Sunday, 8 May 2011

Just one of the many pitfalls of Fanfiction.

Well, despite the exceptionally busy weekend timetable I posted on Friday, I managed to get both the third chapter of Time and Tide and the Eighth chapter of Critical situation completed last night. This was good, because it meant I could watch the excellent Turkish Grand Prix with impunity without the obligation to write fanfiction hanging over my head.

And yes, I do consider it an obligation. When I get notifications telling me people signing up to the mailing list to receive updated on the story it tends to guilt trip me into writing more.

I finished the fanfiction chapter at about quarter to one last night, and posted it up straight away. I was pretty damn proud of this chapter. I know that sounds stupid but whilst I'm not proud of writing fanfiction (because, well, it's fanfiction) I am pretty proud when I write something that I know has been written well.

Anyways, I got up this morning, and as is my want, I check my reviews. And lo and Behold, theres this gem:

"The fic looks interesting but why you had to put TK drunkenly having sex with another girl? good thing he and Kari weren't dating so no harm done but still it was that really necesary for Kari and him to realize it wouldn't work? I mean wouldn't have simply better that they realized they're like brother and sister without having to add TK having sex with another girl after telling Kari that he loves her? o.o"

Now, I know the guy who wrote this review. He's a nice guy, but like a lot of people on FFnet, he takes his fandom a leeeetle too seriously. It should also be noted that English is not his first Language, so please forgive his grammar.

Now, the mention of TK's drunken Sexcepades was literally one line. Maybe twenty words out of a 2000+ word chapter. Yet this is the line he chose to focus on and complain about. I don't normally respond to reviews, but I decided to in this case.

"Because It adds tension, and because that "Realising they were like brother and sister" shit is dull. what it also illustrates is that this fic is different than usual and that none of the characters are their usual paragons of virtue. On top of that, I also mentioned that there was a bitterness betwen Kari and TK In chapter 4. This is the source of that. It's not a "TK is a bastard" Line. It's a "TK is Human and made a mistake that poleaxed his and Kari's potential relationship" Line."

And there I thought the matter would rest. I had given an explanation of why the line was in there. a few minutes later, I got a message back:

"Yeah but still why TK has to be the one making a mistake? why not Kari herself for a change? is just that in most Daikari fics whenever they include TK and Kari dating it always it TK the one making the mistake that causes the break up, that is so overused that it is as dull as the brother and sister thing, believe me, I have seen that a lot. That's why I kinda didn't liked it much since I felt it was the same cliche, only that you didn't had them dating, just TK telling her that he loves her. Still Kari herself said it, he was drunk, how do we know if it wasn't the girl the one getting him drunk to get him? You know how there are girls that aren't precisely angels and would do anything to get the guy they want.

Still dunno, I didn't liked it much, also it is really necesary to have TK in love with Kari and then making a mistake? Why there has to be a tension? as far I saw it really didn't added anything to the main plot, just with using the TK studying outside Japan was enough actually.

You're a great writer man, that was the reason why I reviewed that chapter of your fic, because you can do it better than that, there are a lot of other tension sources you can use.

Also TK made a mistake so what? in that sense then the one wrong was Kari. TK was drunk, he wasn't concious of what he did and yet she begruded that o.o

Sorry if it sounded a bit rantish, is just that I felt it a tiny bit like attacking Takari, but maybe is just me."

Okay, after this one, I was starting to get a little pissed off. The problem with writing fanfiction is that you have to deal with fandoms, and the digimon fandom has more splinter groups than a Terrorist convention. My annoyance stemmed partly from the fact that I've not only gone out of the way to not attack other fandoms, I've made an issue over people from my Fandom attacking others, because it's fucking stupid. What really ground my gears, though, was the "It didn't add anything to the main plot" line.

Excuse me? I wasn't fucking aware that I'd told you the entirety of my plans for this fucking fic! making an issue over fandom bullshit is one thing, primarily since I don't care about it, but deciding on the basis of one line what affects the plot and doesn't pisses me right off. So yeah, response time.

"Oh, for God's sake ****, Give over.

1) In my personal experience, nine times out of ten it is a bloke who who goes out, gets off his face and shags someone.

2) I need Kari to feel hurt for the purposes of the story. Pretty much every character in this fic is damaged goods

3) How do you know it doesn't add anything to the main plot. we're still very much in the early stages here. You're assuming an awful lot about this story there.

4) It was nothing to do with attacking Takari. Takari is a none-factor in this fic. I made that very clear early on.

5) A lot of your message comes across as the usual "I don't want to see my favourite character have a flaw" nonsense. Kari will have flaws that will be explored later in the story. TK have flaws that are being put out of the way here. I get this same line from Daikari fans every time I have Davis be a fuck-up in my stories, so I've seen it before, dude. I know you like TK, but please don't assume there isn't a purpose in the plot for what I'm writing. With the exception of "As Long as She's Happy" - which was a piece of shit story with no redeeming features - I've never had throwaway moments of TK being an Arse, so please don't assume this is one.

Now this response may come across as a bit Rantish, but I don't like that it feels you're trying to impose your personal preference of TK as a paragon of Virtues on my fic. I also don't appreciate that you see me making a line about TK where he makes a mistake that poleaxes his relationship with Kari, and you assume it's an attack on your fandom, since - barring my early days where I was a ranty teenager - I have a very good record of not attacking your fandom, unlike a lot of other Daikari authors.

I appreciate you taking the time to write your concerns, but please do not assume that I'm making a random attack on TK, or that you know where this story is going. What I'd like you to do is ask yourself if I had said that Kari's boyfriend, who she loved dearly - but was not TK - went and cheated on her, would you have the same reaction."

So yeah, slightly snarky response there, I have to admit. But as I'm sure you can see, this was something that annoyed me. I genuinely felt this guy was trying to impose his own version of the character on my own - and worse, made it clear in his response that he felt my writing was worse for not adhering to his definition of what the character would do. That really made me rather angry. I'm trying to write a story, and I'm told that basically, a big part of it is shit because I don't view someone's favourite character as the paragon of all earthly virtues. Fandom shit has always been something that pisses me off. I'll admit, I went through that phase, but got out of it very early on. I started writing fanfiction ten years ago, and this guy was still doing this same stuff then.

It's this constant attitude that I should compromise what I'm writing to cater to the people reading it. It's also this apparent assumption that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing when it comes to my own goddamn story.

Word to the wise. I'm writing it. I've planned it. I've researched it. Please don't fucking assume you know better than me what I'm going to write. I'm quite happy to accept criticism, when there is some basis for it. Just because you don't like what I've done with your precious favourite character, doesn't mean something is poorly written.

Grow the fuck up.


Rebecca said...

You may be thrilled to know that I myself have taken the time to read this fanfiction of yours (all 8 chapters of it) and am even more amused at this little toad's toading around than I was've simply written an action story and inserted names of characters and places that fit with the whole Digimon theme and could easily replace those names and places with those taken from Pokemon or Family Guy or The Simpsons or hell if you played around with the action itself you could turn it into a superhero fic of your choosing. Point being...I don't get why this guy is going on so much since this could be a story about anything or anyone...and blatantly so...

Lord Patamon said...

First off Rebeca, I wasn't unpolite at all on my review. Yes it was me the one who wrote that review and the following pm converstation with him about the TK issue.

I agree in that his fic is quite interesting but not all has to be good for the reader don't you think?

Also it was uncalled for from him to post the review and the private message conversation here. The review I pass since anyone can see it on, but the private message conversation was between him and I, it is called private message for a reason.

Now I didn't insulted him in any way, I just explained him that for me it didn't made much sense that of TK getting drunk. I can prove that in most Daikari fics whenever Kari is with TK and they break up is always TK's fault.

Also he didn't put the whole conversation since in a later pm I did apologized to him but he didn't included that in his post here.

I wasn't trying to impose anything, I explained him that the way he put on a author note on chapter 4 this:

And for the Takari fans, The Reason TK isn't in this is because a Takari/Daikari dynamic would take away from the story I'm trying to tell. If you don't like it, Tough shit.

Then I see the part of Kari telling Davis about she can begrudge TK getting drunk and having sex with another girl after he told her (Kari) that she loves her, so I got kinda surprised mostly since he never did anything like that with TK on his previous fics.

Also he didn't posted the whole conversation, he ommited that I did apologized for jumping in conclusions, so he didn't posted the full thing.

I wasn't trying to impose anything. The fic itself is quite good but I felt it was falling on cliche since I can prove that on most Daikari fics that start with Kari dating TK and they break up, the break up is always fault of TK.

In this case they weren't dating but still, I felt it was the same thing again, TK screwing up his chances with Kari, that's why I jumped in conclusions thinking it was the same old thing again.

But as I said, I did apologized to him and he didn't mentioned it here, I never said his fic was poorly writen at all, I'm sorry if it sounded like that. Heck I didn't even knew he felt that I thought the fic was poorly writen till I read this entry =/

Anyhow Ben, I found this blog of yours by mere coincidence since I was browsing your profile.

I never thought I would find you posting our conversation here when it is called private message for a reason. The review I have nothing against that since the one on is public anyways and so far no one said anything about it as in pming about it, so I don't think I did anything bad just because I pointed that about TK.

Lord Patamon said...

Sorry for the things that are repeated on my other post. Power went out when I was typing it.

Internet Explorer managed to restore my session with what I had typed so far but I didn't checked what I had typed and just continued typing the rest.

Rebecca said...

Hey Patamon,

Well you've let the cat out of the bag now revealing who you are. From here on in you have no two legs to stand on for people knowing your identity.

I understand that you may fear that people might put 2 and 2 together and figure it all out from your review who you are, however that is under the assumption that

1) People actually care enough to go digging


2) People from Fanfiction actually read this blog.

For starters I can tell you now that the regular audience of Ben's blog consist of friends, family, and the odd motorsport fan who find it from Twitter or from searching through google for motorsport related content. Not for fanfiction. As for Ben's friends and family, none of them read or write Digimon related fanfiction and so neither know nor care of who you are, or about this particular story of Ben's.

But I have read it haven't I. Well that's because I'm Ben's wife and as such I have to live with him and his ramblings about fanfiction. Ok perhaps that's a bit misleading...he doesn't ramble on about it that much but from time to time he brings it up and I feel morally obliged to read it even though I have no idea what these people are or what they do. In fact, my previous comment about the ambiguity of it all may explain why I can bare to read it at all.

Anyhow, that pretty much rules out reason number one for people figuring out who you are. Reason number 2?

Do you blog on blogger? I'm not saying that you should blog or anything, but after looking at your profile it would appear that you do not in fact host a public blog. As such I henceforth assume that you do not blog here and thus do not understand a few tricks.

You know on how you can go to your account interface and see the traffic stats for your stories? Well Google provides the same service for Blogger, only in way, WAY much more detail. It provides information such has which countries your audience lives in, the sites which refer to the blog and the google searches used to find it. Litterally, word for word the terms used to search. It's actually really nifty. Anyhow, you may ask, what has this got to do with anything?

Well I'm looking at Ben's stats here and I can tell you definitively that there has only ever (EVER) been one hit from Ben's profile.

Ooooh I wonder who that could have been. Couldn't have been you could it?

Rebecca said...

Look, all I'm saying is that you are the only person who actually cares. No one else does. I'm only replying because you, for some reason, called me out by name so I figured it only my right to respond and show you just how many people really know about this. Seriously, if anyone does it's because of you not Ben, Ben fully understands and embraces the fact that this blog is merely a personal collection of thoughts drifting around in obscurity, interesting only to those who know him.

Oh, and Doug Tennapal, but he was hatefucking Ben too. Ben really didn't care then either, but we all thought it was hilarious.

So anyway, now that we've established how little Ben's readers give a shit about you and emphasizing how little they've looked into this or even paid attention (like I said, we all pretty much consider Ben's digimon fanfiction writing one of those perculiar little facets of his personality we just have to put up with for the sake of the love of the whole) onto your points.

Don't worry about the fact that you've repeated some of it, power will decide to go out at the worst of times.

First, I never said you were unpolite. All I said was that I found your review to be incorrect. I am allowed that opinion, just as you are allowed yours. Also, what precisely do you mean "not all has to be good for the reader"? Why would anyone actually write and publish on a forum if not for the reader?

Also I don't agree that it was uncalled for, it is called private yes but it is not private and confidential. It belongs to him as much as it does to you and at no point did he reveal any personal, incriminating information? No, he published EXACTLY what you wrote (and I know because I read the whole thing before he even blogged it, and I lol'ed. Oh and I have it here infront of me too.) and then he said what he thought of it.

I said to him before he published it all...what if he finds it? And he said "Huh, let him, I don't care" so it's not as if there wasn't ever an inkling it could happen. He has his reasons for publishing it, I don't pretend to know what those reasons are (I may be married to him but I'm not a mind reader, much to his eternal grief) but I'll defend to the hilt his right to do it if he likes.

Rebecca said...

Your next point...oh you never insulted him. Well, no one said you did. But if you are going to post up opinions then we're allowed to take the piss out of and attack those opinions if we like. Don't want that to happen? Don't give them! Ok so he's destroyed your trust Im sure that hurts, but let me give you a hint...

You probably shouldn't care because it's really not worth it. He certainly isn't worth your worry or your upset. He's worth mine, of course, but once again, he's family and if family isn't worth it then what is?

As for this appology, like I said I did read the entire conversation, and by you coming and complaining that you appologised about it, that completely misses the point of why he posted. He posted it because he wanted to rant. All the appologies in the world don't stop the urge to rant about something. And he never wanted an appology, he just wanted you to understand what he did what he did. You didn't understand, so he felt the need to rant about it. And you STILL don't understand!

But the thing doesn't matter! None of it actually matters! In the grand scheme of things, what is the point of all of this drama? Ben got frustrated and ranted to an audience who doesn't know a thing about this, if he wanted to slight you he could have done it to you on your forum.

Thus, I propose to you that it is you who is blowing this up and out of proportion, because you take digimon fan fiction way too seriously.

Perhaps if you had considered that the story was, at that point, 8 chapters in and still not finished, that the tiny little thing that you got upset about in the first place might be a plot device leading up to something...but no, oh no, it's all just a big cliche to you who would know everything.

If you took individual pieces as what they are, individual works of creativity and not mass pumped out turds of anime rip off then you'd have the patience to at least wait until the story was finished before you decided to jump on it and proclaim it was one big cliche.

I know that's not why you're upset in this instance, but like I said, it wasn't confidential information. I'm sorry you've had your fingers burned. But, err...well who gives a shit, really?

Rebecca said...

Finally I'd like to appologise for taking 3 comments to say what I had to say (although yes it's now 4 comments) but, you know, I'm nothing if not verbose and there's a limit as to how many characters in a comment. Perhaps I should have made a blog entry about it...

naaaaaah you can see it all here in it's finally dissected glory :)


Lord Patamon said...

And here I thought I was the only one who did long posts o.o

Anyhow, I'm not a blogger. The reason I have an account is because I can login with my gmail account here, you know how google owns a few sites, this one between them so I didn't even need to register an account, I had it by default because I have a gmail account.

About my identity, believe me, that isn't a secret at all, mostly since I left a review on his fic, I'm well known in the digimon fandom actually having accounts not only on but on many other sites so I really don't care much.

Now about I'm the only one who cares about what I pointed on my review true I'm the only one who cares, but I was kinda surprised.

Since you did read the fic, then you sure noticed that on chapter 4 on the part Davis asks Kari about TK, she mentions that he went to UK to study which surprises Davis because he thought TK and Kari would be together by then. Kari then shows a expression of slight pain and that was all about the thing of TK and her for that chapter.

It was on that same chapter where Ben put the author note at the end and that I quoted on my previous post, at first I didn't found sense on that note because I didn't saw anything out of common other than TK going outside Japan to study which isn't anything I didn't saw before. Then chapters went by and on chapter 8, Davis and Kari as you saw were talking again about TK, that Kari said she doesn't begrudges TK for him wanting to study on another country, is his career after all, but that she begrudges him for had sex drunk with another girl (sorry if the wording on that last part is wrong, english is a second language).

When I saw that I was like whoa there, what did I miss? I mean TK didn't got mentioned on chapters 5, 6 and 7 and out of nowhere I see that he had told Kari that he loves her and later he was drunk having sex with another girl.

That's the whole reason I left that review. I got surprised since as I already said, Ben never did anything like that with TK before, I have known him for quite long time now even before he took that long retirement before returning again recently.

I was shocked, you can't blame me and I only reviewed about it, I thought he had changed or something. Even my review isn't as long as the pms I did sent him after he replied to it. I replied because he replied to me and in that way make it private between him and I. I really didn't had idea he had a blog till I discovered it today, it was a mere accident, so about what you said about that there was only one click to here from fanfiction, I clearly stated that I found the link on his profile so I don't know why that comment about how google keeps track of everything.

Now Ben himself told me that even fans of Daikari at times had reviewed his fics when he makes Davis screw-up (he used the F word but better lessen up here for the sake of avoid any censoring), so I'm not the only one who gets confused at times with something he writes.

Lord Patamon said...

About what I said about that not all has to be good for the reader, again wording mistake, english student here.

Anyhow what I meant to say with that is that for more good a story is, there's always gonna be things that not all readers will like.

For example characterization, plot holes, etc.

In this case of the TK issue, it actually is kinda foggy, I mean, that there are a lot of unclear things like what got TK to get drunk, was he with some friends? was he alone? How did Kari learned about his affair with that other girl? All that stuff.

I'm sure that later all will be cleared but I really failed to see where was the tension on that. I mean TK and Kari weren't dating anyways so I don't see what tension it could be other than Kari thinking that TK may have lied about loving her.

On that part is where I do wonder if there wasn't much understanding from Kari, I mean just one time TK does that and she gets second thoughts.

I really got all confused and that's the reason why I felt it was strange how the thing about TK and Kari got revealed in chapter 8 like out of sudden.

Back to my identity and the review believe me even if I didn't posted it would have been easy to see who that review belonged to, since he copied it and pasted it, so anyone easily would know who that review belonged to.

But I really don't care, I have been on the fandom for almost 11 years, ever since Digimon came to this side of the world and I have seen how the fandom can be, I've seen Takari fans bashing Davis, I've seen Daikari fans doing the same with TK, I've seen Davis overpowered fics. The thing is that I have seen how originality has been lost since for example someone posts a fic with a character with super powers and then after a few days more fics with that same thing appear.

Or those fics where the others trash talk about Davis and then he quits to the team after he caughts them trashtalking about him behind his back. Those fics are so common that is not funny anymore.

But back to Ben, I never meant to make him feel like if his fic wasn't good, I only stated my thoughts, that was all, I did apologized, we did had few other pms on that same talk with me sending the last one talking about some false accusation against me I went through recently about me stealing the idea of a fic and using it as mine (which I didn't since the first version of my fic got posted around almost 8 years ago and I never knew the person who accused me till now), and after that I didn't got any reply from him anymore, that's why I got surprised seeing this entry here.

Not to mention he posted the entry several hours after we talked by private message, that's why I got surprised about that he posted it here.

Ben Myatt said...

You know what Pata, I love how once again, you're doing a spectacular fucking job of missing the point. Here's a trick: None of us care how well known you are in the digimon fandom. That's right up there with saying you're one of the better looking patients in a burns ward. The only one making a big issue out of this shit is you:

I hate to break it to you, but none of this is about the digimon fandom. heres a thing: as Bex said, this is my blog. I will rant here as much as I like, about what I like. I'm not required to be fair to you, and given that your remaining messages continued along almost exactly the same lines as the one I posted here, I don't feel any requirement to post them.

The only one stirring this shit up is you: Here's a trick - Get over it.

Rebecca said...

Hey Patamon,

I appologise for any misunderstanding of your English, I don't hold that against you at all, it was just the one line about the all not being good for the reader that I didn't quite understand so thanks for clearing that up for me.

As for the long post, well unlike Ben (as you will have seen), I don't have the gift of err...shrinking things down so very succinctly as he thanks for bearing with me on that one!

Ok, as for the google accounts/blogger thing I was just trying to demonstrate to you that we know how very obscure and unknown this blog is, even though Ben has a link on his fanfiction profile no one up until you has ever used it and there's no reason to believe it ever would be again.

I know you're well known amongst the digimon fandom however Ben is really not (whether or not he used to be I don't know and doesn’t really matter) because he doesn't partake in the communities and/or publicize this place. My point in discussing this therefore was to show that despite having posted the public review you made, no one who does actually read this would know who you are because no one who actually reads this is a member of the digimon fandom. It would be a shame for you if such people were to find this, but to be honest they'd have to be either very lucky or digging for it or be told about it, and we certainly haven't been out shouting about it.

Any how, I hope that explains why I was going on about that, reading back on my comment I can see why it may have seemed to go off on an unrelated tangent.

Onto more juicy, story related issues now...I read what you have to say but Ben's point still holds true here. He hasn't even finished the story. I know how it's going to end, I've even tossed a few ideas to him as he's been writing it (he'll probably not use them but hey, a girl can try right?) and all I can say've got this so wrong.

There is a very definitive reason why TK had to get drunk like that and believe me it's nothing to do with making him out to be an idiot or attacking the Takari fandom or anything at all like that. It's not a means to get him out of the way, yes if it were then you might have a point, it might well have been better to have Kari make the mistake...but that wouldn't make sense in the context of this story. Ben doesn't just make this up on the fly...he knew from the first chapter he posted how this was going to end, and that this was going to happen.

You mention that it is foggy...we don't know exactly what happens, how Kari found out or in what circumstances it all took place, why he was drunk etc...once again there's a reason for that, namely that Ben did indeed say he didn't want to pull the whole Takari/Daikari dynamic into this. In a story, not every little thing has to be explained. It's about leaving some things up to the imagination. If every single thing in the life and times of the Digidestined had been explained in the anime, what would you have to write fanfiction about now? Stories always leave a little mystery. Also, you're missing a little point here that Kari clearly didn't want to talk about it, hence we know nothing...there's a reason she doesn't want to talk about it. She's hurt. And that will play a role in this. And no it isn't just so she tumbles into bed with Davis.

Gosh I'm giving away all the spoilers here.

Rebecca said...

Look, all I'm saying is that you have jumped to some spectacular conclusions. And like I said, if you'd just waited till the end of the story many of your concerns would be addressed.

The reason that Ben is annoyed is not because he believes (falsely or otherwise) that you think he has written a technically poor story but because every time he's tried to address your concerns by assuring you that this is all happening for a reason and that the TK "kind of cheating but not" scene will all be explained in due course, you've simply brushed it aside as overdone and cliche'd.

Human's are human and flawed and they make the same mistakes time and time again. Ben is expressing this through his writing and is merely frustrated that when you have come to review you have not taken into account the fact that this is a wide ranging story that has little to do with romance (once again, human's are human and every story needs a touch of this element) but in stead have chosen to pick up on this one little thing whose purpose has yet to be revealed. Even then, believe me, it's still only a small thing. The big reveal has nothing to do with it.

That is why he is frustrated. He repeatedly tried to explain this to you. I know you could say well why did he have to go and put it on a blog like this and you'd be kind of justified in saying that...but it was clearly something that he couldn't explain to you as much as he tried so he gave up and had a rant of exasperation.

Once again, I implore you to look at each story on it's own merit as opposed to “this is a Takari, this is a Daikari”, and not before it has even finished. I'm not asking you to like it, of course not every reader is going to like it, but criticizing it for one little point before the story is even finished and the reason for it revealed is nothing if not presumptuous.

As for the appology part of it, I can appreciate that you may feel hurt over this after having tried to make ammends through an appology, but like I said, what you appologised for and what Ben was getting exasperated over were two different things. Also, Ben didn't post the entire conversation because it bore no relavence to why he was getting angry. The fact that your story was getting plagarised (and Im sorry to hear about that) had no bearing on why he felt this way, he wasn't going to just slam everything up on there, it would be irrelevant.