Constructing Criticism

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references may now be dated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


 

Ah, fanfiction! That light in our otherwise dreary, colorless lives. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, if you clicked on this article, gentle reader, you are probably already well-versed in what fanfiction is. If not, this essay is perhaps not for you.

So you have just read the most wonderful, heart-pounding, well-crafted piece of fanfiction it has ever been your pleasure to open, and you’d like to leave a review. But where do you start? Is a simple “I loved this, please write more” sufficient? What if you didn’t find the story perfect, and you’d like to say so? And what if you are the fanfiction writer, opening a new review and wondering how to respond?

Dr. Merlin can help. Dr. Merlin has been there. Read on. Continue reading “Constructing Criticism”

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The Outer Culture Is You

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references may now be dated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


 

The current debate over on Metafandom is revolving around those semi-annual fannish topics of racism and sexism in fandom. These are important discussions to have, because as insular as we sometimes seem, fans and fandom are involved in and reflect the views of the wider culture. As we are debating (and re-debating) this, there is an important point that everyone needs to keep in mind. You, little fanthing, are part of and reflect the views and biases of the culture around you, and so am I.

Now, I can hear you already. You are a biracial, observantly Jewish, disabled lesbian with friends all over the racial, social and sexual orientation spectra. How can I accuse you of being biased? Continue reading “The Outer Culture Is You”

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references are now dated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


 

This week, we turn our attention to that most desired of living options: rooming with your fellow fen. Say you’re living at home, or at school. You spend all your time online trying to find people to chat with about your latest squee. You write about it. You dream about it. You are a fan. Alas, you are most likely not surrounded by fellow fans, but instead by mundanes: those poor, deluded folks who think reality shows are more interesting than the Winchester brothers and that Friends is superior to Battlestar Galactica. We pity these people, but many of us have had to live with them during our lives. (They’re often named “Mom” and “Dad,” though not for everyone, fortunately – Dr. Merlin was raised by a mother who wrote Man From U.N.C.L.E. fanfics longhand and a father who told her Star Wars stories at bedtime.) Continue reading “”