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Yuletide reveal!

Jan. 1st, 2014 | 10:15 am

(Crossposted from Tumblr)

Now that Yuletide has been revealed, I can actually announce the fic I wrote: The Hellhound of the Rockefellers, a gift for KateandBarrel!

Words: 30364
Fandom: Elementary (TV), Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson, Ichabod Crane & Joan Watson, Ichabod Crane/Katrina Crane, Ichabod Crane/Abbie Mills
Characters: Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Ichabod Crane (TV), Abbie Mills, Katrina Crane, Frank Irving, Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s)
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, Mystery, Bonding, Murder Mystery, Original Character(s), Slow Build, POV Third Person, POV Female Character, POV Male Character, POV Alternating, POV Character of Color, POV Third Person Limited, Relationship(s), Developing Relationship, Developing Friendships, Team Bonding, Banter, Trust Issues, Supernatural Elements, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary: Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills are enjoying the fact that for a few weeks, the Headless Horseman has been dormant: their biggest problem is an escaped convict. Then Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson are called in on what seems like an unrelated (and unimportant) issue. When the two cases intertwine, the four must work together to solve a murder and save an innocent life.

Some notes:

  • This fic was the greatest pleasure to write. It really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
  • It’s my first ever casefic! Despite being in the X-files fandom for years, I never wrote a mystery before.
  • It’s seriously fanfic with footnotes. Literal footnotes.
  • I wanted to write true pure Ichabbie, but Katrina kept getting in the way. So it’s pre-Ichabbie, a slow burn with lots of little shippery moments.
  • The good news is, I’m working on a sequel, because dammit, I am going to get them together someday!
  • Finally, I am enjoying a complete squee about the reaction of my lovely recipient, because I was super nervous she wouldn’t like it. Hooray! I love you kateandbarrel!

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It's a few minutes before reveal...

Jan. 1st, 2014 | 09:49 am

...so I'll have another post when that happens, but for now, I wanted to make sure that I linked my amazing Yuletide gift, which apparently I hadn't done on Dreamwidth yet!

Grimoire (1652 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills
Characters: Ichabod Crane (TV), Abbie Mills
Additional Tags: Friendship
Summary: “There’s a note that says equine saliva can be substituted for the goat blood,” Crane says helpfully.

I
 absolutely loved my gift this year. I loved seeing Ichabod and Abbie interact, I laughed out loud, and I want to know what's going to happen next with Irving! In general it was an A+++ Yuletide for me...!

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"Kindle Worlds"

May. 22nd, 2013 | 11:21 am

A lot of people have asked me for my thoughts on Kindle Worlds, since I (and my company!) have a stated interest in this kind of thing.

For those of you coming in midway through this story, Amazon has just announced that they'll be publishing fanfiction for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, allowing the fic to be sold for money. The author will receive 35% of net revenue (for works of 10,000+ words) and royalties (unspecified) will be payed to the rightsholder of the fictional universe.

I think a lot of people have a kneejerk reaction to this which is strongly negative—"Jesus Christ, it's FanLib all over again!" People also have the expectation that it will fail, that fans are not interested in selling their works. I don't think that all that negativity is entirely justified. Here's why:
  • The success of Wattpad shows that younger writers especially are interested in self-publishing and that many of them view fanfic as a road to a self-publishing career. For writers who view fanfiction in this way, Kindle Worlds would seem like a godsend.
  • Unlike FanLib, Kindle Worlds is not framed politically—as "freeing" fans in any shape or form. A lot of people were turned off by FanLib's rhetoric who won't be turned off by Kindle Worlds.
People who take part in Kindle Worlds will be signing away a lot of the rights to their stories. Most importantly, the rights you give up prevent you from ever "filing the serial numbers off" of your story (á la 50 Shades of Grey) and selling it as original work. The rights also give the original world licensor the right to use your story ideas in the central series. I think that there are many people who will not mind giving up these rights, but there are many people who will—and there are also many people who will sign up for Kindle Worlds without fully understanding the rights they're giving away.

Still, I suspect that there is a large enough base of writers who would like to sell their fanfic for any amount of money that Kindle Worlds will not have a hard time finding authors. I'd bet that it will serve as a point of entry for people who were otherwise uninterested in writing fanfic, too. This is another way that they're being smarter than FanLib: instead of trying to appeal to fans who are already uninterested in their deal, they are introducing the idea of fanfic to people who might not otherwise have been interested, expanding their base, so to speak.

A larger obstacle are the content guidelines. Kindle Worlds does not accept pornography, "offensive content," "excessive use of brand names" or crossover stories.* Contrary to what many people say, there is plenty of fanfic that falls within these guidelines and that I believe people would be happy to pay for. Take a look at the fandoms for One Direction or, yes, Twilight if you don't believe me. Yes, these content guidelines mean that a large amount of fanfiction is excluded from Kindle Worlds. So what? Maybe there becomes a bifurcated fandom structure—people willing to write stories within Kindle's content guidelines, and people who aren't. Who cares? If anything, I suspect that the stories "too hot for Kindle Worlds" will be more in demand, not less. 

Generally speaking, I believe that fans are not too dumb to read a ToS. I believe that fans will choose to use Kindle Worlds if it works well for them, and they will choose not to if they are uninterested in its strictures. After all, nobody has to submit their stories.

Or do they?

I worry that some people in the entertainment industry are viewing Kindle Worlds as a way to "control" fans. This is a tale as old as time, or at least as old as when rightsholders really, really wanted the Harry Potter fandom to stop writing about Harry Potter being gay. (Yes, this was An Issue, long before Dumbledore came out of the closet. I swear to you, it was.) Can I blame them for wanting to control the stories they've told? Not entirely, no. I can't blame that impulse, any more than I can blame the impulse of a novelist to yell at fanfiction writers for "messing up their world." The novelist invested their heart and soul, Warner Brothers invested millions of dollars, in either case there are these weird outsiders coming in and making the stories about something else, something they never envisioned. What will happen? What if Harry Potter gets associated with gay porn? Then maybe audiences won't want to see it anymore! And then what? 

But the thing about this view is that it's unrealistic. It does not reflect the realities of the internet, and it does not reflect the realities we've seen in the past ten years of fans interacting with corporations. Even though Harry Potter did get associated with gay porn (well, slash fanfic, but it's the same thing in the eyes of the uninitiated), it didn't stop it from being profitable. Hell, fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic turned it into a megahit among the most unlikely audience—and among the audience that people most want to woo, 18-30 year old males! Nobody would be excited to find out that their show was getting associated with 4Chan, yet 4Chan made it a runaway success.

There's nothing wrong with Kindle Worlds as one possibility among many. It actually represents one good thing: the recognition that fans are doing work for franchises, work which can and maybe should be compensated. That's a step that nobody has taken (outside of rare contests), to my knowledge. I know a lot of fans see this as cheapening their art by tainting it with commerce, but the fact is that the entertainment industry is all about making money, and unless fans are able and willing to talk in monetary terms, they will never be taken seriously. (Actually, it represents two good things. In its terms, it admits that fans have rights over their own fanfic, rights that can be signed away when you take part in Kindle Worlds. This seems basic, but it is not always recognized.)

Where Kindle Worlds may go wrong is if it is viewed by the entertainment industry as the be-all and end-all of interacting with fan creativity. That would create a no-win situation for everybody. Many waters cannot quench fandom, neither can the floods drown it—a fact that companies are likely to learn if they believe that they can condemn works that are not published within Kindle Worlds, or if they believe that fans will stop writing their porn and run happily into Amazon's corporate arms.

In the meantime, the answer to Kindle Worlds must come from within fandoms. It must come from places like Organization for Transformative Works, providing alternative spaces in which to share stories that are not within corporate boundaries. Everyone must educate themselves about what rights they hold to their fanfic, what rights they can choose to sign away, and what rights they have no matter what. This is not the end of a conversation. It's not the beginning of a conversation, either. We're in the middle of it, and we will be for a long time to come.

*This is especially funny given that one of the fandoms they're allowing as a "Kindle World" is The Vampire Diaries. How can you possibly write a Vampire Diaries fanfic without depicting racism, and probably using the N-word? A significant chunk of the story occurs in the antebellum South! I suppose that the TV show does it, but one of the things fanfiction is best at is engaging with issue that network TV can't or won't. Sigh.

Edited to add: Another great response to this, from a different perspective. This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth. Please read the comment count unavailable comments there and respond! You don't need to have a Dreamwidth account to do so.

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Con report: Ascendio 2012!

Jul. 17th, 2012 | 02:06 pm

Ahhh ASCENDIO!

WARNING. This is an image heavy post! Sorry about that. Kind of. Almost all the images are from the official HPEF photo stream (taken by Jenn Racek). Other images are all linked to their source (which will also be mentioned).

Read more for the full scoop...Collapse )

Of course, Nick is learning quickly that con crash is a real thing with real consequences. But I've got so many other projects that I'm barreling right into the next thing. And who knows—I might see if I can scrape together an award flight and make it to LeakyCon...

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Man, oh man.

Jul. 8th, 2012 | 06:56 pm

I am going to have SO MUCH TO SAY about running a con when Ascendio is over.

SO MUCH TO SAY.

Hey, people who have writing contacts—is there any chance some platform like The Mary Sue or some other geeky site would be interested in my yammerings? Because I am, like, ready for a magnum opus of do's and don'ts.

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Ascendio registration's closing!

Jun. 24th, 2012 | 10:46 pm

We'll have daypasses available onsite, but the only way to get a Full registration is to register online before midnight (EDT) tomorrow!

Yesterday, we posted an amazing announcement about Night of a Thousand Wizards!

Now, each NoaTW 2 ticketholder will be able to enter Universal's Islands of Adventure® starting at 2 PM on Thursday, July 12, and will get a $20 voucher for dinner that can be used that evening. The price of a NoaTW ticket remains the same.

After 10, NoaTW2 ticketholders will have exclusive access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where we'll be featuring an extensive menu of dessert and beverages on the streets of Hogsmeade - and they're included with your NoaTW 2 ticket!

During Night of a Thousand Wizards, we'll have a a DJ spinning music, lashings of Butterbeer, a chance to hang out with Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) and Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) and so many other awesome moments!

Remember - online registration closes on June 25, and we won't be selling Feast tickets or Full registrations on-site. Click here to register now, or add a Night of a Thousand Wizards ticket to your registration. 

Who else is coming to Night of a Thousand Wizards? The HP Alliance's Andrew Slack, Mark of MarkReads, members of Team StarKid, authors like Lev Grossman, and Ascendio's Special Guests Chris Rankin and Afshan Azad! 

You should join us too! Each ticket includes admission to Islands of Adventure starting at 2 PM, a $20 gift card to use towards food in the Park, dessert and free-flowing Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice after 10 PM in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and our exclusive Night of a Thousand Wizards event on the streets of Hogsmeade! Tickets start at $140 for registrants. This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth. Please read the comment count unavailable comments there and respond! You don't need to have a Dreamwidth account to do so.

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Progress

May. 13th, 2012 | 10:38 am

20188 / 55000
(36.71%)


I haven't done my writing for today yet. Fingers crossed I'll do better than what I need to today, and keep plugging along. I've had a really bad ten days—barely got anything done (5,000 words? Honestly?) and that's frustrating.

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Progress

May. 3rd, 2012 | 11:48 am

14972 / 50000
(29.94%)

I am going to try and push through to get to the rest of the current chapter today, maybe, before I turn it in to be workshopped. I already did 1,000 words this morning—not good words, but that's what editing's for. This week, unfortunately, is super wild and I'm booked solid for most of it. Sigh.
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In the Company of Elves Update

Apr. 28th, 2012 | 09:01 pm

Well.

11400 / 50000
(22.8%)

So, um, at first I thought this was going to be a 25,000 word story. Ha ha ha. I think I'm going to be lucky to get done at 50,000 words. It may be getting way longer than that. At this point, we haven't even made it to Minas Tirith yet. Heck, we haven't even made it to Henneth Annûn yet. We're still wandering around in the forests of Ithilien getting to know each other. Unless I can have more days like today—today I edited 5,000 words and wrote an additional 2,000 or so—I am going to be really screwing up my writing schedule. I need to get done with this fanfic so I can write some original stuff!

That said, it's really breaking my brain to write something that's intended to be primarily entertaining. I can feel the synapses popping.

I was serious when I asked, before, whether anybody knew where to post LotR fic. I also wonder whether anybody is actually going to read this thing. I mean, I'm going to probably post it on the Ao3, FF.N and maybe Henneth Annûn. Many LotR sites don't accept slash (there's a Legolas/Gimli subplot here) or only accept slash (the Legolas/Gimli is only a subplot) or don't accept 'modern person in Middle Earth' stories (which always makes me wonder whether they've read the Lost Tales, but anyway).
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Somebody is really, seriously

Apr. 27th, 2012 | 09:41 am

workin' it to make Hillary Clinton more likeable.

(It's probably also that the difference between her positions and Obama's seems smaller now that he's actually in office. And that she can kick back a little without a Presidential run—no worries about appealing to everybody, she can just go dance in a bar if she feels like it. But while before 'OMG she's basically my Mom, my Mom can't be President!'—now it's 'OMG she's basically my Mom, that's awesome!' IDEK.)

Seriously though, she's gotten so much downright gushy "she's so cooooool" press lately that part of me wonders whether she fired her whole PR team, got new ones, and is gearing up for another run in 4-5 years. But then I think "no—because if she was doing that, she wouldn't be pandering to Jezebel, the Hairpin and Buzzfeed." Which is true.

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