• Member Since 18th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Saturday

Rex Ivan

Fun with rusty metal.

More Blog Posts11

  • 3 weeks
    New Generation, AKA how to get old fans invested in new works

    Been a while, I know, but I want to talk about the "MLP A New Generation" movie. I saw it on Netflix, and I liked it.

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    0 comments · 20 views
  • 342 weeks
    It was always there.

    The FIM season five premier highlights the destructive and manipulative nature of communism when actually put into practice. Everyone who watched those two episodes can see that. It's obvious. What isn't so obvious is that the show has been doing that for quite some time. Will you believe me now when I say that the King Sombra episodes were about a tyrannical dictatorship. Yes, I'm banging

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    1 comments · 391 views
  • 369 weeks
    And then I donated to A.L.S. research

    Demon of Decay decided to tag me with the ALS donation challenge. It was supposed to be 'within twenty-four hours', but he will have to settle for 'within twenty-four hours after first realizing I had been challenged'.

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    1 comments · 602 views
  • 438 weeks
    In Defense of King Sombra

    This is where I try to defend the character King Sombra against all the people who say he was a useless waste of a villain. Also, the only time I will mention the name “Sauron” will be in this sentence. I understand how some people can compare the two, but it's kind of a cop-out to have your entire case based on a character from a different work, so I won't even go there.

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    7 comments · 581 views
  • 466 weeks
    The 'Write for Yourself' Lie

    Rant mode engaged.

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    5 comments · 496 views

Huh ... · 9:04pm Mar 6th, 2012

Well, the February Write Off has ended. Congratulations to the winners and a salute to all those who tried out.

I didn't win, and that is no surprise. What is a surprise is the intensity with which I lost. I didn't just kind of lose; I failed hard. Out of the 9 people who bothered to rate it, 7 of those gave it thumbs down. What happened? It wasn't like I didn't try, either. I took the entire week of my free time and devoted it to crafting and editing that story, and I even had a proof reader too. It's frustrating to put that much work into something and have it fall flat. Especially when I look at the retarded troll stories with bad grammar, that make no sense, and were made with about fifteen minutes of slamming one's head on a keyboard, and I see how everyone LOVES those. How the hell do they manage to get in the "featured box" anyway?

So I guess what I'm asking is this: Why try? Why dump my effort into something that isn't going to even get noticed? I admit that I enjoy doing it, yes, but this story was supposed to be seen by people. It was made for others to enjoy. Obviously it failed rather spectacularly, and I have no idea why. Maybe I should just toss out random garbage with no thought to it, and see how others react to it.

I once heard someone say that the most important thing about fan fiction isn't story, or characterization, or style, or any sort of new concept. The most important thing is to keep it short, since NO ONE will take any of it seriously. They all think that if it's fanfic, then it's automatically garbage, and who wants to wade through 10K words of crap? I wonder how many will actually take the time to read this blog post. Is this too long also?

I request for anyone reading this far to please respond in the comment section. I'm missing something here, and I want to know what it is. I need to see if I take all this writing stuff too seriously.

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Comments ( 4 )

I read the whole blog post! I didn't get to read your write-off entry yet (it's totally on my list though), but I've read and enjoyed the greater part of your previous work, so I'm sure it didn't deserve 7/9 thumbs down. I see a Tragedy tag, maybe the subject matter left a bad taste in their mouths? I'll let you know if I figure anything out after I've read it.

We're lucky here in that we at least don't have to deal with the standard fanfiction stigma - if people are here, they think fanfiction is worth reading. Around here, I think the most important things are the picture and title (first), the description (second), and the first paragraph (third). There's a ton of stories here, so the hardest part is convincing someone to pick up your piece at all. (That's not really relevant to the write-off discussion though, I suppose.)

Well...I know I probably have a leg on either side of the "fanfiction is crap"-divide. On the one hand, I've browsed (and for that matter, written) tons of hideous crap by authors who were either total beginners, inexcusably inept, suffering from totally unfounded delusions of grandeur as to their own literary prowess, or just laboring under the conception that "this is fanfiction, I don't even need to try really". On the other, some of my better literary experiences have been in fanfiction also, when I come across fanfiction that manages to experiment, comment and elaborate upon the source material and in some way or another elevate itself and the source material by doing so.

These moments, sadly, are few and far between. And, also sadly, they are almost diametrically appreciated, either because of length or scope or ambition or whatnot. I know I shouldn't, but I feel a slight twinge every time I come across some discussion where "My Little Dashie" is immediately touted as the pinnacle of pony fanfiction endeavours. Quite apart from the fact that I find that fic fairly bland and boring after the protagonist, a blank slate in the same way Bella of Twilight is and crafted for much the same reason I think, takes Rainbow Dash home with him, I find it abhorrent that one fic should occupy the "throne", as it were, for all time. Especially when it's so undeserved, as is pretty much the point of your post as I read it, and of my reply.

I know this is just the way of things, but in my eyes there are much better things out there than "My little Dashie" and "Past Sins" (and "Fallout: Equestria" too, I'm sure, though I will admit quite freely that I've never made any attempt at reading that behemoth; length and scope is fine and all, but 625.000 words is a bit too much time for me to dedicate on, well...fanfiction), that are vastly underappreciated in turn.

Now, I don't know how long of a reply you wanted on this, but a combination of knowing that long answers implies caring, and of understanding your position, and of wanting to ramble on this subject, I think I'll hazard a few more paragraphs. When I was done reading your post, two quotes sprung to mind. First off, in regards to what makes people tick, some fics to become successes while other never even leave the murky recesses of obscurity, and while this can often speak to the quality and vision of these fics opposite to what one might logically think, I think of "V for Vendetta", and his speaking of the "vicissitudes of fate".

As in, often it just comes down to blind luck. This is unfortunate, certainly. Though, speaking to the success of short fics and shipping fics, we can take to heart the theories of Pierre Bourdieu on low vs. high culture: low culture is low culture because it is that which the audiences can most immediately and uncomplicatedly identify with, and which does not require any effort on their part to consume. High culture, not surprisingly, in Bourdieu's model, is the exact opposite: that which requires some effort from the viewer because of its unfamiliarity or novelty or whatnot.

Fanfiction readers would appear to appreciate low culture, which I suspect is connected to how you portrayed fanfiction earlier, as a sort of "guilty pleasure" in many people's eyes. "It's not like I'm even supposed to be doing this, so to hell with taking it seriously in any way at least."

The second quote that came to mind is from MLP itself, from one of the characters I usually identify with the least. Be that as it may, Applejack does have some valid insights from time to time, and especially so in the "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" episode, where as you probably know the lesson not learned after all is that "If you take your time to do things the right way, your work will speak for itself". True, it is nice to be noticed and to have your hard work recognized, but in the end, well...when you get to a certain point, you know what merit your work deserves, and you more than likely already know everything I've just said.

So, in closing: take heart, heed the words of those who actually bothered to read your story, and try and forget the vast majority of the non-constructive negative comments and thumbs-down, since as we've already covered, a good deal of readers are in precious little position to comment on anything in the first place, bunch of philistines. :rainbowlaugh:

So please, cheer up. I hope I was of some help and comfort, however slight.

Yeah, I read through it (and commented and rated, of course), and I don't see any reason for there to be that many negative votes. I can only conclude that the sample size was just far too low to gather any meaningful data. I notice that even some the nine shortlisted entries had an unusual number of negative ratings, and one of them only had two votes at all (one of each).

I’m still new to FiM and this website, but since I know quite well the universe of fanfiction, I’ll give my two cents about it.

I can say that what you’re complaining about happens on the French side of fanfiction too (I should know, I’ve been there for more than ten years). All the time, all fandoms. People like to read short (by short, I mean sometimes much less than 1000 words), simple fanfictions. Liking short stories isn’t bad, but to see that some of them are only made of a few paragraphs full of typos and that they have so much more success than well written and well-thought other stories can be…upsetting.

I can understand that you would feel very discouraged. I’ve been writing for years a quite long story, taking care of having a well-thought plot and reading each chapter several times so that it wouldn’t be full of typos/grammar mistakes. I got maybe one or two comments (if I was lucky) for each chapter, while all the other stories posted would easily obtain 10 to 15 comments each chapter. Main reason why mine wasn’t popular was because of the shipping: everyone in the fandom was all about that “one true pairing” (that wasn’t even official in the original work) and they would comment/adore anything that was posted about it, even the most terribly written stories. All the other stories that wouldn’t feature the ship were left behind, forgotten, regardless of their quality. That was bad.

You’re not taking the writing stuff too seriously. Fanfiction can be very serious. It’s just that most people take it very lightly, as they see it as another way to have fun with their favorite fandom. As long as they’re having fun, most just don’t care about it being well written (maybe they don’t even see the bad writing…).

“I once heard someone say that the most important thing about fan fiction isn't story, or characterization, or style, or any sort of new concept. The most important thing is to keep it short (…) ” --> Well, this is worrying me. I still haven’t posted any story, but I know that I tend to write detailed stories, meaning that I very easily go beyond the 2000 words/chapter. Also, characterization, not important ? Story, not important ? Whoa. But I can't say I'm surprised.

I read the summary of your story, it did look like an interesting one. I’m definitely gonna read it when I have time. Good luck with your next stories, and don’t feel too bad about it. The fanfiction universe is a harsh, cruel one.

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