I love it when people say: ...why is it that slash fanfiction seems to be the most well-written? Not to say there's no good het fics, and there's even the occasional femslash gem, but as a whole the best writers tend to be the slash ones ^_^;;; [sic for emoticon] Any thoughts as to why this is? Or feel free to disagree and say het/girly slash is 10x betetr [sic for spelling] than any male/male slash you've ever read.
Well, fuck you very much. Way to show how narrow-minded you are. And by the way, anyone who needs to use emoticons to get their point across at the awesomeness is slash is not someone who is making a convincing argument for me.
A lot of the comments are even more annoying, although atozmom and glossing try valiantly to be reasonable by pointing out that the OP is making blanket generalizations based on maybe limited exposure to het/gen/femslash fic.
I have learned much about me in reading the comments. Check out the following:
- Het writers are younger and slash writers are older
My Response: I'm pretty damn sure I'm older than the OP and most of the commenters. Anyone who makes such insane generalizations about whole groups of people based on their writing preferences (which in my experience has shit-all to do with what they actually read or their attitudes in RL) can't possibly have a whole lot of life experience.
- Het writers haven't been writing very long and slash writers have been writing much longer
My Response: I've been getting paid for what I write in RL since I was 17. I have a university degree in journalism. I write fanfiction for fun and practice. I am hardly a fricken newbie on the writing front. This doesn't make me better than anyone else, but it sure as shit gives me the right to smack you upside the head for making such a statement.
- Slash eliminates Mary Sues and Self-Inserts, unlike in het
My Response: *hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha* Right. Just because a character isn't an OC, doesn't mean they can't be Sued by piss-poor writing. It's simply impossible to turn flawed or grey canon male characters into perfect little woobies in slash fanfic. Right Draco, Spike, Xander, Rodney, [insert male character here]? I think you're getting the picture.
- Pre-existing canon couples are boring
My Response: At least this response indicates that she's only interested in conventional pairings on those rare occassions she graces a het writer with her eyeballs. I have an entire FList that really, really argues against that. Not to mention they blow that bullshit arguement right out of the water. Maybe if you added "in my opinion" that would've made a hell of a lot more sense.
- Het writers don't think outside the box, unlike creative slashers
My Response: The hilarious part is this same comment includes this statement right above the "don't think outside the box" comment: "You've got the bottom boy, and the top boy, the hawtness, and that's basically it."
So what was that about thinking outside the box again? LJ user, you not only think inside the box, you are the box. Explain to me how you didn't just put all slash writers in the same fucking box with that statement. You wanna get outside the box sometime in your writing life? Try an interesting plot beyond bottom boy, top boy, and "hawtness." You'd be amazed what an actual plot can do for gen/het/femslash/boislash.
- Het writers aren't as quirky or creative as slash writers
My Response: Have no words for this one. A shipper story is a shipper story, people. Genitalia of the characters involved doesn't matter. No, really, it doesn't. What makes any story quirky or creative is characterization, plot (even drabbles have plots), use of language...y'know, things like that.
Ship stories are a genre of fanfiction and noting more than a label we put on fanfiction for our convenience. Gen/Het/Femslash/Boislash are a subgenre to let people know about the shipper (or lack thereoff) content. This is not a sign of the writer's (or anyone's) creativity or quirky-ness. Anyone who thinks so really needs to meet more RL people, preferably people who do creative and fun things that don't involve writing. Some of the most quirky and creative people I know couldn't string a sentence together if their lives depended on it.
- Het writers are really writing romance novels, unlike slash writers
My Response: Good to know. Stupid me, I thought I wrote mysteries, horror, science fiction, speculative fiction, ghost stories, and adventure. No romance, though. Not even a hint of romance. Not even a sniff of romance. Or do you count some very rare and very vague hints of sex occuring in one story with serious-ass consequences as "romance?" Because if you do, we need to sit down and define what you mean by "romance."
Obviously I need to "graduate" to writing romance if I ever want my stories to be taken seriously in the het side of fandom. I'll get right on that het smut-o-ramma that all my fellow het writers say I should be writing. It's so sad. They're starting to make fun of me on the playground and everything. I'll never be a real girl until I start typing with one hand.
And while I'm getting on turning myself into a romance writer, let's talk about all those slash writers who very clearly are not writing romance. The correct term is "schmoop." That's not romance at all. Nope. Nothing to see here. Let's move it along, because god knows you don't want a list of slash writers who blow this little argument right out of the water, do you?
- Slash writers work harder at turning canon het characters gay while keeping them in character
My Response: Unh, wot? You can have perfectly in-character slash. You also can have perfectly in-character gen, het, and femslash. But let's be honest here, no fanfiction is 100% in character. They're not our characters. All fanfic writers do is speculate the following: "If X, then possibly Y. Maybe we could toss some D and F while we're at it. Mix it up. What do you get? Here's what I think."
Now, some characters you can slash easier than others (For example, I argue Xander can be slashed fairly easily, others disagree.) However, if there are a million slash stories where a het character has always been sekritly gay and pisses all over that character's past relationships with members of the opposite sex as somehow not being "real." Newsflash: That's not in-character. Worse, it's simply lazy writing. At least make a "they're bi" argument. At least give me a hint of how they finally climbed the banks of De Nile to try a same-sex relationship. If you're going to claim that "slash writers work harder," then show me that work.
By the way, the same argument applies to canon gay characters who suddenly decide to try a het relationship. I'm not letting anyone off the hook for this one. *kicks the shit out of a few post-'Chosen' het Willow stories I've read.*
- 'Cause girls are squicky
Ahhhhh, the classic argument that gets tossed around in every discussion about het v. slash. It doesn't actually argue anything, but it does piss me the hell off. Well, me and my squicky cunt would like to thank you for calling 50% of the human race "squicky." I'm sure you'd like to argue that all girls should not only not be heard, but we shouldn't even be seen, because clearly in your world the only people worth a damn are males. Too bad the human race would die out in a single generation if it weren't for us "squicky" females. Even if science ever progresses to the point where the uterus isn't necessary for reproduction, I can't imagine that the reproductive process would be easier. It sure as hell won't be as much fun.
This is why I stay the hell away from debates like this. It only pisses me off because you know — you just know — it's going to end with someone responding in a most annoyed manner and next thing you know someone is tossing around the "homophobe" and "hive vagina" labels. Plus, I'd start a flamewar and make lots and lots of enemies. I'm a busy woman. I don't have time to get into it with people over stupid crap like this.
Now, to be fair, some people are making good arguments in this thread, but those that do also point out that slash has its own problems and isn't completely "clean" of the aspirations tossed on het (and by extention, femslash and gen).
When it comes to fanfic (when it comes to anything, really) Sturgeon's Law applies. No matter what, 99% of it is crap. That goes for het/gen/femslash/boislash in equal measure. As for whether that golden 1% is also crap comes down to personal opinion and tastes. Nothing more.
Now, do I think there's a slight bias against gen and het writers?
Well, yeah. I think there is. I've read a million arguments like the one above that basically infantalizes gen and het writers or somehow argues that these writers are somehow "lesser" than their slash bretheren and sisteren. Outside of certain militantly het corners of fandom, I've rarely seen the same argument in reverse. Yet, this argument gets thrown at gen and het writers openly and frequently and it's rare for someone to respond because they know they'll walk right into a buzzsaw if they do. Even then, they have to do it with a billion disclaimers to "prove" we're not raging homophobes in real life.
No, it's not fucking fair, but them's the breaks.
But is there an overwhelming bias? Well, hate to shred my shroud of victimhood here, but no, it's really not the overwhelming bias that most gen and het writers make it out to be. But constantly seeing comments like this crop up (at least once or twice a week by my count), complete with the girlish squeal of "ewwwww vaginas!" or "ewwwww het!" can give you the illusion that there is an overwhelming bias against gen/het/femslash.
I think, however, I've seen a bit of a backlash. There are a few slash writers out there that are starting to argue that they write "characters" and are not "slash writers" (in short, rejecting the label outright) because they think it's too limiting.
Your starting to see gen writers organize themselves and ask
I think a lot of that backlash is because too many people, het/gen/femslash/boislash are sick and tired of seeing crap like this come up again and again, sort of like a never-ending circle of wank where the same arguments are re-hashed over and over and all we get to show for it are virtual bloody noses.
I think the key to remember (even if I have a hardtime remembering it like in this case) is that such crap only comes from a certain segment of any fandom. A lot of purely slash writers don't even agree with the above statements, any more than any gen/het/femslash writer does.
I've found, however, that decent writing, plotting, and characterization can actually overcome a lot. I have a ton of slash writers mutually friended. I have a ton of het writers mutually friended. Dude, I'm proud of that. It's the best argument I've got that labels are just that...labels. Good stories and good writing (or what you think is are good stories and good writing) conquers a hell of a lot. We've all got something to say in our stories, and we've all got the right to make the argument as we see fit within those stories. No one has to agree, but it's rare that I've wasted my time by listening (or reading...hell, you know what I mean).
Sorry about the tl;dr rant, but I needed to get it off my chest.