I get comments on fic every once in a while where the person tries to tell me what they want to see happen in the fic, and they either do it in a subtle way or they flat out order me to do it. It’s not all that often, but I always ignore it, don’t engage with the person, and sometimes I’ll even delete the comment if they’re overly pushy and obnoxious.
But for some reason lately I’ve gotten more of them in a short period of time, one that was like “I really hope you don’t do THIS.”
It doesn’t bother me so much as it amuses me. I wish they wouldn’t do it to new writers or writers who can’t handle ridiculous people being ridiculous, but at the same time it’s like… really? You want everything you read to go exactly the way you want it? Okay, how ‘bout you go write it the way you want it. Hey, I might even read it. Go for it.
Don’t people want to be surprised? Don’t they want angst and problems and danger and excitement and pain and love and life? I would hate it if everyone wrote exactly what I wanted. TV, movies, and fanfic would be so boring. Sure, I like reading things I want to happen, but not all the time.
I want to be disappointed. I want my heart ripped out sometimes. I want to cry sometimes. I want that stab of betrayal. I want to be on the edge of my seat wondering what happens next. I want to laugh. I want to be surprised. I want to sigh at the end of a fic and get that feeling of just stepping off a roller coaster.
Writers do this, and they’re awesome for it! Without anyone else’s writing to read but my own, I’d probably stop reading, and I’d probably stop writing too.
P R E A C
H. I am baffled by the readers that try to boss writers around and are
seemingly uninterested in the idea of surprise. Surprise is fucking FUN.
I remember the good ol’ days when we didn’t have to tag for every
little turn our fic took and honestly? I really really miss it.
Yeah, the bossing around is shitty, and I wish I could protect new writers from this because it can be devastating until a writer gains some confidence and/or realizes bossy people need to be shoved into the “ignore” box.
I was just mentioning the surprise factor on @dreamsfromthebunker‘s fic I didn’t read the pairings or tags and was very pleasantly surprised by the characters and content 😀
When it comes to friends of mine who are writers or writers I know I really like, I don’t look at the tags & pairings, and most of the time I don’t even bother reading the summary.
I read the summary on fics only when I’m searching for something new to read and have no clue who the writers are. Still, there are times I’ll just randomly pull up a fic and start reading, no reading of tags or summary.
I’m not saying we should do away with tags. There are reasons for it, including the ability to find things, but I just wonder how people enjoy things when it seems like they yank all the fun out of everything.
And heaven forbid you forget a tag or someone thinks you need one when you don’t feel it fits the fic or they think you need one but that’s not really what’s happening. I’ve had people get very pissy with me over that one. I tag very well, and that can also be a spoiler, so I don’t draw attention to the tagging itself in case people want to be surprised.
I’m just sayin’ live a little 😉
cut for length and whining (on my part)
Ugh, fuck. Yes. You just highlighted another very unfortunate problem.
forget ONE tag (and honestly it’s usually a tag I don’t agree needs to
be used anyway) it’s like fucking all hell breaks loose. Readers become
pushy again about you adding tags that really don’t need to be
there/don’t belong at all and ugh. It’s so frustrating the shit people
deem is necessary to harass us over half the time, arg. I realize
tagging has its place, it helps us find shit and helps others avoid
But it’s just reached ridiculous levels, imo.
I recently realized someone used the bookmark section of AO3 to do a passive-aggressive insulting thing. I don’t normally look at the bookmark notes people make on my fics, but someone mentioned people like to do ratings in them (like a whole rating system) and I was like hmm… wonder if my readers do this, and saw this little insult.
Now this is someone who flipped out on me over something that ended up not even being what she thought it was in the fic. She flipped out so badly that I gave her a huge spoiler in the reply and deleted her ranting because I just don’t like awful comments clogging up the comments section and I *really* don’t want my readers trying to defend me.
She wanted a tag for something that SHE thought happened and it didn’t happen. I don’t know what to say to people like that. It wasn’t even an opinion matter (some people like to explain to you how this is a nonconsensual/wrong situation no matter how you write it, but this wasn’t even that) it was just plain her assuming something that wasn’t true.
It’s petty to do the passive aggressive thing in the comments section of bookmarks, but that’s not what we’re really talking about.
I tag for everything. I’m really anal about it because I like to make it as easy as possible for people to find my fic when they’re in the mood for something I’ve written. It’s a bonus that it also helps people who are genuinely triggered by content. Most of my readers know how anal I am about tagging, so it just made this person’s rant even funnier. I don’t know how much more plainly I can say “I tagged for everything, you’re wrong, now quit spoiling the fun for the rest of my readers.”