rachelmanija: (Fowl of DOOM)
( Nov. 21st, 2006 10:01 am)
This is for everyone who's ever read a piece of fanfic, but mostly for those who have read more than one. On purpose. And enjoyed them.

Last night [livejournal.com profile] oyceter and I were talking about how we'd gotten involved in fandom-- not just reading books and watching TV, but talking to people about them; and not just to one or two friends or co-workers who happened to like the same stuff, but getting together, in the physical world or online, specifically to discuss the stories we loved.

I mentioned that while I'd been a member of an sf club in high school, it was another six or seven year before I first got online (via AOL's mailed discs) and started discussing books (on usenet's rasfw), even longer before I went to my first convention, and had never gotten involved in media fandom at all until I got on livejournal. I had gone through phases where I would search out and read fanfic for a particular show or comic or book I was obsessed with, but since I was unfamiliar with the concept of rec sites, I would have no way of locating the good stuff, and would read, say, stories about the X-Men all week, each more badly written than the last, and end up nauseated and hung-over. And then I wouldn't read any more fic of any kind for months.

On LJ, I discovered that good writers were writing fanfic, and recommending the good stuff to each other. That was when I started reading fic regularly rather than in binges, and finally wrote my very first one.

(It was for the anime and manga Yami no Matsuei, which is a fic magnet because it has good characters with lots of intriguing but largely unwritten backstory, an interesting setting (a supernatural bureaucracy where spirits with unfinished business (ie, lots of angst) visit Earth to collect souls who haven't moved on like they should), and a writer who couldn't structure a story if you held a gun to her head. Vast and mostly untapped potential is what fanfic is made for. Also, as you'll note in my icon, YnM has floating librarian spirit chickens in bonnets and tennis shoes.)

However, I remembered, I actually read my very first fic when I was sixteen. At the sf club someone asked me if I liked Star Wars. "Sure," I said. "Here, you can borrow this, then." She handed me a stapled fanzine.

I was not, in fact, particularly into Star Wars. I liked it and I had a crush on Han Solo, but I was much more of a Trekkie. However, I read the zine, and there was a story in it which was not terribly good, but which greatly struck me and which I re-read all week until I had to return it at the next meeting.

Luke gets in some kind of trouble on a planet and disappears. Han Solo says it isn't his problem, but then, bitching all the way, he goes and rescues Luke and gets himself beaten up doing it, and Luke drags him back to the Millennium Falcon where Luke patches him up. Han Solo is still in the middle of insisting that he absolutely has no idea why he went to all that trouble when he passes out.

I would give that the taxonomic classification of hurt/comfort (mild hurt, lots of comfort); male bonding/possibly inexplicit slash; with plot, snark, and characters who would go to the ends of the world for each other, but at least one of whom would rather die than admit it. Many of the same themes, in different fandoms, of what I read today.

So tell me, dear readers: What was the very first fanfic you ever read? What happened in it? What did you like about it? And did it bear any resemblance to what you love now?
rachelmanija: (Fowl of DOOM)
( Nov. 21st, 2006 10:01 am)
This is for everyone who's ever read a piece of fanfic, but mostly for those who have read more than one. On purpose. And enjoyed them.

Last night [livejournal.com profile] oyceter and I were talking about how we'd gotten involved in fandom-- not just reading books and watching TV, but talking to people about them; and not just to one or two friends or co-workers who happened to like the same stuff, but getting together, in the physical world or online, specifically to discuss the stories we loved.

I mentioned that while I'd been a member of an sf club in high school, it was another six or seven year before I first got online (via AOL's mailed discs) and started discussing books (on usenet's rasfw), even longer before I went to my first convention, and had never gotten involved in media fandom at all until I got on livejournal. I had gone through phases where I would search out and read fanfic for a particular show or comic or book I was obsessed with, but since I was unfamiliar with the concept of rec sites, I would have no way of locating the good stuff, and would read, say, stories about the X-Men all week, each more badly written than the last, and end up nauseated and hung-over. And then I wouldn't read any more fic of any kind for months.

On LJ, I discovered that good writers were writing fanfic, and recommending the good stuff to each other. That was when I started reading fic regularly rather than in binges, and finally wrote my very first one.

(It was for the anime and manga Yami no Matsuei, which is a fic magnet because it has good characters with lots of intriguing but largely unwritten backstory, an interesting setting (a supernatural bureaucracy where spirits with unfinished business (ie, lots of angst) visit Earth to collect souls who haven't moved on like they should), and a writer who couldn't structure a story if you held a gun to her head. Vast and mostly untapped potential is what fanfic is made for. Also, as you'll note in my icon, YnM has floating librarian spirit chickens in bonnets and tennis shoes.)

However, I remembered, I actually read my very first fic when I was sixteen. At the sf club someone asked me if I liked Star Wars. "Sure," I said. "Here, you can borrow this, then." She handed me a stapled fanzine.

I was not, in fact, particularly into Star Wars. I liked it and I had a crush on Han Solo, but I was much more of a Trekkie. However, I read the zine, and there was a story in it which was not terribly good, but which greatly struck me and which I re-read all week until I had to return it at the next meeting.

Luke gets in some kind of trouble on a planet and disappears. Han Solo says it isn't his problem, but then, bitching all the way, he goes and rescues Luke and gets himself beaten up doing it, and Luke drags him back to the Millennium Falcon where Luke patches him up. Han Solo is still in the middle of insisting that he absolutely has no idea why he went to all that trouble when he passes out.

I would give that the taxonomic classification of hurt/comfort (mild hurt, lots of comfort); male bonding/possibly inexplicit slash; with plot, snark, and characters who would go to the ends of the world for each other, but at least one of whom would rather die than admit it. Many of the same themes, in different fandoms, of what I read today.

So tell me, dear readers: What was the very first fanfic you ever read? What happened in it? What did you like about it? And did it bear any resemblance to what you love now?
.

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