You Mean Everyone Brought Potato Salad?

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 Some references may now be outdated but the general advice is very good.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


Knowing What Your Audience Is Bringing to the Table Is Half the Battle

Some months ago, my children were on a playdate at a friend’s house, which is to say, the kids were playing with toys in the living room and we were hiding in the kitchen drinking coffee and chatting about fandom. (I love having fannish friends in real life!) As my friend’s fandom at the time was Harry Potter, and her favorite subject at the time was why Harry and Ginny should under no circumstances be a couple, our conversation drifted to the current discussions on Fiction Alley Park about the pitfalls of the H/G pairing. My friend asserted that Rowling was demonstrating her lack of real-world knowledge, because the Guy Code [TM] said: Continue reading “You Mean Everyone Brought Potato Salad?”

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Sock It To Me

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 Some references may now be outdated but the general advice is very good.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


Sockpuppets and You

A story: once upon a time when the Internet was young (okay, not really, call it circa 1996), I was a member of a mailing list that became so popular that it spawned several daughter lists. We all kept in contact with one another, with a couple of “ambassadors” hanging out from list to list in order to pass along news and keep the whole place friendly. On our very first daughter list, there was a member whom we shall call E. E was ill when she joined our little group, and sure enough, she eventually died of her illness. Continue reading “Sock It To Me”

Dr. Merlin’s Guide to Fanfic

This was originally written by Merlin Missy in 1996 and posted to Firefox News in 2007. Some references are now dated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


Hi there. So you want to write fan fiction. Maybe you’ve already written a story or two, posted them to the appropriate newsgroups, and have received feedback, mostly positive. If so, you’re probably feeling pretty good, and thinking to yourself, “I shouldn’t be reading this. I already know how to write this stuff, and it’s easy.” Who knows? Maybe you honestly don’t need it. Continue reading “Dr. Merlin’s Guide to Fanfic”

You’re Wearing the Wrong Duck On Your Head

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


Qvack. Qvack.

Dr. Merlin has recently had opportunity to speak with someone who asked about what it is like to be her, and she was put in mind of another conversation regarding life on the autism spectrum. To whit, living with autism or its cousin Asperger’s Syndrome is akin to having moved to another country while very young and then spending the rest of one’s life trying to figure out the odd customs everyone else takes for granted. It’s trying to translate the words in one’s head into English and know what to do in social situations. It’s also the unspeakable hope that somewhere, there are other people who don’t blink at wearing a duck on one’s head at formal occasions. Continue reading “You’re Wearing the Wrong Duck On Your Head”

Character Counts

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


Batman Is Unimpressed By Your Emo OC

Ah, once again the debates are raging. How should canon characters be portrayed? Continue reading “Character Counts”

A Day At the Biggest Mall on Earth: Fanfic Archiving and You

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references may now be outdated but the information is very good. I would also note that Fanlib is now long dead, OTW is alive and reasonably well despite drama here and there, and A03 is thriving. This article is used with Missy’s permission. — Cygnet, March 17, 2016.


Internet-based fandom is a constructed space. It didn’t magically pop into existence out of the ether, it was built over years and it’s changed its mailing address many times. Consider if you will the age of Usenet and the WELL. Back in the day, when fans were swimming happily in the primordial waters of SASEs and word-of-mouth fan-run conventions, a strange, shining beacon lured them from the shore: a way to communicate with other fans across the world in real time. Continue reading “A Day At the Biggest Mall on Earth: Fanfic Archiving and You”

Fandom as Democracy

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


 

Subtitled: This Is Why Many People Prefer Monarchy

There are some things you need to know, young fanthing, and the very first one is this: there is no secret cabal of Big Name Fans conspiring to harsh your squee and take away your cookies. No, not the people who hang out on that members-only LJ community. Nope, not Fandom Wank, either. The folks who go to the chatroom every third Tuesday? Also no. No one in fandom is sitting out trying to figure out ways to make you personally (and all those not in The Group) have a bad day. So the next time you start feeling specifically ignored and put upon, remind yourself that, no, it’s not personal. Continue reading “Fandom as Democracy”