Monday, January 23, 2017

Episode VIII Has a Title

Well, we finally have a title. Literally just yesterday I was thinking it was odd to me that we didn't yet know what the title of this movie was going to be and went back through old blog posts and saw that we learned the title of Episode VII in early November, over a year before it came out. Also notable is that we had our first teaser trailer just after Thanksgiving in 2014. We are way behind in hearing and seeing things about this movie, although I could possibly buy that it is at least partly because they don't want to steal the thunder away from Rogue One. I tell you it is going to get exhausting having a new Star Wars movie every December.

So, any thoughts? I would suspect that a lot of you are feeling like I am about this, which is still fairly indifferent. And a lot of my potential enthusiasm was snatched away when we lost Carrie. I've kind of always felt like the titles of these movies tend to sound silly when you really think about them, though to be honest there isn't really much silly about this one. In fact this is finally one that kind of gets right to the point and doesn't leave much room for a whole lot of interpretation, aside of course from who exactly they are referring to. Luke? Rey? Kylo Ren?

Honestly, given the lack of information coming out and my own lack of interest, it almost feels like this movie isn't even happening. Also a real lack of rumors compared to the last one. Very strange.

But, well, there it is. It has a title and maybe someday we'll even get to see some footage and see what it might actually be about. 

80 comments:

  1. I think it's a terribly dull title. A simple declarative with no movement, emotion, threat or action to it at all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And has apparently been used 2x before, by Del Rey and by Marvel, in the SW series. Nobody did a google search?
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Last_Jedi

    ReplyDelete
  3. To be fair I don't think there has ever been a Star Wars title reveal that was pleasing to fans. So I'm reluctant to be too critical. Also I already saw a joke title for Episode 9: Wait, We Found More Jedi. And then I just saw another one that said no, they didn't steal the title from the EU, and we're all looking forward to Episode 9: Assault at Selonia.

    To me this kind of makes me think Luke is going to die.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jedi is plural as well as singular though. A movie about Luke and Rey is also "The Last Jedi"

    ReplyDelete
  5. The words are red. For some reason, that deeply bothers me. Like, I will never get over the fact that the words are red. I don't like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to hope that's just for this announcement. The words need to be yellow in the end...

      Delete
    2. Ewww. Good call. Not digging the change.

      Delete
    3. The red logo sucks!! I really hope they change that. Although I feel like the red is kind of ominous in some way. Maybe bad things are going to happen. Although I can't really think of how the bad things could be worse than what happened in TFA!

      Delete
    4. Like "Kylo" (red) surrounds the last Jedi (Rey and possibly Luke)...

      Delete
  6. I just read that apparently for a while they were going to call TFA Shadow of the Empire. So apparently stealing titles from the EU is always going to be a thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow. That kind of sucks. Could mean anything. And doesn't make me really want to see it. So I guess Han and Leia paid the price to help the last Jedi? Ugh. Luke's story may have sucked me in, but Han and Leia are what kept me around. Not enthused.

    Lol, love that about wait, we found more in ep XI. :) Wasn't there a theory or a story that if there were no Jedi there could be no Sith? Could they be going that route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could be, who knows? Showing how quickly Star Wars fans come up with theories and stuff, someone already mentioned something about how since Kylo isn't technically a Sith, Rey doesn't necessarily have to be a Jedi, like it can be a new incarnation of Force user. Except sorry, I think kind of the essence of Star Wars is Jedi. You can't just take that away.

      Delete
  8. Hmm well it's not as terrible as the Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones I suppose.

    I'm pretty sure they're referring to Luke because I remember an interview with Daisy where she said that Rey isn't a Jedi in Episode VIII. I don't think Luke will die though because a while back Colin's email got hacked (the director for Episode IX) and he said something about wanting to give Luke and Leia big roles in Episode IX.

    I don't have much interest in seeing this movie at all though. I don't want to see Leia suffering again. And the woobifying of Kylo is going to be super annoying to watch because it comes at the expense of the original characters.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't like the red either. Won't it be confused with Return of the Jedi which is usually called Jedi for short? That was confusing about how many Jedi it refers to also(Luke? Vader? Luke and Vader?) Since there's been no trailer yet, I'm guessing there won't be one until Easter when the Celebration convention is held. I hope that my reaction will be better than to the Episode VII trailer which was "This is disturbing".

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's weird because I won't see the movie. However, I'll read about it, read viewers' opinions, and watch You Tube videos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. IT's kinda blah. The only fun I'm having is wild speculation that Han is still alive and reading all the Luke fans yammering on about not wanting to see Luke die. Well, hey, we didn't want to see Han die either!

    I don't think they can kill Luke because I can't see them going into 9 with no member of the OT3 alive but hey, their problem now! They destroyed them and ripped them apart and killed Han so I have less than zero sympathy.

    I hope Mark Hamill gets all the good things out of the movie but I won't be seeing it without reading every spoiler known.

    Although if Kylo bites the dust? I'll go spend money to see it.

    I'm sure, however, that Kylo will live and be all woobie and we'll hear some sob story about him while Luke and Leia are ground into the dust further. I'm sure Rey will decide not to be a jedi because she's already the bestest that ever was so why learn more?

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Honestly, given the lack of information coming out and my own lack of interest, it almost feels like this movie isn't even happening. Also a real lack of rumors compared to the last one. Very strange."

    This really resonates. More and more I'm feeling these movies are not for us (well, ok, speaking just for myself, not for me), any more than the prequels were; they are for their own generation. History marches on, lives evolve, and so too do stories/characters... and our Star Wars joy was the original trilogy.

    The red is interesting, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sad thing is, they should be for EVERYONE. Just like the OT was. Making a GOOD movie is universal. I guess these new movies might hit a few decent notes to get people interested (and it did, it wasn't entirely awful and even I admit there were good things about, things that could've still happened exactly the same if they didn't keep all those really bad things, which is what makes it more infuriating) but it's just not going to resonate the same way the OT has. It's not going to hold up anywhere close to those. There's a reason that there are millions of us who could watch these movies over and over again.

      And it still just blows my mind that with people who do this professionally they could screw it up so badly. Although to be fair I do believe that at least a few capable people weren't actually interested in working on it, because they didn't want that responsibility. I guess I can understand that, too.

      Delete
    2. I'm going to post a link in a minute from someone who did a great piece about the mythic underpinnings of the original saga and what's gone wrong with TFA.

      They don't think they did anything wrong, because it made money. That's all that matters. They put in the signifiers of a STar Wars movie and we're all supposed to rush out and see it (in adjusted dollars, it's still behind the original) just like every other modern blockbuster, and it's just like any other modern blockbuster - soulless. Just a group of focus group tested characters pushed around Star Wars Land. What's the point of the movie? Is it Starkiller Base? Is it killing Han? Is it finding Luke? it's none and all and there's no there there.

      Star Wars is resonant because it's a myth. George worked in references from myth and movies, from all sorts of sources, into this gloriously fun story, that was in stark contrast to pretty much every other movie of its time. He had a vision, he cast some wonderful actors who got the idea and were timeless looking, with dialogue that isn't of its time - it could have been made at any time.

      Contrast that to TFA - "I've had a messed up day" "droid please" "do you have a boyfriend" and on and on. It's of the current moment and in ten years, it'll be dated. The story is a complete rip off of New Hope with some Arthurian legend laddled over it, and it manages to mangle how the Force works completely. Luke strives and fights to get to be a Jedi; Rey closes her eyes and she can do anything - fight a Sith Lord, speak Wookie and binary (the only other person who can do this is Han), fly the Falcon, perform a Jedi mind trick - when she's NEVER EVEN SEEN IT. It's a comic book - she has magical superpowers, Finn is put in as her comic relief sidekick. Yes, Han has most of the funny lines in SW, but his funniest moment doesn't have a line of schtick in it - trying to bluff their way around in the holding cell.

      It's also dark - I was watching another review of TFA today and I'd forgotten how dark it is. I have no sense of how Starkiller base or Maz's castle are laid out. Jakku isn't a patch on how interesting everything on Tatooine is. Luke with his aunt and uncle underlines so much of who he is as the saga goes on, while Rey is a cypher!

      Star Wars is like Casablanca. People will be quoting "use the Force" and "I am your father" and so on, just like they quote "round up the usual suspects." Outside of "that's not how the Force works" have you heard anyone quote TFA? And that works because Harrison and it's based on what we know of the Force - well, prior to TFA.

      TFA is, to me, like every Marvel movie and the Batmans and Spidermans - i just don't care about those characters. They do nothing for me and if they did, they'll just be recast and rebooted in three more films anyway. Star Wars now is just like any other blockbuster.

      Delete
  13. Lol. Of course the family had thoughts about ep 9.

    Star Wars: Han and Leia kiss for 800 hours

    (Ok I wouldn't mind that one)

    Star Wars: The Revenge of Jar Jar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would definitely watch the kissing one. I still want them to eventually release every take of every kissing scene they did. I would pay so much money for that.

      Delete
  14. The kissing scene sounds great. I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Honestly, the red bothers me a lot, too. Red has a deep meaning in SW because of Vader's lightsaber. Writing the title in red instead of yellow is disconcerting. If I cared - which I don't - I would probably say that signals a bad take on the Jedi.

    But I don't care! Because the ST ruined everything! I'm off to write a V-Day challenge fic!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My first reaction to the reveal of the title was dismay. I took it as singular and in reference to lonely, lonely Luke, which would mean that he's the only Jedi, which would mean he failed utterly in everything he hoped and planned to do 30+ years before.... So depressing. And infuriating! It didn't occur to me until I read the posts here that it could also be plural and there could be others that Luke trained (successfully)...

    But... meh.

    Feels like I'm clutching at straws, trying desperately to find something to look forward to or like about Ep 8. What does it matter? It's all in ruins. Han's dead. Carrie's gone. They can't fix any of it.

    However, they can't take away my love for the OT (I won't let them) and they can't interfere in any way with my personal headcanon as to what happened after RotJ (I won't let them) so I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and enjoying my obsession with Han and Leia the same way I've done since I was a kid.

    Y'all let me know when spoilers drop for Ep8, eh? I absolutely will not see it until I know all major plot points and how it ends.

    JustineGraham and I are working on a Valentine's Day fic for the latest challenge, too. There's nothing quite like making Han and Leia kiss and canoodle to lift my spirits. (Oh, Amara Z, I'd watch the hell outta "Han and Leia Kiss for 800 Hours".)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey, Erin, has anyone created a "couple name" for you and Justine yet? Like Brangelina? Because I feel like if we haven't, we have utterly failed you as your fans. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah! Ummmm...not to my knowledge! Let's see... It might be a little boring, since we both use "proper" names: ErinGraham or JustineDarroch? Nah...

      How about 'EDJG' and you can just refer to us as "Edge" or "The Edge". Like the guitarist from U2. That would rock. haha

      Delete
    2. "The Edge presents a Valentine's Day Submission". I like it. I vote for this forever.

      Delete
    3. Hee hee! The Edge..that's awesome.

      Get writing already, KR! I can't wait to see what goodies you come up with for the challenge!

      Delete
  18. It's funny, the red didn't really bother me much until you guys started talking about it and now I hate it.

    I also said to someone else yesterday, I think Star Wars has made me dead inside. I just have like, no reaction to anything anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lol. Glad you like the ep 9 kissing title. Of course it would have to have a few shirtless scenes. And we couldn't get at least one scene of them on the way to Bespin? I'm sure Han ran around in his underwear at some point. That part of Blue Milk Special was hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The red is definitely foreboding, but I'm honestly numb to the whole thing. It's already been ruined for me. I'm so opposed to the direction things are going, that the way I feel now I may choose not see it at all. That's just sad.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yeah, their are really only two possibilities. The obvious one being that they are more interested in giving us "game of thrones in space" than Star Wars.

    But I refuse to hand over my hope to anyone, most especially those character assassinating bounty hunters. How did Disney take a franchise built on Hope and Love, and give us one built entirely out of pain and despair? Not even sympathetic pain and despair, but characters that are sad caricatures of their former selves, bad stereotypes, and manipulative shallow nonsense.

    The only other possibility is that they are screwing with us. Just like they did before Empire. That shock and realization is infamous. In order to pull that off again, they would need to mislead us. They'd need to keep withholding information, and giving us the wrong impression so that they can surprise the hell out of us.

    I did not like the title at first, but as more folks pointed out that Jedi is both singular and plural, I don't hate it as much. Rian said that this one was in part about why Luke is hiding on the Island, and how that all went down, so I suspect that is what the red lettering reflects. Which makes sense if we think about it in terms of Empire, Luke left to go train with Yoda in a swamp in the middle of nowhere, and Rey just flew off to find Luke in the middle of nowhere on an island.

    And that's why I am not willing to resign their story as a dumpster fire completely, just yet. Their are SO MANY coincidences, and SO many parallels. I am probably wrong, but I've been reading and supporting Star wars and fanfic long before JJ copied someone else's movie for the first time, and I am not about to back down now.

    They keep saying things that imply terrible things without actually saying anything.

    Like that stuff about how "Leia's in the Hospital" and "Someone is in a coma." When that could very easily be Leia visiting Han in the Hospital, who is for a time, in a coma. Just like the end of Empire, when Leia's in the medical ship, while 'someone' gets their hand replaced. That they chose to imply it, but stopped short of solidly indicating anything sasy way more, to me, about what they want us to think, rather than what's actually happening in the story.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Big long deep dive on Star Wars as a saga:

    http://muldertorture.tumblr.com/post/156332376792

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ok I'm watching TFA for the first time since the last time I saw it in the theater nearly a year ago. I bought the blu ray when it came out and then wondered why I did that because I really hadn't wanted to watch it again, and more recently felt like it might be time. It also worked out that I've been stuck on the couch for days and I'm insanely bored and needed something else to watch. Anyway...

    Aside from them calling Luke the last Jedi in the opening crawl, Snoke refers to him as the last Jedi at one point, so really I don't think we can consider that an ambiguous title. That movie is going to have to be about Luke.

    And I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't see Kylo as conflicted AT ALL about killing his father. I maybe could've bought it if he hadn't essentially taunted him right after he stabbed him but before he left him to plunge to his death with that, "Thank you." But sorry, no. That just screamed luring him in so he could finish what he needed to do, not asking for help.

    I still really like all the new people, and I wish they didn't have all this other crappy stuff to go along with it so we could be fully invested in their journey without having to be constantly reminded how much it sucks what they did to Luke, Han and Leia.

    How long has Luke really been gone? That is still unclear to me. Long enough to be considered a myth? But Kylo didn't slaughter everyone that long ago?

    And again, I'm sorry but Luke and Han would not have abandoned everyone. I just can't see Luke going off to some island to mope about his mistake while the First Order takes over, or Han running away from Leia so she had to deal with everything alone and he could "go back to the only thing I was ever good at" except that that thing he went back to he is apparently actually terrible at.

    I know, I know. We weren't supposed to be talking about this anymore. I'm even the one who said so! But I have one more point that I'm not sure we'd talked about. For all the things it copies from ANH, it takes most of these things and somehow they don't have any sort of weight or suspense. This one is bigger and badder in that we don't just blow up Alderaan or any single planet, we blow up five. And yet because we don't experience any sort of personal loss through any of the characters on screen, like we did through Leia for Alderaan, we really feel nothing here even though it's probably billions of beings who are killed in an instant. Same with the Death Star battle. Er, I mean the Starkiller base battle. You watch it in ANH and you know how dire it is, you really feel how crucial it is. And yet, again, somehow the battle to blow up Starkiller base just kind of feels like an afterthought here. You hardly even notice it's going on.

    Ok, ok. That's enough. I'd rant about Han and Leia again but we've all been there, done that. I think you know how I feel by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, since I don't know when to shut up...I also don't feel Kylo was conflicted in the least. As one of my Tumblr cohorts is fond of pointing out, he's so remorseful he immediately charges out after Finn and Rey to kill them. Also, if he felt bad for a moment, he had Han in his grasp and he has the Force so...

      Your last paragraph strikes at the heart of, for me, what's wrong with TFA besides all the terrible things done to Luke, Han and Leia - there's no weight to it at all. It's so darkly lit and busy, I can't tell you what that final Starkiller battle was even about. There's literally no weight because it's not staged with any - the tension in the original battle of Yavin and even the battle at Endor is ratcheted up with music and effects and clear, concise cutting of scenes. Lucas storyboarded the Yavin battle with footage from WW2 dogfights and it's cut in a way that we're worried for Luke as Vader is bearing down on him because we've seen all the other pilots knocked out. Hell, in Jedi, even that attack is cut with the planet and with Luke and Vader's showdown but since you know Lando and Wedge and Ackbar and Madine, you care. I don't remember one thing from Poe's battle. I'm not even sure Greg Gunberg got out of it.

      Destroying Hosnian Prime is worse because the science is absolute garbage - there is NO WAY they would see that in the sky. Did no one tell JJ that or did he just handwave it away the way he did putting a SWAMP inside the Romulan ship in the reboot Trek. Also, no one's connected to it - we should have had that scene with Leia and the woman they focus on when it blows up - Leia sent her!

      The problem with TFA is the problem I have with every modern movie - look at Cpt America Civil War. We get some lip service about the Avengers all torn apart because of the UN cracking down on them tearing up civilian areas...and then we go into a 20 minute set piece of them beating each other up. WHO CARES? The only reason I care about Spiderman is he makes a reference to Empire Strikes Back (BTW, Bucky's torture in Winter Soldier? Taken right from Han's in Empire). I don't care anything about these people or their plight because they're going to pop back up for the next movie and the next planet destroying big bad.

      Since I have to run, I'm going to paste below what Mark Hamill said on Nerdist about Han's death (the interviewer prompted that he thought Chewie would have torn up some stormtroopers:

      Well, he (Chewbacca) could've done some whup-ass on some stormtroopers, that's a good idea, actually. My problem with that death was, I said, why does that, you know, what should happen – There's no character that really – besides Chewie – that has a real deep connection to him (Han). So, it's – his death doesn't have the resonance that it would have if Leia witnessed it, or if Luke was rushing back to save him and was just not – you know, too late.

      'Cause I thought as I was reading it, I said oh, she's (Leia?) trying to contact me, and in the earlier films she could do it with ESP, and I said, I know I'm not showing up 'till the end – I bet you I'll show up – like Han coming back at the beginning in the first one at the Death Star – I'll show up in the last nine minutes but I'll be just too late for, to save Han, but I'll allow the new protagonist to succeed. Believe me, I didn't know it was just gonna be a pivot and a hood removal.

      Frankly, if Luke had shown up to save Han? That theater would have EXPLODED.

      Delete
  24. Um, hi. I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I could use some help. Does anyone have suggestions on how to find a regular beta? I know how the whole system works on ff.net, but I find that hard to find someone who's still around and would be willing to do that for me. Yet, everyone else seems to have no problem.
    I'm just trying to make my fanfic writing "better" and attract a bigger audience and I was hoping the pros around here might be able to help me out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there, no problem, it's a good question. And I'd love to hear some others answers as well. Honestly in my case they just kind of happened through conversations with other fans and then like, hey, can you beta this for me? So I think one of my pieces of advice is just be involved, talk to people, start conversations, especially with other writers either here or through private messages on ff.net. I think if you've never done this before, it can be intimidating. But really, I've almost never come across an author who wasn't happy to engage with other readers and fans. Many times when I read a story or an update over there I'm surprised to see authors thank beta readers that are other writers I recognize and I'm thinking, "I didn't know those two were friends, that's cool."

      A beta reader does not have to have a masters in English. Often it's just a second set of eyes to make sure you didn't accidentally use the wrong they're/their/there or have some sentences that don't make sense.

      I don't know if that was helpful, and hopefully some others can jump in and have some ideas (or possibly even an offer to beta for you) but that's about all I could think of for now.

      Delete
    2. I'm not an English major, but if you are just looking for a second set of eyes as Zyra says, I'd be happy to help you out.

      Delete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice!
      Okay, to be honest, I don't really know exactly what I'm hoping for. I'm one of those people that gets really bothered when they don't have a lot of readers or reviews and I'm trying to figure out what I can do. I have myself convinced that my writing is too cheesy or childish and I really want to figure out what I can do in my writing to make it better.
      I wrote a fanfic last year that actually got some attention, but now that that story is completed, my tries at new works just kind of sit on dusty shelves. This is probably really childish, but it really bothers me.

      Delete
    2. Jaina, this thing about reviews was getting a lot of comment on tumblr a day or two ago. Seems there are some writers, like Madame-Alexandra, who write for multiple fandoms and who have publicly admitted to getting a bit of extra mileage out of their writing time by repurposing a single fic for different characters in different fandoms. She's been fairly upfront about it, joking that she just enjoys the attention and reviews, and wants more of that to come her way! I think she routinely gets about eleventy-billion reviews for every chapter anyway, and has a huge following. She's an excellent writer, undoubtedly, but she's also very good at promoting her stories. She "teases" her stories on tumblr for a while before she eventually publishes them on the archives, and I think that's the main thing she's done to allow her to attract plenty of readers and build up a large, loyal following. If you're really interested in building up a readership, that may be a tactic worth investigating (I mean the self-promotion, not the repurposing of stories).

      I don't have a huge number of people following me on FFNet but I think part of the trick there, if there is one, is to interact more. Leave reviews, respond to any reviews left for you, etc. FFNet in particular is so VAST I think you can easily get lost in the shuffle if you don't put yourself out there where people can bump into you.

      Also, can I just add one more thing: in my experience, having a huge number of readers or reviews does not *necessarily* equate to being a good writer. I've certainly read (tried to read) some stories that have hundreds of reviews that are very poorly written, with little or no attempt at true characterization, etc. And I've read some truly excellent stories that have, like, 6 reviews on them.... I'm mystified as to how both of those things happen, but they certainly do. So, while I think it's admirable to want to make our writing better (and pleasurable to feel we've done so), that alone might not translate to more readers as much as better self-promotion would. Just my two cents!

      Delete
    3. A couple of things, but first, EVERYONE is bothered when they don't get a lot of readers or reviews. Absolutely everyone. It sucks for all of us, whether you've been writing for a month or 10+ years. I was actually discussing this very thing last night with Erin and Justine, and it feels as though for a VERY large percentage of readers, leaving reviews is just not something they do for some reason. It doesn't help, for sure. And it downright discourages a lot of people from even continuing to post stories because what's the point if nobody reads them? I know it is nearly impossible, but try not to let that be a reflection of your writing or have it make you assume nobody is reading or if they are they don't like it. It is a frustrating trend, for sure, but people seem to be more apt to keep their mouths shut than to leave simple feedback that would encourage any writer to continue doing what they're doing. In fact last night after talking about this I went back and a lot of my stories had like 4-5 reviews total in the first six months they had been posted. I'm kind of surprised I kept trying.

      And certain kinds of stories just generate more reader response. These tend to be the more unique ideas out there. I'm one who tends not to have unique ideas. Not that the stories are bad, there just isn't as much to say about them. So I can see why I might not get as many reviews as someone else writing something really unique and surprising, even if I'm still getting readers and favorites and whatever.

      I wish I had more to say, it's definitely tough and I get it. There are also a lot of people out there writing so there is a lot of competition as well, although with more people writing comes more readers. Hang in there!

      Delete
    4. I was typing my comment before Erin posted hers. Didn't realize that about Madame Alexandra, interesting.

      She is right that the more you review others, that can lead to more people reading and reviewing you. ESPECIALLY if you leave really thoughtful reviews, tell the writer WHY you liked something and what you appreciate about it. Don't try to guilt people into reading, don't request it, just make them and everyone else aware of you, show yourself as a thoughtful and involved reader/writer, and maybe they or someone else might come find you. I really think the more you interact, the more feedback you get. Yes there are totally those stories that suck people in without any of that (and plenty of writers with great stories and tons of reviews who maybe don't comment on anything) but those are rarer. And it usually requires multi-chapters stories, which are certainly not MY forte. I'm positive that a LOT of my readers mostly read what I write because they've read or participated here, so I'm a name they know and maybe trust. So it's like, "Oh, Zyra wrote another story, that'll probably be decent." So some of it is just becoming a name they recognize, and that takes some time as well. Unless you hit on one of those story scenarios that just causes everyone to stop in their tracks and leave rave reviews, and more and more people just flock to it. That certainly happens sometimes too.

      It's hard, and at times frustrating. Sometimes it's really impossible to tell how many reviews something might get. I can't tell you how many times I've posted a new chapter or something and been like, all right, they're going to love this! And then hardly anyone says anything. Deflating, for sure. Keep writing. Keep reading, keep reviewing. I can't promise that people will suddenly start leaving more feedback, but hopefully it won't stop you from writing what you want to write.

      Oh and lastly, Erin is also right about some stories not having much feedback that are amazing. And some stories with TONS of reviews that make you wonder if you're in some alternate universe. It's not always quality writing that gets the most reviews.

      Delete
    5. Thanks. I really appreciate the advice and encouragement.

      Delete
    6. You're welcome. I hope you don't get too discouraged. And that it helps to know that most of us go through the exact same thing. And it's still frustrating to a lot of us to see stories out there with hundreds of reviews while we might only have a few.

      Delete
  26. When I returned to the fandom, I had a faint recollection from c. 1999 that having a beta was very much "the done thing" and anyone who published without one was showing a little arrogance or... something like that.

    So about 3/4 of the way through writing my first new story (in 2015), I asked for a beta by leaving a comment on the bottom of a chapter I published on FFNet. I had many responses and was lucky enough to find a couple of very friendly and very THOROUGH beta readers whose input really did improve my writing and make me think about my choices.

    However, after a while I found it a little awkward to employ a beta reader who took my work far more seriously than I will ever do. I think I did actually offend her by making light of my own writing and (by extension) her serious and very well-intentioned comments on it. In that bumbling way, I managed to really hurt her feelings, I think, and then we had a heart-to-heart and decided to end that beta relationship. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from her since so.... Now I'm very wary of asking anyone to beta for me!

    Also, because I mainly write collaboratively now, I have a sort of "built-in" beta and I act as the same for Justine (or Sue) who are, of course, both very excellent at what they do. Because they will also happily beta read any solo material for me if I ask, I haven't had to officially advertise for one, which is quite comfortable. I return the favour, and do often weigh in on the work of other writers who sometimes ask not for a "beta" per se but just for a bit of input on how to frame a story, or whatever.

    Good lord, I am long-winded. All of that is to say that if you need another set of eyes, I'd be happy to help! DEFINITELY one of the best things about returning the fandom for me has been that "community" aspect of reading and reviewing, helping each other out and cheering each other on. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin makes some good points on beta readers. It makes me remember the first stories I had beta read, which was YEARS ago for a site that no longer exists. It was a Han and Leia fansite and all stories had to go through their beta readers, and one was assigned to me, which made the process much easier. This woman edited my story to the level of a professional writer. She really had a grasp on grammar in a way that even I don't have and she noticed absolutely everything. Now, in some ways this was good, but kind of like Erin says, to a point I was kind of like, ok, wow, maybe this is a little much to be worrying about for my little fic. It didn't really matter because the site disappeared before my story went up anyway, but I do remember how incredibly thorough she was.

      And yeah, that is not really the level of beta I'm looking for here. And to be honest, if you submit without, I may not even notice. I've just been frustrated in the past sometimes when it's clear someone wrote something really quick and then submitted it without even doing a read-through on themselves to notice some irritatingly simple mistakes that pretty much anyone would notice if they took five extra minutes to go back and read through what they wrote. It really is more about a second set of eyes to notice those little things the rest of us might not when going over our own things. And like Erin says, since there are two of them and already two sets of eyes, that is enough for me.

      Delete
  27. Erin, thanks for the madame alexander knowledge - that explains a lot to me about why I react to her stories...

    On the beta front, I'm lucky enough to have two friends who also write (one I've had since high school and she got me into SW!) who are my betas. It's been invaluable. I've also been part of a small writers' group, that made me a better writer.

    As for feedback and kudos - I've gotten feedback slowly but surely. I promote like crazy on Tumblr and I'm lucky enough to be in such small pairings, any new story is set on like the seagulls attacking in Finding Nemo. It's interesting that my SkySolo stuff doesn't get nearly the kudos that my OT3 stuff does (although there is a LOT of pretty awful SkySolo), mainly because SkySolo seems to have a lot of people who write it like anime pairings - which is so NOT Han and Luke. You can't judge your work by how many kudos/feedback you get. I look at the overall SW and since the top pairing is Kylux, the most feedback is given for it (I've skimmed ones with tons of comments and just been appalled at how bad the writing is). So...

    I'm happy to see any kudos. The best feature of AO3 for me is that you get that email with any kudos and comments.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like getting kudos from AO3. I like getting notifications from FFN that someone new has favorited a story or followed me. Those things make me smile, but only for an instant. To be honest, they feel a little hollow, considering all the time and effort that goes into writing a story (even a short one, although I have only a passing acquaintance with that particular variety). ;)

    I mean, it's great that people can simply "upvote" a story by giving kudos; that makes it easier (sometimes; not always) to find quality stories to read. But it's just not the same as actually hearing from a reader.

    I deeply appreciate even a one- or two-word review. For example, I always get a big smile from the reviews from reader Banzi who is the most terse reviewer in all the fandom, I think. BUT SHE REVIEWS! She has left tons of little comments on various stories, such as, "Great story" or "I liked it", and I appreciate that so much. Love you, Banzi! <3 :)

    The issue of reviews, or the lack thereof, seems to have come up a lot lately, not just on tumblr. As Zyra said, she and I and JustineGraham were discussing this last night, and we've also had recent discussions about it with Knighted Rogue and Cicatrick.

    Sometimes I feel like PMing everyone who follows me and/or leaves me kudos but doesn't review, and just shouting at them, "Would it kill you to say HELLO!!!!" lol But I refrain! :)

    I am not reading much these days, but I try to leave thoughtful reviews when I do read. And I try to focus on developing deeper friendships with those who do regularly comment on my stories, and who like to correspond. I've long been a fan of keeping "penpals" (that's what happens when you grow up in Crazytown, isolated from your True People, and surrounded by crackpots who view critical thinking as some sort of mortal sin).

    But I digress...

    Yes, as Zyra said, we ALL want those reviews. It's such a thrill to see new comments on a story; to know that someone not only read it but has something to say about it! That's just...awesome. So, I do think it is worth considering how we can build up our readerships and attract more people to our stories, if we think they're worth reading (and I guess we do or we wouldn't be putting them out there). I don't think there's anything at all wrong with "teasing" readers with snippets of your work and enticing them to come along to your page and read more. Nor do I think it's bad, wrong or crass to self-promote (e.g. to offer a link to your own story or to invite readers directly), within reason. There's nothing worse than working really hard to put something out there and then having tumbling tumbleweed in response....

    I just wouldn't want to cross the line and become overly focused on getting a high number of reviews, to the detriment of my own catalog and/or to the fandom in general.

    Sorry, I'm rambling all over the place tonight.

    tl;dr: I like reviews but I'm really here for the chat. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No apologies necessary, Erin! I love when I have a couple people I can count on for reviewing, but then it drives me crazy when I leave a note and then someone responds who says they've been reading since day one. I just want to grab them by the shoulders and ask, 'then why on Coruscant didn't you tell em you were there?!'
      I am really am thankful to have you guys and I'm thankful for your advice and encouragement. I made a Tumblr account for myself last year, but I never took the half hour it always takes me to figure out how to use it. So, that's what I've been wasting today doing. I think I might have to copy madame.alexandra and try that.

      Delete
    2. Hey, listen, if you figure out Tumblr, let me know. I've been wrestling with that off-and-on for a while now. I log in about once a month, spend fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to do simple, basic things like, oh, you know NAVIGATE THE SITE and, uh, REPLY TO POSTS and shhhhhh...sugar like that! Then I rage-quit and vow never to go near the thing again until another month rolls by and I forget...

      I've considered doing the little "tease" routine on Tumblr but, tbh, I don't think I'm that kind of writer. I guess I don't think so highly of my own prose that I think a paragraph of it is going to lure people in. I'd be more afraid it would send people packing or, even worse, make them yawn with boredom.

      Delete
    3. I'm pretty sure that the 21st century gene of natural understanding of technology skipped right over me. I spent about an hour earlier trying to figure out the difference between the chat box and the text box and if I was actually posting anything to my feed.

      Delete
    4. Trust me, it's not YOU. That site is being used for purposes for which it was not intended. It's horribly unintuitive and downright infuriating in places. Who still uses "mystery meat" navigation? WHO DOES THAT!? Is it 1996!? wtf tumblr.

      See? I rage-quit it allllll the time. haha!

      Delete
    5. I'm not "on" tumblr. I have mostly only used it to look at pretty pictures. So it surprises me when I hear people talking about how there are threads on there and people talking back and forth to each other. So only VERY recently did I look at some pages where people did that (I have bookmarked a few where there are like 96% just pictures)and was surprised to see people replying to stuff. But holy crap that must be a nightmare to try and navigate and keep up with.

      But apparently that is the "it" place right now. Most of the younger people are using it, so if you want to reach a larger fanbase, then that might be something to look into. You won't find me posting on there, just going to keep looking at pretty pictures and not trying to follow along.

      Delete
    6. Well, I've always been an early adopter of technology and I've been online since c. 1996 so I fancy myself something of a chancer when it comes to learning new things. Ordinarily, I will give it a go and not worry too much about getting things wrong. But Tumblr really has confounded me and made me feel (like Justine) rather old and dumb. But then I decided, no, fu....dge that noise. I'm neither old nor dumb. THEY'RE dumb! :P

      Still, never one to be daunted for long, I've been delving back into it and even ventured to comment on some threads (or, idk, maybe I replied to someone's comment? Or maybe I committed some horrible breach of Tumblr netiquette!)

      See, I have no idea what I'm actually doing or where my comments are going. I find it heartening that people have apparently found and read those comments, somehow, though I would struggle to find them again myself. Hah!

      Delete
  29. The problem with Tumblr is that it's put together with shakier tech than the Falcon. And the most robust version of it is the desktop version - the mobile version is getting better but is still horrific. The tag system everyone relies on is garbage.

    It's better than Snapchat? ::shrug emoticon::

    I'm getting the hang of it but there are many unwritten rules...but I persevere because I have found so much great art and writing, GIF and photo sets, and all sorts of new fandom friends. In fact, Star Wars got me into it - I had an account for years and the I did a month long figure skating challenge where you had to post every day about some aspect - your favorite male and female skaters, etc.

    Then Star Wars ate my life up again, as it is wont to do. That made me better at Tumblr.

    I've started because another author did it, posting "Sunday Six" pulling a selection of lines from something (I need to do that today). I like posting up headcanons too...

    But it's definitely an acquired taste and a lot of the posters hack me off...but then I find my fun people again and enjoy.

    I love Twitter and Tumblr and hate Facebook so...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Haha how many times have we both smiled ourselves silly over dear Banzi's reviews, Erin? It don't care that it's one or two words...she takes the time to say she's read it, and and acknowledges her reaction to it. I love her to the moon. Banzi, if you're out there, here's to you! :)

    I've commented on it in the discussion on Tumblr, I've chatted with folks about it, and I'll say it again here at the risk of repeating myself and everything everybody has already said. Those reviews matter, every.single.one. And this is coming from someone who has in the past been notoriously guilty of NOT leaving reviews, which is a something I have vowed to change. I didn't realize the impact, had no clue how good it feels to know someone liked what you took the time to get just right before you put it out there. It's a little shot of feelgood, and it keeps me motivated to do what I love to do. I said to Zyra that I'm like Pavlov's dog with them...when that little notification goes off, I start to drool.

    So please, even if it's just a word, review. I will. And I will go back and review all those other wonderful stories that I read and neglected to review the first time around.

    Oh, and guys? Please queue me up for a tutorial on Tumblr once you figure it out. I cannot figure it out, and the whole damn thing makes me feel old and useless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't get Tumblr. Like Zyra, I only really use to look at pretty pics (of Han & Leia, mostly). I tried to send a picture to Knighted Rogue the other day, about abandoned it three times over three days bc I could not for the life of me figure out how to do it! I figured that I'm too old for the site, but also it does not seem at all intuitive. Just my two cents.

      Delete
    2. I think by the time us old people figure tumblr out the kids will have moved on to something else.

      I will say, I do wish there was a better alternative to bringing together the Han and Leia fans, because if there are a lot of them conversing on there, and a few of us conversing on here, it's all kind of splintered and that's no fun. It's too bad nobody posts all at the same place!

      Delete
    3. I think it's a good thing we have this place to hang out because, from what I've seen (admittedly, not that much) of Tumblr, it's difficult to avoid being zinged now and then with some nasty little diatribe against Han and Leia and how crappy they were together, and as parents. I like being able to come here and chat with people who like to think otherwise!

      OtterandTerrier (bless her) and KR and a few others have given me Tumblr tips on how to cultivate the right kind of feed (or "curate" your collection) but... yeah... it's not the place for me. Like you, I like to look at the pretty pictures and I enjoy the fan art that pops up there but the nested threads are just...so bad! And the navigation is a nightmare. Here's hoping some other site will pop up and take its place!

      Delete
    4. I don't even know the terminology! What's a "nested thread"?

      Delete
    5. Well you do make a good point about our "safe space" but then I've found any Han and Leia specific site tends to have like-minded people there. I mean like, I wouldn't go to a Luke and Mara site (I'm dating myself, I'm sure that doesn't exist anymore, if it ever did at all, but you know what I mean) just to tell them that they suck and Han and Leia are better. I mean, if they want to think Luke and Mara are better (again, I know this argument probably doesn't exist anymore but I'm just using it to make a point) then they can do that as long as they don't come try to convince ME of that.

      Nested threads are hard to describe without using visual aids. Well ok like here on the blog, you are replying to a nested thread. You're replying to a specific post rather than just commenting at the bottom. Your reply is nested under a specific comment and the other replies to that comment. In the case here, there aren't going to be more nested replies underneath. Like when I reply to you it doesn't create another layer of "nesting" as when you keep replying to replies of replies of replies, it gets really annoying to read as the indentations get further and further over.

      Did that make any sense at all?

      Delete
    6. Can I link here? I've seen it done but don't see tools for it. Is it just HTML tags?

      I'll give it a go: Nested thread on Tumblr

      Delete
    7. How do you guys link stuff? I've seen like 2 of you do it so far. I have no idea how to do it.

      Delete
    8. This site apparently recognizes regular HTML tags so you just type in the code for a link. I tried to put an example of the tag here but this clever little box won't let me post broken code!

      Just visit this web site instead.

      Delete
    9. Nope, never mind. I'll just continue to post links that you guys can copy and paste if I need to post a link ;)

      Delete
  31. As Erin said, it's a mess from a computer standpoint and it isn't designed to do what it's being used for...

    I've gotten the hang of a few things, liking and reblogging and messages to people privately. I've answered some asks, but it will do things that are completely nuts. If I wasn't heavily in a fandom, I'd maybe check it once or twice a week - that's what I used to do.

    Your experience is dependent on who you follow, too. And OMG, some people's home page themes - they're unreadable! I despair...

    I've only lately learned how to follow threads by checking the notes and seeing where things wander off to... And sometimes, I do NOT want to know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I mean, its intent is more for sharing photos, right? Not lengthy threads. All that nesting is crazy, and it's not like it's easy to go back and find something if you need to. I don't think it was ever intended for all that interaction.

      Delete
  32. Honestly, OtterandTerrier helped me some with the Tumblr front when she introduced me to the google chrome extensions. Replying to comments is the one that I couldn't for the life of me figure out. It makes the fic recs and the teasing a whole lot easier. I do a little fic teasing, mostly because I want people to know I'm still alive. :P

    I've also noticed that the H/L community is much more active on FFDN (the Han/Leia ship tags on AO3 make me want to throw up) and Tumblr seems to orient heavily to AO3. So I post FFDN fic recs or teasers for my own stuff just to get the poor Tumblr crew to look at FFDN. I feel like those FFDN stories get lost if there isn't a fic rec on Tumblr. Just my opinion.

    And CV is absolutely right. If you follow the wrong people, your feed ends up being a mess of poor Kylo and Han-bashing. You just have to spend time weeding through to find the people you care to follow. That, and unfortunately, a lot of the blogs are ending up being political right now (I'm super guilty of this, too) so you might have to go spelunking to find fandom stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  33. If anyone is still paying attention here, this guy already says so much of why TFA sucks, without specifically picking on it. I'm only part way through, but he just said something like, "If you have to watch press events in order to make sense of the movie, you made a bad movie." There he is referring to how you can't leave stuff confusing in the movie and basically require your audience to listen to interviews and press outside of the film for things to make sense. Gee, does that sound familiar?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW3o2JYoK6Q

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am posting this on Tumblr right now. This is fantastic...and damn true too.

    And boy did he harp on one of my biggest problems - how the hell does Maz have Luke's saber! (and thank the Maker they ditched the idea Kylo had it, so I can at least believe that Han recognized it as LUKE's saber!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good because seriously, everyone needs to see it. It just validated so much of what I've been thinking for so long. We have debated things that JJ said when really, the point is, we should NOT have to be looking to these interviews and things to find these answers. It makes no sense. As does his other point I hadn't thought of, where if a movie or scene requires some context based on things that are happening in the fan culture at the time the movie was released, then your movie sucks.

      These are many of the reasons why the OT is so timeless, and why everything else is just going to eventually fade away because it all holds no weight.

      YES. Everything is episodic, nothing has an end, nothing changes and nobody grows and there is just endless conflict, and it is just going to get so tiresome to watch. This HAS to change.

      Delete
    2. Also if you look at some of the comments people are saying it's just looking at everything through nostalgia goggles. No. Sorry. Everything he stated was just the basic rules of storytelling. In writing courses in college we studied the script of ANH because it followed those basic elements. Inciting incident, act one, act two and act three. Character arcs. All there. Hardly anything these days follows those rules, and they exist for a reason. As does the fact that it was based on mythology. Those stories endure for a reason that goes way beyond nostalgia. No story is interesting if the characters all stay the same and there is no end. No clear goal. It just gets old.

      Delete
    3. This is basically my problem with X-Men and Avengers and Dark Knight and Spiderman and all of them. Over and over, the same plot, the same "CGI beating people to a pulp and unbelievable escapes and a sound mix that is basically like being beaten in the head with a garbage can lid. It never ends. It's one more bad joke here, one more fight there...I need my Tommy Lee Jones " I don't care" right here.

      It's basically a TV show with a bigger budget anymore. Why does SW work? Because, as Mark Hamill said, there's a beginning, middle and an end. Luke, Han and Leia grow and change - that's why we care about them so much in Jedi.

      Now, it's four Spidermans, the same movie over and over. Three Batmans. And because comic books continually reboot, let's do it all again, one more time.

      There was another video like this I just saw, where someone said all they did was take the formula from SW and Raiders and distill it down...and keep redoing it and redoing it. It's the same plot over and over but there's no growth. Rey is magical from the start, can do everything Luke can after three movies in five minutes but if you argue that...

      It's all cleverly constructed and when you say it's a ripoff, people say "well, Lucas borrowed this and that" - yes, from MULTIPLE traditions and sources. All JJ did was just remake New Hope, with no more influence that SW itself. And he still managed to bollux that up, by destroying the characters, like they're one more reboot of Spiderman.

      But hey, it made money.

      Delete
  35. "Whaaat? 'A story for another time'? That's a story for right goddamn NOW, Maz." LOL

    This guy has his finger right on it: storytelling (or the lack thereof) is the problem. That bit about Jimmy Olsen... man, it's hard to believe that people who think that sort of thing is okay to do are being given enormous budgets and more-or-less free reign to do whatever they want to beloved characters that have 40+ years of fandom behind them. It's obscene.

    But omg, his takedown of JJA's "mystery box" is just...EPIC. The mystery box "literally represents a marketing gimmick" and a way for the marketer to "sell a bunch of cheap crap" they couldn't sell otherwise. YES. THIS, A MILLION TIMES.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Replies
    1. Haha, that was me. Someone was having trouble posting comments so I was trying to post as a "normal" person to see if I could figure out the problem but I still don't know.

      Thanks for the B+ though ;)

      Delete