Author has written 13 stories for Yu-Gi-Oh, Rurouni Kenshin, and Final Fantasy VII.
I read something once that only an insane person would write for free. I think that came from a supreme court judge.
Well, here is to being insane and all of those who have fallen into the pit of depravity that is called loving and sharing what we do, creating our own stories!
I also read once a better saying: "Why do I write? Because it isn't there."
I again raise a toast to those of us who write free (have you taken your meds today?) fanfiction because the story isn't there. For all of us who wonder what Vincent does when he isn't saving the world, for those who ponder what it would be like to be married to Saitou, and for those who think Kaiba really needs a beer and a life, I gleefully say back to the first comment, "Only the insane, the uninspired, or the dead of soul wouldn't write stories that please their spirits, give laughter to their friends, and give joy to anothers day. I am sorry you feel we, who laugh as we write and share freely so others may laugh with us, can have no other cause to write than being mentally deficient. You might want to consider that maybe it is you, not us that have lost your way."
I just received a review that reminded me that I haven't updated Collateral Damage in six months.
I'm ashamed of myself. I can claim that I am busy with my jobs (damn economy) and school (damn the need for a higher education) but six months... I am ashamed.
However, I will finish. Please don't dispair! I have the story pretty well figured out and outlined. I just need the darn time to do it. I will make time. For all of those who read my fics, I will make time. Please be patient with me. I am trying my best to simplify my life enough to give me time to write like I used to. I miss it so much that when I realize what I have lost, I wistfully start planning for a writing day, already knowing it won't happen except in brief spurts. It's taken me two months just to write one chapter where it once took me a day. It may take time, but all will be done.
My apologies again. I miss you.
I was reading a story last night and it got me thinking.
When we read or watch a movie, we all do it with something called suspention of belief. It is how we enjoy the stories in the first place. For example, we know that in reality no one can transform into a being like Chaos, leap gracefully around buildings swinging huge swords like Cloud and Sephiroth, and materia is just never going to happen. But, we want to enjoy ourselves and so we suspend our beliefs, we put them on hold, and we let the story charm us. The only thing we ask is that the story make sense within itself, that a character who is presented as kind, likeable, and conservative suddenly doesn't start kicking puppies, cursing out his friends for no reason, and wearing goth-slut clothes. If they do, we want a damn good reason. When no good reason is presented, we snap back into belief and the story/movie is considered a dud. We leave the theater or get up from our reading spot feeling cheated since the one who created that mess betrayed our trust.
When we read, we also suspend belief, but it is even more of a suspension. We not only suspend belief in reality, but we also put our trust in the author that the author will keep to the beliefs, characterizations, and actions of the origional story. We, as fan fiction readers, give a lot of trust to the author, so when a character we like suddenly has sex with another character in a PwP, we shrugg lightly and get into the story. It doesn't really bother us that the origional source never had the intention for any form of relationship to form between those two characers. All we ask is that the two characters generally act like themselves, or have reason to not act like themselves. We can enjoy a story with Seto Kaiba from Yugio having sex with Pegasus just as much as we can enjoy Reno and Cloud getting all steamy, or Kenshin and Saitou shagging.
The problem (which I noticed in the story I read) is when the characters stop acting like themselves or when the author stretches belief too far. The story, which I will not name, did that. It asked for the reader to accept what could not be accepted and changed a few key character traits. The reader was asked to believe that 1) a character who has always been protective of another in a parental kind of way, would not only ignore, but encourage a relationship where the one who loved their "child" was planning for a long time to do something insane to that "child", 2) a relationship where one of the characters was trying to imprison another character for the rest of their life for "their own protection", is good, 3) not only is it good, but after the victim escapes, the victim still loves the other and writes it off (with another character's encouragement) to the cliche "love makes you do crazy things." 4) the victim character then goes back to the psycho-loony and they love each other for the rest of their lives.
Suspension of belief just doesn't hold when an author presents things like that. All the little threads that bind us to the story break and we are left quivering, disbelieving and angry at the sidelines feeling vaguely stupid (especially if it is a long story) that we read that piece of crap. We wonder what happened to our characters that we loved so much. We feel betrayed, oddly hurt. All the reader has to do is place themselves in the character's place (which a good author is attempting to do in the first place) and feel the horror, like being raped by their beloved. If it is PwP, we might toss it off, but in a story? and we are supposed to believe that rape is an act of love? that it is romantic? that it is something forgetable? Or like in the story I read last night, imprisionment for the rest of one's life is an act of careing? of love? that it would be believable that the two characters even managed to have a conversation again much less be romantic?
As readers on this site, we are a polite lot. We realize that most of us are learning to write. We expect mistakes, grammar problems, and missed characterizations. Some of us know that sometimes things are an experiment and we flow along with the experiment until the end. We might then give a thoughtful review to let the author know what the result is on our (the reader's) end. Sure, there are the flamers, whose reviews are worthless beyond the acknowledgement that some child who has no self esteem is tossing mud around in a temper tantrum trying to be noticed, but on the whole, we follow Thumper's rule of "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." But where does that leave those of us who would really like to help out, who see potential but know that our one thoughtful feedback is going to be drownd out by the cheers of those that just want an author to continue the sex scenes and don't care that the author is trying to build a story?
I have finally finished Now a Monster. It took me nearly two years. TWO YEARS! Gaahhhh! Anyhow, it's done now and overall I'm proud of it. I know I left a few hanging threads like Tseng heading back to Rufus's waiting arms, Tifa and Rude, and perhaps Veld and Reeve. Honestly, I need to simplify my life and concentrate on the two stories I am already writting. The last year has been incredibly hard on me, downright nightmarish really, so I need to take it easy for a bit. I'll try to revisit this with a few one-shots.
I also haven't forgotten the Yugioh story I promised. I really haven't. I've been crafting that plot for years now and someday I will write "Day of Our Lives". I only hope that you won't have forgotten all about it.
Where you might find me...
I'm WhispWind of the Dark Pagans. I'm there a lot in the evenings (California time) and bounce in and out all day. That's probably the best place for you to catch me online. Just let me know that your from fanfiction and don't be too shocked if it takes me a bit to get back to you. I sometimes go shopping on e-bay while I'm playing which drives some of my friends insane. Sorry 'bout that.
I have nothing to say. Really. This is just babble. I seem to do that a lot. Hmmm. I should probably stop that, it's a bad habit. Bad habits are by definition bad, and one should try to stop them. Take babbling endlessly about nothing. It's a bad habit, like tapping your foot when you're nervous. Doesn't that just drive you insane. It does me. I can't believe people will just tap, tap, tap. It drives me nuts. One should work and work hard at conquoring their bad habits. It's not like climbing Everest. Most likely you aren't going to freeze your toes off, have to eat recostituted food and have to put up with people that smell like a yak. Nope. Breaking bad habits is rather easy if you think about it like that. No more toe tapping. Just keep your feet firmly on the floor. And babbling. I could just stop. Right now. Yes indeedy, I could. Watch me. I can stop any time I please. It wouldn't be hard. I just have to lift my fingers of the keyboard and
Hey! I have a new webpage. It isn't much right now, but in the future, you can find comments about my stories from me and even some research notes for the curious.
I feel like babbling today about fanfiction, so here I am babbling.
I was just thinking about unfinished stories and how much I really hate them. I have fallen in love with so many fics only to come to the sad, horrible conclusion that I love them more than their own creator does. Anyone who's been on this site knows the heartache of finding that magical story that rivits you to the screen crying, smiling, and worrying then boom! it's left hanging in space as you helplessly wail, "Wait, wait! I love these people! I am worried about them! Don't leave them like that! Come back! Come back! Finish this so they won't be left suffering like that!"
Of course, the author has probably wandered off feeling that no one loves the story and probably doesn't even recognize that some of the best stories out there have few reviews because you are so emotionally tied in knots that there is nothing you can say but oh wow, and that is such a complete understatement that you feel embarassed to post a comment like that.
Anyhow, I promise to you my readers, I will always finish my stories. It may take me some time (sigh ...the horror that was the Chrysalis story line...authoress shudders in remembered horror...) but I will get it done. It may not be pristine. It will probably have grammar mistakes, run on sentences, an other horrors in it, but it will be complete! (And get a clue, this is fan fiction. I'm not getting paid to proofread stuff. If I do proof, it's because I feel like doing it and, if I don't, it's because I like to go have fun away from my computer.)
As for those orphans, maybe we should have a board where you can adopt a story that hasn't been completed. Wouldn't that be fun.
I think I'm scarred for life. I just took the What Final Fantasy Character Are You quiz and got told that I'm Cloud, ambitious and tough. It sounds good on the surface but how about the flip side? Cloud isn't known as a pillar of mental stability...
I feel woozy...
Oh No! I am Cloud!! Next thing you know I'll be delusional, have a huge hulking sword strapped to my back, and be wandering aimlessly around feeling a vague sense of angst, while mourning my dead friends...
Why couldn't I be Vincent? Then I'd be able to sleep this horror away...
I feel the need to say, I didn’t choose Lucrecia for the evil bad guy in Once a Man and Now a Monster because I hate Lucrecia. Actually, I might write a fan fic one day that is completely sympathetic to her. I have a lot of empathy for the position she was put into. She was carrying boat loads of guilt (carriers, not little row boats) about Grimiore's death and was suddenly, without warning put face to face with Vincent. That must have been a shock. She starts falling in love with him, but she can't escape what happened with Grimiore. Things get confusing, she loves him, but she can't bring herself to tell him about Grimoire, maybe fearing he'll reject her or worse, hate her, and then, horror! Vincent finds out about his father! She goes into a tailspin and there's Hojo offering comfort. She goes for it, seeing it as a way out, that she can start again with no guilt, but too messed up to think strait. When she finally pulls herself together, she's made a bad situation into a nightmare. Vincent is dead. She feels responsible, again! and her husband has turned into a monster. When she tries to salvage something from the situation, it goes horribly wrong. Feeling that she does nothing but kill or at least seriously hurt everyone she's ever loved, she tries to kill herself, but she can't die. She's left with the choice of living forever with the guilt of what has happened to Grimiore, Vincent, and Sephiroth, even if it wasn't all her fault, or sealing herself away into the not so great escape of the crystal. She chooses the crystal, maybe feeling that at least she wouldn't hurt anyone else if she was locked away in her own prison.
I feel for her. I really do.
Personally, I somewhat detest the b!tchy stereotypical “I want my fic to be yaoi so all females are evil” characters. Yes, I know that’s what I’m doing in a way, but honestly, if the only reason that two people are in love is because they can’t find any sane partners, what kind of relationship is that? Hojo and Vincent were in love before Lucrecia. She is just the complication. I could just as easily chosen Gast, but honestly, Gast is such a zero in cannon that I didn’t have enough background to use him as the bad guy, and I needed a scientist involved in the Jenova project. Lucrecia, with all her cannon interactions with both Vincent and Hojo just begged to be explored, and as I said before, I have my doubts about a woman that would seal herself into a crystal a demon will one day be born out of.
I suppose what’s set me of is the whole “Shera’s a bitch because she’s married to Cid and objects when she finds he’s in love with someone else” stories I’ve been reading. The idea is just dumb. I really don't care about Shera. She's pretty much just a prop character, but in these fics my sympathies lay with her. Anyone gets hurt in that situation. If a spouse wants to and eventually will be/or is fcking someone else, it makes the spouse the ashhole, not the one who remained true. In each of those fics the premise is basically: Cid married Shera, can’t remain true to his own marriage vows, and instead of taking the mature path of going to her and saying he thinks they should either get counseling or a divorce, he instead runs off with Vincent like a hormone driven dimwit. Vincent can only be thought of as a complete loser for sleeping with someone’s husband, destroying a marriage, and is stupid enough to think Cid won’t do the same to him.
As I was told long ago, the way you get them is the way you lose them. If you get them by their cheating on their spouse, you lose them when they cheat on you.
Closely aligned with this is the “Shera/Tifa/Lucrecia is a psychotic b!tch who is just doing things because I need a good excuse to get her out of Cid/Cloud/Vincent’s life” crutch. It’s obvious when a writer does this. Just out of the blue Shera/Tifa starts acting completely out of character. Cid/Cloud/Vincent becomes the tragic victim as the psycho slut struts about doing odd, unreal, things for no reason besides “I hate Cid/Cloud/Vincent and I’m going to make him suffer.” It’s been done to death.
Come on, most of us are women/girls why are we trashing our own sex? Yaoi is great, but build the relationship on stronger foundations than desperation because every other partner available is insane (Which is creepy when you think about it because 1) If everyone else is insane but you, that generally means that it’s your mind that has fallen out of orbit. Or, 2) Only insane people think you are attractive… poor Vincent…), the characters are too stupid to know better (Only stupid people love me! All smart people stay far away!), or they are too self-centered to care that they are causing other people harm (I have no self control, no morals, and I don’t give a sh!t that your wife is undergoing tremendous amounts of mental pain because of me. It’s her fault for being such a b!tch as to actually complain that I’m fcking her husband. If this was reality, I’d probably leave you in a few months (or weeks). With all my outstanding personality traits, you can’t expect me to stay with an easy fck like you.)
My next rant might very well be the Vincent is a chick with a dick rant. It still makes me want to chuck my computer through a window when Vincent starts cooking, having babies, and lets someone call him cutsie nick-names like “baby” while the manly Cid/Cloud/Sephiroth struts around taking care of “the little woman.” I keep hoping that the Vincent of those fics snaps out of it and shoots Cid/Cloud/ Sephiroth.
This is coming from a dedicated yaoi fan…
I blame romances. The old set up of: she’s beautiful and he’s hansom and manly. They fall in love. The slutty tramp of the piece interferes. He rejects the slut. The heroine and hero declare their love.
It’s just so shallow. The hero only looks at the surface beauty of the heroine. The heroine falls in love at first sight and doesn’t get beyond the surface either or ignores all the warning signs that are nearly blinding her that the guy is basically an a. Many of the romances have the heroine change her personality or give up something she treasured but then make her shallowly come to terms with it because “it’s for love!” (Shades of Vincent, the chick with a dick)
I particularly love the romances that she marries him because they slept together once, months ago, she got pregnant, and they decide to get married (Some authors will, to stave off the growls of irate readers, have the hero declare that he’s in love with the heroine and has been in love with her for months/years, and the pregnancy isn’t influencing his love.Nope. Not at all, and all those "wow! I'm a dad and she, and me, and baby makes three, and father's should be there for their children lines were supposed to be skipped. Yeah, right. That’s why they barely missed each other except for a few stray thoughts (I have stray thoughts about my high school boyfriend, that doesn't mean I'd even talk to him, much less marry him if he ever showed up. I'd actually be rather horrified at his appearance. I had bad taste in men when I was in high school, but I do remember the good times we had together.), might have gotten involved with another woman/man, and/or didn’t get married before all the dramatics. I wonder that the author thinks that the reader is so stupid as to believe that.)
Oh well, that’s why they say in a perfect romance the hero gets hit by a car and dies ten seconds after the story ends. That way reality never gets in the way.
Anyways, the romance formula is basically the set up for the wife becoming a shadow person with no identity or individuality beyond her husband’s, (Vincent, the chick with a dick. Oh well, this is the Vincent rant...) or she will one day wake up and realize she doesn’t know the man she was “in love with” and actually, now that she does know him, dislikes him intensely for making her give up so much while he is still the same waste of good air (and electronic ink) he was to begin with. (Shoot him Vincent! Borrow a gun if you have to!)
If you look, a lot of fan fics echo the romance formula. Vincent is beautiful. Cid is hansom and manly. (I’m using FVII as an example. I’ve read this in a lot of fics from various fandoms.) The evil Shera/Lucrecia/Tifa/Yuffie gets in the way. Cid/Vincent tells her to fck off. Vincent and Cid declare their love. Vincent becomes the “little woman” and they live happily until the next fic where Vincent most likely will lose even more of his already compromised masculinity.
Mary Sue’s are no more than the overly perfect heroines from romances that get a new shiny coat of paint (often in goth colors) and set down to fall in love in fan fiction. Check it out sometime. It’s eerie. Heroines can usually do anything: they cook, they take care of children, they are the font of all wisdom, they save the hero from his tragic past, they heal his wounds using the skills some older woman taught them, and they bravely save him from his enemies with their amazing courage and skill. They may seem wild and callous on the surface, but underneath, they just want to be loved because they too have a tragic past that only the hero can save them from.