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gimpnelly:

askmaridee:

I took a couple of hours out of my day to be on a panel for Young Author’s Day, an event put on by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I was invited to join by John Lustig, who I feel very lucky to call my friend and mentor. We answered the usual questions about the writing process and how we broke into comics, but I was even more intrigued by the audience. Notice something about them?

Yeah. GIRLS. Very. Young. Girls.

So I asked THEM some questions. “How many of you read comics?”

All hands went up.

"How many of you want to make comics some day?"

Most of the hands went up.

Here’s where it really got interesting. “How many of you BUY comics?”

Only one hand raised. I asked her where she buys her comics. She said, “At the comic book store.”

"Do you have a comic book store you like going to?" I asked.

She hesitated. “It’s complicated.”

That’s 10 year-old speak for “I have to go there to get comics but the store makes me uncomfortable.” The rest of them read webcomics. None of them had heard of Comixology before, but they knew all about it by the time the panel was over. What comic would they like to see most? Minecraft. Only Steve needs to be a girl.

It was a fascinating experience, especially in the wake of this article detailing why girls in the 1980s (like me and one of the moms nodding eagerly in the audience) stopped buying comics for 20 years.

The future of comics is bright indeed.

This is absolutely wonderful.

rifa:

maxkirin:

So, let me guess— you just started a new book, right? And you’re stumped. You have no idea how much an AK47 goes for nowadays. I get ya, cousin. Tough world we live in. A writer’s gotta know, but them NSA hounds are after ya 24/7. I know, cousin, I know. If there was only a way to find out all of this rather edgy information without getting yourself in trouble…

You’re in luck, cousin. I have just the thing for ya.

It’s called Havocscope. It’s got information and prices for all sorts of edgy information. Ever wondered how much cocaine costs by the gram, or how much a kidney sells for, or (worst of all) how much it costs to hire an assassin?

I got your back, cousin. Just head over to Havocscope.

((PS: In case you’re wondering, Havocscope is a database full of information regarding the criminal underworld. The information you will find there has been taken from newspapers and police reports. It’s perfectly legal, no need to worry about the NSA hounds, cousin ;p))

Want more writerly content? Follow maxkirin.tumblr.com!

HELLO

The Importance of Mary Sue

geekmehard:

unwinona:

When I was in Ninth Grade, I won a thing.  

That thing, in particular, was a thirty dollar Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  I was still too young for a part-time job, so I didn’t have this kind of spending cash on me, ever.  I felt like a god.

Drunk with power, I fancy-stepped my way to my local B&N.  I was ready to choose new books based solely on the most important of qualities…BADASS COVER ART.  I walked away with a handful of paperbacks, most of which were horrible (I’m looking at you, Man-Kzin Wars III) or simply forgettable.  

One book did not disappoint.  I fell down the rabbit hole into a series that proved to be as badass as the cover art promised (Again, Man-Kzin Wars III, way to drop the ball on that one).  With more than a dozen books in the series, I devoured them.  I bought cassette tapes of ballads sung by bards in the stories.  And the characters.  Oh, the characters.  I loved them.  Gryphons, mages, but most importantly, lots of women.  Different kinds of women.  So many amazing women.  I looked up to them, wrote bad fiction that lifted entire portions of dialogue and character descriptions, dreamed of writing something that the author would include in an anthology.

This year I decided in a fit of nostalgia to revisit the books I loved so damn much.  I wanted to reconnect with my old friends…

…and I found myself facing Mary Sues.  Lots of them.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  A fantasy world full of Anakin Skywalkers and Nancy Drews and Wesley Crushers.  I felt crushed.  I had remembered such complex, deep characters and didn’t see those women in front of me at all anymore.  Where were those strong women who kept me safe through the worst four years of my life?

Which led me to an important realization as I soldiered on through book after book.  That’s why I needed them.  Because they were Mary Sues.  These books were not written to draw my attention to all the ugly bumps and whiskers of the real world.  They were somewhere to hide.  I was painfully aware that I was being judged by my peers and adults and found lacking.  I was a fuckup.  And sometimes a fuckup needs to feel like a Mary Sue.  As an adult, these characters felt a little thin because they lacked the real world knowledge I, as an adult, had learned and earned.  But that’s the thing…these books weren’t FOR this current version of myself.   Who I am now doesn’t need a flawless hero because I’m comfortable with the idea that valuable people are also flawed.

There is a reason that most fanfiction authors, specifically girls, start with a Mary Sue.  It’s because girls are taught that they are never enough.  You can’t be too loud, too quiet, too smart, too stupid.  You can’t ask too many questions or know too many answers.  No one is flocking to you for advice.  Then something wonderful happens.  The girl who was told she’s stupid finds out that she can be a better wizard than Albus Dumbledore.  And that is something very important.  Terrible at sports?  You’re a warrior who does backflips and Legolas thinks you’re THE BEST.   No friends?  You get a standing ovation from Han Solo and the entire Rebel Alliance when you crash-land safely on Hoth after blowing up the Super Double Death Star.  It’s all about you.  Everyone in your favorite universe is TOTALLY ALL ABOUT YOU.

I started writing fanfiction the way most girls did, by re-inventing themselves.  

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.  

As a girl, being “selfish” was the worst thing you could be.  Now you live in Narnia and Prince Caspian just proposed marriage to you.  Why?  Your SELF is what saved everyone from that sea serpent.  Plus your hair looks totally great braided like that.

In time, hopefully, these hardworking fanfiction authors realize that it’s okay to be somewhere in the middle and their characters adjust to respond to that.  As people grow and learn, characters grow and learn.  Turns out your Elven Mage is more interesting if he isn’t also the best swordsman in the kingdom.  Not everyone needs to be hopelessly in love with your Queen for her to be a great ruler.  There are all kinds of ways for people to start owning who they are, and embracing the things that make them so beautifully weird and complicated.

Personally, though, I think it’s a lot more fun learning how to trust yourself and others if you all happen to be riding dragons.

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.

A girl making herself the hero of her own story is a radical act. Stop shaming girls for doing it. Stop shaming yourself for it. 

gattaluvmusic:

queerpunkhamlet:

laufeysonchild:

god-senpai:

queerpunkhamlet:

cis people aren’t allowed to edit my papers anymore

"WHAAATT? I HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY WORK??? IN MY OWN PAPER??? WHAT THE FUUUCK??"

Well if you’re trying to convey a topic not everybody is well-versed on and get people on your side, yeah, maybe citing evidence, providing examples, and helping people understand instead of throwing out a heated statement with little backing and ending on that would maybe possibly make your work a tiny bit more credible. Just sayin’. It’s your paper in the sense that you’re the author, but you’re not the one reading it and trying to get something from it.

oh for chrissakes u fuckstick

1. this is not the first time i mentioned privilege in the paper. or cisgender. this paper was written on my personal experiences with being trans, and the difficulties i’ve faced because of it, and the difficulties that cisgender people with otherwise comparable lives have not faced.

2. the terms privilege and cisgender had both been thoroughly elaborated on in this paper.

3. this paper was written for a women’s studies class, on gender analysis, in which both privilege and cisgender privilege in particular had been explained, elaborated upon, and discussed by the professor.

4. the comment was not by the professor, it was by a cis classmate during a peer review.

5. the words cisgender and privilege are both in scare quotes (in case you can’t google that or don’t know what it means or want to deny their existence, scare quotes is when you put a word or phrase in quotation marks to make it seem less real — the textual version of sarcastically making air quotes with your fingers)

6. another edit, by the same editor, involved asking me what my birth name was. i’m sure you don’t need to be told that that’s transphobic.

7. i spoke to the professor about this edit, and he agreed with me that the comment (and the way it was phrased) was out of line.

bonus: if your reaction to seeing gross transphobic things is “well it’s probably the trans person’s fault”, then you’re gross and transphobic and i hope you don’t know any trans people IRL for their sake

They just wanted you to elaborate. IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD? Good heavens what has the wonderful world of writing come to. 

learn to read, you ignorant shitstain

1. this is not the first time i mentioned privilege in the paper. or cisgender. this paper was written on my personal experiences with being trans, and the difficulties i’ve faced because of it, and the difficulties that cisgender people with otherwise comparable lives have not faced.

2. the terms privilege and cisgender had both been thoroughly elaborated on in this paper.

shut the fuck up and get your fucking ass off my goddamn blog

Side Note To Fan Fic Authors

balliste:

twobirdsonesong:

Here’s the thing.

I read a lot of scripts.  A lot.  From professionals to aspiring writers to complete newbies.  Features and pilots.  Specs and treatments.

And 8 times out of 10 the fan fic that I’ve read over the last, oh, 15 years is leagues better than this stuff.  It’s more inspired.  It’s more compelling.  It’s genre bending and creative and heartfelt.  It’s well-paced and intense and funny and sexy and meaningful.  It’s smart and thoughtful and good.  It’s novel-quality.  Better than, sometimes.

Rare is the script I don’t want to put down, but how often have we stayed up until 3am to get to the last chapter of a 100k fic? And it’s not even a fan fic author’s day job.  This is what they do on the side.  In their spare time.  For free.

So my point is, fan fic authors, you’re good.  You’re good writers and great storytellers.  I know it doesn’t always feel like it, especially if you’re one of the authors who’s not a BNF and doesn’t get the notes/hits that a few do.  And  because some people still view fic as “not real writing.” You guys know the shit that gets made into movies.  You’re better than that.  So be better than that.  If writing is what you think want to do, then just know you’re already doing it.   You’ve already started.

And you’re more talented than you might think.

            

(via intrajanelle)

brodingershat:

You know, the thing that exasperates me about people not considering a work of fanfiction to be artistically credible because it’s derivative is the fact that pretty much everything we fucking produce is derivative in some way. 

Do you even realize how much of what we accept as “classic” literature is essentially folkloric fanfic, religious fanfic, mythological fanfic? Shit, every book you’ve read or show you’ve ever watched involving a multitude of different mythological or folkloric creatures existing within the same universe (see: Supernatural for a prime example) is crossover fanfiction.

And the derivative works we’ve produced in the past have, in many cases, had a massive impact on modern interpretations of the source material- in some cases, they’ve even supplanted the source material.

Read More

downtothelastbullet:

As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?

I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about literature and needs to get the hell off my lawn.

Most of the history of Western literature (and probably much of non-Western literature, but I can’t speak to that) is adapted or appropriated from something else.  Homer wrote historyfic and Virgil wrote Homerfic and Dante wrote Virgilfic (where he makes himself a character and writes himself hanging out with Homer and Virgil and they’re like “OMG Dante you’re so cool.”  He was the original Gary Stu).  Milton wrote Bible fanfic, and everyone and their mom spent the Middle Ages writing King Arthur fanfic.  In the sixteenth century you and another dude could translate the same Petrarchan sonnet and somehow have it count as two separate poems, and no one gave a fuck.  Shakespeare doesn’t have a single original plot—although much of it would be more rightly termed RPF—and then John Fletcher and Mary Cowden Clarke and Gloria Naylor and Jane Smiley and Stephen Sondheim wrote Shakespeare fanfic.  Guys like Pope and Dryden took old narratives and rewrote them to make fun of people they didn’t like, because the eighteenth century was basically high school.  And Spenser!  Don’t even get me started on Spenser.

Here’s what fanfic authors/fans need to remember when anyone gives them shit: the idea that originality is somehow a good thing, an innately preferable thing, is a completely modern notion.  Until about three hundred years ago, a good writer, by and large, was someone who could take a tried-and-true story and make it even more awesome.  (If you want to sound fancy, the technical term is imitatio.)  People were like, why would I wanna read something about some dude I’ve never heard of?  There’s a new Sir Gawain story out, man!  (As to when and how that changed, I tend to blame Daniel Defoe, or the Modernists, or reality television, depending on my mood.)

I also find fanfic fascinating because it takes all the barriers that keep people from professional authorship—barriers that have weakened over the centuries but are nevertheless still very real—and blows right past them. Producing literature, much less circulating it, was something that was well nigh impossible for the vast majority of people for most of human history.  First you had to live in a culture where people thought it was acceptable for you to even want to be literate in the first place.  And then you had to find someone who could teach you how to read and write (the two didn’t necessarily go together).  And you needed sufficient leisure time to learn.  And be able to afford books, or at least be friends with someone rich enough to own books who would lend them to you.  Good writers are usually well-read and professional writing is a full-time job, so you needed a lot of books, and a lot of leisure time both for reading and writing.  And then you had to be in a high enough social position that someone would take you seriously and want to read your work—to have access to circulation/publication in addition to education and leisure time.  A very tiny percentage of the population fit those parameters (in England, which is the only place I can speak of with some authority, that meant from 500-1000 A.D.: monks; 1000-1500: aristocratic men and the very occasional aristocratic woman; 1500-1800: aristocratic men, some middle-class men, a few aristocratic women; 1800-on, some middle-class women as well). 

What’s amazing is how many people who didn’t fit those parameters kept writing in spite of the constant message they got from society that no one cared about what they had to say, writing letters and diaries and stories and poems that often weren’t discovered until hundreds of years later.  Humans have an urge to express themselves, to tell stories, and fanfic lets them.  If you’ve got access to a computer and an hour or two to while away of an evening, you can create something that people will see and respond to instantly, with a built-in community of people who care about what you have to say.

I do write the occasional fic; I wish I had the time and mental energy to write more.  I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of fic these days because most of it is not—and I know how snobbish this sounds—particularly well-written.  That doesn’t mean it’s “not good”—there are a lot of reasons people read fic and not all of them have to do with wanting to read finely crafted prose.  That’s why fic is awesome—it creates a place for all kinds of storytelling.  But for me personally, now that my job entails reading about 1500 pages of undergraduate writing per year, when I have time to read for enjoyment I want it to be by someone who really knows what they’re doing.  There’s tons of high-quality fic, of course, but I no longer have the time and patience to go searching for it that I had ten years ago. 

But whether I’m reading it or not, I love that fanfiction exists.  Because without people doing what fanfiction writers do, literature wouldn’t exist.  (And then I’d be out of a job and, frankly, I don’t know how to do anything else.)

"

I do not see Neil Gaiman getting chased around and called a plagiarist like I was this summer when I wrote three words which also appear in the Hunger Games! (And before that, as it turns out, in The Emperor’s New Groove. Llamas, sue the Hunger Games!)

I am very tired of seeing women insulted for things every dude in the world is allowed to do. It is not literary critique. It is violent misogyny.

"

- Holy shit, Sarah Rees Brennan is on FIRE. The whole glorious indelible mic-drop of an essay is here. (via katrosenfield)
"

We can’t keep raising generations of kids of color on the notion that there’s only room for them to be bad guys or doomed sidekicks or another generation of white kids thinking they’re closer to God because of how they look. We can’t keep promoting hetero/cis-normative sexist and racist ideas in our literature. That is the default setting. If you aren’t consciously working against it, you are working for it. Neutrality is not an option, and the luxury of thinking it is has to go.

"

- Daniel José Older, “12 Fundamentals Of Writing ‘The Other’ (And The Self)” (via larmoyante)
"The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pendants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain."

-

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (via unwritten-heaven)

its true its true being sad and in pain is the most banal most TEDIOUS way to exist and if you think in a million years that being happy is not interesting or fun then im so sorry for you

the utter bore of evil is ignore so often becuase “tragedy makes a great story” but does it really? im so sick and tired of this mentality and the fact that i always want a happy ending is seen as childish

the real interesting stories are the ones where people are given a chance to be happy, to become great, to stop bad things from happening, to be saved. it doesnt have to be easy for them. but i reject the idea that suffering is beautiful.

(via asokkalypsenow)

audreyii-fic:

sauntering-down:

apollosflamingchariot:

luciferspersephone:

This is the best explanation I could come up with for why it takes me so long to do updates sometimes when, at other times, I’m typing them up like clockwork.

also this:

facts.

tragic accuracy

Non-Benders and Oppression, Or Why the Fuck Did They Bother

writingfail:

So, I just got word that Bryan Konietzko stated that non-benders are, in fact, oppressed in Republic City. These are, apparently, his own words:

it’s a very large world out there, what made you think they were getting along in the first place? it was republic city, with benders as the ruling class, with the power, but they’re still the minority; it’s like china where there’s a minority in power

For the rest of his answer, you can go here.

Now, I’m thinking—as both a writer and a concerned citizen—how the FUCK Konietzko and DiMartino can verbally acknowledge this and yet:

  • Make the Equalists entirely irredeemable
  • Have the protagonist, a powerful bender with social and political influence, put all her power into “invalidating” (yes, her words, not mine) their movement without a peaceful alternative to replace them
  • Call themselves “progressive”, despite the aforementioned points

What’s even more confusing is that the sub-plot for the Equalists is over. It’s not coming back. Konietzko even said that the members are probably “meeting in a library somewhere”, but that’s it. The people who fought so hard against this power imbalance are suddenly relegated to passing commentary on Republic City’s evolution over the last six months. In the meanwhile, Korra and her crew continue to enjoy the privileges that they were born with, whether it is inherent, prodigal bending talent or socioeconomic advantages.

With all that said, why did they bother bringing focus to the Equalist plotline, anyway? What was the purpose of highlighting a social justice issue only to have the very narrative fight against it by making the protestors appear faceless or simply insane with bitterness? What was the purpose of making parallels with real life events between the oppressors and the oppressed, but have the oppressors appear more sympathetic than the oppressed? Tarrlok, a corrupt politician and a powerful water/bloodbender who actively oppressed non-benders throughout the majority of Book 1, garners more sympathy from the audience than Hiroshi Sato who lost his wife to firebenders.

At this point, it is rather clear that the protagonists (or the “good guys”) are actually the oppressors after all. To add insult to injury, the antagonists (or the “bad guys”) are actually the oppressed.

image

So…

Tell me…

How are Korra, Mako, Bolin, Asami, Tenzin, Lin, or any of the characters part of such a disgusting parallel supposed to be “good”? How does the narrative make us want to like them, to feel sorry for them, to root for them? Better yet, why? How irresponsible were they when they wrote the Equalist plotline? Was it really neglect at this point when Konetzko has admitted that there is oppression against non-benders in Republic City?

I won’t get into that too much, of course. This is all food for thought. I have my own theories as to why such a thing could be written the way it was.

Just remember to consume media carefully. It doesn’t live in a vaccuum. It can have real consequences. Poisonous shit like what I discussed is being fed to children. What consequences may arise from this?

angerfish:

rhazade-waterbender:

pulpofiction:

someone just asked “if the benders and nonbenders were getting along before legend of korra, what made them not get along now”

bryan says: it’s a very large world out there, what made you think they were getting along in the first place? it was republic city, with benders as the ruling class, with the power, but they’re still the minority; it’s like china where there’s a minority in power [something else about China] the melting pot situation where you have people from all over the world, all kinds of benders and nonbenders, moving to the same place made people realize that it’s not about fire vs. water or earth vs. air… but some nonbenders felt that they were doing all the hard dirty work and [missed the rest]

presented without comment

…well, then.

Whoa whoa whoa, wait a second. Did he just say that non-bender oppression exists and it actually WORSE than we thought it was? Wow, what an amazing revelation that would have been when the equalists were aCTUALLY RELEVENT! And they thought it would be a good idea to just have our protagonists fight for the status quo without a, “Wow, thems common non-benders sure have it bad. We should probably do something about that.”

jhenne-bean:

caged-korra:

Ok I accidently found myself in a tag and its got me heated.

So ok.

Lok compared to atla is just horrible.
Lok by itself is a bad show.

I personally dislike bryke because I feel as if they do more harm than good in making this show.
I feel as if bryke thinks they are being “progressive” yet they make no attempt to actually push the boundaries of the staquo.
Yes korra being brown and being a girl as the main character is a BIG DEAL.
but thats where the progress ends.
She is pigeon holed in her role and takes up a caracatured personality (oh! Mako truu ruvv!!! and I will never be a spiritual person BREAK EVERYTHING).

its exausting. Yea one could say the writers don’t owe the fans anything. But it is the writers responsibility on how they influence our society via childrens programs. They hold a tremendous amount of power just on the fact that nick publishes them. ill be damned if they choose to neglect it in favor of making bullshit.

And its super frustratin because we FINALLY have a WoC to be able to look up to (for the newest gen. In mainstream media) but she is so poorly written and her actual presence pushed aside so much that it no longer her show (ie. Shows name is ‘Legend of Korra’) and her exsitence becomes almost pointless.
It is just hard to swallow the bullshit bryke keeps feeding us for “good writing”. yea ok they say they are dropping the romance (even tho odds are makorra is endgame) they are hiring new writers. I see they are taking steps to develop, but based on their noteriety I doubt they will take it further than they doing already.

So much wasted potential.
The politics, the theme of opression, revolution etc etc could have at least been explained or something and all we got was typical bullshit of sports action and romance it makes me fucking sick.

I want to cry. I really do at least the bryke-stans can do is fucking aknowlege that bryke has a major responsibility with our culture as Americans; minorities, majorities, people of color and all that jazz.

No fucking pressure or anything.

Precisely.