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A WRITER'S MELTDOWN: A HOPELESS OUTLOOK ON FANDOM

THIRD EDITION
Written by Diane N. Tran


Today, I had skimmed through the typical "fanfiction" at a forum:  It was one I had no taste for, one where there was no plot, no character development, no thought, no creativity, one of those average, mediocre writings where 98% of fan-writers attempt to write porn for porn's own sake by using "fuck me and fuck me hard," which just left me with a nasty taste in my mouth.  Usually, these things wouldn't bother me as a rule, but what puzzled me was the numerous responses of nosebleeds and drools in the comment section — and I began to question the concept of "fandoms":

Is really the audience I have to brown-nose to in order to get views from, to get comments from, to get critiques from?  Is this what people really honestly want from fiction?  Why do people say they don't want Mary Sues, but create them anyway?  Why do people like characters then remove every aspect of their personalities, personalities that made you love them in the first place, personalities that made them unique, in order to self-insert them into their own selfish fantasies?  If you love these characters and their stories, it makes sense that you would want to stay faithful and respectful of them, so why alter them into something they are not?  Why do people have the need to change anything at all? What's wrong with sticking to the source material, expanding upon it, and why is that concept so difficult to grasp?  Why don't people care about proper grammar and correct spelling?  Why don't people research?  Why don't people write as if they don't read?  What's the appeal of porn?  Whatever happened to writing with a brain?  Why does it sound like a monkey dancing on a typewriter could do better?  How can something so mediocre, so average, so boring, so predictable, so badly written, so thoughtless, get so much attention?  Why is it when you do something different, it's never appreciated at all?  And why is it, when you do your best, your best is never enough?

So, why do I even try at all?

I have always been the epitome of an "outcast among outcasts" when it comes to fandom:  When I started, there was no internet.  The term "fanfiction" didn't exist yet. It was, instead, known by the scholastic term of "pastiche."  The word "pastiche" is defined as "a creative work, whether literary, pictorial, musical, or architectural, that closely imitates the work or style of another artist."  I was part of scions of the Sherlock Holmes literary and scholastic circles, so my perspective of "fandom" (which, too, was a word that didn't exist at the time) was completely different.  There were no prepubescent and/or teenage crowds of "fangirls" or "fanboys" that we know of today blocking the way.  My competitors were university professors, research historians, literary scholars, published essayists, professional writers, avid collectors, learned hobbyists, even members from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate itself — and I had laudable hopes to be a would-be "gentlewoman and scholar" and still do:  I have had a few articles, essays, and a pastiche or two published in a few Sherlockian magazines.  Of course, this was back when people regularly read books, then came the internet and everything changed in such a brief amount of time that I'm still playing catch up to this day.

Nowadays, the term of "fandom" both frustrates and disgusts me.  I have never been the "conformist" because I could never tolerate being part of the "public standard."  I always find myself wanting to do something the average fan-writer would never ever do.  I'm not interested in the most popular fandom, nor am I interested in the most popular pairing.  All I truly desire is to tell a good story with good characters, but I have learnt, in observation, that the general audience, the average reader, doesn't care for that:  If you give people something different, all they want is something commonplace.  People ask for treasure when, in reality, they want trash. The world doesn't like anything unique or unusual because the world prefers conformity, and that is why they push the unconventional and the unorthodox aside and keep them out of sight.  That, of course, hurts someone like me.  In my heart and soul, I know that I shouldn't care what the masses think and want, that I should write as I feel I should, but it doesn't hurt any less.  You try and try that uphill climb and you find that you didn't make a wink of difference, that no one really cares, in the end.

I feel that an artist, whether a painter, animator, actor, photographer, or writer, has the responsibility to reflect the culture that you're in and to give back to that culture in some way, that they should have purpose in what they do.  There's always reason to express oneself, to say something, and mean it.  There's always a story to tell.  People may say there are no more new ideas, that everything under the sun and moon that can be said has been said, but I don't think that's exactly true.  If there's such things as new characters, then there can always be new stories, and there can always be new ways to write them, incorporate them, and express them.  One can even take an old idea, something that hasn't been done in awhile, and make it appear new.  There are people out there who talk and say nothing, then there are people talk and say something.  There's always a message, a moral, or a reason, and a purpose to say and express something, whether people are receptive of it or not.

But what do you do when your best simply isn't enough?  Some people slide through, do half the work, and get all the credit.  Other people, those whom give it their all, get no credit at all.  I strive, push, challenge myself to write do best I can with the time I have.  I labour intensively over every paragraph, every sentence, every word, with a jaunting eye.  I research extensively, knowing that a meager 10% of it appears onto the page, but I do it all the same.  I enjoy bringing meaning, metaphor, pathos, subtlety, sophistication, subtext, intelligence, characterization, conflict, maturity, uniqueness, and a sense of realism into everything I do.  As someone who writes the language that brought us Milton and Shakespeare, Orwell and Hemingway, Browning and Yeats, I feel obligated to bring literature into my work and that it's necessary make use of proper grammar and correct spelling because of my love for literature.  I love the power of vocabulary.  I love the music of monologues.  I love the beauty of soliloquies.  I love the command of speeches.  I love the emotion of oaths.  I love the wisdom of words.

But that doesn't mean I can't make bad decisions when it comes to those words.  I'm liable to them, like every other living being is, and fully capable of failure and pay for the subsequent price that comes with them by using words incorrectly.  Because writing requires talent.  It is a vernacular mastery, an indicative discipline, of definition, spelling, grammar, structure, style, space, sound, rhythm, rhetoric, balance, form, function, composition, conversation, design, knowledge, imagination, and artistry.  A writer is no mere wordsmith:  We are craftsmen.  We are artists no different than Botticelli with a brush, Michelangelo with a chisel, or Beethoven with a piano.

To this day, I still refer my fan-written stories as "pastiche."  To me, there's a divide between what is "pastiche" and what is "fanfiction":  "Pastiches" is a subtype of "fanfiction" that clearly imitates the style, the ideas, and the characters of the original work.  It is where one is faithful and respectful to its "canon" (or the original source material), expanding upon it rather than altering it into something it is not.  It's like asking me to change something that's already perfect:  I don't have the heart to remove a sentence from Hamlet's monologue.  I don't have the heart to remove a measure from Mozart's Requiem.  I don't have the heart to remove the smile from the Mona Lisa's face.  I don't have the heart to remove a gargoyle from the Notre-Dame de Paris.  I don't have the heart to remove a single frame from Casablanca, or a single hair from Chaplin's false moustache.  Because for me, it's perfect as it is.  I love it just as it is.  It is art at its finest!  I may not be able to equal that perfection, not even close, but I can try my damnest:

Behold, this is my pastiche:  This is a my tribute to art for art's sake, and that pastiche can be done well, will be done well to the best of my abilities, and allow me to demonstrate to you that well-thought, well-meaning, well-written, well-done "pastiches" can, indeed, exist and do exist, if one can just look in the right places.  And, contrary to what people may say, staying "canonical" neither hinders or hampers the creative process.  In fact, it takes more creative effort and more cerebral thought to be able to bend the rules rather than break them, to be able to think outside the box rather than break the box.  I admit it is difficult but the rewards, I feel, are greater.  But I don't write this way simply because I can.  I write this way simply because I must.  I write this way simply because I'm compelled to.

And yet I am a pragmatist, through and through:  I never claim to be a good writer, but I'd like to consider myself to be a capable one.  I know I never will be the best of the best, but I know can be the best I can be and I know I will constantly push myself to be better than I am.  Perhaps it's vanity.  Perhaps it's the aesthete inside me.  I'm uncertain what it is.  But I'm not after fame or fortune.  I don't want special treatment, nor am I asking for it.  As nice as it would be, I don't write for profit.  I simply would like to know if there's an audience for my type of work.  I'd like to know if people like it.  I'd like to know if my best was (and is) good enough.  However, you write and write and write and write, but you are never read, so what's the point of writing at all?  You never get any comments, you never get any favourites, you never get any reviews, and when you do, they're never helpful, so why publish them at all?  You ask for critiques and never get them, so why ask at all?  Because quitting isn't an option.

To achieve any sort of acknowledgment or recognition, you have to pander to the public, you have to beg and hustle, you have to yield to conformity, follow the fashions, and submit to natural order of the planet.  You have to demoralize yourself.  You have to lower your standards.  You have to grit your teeth and smile, bare down and tolerate the humiliation, in order to get what you want.  Because people don't want class or sophistication.  They don't want intricate plotlines of structural climaxes and sociopolitical intrigue, nor do they want complex characters with emotional pathos and moral conflict, nor stories that take risks, challenge philosophies, and ask the questions that have no easy answers.  That takes effort.  It takes energy and thought. They want a button of instant gratification.

And, sadly, I can do none of this...

There's a drive inside me that forces me to create, visually and literarily, that cannot be stopped and cannot be hindered.  Because I have a voice, damnit, and I'd like to know if it was heard, I'd like to know if I made a difference, and I'd like to know if people agree with it or disagree with it.  I will not feel guilt in what I say because what I say I say with conviction:  I will not safeguard my words, nor will censor them (even when people have tried and, oh, have they tried).  I will not, nor will I ever, play it safe.  I will not appease the masses by changing my ways because I am so set in them that I know no other way to express myself — not anyone else's way, but my own way — and I will not pander to the masses because it would be indignant of my nature to do so.  The world will never change because I'm too far outside the confines of the box to change with it.  I will not dull the senses by idealizing or romanticizing them, but simply tell you as it is, just the way I see it, by showing you every crack, every scar, every blemish, every smell, every stench, every thought, every deed, with as many words or as few words I deem fit, and leave to it to the reader to feel attraction or feel repulsion to them, and I would be happy with either because that reader reacted.  It doesn't matter if the reaction was good or bad, moral or immoral, right or wrong, it's still a reaction and my words that caused that.  I have learnt that I cater to a very small, but intimate, interest group — and that kind of immortal acceptance from fans is something I will never achieve because I've never been, and never will be, the typical fan myself.  Nothing creative would generate from me if I weren't anything but myself.  It's better for me to say than I tried to be different and unique, just as I am, and did my best than subjugate myself for being the same as everyone else with the least amount of effort.  I will not be bullied by Philistines and Babbitts!

I am cursed to toil away in obscurity for all eternity and that the amount of work I put in does not equal (and will never equal) the amount an audience will give in return.  I am grateful with what praise I have accumulated, what little I have, in my lifetime and I accept that, even in death, that I will never achieve greatness because that is simply how the world functions.  Such is life.  It's a vicious Sisyphean cycle of write, rinse, release, rant, headdesk, and repeat.  So, I will always make it a habit to thank everyone who reads anything I do because, in the end, recognition does not come from talent, but dumb luck.  If failure is the only option, then I will be safe in the knowledge that I, at least, tried and that I failed well — and failed my own way...
"Fandom: The thorn in my backside, the bane of my existence..."

I originally this essay-like article on my journal back in 2010. I re-edited it and expanded it, as the subject has come back to bite me again. Second edition rewrite was published in 2012. Third edition rewrite, expanding it yet again, was published in 2013.

© Diane N. Tran
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:icon118519:
I feel your pain my friend, though I don't think I could have expressed it so tactfully and without expletives like you have here. With that being said your argument is very valid, but I want more! I love the amount of detail and effort you put into your work, and while this certainly isn't lacking in its message, I feel so much more could be said. The fanfiction community has formed its own (admittedly awful and redundant) writing style, the same phrases and scenes repeated over and over, but why is that? Why do you feel these often young writers 'learn' from one another instead of actual good published (or ones like yourself who are unpublished) authors? I think there is a place for authors like you, and it's in comics. I love collections of stories based in a single universe, but done by different authors! "the Sandman: Book of Dreams" being an example from my personal collection, or, love it or hate it, Before Watchmen, and what it's set out to do. I think there's a place for you in there, writing truly wonderful stories and working with these characters in a way these fans don't even seem to fathom.
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:iconjean-marie-arouet:
You have so elegantly captured a kind of distress across the community. I have to make a disclaimer. I am a fan of Tranamation and have been one for a while. However without going into details I routinely take off the brakes.
What do people want if we take a cross section %75 and they are the kind of idiot who sticks peas up their nostrils it is an old warning by mothers.
Abraham Lincolns speech at Gettysburg taps my core every time I read it. He of course was panned by enough of the public to record the reaction. I believe Lincoln was satisfied by the speech. We do it for ourselves. Salvador Dali Served up the pap and kitsch which brings in a lot of people who witlessly defend him
There was Miro, Ernst, Duchamps, Breton and so many others just Miro's tea cup and teaspoon covered in fur just grabbed something primitive and hit me in the face. Take Apollonaire one of the most important figures in Surrealisme is bound to be unknown in this country except for those strange few who create. I do not see everyone as an equal. I am not a fan of the proletariat, they did monstrous things to Russia.
Instant gratification, news spewed out which is unbalanced. The false sense of mastery of the world brought to you by the internet. When I started my career in computing, Mosaic was the tool to use on the net. I picked up an experiment indesign producing code. symmetry. About two weeks later I received a genuine inquiry regarding their work.
Yes! taking a chance is more than most will ever do. Taking a chance distinguishes the banal from those of us tortured by knowing they are good and not great. Have you heard of "The Road Less Travelled" by Robert Frost.
One last point is the Invitation to the dance and to dance is involved but the follow me of Nietzsche in the "Invitation to the Voyage" It is a great invitation to reach to soar, and to join him because he was lonely. It is not failure just not the success you wanted. You may not be a great author, I will never again say that to someone. It causes unnecessary torture. However you were able to dance and can do so still.
Scholastically, I help preserve a record of the past. You create however well. To let the mind soar is something I cannot live without.

My indentation is flaky but I wanted to pour this from my head Don't feel to badly the base nature of humanity can glimpse it briefly. I think they call it a miracle.

Dansez, dansez avec moi. Je vous donnais le/a main.
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Sonic1234567891 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Namaste :iconbowplz:
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thank you. :bow:
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Slashphoto Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
While I agree with you on most points, you are forgetting the crux of your own argument. Fanfiction is exactly that, it never will be anything else. Our sources tend to be more twenty first century and pop cultural, not classic works, and there really isn't any way to jam classic authors into some fanfictions without looking overly educated and pompous.

Don't bristle, I'm talking about fanfiction here, not pastiche. If I write about, for example Freddy Krueger I have either the severely limited cannon of books or films to go with. Other fanfiction helps fill in the gaps, shows me what has been done, how far people take things and the reception it gets.

Admittedly, yes, a lot of fanfiction can get overtly sexual, but I've lived through it with Star Trek and find it amusing. Most erotica doesn't have a plot in the first place or if it does the only reason is to lead to more erotica. But fanfiction writers do what is popular most often, so don't blame them.

I think you're failing to grasp the fact that most writers don't have your education or way with words. Then trying to match you would be a train wreck of confused phrases and convoluted plots that collapse somewhere in the middle.

But to fanfictions defense: at it's best it does expand characters, it lets them grow. They pick up mannerisms and hobbies that that writer sees as apt, because we all have our own version of a given character in our heads.

My Sherlock Holmes is not going to look, move and speak like yours, based on the same cannon or not. His thoughts would be different, little idiosyncrasies that seem to suit him to me, would no doubt displease you, and vice versa.

Fanfiction often has the unspoken motto of giving other writers a good leaving alone when we dislike what they have done. I'll admit in my time I've gone over the edge of human decency, but I think it comes from being bored and forcing a story.

I'd say a great many of us do research, but we often have to man our own helms when it comes to activities such as shipping and slash fiction, two things you clearly aren't a fan of. But please don't think we are all undereducated because we have a looser style or don't stick strictly to the cannon at times. Fanfiction after all, exists to please the fans, to fill in the gaps or answer the "what ifs".

As long as my characters come out sounding and looking somewhat like the original, with exceptions being made for leaving the cannon behind and striking out for new territory I'm happy. I'm never going to please the majority of readers either, but as long as you and I are both sure we put our best efforts forward I think that's what matters.

Now if you'll kindly excuse me, I must go write something to terrify the literati with.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I can't help treat writing the way a character actor would with any role. For example, Peter Lorre: In CASABLANCA, he had three scenes, two that were some important, but really the character of Ugarte was pretty much a walk-on role. The character saunters in, sits down, says a few lines, gives Bogart a letter, gets shot, and dies, consisting of about a scant four-and-half minutes of screen-time. That's it. To everyone else, it's role is flippant, almost inconsequential. But Lorre plays that role as if it was King Lear!

I don't expect others to treat "fanfiction" as I do with "pastiche." I don't except others treat characters they way I do. This is simply how I myself treat it and I know there are others that do this, but they are so few and so far between and I wonder about a few things: Is there an audience for what I do? Are there people who can appreciate what I do? And, in the end, is all that effort worth all the trouble?

I don't need it to be exact, I'm not trying to be pompous, I just want something good, something fun, something unique, something thoughtful, something written well. I just want to know...that I'm not alone.
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Slashphoto Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You are never alone! I don't even HAVE a readership, I write for the pure joy of writing. That is BTW one of my favorite scenes Peter Lorre ever did. I'm just trying to say most fanfic is apples and oranges when compared to pastiche. I, at least, tend to pick subjects not know for sounding that wise anyhow (the best Freddy will ever do with Shakespeare is use it as a one-liner) so I'm guessing the need for exactness isn't quite the same for me.

I do want him to sound perfect of course, but I know the moment I leave the films or novels behind he is no longer what he was and is my own creation. I'm thinking if there was ever actual romance outside of fanfic for him the world would end, for an example. I got so disgusted with my own work and lack of readership the whole kit and kaboodle got torn down, so I can hardly give advice.

But then I know writing makes me happy, even if I'm not that good at it, so now I just do it. You're a wonderful writer and very talented, don't worry about a readership. We are after all, writers on an artistic site, and our tenure here is nebulous at best. I am posting a response, a nice one, in defense of Valduggery of all things, so you've given me food for though. Much obliged! :)
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I love Lorre's Ugarte, too! There's that old saying: "There are no small roles, only small actors." I feel that applies to any sort of artisan, if they be a painter, actor, photographer, writer, etc. While Freddy may be the creep down the street -- and, essentially, yes, that is what he is (and, of course, that's like saying Hamlet is a spoiled brat from Denmark because, yeah, that's essentially what he is, too) -- I can't help but treat Freddy like a romantic lead. Now, I'm not going to dull his blades in any sort of way. Oh, no, I'm going to show you every crack in every corner, every pus-filled, festering, skin-flapping, black-burnt little scab on his face, every foul, filthy, unsettling, pornographic, crazy-ass thought rattling around in his skull: I'm just going to tell you how he is, the way I see him, and leave it up to the reader make their own conclusion to be either attracted to the character or be repelled by him, and I hope...that I can accomplish both. And yet, because of the power of words, you can, in fact, accomplish ALLLLLL of that in one line: Because that's the beauty of writing. You can say so much with so little, by just picking out the right words and slipping them into the right slots. And if I can accomplish that in one line, if it be short or long, loud or soft, I'd happy because I did my job and I did it well. No more, no less.

"You're in my world now, bitch" carries just about clout to me as "Now is the winter of our discontent." Because it says everything about Freddy in one line. You see? It can be done. And that's what it boils down to: The right words.

I am saddened that happened to you with your stories and that the fandom drove you off. Honestly, it's done that to me, too. I did have a tantrum and quit a fandom, but I never stopped creating. I just on quietly beat my own drum and did things my own way. Once in a while, I throw the scraps of it out to see it gets a nibble. Sometimes, I do; usually, I don't, but it didn't stop me because quitting isn't an option. Then I decided to come back and push out what I wrote, screaming from the rooftops, saying "This is my voice. Whether you choose to hear me or ignore, it doesn't matter anymore because I'm going to say it and say it from the rooftops, to hell with the audience." Then I get off the rooftop, ponder what I said, wonder if anyone did hear me, conclude that no one did, then wallow in self-depreciation, and I go off and keep writing again, and there I am...back on the rooftop. Rinse, headdesk, repeat. It's a vicious frustrating cycle. But...that's just how it is, I suppose.
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Slashphoto Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, as far as Freddy goes, I can always repost. I think the same thing happened to me that happened to Dario Argento. I had a personal loss as well, and looked back on my past work in repulsion. How could I write something so vile and disgusting?

But the truth is my Elizabeth will always be my dark side, getting to say and do things I find morally repulsive. Personally, I blame a book I once skimmed about letting your darkest desires out on the open page.

I noticed with my Valkyrie it came out too, but that is OK; she is supposed to be brutal. My main problem is I grew up reading to much Wells, Doyle, Poe and the like. The level of violence, and other nasty things I prefer makes me more fit for the company of Springheeled Jack or Jack the Ripper, not proper gents like the writers above.

OK, Poe was a drunken sot, but still... I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that A) I'm an adult and can write however I please and B) my style is just a lot darker than other writers. I don't mean The Sorrows of Young Werther dark, I don't want folks committing suicide over it, but dark.

I love how you think, by the way. I've always gave Freddy credence for being more than a mindless killing machine. The line about Hamlet being a spoiled brat was priceless, and I suppose a bit true.

You are also right in that we do have to give our readership the benefit of the doubt and let them draw their own conclusions. I can repost everything but chapter one that somehow went to writer's Nirvana without me.

Honestly I haven't commented on your writing too often because the intelligentsia shows up and I feel awkward at best. That I have to double check my spelling on a word like intelligentsia tells you all you need to know about my paltry writing abilities.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Filmographer
My feelings of Argento aside, as I find him overrated, you should not fear your dark side. We all have demons and it's to channel them out, to release them, constructively without harming yourself or others (for, more often than not, bottling them up may cause greater harm than good). Because, in the end, it is fiction. It is fantasy. It is imagination. It is make-believe. Fiction, however you define it, is nothing compared to the horrors of the real life in the real world. That is a far scarier a thing than fiction can ever be. Imagining a murder is far, far cry from seeing a REAL one in action. Describing a burn victim is far, far cry from meeting real one. I have friends who are police officers. They've seen real murders, seen real bodies, met real serial killers and pedophiles, listened to the victims' and witnesses' first-hand accounts, seen evidence and records of the actual acts, and I assure you...Freddy is an ant compared what real people are capable of. Because fiction is infantile in comparison: Fiction will never, ever, affect you the same way as reality.

Actually, I'm an amateur Ripperologist, even written a few essays on the subject and a few fictional works as well. Three of those got published. I like SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER; people were more sensitive then. It's dark, but not THAT dark. I felt melancholy when I read it, but it didn't make me want to hang myself or anything, although I can probably point to a few directions if you want to feel that way.

Nevertheless, I'm glad you went to re-post your stories. I'll have to read them and give you a review or two if I ever get the time. I recall glancing through a few, but I have no memory of them now and, wanting to go back to full-on read, but never got around to it. I know...I'm awful, sorry. I'll make it up to you.

Yes, we do give our readership the benefit of the doubt. If you write intelligently, you audience treat your audience intelligently as a result, at least...you have hope that they are; if you write idiotically, your audiences will be just that of idiots, too; and so on and so forth. Also, I never saw Freddy as mindless killing machine. He never came off that way to me. I would have no interest in the character if I didn't believe he was MORE than the sum of his parts. I think if Freddy was given to lesser actors; I would have glossed by Freddy, but both Englund and Haley gave the character such pathos, so many layers, so many questions that felt like they needed answers, that couldn't help but be fascinated by him.

My recommendation on being a better writer: Read more than you write. If you want to be a better writer, learn it from the best: Read the best works, learn from the best writers, research why they are considered the best, where their inspiration came from, understand the writers and their processes, read analytical essays by learning HOW is works. And also learn from the worst: Understand and analyze why it doesn't work, learn from their mistakes (even the best of writers made mistakes), figure out why they're considered mistakes, and how to fix those mistakes if they should arise. Devour everything! Don't be one of those writers who don't read and don't understand what they read: Just like don't be a mechanic if you don't know how to use the available tools or understand the function of the parts and expect that you can build an entire Ferrari in a week. Art, sadly, just doesn't work that way...
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Slashphoto Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the good advice. Did I say dark? In editing I realized I should have said 'full of props I don't need'. The trick is gutting out the props and rebuilding in a way that makes sense, more or less. I'm rather ashamed I stooped to so much vulgarity, but it was a dark time for me, so I forgive myself.

I can see WHY it had so many props because I needed them at the time, the story being something I used to combat a foe I could not win against. So of course it was dark, brutish and ugly. And my, the profanity and blatant sexuality. But I was having a bad decade.

So it is an almost total rewrite. Which is good because I get to see how my mind worked then and how it works now. But back to your missive. I adore some Argento. Opera uncut was a masterpiece. But then so was The Beyond with those sneaky Fulci zombies.

I kind of laughed at Sorrows since I have no sympathy with people who choose to suffer. I know that sounds cold, but most women reach a point where the angsty type does not do anything for us. A rather poor joke had the punchline of handing the suicide the gun. I think you had to have gone through the darkness yourself to learn to come out the outside laughing. Hopefully not like Mark Hamill's Joker.

Keep in mind that's in fiction. I read all the time, and I suppose I flatter myself by saying I understand what I read. I do have a nifty B.A. in Creative Writing, so I am a writer by trade. Though I have bad habits I know are wrong because I tend to write terse conversations and sometimes commit the cardinal sin of not starting a new paragraph for three or four spoken words when maybe I should.

But I studied so many style I'm now more or less freebasing off MLA if that makes any sense. I let you go and ponder why it is that a writer like me who despises romance as soft-headed mush has so much of it showing up in her work. I shame myself sometimes.

Emotions and love... I figure I've run a story aground when I stoop to love or romance. I see them as weaknesses for me as a writer and expect my characters not to need them, ever. So if you do ever drop by and notice the romance, please kindly ignore it.

Soon I'll be back to my old mercenary self, I'm sure of it.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah, you said "dark" -- "dark" isn't a bad word, but it's a vague one, ehehehe! We all have are dark times. I had mine. Then, again, I may never have left that darkness, but I still exists within me. These dark thoughts may be just a part of me and I may have simply matured enough be more appreciative of them: That I have better control over them rather than have those thoughts control me because I have found ways to express them and use them constructively rather than destructively.

Oh, I apologize, I wasn't aware that you had a BA in Creative Writing: I must sound like a Energizer Bunny of Blatherskite Bayou. You know...you really have to stop me because I'm an insuppressible prattler. I'm sure everything I say dourly nonsensical. I'm sure you're just nodding and smiling because I'm such a preposterous creature and, admittedly, I am. I'm a ranter, a prancer, and a loon. I don't think there's a word for what I am other than: lsdnsovnnvvouevsvjseivnsspsdfifsojvsoievjdiejgmsv-hahhahahaha-moo! Yeeeaah, I think that's an apt description of me... ;p

"I studied so many style I'm now more or less freebasing off MLA"... Oh, I completely relate to that, actually. My style is ever-changing: It all depends on the story, the situation, the world, its characters, its time period, just numerous array of factors and factoids play a part in everything I write.

But when it comes to romance, I'm...fickle. I firmly consider myself a hopeless romantic, but I'm an atypical one at best: I scoff at stupidity of Romeo and Juliet, sneer in contempt over Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, scratch my head in confusion over by Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsen, fling feces at the TV when Eliza Doolittle returns to Henry Higgins, root for the awesomeness of Benedick and Beatrice, squee at sweetness of Harold and Maude, bawl at the perfection that is Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, awe at the reunion of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, sob uncontrollably over the kiss between John Thornton and Margaret Hale, clutch my heart dramatically at the simplicity of Hannibal Lector's action of sweeping his finger against Agent Starling's when he gives her the case file, brofist at the sacrifice of Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund when they depart, and weep over the indescribable emotions of Charlie Chaplin's smile when the Blind Girl "sees" the Gentleman Tramp for first time.
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DoraTheScribe Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There are those that look for originality in art. There are those that just want to put their, well, mental masturbation (can't think of a better way to state it) on paper, and share with others who have the same thoughts. It's difficult for trail blazers to see they are appreciated when it's the muck that's appreciated, instead of the drive, and the person, that cut through it for something better.

I've never claimed to be a good writer. But I write. I write for myself, if nothing else, because it's my way of expressing myself. It's my creative streak let loose through words. I try to rise above the typical plot, above removing character traits that aren't flattering. I also don't get a lot of hits/views/comments on my work. I wondered for a long time if I should just stop. But I won't. I can't.

It's hard to keep that drive going when you see the muck being favored instead. But giving up isn't an option. It's just not. Keep doing what you're doing. All that work can't be for nothing, right?
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I can't help treat writing the way a character actor would with any role. For example, Peter Lorre: In CASABLANCA, he had three scenes, two that were some important, but really the character of Ugarte was pretty much a walk-on role. The character saunters in, sits down, says a few lines, gives Bogart a letter, gets shot, and dies, consisting of about a scant four-and-half minutes of screen-time. That's it. To everyone else, it's role is flippant, almost inconsequential. But Lorre plays that role as if it was King Lear!

I, too, don't claim to be a good writer, but I'm like to think I'm (at least) a capable one. I don't expect others to treat "fanfiction" as I do with "pastiche." I don't except others treat characters they way I do. This is simply how I myself treat it and I know there are others that do this, but they are so few and so far between and I wonder about a few things: Is there an audience for what I do? Are there people who can appreciate what I do? And, in the end, is all that effort worth all the trouble?

I don't need it to be exact, I'm not trying to be pompous, I just want something good, something fun, something unique, something thoughtful, something written well. I just want to know...that I'm not alone.
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GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sigh... I understand what you are saying here. Don't worry, your not alone. While I don't know many, there are people out there who try to write accurately like you!
While I am a "fangirl'" in one sense of the word, whenever I write "fanfictions" I try to do my very best to make them seem like things the characters would actually do or say. I find it sad, and annoying, when people take characters that I know and love and change them practically beyond recognition simply to satisfy their lust.
Now I feel like I need to read more of you work, I feel guilty for not showing love and support for one of my fellow deviants who tries to write accurately.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I can't help treat writing the way a character actor would with any role. For example, Vincent Price: In EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, the character he plays doesn't even have a name beyond "the inventor": He has a few scenes, most of them silent, and you count the amount of lines he has on one hand, and his screen-time barely consisted of four minutes in total. To everyone else, it's role seems flippant, almost inconsequential. But Price plays that role as if it was King Lear!

I don't claim to be a good writer, but I'm like to think I'm (at least) a capable one. I don't expect others to treat "fanfiction" as I do with "pastiche." I don't except others treat characters they way I do. This is simply how I myself treat it and I know there are others that do this, but they are so few and so far between and I wonder about a few things: Is there an audience for what I do? Are there people who can appreciate what I do? And, in the end, is all that effort worth all the trouble?

I don't need it to be exact, I'm not trying to be pompous, I just want something good, something fun, something unique, something thoughtful, something written well. I just want to know...that I'm not alone.
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:icongoodoldbaz:
GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you are not alone! :hug: and the first moment I have time I am going to read some of your GMD work and tell you what I think.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Awwwwwwwwww, thanks. ;huggle:
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GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
sure thing, darling!
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Dibsthe1 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Can I ever relate to this! As you can tell, I'm in the Zim fandom, and while the show itself offers no end of potential for speculation on just about anything, 90% of the fanart and fanfics focus on wildly improbable romance (?!!!) between the series's two archenemies. Several times I've been so disgusted with the soft-core (and sometimes not so soft-core) porn the self-described "fans" unrelentingly dump here, I would leave for weeks at at time to post fanfics on fanfiction.net, and when the smut over there got old, I would return here.

As has already been suggested, I think part of it is the age of most of the members. The other thing is that sex itself is addictive, and that includes talking about it and looking up smutty images. Also, there's the fact that it is all too easy to understand. :brainless:
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's noticed this and is equally weary of it, too. Mainstream fanfiction holds little appeal to me because 98% of it is badly written. It's that 2% -- the handful of the most unique, well-written, well-researched, thoughtful, learned writers -- that reels me in. They're difficult to find, but they are out there (and I'd like to think of myself included), but they usually never get the credit they deserve, which always saddens me. Is it really so difficult to ask for MATURELY WRITTEN stories by MATURE writers? Apparently so. Le sigh.
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:icondibsthe1:
Dibsthe1 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Unfortunately, the word "mature" means only one thing to most people. :bleh:

It is out there, so when we find a person of like mind, especially in the same fandom, it's enough to make us fall to our knees and thank the Universe.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Professional Filmographer
True on both accounts. Le sigh.
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:iconkerroxine:
Kerroxine Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
I like your way of writing and I am probably going to read more of your works; but there is something undeniably 'attractive' about mainstream fanfiction (hey, as long as it has proper grammar, I'll read it); It's free, there are a thousand ways to transform a fandom and it's nice for a leisurely read after a long day.

I like reading serious works of (fan)fiction when I have free time, when I'm not stressed, during weekend or holidays and honestly, that happens seldom....
But I do try my best to catch-up with the more intellectual side of literature during summer and winter holidays, and I'll make sure to include your works.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Awww, thank you! I have a very "old skool" style of writing. Much of it is influenced by classical literature rather than modern literature, like Conan Doyle, Dickens, Wilde, Milton, Shakespeare, etc. I think it's rather obvious when you read it. I'm notorious love for long sentences, giant paragraphs, wordy descriptives, and chewing out my thesaurus. :XD:

Mainstream fanfiction holds little appeal to me because 98% of it is badly written. It's that 2% -- the handful of the most unique, well-written, well-thought writers -- that reels me in. They're difficult to find, but they are out there. They usually never get the credit they deserve, which always saddens me.

Please do. You can see my "complete" literary works here. Love to hear any opinions: [link]
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:iconkerroxine:
Kerroxine Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
I completely understand what you mean by long sentences and giant paragraphs; although I don't write very often,that's my style of writing as well. :D

Yeah, I understand what you're saying, those 2% are jewels of the fanfiction world, they're written by authors who have real potential, and who have enough imagination to twist and re-invent an already existing fandom. And you're right about the fact that they usually don't get the credit or attention they should be getting; they're shadowed by the 'cheap porn' genre, which consists of the author (a teenage girl, usually between the ages of 13 and 16)writing a first POV fic where the main character (usually an OC) gets ravished by the author's favorite male character.

Have you ever tried to read an original 'Supernatural' (or any Tv show based) fic? I still haven't found any that deviate from the TV shows. I mean, come on! How hard can it be to invent a new monster, or at least twist the episode a bit? Apparently, it's impossible; honestly, it's like re-watching the show all over again even the dialogue is the same...

Thank you for linking me your gallery (or library xD), I'll make sure to check it out!
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Jean-Marie-Arouet Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
One last thing, you may know this but, Jean IS a mans name.If it is followed by Female's name it is a Mans name,

Tant pis No that is not urine
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Actually, I am very well aware of that, yes. No worries. :XD:
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:iconjean-marie-arouet:
Jean-Marie-Arouet Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
I have left a brief message for you. I think it is time to focus on work to leave the world a smidge better than when I came into it.

Goos Luck,

WJM
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:iconjean-marie-arouet:
Jean-Marie-Arouet Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
I have no ulterior motives. I have no reason to miss represent myself. I am not sure why I get so much misstrust. Who knows, According to Ellie Wiesel person I should act my age. The sad thing about people my age is a loss of passion and indifference.Their was a man who said, " What is the opposite of beauty, art, good is indifference.
I feel like Don Quixote unwilling to give up.

I am doing nothing more than old crank to some people. Because of my appearance in a set of numbers on a profile, Machiavelli was on the ball by counseling princes, the subtext is find out what attracts people doing a bate and switch.

Respect, the two times I thought you deserved it I unmistakably showed respect. Why, because I do not want to be in a world where people of good conscience fail to say this calling, discipline, fine art is not deserving of recognition. So I am not being obsessed. Your work in spite of what you say about it your work has a spark and it is worth reading/viewing. I am not an easy person in an evaluation but of course if you put your work you put me down.

ça suffit

WJM
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shadowsofthought Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The artists harshest critic is themthe selves, I know this all too well; I try to write something meaningful and beyond great and I think I have with my biggest body of work but that biggest body of work is still lacking. I wish the internet wasn't the way it was but people never want anything new they just want the same old same old

I know for one thing that I enjoy your art, and I know I've been very silent on your writings and other things but I do try because I consider you a great artistic friend of mine. I would rather you live on the outside of the outcast than ever try to fit into them because you are too good to pander.

Think about this, the most hated writer in true literary circles now or days is Stephanie Meyer and yet she is at the same time popular, and that's because she gave the normal world what they wanted. And that happened to be Sparkly Vampires :shiver:

While a man like Gorge R.R Martin has toiled away for more over thirty decades and what did it take for him to finally come to the consciousness? TV. Hell one of the most outspoken men against the television didn't come to the forefront(Ray Bradbury) until some of his work was adapted. It's a struggle really do you give up on your morals and sell your soul or continue to toil away in obscurity and be grateful for what you have?

So I really do feel your pain, and offer you my shoulder or an ear if you ever need to vent.

As for the stuff on fandom? I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I think I'm cursed to toil away in obscurity for all eternity. I think, or at least I hope, my convictions are too high to sell out and pander to what's popular at the time or what I consider "low brow". I should be happy with that, but you can't help but feel unsatisfied because you're simply not getting the appreciation you feel you deserve. The amount of work you put in does not equal the amount the audience gives back. No one seems to care and it hurts; it really does. But that's life, isn't it?
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NikkiAgent Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
First of all do not despair! You have a genuine gift for writing and creation. Do not give up on that!

Secondly:
Where are you looking for fan fiction? There is some amazing stuff out there. I mean yes I agree with you, 90% of it is crap, but 90% of everything is crap. Sturgeon's Law holds in fandom as it does in many other things.

I can help you find some really quality stuff if you want.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I can find good fanfiction. Majority of them get many, many comments. I unfortunately don't get none of that.
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:iconlainwiththedevil:
lainwiththedevil Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
Favved. Unfortunately, there is a very simple reason why your stuff is not being appreciated, why the lowest erotica is being appreciated mainly, and why proper grammar, plot, and characterization, have not been realized:

This, my friend, is Deviantart. While there's loads of adults and professionals, and loads of prodigies who fit outside the box, there's mainly two kinds of people around here:

1. Uneducated 13-19 year old horny video-game playing kids with nothing better to do with their lives
2. Very educated 20-35 year old horny video game playing adults with REALLY nothing better to do with their lives!

And both groups, as you may know, are equally creepy.

I should know. I've been both of em'. :P

I just knew from the getgo unlike the vast majority of people on here that I terribly SUCK at drawing established franchises, and I shouldn't kid myself about it wasting my time, and probably would be better off at faking something 'good' because nobody had ever seen it before! And look how many fanclubs and money that drew to me!...wait...that didn't hook me anyone. Ah well.

Look man. The age old question, 'do I draw some stupid anthro pokemon-shaped gal in a bikini' for a cheap ten bucks, has haunted mankind since the days he slithered out of the slime pits of DNA. Mammoths puzzled upon it. Mastodons debated over it. Perhaps we will never know!

But know this, my good creature:

Be happy. Do what you enjoy. And don't give a fuck regardless.
You can always make money, and make lots of fake 'friends' by selling coke or your butt on the street too. It's easy! Download our special kit at a discount price! Send us your email for our free spam-mail consultation...

Otherwise, just keep on trucking and stick with the real people who matter to you. Because, well......they're the people who matter to you. Nuff said. Most of these DA dorkwads will just eventually mature and find better things to do, once they grow a little older and/or get jaded enough from having one too many actual sexual encounters with fellow real human beings, and will in turn develop actual critiquing skills and taste. Or maybe they will simply be hired by a furry fetisher's magazine. Who knows.

In a nutshell, if you want Art, if you want Quality, if you want classy sophisticated adults, go where the classy adults go: Conceptart.org. Or Heavy Metal magazine. Just kidding. ;) Hang in the bro-gal.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! I cannot help but do things my own way. If I tried to be false, it would be completely against my nature and it would just feel WRONG to me, so I just do my own thing and I simply have to be happy with that. No one will ever read it, or see it, but at least it came from me and I did my best. In the end, I suppose it counts for something.
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:iconlainwiththedevil:
lainwiththedevil Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
Do not fool yourself either thinking that these amateur's work while popular on here, is being remembered or immortalized in any way more than your own work. Many famous artists and professionals have a smaller fanbase on here than some cheesy anime and erotica commoners, and really, it comes down to being a deviant who socializes and puts heavy effort into the actual website's community- it is not merely pandering to the commonest low denominator. It is actively ensuring people from all over the net even SEE you and like you as a person. And if you do not have the energy or personality for that sort of achievement- which is not a bad thing in of itself-...that is acceptable too. Understand that you are not so much in a competition with better people than you or peple who may even lack the ability to enjoy plot and deep characterization, you are dealing with a community of youths with little awareness of what is OUT there yet. And you cannot expect the deviants to find you. They will not. It is not that they will not LOOK at you so much as just they are not LOOKING for you. And you have got to change that, if their viewership means this very much to you. It is just that simple.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Professional Filmographer
They certainly get a lot of attention, perhaps more than they deserve, and certainly more than I ever could get. I do my best to give something of high quality work. With all my work, I try that; it's the best way to improve yourself. I like to give a 100% as much as possible. I only wish that was appreciated more.
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:iconlainwiththedevil:
lainwiththedevil Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012
Like i said, if you wanna be more appreciated, what ya gotta do is actively participate better around here. They won't find you here. You want big numbers, you just gotta find THEM. Talk on forums. Go to people you admire with large viewership hit numbers, and offer them(and thereby others!) a link to your gallery/stories/personal website. Attend group chats, join clubs, offer commissions,enter contests...yknow. That sort of tiring thing. It's what it takes to basically get noticed around here. It doesn't require necessarily pandering to anybody, it just requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm for a heavy traffic internet social life. And some are not cut out for being interested in dealing with lots of strangers, some prefer the shadows, or stalking up a few particular close friends, that's fine. But you're not gonna attract a lot of fish, if you just swim round in the same pond. Though quite frankly, after having a good look at you, and your list of viewers, and stats, you have WAYYYYY WAYY WAY WAYYYYY WAYYY WAaaaaaaaaaaiguuuuuhhUHHHH WAY more people ever looking and enjoying your work and having a conversation on your wall about your stuff than mine ever has. And that's cool in my book. Just saying, yer not quite so alone there as you may think. ;)
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Personally, I think it's rather limited in amount of people who comment. Favs are pretty average. I get more with drawings than I ever do with written works, but that's to be expected here, but I don't necessarily like it. There are just days I can't help but go "Wonder what I'm doing wrong?"

I certainly add them to clubs and I do get new viewship that way. It's not much, but it's a start. I sadly don't have a lot of time to do chatrooms, contests, or commissions.
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:iconreyelene:
Reyelene Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
I feel your pain too. And this is not just in pastiche/fanfiction. I feel a similar pain at this electronics store with some of the customers I encounter. It's hard for me to place a clear example per se, but they'll ask me where a particular item is, most of the time an item I've never heard of. I tell them, "I will look it up in our system," they respond, "You can't just tell me!?" Well no, I can't because 1) this is an item I never knew existed to begin with, 2) NOBODY can instantly tell someone where an item is WITHOUT looking it up in a system, or looking for in one of the aisles, even someone who's an expert at customer service, and 3) it's just plain stupid for a buyer to expect "something for nothing" in anything, even to a response! And another little thing that irritates me is when a customer asks for something, you acknowledge the customer's need and you're very prompt with the time you take to do something, then you return and the customer disappears!

Now I'm just ranting on something that's totally off topic. Sorry about that.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Professional Filmographer
A lot of people seem to go by views. I don't. I got by comments. I like comments. I like to hear people's opinions on it; they help me know what an audience wants and expects from the story, what they like, or don't like, what I need to work on, what I should do more of. When I get none, I don't really know what to do, and I don't know if what I'm doing so far is right or wrong. It would help to hear something other than "MOOOOOOOOOOORRREEEE!"
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:iconreyelene:
Reyelene Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
"A lot of people seem to go by views ..." By that, do you mean by color or appearance?

Oh BTW, you have a misspelling in the first line. You said "I got by comments" instead of "I go by comments."
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Filmographer
You know what I meant... :hmm:
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:iconreyelene:
Reyelene Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
"Most people go by views ..." Hmm, I guess I'm on of those who go by views ... But not with everything. It depends on the situation with me.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Views don't tell me much. I'm sure most of them are people who got to the page by mistake.
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:iconreyelene:
Reyelene Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
Views entice my imagination more. I can look at something so mundane and suddenly a million ideas go through my head. Sometimes I'll go use public opinion too, but then I get disappointed because it kills the imagery in my mind ...
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Filmographer
But, at least, I know what they're thinking about the piece.
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LilyAquarius Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
Well, that summed up my feelings towards fandom in a way I couldn't. AWESOME! Its a little heart breaking and disillusioning when you see how ridiculous fandoms are.
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tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Sad but true.
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:icondarkangelicnightmare:
DarkAngelicNightmare Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely understand where you're coming from, and yet, feel like a hypocrite when I take a look at my own fandom stories.

It's a bittersweet support.
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Le sigh. It's true.
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