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tell me about your underappreciated fanwork

[personal profile] lettered recently talked about under-loved fic/art - fic or art that maybe got some attention or maybe didn't, but either way didn't get as much attention as the creator thought they deserved. In the comments, she and I had the following conversation:

SNICK: I have this abiding conviction that my fic couldn't possibly be "worth" as much as stuff that lots of people read and comment on.

LETTERED: I think a lot of us feel that way. Almost everything I wrote last year was gen, and while it got a lot of appreciation, it didn't get nearly the response shippy fic in the same fandom is getting. And I'm afraid that's the reason I'm in such a slump right now. Which is ridiculous, but I'm having trouble getting over it.

This makes me horribly sad, because a number of my Very Most Favoritest Authors also suffer from chronic under-appreciation, IMO, apparently due to being just a little bit too far out of the fannish zeitgeist. The fandom would be much the poorer without them; I can only be grateful that even without getting the love I consider their due, they keep plugging along, telling the stories I want so much to read.

All of which is wordy prelude to me nabbing [personal profile] lettered's meme (loosely paraphrased): Link me to a fic/art/whatever that you're proud of, tell me why it's awesome, and feel free to gripe a little about why you think it didn't get more attention. And/or, do the same for some piece of fic/art by someone else that you think should get more love.

I can't promise I'll look at the work you're talking about, because I might not have time or it might not be in my fandom, but it's nice to vent sometimes, and also perhaps someone else who wanders in will be interested!

Original entry posted at Dreamwidth. Feel free to reply here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
tebtosca
Apr. 26th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
LOL this is making me think about certain fics and how the very same fic (tweaked a little bit) with a different pairing could get a hundred times for of a response. I wrote a Cindy/Sandy college AU randomly that I love, but if I had made it J2 it would probably be one of my more popular one-shots lol

I get it, obviously. I have my preferred pairings and tropes as well.

Speaking of, what is your fic that you find underappreciated?
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
Aww, and if that fic featured one of the "regular" SPN ladies instead of Sandy, I'd be really excited to read it. (I have weird resentment against the non-SPN CW people - Sandy and Sophia and Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum - because J2 fics are full of them and I have no idea who they are and don't care.) Actually, now that I'm just getting into femslash, I'll probably read it anyway, because it's not like All the Gen/Adrianne Fic Ever is going to last me very long. :)

The fic I've been quoting to people lately is my late S5 Sam/Tamara fic, which received three comments last year (albeit three comments from people who really really liked it). Pretty sure that one comes down to "rare het pairing involving female character no one remembers." But I worked really hard on getting the emotions right, and there was explicit sex (for my second time ever, basically), and I am still super proud of it.
tebtosca
Apr. 26th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
But Sandy was on SPN so she totally counts lol! Ah, but yeah, I find Sandy the most beautiful and personable out of them all so I have a fondness for her. She was ubiquitous until a few years ago.

And Cindy Sampson is perfection because, of course she is. LOL I've been trying to stage a one-woman Cindy Sampson renaissance for two years, but everyone ignores me.

Ooh Sam/Tamara! She is one of those one-off characters like Kathleen or Casey that had a lot more story in them than what was told on the show. I'll check it out!





snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
Cindy's a secondary character in my bb, and I've very much enjoyed writing her. :)

So you should drop a link to this delicious femslash, for other interested parties. :D
tebtosca
Apr. 27th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
YAY! More Cindy, especially in longfic, is awesome. *pom-poms*

lol oh right! Here it is, in case anyone wants adorably random femslash lol

ETA: also, almost all my genfic and vesselfic is rare pair or minor characters, if you want to peruse those tags for something relevant to your interests lol

Edited at 2013-04-27 02:18 am (UTC)
snickfic
Apr. 27th, 2013 02:25 am (UTC)
Ooh yay, links! I will keep the genfic and vesselfic in mind for future reading droughts. :)
quickreaver
Apr. 26th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree with you, being a primarily gen writer (and no RPF to speak of.) But I'm trying to expand my reading horizons a little this year, to include stuff I wouldn't normally consider--for your very reasons!

'Worth' is a tricky thing. How many people put their stamp of approval on that 50 Shades drivel? THOUSANDS. Is it good. Not even close. (All this based on the two paragraphs I did read.)

All we can do is the best we can do, and try to figure out what works and why, then decide if that's something worth repeating. I can never guess which one of my stories/pictures will fly and which won't. Ever. I just do what makes me happy and let that be that, but it's always rewarding to have others appreciate the work.

So now I'm gonna read me some Sam/Tamara because that is one I missed!

From my own stash, the fic that I worked bloody hard on and has gotten tepid attention is last year's Gen Big Bang In the Blood Red Dust, but I totally understand why. To begin with, it's long. And it's gen and it's set in the Wild West and involves werewolves. All these things are potential stumbling blocks. (And the end was a tad abrupt, due to my poor time management.)

Of my shorter fics, Rabbits Scream will always hold a huge spot on my heart, a spot apparently not shared by other readers. ;) But there again, I GET IT. It's graphic and harsh and so not cute. But I had to go to some pretty tough places to write it, and for that? I will always love that damned fic.

Interestingly, the audiences at LJ, AO3 and ff.net all favor very different things. Generally speaking, ff.net prefers schmoop, LJ the thinky stuff, and AO3 likes anything potentially racy.
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
'Worth' is a tricky thing. How many people put their stamp of approval on that 50 Shades drivel? THOUSANDS. Is it good. Not even close.

Oh yes, I don't mean that popular stuff has greater intrinsic worth, necessarily, just that it feels that way. :(

So now I'm gonna read me some Sam/Tamara because that is one I missed!

:D

Ooh, I will bookmark In the Blood Red Dust for when I am feeling like something gen and plotty. I'd have said wild west + werewolves would actually have been a popular combo. (OTOH, I generally have trouble with Sam-hallucinates-Lucifer fics; as you say, they're harsh and I have trouble dealing with them. But again, if I am ever in the mood... :) )

I think ff.net must depend a lot more on pairings, since there's hardly any other info to go by? But in general, yeah, over there fluff and schmoop to be major draws. My Jo-gets-pregnant fic is one of my biggest hits over there.
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
This conversation about worth is interesting to me, possibly because I was a hipster writer before there were hipsters, and I've always found personal value in bucking trends and tropes/trying to find new things to do with them, etc. The problem, in terms of popularity, is that most readers want the happy fluffy coffee shop AU, not the deconstructed one in which Dean's trying to support him and Sam on tips and he's on his feet all day and has a bad wrist from pulling shots and Castiel is a robot who's going to take Dean's job because he can pull shots forever with minimum upkeep. My attitude of "more worth if less zeitgeisty/popular" might factor into my utter failure at self-promotion, actually.

Anyway, I can tell you that your stories are worth way more to me than the ~popular stories I read. <3<3<3
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
I was a hipster writer before there were hipsters, and I've always found personal value in bucking trends and tropes/trying to find new things to do with them, etc.

Right. Me, too! My fundamental fic impulse is to fill in the holes that fandom has left, so basically, "This should exist, and I WILL MAKE IT SO." But that's like a recipe for How Not to Be a Popular Author. The hipster readers will love us, though. :D

Anyway, I can tell you that your stories are worth way more to me than the ~popular stories I read.

Awwwww. <3 <3 Although I will never be Very Popular as long as I keep writing what I write, it does mean an awful lot to me when people whose taste I respect (like you!) make such positive noises about my stuff.

And let's be honest, when I was talking about My Very Favoritest Authors Who Are Unappreciated, you know you were the first one I thought of. Everyone should know and love your fics. Everyone, I say!

ghostyouknow27
Apr. 27th, 2013 05:53 am (UTC)
Right. Me, too! My fundamental fic impulse is to fill in the holes that fandom has left, so basically, "This should exist, and I WILL MAKE IT SO." But that's like a recipe for How Not to Be a Popular Author.

Yup! We should learn from TV network execs, who program eleventy billion versions of the same show, because that's the reliable way to give people what they want.

Awwwww. <3 <3 Although I will never be Very Popular as long as I keep writing what I write, it does mean an awful lot to me when people whose taste I respect (like you!) make such positive noises about my stuff.

And let's be honest, when I was talking about My Very Favoritest Authors Who Are Unappreciated, you know you were the first one I thought of. Everyone should know and love your fics. Everyone, I say!


I c&p'd all of this because it is so, so mutual. There are not enough heart symbols in this world. <3<3<3<3<3
snickfic
Apr. 27th, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
quickreaver
Apr. 27th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
YES. Fluffy sells. But not to me. Oh, I like the occasional schmoopfest but I'd FAR rather read stories set in the grim coffeeshop-of-despair any day! You go, you crazy hipsters.
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 27th, 2013 06:31 am (UTC)
GRIM COFFEESHOP OF DESPAIR! o/

At least our fugly hipster sweaters will keep our corner of fandom toasty. :D
quickreaver
Apr. 27th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I don't mean that popular stuff has greater intrinsic worth, necessarily, just that it feels that way. :(

Yeah, I hear ya. I simply want the good stuff to get the attention it deserves, period. I often forget that my definition of good stuff isn't always widely appreciated. There's also that 'lightning in a bottle' phenomena that strikes the most unlikely stories. Who even knows what happens there?

Hey, you don't have to slog through my stuff, honest. I was just playing along. ;) Part of me knows full well that my writing isn't everyone's cuppa, and the other part wants a big gold star from the world. They're there if the mood strikes you!
snickfic
Apr. 27th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
Well, hurrah, thank you! I have the time travel one bookmarked now. :)

And to answer your other comment, Ghost's epic genfic is here. I don't know how you feel about AUs, but don't be put off - it's not quite as AU as it looks.
quickreaver
Apr. 27th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link; I dig AUs, especially long ones. It's going in my Kindle right now. BAM.
brutti_ma_buoni
Apr. 26th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
I think you've read all my under-appreciated stuff. Woe. (And it's really the 'starting out in a new fandom' thing in my case, though I still wish more people had read Dovetail Shuffle. AO3 suggests it's less read than anything else of mine in RPS. Evidently poly stuff, even with promise of Jared/Jensen just doesn't cut it. But I had *so* much fun writing it - one of those fics that just flows from your fingertips and begs to be shared.)
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
Aw, you should drop a link to Dovetail Shuffle, in case of other interested parties. :)

I have to say, I have been enjoying your RPF excursions awfully a lot. If you're feeling like your J2 isn't getting a lot of attention, have you thought about cross-posting somewhere? If you get linked on spnnewsletter, I can guarantee you'll get more traffic, and probably more comments - happy J2 is one of the fandom sweet spots, I think.
brutti_ma_buoni
Apr. 27th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
This is a good point, so I am linking: Dovetail Shuffle

I get plenty of AO3 hits, but not on this one. Which seems odd, somehow. (And I know. I really, really should work out good comms to crosspost to to get linked on the newsletter. I know this. I just... dunno, really. Unlike AO3 I'm weirdly unexcited about making the effort to crosspost. Lazy, I spose.)
snickfic
Apr. 27th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Laziness is an acceptable excuse! Although if you're looking for somewhere for the J2, I'm told padacklesrps is the biggest one.
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 26th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
You already know mine! But Die Hard the Hunter. (Granted, I haven't looked it over since posting, so I have a higher opinion than I might otherwise. Sooner or later I become embarrassed about awkward sentences in my fic and want comments but also for no one to ever read my stuff again, because brains are fun and contradictory like that).

I think I'll always say DHTH simply because it was my most ambitious finished fic to date, the one that I spent the most time on, and also one on which I really wanted feedback on (especially for things like my Sam). But as far as the zeitgeist goes, I probably couldn't have picked a worse story to write. I do wonder if it kind of broke me on long, ambitious, plotty adventure fic (my absolute favorite at the time I wrote it), since all of my writing since has been, erm, on a much smaller scale.
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
AWWWW. I too am very disappointed by the lack of adulation for that fic. As an ambitious plotty adventure fic, I think it's pretty great. I think you're probably right about zeitgeist, but it saddens me a lot that the reception broke your spirit for that kind of fic. :(

FWIW, it's always one of the first things I rec to people who are looking for long genfic.

(But you should drop a link here, so that other interested parties can find it.)
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
(But you should drop a link here, so that other interested parties can find it.)
Ahem. And as I was just talking about zero skills at self promotion ...

http://archiveofourown.org/works/479736/chapters/833640

I think you're probably right about zeitgeist, but it saddens me a lot that the reception broke your spirit for that kind of fic. :(

The plotty/action stuff is a lot of work and stress. It just is. So getting fewer kudos/hits than I do on, say, a 400-word "just for kicks" ficlet is depressing, even if the 400-word ficlet is a/b/o and therefore AO3 magic. But yeah, I think there's a limited market for 60k of TFW gen fic (less than there is for S&D gen fic, I think, and a whole less than there is for plotty/action Wincest or D/C, obv.), even if I had posted earlier into the bang/had conveyed the twist in the summary, etc.

Knowing that you rec it around still makes me <3, though. <3
salty_catfish
Apr. 27th, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, I remember reading this when it was published but I dropped it somewhere in the second third, I don't remember the exact reason anymore, but I sometimes just do that when I can't read a fic in one sitting - or maybe just lack of time. I do remember that I was intruiged by it and that the fic read fresh, like there was an actual idea to it and without stale stock characterizations, which I liked. And I was happy because Meg? I think that maybe I felt like some mystery elements were dragged out too much for my taste or that some character beats didn't work for me? I'd have to take another look. It's all a bit fuzzy but I thought I'd mention that it left a very positive impression.
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 27th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for chiming in! It's very possible that the story was longer than it needed to be, etc. (it's hard to weigh in on character beats, because sometimes those are a matter of opinion, but it's possible the things that didn't work for you were things I struggled with as well, and of course your reaction is valid either way), which would definitely contribute to someone not finishing it. I'm glad to hear that you remember it positively, especially that it "read fresh." It's probably my most conventional SPN fic, so it's really nice to know that it didn't read like the same-old. Thank you!

Also, woot on Meg! :D
salty_catfish
Apr. 27th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
It was definitely not the kind of fic where you know exactly what's going to happen from the second paragraph and that is always welcome. Like I said, it's very likely that the reason I dropped it had not much to do with the fic and I still feel like I want to finish it :) In terms of promotion I don't think I ever connected you and 'the author of that fic I read', you could link you your masterlist in your journal, more people might stumble over your fic that way! (Except you're trying to be stealthy ofc.)
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 27th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
My journal is flocked, so I generally don't consider it stumbling ground (though of course I end up friending/following people who don't know me except as some random person who friended them). Linking to a masterpost or two probably wouldn't kill me. :)
quickreaver
Apr. 27th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
You got a link to 'Die Hard the Hunter'? I don't think I've read it. Snic describes it as a plotty, ambitious adventure and that sounds like gold to me!
ghostyouknow27
Apr. 27th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
I see that snick already gave you a link! <3

If you do read, I'd love to hear your thoughts, positive or not. But don't feel like I expect it. I place no demands! I hope it works for you in any case. :)
quickreaver
Apr. 27th, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
It's burning a hole in my Kindle as we speak. :D
afastmachine
Apr. 26th, 2013 10:57 pm (UTC)
This is the one thing that frustrates me about SPN fandom so much. There's so much gold lurking under the surface, but it's nearly impossible to find because fandom as a whole seems to collectively go for only a handful of different kinds of fic.

Honestly I wish my fics in SPN fandom were better appreciated in general, and I think maybe if they were posted now they would be, seeing that I've made a bit of a name for myself. I'm equally proud of this is the way you left me and it's not the fall because I feel like they reflect two sides of the same coin, and I worked really hard to try and figure out Cas's state of mind at the end of S6, but I think so many people were angry with his storyline that they had no interest in explanations. I actually got some good comments on it's not the fall, but nothing compared to what other fics in the fandom were getting with just a dash of Dean/Cas thrown in.
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
Ooh yay, links! I don't think I've ever read any fic from you; we've always just been canon/fandom chat buddies.

It is a fact that SPN fandom's tastes and mine tend to be pretty different. That's one of the reasons I appreciate comms like rocksalt_recs so much as venues that let us draw attention to some of that gold. The mix there is a lot nearer to my tastes than fandom at large.
afastmachine
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
That's another thing, lol. I have lots of friends in fandom who I think have no clue that I write as well(albeit not as much as I wish I could) since I'm more focused on the general community aspect of things.

I love the rec comms that have cropped up, to be honest. That's why I was so thrilled to rec for rocksalt_recs when the invited me last month. I love the community and wide variety of fanworks to be offered.
snickfic
Apr. 26th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
Well, FWIW, I think people who run communities and fests and things are the foundation of fandom - without that basic structure, we'd all be out here flailing in our private seas.
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