Making pretty people make out

Wrote this on Tumblr:

I wasn’t into writing or reading fanfiction for a very long time, so I had taken the content of my Fanfiction.Net account down a long time ago, and also stopped going to the site.

When I thought of going back, I remembered that officially you aren’t allowed to post Erotica/Explicit fanfiction on there. Considering like half of the things I write fit that description, but I still have a goody-two-shoes nature of not flouting rules (even though I used to post that sort of thing back in the day), I didn’t kickstart the old account.

Or LiveJournal, for that matter. I thought original fiction and nonfiction would be my future, anyway. Why go back to fanfiction? What would be the point?

You end up forgetting how much content is on Fanfiction.Net, and how much is good, or not good, and how much is/was on LiveJournal (no new content, now), while the interface on Archive of Our Own is the most appealing, now. But honestly I haven’t read any in a very, very long time, from any fandom. I idly put in a request for an account on AO3 because I started writing fanfiction again, and then got the email saying I now had one. It kind of leaves you wondering, if you’re not really engrossed in fandom or anything, trying to promote yourself, participating/reviewing things on FF.Net, why restart an old FF.Net account?

So I dunno if putting my old ‘fics on AO3 is weird or something people do. You can back-date things, I noticed, and organize them in such a way I don’t recall you being able to do on FF.Net. You don’t have to upload documents of your own, merely copy-paste content. Then again, maybe having a crush on a website’s interface is as goofy as having a crush on a fictional character.

I wonder if perhaps fanfiction, as a genre of writing, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. My friend recently made a very convincing argument – one of many – that not only is the practice illegal, it is also lazy. Well, yes, of course it’s lazy. But no, he said. It’s incredibly lazy. To the point of disgusting him, considering he is a fan of good fiction. If the writer must rely on someone else’s writing, and then the reader must rely upon knowledge from that original writer in order to understand the references in the new writer’s writing…I dunno, he phrased it much more eloquently. He said fanfiction loses the most important thing about writing fiction – characterization. You are not developing characters or stories. You are also not explaining or exploring the background of these characters or settings. I noted that what I do, personally, is write snapshots in time, so to speak. And that’s what many people who write fanfiction do as well. He said it’s still not a good form of fiction. It just bugs him. And bugs many people, duly. I commented/confessed that yes, most fanfiction is just like playing with Barbie dolls, in a way. You take two pretty characters and you make them “make-out.” It’s a simplification, considering I have done just that and still managed to make it more complex/nuanced, and so have others, but essentially that’s what I am interested in. Mostly shamelessly, until someone points it out to me. Making pretty people make out.

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