Practical Grammar

What they didn't teach you in school.

6,522 notes

On Fanfiction

roachpatrol:

valnon:

shadesofmauve:

I was cruising through the net, following the cold trail of one of the periodic “Is or is not Fanfic the Ultimate Literary Evil?” arguments that crop up regularly, and I’m now bursting to make a point that I never see made by fic defenders.

We’re all familiar with the normal defenses of fic: it’s done out of love, it’s training, it’s for fun. Those are all good and valid defenses!

But they miss something. They damn with faint praise. Because the thing is, when you commit this particular Ultimate Literary Evil you’ve now told a story. And stories are powerful. The fact that it wasn’t in an original world or with original characters doesn’t necessarily make it less powerful to any given reader.

I would never have made this argument a few years ago. A few years ago I hadn’t received messages from people who were deeply touched by something I wrote in fanfic. So what if it’s only two or three or four people, and I used someone else’s world and characters? For those two or three or four people, I wrote something fucking important. You cannot tell me that isn’t a valid use of my time and expect me to feel chastened. I don’t buy it. I won’t feel ashamed. I will laugh when you call something that touches other people ‘literary masturbation.’ Apparently you’re not too up on your sex terminology.

Someone could argue that if I’d managed the same thing with original characters in an original world, it could’ve touched more people. They might be right! On the other hand, it might never have been accepted for publication, or found a market if self published, and more importantly I would never have written it because I didn’t realize I could write. The story wouldn’t have happened. Instead, thanks to fanfic being a thing, it did. And for two or three or four people it mattered. When we talk about defending fanfic, can we occasionally talk about that?

I once had an active serviceman who told me that my FF7 and FF8 fic helped get him through the war. That’ll humble you. People have told me my fanfic helped get them through long nights, through grief, through hard times. It was a solace to people who needed solace. And because it was fanfic, it was easier to reach the people who needed it. They knew those people already. That world was dear to them already. They were being comforted by friends, not strangers.

Stories are like swords. Even if you’ve borrowed the sword, even if you didn’t forge it yourself from ore and fire, it’s still your body and your skill that makes use of it. It can still draw blood, it can strike down things that attack you, it can still defend something you hold dear. Don’t get me wrong, a sword you’ve made yourself is powerful. You know it down to its very molecules, are intimate with its heft and its reach. It is part of your own arm. But that can make you hesitate to use it sometimes, if you’re afraid that swinging it too recklessly will notch the blade. Is it strong enough, you think. Will it stand this? I worked so hard to make it. A blade you snatched up because you needed a weapon in your hand is not prey to such fears. You will use it to beat against your foes until it either saves you or it shatters.

But whether you made that sword yourself or picked it up from someone who fell on the field, the fight you fight with it is always yours.

Literary critics who sneer at fanfic are so infuriatingly shortsighted, because they all totally ignore how their precious literature, as in individual stories that are created, disseminated, and protected as commercial products, are a totally modern industrial capitalist thing and honestly not how humans have ever done it before like a couple centuries ago. Plus like, who benefits most from literature? Same dudes who benefit most from capitalism: the people in power, the people with privilege. There’s a reason literary canon is composed of fucking white straight dudes who write about white straight dudes fucking. 

Fanfiction is a modern expression of the oral tradition—for the rest of us, by the rest of us, about the rest of us—and I think that’s fucking wonderful and speaks to a need that absolutely isn’t being met by the publishing industry. The need to come together as a close community, I think, and take the characters of our mythology and tell them getting drunk and married and tricked and left behind and sent to war and comforted and found again and learning the lessons that every generation learns over and over. It’s wonderful. I love it. I’m always going to love it. 

(via colferchris)

1,506 notes

Tech Writer Clive Thompson: “The world of fanfiction is the most technologically explosive thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

almostperfectalibi:

The leading flank in discovering how to use technology in cool, interesting, thoughtful ways will generally always be the amateurs. […]

I have a whole theory, actually, that the world of fan fiction is the most technologically explosive thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single technology that has come along, fan fiction people have come along and colonized it and stress-tested it and found the most amazing things. They were the first people to realize the potential of meta-tagging and bookmarking sites. Like, here’s a link with four tags, and then you go to a fan fiction person, and they have a link, and it has 70 tags. They are pushing this to absolute limit, and they are finding these amazing ways to sort knowledge.

It’s all because they’re passionate and nobody is making any money off of it and they don’t want to make any money off of it. They get some amazing stuff done. If you’re ever wondering about a future technology, just drop what you’re doing and find out what fan fiction people are doing with it. What are fan fiction people doing right now with WhatsApp? I don’t know. But, whatever it is, it’s the future. 

- SXSW Interview: Author Clive Thompson Explains FOMO, the NSA, and His Latest Book, “Smarter Than You Think” (x)

wow!

(Source: mugenmine, via bella8876)

36,631 notes

Side Note To Fan Fic Authors

twobirdsonesong:

Here’s the thing.

I read a lot of scripts.  A lot.  From professionals to aspiring writers to complete newbies.  Features and pilots.  Specs and treatments.

And 8 times out of 10 the fan fic that I’ve read over the last, oh, 15 years is leagues better than this stuff.  It’s more inspired.  It’s more compelling.  It’s genre bending and creative and heartfelt.  It’s well-paced and intense and funny and sexy and meaningful.  It’s smart and thoughtful and good.  It’s novel-quality.  Better than, sometimes.

Rare is the script I don’t want to put down, but how often have we stayed up until 3am to get to the last chapter of a 100k fic? And it’s not even a fan fic author’s day job.  This is what they do on the side.  In their spare time.  For free.

So my point is, fan fic authors, you’re good.  You’re good writers and great storytellers.  I know it doesn’t always feel like it, especially if you’re one of the authors who’s not a BNF and doesn’t get the notes/hits that a few do.  And  because some people still view fic as “not real writing.” You guys know the shit that gets made into movies.  You’re better than that.  So be better than that.  If writing is what you think want to do, then just know you’re already doing it.   You’ve already started.

And you’re more talented than you might think.

49,721 notes

octoswan:

I made these as a way to compile all the geographical vocabulary that I thought was useful and interesting for writers. Some descriptors share categories, and some are simplified, but for the most part everything is in its proper place. Not all the words are as useable as others, and some might take tricky wording to pull off, but I hope these prove useful to all you writers out there!

(save the images to zoom in on the pics)

(via thealmightyllama)

95,692 notes

jebbyfish:

So you want to make an OC?: A Masterpost of Ways to Create, Develop, and Make Good OCs!

i made this masterpost in hopes that it helps you in making your own OCs ah;; it can also apply to developing RP characters i suppose! if you’d like to add more resources then go for it sugar pea (´ヮ`)!

How to Write Better OCs:

Character Development:

Diversity

Mary Sue/Gary Stu

Villains

Relationships

ARCHETYPES

NAMES

APPEARANCE

DETAILS

again, this is to help inspire you or help establish your OCs! i hope you get a lot of info and help from this ahh ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

(via wednesdaythunder)

1 note

Hello, friends!

So I just wanted to let everyone know that A isn’t able to take on anymore authors at this time. She’d be more than willing to chit chat or answer questions about grammar or even just whine and complain about fic, but she won’t be betaing right now. 

Feel free to look through the willing to beta tag or contact me, B, through here. I might not be able to help everyone, but I can help some people sometimes. :)

Thanks! As always, our ask is open and we’re more than willing to answer any grammar questions (to the best of our ability), give general advice, or even just talk. 

Filed under psa b helps out