esmenet: Azula being awesome (azula: fantastic)
Theme is the most difficult aspect of writing to criticize, because with other things you can present examples, references, theories, &c., but with theme, essentially the only argument you have is I don't want the world to work like that.

Which is, I think, a totally valid objection! But it's very difficult to convince someone with. Which brings us to the second, tangentially related part of this post:

Dear writers-in-general: It is not okay to just magically reverse traumatic change after the appropriate angsting period has passed! That shit should be permanent, okay. --I don't mean that in a this-is-what-beginning-fantasy-writers do way, I mean that the things that come from traumatic change are things that characters should keep. Like, I just read a fic in which a character gets body-horror wings, and a bunch of stuff happens, and at the end he cuts them off and gives them away to somebody else, and the magic powers that went with the wings to a different somebody else. That is in-universe plausible, but it just doesn't ring right to me. At all. When you change in a big way, you don't get to just hand that off after you're done with whatever emotional growth you wanted, whether that change was physical or mental or whatever.

You become a monster, you stay a monster. Okay?
esmenet: Ty Lee holding Azula's hands in front of a circus tent (tyleezula4ever)
I can understand not being asexual. I can even sort of get my head around enjoying real-life romance. But apparently my limit of personal comprehension* is not being a lesbian. I have no idea what that's like! I can't imagine it! How do people not get ridiculously excited about ladies doing ALL THE THINGS? With each other? I want all my favorite female characters to run away and get married to each other and be happy, and I want to surround myself with excellent ladies both real and fictional and stay that way forever. I can't imagine wanting anything else.

This post is brought on by a) the exceedingly late hour and b) the following events: earlier this evening I was listening to Monstrous Regiment for the nth time, and re-re-realizing just how much I ship Polly/Maladict, and how much I ship that kind of pairing in general, and how much harder I ship any kind of pairing when both chatacters involved are female (and/or genderqueer). Then I read a bit of a fic about an m/m ship that hits all my dudeslash kinks, and in the middle of doing that I had a stray thought about ladyslash which sent me into a literal flailing fit of LADY FEELINGS and how much there need to be more ladies in everything, especially ridiculous epic love stories with big sprawling plots (which I suppose Monstrous Regiment sort of is, if you tilt your head and squint, but the fic I was reading was not). I know people probably get flailing DUDE FEELINGS moments, but I've never had them and just can't imagine having that intensity of feeling about something that doesn't contain any ladies. I get good happy feelings from my favorite dude characters and celebrities (Tyler Posey I am looking at you), but it's just not the same at all. The scale is totally different.

Also, sometimes I am reading/watching something about dudes doing dude things and having manpain and stuff I don't care about, and I literally say out loud "whatever, you're not even a lady." (Even if I'm not particularly invested in something, I feel more invested if there are female characters involved. If it's just male characters? Eh.)

Of course all of this is all bound up in my reactions to sexism & such, but I think it's fair to say a large part of my character and preferences in general are a direct or indirect reaction to sexism and related things, e.g. oh, girly-girls can't be serious? a) fuck you, I'll be as girly as I want, and b) fuck you, I don't have to be serious, there's not a law.



*Well, I also don't really understand being a dude, or not caring about clothes, but those are just some of those things other people are interested in that I am not. But I just genuinely do not grok not being All About The Ladies.
esmenet: Cutie Honey from Re: Cutie Honey in silhouette (cutie silhouette honey)
I don't know if I've framed it in these terms before, but one of the plots I am super in favor of are crossovers between dark serious fandoms and light happy bouncy fandoms, where rather than the light happy bouncy fandom characters being torn apart by wild beasts or otherwise being absorbed into the grimdarkness aura the grimdark characters suddenly start playing guitar together or something and everything turns out better than expected. Oh, you thought there was going to be a brutal final battle where everyone's favorite characters die? SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKER. GARDENING.


I hate that trope -- you know the one -- in grimdark shows where the girly-girl always dies, and the nice one always dies, and strength is based exclusively on how many people you can kill.* (*cough* Gantz *cough*) Fuck that. I want the nice characters to be the ones who keep themselves alive. I wanna see the big dark-and-gritty showdown that is just someone going up to the big bad and getting them to sit down and talk about their feelings. I want hard problems to have happy endings that are not based on violence.

Maybe this is just a reaction to the difficulty of writing dark-and-gritty/not-dark-and-gritty crossovers, idk. But for real, I just want happy crossover things where the happy fandoms suck the grimdark out of the gritty fandoms and suddenly everything is FLOWERS.


*Looking at myself now, I can see that I've sort of kept away from learning 'survival skills' on purpose, to prove I can get on well enough without being able to fight.
esmenet: pre-series Anthy, with swords (the princess cave)
Ugh, shark week. (My favorite euphemism!) )

I really hate it when sci-fi works have people blowing up planets. It's always just a device to show how evil the villain is and give one of the main characters some cheap pain. The authors don't seem to get how enormous of a tragedy that sort of thing should be—it's not just the people, it's the history, all those books and art and the old buildings everyone walked past a thousand times. I actually really hate it when anything big and important gets destroyed in fiction, because FUCK YOU I WANTED TO READ ABOUT THAT. All the things I love are the things that get blown up to prove a point. But planets are the worst, because they are all of those things at once and more than the sum of their parts, and their authors never, ever treat their loss with enough respect.

(The one exception, of course, is 'Graduate Vulcan For Fun And Profit', which is perfect in every (heartwrenching) way.)
esmenet: Kanae standing at a window (kanae)
Something I noticed today: recently, reading about young men laughing and talking and making plans makes me feel kind of nostalgic and sad, but reading about young women (or young women and young men) doing the same thing makes me feel confidant and cheerful.

This may be an aftereffect from re-reading Timely Errors,wherein a bunch of nice young men play cards and joke around, one of whom will grow up to torture another into insanity; that scene hits me super-hard in ways it didn't before, because now I connect card games to my cousins and close friends in some deep-down way that I didn't when I read that fic the first time. Though why that should carry over only to young men hanging out together and not any of the other things it might, I don't know.

What strange things brains are.
esmenet: A duel scene from Revolutionary Girl Utena (wakaba+utena)
I am in no way an expert on Shakespeare. I have watched perhaps five of his plays, and read another one or two. I have read an excellent book on them (which, sadly, I cannot at present recall the title of). But here is my opinion, which I for some reason feel the need to share.

I don't think they deserve all the acclaim they have been given.

Not half of it. They are not bad, aside from the standard issues (sexism, racism, ableism, etc) of the period; they are well-phrased, though by no means as well as any number of things I could link you to given half an hour's notice; they are fairly entertaining, but not overly so.

They do not move me as I must assume -- given the amount of passionate discussion I have seen -- they move other people. Not as  春雨 or Adonai or The Journey West or they shall have stars at elbow and foot  or Orhan Pamuk's books do. Perhaps this is because I am so used to novels and the closeness they give to the story and the character; plays are more distant, and I am still unused to that. Perhaps this is because I am so thoroughly modern and not good at dealing with things that aren't. Maybe I'm so jaded I just can't care very much about stories written for white men. Maybe I'm just not a fan.

I do not mean to diminish them. They are great stories; I simply do not think they are terribly good ones. And that's fine. Things don't have to be very good to be great! Look at Harry Potter. Look at Star Wars. Shakespeare's work has had such a huge effect on English -- and by extent Western -- literature and language and popular culture that you can't turn around without running into it. All the world's a stage, is this a knife I see before me, there are more things in heaven and earth. Its greatness is not in the works itself so much as the mark they have left upon the world, all the quotes and references and books written about them.

Like so many other things, I think the true grace of Shakespeare's plays is in their fandom.


(Linkspam thursdays will return eventually. Really.)

esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
You don't have to write about white people.

You don't have to write about Christian* people.

You don't have to write about rich people.

You don't have to write about straight people.

You don't have to write about young people.

You don't have to write about pretty people.

You don't have to write about cisgender people.

You don't have to write about just one person at a time.

You don't have to write about innately special (e.g., the best at some given thing, the last of their kind, that sort of thing) people.


You can, but you don't have to. And that's important.

*I tend to write about atheist/agnostic people, but again, that's me writing my own situation and beliefs onto characters.

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esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
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