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fran knows best
Posted by ville on July 30, 2005 at 5:33
Current Music: "Wings Of A Butterfly" since yesterday.
Hello, I think this is the first entry from someone who isn't a moderator?

The following is widely based on some sort of "educational rant" I wrote a little while ago in a fan fiction community I'm in, because these things kept bothering me. I hope it's okay to post it here. So far, everything I've seen in this community, only pertains to English spelling and grammar, not content... but it says that rants are welcome in the user information. I actually joined b_f_d because I'm aching to discuss some things. But... I don't know... it doesn't say in the user information what fandoms people are in. Mind sharing? I mainly write HIM fiction, and have been for about five years or so. Therefore the examples in this entry are based on that fandom. I think the concepts apply pretty much universally, though.

First of all, here are some cool links for fan fiction writers and slashers. You might have seen them already, but if not, you should definitely check them out:
Citizens Against Bad Slash has a few writing suggestions to make fan fiction (especially, but not exclusively slash) more interesting, including 14 Rules of Good Fanfic, a quick rant about nakedness in fan fiction, general writing tips, Fanfic Peeves, and a bunch of other things.
You can also find a Slash Fiction 101 turorial online, in cooperation with CABS.
And then there's something about how the actual act works. Here are the actual sex tips from a gay man explaining how it works. It's a fun read.

This isn't an exhaustive or scientific list, just some things that I think are important:

- Lubricant for anal sex
Vaginas are self-lubricating, assholes aren't. Everybody seems to know that now, but there's still an impressive amount of slash out there without lube. Ouch.

- Condoms
You wouldn't have sex without in real life, would you? And apart from the obvious (avoiding AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases), we are talking about the fact that this is someone's ass. Now, I understand that you don't want to think about the implications of this fact too much, but you will understand that your characters might prefer not to get shit on their cocks. Though maybe they're into that? I dunno...

- Fleshing out your characters
Finally, and this is something that is starting to increasingly bug me: we are writing about real people, right? People who give interviews and lead an overall fairly publicized life... so it's easy to find a bit of information on the characters. Look at a picture and find out Migé Amour's eye color before you ridicule yourself writing about someone "drowning in Migé's hazel eyes," or making Ville Valo cuddle with his new puppy dog --- I'm not asking for you to know every single last thing about the lives of these people, but it would be nice if you could at least research some of the basics. Otherwise, you're really just writing a story about random people who happen to bear the same names as the celebrities.
(Of course this last paragraph is void if it is your premise to write an alternate universe scenario about how Ville Valo's life would be different if he wasn't allergic to dogs, or how his life would change if he died and came back as a ghost).

- Getting rid of fake characters
I don't have much against the concept of fake characters, marriage or pregnancy within a story, actually. But usually, marriage and pregnancy happens at some point in a long series, because at that moment the author thinks it's oh-so-romantic and cute... but then they realize that they got stuck in their storyline. So in a deus-ex-machina-type of operation, they kill off the wife and/or kids. That way, they can have the character be all sad, and their friends will of course arun to comfort them, resulting in something steamy and usually slashy.

Am I the only one who gets incredibly bothered by that? I recently read an alternative universe setting in a highschool, and the story sounded a lot more believable than most of the Bam/Valo-current-time-stories I've read in the past few months... simply because the author actually knew how to flesh out her characters. The piece was really fascinating up until chapter fourty-some when she killed off the fake wife.

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