FSOG Lyric Wheel Challenge

Two weeks ago I put out a challenge to my fanfic mates.  Some of them were stupid enough to take it up.  Hence the Inaugural FSOG Lyric Wheel Challenge was born.  We each sent song lyrics to each other.  We started with 14 participants.  These are the ones who were left standing at the end.  I’ve heard a rumor that a couple of others may still yet submit (pun intended).  If they do I will add them in.  The bloggers – many of them any way – have linked back here or are promoting the stories on their own blogs.  Please go and visit. Even if you don’t like fan fiction, these are nice people. Funny people. Talented people.  ENJOY!

The Rules

  1. The stories need to be between 2000-5000 words in length.
  2. There is to be no ‘they put the music on and started fucking’ stories. Sex as part of how the story develops is okay, but this cannot be one big sex-o-rama.
  3. There are no betas. We’re all in the same boat here.
  4. The time limit is 2 weeks from the publication of the mailing list on facebook.
  5. You can use any old FSoG characters you want. You must have at least one character from the story. The rest, ofc, omc, xover, doesn’t matter.
  6. YOU MUST USE ONE LINE FROM THE CHORUS OF YOUR SONG IN THE STORY! Dialogue, narrative, it doesn’t matter, as long as the character isn’t listening to or singing the song you’re writing about. That’d be cheating….

Check Out the Stories here…

Keep Calm: Read Twilight Fan Fiction

Today I read this post on Dear Author.com while searching for information on Twilight FanFic that has been published:

Nov 9 2012

Friday News: More Twilight fan fiction goes mainstream; Stanford introduces open source educational platform; Royal Society archives reveal more influential females in science

By Jane • Publishing News • • Tags: , , ,

‘Twilight’ Fanfiction Hit ‘The Office’ Gets Book Deal – Gallery has bought the Twilight fan fiction of Christina Hobbs (aka TBY789) and Lauren Billings (aka Lolashoes) called The Office. The story is Edward as the boss and Bella as his assistant. This will be published by Gallery in 2013 as “Beautiful Bastard” and “Beautiful Stranger”. Hollywood Reporter

It is also rumored that Tara Sue Me has a book deal for her trilogy, the BDSM version of Twilight that was written before 50 Shades was written by EL James.

Gallery and Atria have gone crazy buying self published and fan fiction work. Is this a gamble that will pay off?

Cyndy Aleo, an original critic of the P2P emailed me this:

I still think the ethics are the same. I haven’t changed my mind about my own fanfic, and have no intentions of shopping it. For us old-schoolers, the cardinal rule is “First, make no money.”

That being said, I think it’s pretty apparent that, at least for the Twilight fandom, there won’t be any legal action. Arguing about each successive big-name fic that gets published is like asking someone to shut the barn door after the barn’s been burned down. Fifty Shades of Grey pretty much burned down the barn.

The Twilight fandom was always referred to as a feral fandom — which I know was resented by the community — but its inability to follow fandom conventions has been made obvious here by the number of authors who have made quite a bit of money doing what those of us who came from other fandoms were taught was the ultimate fandom heresy: profiting off the work.

At this point, I think the culture has changed so significantly that fighting is the equivalent of sitting and yelling “Get off my lawn.” It’s happening. It will continue to happen unless the books stop selling. It’s easier for publishers to take a chance on authors who have an established fan base, like we are seeing with successful self-published novels. I think any new fandoms that sprout up will probably see the same thing happen; I mean we have already seen an RPF sell in the One Direction fandom, and that’s something based on real people. It’s not going to stop because hardliners disagree.

What I really think would be interesting to see at this point would be for a fic to sell from a fandom that’s been suppressed by the canon author — say, J.R. Ward or Diana Gabaldon. Stephenie Meyer was a fanfic author herself and was very supportive of her fandom. If a fic sold out of an unsupported fandom, would we see the legal issues finally brought to the table?

The discussion comments that followed were very interesting and yet somewhat inane. To the point where I wanted to ask:

Cos some of it is really good. But the argument continues that because it was done in the fanfic community, because it copies elements from the original, because the author should know better, suffer for their art, come up with something truly original, then it can’t be any good and you certainly shouldn’t buy it.

I think we have been living in a world of derivative creativity for a long, long time.  The internet has merely done what it always does and accelerates the process exponentially while simultaneously making it transparent but throughout history, there have always been master/apprentice relationships in every art form.

We learn from, mimic and then ultimately, if we have practiced and honed our skills enough, create something original. For the most part we replicate based on tried and true formulas hoping for an original edge. There will always be those who do it for love, those who aspire to fame, those who are motivated by money and might even make some. There will always be those who are paid by a benevolent patron or have their creativity sucked out of them by being locked into a corporate deal. It happens in all the arts. And every now and then there will be a moment of brilliance, often unrecognized – overshadowed by something that is poorly executed or worse mundane, that has found popular appeal and is being celebrated by the masses.  It is the old ‘high art v low art’ argument which brings with questions of ‘is it wrong to be popular’? Who defines ‘good’?  Is it ethical to make money off a derivative art work? Is there anything truly original?  Closely followed by who does this little upstart think he/she is – they didn’t follow the traditional pathway, stick to the rules, go to the right schools etc.

People will make up their own minds about the ethics and value of the thing. Make of it what you will.  There are those who say that artists in all forms and at all levels, these days are only after their 15 mins of fame. Everyone thinks they can be the next great [insert singer, dancer, author, artist, film maker here] from the comfort of their home computer and that this has detracted from great art. Well, yes there will be a lot of crap product but there will also be a few gems that will find both critical acclaim and wide popularity.

You could argue that a work of art, just like a house, will ultimately only be ‘worth’ what someone is willing to pay for it. How you feel about that will depend on a number of things, like whether you see art as a noun or a verb.  Is it a product or is it a process? If it is a product, then who gets to judge it? Should only the highly educated judge a thing’s value or does popular appeal account for something?  You could argue that a work should be judged on its own merits as the finest example of best practice.  But don’t the best innovations in arts come from those who understand the rules then break them? Or can you be innovative without knowing the rules?

Given that artistic merit might be accordingly defined as high subjective, should an artist always have their right to be called so, judged on the value or critique of their product?  Isn’t it that sort of judgement and critique that stops people in their tracks and sends potential artists running to their rooms to hide under their beds feeling like they aren’t good enough?  Ken Robinson talks about our education systems as ones which educate the creativity out of us.  That all children are born artists but the trick is believing that as you grow up.  I see art as a process that everyone should feel capable of taking part in. I refuse to believe that any person is not an artist, a musician, a dancer, a writer if that is what they want to call themselves. This is because I see these subjective constructs as verbs, ways of being, rather than objective nouns, an idea that I gleaned from Christopher Small’s theories of ‘musicking’.

I write therefore I am

I am not a ‘published’ fiction author but I have deliberately removed words like ‘aspiring’ or ’emergent’ from my bio because I don’t think that my right to call myself a writer or an author should rest on some corporatized ideal of the product I create.  Ask any musician, composer, author who has worked through the traditional channels of music or book publishing companies where the money goes and they will tell you that the publishers make their money first.  So I don’t judge myself as any sort of artist based on the idea that someone is buying my work – if we all did that then there would be almost no artists in the world. Fan Fic worlds might have been constructed for fans but they have become places where authors go to play and through their playing pay tribute.  The simmering debate on fanfic writers who are moving into publishing continues to position their published products in ways that seem a little pointless to me and which undermine the rights of the authors to call themselves such.

The ‘pull to publish’ culture may have been multiplied and magnified within the Twilight fandom but from what I have seen in my short time of living in the fan fic world is that fandoms are bizarre, slightly hormonal and wildly unpredictable spaces.  They can be the affinity spaces that James Gee wrote about but they are also demanding and all-consuming.  I have seen authors brought to their knees by the demands of the fans who want instant and constant updates on all stories.  Fans who will become quite feral when the fan fic author steps beyond some arbitrary boundary by daring to kill off a character or ‘ship characters in unorthodox ways.  Fans can be loyal and true (the saner ones) others will jump off a story and spin and kick you in the guts while they do it.  And that doesn’t even account for the trolls in fandom world who are just plain mean and stupid destructive forces of nature.

I am lucky as a writer of fan fic.  I don’t have a huge following on fanfic.net like some writers but I do get loyalty from my readers for which I am very grateful.  Even my worst reviews have been critiques that I felt I could learn from and respond to.  But that is not the case for a lot of writers in fanfic.  Now, I have little sympathy for the prolific writers who get 3000 reviews on every story and then focus on the one or two guest reviewers who slam them.  In most cases, there are other dynamics at work there that can be the topic of another blog topic. Let’s just say I’m not in a rush to turn my fanfic into something publishable.  Mostly because I have bills to pay so the rest of my life has to come first although it is amazing how quickly my writing has become an obsession through participation in the fanfic world.

However, to me it seems that the fan fic world exists more for the fans than for the writers.  If fan fic writers are doing all of this for love, to improve their skills and to celebrate a work that has touched their spirit in some way then the incessant rules around fan fic sites shouldn’t have to exist (and be consistently broken).   If this is the culture of the fandom then it is understandable that writers, who genuinely write to create something they themselves would like to read, but do so under the pressures of day jobs and real life responsibilities that mean their fan fic writing is snuck in at late hours, between paid gigs and under the radar of everyone they know lest they be criticized for even daring to write or be fans themselves, then can you blame them when they see the lure of publication and decide to take a bite. After all somebody should be paying them to take that shit!

Going Grey Chapter 16: Leave Out All The Rest

Chapter 16: Leave Out All The Rest … Read more here

“You’re just going to let him get away with that? No explanation?”

He’s your brother, you ask him.” I shrug and that is enough to have her all up in my face thumping her pointy digit in my chest.

“They. Are. Married.”

I grab hold of her finger and point mine at her chest. “I. Know.”

“Well…Don’t you care that your little sister shacked up with a man that she hardly knows and didn’t bother to tell you?”

You are being unreasonable because you’re upset and worried but this shit has to stop.” She turns her back on me in a huff. I place my hands carefully on her shoulders. She needs to know that I get this, I really do…but I’m not going to stay in the firing line. “Babe, the last I checked, they are both consenting adults and think about it. And how much shacking up have you seen them do in the past few weeks.”

She starts foot tapping? Seriously? Foot tapping?

Making Mia Chapter 7: Last Kiss

Chapter 7: Last Kiss …. Read More Here

Two nights before they had been alone in the boathouse; her lying in his arms as they kissed and touched. They never went beyond that, no matter how much she begged and for the first time she began to wonder if he had ever intended to sleep with her. She had believed him when he had whispered his love in the darkness of the wee small hours before they drifted off to sleep. But for a year they had not told anyone, not even their closest friends, that they were dating because the risks always seemed too great. The only people who knew were a select bunch of fellow students that they hung around with on campus and the agency who had eyes and ears everywhere. So now she had no one to tell and she didn’t know how to go about missing him when so few people knew he existed for her.

Why Can’t I Have A Real Life Christian Grey?

2013-02-23 11.45.33Do you ever go through your WordPress stats page and look at the search terms that people put in to find you?  Of course you do.  I do. This question came up recently as a search term for my blog and it got me thinking about the longing that might be behind the question.

On the same day – as fate often allows – a good facebook/fanfic friend posted this link.


My personal favorite:

8. Have a normal face
Staring at his lover in chapter 20, Christian Grey’s “eyes blaze with anger, need and pure unadulterated lust”.

Stand in front of a mirror. Have a go at that combination. Now, never make that face again. You look constipated.

After I had fallen about laughing at all the truisms that Victoria Coren brings up I wondered about the women out there who are looking for a real life Mr Grey and all the men who are now getting mixed messages about what is appropriate behavior when encountering the Grey-sessed.

Later that same day someone posted this story on facebook.

When I was 16, I hoped that one day I would have a boyfriend.

When I was 18, I got a boyfriend, but there was no passion. So I decided I needed a passionate guy with a zest for life.

In college I dated a passionate guy, but he was too emotional. Everything was an emergency, he was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide. So I decided I needed a guy with stability.

When I was 25, I found a very stable guy but he was boring. He was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a guy with some excitement.

When I was 28, I found an exciting guy, but I couldn’t keep up with him. He rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. He did mad, impetuous things and flirted with everyone he met. He made me miserable as often as happy. He was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find
a guy with some ambition.

When I turned 31, I found a smart ambitious guy with his feet planted firmly on the ground and married him. He was so ambitious that he divorced me, took everything I owned, and ran off with my best friend.

I am now 47 and am looking for a guy with a big dick.

The message board ran hot for a while with shared sentiments.  This type of moral tale needs to come with a warning – there are a lot of photoshopped dicks out there!!

I was lucky to find my life partner in my 20s.  I feel for others who found, then lost; or are still looking.  I have a couple of friends who even in their forties are serial monogamists, still looking for Mr Right and settling for Mr Right Now.  A lot of discussion surrounded the training of a young man to meet a woman’s needs. My response was to post this sage advice.  Helen Humes recorded this originally in 1927 and it still stands up.

I found it reassuring to read The College Crush.  Jen explains that the obsession with CG is ok, even understandable.  Fictional heroes are good for the soul but in the search for our own real life partner, we need to have a firm grip on reality.

1. Knight in Shining Armor

Described as a man who gallantly comes to the aid of a woman in a time of need. Sure, there are guys out there that will drop everything to change your flat tire or kill the spider taunting you on the wall, but really it’s old misogynist ideal that has become romanticized. We are more than capable to grab that shoe, kill the spider, then freak out about how gross that was without a man being present.

2. You complete me.

I know I cried when a teary eyed Jerry Maguire entered into a room full of angry women ranting about how the men in their lives ruined them and declared to his wife that “she completes him”.  But you don’t want to aspire to complete someone, you want to aspire to be the person that best complements them. If there are holes in people’s lives they need to fill those on their own, not with you.

 3. Love at first sight.

Infatuation, lust, wonder, awe, and curiosity – all things that can happen at first sight- love not so much. Love is too profound and truly beautiful to happen so immediately.

 4. Can’t imagine my life without you.

When a relationship comes to an end it always seems this way. It must be the end of the world because how could you possibly go on breathing without this person, but then one day it just happens you wake up and the relationship is no longer the crux of your being, but a memory fond, or not, that is now in the past.

Once you leave college and are out in the “real world” you quickly realize that your happiness relies solely on your shoulders. It is now on you to find a job, new friends and new hobbies that will make you the happiest you. Yes, being in a relationship is fun and exciting but the only way relationships can truly grow and survive is if you make yourself happy first. So, stop falling for these false ideals and find a guy who complements the best parts of you.


2013-02-23 11.45.01

Remind yourselves, Christian Grey, even as a fictional boyfriend, is deeply flawed and not always in a rational and sexy way.  More importantly he does NOT exist  and if he did, apparently he would look like a serial killer.

Identikit rendering of the real Christian Grey. Creepy stalker doesn’t begin to describe him.

YouTube Video Playlist – it’s more than you wanted

An extensive video playlist of all things 50 Shades related.  Over 150 videos including trailers of almost any acting combination you can dream up.  A great resource if you are speculating on the casting of the movies.  Thanks to sindydoll35  for putting this together.