Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

24th Mar 2011

Pen & Ink

Rating: ♦♦♦

I always kind of scoffed at the “How To” artbooks that get released. I have an art degree, I know how to draw. The only thing that improves your ability to draw is practice. You have to draw day in and day out, and draw everything you see. Then, eventually, you will start to get better at it. Yes, some people have an innate ability, but even people who profess that they can’t draw really can, once they practice and learn the connection between what your eyes see and how your hand moves.

What I really liked about this release is that it did stress the importance of practice. It had a week long list of exercises for getting used to using a pen, and a list of goals you were supposed to have achieved at the end of each exercise. Using pen and ink requires a completely different set of skills than sketching with a pencil or a marker.

The other nice thing this release covered was the use of tones. I’m lazy. If I’m going to use tones on something, I’m going to throw it in PhotoShop, and do it digitally – but this release gave instructions for using them from a pre-printed sheet. Also part of their weekly exercises was using cross-hatching to create your own gradient shading, instead of using tones. It’s nice to know all the different options that are available to artists.

I also appreciated the interviews with manga artists on how they use different materials to achieve different effects. While I don’t see myself running out to by a lot of the “How-To” books, this release has made me look at them in a bit more favorable light.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦, Miscellaneous, Various | 1 Comment »

18th May 2008

Kizuna: Kazuma Kodaka Signature Edition DVD

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

The packaging for Kizuna: Kazuma Kodaka Signature Edition DVD is so nice! Gorgeous slipcover and even a little booklet inside featuring the manga covers sans title. Be Beautiful is calling this a Manga Portfolio, but whatever, it’s a nicety they didn’t have to do.

The English dub is not the worst one I’ve heard. However, it’s not the best, but if you really need to watch Kizuna in English, it’s enjoyable. Keep in mind, people, that I am a subtitle snob. Even if I buy an American anime release, I rarely watch the English dub for I don’t like my anime americanized and sanitized for my protection.

The subtitles are of good quality and good timing. This is definitely not your Hong Kong rip. Since I know the barest of Japanese, I know the translation is fairly good. Some things have been mistranslated, however, because, for example, ‘aho’ doesn’t mean ‘idiot’ exactly. It’s a little more vulgar than that, ‘dipshit’ or ‘dumbass’ is a better translation, but I’m not going to split hairs. (Even though I already have. Heh.)

The extras on this DVD are squeal-worthy. Actually, I did squeal like a little dorky fangirl. (This shouldn’t be surprising.) There are interviews with Kodaka, Q&A and English director commentary. The insight you get from all these features is wonderful.

I won’t tell you about the plot because if you’ve read the manga, you know what’s happening in this OAV. If you haven’t read the manga, you’re going to be a little lost for most of this OAV. (And no amount of me trying to explain this to you is going to make any sense anyway.)

In short, this DVD is worth the purchase. Doubly so if you’re an old-school fan of Kizuna.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kizuna, Kodaka, Kazuma, Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Kizuna: Kazuma Kodaka Signature Edition DVD

18th May 2008

Licensing: Good or Bad?

There are a lot of things in the whole of the anime fandom world that I will never understand or sympathize with, but there is one thing very specific on my mind right that I just don’t get. And that thing is what I shall call “Licensing Protesters.”

They are the fans of an anime who get all up in arms when they hear about their favorite anime getting licensed by some company.

What brings this to mind right now is the uproar over Naruto getting licensed.

I, for one, am not a big fan of Naruto. I watched an episode–tried to watch an episode rather–and it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But I’m glad it got licensed. It’s an interesting premise and licensing and distributing it will bring it to a lot of people who will love it and adore it I’m sure.

Fact of the matter is, a lot of anime fans don’t get their anime fix via downloading fansubs on BitTorrent or direct from IRC. They get it from watching it on the Anime Network, Cartoon Network, renting it, watching it at conventions/anime clubs, or buying it. And most of these methods can only occur with a licensed and… yes… dubbed anime.

Which is probably where most of the concern arises. The dubbing of anime. I can’t say too much about this since I first got into anime by watching one of the worst of the worst jobs done on a cut and dubbed anime: Sailor Moon by DiC. That was five years ago. And licensing companies I think have gotten better at dubbing since then. There is much more competition in the field, a much larger audience, and probably a lot of people who actually love anime and care about the quality of it are getting involved with companies that release anime on DVD to us. The anime loving consumers.

I just don’t get these people who protest the licensing of their favorite anime so much they start petitions to the companies, begging them to not dub their anime and ruin it. Or else they will boycott the company. Give the company a chance. They may do a good job and be able to bring the anime to people who will enjoy it also who may have never gotten to see it if they hadn’t licensed it.

So, don’t be selfish and deny other anime viewers this wonderful anime you love and adore and covet. Don’t you want to see it loved by all?

I love that anime is becoming such a large industry in America. And everywhere really, not just Japan, America is just where I can mention without a doubt because that’s where I live. Sure, it’s a bit of a strain on my credit cards and my savings account with how many DVDs and graphic novels I want to buy each month but… it’s great. Anime is growing here and has grown so much in the past few years. The number of DVD producers has increased, the number of toy producers has increased, graphic novel publishers has increased… and the number of fansubbers to feed our addiction at a low cost.

And you know why? Because of licensing.

Licensing is a good thing.

If you really want to make sure the anime you adore isn’t ruined, maybe you could get involved with Funimation, Viz, ADV, Tokyopop, Bandai or CPM or… god knows how many other companies there are. You could study Japanese and become a translator, script writer for DVD or manga. Or a voice actor. Or a marketer to make sure the anime you love is targeted to the right market.

Just please, anime lovers… Don’t bite the hand that has fed you.

Posted by Gal | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Licensing: Good or Bad?

18th May 2008

Guide to Fic Writing

There’s just something that I’ve always wondered. Though I don’t read much new fiction anymore, there are a few other author’s whose work I follow religiously. Shoori, Portia, Deena, Swyth… just to name a few. They’re the ones who inspired me in this fandom and who I’ve strived to become.

Three and a half years later, I don’t know if I’ve succeeded, but at least I know I haven’t failed. So seeing my work appreciated by the people I admire, well… there aren’t words to describe the sensation.

So I sit here, trying to do something as a potential BND Babe, and Nikita suggested I do a “How to…” I thought the idea was silly. (Kita: =P) I mean who am I to tell other people how to write a fic? So this won’t be a “How to…” just things to think about if you’re going to be getting into fic writing.

Yes, mostly I’ll be referring to the WK fandom. I’ve lurked in other fandoms, but none have really grabbed my attention or the fangirls just run rampant with juvenile wankage–it’s just disgusting. Honestly though, that’s just a rant for another day.

So I’ve been thinking the last few days, just what is it about these authors who I’ve come to respect that has earned my respect. It’s not much really and this is all common sense, but here goes anyway.

First off, write for yourself, not for the glory or for others. If you’re doing it to become popular in a fandom, stop right now. To quote an anime bishonen from Kaleido Star, “The fans can turn on you in an instant.” So, if you’re doing it for them, eventually you’ll be sitting all alone in your dark hole wondering why no one likes you, and paying a shrink $300 an hour to get the fuck off the computer and get a life. Well, really… that’s $300 that can honestly be better spent buying boypr0n to get you out of your lewser funk.

Another thing is, know who you’re writing for. Know your audience. That’s different than writing to please them. Remember, you’re doing this for yourself, but people are going to be reading your stuff, so you should at least treat your readers with respect. Don’t go and have Aya run off into the sunset with Omi and post your fic on a R/K forum and expect to be liked. That’s just retarded. Don’t patronize your audience either. Sure, in most fandoms it’s riddled with wanky ten-year-old girls who think their shit don’t stink and they’re entitled to anything you want to dish out; but, don’t treat the rest of us who actually hold some smidge of respect for you like that, because, trust me, you treat us like that, we won’t like you. And getting dissed by someone who once respected you is worse than getting wanked by someone who never did.

Ugh. One thing that needles me to no end is OOC. Know your characters! If you don’t know, there are gazillions of places for you to ask, and once you’ve exhausted all your options, then make it up. Trust me, Ken ain’t ever gonna go and spend hours at Bloomies looking for the perfect Tommy shirt. Youji? Yeah. Aya, he’s not looking for Tommy, he’s looking for Ralph. And Omi? Heh, check the kid’s section of Sears! Ken’s a Levis and t-shirt kinda boy. Anything with a brand name is going to have a number on the back in a big huge varsity font.

Know the characters inside and out. They’re going to be different from fic to fic, but they’re going to have the same basic personality. Yeah, in this fic Aya has a thing for parsley, but three fics from now, he won’t because he’s allergic to greens.

Be aware of canon and you sure as hell better be able to justify why you’re breaking it when you do decide to break it. If you could see my hard drive and all the crap on WK canon I have for reference, you’d laugh–and I’m always collecting more! If you’re going to make up something, make sure it doesn’t conflict with canon. If you’re not sure about what’s canon, ASK! Watch the anime, read the manga, read summaries, read fics, bug the hell out of people for copies of their drama transcripts. The canon is there, it may be full of loopholes and inconsistencies, but it’s your job as the fic writer to patch up the holes and to straighten out those inconsistencies.

Original characters can either kill or make a fic. The big thing to ask yourself if you’re going to create an OC is, “Do they add something important to the story?” If you take them out, do you still have a plot. Are they there just for someone else to fuck? Does this OC in any way, shape, or form resemble you. Yeah, I’d love to fuck the hell out of Ken, who wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t write a fic for it. Not now that I know better, anyway… *hides her self-insert fan-senshi*

Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger
45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

These are two GREAT books I recommend on creating good OCs for your fics. For those of you in school, I strongly urge you to take a scriptwriting class and a storytelling class. I can’t tell you how my writing improved after taking those two classes. “Seven” was a result of these two books and those two classes.

Another thing to think about with OCs is, do they fit the universe you’re writing in?

A recent trend in fics that I’ve just glanced at and had me puking was this idea that you and your buddy just type away as these characters for fun, you log that AIM/MSN/YIM session slap it onto FF.net and call it a fic.

Sorry, hon, that’s not a fic, that’s fucking dialog and chances are not a very good one at that. So take it down, rewrite it, and make it a fic. Add the prose, add the visual, add the meat, plot, all the elements that turn a mere dialog into a story. Hell, even a one-act play has more substance than something you could ever pull off in a chatroom.

The language of your fic is important too. Yes, I know we’re writing about characters that live and work in Japan. So research the culture, customs, manners, social norms. Make me believe that these people are really in Japan.

And please… no fangirlese. You speak English and unless you can speak Japanese fluently never, ever write, “Ohayoo, how was your day, Aya-kun? Mine was sugoi!” Uh no, you just sound stupid and like a phony twelve-year-old fangirl who doesn’t know any better. Your primary language is English. Write in English. “Mornin’, Aya. How was your day? Mine was great!” See, now you sound intelligent.

Yes, we’re all guilty of peppering our fics with the random Japanese word here or there. But stop it, for Pete’s sake. Rise above! And avoid the l33t speak, the OMGLIKELOL!!!!!1111; if it’s not in Oxfords’ or Webster’s, it’s not a word and shouldn’t be used. Grammar- and spell-check are your friends. Turn them on. If you see a little red line under a word that you’re convinced is spelled right, then, holy shit, go find an actual bound dictionary and confirm it. Same with the little green lines… I keep two grammar books and two dictionaries handy at my desk. Christ, if I actually improve my spelling and grammar in a fic, I’m happy!

Okay, I think I’ve babbled on a bit and rant and raved so, let me conclude with this. And this is for both the reader and the writer…

Never underestimate the ability of human beings to rationalize their behavior. No matter what it is you give away freely, you will always end up with some people who will rationalize that they are customers and should be treated as such.

The blogger who inspired me into starting my blog, Steven Den Beste, has decided to take an extended break from blogging. In a nutshell, he’s fed up. Fed up with people nitpicking his writing. People who make demands on him as if they were his customers with some right to make demands.

He puts it thusly:

I’ve learned something interesting: if you give away ice cream, eventually a lot of people will complain about the flavors, and others will complain that you aren’t also giving away syrup and whipped cream and nuts.

This isn’t confined just to those who write articles that they freely share on the Internet. Any sort of free product, good, or service will have people who feel they are entitled to make demands on the creator.

So let me give you the 5 rules of free stuff:

(1) Unless money is being paid by you for the product, good or service being provided, you are not a customer. Get over it. You have no rights. Deal with it.

(2) Even if you paid money for the product, good, or service under discussion, your ability to make demands decreases depending on how many separations there are between you and the person you are making demands on. If you paid the person directly, you have maximum leverage. But the more layers there between you and the person you’re talking to, the more diluted your leverage becomes. If I work at Microsoft and I’m posting on some forum, don’t bitch at me that I need to personally solve your Windows problems.

(3) If it’s free, be gracious about it. Don’t complain that you should get more free stuff from the person. Anything you ask for is you asking a favor of the person providing the free thing.

(4) Don’t get mad or accuse the person/company of being “greedy” if some of their products/services aren’t free. Who is really the “greedy” one? The person who has given away things for free or the person who, having paid nothing, makes demands for more free stuff?

(5) If you think you can do something better then do it. Talk is cheap. Nothing is impossible for the person who has to deliver the goods.

–Draginol, Opinionated Techie, 2004

Posted by Ana | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Guide to Fic Writing

18th May 2008

We’re Ranting Again

You know, the elitism in the BL community is really starting to grate on my nerves. I’m sick and tired for having to defend myself for liking graphic, full-out smut. When I read a story, I want my panties to get wet. I want to get all hot and bothered. Yes, I like a good plot and, yes, I like a well-crafted story, but there are times when you just want pretty mindless smut.

It’s gotten to the point in the fandom it seems as if you’re not a true fan unless you only go for the light, happy, fluffy BL stories where there’s no graphic sex, nothing bad ever happens and you’re left scrubbing your teeth after reading to get rid of the sticky sugary feeling.

I want my boys naked and fucking. I want them screwing each other sore, clawing and biting. I want my boys talking dirty, getting all sweaty and grunting.

I have no use for boys that sit and spew poetry at each other.

These “elite” fans even want to regulate what we can and cannot write about.

Rape in this fandom is fairly prevalent. Why? Don’t know. Does it bother me every time a non-con shows up in a fic or in manga? Hell no. Rape is a common fantasy. Most writers and artists stick to it being the “forced into pleasure” type of thing that’s so common in bodice-ripping romance novels. I like my boys being shown that, yes, they will like this and they will like they way it’s being given to them.

Does a fic or manga that shows a traumatic rape bother me? No, not really. It’s not real. It’s all in someone’s head. I like things that slightly bother me. Even better if while they’re bothering me they make me think.

A young BL fan on a message board I frequent had this to say on the subject…

…and I don’t like or read mangas and fanfics with explicit sex. And, as others have said, since when did you fall in love with the person who rapes you? Not many people get the seriousness of rape, but believe me, it’s a traumatic thing, and any rapist obviously has no respect for their victim, and don’t you respect the people you love?

Also, as some people have said, its fantasy. True, but if you read a bunch of continuous stories all with yaoi, you start to take it lighter, and young kids who are more impressionable may start to think it’s okay to rape someone, or that it’s not a big deal to be raped or to have sex at a young age.

Are we to the point now that we’re dumbing down everything just in case impressionable eyes might see it? Do we really think that some youngin’ might come across one of our fics and decide that this might be something fun to do? I’m all for things being age appropriate, but I know when I write, I don’t think about censoring myself so that little Suzy Q. Fan won’t have her delicate sensibilities ripped to shreds.

I guess I’m just a dirty old perv. I like things that get me hot. I don’t go out looking for things that bother me but if I come across them I take it for what it is: a fantasy.

Please note that this is not directed at anyone in particular. If I have any form of contact at all with you, then it’s definitely not directed at you.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on We’re Ranting Again

18th May 2008

Kita’s Fandom Rant

I am not sick of anime. I am sick of most anime fans. I am sick of reading about ass kissing. “Oh, aren’t they wonderful?” Yeah, sure. They’re wonderful when they talk about you behind your back. Yes, they talk about you.

I am sick of stupid fucking cliques within the anime fandom. I am sick of retarded drama within said cliques. Guess what? No one but you cares. No one cares if you’re there. No one cares if you haven’t seen this or that. And if they ridicule you, or look down their nose at you, they’re not worth your time.

Do you realize how utterly moronic some of you sound most of the time? Get out of each other’s asses. Discover things on your own and don’t follow someone because they think this or that is cool. Maybe what they’re doing is completely lame and just because your friend thinks it’s wonderful doesn’t mean it’s necessarily so. Inspire yourself.

I hate that “Tell me what you think!” bullshit after or before a piece of work. Don’t do things for feedback because no one cares if your ego is stroked or not. If you need the stroke, you’ll never improve. I can point out a few artists and writers I know of that are guilty of this. If you want true feedback, don’t ask the general public–they’re idiots. Go to someone you respect, someone who has good art or fics out there. Ask for a true criticism–good and bad.

Quit using ideas from other authors or artists. If you mean it as a spoof, that’s cool. If you’re serious, it’s laughable. Just realize that the few paragraphs you shit out are not grand and meaningful and they never will be unless you expand and continue.

Also, this is the internet. This is not real. This is digital. Someone stole your fic or copied your website design? Who the fuck cares? It’s not real. You’re breaking laws just by putting your fic full of copywrited characters out there anyway. You’re also bending laws by drawing copywrited characters and you break those laws by selling your work.

Yes, you are. Look it up.

If I’ve offended you, you’re probably the ones I’m talking about then. Don’t pout and write to me justifying your position. How about you examine your true motivations by being here and doing what you’re doing.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Kita’s Fandom Rant

18th May 2008

Mechanical Lemon

Warning: If you are uncomfortable with frank discussions about sex, or if you are related to one of us, please go away and don’t read this. Thank you. We won’t hold it against you or anything.

Note: Even though we like to make ourselves out to be, we’re not really experts. We can only speak from our own experiences and what we’ve picked up from talking to other people, which is really all anyone can say. If you or someone you know disagrees with something we said, good for them. And they’re welcome to write their own column. But we don’t feel like getting in any arguments over this, just so you know. Some things will always be different for different people; that’s the way it goes. If you think we left anything out, I guess you can mention it. We couldn’t think of anything else to add.

Also… though this started out as a yaoi lemon guide, it grew a bit, and parts of it would probably be helpful to writers of het lemons as well.

There comes a time in the life of a yaoi fan, when reading lemons is no longer enough, when the compulsion becomes too great–whether the compulsion is just to try it, or to show off, or just to prove you can do it!–and you sit down at last to write a yaoi lemon.

Ashura: Yaoi is, traditionally, a fandom ‘for women by women.’ We girls like to see two bishonen getting sappy and sexy in each other’s arms, so we write, quite naturally, what we want to see. Some of it’s realistic, some of it isn’t. Most of the time we don’t really care.

Ryuuen: But as a real-life yaoiboy who loves to read lemons, let me tell you, some of the stuff people write is either physically impossible–hello, not even my husband, the dancer, can get into some of those positions, and I have a hard time believing Heero can either–or just… ooh, *wince*. It’s a bit jarring to be reading along and then see something that makes me cringe and think, ‘Oh God, that’s gonna hurt!’

A while back somebody was posting to a bunch of yaoi lists with “That’s not what real gay sex is like! You have too romantic a view on homosexual relationships!” and other such crap. Basically, I feel sorry for this guy. I’m a romance nut. I’m far sappier than most of the women I know. And I like yaoi for that reason. So does my husband, who good-naturedly comments here that he hasn’t really had a choice, and something under his breath about a Nuriko costume.

Ashura: And, really, some of the stuff I notice being unrealistic in lemons isn’t even stuff you have to be a gay man to know about. You just have to have had sex. Explored it a bit. Reading lemons to get an idea of the sexual practice is all right, but remember it’s frequently overly romanticised. It’s usually not too hard to tell when a lemon writer has never actually had sex; they can be really beautifully written and true to formula, but frequently miss the little ridiculous details and idiosyncracies that people, er, learn by doing. Not always, of course. There are some virgins who still write kickass lemons, they must just fantasise a lot or something!

Case #1: Let ’em have lube.
Ryuuen: Okay, to put it bluntly–USE IT. Seriously. Lube is available in many scents and flavors at pretty much any sex shop.

Ashura: Or you can get it in packets by hanging out at gay bars.

Ryuuen: Right. There are lots of other things that can be used as lube, but please, use common sense. Jojoba oil works well, or any kind of massage oil. Hell, even vegetable oil. There are other things that should never be used. PEANUT BUTTER IS NOT GOOD LUBE. This should be obvious, I’d think. Go ahead, stick your hand in a jar of peanut butter. Guess what? It’s NOT SLIPPERY. Lube should be slippery, not sticky. This is a pretty basic but important fact.

Ashura: And it really is necessary for the seme and the uke. Think about it–on a female, the vagina is basically hardwired to lubricate itself. The anus is not, in either gender. Not even gay men. If you consider a man trying to have sex with a woman who is not turned on, not wet, and all tense and clenched… well, it’s just gonna hurt all the way around, and it’s not going to be particularly easy to do. Unless the guy’s a rapist or something who gets off on that kind of thing, neither partner is going to enjoy themselves much.

Ryuuen: And consider that most of the characters in these stories are going to have to be able to get up and not only walk around the next morning, but save the world. Have pity and don’t put them through too much pain!

Ashura: Ooh, one more thing here! The Magically Appearing Lube. Just… spare us. Have it in a pocket if it’s an established couple. Borrow it from Duo. God, everybody else does, it’s like a fanfiction staple. Get it from a high school sex-ed seminar. We just mentioned a couple other places to get it up at the top. Otherwise, use something lying around. Just don’t make us wonder if maybe the Yaoi Fairies just dropped it into the room at the crucial moment. Realism, again…

Case #2: Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mister.
Ashura: Okay, this is less about the mechanics of sex and more about the development of a relationship. We get to do that here too, right?

Ryuuen: It’s our column, we can do whatever we want.

Ashura: Oh, right! So. The story goes, there was this one boy who was in love with another boy. After several paragraphs–or pages, depending on the length of the story–of angsting about how this other boy would never love him, lo and behold! His pining wrings a heartfelt, melodramatic confession of love from the object of his affections! To celebrate this cosmic screwup–because things don’t work that way really, somebody in True Love Affairs upstairs just misplaced some paperwork or something–they hop into bed, kiss a few times, somebody goes down on the other, and they screw til they can’t move anymore before falling asleep whispering, “I love you.”

Ryuuen: Everybody who’s ever experienced this sudden fall into True and Eternal Love (and bed!), raise your hand…. Huh. Anybody?

Ashura: Right. Very few real people jump into bed together that quickly. I guess there is something to be said for the ‘we could all be stains splatted on a mobile suit tomorrow’ aspect to lend some urgency, but think back to being a teenager. Unless you are one, then you don’t have as far to look! Most of us didn’t feel comfortable going all the way on the first declaration of love, and even if we had, we didn’t really know how to go about it! The road to sex is paved with a lot of fumbling around and awkwardness and bumping noses and not knowing where to put your arm when you cuddle, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. Exploit it. Drag us back through all the awkward, embarrassing, mortifying, desperately gorgeous feelings of being young and in love.

Ryuuen: Exactly. And while it may come as a shock, gay couples don’t always have to end in anal sex. There’s a lot of other things to do. It’s not like het sex, where there’s basically one standard method that you always end up coming back to… we’re still figuring it out as we go!

Ashura: And really, most of the guys I know prefer oral sex to pretty much anything in the known universe. So, don’t be afraid to make that the high point of the evening, or whatever else you can think of. If we’re in this for the romance and emotions, like we keep claiming, we shouldn’t have to stick to formula lemons, right?

Ryuuen: A lot of the time, yaoi ends up looking like het sex only with two boys. Um, positions for one thing. Yes, it’s nice to see your partner’s face, and it’s possible for the uke to be on his back–the whole jackknife thing that’s so prevalent in lemons. But it’s less physically challenging, not to mention a whole of fun, to do the hands-and-knees bit instead. Or have the uke on the seme’s lap. It doesn’t always have to be the one that makes your legs go numb! I think it’s because it’s closest to the missionary position, which is what people find most acceptable. Also, there are other things to do besides just penile penetration. Um…

Ashura: Are you blushing?

Ryuuen: Who, me? Um… Where was I? Other things. Right. Rimming is actually really romantic. Or you can just use fingers. Fisting sounds a bit painful and scary to me, but it’s an option too. Or use sex toys. Though I’ve noticed people who write a lot of toy sex are less likely to be too formula anyway since they’re already experimenting.

Ashura: Just remember stuff that sounds gross right now is frequently Not Gross in the heat of the moment. Hell, sex in any form sounds a bit gross when you just lay out what’s going on. Fortunately, hormones manage to dull that instinct pretty well. Good sex is frequently messy. Oh, and if semen dries on your skin you’ll get zits there.

Ryuuen: My, we are making this open and honest, aren’t we? I hope somebody finds it useful, after all this.

Case #3: One little, two little, three little fingers.
Ryuuen: Basically, the three-finger rule is a myth. Not necessary. Actually since I was well-versed in yaoi lemon before I ever tried anal sex, this was a matter of some great amusement on my husband’s part. But it depends on the person. Some people need to be stretched fully every time. Some people never need to. It depends on the seme too, and how they go together, and what they both like.

Ashura: And even if it did need to be done all the time, we’re back to the formula fic thing again. We all basically know how sex works. You don’t have to walk us through every minute detail, just pick the good ones that will get us the most enjoyment, and leave the rest to our imaginations. Saying ‘he stretched and prepared his partner’ or some more colorful, emotion-filled variation will work just as well or better than telling us about each finger!

Case #4: And they all had sex until they died of exhaustion.

Ashura: I have heard the rumour that men can have multiple orgasms. I’ve also heard that there are men out there who can give themselves oral sex. I have yet to meet either one. All the guys I know, when asked if they can come more than once per sex session without collapsing of exhaustion, say, “Man, I fucking wish!”

Ryuuen: It can happen, but it’s not standard procedure. Sex takes a lot out of a guy. I read these stories where the characters screw six or seven times, and I wonder how they managed to keep moving that long. Did they die afterward because they were too exhausted to breathe? And was there really that much in them? How long had it been since they last had an orgasm, an ice age?

Ashura: Standard procedure is more like, have sex, remember to breathe, rest for a bit, and if you’re really energetic that day, get up and take a shower. At least if it’s really good sex.

Ryuuen: And that’s just the seme. Find an uke who wants to do it that many times a night. I mean, don’t women dry up eventually and get tired too? Don’t answer that, I already know. It was rhetorical.

Ashura: It’s another excuse to have lots of foreplay and making out! Guys can still cuddle and make out after coming, after all. Anyway, even hormonal teenagers can’t go all day and all night. They can probably do it many times during the course of a day, but they’re still going to need to rest a bit in between!

Case #5: The Myth of the Magical First Time
Ashura: Okay, reality check. First time sex hurts like friggin’ hell, at least if you’re an uke or a female. Somebody will invariably do something wrong. Body parts will not go together like they’re supposed to. It will be a very happy thing, but not necessarily a perfectly pleasant one.

Ryuuen: Right. Emotionally, it’s ecstatic, assuming you’re with somebody you love and all that jazz. You’re excited, you’re pretty overwhelmed because you’ve never done this before and it’s the most intense collection of feelings you’ve ever had to deal with. But it hurts.

Ashura: And frequently new lovers are still too shy to tell each other what’s really going on. Later on, they might get the hang of talking dirty or just communicating better, but the first time that’s as awkward as anything else they’re doing. So, you’ve got one saying, ‘Does that hurt?’ and really being worried, and the other ‘No, it’s fine…’ while clenching their face up and trying desperately to relax. Again, they’re new at this. It’s awkward but it’s beautiful. Play with it.

Ryuuen: And it’s extremely unlikely that the very first time, the uke is gonna have thoughts like, ‘Oh I need you in me right now.’ It’s more vague than that. You want to do something, but that still sounds like it’s going to hurt a hell of a lot. It goes back to the way a relationship develops. At first, just being near them might be enough. Then you keep on pushing the boundaries back, trying more new things, because it’s just not enough anymore. I think this is true for straight and gay relationships both.

Cases #6 and #7: Ooh, ah, ooh, Come Together! and Ecology of an Orgasm
Ashura: Simultaneous orgasms do happen. For some people, I’m one of them, there’s something so astonishingly, beatifically sexy about watching and hearing someone else come that it will pretty much trigger an orgasm. But it doesn’t happen all the time, not even to those lucky folks. It’s a very precious occurrence, and shouldn’t be treated as routine!

Ryuuen: It’s considered polite in het sex if the man holds off til the woman’s come once. It doesn’t have to work that way for men together, because to put it bluntly, it’s a lot harder to make a woman happy! If the seme comes before the uke does, it just means he can give more attention to finishing his lover off with his hand. Sometimes one partner will come before the other. Or God forbid, sometimes one of a couple won’t come at all. Maybe they’re tired, or not as into it as they’d like to be, or their partner pulls their hair at just the wrong moment and it wrecks the mood. It happens.

Ashura: And it’s important, I think, to have some idea of what an orgasm feels like before writing one.

Ryuuen: Different to everybody, I think.

Ashura: Me too, and some people will have their own experience to draw from, but let’s help out those virgins again…

The biggest difference I’ve noticed talking to both sexes about orgasms is that for men and women they kind of go… backward. For both of us, it starts with this sort of glowy tingly white feeling that nobody can ever completely describe. In women, it starts at the edges of the body and works its way in, til it just covers you. For men, it starts about the groin and gets more intense til it bursts. *giggle* Guess that makes sense.

Ryuuen: I’m not sure if that’s true for everyone though. It’s the kind of thing it would be hard to say. Whenever I ask people to describe an orgasm, they hem and haw for a little bit and never do quite figure it out. Except one or two who quote poetry at me.

Ashura: Poetry works for this. We’re talking about writing lemons.

Ryuuen: That’s true. It’s… like light, I guess. See, I can’t describe it either. I’m not usually real articulate at the time. I don’t think anybody is. Flowery descriptions of colors and lights and ecstacy I think are actually fairly accurate here.

Ashura: e.e. cummings called it the “grand together-coloured instant.” Like that. Which actually segues nicely into our next point…

Case #8: Is that a banana in your pocket? The sweet seduction of language.
Ashura: Back to the mechanics of writing, instead of sex. Vocabulary is everything. When you’re going to write a scene, choose a voice and stick with it. It’s up to you if you’re going to be harsh, or flowery, or even silly. But make sure it’s a real, conscious decision; don’t just let words fall onto the paper and hope they end up sounding all right together!

Ryuuen: I don’t mind a bit of vulgarity… I don’t object to words like ‘cock’ or ‘fuck’ if they fit with the mood. But if you throw them in a long poetic sentence, ‘he saw angels floating in the sky around his head with little harps and saw the face of God and screamed, ‘Oh yeah, fuck me!’ WTF? It pulls me out of the story, and I don’t want to be pulled out of the story. I want to be kept inside it as long as possible! So keep the harsh language for one kind of story, and the poetics for another. Very rarely can someone pull off both. If you are one of those people, then high praises to you.

Ashura: And there are some words you just don’t need to ever say. One we laugh about a lot–Jade’s favorite peeve!–is ‘manroot.’ I remember a friend from yesteryear using ‘life-giving snake’ as a euphemism once. Look, if you can’t even say it, just skip writing about it. Yes, we like euphemisms, just please make them fit the tone!!! The ever-popular ‘arousal’ is good, but it’s also a bit overdone. You might even try scooting around it a little bit–‘center of/proof of his desire’ works… I’m sure you can think of something else, you’re a creative lot. Lemon-writing is a challenge. Rise to it, don’t fake it. You’re trying to create an original work of art here.

Case #9: The Prostate: Fact or Fiction?
Ashura: Are you serious? I didn’t even know this was an issue.

Ryuuen: It is. I remember somebody said they didn’t think it was possible for it to work like people write it, but that’s actually one of the few really accurate things. Or somebody said you couldn’t read it, or something.

Ashura: You can. You don’t have to be a gay man to figure this one out, being female with fingers will work just as well. Try it, you’ll like it. By the way, I remember this issue now.

Ryuuen: *nods* It really is there, and it really does practically incite instant orgasm. On the other hand, the seme is not gonna be able to hit it every time. Nor will he be able to ‘angle his thrusts just right’ or whatever they call it. Look, when guys are having sex, they’re not thinking enough to worry about the geometry of it. Not even Heero, I’m guessing. We’re just doing. Which is actually good, because I like the reckless abandon anyway, where’s the blissful sex if somebody’s thinking that hard about it?

Case #10: Fantasy vs. Reality: Do superheroes practice safe sex?
Ryuuen: It’s a fact. In this day and age, before you sleep with anybody, you make sure they’ve had all their blood tests and you make sure you’ve got condoms and you might get their entire medical history. We have reason to be paranoid. Add females into the equation and you’ve also got babies to worry about; but not just babies, because now we have fetal-alcohol babies, and birth-defected babies, and babies with every condition under the sun. Having said that… I like FANTASY. I like to think that by AC 195 they’ve managed to wipe out AIDS and every other STD that threatens us today. While I have yet to be anything less than enthusiastic about the use of a condom in real life, I do think it, like too much description of lubing or stretching, can detract from a story.

Ashura: It’s that fine line between writing realistically and too realistically. Sometimes you might want to bring up the safe sex issue. If that’s what your story needs, definitely do it! I think that it’s not brought up quite often enough sometimes, not because of any social significance–though it definately has that–but because it can add yet more depth to the relationship. Fear is just as real as love. But on the other hand, don’t feel obligated to add it if it’s going to get in the way of your story. I believe rather strongly in character-driven writing, especially as a fantasy writer. I am not so concerned with realistic plotlines as with real, human characters. A great plot with shallow characters is still a mediocre story; an unoriginal plotline with characters you really get attached to is the kind of book most of us keep going back to.

And they lived happily ever after, screwing like bunnies.

So, there you have it. No, we don’t know everything, but we hope you found this helpful, or at least entertaining. We consider it our contribution to the facilitation of more good yaoi lemons for us to read and enjoy. Besides, we got to stay up late drinking beer and talking about sex, which is generally a good way to spend an evening.

Ashura and Van Ryuuen

Posted by Guest | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Mechanical Lemon

18th May 2008

The Politically Correct Final Fantasy VIII Fic

Due to a lot of upset individuals, it has been declared that only Final Fantasy fanfic that meets strict, politically correct criteria will be allowed to be posted. In accordance with these new standards, we are proud to present the new, improved face of Final Fantasy Fanfiction. We have taken care to choose the average Final Fantasy Fanfiction Writer as the author of this new, model piece.

Please enjoy. (But only if applicable in your time zone and legal stratum.)

The Politically Correct Final Fantasy VIII Fanfic
by Sailor Yuffie Serena Glitter Peace Angel Rinoa Leonhart, Cid Kramer no Miko, Biggs & Wedge no Seishi, Martine no Miko, Ward no Miko, Keeper of Irvine’s used hankie and Squall’s purple socks
Untitled Chapter 48/1,052

Author’s note: Esmerelda Heartilly-Leonhart and the other NEOSeeDs go on a mission of love and Adventure to find Angelo’s lost puppies! Songfic with Brittany Backstreet 98 N’Sync Degrees to “Whoops I Want it That Show Me the Meaning of Being Trendy”. This is my very first fan fic but there will be lots more and I’m in seventh grade and I am a vry good writer’s and I am a goth and I’m a enchanted by bitterness and meloncholy and I love SQUALL AND RINOA 4-EVR plz R/R!

Once Upon a Time (this is the only safe beginning for a fic, be sure to take notes)…

There was an angry young man named Seifer.

Seifer: You can’t do that.

What?

Seifer: I can’t be called an angry young man. It’s not PC. I must be referred to as “a socially challenged recently adult member of society with issues due to his tragic childhood of emotional upheaval.”

Oh, alright.

There was a socially challenged recently adult member of society with issues due to his tragic childhood of emotional upheaval. Named Seifer. Is that alright?

Seifer: *consulting book* Yes, that’s fine.

Yes, named Seifer Almasy.

Seifer: Not the Almasy, though.

What?

Seifer: Not the Almasy. I have to be Almasy-Gordon-Genowitz and don’t forget the Copyright Squaresoft, Inc.

GORDON-GENOWITZ!?!?! But you’re AN ORPHAN!

Seifer: That’s “situationally without living parental units.”

ARGH!

Seifer: Get on with the story, please. Everyone else has to have their turn to write one. You can’t take up more than ten minutes of their time. It’s unconstitutional.

*rrr* Named Seifer Almasy-Gordon-Genowitz–

Seifer: The third.

Shut up.

Seifer: *low whistle* That’s not good at all. Character abuse. *makes notes*

Okay, okay! The third! He–

Seifer: Gender specific pronouns are not allowed. You must call me by my full proper name at all times.

SEIFER ALMASY GORDON GENOWITZ THE THIRD COPYRIGHT SQUARESOFT INC. loved nothing so much as his romantic dream of being a sorceress’s knight and defending her honor with his trusty gunblade.

Seifer: Tsk tsk tsk, we can’t have that AT ALL. Sorceress must be ‘womyn endowed with paramagical talents’ and gunblade simply MUST be replaced with something less violent, or better yet get rid of it all together. Guns aren’t PC you know. Knight is archaic, I have to be her non-gender-specific bodyguard. And as for the ROMANTIC, that’s GOT to go, people might be led to believe that I’m homosexual, which we all know is WRONG BAD EVIL NASTY EEWWEWWEEEEEY!!

Hey, why is it okay to bash homosexuals when everything else has to be PC??!?!

Seifer: *sniff* Because you’re ASSUMING I’m gay. You have to ASSUME I’m straight. Everybody is straight to start off with. Nobody is allowed to be gay off the bat. Even if the character is RAMPANTLY FLAMING, like, say, Nuriko, you need twelve stamped papers signed in triplicate by seven different people before you are allowed to write any character in any fanfic as being gay. And that’s just gay in the general sense. Once they start lusting or, deity of your choice forbid, having sex, that’s a WHOLE new set of forms. *gestures to hand truck full of papers* But if you want this fic to be Yaoi, you can start signing these. You can also only post it on a hidden webpage in black font on a black background and it is only allowed to be accessible between 4-4:23 am on the second Thursday of every month ending in 30. When the moon is full.

But that’s INSANE!

Seifer: “Mentally Unstable” and we can’t have you challenging anybody’s world views. Now write it according to code.

Seifer Almasy Gordon Genowitz the Third copyright Squaresoft Inc. loved nothing so much as his non-homosexual in touch with his feminine side but really only interested in females as far as coital relations and only after marriage by an established religious group romantic dream of being the non-gender specific bodyguard of a womyn endowed with paramagical abilities and defending her honor with his skills in diplomatic discussion.

Seifer: I don’t know about the “defending her honor” bit, but we’ll let it go this time.

Gee. Thanks. *ahem* One day, as Seifer Almasy Gordon Genowitz the Third Copyright Squaresoft Inc. was walking down the hallway of Balamb Garden, he met up with Zell Dincht, a fellow student.

Zell: This isn’t yaoi, is it? I have a contract. I’m a mentally based generated life form, previously referred to as fictional, and I have rights.

NO, Dammit! It’s NOT yaoi!

Zell: Good. You can go ahead, now.

“Yo,” Zell said, waving away a passing fly–

Zell: I have a problem with that.

Get. Over. It.

Zell: *on cell phone* Let me just pass that along to my attorney–

Alright, alright! What’s your problem?

Zell: My greeting establishes me as part of a certain group and or social strata. I insist on dialogue without implications of stereotype.

Will ‘hello’ do?

Zell: If you can’t think of anything better, I suppose…

Seifer: Wait a minute. Are we both standard Anglo males?

ER… yeesss…

Seifer: Can’t have that. One of us has to be a minority, and or female, and you must have a representative of that minority as part of the crew, to verify that there are no stereotypes, and contact the SPCA to ensure the rights of that fly that just passed, and–

AAAARRRTGGHHHHHH!!! SEIFER PUSHED ZELL AGAINST THE WALL AND #$%&ED HIM INTO THE PAVEMENT!! SEIFER IS A WACKO WITH A BIG POINTY WEAPON THAT HE LIKES TO HURT PEOPLE WITH AND ZELL IS A SHORT HYPER TWERP THAT LIKES TO BE SQUALL’S LITTLE BOY! AND THEY’RE ALL TRAINED KILLERS! AND THE CHICK CHARACTERS ARE WIMPIER THAN THE GUYS! AND THE GAME TEACHES YOU THAT FIGHTING AND CHEAT CODES CAN SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS AND SENDS A MESSAGE TO YOUTH THAT BEING SOCIALLY INEPT AND INSENSITIVE IS COOL! THERE! THERE, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, YOU FREAKS?!?!?!

*crickets*

Seifer: Um, well. I can work with that.

Zell: Yeah. Um. That’s okay with me.

GOOD. THE END.

Squall: I have a question about my contract…

~owari~

No twelve-year-old-fanfic-writing-Sailor-Moon fans were harmed in the production of this fic. The twelve-year-old-fanfic-writing-Gundam-Wing fans were thrown out of a speeding car. You may now send Tenshi hate mail, so she can laugh her ass off at it and spew beer on her screen, because if you’re threatened by this, I know exactly what kind of fanfic writer you are. ^_^

.b i s h o n e n i n k.

Posted by Guest | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on The Politically Correct Final Fantasy VIII Fic

18th May 2008

Top Ten Yaoi Annoyance Lists

This is what I hate about yaoi fandom. Not what I think you should hate about yaoi fandom. In fact, please note that this is what I hate about yaoi fandom as an insider, as someone who likes and appreciates yaoi and wants to see more of it. I have no gripes against the inherent nature or validity of yaoi; merely aesthetic objections to how it’s executed. I not only don’t find anything wrong with homosexuality, I actively practice it, and I have no problem with authors who write about it, even if they are straight girls.

Unless they write bad, misogynistic yuri-of-last-resort, in which case, as a self-respecting dyke, I am compelled to declare them my bitterest enemies, hunt them down, and shove bamboo under their fingernails, but, uh, anyway…

Just because I am writing this freehand in emacs, I am not morally superior.

Mad props to Sabina, whose essay Top 10 Things I Hate About Fanfiction inspired this. Technically, this should be “top ten things I hate about western yaoi, shonen-ai, and anime slash fandom and how they write fanfic”, as the term “yaoi” is used over-broadly, I know jack shit about Japanese or other non-western fandom, and part of what I object to is the abuses in shonen-ai and not canonical yaoi. Which is pretty much “buttfucking without rhyme, without reason, without repent”, but that would take up too much space in the title bar.

#10 “Show me the setup!”, aka Lack of Setup
Setup, people! It’s all about the setup! While I can appreciate almost any pairing you’d care to mention and deem it in-character, it all depends on the setup. Convince me that Duo and Heero are hot for each other, that Hotohori has gotten over Miaka and is going to jump Nuriko’s bones, that Nick and Wolfwood are getting it on in the back of that bus. Make me believe! I want to believe! This doesn’t apply to PWP or other fic that’s intended solely as a written form of visual porn without a point (i.e., what “yaoi” canonically refers to). But, if you’re going to have any kind of mention of a relationship, flirtation, or god forbid “I love you”s, and it wasn’t shown in the show, give us the background first. Don’t just rely on the fanon to provide you with the literary justification of Quatre and Trowa’s relationship; write it yourself, even if you do it in a subtle way.

#9 “Rinoa who?“, aka Ignoring Canon Het
This is something of a reiteration of #10, but it gets a special mention as it’s a worse offense, in my book. If a character is shown in the source as being unambigously in a heterosexual relationship, give some justification for why he ditches it. This doesn’t apply to fics set before the canon het relationship took place. Seifer/Squall pre-game I can see; Seifer/Squall post-game is going to to take a lot of work. I’d rather have an author kill off Rinoa or Elly or Miaka or the “inconvenient” female love interest than read a fic that goes along the lines of “oh, Squall never loved Rinoa, he always loved Seifer, and they were always having sex!”. Internally conflicted about/repressing/in denial of his own homo- or bi-sexuality I can take. I just want to read it and not have it shoved down my throat. Remember fifth grade writing class, kids? Show, don’t tell. Besides, getting that crucial bit of insight into why Heero picks Duo over Relena can really make the difference between a boring, same-old-same-old fic and one that has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation and interest.

#8 “I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK!”, aka Feminization
Maybe I’m confused. Isn’t the point of yaoi and shonen-ai to see two men, or boys, not to cheat the ephebephiles of their due. together in hot, sweaty, possibly lubed embraces? Why then the complete feminization of some characters, and the seme/uke model that seems suspiciously like traditional heterosexual roles? Just because Duo has a braid doesn’t mean he’s Heero’s bitch or his girlfriend. He’s a guy, and a pretty damn masculine one, too. While there are a number of highly feminine characters in anime who get slashed a lot (Nuriko, Quatre, etc.), the complete feminization of really butch male characters seems like a cop-out. Where’s the homosexuality, damnit? While I can buy the “love regardless of gender” argument for some of it–i.e., the male characters aren’t necessarily attracted to their own gender, per se–making an uke into a cyphered girl is not love regardless of gender. It’s het that’s faking it.

#7 “The Romancing of the Butt”, aka His Ass is not Your Cunt
This one drives me insane. It’s an anus, people, not a vagina! Buttsex is really nothing like vaginal sex. It’s an endeavor, especially for beginners, and the way most fic is structured, the characters are definitely beginners (at least the uke, anyway). Everyone knows the line about self-lubricating anuses, but even more than that, even with lube it takes some patience. And teamwork. And deep breathing. And self-restraint on the part of the inserting partner. A friend and I once made a long list of all the virtues that engaging in anal sex requires as opposed to vaginal intercourse, which is easy to do but hard to do well. There’s also the whole “I want you in me” phenomenon; like I said, an ass is not a vagina. If J. Random Uke is a virgin being seduced by Studly Q. Seme for the first time, and he’s never engaged in sexual behavior before, I don’t think he’s suddenly going to long for “that feeling of being filled up.” The butt is not nearly as hardwired into male arousal as the vagina is into female arousal, for reason that shall become obvious. You’d think this would be common sense. How many of the overwhelmingly female yaoi audience wanted to be buttfucked on their first time? But, apparently it’s not. Not that I’m against buttfucking, but buttfucking that reads like a boring vaginal missionary quickie… well, doesn’t really read like buttfucking at all.

#6 “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!”, aka A Terminal Lack of Non-Buttsex Anal Eroticism
You’d think if these guys are so hot and eager to be fucked in the ass, they’d play around with theirs a little more. Fingering, rimming, fisting, even non-penile penetration… but, no, apparently these things are just not in the sexual repertoire of most yaoi bishonen. Now, if my “anus as vagina” thesis is correct, this is probably explained by the notion that all those fic authors aren’t really writing about their boys’ butts, and explicitly anal things like fisting would be… ewww, you know… like, gay sex or something! Gross!

#5 “Bitch!”, Aka General Misogyny
Look, sometimes the female characters in anime are annoying, bratty, stereotypical, and hard to identify with. Sometimes the boys really are more appealing. But do we have to use the pretty boys to act like the most misogynistic stereotype of gay malehood out there and work out our aggressions on an anime character? The male/male relationships, romantic or sexual, should be strong enough to stand on their own without a need to torture Relena or bitchslap Miaka, as tempting as that may be. I’ve lost count of the number of fic authors who seem incapable of portraying a female character as anything short of a manipulative, whiny, clingy, psychotic bitch–and who utterly feminize their characters into weepy, emotional, romantic, quivering ditherheads. Gratuitiously stupid and bitchy females written by jealous authors do not make for good writing, they just make the story unbelievable, trite, and say a lot more about the author than the maligned female character.

#4 “Get those fingernails away from me!”, aka Yuri of Last Resort
I’d almost make this #1, but that would be self-serving. Look, I love yuri. I wish there was anything even remotely like the overall yaoi fandom for yuri. Heck, I’d be happy just being able to find the stuff reliably. Female/female relationships are actually ultimately more interesting to me than male/male ones, for reasons I hope should be obvious. But, you know, if you’re not going to do it right, why do it at all? If a lesbian relationship is nothing more than a “consolation prize” for an utterly ignored female character, or a convenient excuse to get rid of a canon het pairing, just don’t bother. If you’re interested in yaoi, write yaoi, not a half-assed, deus ex machina excuse for yuri. For a fandom that has a tendency to blithely ignore canon heterosexuality and completely warp female characters, there seems to be an awful lot of attempted justification for yaoi in the “well, the het relationship doesn’t work because everyone is gay” variety; like those silly, bitchy, psycho girls are dykes anyway, so it’s okay for the boys to be gay. Furthermore, if I read one more “Relena, do you hate men?” “Why, yes, Dorothy, I do; that Heero is such an ass!” “Cool! Let’s fuck!” “Oooh, baby!” fic, I will scream. Being fed up with and annoyed at men is not a valid basis for a lesbian identity or a dyke relationship. It’s a reason not to have sex or relationships with men, but deciding to shack up with a chick because your bishonen of choice is humping his best friend/teacher/brother/arch-rival is not going to work. Now, you could write some pretty neat fic just on that premise–a yuri relationship failing miserably because it’s based on false pretexts–but just ignoring the inevitable because you “feel sorry for the girls” is stupid and insulting.

#3 “Gooooooooin’ to the Chapel an’ I’m gooooooooooooonna get maaaaaaaarried!”, aka True Love Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
I have nothing against romance, really. True love is one of the Seven Main Plots, right? Right. I’m just damn sick and tired of reading the eaxct same fic over and over again, where the characters fall in love and angst in the exact same way. There seem to be two main varieties of yaoi fic: sappy romance and angsty romance, to the point where none of it is believeable. Real people do not spend all their time mooning over their beloved. Not everyone falls deeply passionately in love the first time they meet someone, and indeed if they do, they are most likely very young and the feeling is infatuation and not love. Is most yaoi just the recycled teenage fantasies of all-consuming passion that the authors had as a naive thirteen-year-old? It sure as hell reads that way. The “love” in most fic is so cliche, so boiled-down, so formulaic and most importantly so generic that seems less like love and a lot more like masturbation. There’s rarely any fic that attempts to “personalize” the relationships and feelings beyond a few token flavors of stereotype. Love may be universal, but the way we react to it is not. I have personally almost never seen a fic that explained why two characters loved each other and how they loved each other without resorting to the deus ex machina “but he’s my true love!” excuse. An author can nail a character’s voice and speech patterns, his way of behaving, his body language, make him totally believable, and do the exact same thing for his lover, but still just resort to the whole “suddenly, overwhelming love!” trick with the “we understand each other!” and “he’s so remote but silently vulnerable even if he’s a bastard to me” OR “kind caring and gentle and he makes me remember what it is to know love and feel emotion” wands waved over them a few times. There is a hell of a lot more to love and relationships than that. Ever seen a fic where one character just outgrew the other? Where a relationship turned abusive and the abused partner had to come to terms with their emotions? Or where the deep and overwhelming passion really was just an infatuation and a passing fancy, perhaps leaving one character to feel used? Or hell, ever seen a fic where you see two Gundam pilots or SeeDs or a spy and an art thief living happily ever after when they’re sixty or seventy?. I can count the number of fics with a realistic and believable portrayal of love on one hand. Yes, there is always a place for elements of the romanticized and idealized in fiction, there is a point at which the “romanticized” becomes “motherfucking Hallmark”. If I could substitute “Trowa” or “Aya” or “Hiei” for “Heero” and “Quatre” or “Omi” or “Kurama” for “Duo”, the fic is not in any significant way truly romantic. Love does not work by paint-by-numbers.

#2 “Do you want to touch my monkey?”, aka Lack of Penis Clue
Okay, I know most yaoi fans and authors are female. We don’t have the slightest clue what it’s like to have a penis, but damnit, that’s no excuse not to try and hypothesize a bit. All those “rip him open”, bleeding-colon rape fics where the seme engages in behavior that would leave the uke dead of blood loss are not only improbable on the receiving side, but the giving one, too. Namely, fucking someone that hard without any lube at all is probably going to hurt the penis of the seme, too. Probably a lot. I could point out any other number of “penis faux pas” like that, but I’ll spare my gentle readers and point to the anatomy books.

#1 “AISHITERU!”
…. Nuff said.

Think I’m full of shit? Want to flame me? Agree with me 100%? Have a bunch of items I left off the list? Trust me, it was a hard time keeping it down to just ten. Email me, and tell me what you think. That’s psuzan@kekkai.org, folks. Unless you happen to know me already and are cool enough to know my other email.

Cynthia: So that’s one writer’s take on what annoys her the most about yaoi fandom. Here are mine…

10. Writers not using spell check.
9. Writers spelling the word come as ‘cum’.
8. Overuse of descriptive imagery. I don’t need to hear minute discriptions of turning on a friggin’ lamp. Save your descriptive prose for important things.
7. The word ‘koi’. In Japanese, koi is a fish. It’s a type of carp. The word for boyfriend/girlfriend is “koibito”. The word koi as a term of endearment is an invention of non-Japanese speaking rabid fans; an American bastardization if you will. And it’s pissing me off that every bad writer seems to use it in abundance. (Coffie Black would like to add the words shimatta, kuso (which is usually abused in the form of k’so, which is infinitely ignorant and irritating), and masaka–all of which are used generally as interjections.)
6. Aishiteru. There is more than one way to say I love you in Japanese, my dears. Go get an English-to-Japanese dictionary and learn some new ways.
5. The same boring old stereotypes (stupid Duo, slutty Yohji, etc.).
4. Trite song-fics that contain more quoting lyrics than actual prose.
3. The rehashing of the same damn story over and over again.
2. Cross-dressing boys in general.
1. Goth Gundam Wing boys.

Posted by Guest | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Top Ten Yaoi Annoyance Lists

18th May 2008

La Blue Kitty’s Rant

If things don’t change, they turn stagnant.

This is fairly common knowledge and something all of you should be familiar with.

The problem as I see it is that we’ve all be come so fucking P.C. and afraid of offending our fellow writers that no one is complaining about the masses of trite, badly written fics out there.

Now, I’m on about twenty mailing lists for yaoi fan-fiction and on every single list when a fic is posted and the writer begs for comments all the comments are complementary. I don’t care if it’s the most idiotic fic you’ve ever read. Picture Heero in a tub of lime green Jell-O, Duo getting ready to bang his brains out and Wufei sitting by and crying about the injustice of it all. Every bit of commentary is complementary.

It may just be that people are trying to be polite and not post criticism to the mailing list. But looking at my own experience with writing and posting fan-fiction I know that I have never received any negative commentary.

This is not a good thing, my friends.

When we just compliment and don’t criticize, then we get what’s happening now in the GW fandom. There is an overload of bad fiction being produced and those of us with the intelligence to know good writing from bad are either leaving the genre, or getting quite frustrated by having to dig through a shitload of crap to maybe find one decent story.

All of the above holds true with web pages as well. Thanks to the free servers like Geocities and Tripod, anyone can have a homepage. I like the idea of that. Everyone should be able to have a space where they can express themselves. The downside to this is that now anyone can have a homepage, find the slowest loading animated gifs, tacky backgrounds and stupid Java tricks throw the whole mess up on the server and think that they’re a web designer.

With everyone complimenting the hell out of them, these kids are never going to learn what real design is. If you keep getting compliments on your site, no matter how shitty it is, where is your reason to change it?

Everyone, we need to stop this. Yes, we all need to support each other. We are a minority and our love of beautiful boys fucking each other’s brains out is probably not going to win us any friends in the normal anime community.

But this does not mean we have to accept crap.

Speak your mind, people. You’re not a bunch of fucking sheep.

Thank you and goodnight.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on La Blue Kitty’s Rant

18th May 2008

How to tell if a writer has never smoked a cigarette

Lighting up and smoking the entire thing in five drags or less is probably the most unbelievable error. I read this and couldn’t believe it, so I and a few friends tried, and it just ain’t possible unless you’re the Incredible Hulk or some such similar behemoth! You would die, plain and simple. Either that, or your poor little cigarette is doing a whole bunch of burning all by itself. Which means you would be smoking one cig for, oh, half and hour or so. If you can accomplish this, please tell me. I’ll give you something. The best the most accomplished–does that word even apply?–smoker among us could manage was eleven.

Forgetting about a cigarette and having it burn your hand is another one that’s highly unlikely. An entertaining notion, certainly, and good for comedy, but if someone is stupid enough to hold the cigarette above the filter, they shouldn’t be smoking in the first place. Self-rolled cigarettes I can understand, so Wolfwood can get away with this, but that’s about it. At least, I’m assuming he rolls his own since they seem to be always bent and oddly shaped. Otherwise, you’d just make a nice mess of your pants with all the ash.

Lighting a cigarette in a moving vehicle with the top down or on a moving motorcycle is definitely out of the question. Need I explain? Unless your on the floor, this is next to impossible, but go ahead and try. It could probably be done, with much unnecessary burning of body parts. And I’m disregarding car lighters–wonderful little inventions–on this one, because in the instance I saw it in, he was using a normal lighter.

Putting a cigarette out with your fingers or on your body is just plain stupid. Do you have any idea how much this hurts? I know a psycho guy who tried it and he was rolling on the floor. Torturers can do this to their victims, fine, but unless you’re Farfarello, this totally puts a damper on your fun. Also, disables fingers, so watch out. It ain’t like snuffing candles.

Once again, if you’ve ever done any of this, I am not accusing you. Just pointing things out. Hope you can take what I’ve said as a help instead of an attack.

La Mangust

Posted by Guest | Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on How to tell if a writer has never smoked a cigarette