melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2011-01-05 06:09 pm

Why I Have Gotten Nothing Done Since New Year's

I was going to save this to post after I had done some of the other things I am supposed to be doing (finishing up yuletide, making those two recs posts I owe people, answering comments, etc and so on) but it is becoming increasingly clear that I need to post this now so that I can at least attempt explain why those other things aren't getting done.

So, here it is:

How [personal profile] melannen Gets Into A New Fandom

A Case Study using The Dresden Files

(Note: not all fandoms follow this progression. On a very rare occasion, I will get into the canon before I read the fic. Vanishingly rare. And sometimes I have a friend acting as a guide. Or by way of somebody trying to promote the fandom through overviews and recs or requesting in fests. But those experiences tend to be less ... full-immersion than the classic timeline I have outlined here.)

  1. In some sort of multifandom context such as yuletide, stumble across a good fic involving the main slash pairing. Become intrigued. In this case, First Noel by Binz, stumbled across the evening of Jan. 1 in the course of reading everybody's Yuletide recs, a Dresden Files fic featuring mini!Harry Dresden and mini!John Marcone's first meeting in the middle of a Wild Hunt.

  2. Recall that someone whose work I adore without exception has written that pairing; go read (or re-read) their fic. In this case, The Spirit and the Letter by [personal profile] lightgetsin, fairly classic and also awesome sexswap fic in which the Wizard Dresden gets turned into a girl by a Faerie Queen and deals with it at varying levels of fail.

  3. That being only sufficient to whet the appetite, proceed to read every fic with the pairing that I can find on AO3, Delicious, the main lj community and archives, and recs lists.

    For Dresden/Marcone, that is Harry Dresden/Johnny Marcone on AO3; dresdenfiles+slash on delicious (with smaller fandoms, sometimes searching on the pairing name filters too hard; this way I have skim past some Harry/Bob and rarepairs but it gets nearly everything); [profile] mafiabanter on LJ; and The Archive (who in this fandom is apparently a teenage girl who knows everything there is to know about internet fandom and likes purple crayons.)

    *If the fandom is large and active enough, I may never get past this step. If it is too small, I may not get enough enthusiasm to go any farther. Harry Dresden/Johnny Marcone is just at that cusp; it is five days later and I'm at the point where I'm having to scrape to find more stuff and have thus moved on to the next steps, but I'm not quite to the end yet, and there are some WIPs currently updating that I'm intrigued by.

  4. Start to come up with random gen crossover ideas. This is part of the process of integrating the new fandom into my internal fan landscape: since all canon is simultaneously true, I have to work out how this new one fits in with the old ones in order to make it mine. The point at which these ideas start appearing is the point at which I give in and admit that I do in fact have a new fandom.
    • dueSouth. I know, it's a gimme what with the magical realism/Chicago/detectives, but nobody has done the story I *really* want to see: the one where "Armando Langoustini" comes back to Chicago for a meeting with Gentleman Johnny Marcone, gets turned back by the wards due to still being haunted by the inconvenient ghost of his father, can't let Marcone's wizards get his hands on them because his dad's just waiting for the chance to blow his cover, remembers that he's not the only person he knows in Chicago who sees ghosts and drops Langoustini so he can go visit the Canadian Consulate, at which point they *all* end up in Fraser's closet and Fraser's dad suggests trying the phone book; there is a collision of Bobs, Fraser learns more than he ever wanted to know about his Dad's taste in porn, Dief makes a new friend, and Harry is *delighted* to help an undercover cop get an in with Marcone, if he can stop laughing long enough. this point I suppose it would need either a real plot or and ending. Other obstacles: I know both canons only from the fic. Also, am probably the only person who would actually want to read it. Also, a lot of timeline, etc, fudging would be necessary. Also, I know nothing about the Mafia or Chicago that I haven't learnt from fiction, and there would have to be a lot of mafia and Chicago in this. Also, seriously, what?

    • Naruto crossover! In which Wizard Dresden, Warden and Winter Knight, has to team up with Hatake Kakashi, jounin of Konoha, for some badly-contrived reason. I DON'T KNOW, SOME REASON. *wibbly hands* One of the things that's always intrigued me about Naruto fandom is that it's taken the trope of the urban fantasy/HP type world, where a small number of special people have magic powers, and instead of going where Western fiction invariably goes - a hidden magical underworld where everybody's decentralized for their own safety and constantly terrified of mundane powers finding out and exploiting them or being taken over by dark powers from within - Naruto is a world where the government does know and the government does exploit them and everybody supports this state of affairs and nobody is overly concerned with morality beyond simple loyalty. I've tried playing with this by way of crossovers before, but Dresden is one where I think you could swirly-portal them together without too much work.

      Also Kakashi and Harry would be terribly good for each other while getting on each other's nerves to an incredible extent. And at some point they would have to barter Icha Icha Paradise to Bob, of course.

    • Guy Noir: Private Eye. ...what? I understand that Minneapolis is technically in the borders of Chicagoland. There's no reason he *couldn't* somehow get tangled up with the Dresden Files lot, even if it is A City That Knows How To Keep Its Secrets. I'm not sure what would happen after that, but I'm sure it would be incredibly fun to read, like all of the Guy Noir fic that people should be writing and aren't. >:|

    • Lizard Music! No, wait, don't run away: I'm pretty sure, see, that even if Lake Mishagoo isn't *technically* Lake Michigan, they are very heavily connected in the NeverNever, and at some point the Lizard People's floating island is going to accidentally collide with Demonreach, and Demonreach's Genius Loci is going to get very, very confused and upset and cry for help however it can. (I am not sure how that would be, but seriously, if you were a slightly sinister hidden island in the middle of Lake Michigan, and the Lizards' floating island collided with you, you would find a way to cry for help.)

  5. Read every gen fic with the characters that I can find, and every crossover in the fandom. Also, re-read every fic with the main slash pairing.

    There seems to be very little Marcone fic that I didn't already find by finding the slash. Alas. And not enough crossovers for Dresden Files in general. (Though some of the ones I did find are awesome!) So this step was pretty abbreviated this time. This is also the point at which I generally think, "You know, I should at least be bookmarking the good stuff so I can find/feedback/rec it later," and then go, "except so far that would just be "every fic I have read in this pairing," which seems a bit silly when I can just find them that way again." Luckily AO3 makes it easy to see your reading history, so at least for the stories that're on AO3, I don't have to feel as bad about not bothering.

  6. Add the main pairing comm to my flist. And join, just in case some of the stuff's locked. know, I am trying very hard to *reduce* the number of comms I follow on LJ. ...but there are WIPs ongoing! In which people get turned into cats! And there is snuggling!

  7. Start to feel guilty that I'm shipping the main (white, m/m) pairing without ever having read/watched the canon at all.

    ...this hit sometime yesterday, as I started actually interacting a little bit, and looking for fic outside the pairing tags. Oops.

  8. . Acquire canon (semi-legally if necessary;) read/watch it.

    *If the canon a) is very good and very extensive, or b) actively repulses me, or c) is very difficult to acquire, I may never get past this step.

    I actually have some pirate Dresden Files ebooks someplace, but my ordinary library volunteer day is tomorrow, so I will probably just pick up some paperback copies there. (Luckily the series is popular enough that this won't be hard.) Hopefully, they will actually be good? And I will actually be inspired to read at least some of the novels? I am debating going in order or just skipping to the Marcone-heavy books, TBH. And hey, if they don't grab me the way the fanfic did, there is a wiki.

  9. (Simultaneous with 8) Start to get non-crossover fic ideas. Possibly even write a few, or attempt those crossover bunnies.

    You would think "attempt to write fic" would come after "read canon", but actually, they're both symptoms of the same thing: not finding the fic I want online. And therefore they generally happen at the same time. And therefore I end up writing fic based entirely on the fanfic.


  10. Realize I am actually more interested in gen and characters outside the main slash pairing (particularly female and non-gender-conforming ones) than in the 'ship I originally got into the fandom for. Start ignoring main slash pairing in favor of said other characters, usually minor ones.

    This never happens until I've read canon, so I'm not there yet. But I can already see the framework of the characters I will eventually be wishing fandom did more with: the faery queens. Thomas. Molly. Demonreach. Ivy. The Erlkonig. Ancient Mai. The older wizards and the previous generation. And I'm sure there will be people that haven't even appeared in the slash that I could fall in love with.

  11. Read every readable fic in the fandom regardless of pairing or characters, since I have done a 180 since step 5 and am now annoyed that 90% of the good fic is slash.

  12. Run out of good fic in the fandom. Sigh. Start just hanging around in multifandom spaces. (This usually takes between a few weeks and a few months, depending on the size of the fandom and if canon is currently closed.) Stumble across fic in new fandom. Go to step 1.

The other relevant datum is that I can pretty much guess which pairings will do this to me: I mean, not necessarily in advance, because obviously I don't know the details until I actually read the stuff, but--

Well, there's a Dresden Files fic (a Hellblazer crossover, actually. References Le Guin in the title. Very very good and heartily recommended: Besieging Omelas by [ profile] gehayi) that describes Harry and John's relationship in a way that just encapsulates what I look for in these pairings, and I really couldn't say it better, so I'm going to quote:
"First, you gotta know the person down to the marrow of their bones. No illusions left. No thinking the person is better than they are. You know it all, good and bad. That's hard for humans."

..."Second. Trust. Which is...a lot of different things. Trusting someone not to hurt you in any way. Or trusting them to tell you the truth, even when it's the last thing you want to hear. Trusting them with your deepest secrets--the ones that could break your life in half if someone blabbed. Trusting that someone to be there when everything turns to shit and there's no hope anywhere." From his perch in Gard's palm, he gave me a sidelong glance. "Trusting someone whose flaws and weaknesses you know completely...that's even harder."

..."And the third?"

"Sacrifice," he said simply. "Not your life, necessarily, though that's a popular choice. Basically, you have to be willing to put what matters most to you on the line for the other person--not just once, but always."

..."That's intimacy by Sidhe standards," Bob said softly. "Romance is easy; everyone likes playing that game. But intimacy is hard. It takes time. And it changes people. Fae figure that if two people are that close, they're making love every day whether they've actually gotten around to the sex part or not."

That. That is what grabs me in a pairing. That as their canon dynamic, as the place the pairing fic takes as its starting point. That.

...I wish it were easier pairings with that as the starting point that weren't about two men. I really wish I did. Because then I might be able to get into a pairing and not fall out of it once I realize the female characters are more interesting than the slash. :\ Even the great het partnerships - like Mulder/Scully - don't quite hit the sweet spot, half the time. Because the heteronormativity, the gender issues, seem to make it really hard get to the "trusting each other enough to let themself be hurt" without the canon-writers screwing it up. Also "letting the female character show an actual dark side to match the man's." And that makes things harder. And the other thing I need is a critical volume of fic already written in order to properly hook me; somehow, that part almost always seems to require an m/m pairing.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-01-06 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
If you haven't already figured it out, the TV show is very, very different from the books (and it's where 98% of the Harry/Bob comes from, since TV!Bob is quite a different character). I...mostly like the TV show better (it is less sexist, for one), except for its lack of Marcone and many of the wonderful secondary characters.
cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (white shrimp)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2011-01-06 02:56 am (UTC)(link)
TV!Bob is actually Terrence Mann. I love his Bob on the show. I'm not crazy about tv-verse fic and tv!Bob/Harry. James Marsters does read the audiobooks though which may be were that came from.

I love love love TV!Harry though.

The books...I love them. I can see why people don't. Depending on how sensitive you are to fail of various types, especially sexism stuff, they may not be winners. You know how Lightgetsin intro to that genderswap story starts with something like "Harry fails at gender issues and continues to fail in this story"? Yeah, pretty accurate reflection. Oh, and the first book in the series is pretty crap. The story is that it was created as a writing exercise to shove a bunch of UF cliches in and run with it and it was what sold before Butcher's high fantasy stuff. They do get better though.

I would pay so much money for your due South crossover fic to be written. Like seriously.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

[personal profile] synecdochic 2011-01-06 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
I read the first three books and enjoyed them a lot, though I'm only moderately sensitive to skeevy misogyny issues (meaning, I can usually set it aside for the duration of the work and just accept that's how this world goes). From what I remember, it was pretty clear that it was just the character thinking that way, not that the author approved, if you know what I mean.

The first trilogy is pretty chronological, but is also pretty good at briefing you about what happened earlier. If you're the type to get annoyed about spoilers, read 'em in order. If not, read 'em in whatever order you can get your hands on them.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-01-06 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
Yikes, no! Terrence Mann, Broadway icon and considerably older and less conventionally attractive than James Marsters. But I have fangirled Terrence Mann since I was a musical-obsessed teenager. TV!Bob has a pretty touching relationship with Harry; Book!Bob is funnier (since neither is corporeal, they both present obstacles to slash).

I like TV!Morgan better, too, but book!Murphy makes more sense than TV!Murphy (that's one of the reasons I'm sad the show got canceled so quickly--TV!Murphy never got to grow very much, since they inexplicably set her up as not believing in magic but spending police money hiring a consulting "wizard" anyway). TV!Dresden irritates me less--but I wasn't reading the books for Dresden, oddly enough. They really do much better with the secondary characters than the protagonist.

I think they're both fun, in different ways.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-01-06 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
I dunno; the series is a strange combination of awesome and unfortunate changes from book canon (I am, for example, pretty fond of TV!Harry's mystical hockey stick).
syntheid: [Elementary] Watson drinking tea looking contemplative (Default)

[personal profile] syntheid 2011-01-06 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
Yes! I thought his hockey stick switch was very... Harry, really. And drumstick wand. Practical and resourceful, if not very pretty.

Murphy looks like TV!Murphy in my head, for whatever reason, too, though you're right that her character makes less sense on the show.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-01-06 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
One of the things I really liked about the books is Harry and Murphy's friendship, and that wasn't there from day one in the TV series, and they didn't have time to develop one. Very disappointing. I probably could have grown to love TV Murphy in time, but...there wasn't time.
blueswan: (Default)

[personal profile] blueswan 2011-01-06 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
First Noel was wonderful! It's the first thing I've encountered that made me consider reading the books. I'd love to read your response to them.

I loved the TV series and was really disappointed that just as it was taking off and developing they shut the door. (Terrance Mann plays Bob on the show so you don't need to worry about Marster encounters. *g*)
Edited (clarity, as always ) 2011-01-06 01:49 (UTC)
lightgetsin: The Doodledog with frisbee dangling from her mouth, looking mischievious, saying innocence personified. (Default)

[personal profile] lightgetsin 2011-01-06 02:48 am (UTC)(link)
JM reads the audiobooks (quite well, though, you know, American), maybe that's where it comes from.
isis: (Default)

[personal profile] isis 2011-01-06 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
Marsters reads the audiobooks. I listened to the first two or three.

Also, now I understand why I couldn't find Dresden/Marcone! I thought it was way subtexty in the books, what with the gazing into each others eyes etc etc. I didn't realize the TV series was different. I like Bob as a character in the books, but Harry/Bob made me go "huh?"

I totally wished for a Guy Noir crossover! In fact, this is my Goodreads review of Storm Front (the first book) in full: If Garrison Keillor had played Dungeons and Dragons, Guy Noir might have ended up like this.

Armando Langoustini never occurred to me. But I could see it.
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)

[personal profile] isis 2011-01-06 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
isis: (Default)

[personal profile] isis 2011-01-06 03:30 am (UTC)(link)
Also, maybe I shall read some of the stories you are reccing in the general direction of!
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-01-06 03:47 am (UTC)(link)
I think kind of both--for one thing, the TV series brought in a lot of fans (I rented it on a whim, and then went and read all the books--although I don't much want to read the latest and may be giving up), but there's also a lot more Marcone-Harry interaction in some of the later books.
lightgetsin: The Doodledog with frisbee dangling from her mouth, looking mischievious, saying innocence personified. (Default)

[personal profile] lightgetsin 2011-01-06 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
So apparently I can't quit this fandom. Even though I tried! So I'll be delivering another 21k of fic sometime in the next couple days, if that helps at all.
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[personal profile] cyprinella 2011-01-06 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
lightgetsin: The Doodledog with frisbee dangling from her mouth, looking mischievious, saying innocence personified. (Default)

[personal profile] lightgetsin 2011-01-06 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, so I have this 21,000 words of sequel to Spirit and the Letter which is basically a huge self-indulgent thing of ridiculousness. And then I'm in the middle of another separate thing about -- and there are Changes spoilers here, i'm assuming you don't care -- temporarily dead Harry haunting Marcone and resurrection plotcakes. For which I reread Shakespeare. I read Hamlet for my Dresden Files fic, I think I get a fucking toaster for that. no. There is apparently no quitting.
lightgetsin: The Doodledog with frisbee dangling from her mouth, looking mischievious, saying innocence personified. (Default)

[personal profile] lightgetsin 2011-01-06 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
Well, I suspect the Hamlet was one of those things I needed to put into my head to make the story happen, but that might not actually make it much onto the page. I should definitely grab a copy of Macbeth though, while I'm at it. How is this my life?

'Cause, see, there was some throwaway line in one of the short stories somewhere which I, at least, have interpreted to mean that Hendricks has a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Because obviously.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2011-01-06 04:30 am (UTC)(link)
Dude. Your How To Get Into A New Fandom is remarkably similar to mine! I totally go through steps 1-5 (though step 4 these days is mostly to do with how to cross it over with Highlander. Once I can do that I'm golden.). 7 generally features in some regard as well. And 8 is totally variable as to whether it happens or not. And my end point tends to be "gets distracted by something else before finishing with Step Read All The Fic"....
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[personal profile] sophia_sol 2011-01-06 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Actually Highlander for me was weirdly one of the few where this WASN'T my process! Where I actually watched parts of the canon first, before having read any fic ever! It was a pretty weird experience for me, let me tell you. (though I didn't watch anything like all of Highlander. Only 20 episodes. Because I'm slightly incapable of watching the entirety of any tv show....)

And if I get distracted before the end of the cycle, I CANNOT come back to it. The momentum's irrevocably lost. I still have hopeful bookmarks sitting in my to-read tag from two years and uncountable fandoms ago....

Also, DAMN YOU for linking fic in this post, because of course I had to go read it, and NOOOO I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR A NEW FANDOM.
isis: (craptastic squid by scarah)

[personal profile] isis 2011-01-06 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
I'm also amused that your music field sort of says 'ragtime', which makes perfect sense!
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[personal profile] amaresu 2011-01-06 07:24 am (UTC)(link)
I understand that Minneapolis is technically in the borders of Chicagoland.

As someone who grew up and currently lives in Minneapolis, I have to say no. This is incorrect. It's actually a 8-10 drive, possibly more if you hit bad traffic. I did know somebody once who said they could make it in 6 hours by taking the route through Iowa and speeding a lot, but you're really depending on not running into cops for that. Basically there's no way anyone in the entire state of Minnesota would agree with that statement (obvious caveat that I haven't talked to everyone in the state). Just, you know, for future reference.

I've personally never seen the appeal of Harry/Marcone myself. I just don't get it, at all. But anything that gets people into Dresden Files is a good thing in my books.

As far as the sexist stuff goes I can at least say that Harry is very up front about it. He knows his tendencies, owns them, and respects Murphy's right to kick his ass about them. So there's that.
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[personal profile] pseudo_tsuga 2011-01-08 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
I know nothing about the Dresden Files besides the very basic I would read the hell out of that Guy Noir fic. I think it would be the second NPR fic in existence.
pseudo_tsuga: ([Kate Beaton] squee)

[personal profile] pseudo_tsuga 2011-01-11 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
--oh my god. How did I not know this? You have made my day. *rushes off to read*
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[personal profile] sidhebeingbrand 2011-01-10 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
Hello, largely complete stranger...

I'm the co-author of first noel, and I have other fics up at the Archive under shiplizard (including what was at the time the only Anastasia Luccio/Karrin Murphy fic, I should check again).

Wanted to say a) thanks for reccing our fic, and b) we're working on a Murphy-centric (and Murphy with a touch of queerness) fic, although it's AU and really long in the making, and c) in the for what it's worth department, slash is how Binz and I handle Harry's... um... misogynistic/homophobic douchecanoeing. I don't know, sometimes slash is how I carve out a queer space in a Male Hero HeteroAbleCisMan fandom.

I don't know if you've read the fic Binz received for Yuletide, but it was gen-adventure featuring secondary and tertiary characters... including the third black guy in all of Chicago if Harry's circle of acquaintances is anything to go by (and one of those is a Russian native who's just visiting).

Also, your Vecchio Meets Marcone fic was splendid. Vecchio was always my favorite part of Due South.
peoriapeoriawhereart: in red serge Benton looks askance (Benton looks back)

[personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart 2011-10-10 05:06 am (UTC)(link)
I really want to 'find' the fic that deals with Vecchio interacting with Marcone, before he's Gentleman Johnny and after.

And Marcone doing his equiv of laughing his ass off when one don being mean to a busboy pulls down that don's entire operation.

He'd appreciate how Fraser does what he does.
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[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-09-15 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
I'm considering actively attempting to follow this procedure. I think I inadvertently did basically this for MCU, since I never cared about the movies or comics until AFTER I got into the fic; but most of my other fandoms I read the book-canon first because I love books. But...I did pick up a webcomic or two like this ... okay, okay, I'm just going to do this entire thing, or purpose, because it sounds like fun.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-09-15 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Also, I own almost all the ebooks and will try to figure out how to not-totally-illegally let you read them; PM me.
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[personal profile] alatefeline 2016-09-17 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
Sweet! :)