Sunday, April 12, 2015

221B Con 2015: Fan fiction writers and the futility of Ripperology.

Here's what my brain remembers of late Saturday night at 221B Con.

Lyndsay Faye, Tim Greer, and a demonic school teacher, whom I hope will forgive me for forgetting her name (which is kind of good, because I might accidentally summon her), convinced me that solving the Jack the Ripper murders was futile and/or required some sort of social action. It might have been a subtle mind-fog the demon cast upon Lyndsay and Tim, but they seemed to be forgetting time travel technology, whose future development is our last best hope for catching the Ripper and/or bringing him to 1979 where we can use 1979 Mary Steenburgen as bait and catch him there, even though she is the furthest thing from a prostitute, at least in my Midwestern mind.

Then I stood in the hallway and got carded again for standing there, then followed a line of people into a fan fiction workshop. Which was cool, because all comments from the Sherlockian poser community aside, fan fiction is about writing. It's about being literate and literary. And anyone who goes on about "literary societies" without ever having spent any significant time trying to be literate and writing something has less cred with me than any writer of fan fiction. (Excuse me, it's late, and my peeves are coming out.)

So anyway, we broke up into five groups and had some old hands at fan fiction come around and discuss our writing issues with them. We apparently had three hours available to get through a rotation of the five advisors, but about half my group seemed to get pretty sleepy after two, at which point many of us slipped away. But in the time we had, good conversations were had.

There's a language all its own to the world of fan fiction, and I am slowly building my fluency in it. "Casefic," that brand of story that has Holmes actually working a case seems to be a universal problem, and why not? Even Conan Doyle struggled with that one and probably would have loved Holmes more if he didn't have to be a genius all the time. "Betas" are helpful readers of one's work, giving both constructive criticism and motivational support. (And if I'm missing beats here, somebody please Beta this blog and straighten me out.)

Despite the carding to get in, my groups never seemed to get into the sexy stuff the genre is notorious for, during the late night fan fiction sessions, concentrating more on the basic story writing. (I don't think it was me, as a couple of folks seemed happy to have me in their group a second night.) Because sexy or not, story is still story, even on the black market of fiction that supplies us when the professionals make us wait or don't go where we want them to go with our favorite characters.

And that was fine. And what did I just write about leaving the workshop because I was too sleepy? Well, now it's later still . . . . goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your reports from the con very much!

    Remember, I once told you to load your out of print books up on AO3 so we could enjoy them again?! Or perhaps we'll see new things from you in the future? Would love either possibility.