Log in

No account? Create an account
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
Rachel Cobleighreveilles on 18th May 2005 14:24 (UTC)
"OMG they are SO DOING IT ON THE CONSOLE ROOM FLOOR!andalsothedoctorswillyisginormous."


...writing a story for the sake of the story, and not giving people what they want, but managing as a result to maybe give people what they didn't realise they wanted until they got it.

Yep, the eternal balancing act of mass media (which probably explains why most of it is such low quality): if they don't want it initially, it's hard to get the money to make it. Joyfully, fanfic writers don't need money to write fanfic and don't get paid for it anyway, so their only excuse for bad fic is pathetically low standards or (generously speaking) a complete unawareness of how truly bad their writing is.

In the grander scheme of the fanfiction world, rj_anderson pointed out that FFN is not a particularly good source of fanfiction or quality reviewing. There's good work up there, but like you said, it's swamped by the mounds of chaff. I don't tend to go there looking for good fanfic to read. :) In the grander scheme of the fanfiction universe, I'd estimate that something like 85% of the stuff out there is smut in one form or another. That the new DW fandom has descended into cookie-cutter smut is expected and predictable. The really good stuff comes out in bits and pieces over time--because as you pointed out, the best stuff takes time to write. Most post-episodic drabble is called "drabble" for a reason. It's the quick dribblings of the fannish brain, not the well-thought-out, patient crafting of a writer committed to producing something of quality. So what if the quick dribblings of most unsophisticated viewers are basically "SEX!BIGWILLY!"? Let 'em clog up their low-quality fanfiction gutters with the stuff. You can't expect the fandom to be producing a lot of really good fic within only 8 weeks of re-starting.

You've got to be patient and wait...don't try to get the satisfaction of a good outside-the-canon Who fix immediately. Wait for kerravonsen's picks, at the KatSpace NetFic Reviews. Wait for rj_anderson to write something or recommend something. :) Look to the trusted Who authors from previous series and see what they're saying and doing, what new authors they're pointing at. Give the fandom some time, and don't worry about the legions of pre-teen (if not in age, at least in emotional maturity) Who fans who are tossing bad fanfic out there. :)

You're right about the general degeneracy of the human race as it is rapidly being evidenced in the new Who fandom...but don't let it get you down. There are some grains of salt out there worth waiting (wading?) for. :)

My $.02, and my best... :)
Weasy: Hell Yeahheck_weasy on 19th May 2005 10:33 (UTC)
I don't want to repeat what lots of people have already said...
but I confess that your entire article is one of the reasons I haven't read much Who fanfic (I've actually only read morbid_sparks' so far) and have just been thinking of my own ideas.
It's funny... I find in a lot of fandoms authors write almost-characters... that almost fit the characters of the show (or book or wahtever) except that they'd jump at the chance to dump their current boyfriend and screw the hottest guy on the show isntead. And because everybody writes it, fans start to forget that that character isn't actually like that... and there's an entire made up character sporting the same name as the one from the show... but that no longer acts like them n any way as each writer takes them further and further away from the original.
At least Dr Who is a relatively small fandom, and with a little bit of guidence (and helpful essays like yours, I confess I've been going through your archives!) it's actually possible to curb it before it gets to bad.
I find that everything really goes haywire when the writing Gods retire to different fandoms, and newbies come in with nobody to check them.

In some ways, that's what might happen after this series finishes. I hope not... but there is a risk of it.
harmonyfb: T is for Thumpharmonyfb on 21st May 2005 11:56 (UTC)
::smooches you::

Give me some good Dr Who adventure stories (with a tad of subtext) any day! :) Danger! Plot! Excitement!

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that the only reason this Doctor is all touchy-flirty with Rose is that she looks an awful lot like Romana. ;)
harmonyfbharmonyfb on 21st May 2005 12:21 (UTC)
Only slightly on-topic
I'd like you to do a panel or workshop at the next Writercon, if you're attending and interested. :)
ljctaraljc on 21st May 2005 14:21 (UTC)
Re: Only slightly on-topic
Absolutely! I had such a blast on panels last year. Any idea where and when the next one will be? I'd love to help out.
harmonyfbharmonyfb on 21st May 2005 16:22 (UTC)
Re: Only slightly on-topic
Kewl! I'll let you know when we get a time and place worked out. :)
Weasy: Strange Dreamsheck_weasy on 22nd May 2005 08:12 (UTC)

do you mind if I write that on an icon?
Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave): CopyNinjaKakashi facerashaka on 24th May 2005 04:38 (UTC)
It's pretty much unavoidable now, I think.

I've noticed that since Livejournal has become so popular for fannish stuff, fandoms have become homogenized, especially when added to the overall ff.net effect on fandom. Now, when there's a new show, there's instant fandom. Someone starts a community within a week or two. Someone starts a site.

I can see it with this new Dr. Who, with Veronica Mars, with Lost, Firefly, etc.

And fanfic has just become more popular every year. The result is you get a lot of fanic and a lot of fanSTUFF very fast. The internet has become fastfood fandom.

Which has benifits and downsides.

As for your complaint... I can see it, but I don't think there's anything to be done. :S :) You're gonna have to suck it up. I know the frustration, though. One of my favorite anime series, Fruits Basket, is this beautiful, intelligent series. And it has the dumbest ficdom ever. Browsing fic for that show breaks my heart. It's not just sameness, it's plain out badness. The normal amount of decent to good quality fic for any fandom series... cut that into 7ths and that's how much FB has. It just makes me hurt, trying to figure out how such a smart series can breed such dumb fic.

Don't lose heart or give up on your fandom just yet. As you theorized, it probably will settle into what used to be the "normal" pattern for fandom once there's some breathing space between new airings.