|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2010-01-15 20:06:00
|Entry tags:||c j cherryh, charlotte bronte, count of monte cristo, dodie smith, fanlib, fannish stuff, litfic, mary renault, master and commander, one true wank, stephen king, villette, yay for yuletide|
FanLib, OTW, and learning to not care...
I write stories.
I enjoy writing stories.
I like writing stories for other people.
If you want me to feel you are not using me as an exploitable resource, you have to be willing to listen to me: to let me have my say on things that matter to me, and to make me feel that if I say something useful, you won't ignore me (or make use of my suggestion without crediting me).
While recognising that many of my friends who have a different experience of OTW from me would not agree with this, my experience of OTW is that OTW is not willing to listen - and my limited experience of interaction with Astolat / Yuletide is that A / Y perceive me as an exploitable resource: a provider of fiction as a work for hire, not a member of the community of yuletiders.
FanLib was scary. (From nearly three years ago, a post I wrote because it seemed urgently to need writing: FanLib/Fandom: non-con, and not in a fun way.)
OTW is not scary. Astolat is not scary. I had originally written a post at much more length about OTW, but it mostly amounted to: OTW make grandiose claims which they fail to live up to. And so what else is new? Fandom is full of things begun with big ideas that fell over a bit in the practice: with mission statements that make claims that go kinda sorta completely unfulfilled. That I was once interested in OTW, and had my interest thoroughly rebuffed because I didn't have a livejournal and OTW weren't interested in the interest of fans without livejournals, was - still is, as a matter of fact - quite annoying. It is always annoying to have a gate slammed in your face.
But that gateslam was two years ago. Long time in fannish terms. You shrug, you move on, you do the occasional quiet sneer in the general direction, but hey: they're not scary people: they're fans having fun who didn't want me to play because it was too much trouble to include people off livejournal, and that is also nothing new or unique to OTW.
I wrote stories for Yuletide because I enjoyed the challenge. Six times over, it was a fun rollercoaster ride of a literary game: can I - figure out a way to resolve Al/Sam slash with Quantum Leap canon? write a crossover between The Count of Monte Cristo and Master and Commander, Dantes and Maturin? (The Surgeon and the Albatross) Write femslash for Lucy Snowe and Ginevra Fanshaw from Villette? ("I would not be you for a kingdom") Write a cute fluffy romance between Fletcher and Jeremy in Finity's End? (Rise and Go) Figure out what happened to all the characters in I Capture the Castle, a few years on during WWII, and can I throw in a nested-crossover character from an L.M.Montgomery novel too? (Written by Candlelight) Write how Alec and Ralph met, loved, and left each other in the missing story from The Charioteer? (Far from all intentional misdoing) Write the story of Hank Olson in The Long Walk, walking through Maine at four miles an hour to the sound of the guns? (Hank's Walk) And the answer, each year, was: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I found I could. I found I liked it. And I thought I was part of a community, a writer taking part in a giftfest, where all the participants created the annual festival of story requests and stories written.
Finding out that I had not been considered a part of the community since 2006 when I left Livejournal, that important information had not been published on what I thought was the community's website because the community was on livejournal (and finding out a few days ago that Astolat had, without crediting me or thanking me for the suggestion, taken the advice I gave that it really looked stupid their not posting the information on what other people too thought of as the community website...) Well. Finding out that apparently the organisers believe the stories I wrote were written as works for hire, belonging to a community of which I was not a member? That kind of spoils my enjoyment.
In this case it was less of a gateslam - no one had ever said I couldn't participate in the storyfest, they'd just declared mere writing stories, reading stories, and commenting on the stories insufficient to be part of the community: to be kept informed about major decisions and the reasons for them... to be included, I had to have a livejournal. Hm.
Yuletiders and OTW fans keep presenting binary choices: Our way or the road that leads to PERDITION, etc. Even when there seem to be other choices.
With regard to Yuletide 2010, there are three choices: (1) not care about any of the crap and simply stick to the basics: I like writing literary challenge stories, I'm good at it, and Yuletide provides a splendid opportunity? Those involved with running OTW and Yuletide may be full of crap, but - who isn't? (2) that six years of Yuletide yay was enough. Let AO3 take my Yuletide stories, despite the OTW crap: and quit writing for a community that apparently considered I had left it three years earlier anyway. (3) Burn my bridges and refuse to allow my stories to be copied across from the Yuletide Treasure website to OTW's AO3.
The more I hear from OTW fans, the more inclined I am to go to option 3: being told (as I have been told) that it was all my fault, that I am supposed to be grateful and appreciative and respectful of the important fans who run Yuletide (while they owe me no gratitude nor appreciation nor respect for participating, apparently: can't have mere writers getting above ourselves, can we?) does not inspire me to want to return to the well of crap to take drinks of more crap, or to allow myself to be used as an exploitable resource.
Nevertheless: I really enjoyed writing these stories. Option one remains an option, till nominations open for Yuletide 2010. I'd just have figure out how not to care about the crap.
People still read Blake's 7 and Star Trek stories I wrote over twenty years ago. I have hopes that in twenty years time people will still be reading these stories.
And OTW? Well, it might still exist in 10 years time. Or not. But mostly, left alone, I tend to think: who cares? It's fannish politics and whimsy, it's a game to play, it's a massive irrelevance to the non-players.
Whatever OTW fans may think: It's the stories that matter, and go on mattering.
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