|Keep Hoping Machine Running (thefourthvine) wrote,|
@ 2006-01-18 02:31 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||[rant], [semific]|
I swear that I will get back to recommending actual FF very, very soon. And it will be even sooner if we could all attend to a few small matters before I lose my mind.
Sentients only, please. Or, to put it another way: could we please stop granting quite so much volition to individual body parts? By which I mean - if you're writing something, like for example a sex scene, and character A shoves his tongue into character B's mouth, please don't write as though the tongue just crawled in there on its own. If you write, "his tongue reached for hers," I'm expecting tentacle porn, okay? I'm expecting Alien-based horror tentacle porn, as, like, the tongue spears into her mouth, implants her with eggs, and then rips her brain out. I'm not thinking, "Aw, they're kissing. How sweet." I am writhing in anticipation of looming terror. And, yes, fear does lead to arousal blah blah blah, but alien implantation scenes in the middle of smut lead to insanity. Attribute the action to the person performing it. At least most of the time. I'm begging you.
Zombies need brains! I, on the other hand, think I'm seeing too many of them. Or rather, I'm seeing too much of the phrase "sucking his brains out through his cock." I mean, yes, I get it. I got the last few thousand times someone used this phrase in FF. And it's starting to sound...well, creepy. Eerie. Like a really mutant zombie-related fetish, basically. I'll be reading along in a sex scene, and this phrase will occur, and I have this moment of nervous tension, wondering if the character giving the blowjob is really a secret zombie. (Worse, I sometimes also consider the physics of this, which is the kind of thought that can put a person off sex for life.) So, you know, it's a fine phrase. But could we give it a rest, please? Let it lie fallow for a bit? Or maybe we could implement some kind of rationing system. You know, a quota. On Mondays, people whose names begin with A-E can use it, and on Tuesdays F-J, and so on. On Sundays we all get a day of rest from the phrase. What blissful Sundays those would be.
You do not drop kisses. Go ahead, try it. You will find your lips remain firmly attached to your face no matter how hard you try to drop them on someone else. Or if they don't, you might want to see a doctor. You may be a zombie. (If so, try to get your fix the normal way. Gnawing on people's skulls was enough for zombies when I was young, and there's no need to get all fancy with it now. Sucking brains out through cocks is just not on, people. You may be undead, but you can still have class.)
Oh my god no more essence ever I mean it. If come is the essence of a man, he's not worth thinking about, let alone writing about. And if someone is touching someone else's essence, you'd better be writing Descartes/Schopenhauer and not just some random buttsex.
You need lips to kiss. So, take cocks, for example. They do not have lips and thus should not kiss each other. You would not write a story in which cocks hold hands and go on a picnic and declare love for each other and maybe whisper sweet nothings in each other's ears. The kissing cock is just the PG-13 version of that story, people. (Or potentially a quaint and curious pub name soon to appear on the cover of a Martha Grimes novel. Unless somebody stops her while there's still time. Not that I am suggesting anything, mind you.)
Forget the lies your health teacher told you. High-gauge painkillers are not instantaneously addictive. Seriously. I have taken them, and I am not a twitching addict. And going off them was not so much "hideous withdrawal" as "Hey! I can blink again!" See, if you’re taking them for actual, you know, pain, they aren’t very addictive at all. (Physical dependence does happen when you take them for a while. Which is why you taper off. Tapering off? Does not suck if you do it right.) If you’ve had, say, massive surgery to repair massive injuries and you’re on a massive pain-relief regimen as a result, yes, you will want those drugs if they’re taken away from you. But not because you’ve become addicted to them. You’ll want them because without them you’ll be in pain.
I know that seems kind of obvious. I thought so, too. But I’ve seen this more and more often in FF: a character takes - well, let’s go whole-hog and say oxycodone, the ingredient in that famously addictive drug, OxyContin. (Although even then, you take it differently for a high than for pain. Just, you know, FYI.) Takes it because, you know, he’s had his face ripped off or something (and that’s a made-up example; I’ve never read a story in which it happened, so if you’ve written one, I’m not picking on you). And he's on it for four days, and then the doctor starts "weaning" him off it, and he suffers the agonies of withdrawal. Well, OK. Withdrawal sucks, no doubt. But that character shouldn’t be going through it; he should be suffering the agonies of plain old agony, of being undermedicated by a supposed professional after having his face ripped off by the Clawbeast of the Betelgeusian Rainforest. (Or whatever.) Please, people, please - let’s keep our sick bay stories and our addiction stories separate, OK? There’s plenty of medically realistic suffering you can inflict. Without making every fan on the planet terrified of taking medication for pain.
What happens in the past stays in the past. Likewise with the future and the present. Pick a tense. Any tense. And then fucking stay with it. I don't care if you write your fan fiction in Past Inverted Pluperfect Imperative (actually, I would very likely erect a shrine in your honor), as long as you stay in Past Inverted Pluperfect Imperative. And if just one tense per story is too confining for you, at least limit yourself to one tense per section. And oh my god please one tense per sentence. "Was" and "is" are cousins, but they should not hang out together; their families do not get along. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Appropriate terminology. I don't want to be difficult. But is it so very challenging to consider what phrases your point-of-view character might reasonably use in, for example, a sexual setting? I mean, okay. Benton Fraser might use just about any word, including the Inuktuk word for "icicle," to describe his cock. With Fraser, I'm prepared to accept any term up to "Winky the Wonder Horse," and I'm betting some of you could make me happy with that, even. But if you've got a modern-day American military man using the phrase "manly rod," I am going to need, minimum, 2,000 words of backstory that explains how Jack O'Neill, in addition to the rest of his traumatic past, was at some point locked in a basement for three years with nothing to read but old romance novels.1
NO MORE CUTSEY PAIRING NAMES EVER I MEAN IT SO HELP ME GOD. And, yes, capslock is a crime against the internet, but sometimes it is impossible to convey the proper level of emphasis any other way. This is one of those times. I blame the more insane Harry/Hermione folks for this one. (...And, damn, I've forgotten the pairing name again. Hermeneutics? Harmonica? Help me out here, people.) But we all share the shame now, as the disease has spread to fandoms that should be innocent of any such taint. And, see, fine. If you really need to run the names of your pairing together (Although, seriously - why? It doesn't prove they were OMG meant to be together, you know. What message are you trying to convey? Theirloveissonominal?), then go right ahead. I may judge you - tough to avoid it these days, what with all the pairing name insanity going around - but I'll keep it to myself. It is your privilege to come up with mutant pairing names if you want to. It is your right.
But please, please, please, for the love of all that is holy, at least keep it relatively clear what the pairing actually is. If you tell me that you love Vecchowalski, at least I have a reasonable guess about what that might be. But if you tell me that you love Rayre, or Hooray, or Ski-Ho, that could be anything. And if you decide that Vecchio/Kowalski is now called Chicago, that is even worse. It conveys no useful information at all. (Well, okay. Some. I mean, I'd be thinking in terms of the right fandom; there are pairing names that don't even have that going for them.) Please. Please. It is wrong to make every story header an interminable guessing game. ("...Is the pairing bigger than a bread box?") You won't like it when I'm batshit insane and armed, people, and I'm getting there.
1 Daniel's eyebrows shot up, and Jack mentally rewound the conversation. Shit.
"Jack," Daniel said cautiously, "did you just say 'pistoning love-muscle'?"
"No," Jack said firmly.
"Oooo-kay." There was an uncomfortable pause, and then Daniel said, very casually, "So. I'm going to get Sam and Teal'c and Janet now. You just...sit there."
"Daniel, sit down."
"I would, but now I'm not sure if I'm eating lunch with Jack O'Neill or the Goa'uld who was responsible for Barbara Cartland's incredible and disturbing productivity."
"Sit down, Daniel. And don't knock Barbara Cartland."
Daniel didn't move, but his eyebrows attempted to scurry off his face and go find Sam and Teal'c on their own.
Jack sighed. "Okay. See, when I was 26, I was on this mission..."