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17 May 2005 @ 16:42
not quite a thinky but still slightly thinky "Doctor Who" fandom essay  
So, I've been working on this rant-cum-essay on and off all, and I've been a bit on the squirrelly side, regarding posting it... But I figure what the hell.

rant-cum-essay about the doctor/rose fanfic worldCollapse )
Tags: ,
mood: depresseddepressed
Hal Jordan! Let's do it!: my ownmemlu on 18th May 2005 00:46 (UTC)
The painful thing is this isn't the sort of -- not phenomena, exactly, but anyway -- just evident in the Doctor Who fandom (and for this particular series, it is new and shiny and several writers are testing their wings out) but in many other fandoms, especially long-running, established ones. Buffy, Harry Potter, and Inuyasha all come to mind. I've memories of a few years ago when there was this boggling influx of slave AUs in the Inuyasha fandom at FFN, when it seemed like every other fic was a slave AU with a heaping of bad porn at the end. Horrible times.

I had to learn a while ago that writing what other people want or expect might be easy, but it isn't fun for me. I don't enjoy doing the same things every time, knowing I might be guaranteed reviews, but I'm not guaranteed any particular satisfaction as a writer. (I've been wary of trying my hand at Doctor Who fic so far, mostly because I'm afraid of repeating the same things that have been done over and over, with just a smidgen of doubt that I'd have a good grasp of these admittedly still uneven characters.)

As it is, I'm afraid of things turning to fanon, that something absolutely absurd like, say, penis size, becomes a token piece in fanfiction.
The Fabulous Rennrenn on 18th May 2005 01:46 (UTC)


I can only hope that once the season wraps, we get back to the more UST fiction we had the first three episodes. (In part, I'm extremely jealous, because I really wish ppl would write about Five/Nyssa or Five/Peri the way they write about Nine/Rose....) (I've been a Five Shipper for at least 20 years, I am *that* pathetic.....)
Doyle: first doctor oh shit!doyle_sb4 on 18th May 2005 01:51 (UTC)
!! I can't find any Five/Peri *anywhere* and I saw Caves of Androzani last week and I'm dying for some...

(no subject) - renn on 18th May 2005 02:02 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - doyle_sb4 on 18th May 2005 02:11 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - samantha2074 on 18th May 2005 03:03 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pbristow on 18th May 2005 13:25 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - samantha2074 on 19th May 2005 03:25 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - renn on 18th May 2005 18:18 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - samantha2074 on 19th May 2005 03:26 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 19th May 2005 03:47 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - samantha2074 on 19th May 2005 04:08 (UTC) (Expand)
Sixicebluenothing on 18th May 2005 02:39 (UTC)
*standing ovation*

.... I think my biggest frustration with a lot of the post-episode codas I'm seeing is that a lot of fic writers are taking the unspoken moments of the show and turning them into spoken ones instead, in the most blindingly obvious ways possible. Not Very Interesting.
Worrals: Bad Wolflivii on 18th May 2005 02:57 (UTC)
Oh yes, this is exactly how I feel - I'm not averse to a bit of more explicit Nine/Rose but generally the fun is the way it's a bit of a secret, a bit of something you have to think out for yourself. Making that too explicit just takes away the fun of this particular pairing - these specific characters. Unless it's supposed to be silly, in which case, that can be alright. :)
(no subject) - jeanne_dark on 18th May 2005 03:39 (UTC) (Expand)
Susancy_girl on 18th May 2005 02:51 (UTC)
Excellent observations. The "comforting each other in nightmares" is a plot thread I've seen in other fandoms - X-Files, Buffy, etc. I'm a little mystified by it's staying power. Maybe it's because it gets the protagonists already in bed and emotionally needy.
lugna_vatten: Fenella and Oddboddlugna_vatten on 18th May 2005 06:28 (UTC)
Gallifreyan biology.
Perhaps all prospective writers should read the New Adventure novel 'Lungbarrow' and the subject of Time Lord reproduction contained within.

Although to counter my own argument it doesn't specify whether the race is sterile or impotent; the Doctor may be lucky enough to have an endowment of astounding dimension (and not 'relative' to anything else it would seem) but not be able to use it for all we know.

There again he is half-human and so it could be that the Curse of the Capitol doesn't apply to him.

ljc: lost (doctor)taraljc on 18th May 2005 08:42 (UTC)
Re: Gallifreyan biology.
Perhaps all prospective writers should read the New Adventure novel 'Lungbarrow' and the subject of Time Lord reproduction contained within.

Oh God no. I am completely weirded, actually, to find so much of whovian fandom actually takes media tie-in novels to be canon, and I'm more than happy to ignore the Looms, personally.

I have no issues with the Doctor as male, the Doctor has having a sex drive (tho I do think that he does not have to have a human sex drive, since it wouldn't make much in the way of sense for such a long-lived race to be biologicically driven to reproduce the way we do, so it makes perfect sense to me that Gallifreyan culture wouldn't have casual sexual relationships with the frequency humans do).

What I generally have issues with is the Doctor/Rose relationship being reduced to a physical one in a way that's generic, as opposed to growing organically out of the relationship we see on-screen. Being rushed. Being treated as a foregone conclusion. Being OOC. Being badly written erotica desigend to get the author and/or the readers off.

And that's not an attitude limited to this particular fandom. I have always had an aversion to PWPs.
Re: Gallifreyan biology. - pbristow on 18th May 2005 13:31 (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Gallifreyan biology. - harmonyfb on 21st May 2005 16:13 (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Gallifreyan biology. - pbristow on 21st May 2005 19:16 (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Gallifreyan biology. - harmonyfb on 21st May 2005 16:12 (UTC) (Expand)
11nine73 on 18th May 2005 06:42 (UTC)
"if I have a post-ep story idea, I have to stay away from the fandom until I've finished it"

Same here. Actually, I tend not to read any fics while I'm writing (so if you've posted something and I've not commented; that's why).

I think one reason we're getting so many of the "I love yous" is the now rapidly approaching regeneration. Grabbing and holding on to Nine/Rose as hard as we can in a vain attempt to stop it.

Calapine's nasty kiss has given me the kick to get on with the Dark Fic though...
Autopsy Gremlin: H/Hr - Butterflys (me)abby_i on 18th May 2005 07:43 (UTC)
Totally agree with you. Well put!
Riona: here I come to save the day! (panpipe)rionaleonhart on 18th May 2005 07:49 (UTC)
Thank you so much for this essay - I'm still new to the fandom (writing very short things at the moment just to establish how I'm to characterise Rose and the Doctor, which hasn't stopped me from killing one of them already (whoops)), and this will no doubt help me to find my feet and avoid the pitfalls that you've mentioned.

I'm much more a fan of the subtext, really. I haven't been reading any smut for this fandom.
Ide Cyan: Yummy!ide_cyan on 18th May 2005 08:31 (UTC)
I want to see the Doctor get depressed and binge on stale jelly babies.
(no subject) - doylefan22 on 18th May 2005 11:07 (UTC) (Expand)
Doyledoyle_sb4 on 18th May 2005 13:27 (UTC)
Re: From the mind of a fanfic writer...
3. Episode style fics - Now these are my babies. These are the ones I'm most proud of. They're the ones that take longest to write and are planned down to the very last detail (i.e 'After Dark') but I adore them. I try to write them as if they are missing episodes. They may not be the fics that get the most reviews but they are my favourites.

Me too. I've got a couple of unfinished fics on my harddrive that fit this description, and a big part of the reason I loved the Winner Takes All novel was that I could see it being an episode.
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pbristow on 18th May 2005 13:39 (UTC)
Actually, it appears to be 900 years *lack* of experience. And the last time he did it, if he ever did, probably wasn't with a human... (Ahem! I'm talking about *Gallifreyans*, xeno-smut-for-brains!).

So where are all the stories about Rose having to teach him how it's done?

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Hmpfhmpf on 18th May 2005 11:13 (UTC)
But isn't that what happens in all...
fandoms that lend themselves to shipping? And maybe it just happens a bit quicker here because the practices of fandom are so well established nowadays that people automatically snap into the same behavioural patterns for a new fandom? Most people who are producing Doctor Who stuff now probably aren't *new* to fandom.

Frankly, the largest part of fanfic is *always* cliché, in my experience - and I can usually predict exactly what kind of cliché story is going to pop up like mushrooms after a certain ep or movie or whatever. There's certain buttons that, when pushed, will cause most fans to almost automatically generate certain types of fic and certain types of vid etc. The fun of reading fanfic has always been sifting the available material for the truly worthwhile. It's like panning for gold.
marymacmarymac on 18th May 2005 11:40 (UTC)
You wrote what I've been thinking (more or less, I'm sufficiently old-skool to be squicked by the Doctor shagging Companions). Anyway. There was a point. Yes. Keep writing these essays cause they're good and interesting, and intelligent commentary rocks!

And, uh, would you mind if I friended you? Save doylesb_4's computer from the hijacking?
Doyle: first doctor oh shit!doyle_sb4 on 18th May 2005 13:56 (UTC)
Tsk. You've been living with me four years and you don't know where my underscore goes... *shakes head*
(no subject) - marymac on 19th May 2005 08:14 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harmonyfb on 21st May 2005 12:05 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - marymac on 21st May 2005 13:21 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st May 2005 14:23 (UTC) (Expand)
Ravenloneraven on 18th May 2005 12:21 (UTC)
I don't know if this is really a valid point, but this is a fandom with a fairly "easy" main ship. It's a pairing with two characters who obviously like each other and have the occasional romantic hint, so they can generate a lot of bog-standard het fic which has had the hard work, the setting out of the relationship and progression towards it, done by the canon. There's very little slash or unconventional shipping (Adam wasn't really around long enough). Slash and unconventional pairing writers have experience at going round the houses, producing intricate plots and carefully considered motivations before they can get A in bed with B, if A and B even do ever do the dirty which is not guaranteed in any case. If it's easy, it promotes laziness, if that makes sense.

And the other thing - there seem to be a lot of newbies around. Not new to the fandom but new to fandom in general, possibly because Doctor Who is not obscure in the slightest - it's airing at teatimes on Saturday and being discussed with teachers and people you sit next to on the bus! - and perhaps that's encouraged a whole lot of n00bs to dip their feet into online fandom. I'd probably say that as the fandom matures, the problems you've discussed won't be quite so evident. We shall see.
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on 19th May 2005 19:39 (UTC)
Doctor Who is not obscure in the slightest - it's airing at teatimes on Saturday and being discussed with teachers and people you sit next to on the bus!

*is dead from glee*
parrots are just bullshit.: you've been the only thing that's rightniav on 18th May 2005 14:23 (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean - but oh, at the same time I'm enjoying being in this young, not-fully-developed fandom. For me, it's a really refreshing change since I was in the HP fandom for... well, years and years, where slash was everywhere and het was sniffed at (and I quite like a bit of slash but not the point where people are all but vomiting at the very mention of female genitalia), where genderbending and bondage and bestiality and incest and noncon and everything had been explored a dozen and more times, where there was a specialist community for everything ("Oh, you're a Narcissa/Pomfrey bondage fan? Right this way!"), where newbies were often ignored in favour of BNFs, where ship wars were not just common, they were mandatory.

And that came off sounding very bitter, but I don't hate the HP fandom that much, really!

Right now I'm kind of basking in this young, innocent fandom, where stuff is new and there are still so many possibilities to be explored. It's like a holiday for me, only without the return ticket.
harmonyfb: reading is fundamentalharmonyfb on 21st May 2005 11:59 (UTC)
at the same time I'm enjoying being in this young, not-fully-developed fandom

Uh...you do realize that Dr Who fandom has been around since the early 1960's, right? It's not exactly new. :chuckle:
(no subject) - niav on 21st May 2005 12:42 (UTC) (Expand)