kriadydragon: (Reaper thinking)
So my BIL andI were talking about TV shows and movies, and it lead into an interesting discussion on how media uses the label of "mature" these days. So, apparently, there's giong to be another Star Trek series. I don't know the details since I didn't read the article. But my BIL was talking about how the person who wrote the article - which was an interview, I believe - asked if this new series was going to be "more mature." And by mature, the write meant dark, gritty, more violent and with more sex. In other words, Game of Thrones in Space.

Read more... )
kriadydragon: (Reaper thinking)
I've always had a little bit of a hard time pinning down what it is I like in a character, since there's so many things I like and so many variations of those likes. But it wasn't until recently that I discovered there's a character type - a solid character type - that I absotluely do not like. And that's the rebellious hot-head. These are usually the characters that are usually part of a group or partnership but decide to go their own way, do their own thing, do things their own way, and to heck with everyone and the consequences. They're also the character that in their "do their own thing their own way" quest end up getting not only themselves but everyone else in a crap load of trouble.

Don't get me wrong, I do love me someone who doesn't take crap from anyone. But there's not taking crap from someone, and then there's being so focused on not taking crap from anyone that the character also doesn't take anyone else into consideration, only their own needs. They don't listen to those they profess to care about, and when the consequences hit those they profess to care about, they don't seem to really care. And that makes them irritating as all heck.

However, when it comes to this hot-headed, rebellious characterization being used as a learning curve to provide some character developement, I'm all for it. The character still irritates me, but usually over time, once the character begins learning valuable lessons as to why it doesn't pay to ignore the consequences, I end up really liking them. It's when this characterization is there to make the character look cool or BAMF, with little to no learning curve, that I end up really disliking them.

A good example of this the character of Niska from Humans (very minor spoilers ahead). If you don't watch Humans, Niska is a female synth (robot) capable of feeling human emotions. Her characterization is very much that of the rebellious hot-head, and it's her character that made me realize how much I dislike this character type. She's decided to go her own way, but thus far her actions have been wracking up some really bad consequences, not only drawing the wrong kind of attention to herself but to her family of fellow feeling synths and one half-synth, half-human. What sealed my dislike for her was one scene in which she pretty much bashes Leo - the half-human/synth, who's been trying his best to look out for his family of synths - by implying that he's been doing a crappy job of protecting them thus far, and that she's better off going it alone. Except little miss Going-it-Alone has not only killed one man but nearly killed another, and is basically, as I said, drawing all kinds of attentiont to herself as well as Leo and the other feeling-synth, Max. She's causing more problems than she's avoiding and it's frustrating. I do't care what she's been through, I don't care what she's going through, because her experiences does not excuse her putting not only herself in danger but the others as well.

In fact, I beleive Rocket Racoon from GotG summed it up nicely as to why I really dislike these kinds of characters: "Everybody's got dead people! But it makes no excuse to letting everyone else around get killed along the way!"

Again, I'm all for characters who don't take crap from anyone. I'm all for characters who sometimes cave to their emotions and do stupid things now and then. What I'm not for are characters who do stupid things constantly and don't care who it ends up hurting. I'm a sucker for characters who learn from their mistakes, not characters who keep making more mistakes because their life was hard and to heck with everyone else.

(And what kind of sucks is that Niska seems to be the popular character when all I want to do is throttle her. Who knows, maybe I'll come to like her later on, but for now she really gets on my nerves).

(Leo, on the other hand, represents a lot of what I like in a character - doing everything possible for family and friends, more concerned with others than with the self. Tries hard to be cautious and do what's right even though he mostly fails at it, and so on. But most of all, tries to consider the friggin consequences. He gets things wrong more often than right but at least he's trying. Niska just doesn't really care anymore.)
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
One thing that sometimes bugs me about reading fanfic is author intent.

I was reading a fic just now that just... didn't really work for me. The reason being was that it started out as an A & B friendship piece, in which my assumption was that A was going to end up helping B with a problem, but instead the story seemed to decide - about halfway toward the end - that it wanted to go in a different direction, in which A & B began discussing character C and then resolved to rescue character C. And that's how the story ends. The reason the story didn't work for me was in part because it went in a direction I wasn't anticipating, but also in part because I got the feeling that the author was either a major A&C friendhsipper or an A/C shipper. And I was right, they were the latter. Which explained why the story went from being about A & B to being about A & C, because whether the author preferred A/C friendship or shipping, it was obvious that they were more focused on A & C in a story that initially had me believing it was about A & B.

Still with me? In other words, author intent kind of, sort of ended up getting in the way of the plot, and that was before I even knew this author's preferences. Yes, A & C were friends at one point but the passion with which character A wanted to go save character C, with B's issue not being resolved, just didn't compute, and the only way it did compute was that the author must be an A/C shipper. Had I been an A/C shipper or friendshipper, however, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it. But I'm not, so I found the situation to be a bit jarring.

Which tends to be an issue I often come across when reading gen fic by people who are mostly shippers. Because even when they say a story is gen or slash with your goggles on, even if I go into the story not knowing the author's shipping preferences, there's all these bits and pieces of subtext that make those preferences painfully obvious, sometimes to the point that it feels like this is how the author wants us to read the story. They want us to read slashy or hetty or whatever subtext into the story and acknowledge that it doesn't matter your genre preference, this is the direction the story will eventually go or would have gone had it continued. It's not slash or het, but neither does it feel like gen (which is why I do understand why finding the right labeling for a story is hard... although I'm not always sympathetic with it considering all the baits and switches I've come across. Plus I've always been an either/or kind of person: either make it slash/het or don't; in part - yes - because I'm tired of hitting romance in what was supposed to be gen, but also in part because a story just feels... more tidy when a writer takes a more solid stance when it comes to their preferences. But, again, that's me. Again, either/or kind of person, here, and I do know some people like subtexty stuff that isn't resolved).

ETA: I should also point out that of course author intent finding it's way into a story isn't a shipper thing. You also see it quite a bit in redemption fic (you know, the bad guy is actually good and the good guys are actually creeps who picked on the bad guy), reactionary fic addressing certain episodes and situations, fic by people who don't ship but who love a character or characters to the point of always putting them on a pedestal. And sometimes it's only a little jarring, and sometimes it makes you want to strangle the author :/
kriadydragon: (Shep icon)
Okay, actually I was thinking about the "make the characters marry and give them kids!" trope and the "illegitimate child" trope and why I don't like them, which then lead to thoughts about romance and why it is I'm not a fan of romance, and I came to realize something.

There's a number of reasons why I'm not a big fan of romance. That it often leads to sex - and the idea that it isn't romance without sex - being one of them. But I used to think it was also because of over-saturation of romance in most movies, shows and books, whether the romance is just an interest with no official "getting together" or the getting together plus sex.

What I came to realize is that it isn't so much the over saturation of romance alone, but the idea that a character can't have a happily-ever-after unless the ending also includes them getting with someone, or having someone we know they are about to get with. In other words, it's the portrayal that a character can't be happy without some kind of romance or physical relationship, and if they've never had a romantic or physical relationship then it's because their lives suck and woe is them, or they're regarded as weirdos or losers.

Which, of course, isn't true. Using myself as an example (which means major confession time, but it's nothing I'm ashamed to confess) I've never had a romantic relationship, I've never been on a date, I've never had sex and I've never even been kissed. And you know what? I'm totally okay with that. I've had some really great guy friends in my life who I could be myself around, I've had a crush that actually panned out even though it didn't lead to any actual dating (and it was a rather short friendship since he was a senior and I was a freshmen). That I've never been on a date or been kissed isn't something I lament. And while one of my dreams is to get married and have children, if it doesn't happen, then that's okay. I'll survive.

So if romance doesn't happen for my characters, that's okay, too. Don't get me wrong, some of my stories may include a bit of romance, and I do like the idea of my characters eventually having someone (depending on the character). But with some of my stories, there either isn't a romantic relationship, or I hint at the character possibly getting together "off-screen" but while also leaving it open if someone wants to read it as an on-going friendship.

And I also think it's why I get frustrated with people who see romance or sex in everything (and... not push those viewpoints onto others - that's putting it a bit too strongly - but are vocal to the point where it sometimes feels like they're trying to push those view points) and it's not simply because I'm not a fan of romance. I mean, yes, people are going to view things how they want and they can, but sometimes I feel like it does a disservice to non-romantic relationships, like... non-romantic relationships are less or not good enough, and that all that matters is romantic/sexual relationships, or that the relationship or story would be so much better if it was romantic or sexual. While I know a story doesn't need romance to do well, there are times when I'll worry about a story not doing well because there's no romance (there was a time I honestly believed a story had to have romance, and that all stories had to have some kind of romance if you wanted that story to do well).

And I'm not saying all this because I'm hoping people will write less romance or be less vocal about how they view a fictional relationship (and I say fictional because I will be honest and say that I feel real people slash/het is kind of crossing a line). And I'm definitely trying not to make anyone feel guilty, because I know people see romance in things because that's what they enjoy and not because they think romance is the only relationship that matters (although, yes, there are some crazies who think it's the only relationship two people can have). It's just something I came to realize about myself and my views on romance.
kriadydragon: (Danny icon)
Offering number two for the [livejournal.com profile] month_of_meta. This one I'm a bit more nervous about. It's tough to talk about a particular group of fandom, even if you yourself are part of that group, and hope you represented that group in a way that's not "telling everyone their business." This is based both on observation as well as a wee bit of research.

I also feel the need to point out that for this meta, my definition of a gen fan is someone who enjoys stories that contain no pairings, and that the focus of this meta is more on those who are mostly gen fans or who lean more toward gen than they do pairings. The following meta expounds on this.

-----------------------------------
Gen Readers and Gen )
kriadydragon: (Reaper thinking)
The First of my offerings for [livejournal.com profile] month_of_meta

--------------------------------Equal Opportunity Whump: Some Thoughts )
kriadydragon: (Danny icon)
I'm thinking about doing a piece of meta on what Gen fans look for in a gen story, and thought it might be a good idea to stir up a bit of a discussion on the matter so the meta isn't just me speaking mostly for myself.

So for those who read mostly or only gen, what is it you expect from a gen story?

And to get the ball rolling, I will speak for myself :D

The Gen and I )
kriadydragon: (Default)
My next offering for the [livejournal.com profile] month_of_meta.

First off, a disclaimer. I do not consider myself some sort of expert on fanfiction and fandom. The following meta is based more on observation than actual research, and the definitions are in my own words. The advice section is based on those complaints I've noticed crop up the most in a fandom.

Fanfiction: A Beginner's Guide )
kriadydragon: (Beast)
I present to you my first foray into the wonderful world of meta: A Neal and Patrick comparison. Written for [livejournal.com profile] month_of_meta.

I have to confess that though I do watch the Mentalist I'm a lot more familiar with White Collar, so a big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wildcat88 for the much needed help and fixing of many mistakes and assumptions.

Commence with the Comparisons )

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