briarwood: (XF Truth)
I've seen some posts around DW and LJ about the problematic issues in [community profile] hc_bingo. I faced some similar issues myself with this year's [livejournal.com profile] spn_summergen so I've given it some thought.

Cut for length )
briarwood: (SPN Meg Blue)
[livejournal.com profile] amothea rants about stories posted in multiple parts here.

And she has a point. But there's a lot she's not taking into account. I think she assumes every reader is like her and wants to read a whole story all in one. I think a lot of people do, but I don't think everyone does. I so rarely have the time to sit down and read a nice, long fic from beginning to end, the other way suits me just fine. And though I don't like getting invested in a WIP, I love those cliffhanger chapter-endings from an author I trust to deliver next week.

But there's something else, and here I'm speaking as a writer not a reader: some very long stories are not meant to be read that way.

Most of my multi-chaptered stories are posted in chapters of between 6000 and 8000 words because that's how they're intended to be read. I don't write novels; I write serials. Each chapter builds up the plot, has its own beginning, middle and end, ends on a point intended to leave you (the reader) wanting more.

Just as a full season of 24 isn't intended to be watched in a wacky 24-hour marathon, a serialised story isn't intended to be saved up until it's finished and read in one long sitting*.

That doesn't mean you can't do that. I actually did do that with the first few seasons of 24; I loathe tv ads, so I'd much rather watch stuff on DVD and cram a full season into a weekend of square-eyed, ass-numbing fun. But watching 24 that way really exposes how preposterous the plots are and how impossible Jack Bauer's life really is. It takes something important away, and spoils the show.

Similarly, as a writer I can't control the reader's experience, and I don't want to. I can't stop you turning my carefully structured serial into a single block. I can't stop you waiting until I've posted the final chapter before you start reading. I can't stop you reading the last chapter first, if that's what you want to do.

But don't tell me I'm doing it wrong because my chosen genre doesn't fit your reading habits. Chances are if you're not a fan of serials, you're not reading mine anyhow; that's great and fandom's more than big enough for all of us. But you know what? Serialisation was good enough for Dickens...and it works for me, too. If/when I move to Dreamwidth, I'm going to keep doing it.

* Most of my longer stories are in fact available as single blocks, on my site or in the Archive of Our Own. The exception is where the story is a series, rather than a serial - stand-alone fics linked by an arc plot. Those are always archived separately.
briarwood: Gal Godot as Wonder Woman (V4Vendetta)
This essay was originally posted in [livejournal.com profile] itsawomansworld, as a response to a discussion about rape and sexual violence in fan fiction. The original disucssion is here and my original posting is here. I've updated this version with a couple of links and to clarify a couple of things that apparently weren't clear in my first version.

Women writing about sexual violence - the perspective of a rapefic fan )

Disclaimer: I know this is a difficult and contraversial subject in fandom. Though this is very much a personal perspective, I welcome discussion and argument, as long as you disagree with what I've actually said, not what you assume I think.
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