July 3, 2011

Two things that are chaffing my delicate sensibilities.

Fublishing and Rape.
Not necessarily in that order.

Now, you might be like "Well, Rain, isn't this special for the Independence holiday weekend..." but really, my friends... think about our fandom. I love our fandom, trust me, I do. We put the fun in dysfunctional very well, but at the heart of it, there are such good people and the money raised for different charities is just fantastic.  Mad props to all the organizers, authors, and donators. Beautiful thing.

I do though, have some issues that keep coming back up and well, I want to vent about it.

First thing, the most serious on my list. Rape as a gimmick.
Rape is real. Sexual assault happens too often and in fact, shouldn't happen at all, but sadly, it is real. One out of every six Americans will experience some kind of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime. How sick is that?
Because of these tragic facts, when writing a dramatic work of fiction, yes, rape can be a part of that drama. Hurt/Comfort fics are often centered around a trauma occurring to one or both lead characters and shows how they rise above and build a future... this is a good thing. Usually.
I recently read a fic where the lead female character was repeatedly raped by her father and basically held as a sex slave... sickening. I kept reading thinking "This will get better. There will be something better happening and it will redeem this awful beginning." I was wrong. Our lead character finds three boys and becomes a nymphomaniac.
She was raped and tortured for years, but within a week she's bangin' three guys, saying she loves them, and living in poly domestic bliss? Eh?
I've read a few others where the FMC falls in love with her rapist, unbeknownst to her, and how she deals with that. I've never been in that situation, but I think having been raped by the man you love, whether past or not, would be a hard limit for me.
There've been a few fics where the FMC is raped or assaulted in some way and then the white knight shows up to protect her and save her from herself, while this can happen as well... not all rape/assault victims need to be rescued from their tortured existences. Sometimes we rise above on our own, without the help of a man, we become whole, complete, solid members of society, then fall in love. How beautiful would that story be? Well, I guess maybe there just isn't enough drama for that. But anyhoo... it just seemed to keep coming up in a lot of the angst/hurt/comfort fics I was finding. The idea that rape could be a motivator to keep reading.... could be a gimmick to get two people together... or that rape could be downplayed so much that it becomes practically a joke within the story.
Rape isn't a plot device. It isn't a gimmick. It isn't fun, hot, or sexy. Rape is a crime. Whether it happens to a child, an adult, a man, a woman, it's wrong.
For those of you contemplating using rape or assault as a plot gimmick, please rethink your motivation and do some research. 
An 18 year old girl wouldn't spend years being raped repeatedly by her biological father and his friends then jump into a relationship with three strangers and have orgasm fests fraught with dirty talk, DP, and a menage' quatre. Just not gonna happen and well, it's freakin' offensive to those of us who've lived through sexual assault and have spent years dealing with the aftermath and have had to struggle to be "normal" and remain mentally healthy. Do some thinkin' folks. That's all I ask.

Now, on to something not as serious, but that's still chappin' my hide. 

Fublishing. adjective. A slang term. Fake-publishing. The act of taking a fan fiction story based on a published author's copyrighted work/characters and publishing with an independent (see not respected in publishing world) "e-publisher" or even print, for monetary gains.
Giselle posted an incredible piece this week regarding these fic publishers/fublishers. You can find it here.
She lays it out there and she's so honest and factual. It's not a personal attack on the twittertwats (sorry) that we've seen as of late that are selling their bastardized fan fics to the highest bidder. Not only does it offend me that they're taking something someone else wrote, throwing it in a blender, then getting paid for the sale of the e-pub, but honestly, most of them that I've read are not well written or edited. (Check with Ross Gellar please.) 
If I were Stephenie Meyer or JK Rowling, I'd be pissed seeing how so many of these "authors" took their years of hard work and "put my own spin on it" as I heard one FF writer say on twitter. I'm sorry... you took a work of art, threw it into the food processor with some heaving bosoms and throbbing members, maybe some trite angst and misconceptions and a dash of striking green orbs and hit spin. When it came out you poured it into a pretty e-package and called it yours. Not okay, chick. Not. O. Kay! 
And this is why publishers like Little Brown, Simon and Schuster, Scholastic, Harlequin, and Carina Press, won't touch former fics with a ten foot pole (there are cases of them being published, but they're reworked like you have no idea and it takes a lot of work. A LOT). 
I have several friends who are now being published and you betchya the publishers and agents will ask you about it having been posted anywhere online in any previous form... why is that? They don't want the fuckery associated with fan fiction!

Who else is impressed I made it this far and just now used an F-bomb. I know I am!

Moving right along, it's been a stressful week and I just had to get these two important irritations off my chest. I hope I've enlightened and educated, maybe even entertained. I'm just trying to raise the bar and I hope our fandom will continue to do great things. If you're interested in helping out, here are some upcoming charity events- http://www.thetwilightawards.com/search/label/Fandom%20Events/
Or, follow me on twitter @theraingirl4, I always try to RT charities and our fandom's good works.

Thanks again for reading, friends. Happy Independence Day!



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