic, character-based perspective, but also from a purely aesthetic standpoint. LET’S TALK DESIGN, YA’LL. The original arm looks so good, and I’m very curious about its future film replacement. How do you improve on that?

The red star is a genius little detail that takes the Winter Soldier’s look from pretty good to fantastic. I’ve read fanfic and meta that explore SebStan’s interpretation, and I’ve read alternative takes where Bucky removes or changes the star as a part of his recovery, and both are great conceptually. However, on the page is one thing, but in a visual medium like comics or film? A white star or mini-shield are never as good.

I haven’t read notes by Brubaker or Epting about their process for the Winter Soldier’s design when they reintroduced him in 2005, but it’s so easy to reverse engineer that I’m reliving the journey in stylish flashbacks like Will Graham. First of all you gotta dress your blue and red uniformed sidekick in black, duh. HE’S A DARK ASSASSIN NOW. All those extra buttoned chest straps are an homage his old outfit, but more BDSM. Next, give him luscious locks as a shorthand for passage of time. Check and check. Domino mask as another homage, wisely (in my opinion) changed to the ‘muzzle’ in the films. Give him a fuck-off metal arm as a symbol of his permanently altered self/visual reminder of his superhuman abilities/interesting textural contrast against his matte black uniform. 

PRETTY GOOD SO FAR.

It’s all coming together, but something’s missing. He looks unfinished. Buck’s still pretty monochromatic, so how do we make this guy distinct, make him pop? A primary color detail! Classic. Even better if we can borrow from Cap’s color scheme. White doesn’t add anything, blue is good with black, but red? Red for spilled blood, red for passion, red for Russia – not really a contest. A star isn’t emblematic of either HYDRA or the Red Room (their logos are too busy for a detail, unless you went with an X for Department X maybe) but a star is about as iconic a symbol as you can get, interesting without being complicated, and so widely used that you can retroactively map just about any backstory onto it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Steve is wearing a big ol’ star in the middle of his chest. Now the Winter Soldier is a dark mirror of Captain America; now he’s set apart from the other black-clad goons; now you can put down a red star and instantly know what character is being referenced. It’s a small change that makes a huge difference.

image

Nailed it.