AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,

Newsletter Drama

If you've missed it, probably just as well. :/

This is me, though, and I always have an opinion. Which is:

If you publish your fiction to the world, which includes posting it openly on the internet, then people are going to respond to it. They're going to comment, review, critique, label, categorize, rant, whatever. There's a decent chance you're not going to like or approve of what everyone says about or does with your fiction, and there's nothing you can do about it. Nor should there be. The reason we write fanfic is because we believe that fiction is free to be responded to, interacted with, and commented upon. (And personally, I think the images celebs give to the public of who they are are just as fictional as anything else.) I haven't always liked what people have done with or said about my stories, but you know, that's just part of being a writer. If you don't like it, you pick up your dolls and Flock them and take them home so you can play privately with your closest friends.

The whole warning component of the wank has me particularly bemused. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty strongly anti-warning. Most of them are unnecessary IMO, and when you get to "warnings" for toes or cats or children or whatever, then that's just bullshit. Most publishers don't require that their writers label their books with spoilery warnings, even movies don't require spoilery warnings (one of my favorite examples being Prince of Tides, which was distributed without warnings for massively underage homosexual rape right on screen, and no one died of it) and the few small publishers (whom I suspect of coming out of fandom [sigh]) who now do plaster their books with warnings dismay me to no end.

That said, though, I have no problem whatsoever with a review or rec or listing adding warnings or comments or even spoilers. I don't want to post spoilers in my own headers because I'd rather my readers not be forced to be spoiled. But I don't mind at all if there's a place readers who want spoilery warnings can go to get them. To me, that's the perfect set-up -- people who absolutely must know in advance when there's mention of toes or whatever in a story before they decide to read it have a place to find that information, while people who don't want to know ahead of time can just click through my usual header. Best of both worlds, and all that.

Because really, it's about what the readers want, not what about I or any other writer wants. I have my own preferences, and my own ideas about what the perfect set-up and intro to my stories might be, and that's how I set up my headers. But other people will have different ideas and that's fine. If some readers who disagree with me about what a perfect set-up and intro is can find my stories through some other venue which provides a different framework which those readers prefer -- cool!

Variety is always preferable to uniformity in these things, IMO, and if someone wants to start the Big-Ole-Spoiler-Com, where full summaries are given of each fic before the link -- yay! I won't join because I hate spoilers, but if there are enough people out there who want to know exactly what they're getting before they start reading a fic, I'm all for having someone else list and summarize my stories there.

Likewise, I don't always agree with what other people say about fic, about this one being funny or that one being hot or some other one being well- or poorly-written. But if enough people agree with Mary Fan's view of fics, despite the fact that her view is completely opposite mine, then that's enough reason for Mary to start posting recs or descriptions or keyword-tagged listings or whatever, because those fans who agree with her (however many or few there might be) will have a place they can go to find fics they'll like, or avoid fics they won't like. 'Cause seriously, I don't want people who aren't going to like a story of mine to click through to it. It does me no good and is a waste of their time.

Because of this, I support the efforts to start a new LOTRiPS newsletter. We've needed one badly for years, and even when Four Lobsters was running, IIRC they didn't do fic and art links. If a full-service fandom newsletter can get going and be successful, that'd be awesome for the fandom. But I also support lotrips and its mod's right to do whatever the hell she pleases with it. If people like it, then they'll join and read. If they don't, then they won't. Since there are currently 202 people watching the com, I'd say plenty of people like what she's doing.

There's room in the fandom for two such communities. Or three or four, or however much variety people want and are willing to do the work to give us. And this sort of response -- constructively starting up something new and different, so that groups which disagree each have a place to go to find the kind of [whatever] they prefer -- can only benefit the fandom. The wanking and snarking and whining, not so much. Let's get past that as soon as we can and focus on building?


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