October 15th, 2003


this post is not about hand-puppets

The story du jour in my head is a very unkinky tale of how Binky and Steve Wes and Spike started working side by side at Angel Investigations, and how sometimes late at night in the Hyperion over coffee they discussed history, music, the soul, and Victorian social progress, and how they were paired together on missions and saved each other's bacon from toothy demons and then bandaged each other in a manly way afterwards; how they started standing very close to each other as they conversed despite having no good reason for this because they both had excellent hearing; how Wes would sometimes bring a book from home to show Spike, or Spike would lend Wes a CD; how they kept talking to each other with their eyes while saying nothing in words about their zinging heartstrings; how their oblique flirting became more transparent the longer it was sustained but also more pleasurable, because they were actually relishing all that restrained, exquisite tension too much to take it to the next level; but how they sooner or later did and admitted they were dating, and went on a proper date, and afterwards they shimmied up to each other as they were leaving wherever it is they went, and got all breathless and giddy; then they kissed a bit; then they moaned; then maybe there was a desperate alley blow-job because they couldn't even make it to the car; then lots of proper sex, followed by breakfast in bed and late arrival at the office and Spike wearing one of Wes's borrowed shirts and Cordelia looking at them and immediately knowing what happened and saying like a squeeing schoolgirl, "Oh my god. How fucking cute are you guys?"

Then there'd be puppies and birthday parties and many things sparkly and pink.

All of which made me realize that this would be a cute but very plotless story, which made me think of josselin's post, Thoughts about Plot, where she says:
This brings me to another point. Sometimes fanfic does not have action. We're okay with that, as readers. Because we don't always require a classical plot structure with rising action and climax and catharsis. Often, we just like to indulge ourselves by seeing our favorite characters behaving in character and doing normal undramatic things, or being happy together, etc.
But she also notes this is often "snippet" type fiction, and she gives an example of a good, plotty fan-fiction story, which could be considered to offer a guideline that: "any happy times must be summarized quickly and not dwelled upon--it's best if they're looked upon retrospectively, when it’s clear that they’re over." And she concludes:
...what sometimes separates good fanfiction from bad fanfiction, or perhaps good fanfiction from great fanfiction, is not what you write, but what you don’t write.
And I agree with these things in a general way. My point in mentioning all that is: here's a story in my head that's all flesh, no backbone, all happy, no drama, except perhaps the dramatic question of whether Wes will order a croissant with his tea. It would be endlessly self-indulgent, and therefore prone to displaying all my worst flaws as a writer.

People have been discussing kinks and anti-kinks, good posts, good comments, some of which I agree with. That doesn't change the fact that I was kind of upset to realize that my kinks squick other people, possibly to a heavy degree, and that there could easily be 500 lurkers reading my LJ who weren't happy with my little slave-puffs. I posted about this yesterday in brief and immediately removed my comments because I realized I was kind of depressive while many other people are still in full kink-mode and having great fun. Then I saw a comment in one of the threads about someone's difficulty reading shmoopy S/X--not S/X in itself, but *shmoopy* S/X--and I sighed and forced myself to admit what is always terribly obvious to everyone but me, which is that there's no way everyone's tastes are going to be the same. That's me sighing at my own dumbness, by the way, and *not* at the comment. I mean, really: what's up with me? I'm such a Jasmine. I really am. I'm always wanting to impose my will on the entire world and have everyone happy and in tune with my program of mind-altering, ultra-conformist good times. Happy happy, joy joy. And yet it's not as if I don't have critical opinions about other fan-fiction.

My goal in world domination is to build the perfect story and then force all fans to (a) read it, (b) adore it, (c) declare it the best jelly ever, and of course (d) worship my toes.

Can I just say that I'm writing this while on a conference call and the project manager just said "dildos." We're actually having a business-related call about sex toys, penis pinatas, XXX videos, and other adult products. Cognitive dissonance collapses and my two worlds slide together.

See me multitask. Back to work now.