Since Zyra and I were actually in the same house together, we decided to sit down and write a post together. This is the result of that collaboration! We literally passed the laptop between us as we wrote our thoughts down. Hopefully they get you guys thinking and commenting and maybe we can do another before she leaves next week. :-)
Writing Outside of the Box
One of the concerns we often have with writing the blog is that we sometimes feel like people will read what we're writing and take us as the authority on all things Han and Leia. Well, we're not. We'd like to think that we are just offering a place for all of us to discuss our favorite couple and have open discussions about the many possibilities when it comes to writing about them. So we'd like to think that people aren't reading what we're writing and seeing something that goes against something they were maybe thinking about writing and then deciding they can't post it. We are only offering opinions here, so hopefully you are all still feeling free to write what you want to write as long as it's what you are interested in.
And just as we 'pushed the envelope' with the sexy times post last week, it's good to encourage each other to write Han and Leia maybe as they aren't always written. It is the infinite number of different ways in which we can all see these characters that make the greatest stories or can make them if we were all to write them. That isn't to say that we should all go off and write crazy, out of character stories just for the sake of being different. It's just that we probably don't all see these characters exactly the same way, and we don't want the vocal majority to stifle the creativity of a few people who might have some different ideas but could be reluctant to post because they don't think that the rest of us will buy it.
Lady Peter recently shared with me (Push) her new fanfic writer's motto (I hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing) and it was: "Write the story that you would want to read." I just loved that and it was exactly the message we wanted to get across with this post. We all probably have enough to contend with dealing with our own internal critics, we certainly don't need to add the voices of a million (it's possible) readers that we are trying to please. In the end, if you're able to write down a storyline, conversation, oneshot, etc. that you love then share it - chances are someone else will dig it, too. Which brings us to feedback....
Oh, feedback. Feedback can bring a writer the greatest feeling of accomplishment. And lack of feedback can completely destroy their will to ever write again. Silence in this case can be absolutely deafening. Unless you've written something and posted and experienced the silence in response, you have no idea. That is one of the reasons we often encourage you lurkers to come out of the woodwork. Feedback is a tricky thing. First, you should know that very, very rarely anywhere in the fandom do I ever recall seeing genuinely negative feedback. And anytime I have, it was either an obvious troll just looking to be irrationally mean, or the writer of the story was obviously a troll writing something absurd to get a reaction. So you probably shouldn't worry about negative feedback.
It's lack of feedback that kills you. The thing is, you can't let it bother you. There can be any number of reasons for lack of response. One thing you notice after posting for a while is that while the sexy time stories always get the most hits (yes, always) they also often have the fewest reviews. One potential theory I have on this is that people don't like to admit that they like those stories, or maybe just don't want their name attached to it, even though of course we are mostly anonymous. Also, there are a lot of stories out there for us to be reading, and once you get to know and trust authors, you start to read them and comment. But when new people show up, you don't necessarily jump at reading because you aren't sure if it's going to be worth it. So if you don't give it a shot, and a lot of other people don't, either, then people don't wind up reading or reviewing.
You really can't let that get to you. You need to just keep writing what you want to write and trust that if you keep at it, people will eventually jump on board and become avid fans of your work. My (Zyra) first few stories got very little attention. Nobody was reading and reviewing. But I kept on writing and eventually people started reading and reviewing more. And I (Push) had only about one reviewer for my first story (which happened to be Zyra)...
So, get out there and write the stories you know you'd want to read but maybe are afraid to write. Or does anyone have any comments on this? Anyone feel like we've said some things on here that you disagree with but haven't spoken up on before? We really do want to try and be open minded here. Keep in mind that we are all just a bunch of creative types who can interpret things differently and only offer opinions. Hopefully we can always respect each other's.