Thursday, April 20, 2017

Specific Tastes in Reading and Writing

Our last post was getting a little overwhelmed with comments, and maybe it's time for a little subject change anyway. I thought of this story as I'm in the middle of writing something and having some trouble with it. I realized there are a couple of reasons I'm having trouble with it. One being that I tend to write more one-shot stories, just brief little scenes, and multi-chapter stories are outside of my comfort zone. But then I realized probably the bigger problem I'm having with it, is that I don't think I like writing Han and Leia when they aren't already together and happy.

So that got me thinking and wondering about whether or not other writers have certain scenarios or situations that they are drawn to as writers. For me, usually I'm just drawn to them already being together, often already with kids, too. Now, that is strictly as a writer. As a reader I can't think if anything specific of that nature I'm drawn to. I mean, sure for certain moods I might feel like, "I really need to find a happy, fluffy scene to read right now." But mostly I'm just looking for an interesting story, and that could mean all sorts of things.

Does anyone else have this problem I do where you have a hard time writing outside of a fairly narrow set of parameters? Truthfully for myself about the only thing that comes to mind is sweet little domestic scenes. I don't know if that is just me or if it is my brain trying to overcompensate with us being bombarded with these stupid ideas that they never would've worked out. Probably a little of both. But it is really causing me problems when I need to keep writing them being not together/annoyed with each other when all I want to do is write them like, spending a long morning in bed or something.

When I do write outside of my own narrow parameters, it also somehow feels inauthentic to me, which also doesn't help. Like the one time I wrote them as having some marital problems, it just felt... icky and wrong, and I don't think it was well written either. Other people don't seem to have this problem. Although I am sure I've noticed that with some other writers, they seem to do the opposite, often writing about them before they were together and preferring that side of things. As a reader those stories are probably more interesting too.

So does anyone else always find themselves coming up with similar scenarios or sticking with similar ideas when writing? And what about reading? Do you look for any specific things?

301 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that I have very specific parameters as far as writing goes. I know that I don't like having a simple plot. The story taht drives the plot has to be something huge. Some kind of dramatic change that affects EVERYTHING or takes the timeline on a different route. Like the first two stories I wrote consisted of Han and Leia meeting earlier, thus drastically changing the timeline. Now, of course, I'm working on my Anakin-comes-back-to-life fic (titled Revival). I think, for me, I just find it "fun" to think up these outlandish plots and try to get into the minds of the characters and decide how it would play out, how they would handle the situation, how the situation would affect the other aspects of the characters' lives. I like the psychology of it all. That's my favorite part about Revival, I think.

    Also, I think that's what is making my AU Bespin trip fic so hard. There's no big bam of a change and it feels weird to me that there's no obvious wedge in the story.

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    1. I'm jealous of your ability to think of big plots, or anyone's ability to do that. Although I guess sometimes I can come up with bigger ideas, but I have zero confidence in my ability to actually do the idea justice. Sort of like how I feel like I'm currently butchering what I thought was a cool idea that I'm not doing a very good job with, haha.

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  2. I'm sorry, what were you saying? I have not been able to get past the dazzling beauty of that picture.

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    1. LOL @ Kels. Same! I could look at the two of them and their beautiful skin and bright white smiles all day.

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    2. Isn't that a great picture? I love anything really when they are genuinely smiling. They both have great smiles.

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  3. Zyra, for the love of all that is Star Wars, you must give yourself some slack and post an update (because I'm hanging here WAITING!). Your AU story with the kids with a little Back to the Future is terrific! So super fun to read. You can do it! (please?)

    As for writing style...for sure I get into my own rut. Some people like pre-ESB, and I'm like what?? They haven't even kissed at that point, where's the fun in that? But then it's fun to read...but I honestly can't get my head into that timeline. So I'm definitely at least ESB or post ROTJ domestic bliss, or at least a dramatic path to domestic bliss. I love married Han and Leia and feel like that's easier for me to write, but I do stick my toe in ESB every once in awhile.

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    1. I second JediofGrace here - love the Back to the Future kids AU. It made me laugh out loud at how they interact -
      so spot on as kids of Han and Leia. (And if you want to go there, it also has a chance for real pathos if the children experience any of what happened to their parents on Cloud City.)

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    2. I know, I know. I sooooo need to update. I was appalled with myself when I looked the other day and saw how long ago I updated. And I'm debating whether or not I should now not update until I have a lot more written so I'm not publishing like, 1 chapter a month, which is ridiculous.

      I'm trying, I promise!

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    3. I think your plot is excellent so carry on. I'm along for the ride and I don't care how long you take as long as you finish. And since you prefer your Han and Leia together, I know you will.

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    4. Haha, good point. That's one way to guarantee I finish a story, split them up and make it so in order for them to be together, I have to finish.

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  4. Hmmm... looks like another boring topic that nobody has much to say about. Maybe if we talk about X-Files coming back people will have more to say?

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  5. I read pretty much everything - I've even tried pairings I can't see if the summary sounds interesting (there's a great Luke/Wedge that also has Han/Leia and I'm reading because horse racing!!). Also since I'm a multishipper, I read a lot of pairings. I also abandon a lot of fics about three paragraphs in so...

    But writing...I've written one multichapter, and that was only because it got too long to really put in one. Also co-wrote a multi-chapter, but my co-author did all the plotting because me and plots have a nodding acquaintance at best. It was a big long story but she wrote all the external conflict (we put Luke on the GFFA version of Dancing with the Stars, which grew out of a convoluted conversation about Mark Hamill possibly being put on because Disney/ABC. I would not be surprised if it happened. I also think Mark would be dead bang perfect on DWTS. Although sadly I was hoping for it because then Carrie could bring Gary and sit in every week, and maybe drag Harrison down for one week. Sniff.)

    I tend to write my ships together and I don't like to have internal conflict, unless it's fun banter or maybe trouble getting together - I had a gift exchange to write "Han has to tell Leia he's in love with Luke"...and the Skywalker twins ended up, er, sharing. Because I could not have Han break Leia's heart or Luke's, because that would have broken his own. Also, the Skywalker twins and Han have had enough misery to last a lifetime and I'm not going to give them more heartache if I can help it. So am I a cop out writer? Maybe. I let other people put them through the wringer but I'm not going to have them tear themselves apart. I just can't.

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  6. I like this DWTS idea! But, in real life, that would make me sad too.

    I guess I didn't think about what I read. Hm, let's see. I don't think there's a lot I won't read. It takes a really great writer to get me to read an Earth AU. I've finally gotten to reading NHI and I'm enjoying that, but it's really difficult to get me hooked on an Earth AU.

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  7. I relate to this problem, too. Generally I use the excuse "oh, I'm just in this mindset right now where I can only come up with 'comfort fic', that's why they're all mostly plotless fluff". But the truth is that my to-go writing ideas are missing moments and post-canon domestic fluff. I like writing angst and UST, so pre-ESB happens from time to time, but what I think about in my idle time is either conversations in bed or making out, lol (and for some reason I think it's a good idea to share those scenarios??) It's hard for me to do action/adventure oriented fics, and committing to multi-chapters, which sucks! And yeah, internal conflict... I don't mind reading it from writers I trust, but I have a hard time coming up with established-couple arguments that are worth writing a fic about.

    For reading I like a lot of things I wouldn't write, but I don't like Earth AUs, either (I'm sooo curious about NHI and maybe one day I'll give it a go, but right now my to-read list is very long and has other priorities)

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    1. Laughing to myself because I don't do action either. Multi-chapters are my main thing, but I do write the occasional one-shot every now and then.

      I'm thinking now about what I like to read and I guess it's the same as what I write. Whatever crazy, impossible plots other writers come up with. (I was scouring the internet for an Organas alive fic before Madame Alexandra started Identity and it made me so happy!)

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    2. Lol yeah, it's just that sometimes I feel "guilty" (not really) because I think... this is Star Wars, and all I write about is /this/?? Or I have an idea for a multi-chapter and adventure/action isn't the main plot, but it still needs to have some and it's just painful to get through that.

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  8. Sorry, Zyra. It's not a boring topic as far as I'm concerned; very pertinent to where I am with writing/reading right now, actually. But real life is kicking my booty. Moved home and I've been scraping 18 layers of paint and wallpaper off of 100+ year-old walls, plastering, sanding, painting...... aaaaaaand now I have "tennis elbow". I haven't been near a tennis racket since 1981 but apparently one can get this particular ailment from any strenuous overuse of the joint and omg OW OW OW OW. It has been soooooo painful, I could hardly bear to type for longer than a few minutes at a time. So my online activities have been curtailed, limited mainly to stuff I can do on my phone with my offhand. ;)

    I totally relate to what you said about not enjoying writing H/L when they're not together and happy. That's me in a nutshell. However, that's not the case when it comes to the stuff I like to read. I will read all sorts of stuff, even the really angsty stuff, although some of it really wrings my heart out. I remember reading Cindy Olsen's "The Wager" and just feeling sick for a while afterwards. lol (Psst! I think I take these things too much to heart sometimes!)

    Anyway, I do really enjoy reading fics between ANH-ESB that are full of UST between H/L and explore their developing relationship. But I cannot write them. At least, not easily.

    I am also discovering how difficult it can be to maintain momentum on a story where Han and Leia don't have much interaction with each other. I'm collaborating with CorellianAngel and JustineGraham on a multi-chapter AU set c. 30 years post-Endor, where H/L are very married and very happy, but not physically together for the duration of the story (he's on one planet; she's on another). The "action" (such as it is) really centres on Han's predicament on this planet, and their teenage daughters' attempts to help him out of it. Leia doesn't feature much at all and there's (so far) not even a conversation between H/L as far as I can recall. I think that is at least part of the reason why it is taking us so long to write! I just really enjoy putting them together and making them canoodle.

    As for Earthbound AUs...a year ago I would have scoffed openly at the notion I would ever read one of those, never mind fall madly in love with it but Cicatrick's "New Hope, Indiana" is something special. It is right up there at the top of my list of all-time favourite fics ever and I just marvel at her talent. I don't even know what made me start reading it because ordinarily I run a mile from such things. And I don't seem to have much room in my heart right now for anyone else's endeavours in that direction, especially any set in an American high school. *cringe* No, thank you!

    I've made no secret of my avoidance of any TFA-era, Disney canon fics but there are a few exceptions. The first ten chapters of Never Will I Ever by JustAFlick are absolutely fantastic. Luckily, they can stand on their own, because she then delves into the whole tragic arc of TFA/official canon and I just couldn't follow her there. What little I read of chapters 11 onward really gutted me all over again, tbh.

    But those first 10 chapters are SUPERB.

    In chatting with Flick (and others) I've been reminded that, for many people, there's really no point to a story that doesn't have some sort of drama, angst, conflict, tension.... The domestic bliss stuff I write with JustineGraham bores the tears out of some people, I know! But I guess that's just what makes the world go 'round. There's an audience for virtually every type of fic, it seems.



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    1. Why didn't I think of this earlier?! Erin, you reminded me of the reason why so many readers hate me: I LOVE writing anything tragic, pretty big character deaths, ending one-shots on cliffhangers that I'll never resolve. Anything that makes readers want to curse at me. Actually, I have an particular chapter that became very infamous among my readers and I had several people call me a Sith. *shrug* What can I say? It's my thing.

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    2. Didn't you move like two months ago now? I'm not sure how much longer you can use that as an excuse ;) I'm kidding, kidding. And really even for myself my interest ebbs and flows. It's cool.

      I hear you on having a hard time writing them apart. I've done it briefly a few times, and it's like I can't write fast enough to get them back together again. Potentially to the detriment of the story, even. In fact even with my current story I'm worried I'll resolve it too quickly just to get them together!

      You are correct that I'm sure the majority of readers prefer to read things that have drama, angst, tension, etc. I mean truthfully you're not really even telling a story without those things. Which is why now I keep most of my domestic fluff to myself ;)

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    3. On a similar note- maybe maybe not- whenever I come up with a plot, I always get a couple specific scenes I want for it right away, too. However, this usually does not work in my favor. They're usually scenes that will be in the end, so I'm always anxious to get to that scene and it makes it harder to write everything that leads to the good stuff! I have this specific scene for CQ that I can't wait for and it drives me insane!

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    4. Jaina, I think that's true for all of us. Even on the few stories I've had plot for, often it stems from a scene or two that I'm really excited about writing. And I have totally been there with struggling to get through the other scenes we need to get past in order to get to the ones I really want to write. My advice in that case is to write the scenes you want to write that are already in your head, then go back and do the rest. You'll just torture yourself if you have to wait.

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    5. Interesting advice. I've always feared that only making it worse. I suppose it makes sense, though. Now that you've given me permission, I know what I'm doing later. ;)

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    6. Well, hopefully that advice works for you! I think it can take some of the pressure off, keep your mind away from thinking about the chapter you really WANT to write, and get you to relax a little bit. Maybe. Hopefully.

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    7. A lot of people love fluffy fics without drama... but it's true that the most popular fics are those that have a dash of it. I suppose it makes sense--it doesn't mean that you LOVE the angst and drama, but just like with books, if you write a long multi-chapter it's supposed to have /something/ going on, i.e. angst and drama. Or just conflict of some sort! For one-shots I don't want to read something super dark and/or angsty if it doesn't have at least a silver lining, but the multi-chapters that make me addicted to them generally have some conflict going on that you NEED to see solved. Off the top of my head, Identity, From a certain point of view, Restoration, Into the future are fics that got me hooked, and they're not what I would call "dark", but they have conflict. I would love to be able to write something like that tbh, but I just don't have enough writing stamina.

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    8. That said, "Domestic Bliss" and "With you, I'm home" are fluffy, angst-free multi-chapters that I adored, so... thank you lovely authors for providing us with that genre, too :)

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    9. I'm with you on liking some conflict but not "dark" or anything like that. It's like a conversation we had not too long ago when I mentioned that there are certain authors who are highly regarded as Han and Leia favorites, but their versions of events are just too dark for me. There is conflict and drama, but it's the kind of conflict and drama where there are going to be lingering psychological issues for both of them, and they're never really going to just be happy. Together, sure, but always kind of with this underlying sadness for whatever reason. And I don't like that.

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    10. Ditto having previously had not interest in Earth-bound stories, but "New Hope, Indiana" was really great!

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  9. This is not a boring topic! But I don't write, I only read so I don't have as much to contribute to the conversation! I like a broad range of stories, but I agree with the rest of you who pass on stories that are just too dark and too heavy. I think pre-ST I wouldn't have felt that way, but now with canon being such a downer I like fan fiction that at the very least lets our OTP be happy in the end, even if there are challenges along the way. It's kind of why I've become less enamored with stories that have either character too fundamentally damaged, though it's okay if they somehow manage to move, together to a healthier place. Knitzkampf's super long and dark AU where Han leaves and is imprisoned by Jabba is an example of this. Oh boy, that story has some really dark places it goes to, but in the end it's very uplifting. And in it, Leia is a rape survivor, but it's not an eye-rolling and predictable trope because Han is a survivor of some pretty horrific stuff too, and he doesn't "heal" her through his "loving touch" (*snerk*) but they do heal *each other* by coming together, so it's actually quite beautiful and balanced. Plus their writing style is like one long waking dream, and the stream of consciousness writing style is engrossing.

    Yeah, I'm also the kind of reader who skipped earth bound AUs... until New Hope Indiana! I remember reading the first few chapters and thinking to myself... "Oh, what's this? How cute and charming!" And I almost didn't give it a chance, but after a few more chapters... and then, OMG. Total devastation, and amazing and incredible writing and characterization, and just general the general OMG talent of Cicatrick. I think we all feel the same.

    KnightedRogue, Erin & Justine, Otter&Terrier, Organazation, Kels, Zyra, all of y'alls write amazing stuff that I thoroughly appreciate. I guess the funny thing about my reading habits is that I'm very idiosyncratic. Some of the very popular fic writers out there are not my favorites, and then there are lesser known fic writers with only one story (Digimushroom on FFN. "Lightforce" - it's AWESOME) that I might be all over, even when there are not many people reading.

    Anyway, I appreciate the work and the stories! Immensely!

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    1. Thank you!! :D

      Yes, that happens to me too in both of my fandoms. Like we were also talking about, there are fic writers who become popular... and I just don't understand why. I don't search for fic because I find more than I can read through recs and stuff I come across, but I don't choose fics based on how popular the author is, just on how appealing to me that plot seems. I've found people I didn't know about who wrote little unappreciated gems!

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    2. Ditto, LoveThis! I mostly read, prefer stories that aren't too dark and heavy -- though if the story finds its way back out of those dark places, and if there is something that is gained or learned or developed from that dark place, that's cool -- and "all of y'alls" work is great!

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  10. Just a reader checking in here - though I do have about a dozen or so story ideas in my head...
    Anyways, for whatever reason, I love AU and pre-ROTJ fanfiC the most. Give me that heart-crushing angst!
    In my head, H/L will ALWAYS have their happier ever. It's more fun for me to read about the early stages of how they get there.
    -BradySolo

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    1. That makes sense! Every fluffy domestic fic is right, but it's a genre that you can just picture in your head anytime, so you might want to read fics that have something more than that.

      This reminds me: a while ago someone on Tumblr asked if there were any good honeymoon wedding fics and it turned out there aren't many. So I said, okay, I'll do this, and people were like "but honeymoons are actually boring??" Which is to say, you have plenty of just-married fluff, but not enough for it to be worth telling, unless you add a bit of action and conflict.

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    2. I do enjoy reading different ways they wound up together. But as a writer I just want them to already be together. Perhaps because I have no idea how people really wind up together, haha.

      Good point on honeymoon fics. I do understand the person who said the honeymoon would be boring. I mean, even if someone wrote it I think after the 5th scene in a row of the non-stop sex even the readers most interested in the smut might be like, ok, this might be enough now. Could be interesting if somehow there was some plot thrown in, but at the same time, I don't want plot to ruin their sex-filled honeymoon ;) So I think it's more fun to think about in general than to write out all the details.

      Same goes for weddings. When I first read COPL I was disappointed they left out the wedding part. (please forgive me, I was young when I read it and didn't know enough yet to realize just how awful all the rest of it was, especially because up until that point that was the first time I got to read about Han and Leia kissing in print, so I didn't know any better) but now I realize that actual wedding ceremonies are pretty boring, and not really something I'm interested in reading about. Which is weird because I've written and read about them just hanging out in bed, but for some reason a wedding seems more boring.

      There is a Legends canon very short story of Han and Leia on their honeymoon that was short but sweet. Not really any plot there either but subtle implications that they were definitely having a good time ;)

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    3. "as a writer I just want them to already be together" - Ugh yes, that makes things slightly less complicated tbh. And the trip to Bespin, for me at least, it's sort of a grey area, because they're together, but it's not in a "we're in a relationship now" way (for me), so writing about it is overthinking every step of the way. It's a lot easier to write them after RotJ when there's no conflict in their feelings or doubts about their relationship.

      I found a way to make it a slightly interesting honeymoon /and/ include some details about their wedding because... yeah, reading about them in detail isn't the most interesting thing, but if I do it in flashbacks I can use some headcanons I've come up with.

      The problem is that I don't write excellent smut, so I don't know why I ever thought this was a good idea.

      Ooh, name of that story?

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    4. I'm with you that flashbacks or quick mentions of stuff for those sorts of moments are perfect. Like if one of them sees something that reminds them of their honeymoon or something. Or a moment that reminds them of a wedding, or one thinking back to that day and how nice it was or whatever.

      I've mostly abandoned writing smut now too, so I hear you. It's ok if you're not good at it, or don't want to write it. There are plenty of ways to work around it. I'm a big fan of the "fade to black" method, haha. Although I do agree that if I found a honeymoon fic and there was no smut I might be disappointed...

      The story is Corphellion Interlude. Unfortunately I don't have a link for you. We actually have a review of it on this site though.

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    5. Haha, me too, so I'll probably have to write /some/ smut. It'll just take me some time to do it due to my current lack of privacy.

      Right! Yeah, I've read it, it was added as a prologue in the Tatooine Ghost version I found so in my head they're not separated stories, lol. There should be fanart for it.

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  11. Sorry sorry! I kept hitting this site when I had NO time to reply, and I want to reply to this in full!

    I'm one of those people that loves conflict and plot when I write but am perfectly happy without it when I read. It's something I don't fully understand about myself. I get extremely frustrated when I'm writing something and it doesn't have legs to stand on. Most of my discarded fic ideas are one shots that I started to write but realized have nothing moving them anywhere. As an author, I need that movement to feel engaged. It doesn't have to be dark and the movement can be emotional, too, but SOMETHING needs to happen.

    And then I go to read and voila! I'm all about the fluff and the sweet. I like the slice-of-life pictures we get here and there. I've started to love Han and Leia interacting with OCs and minor characters. I'm totally fine with the chapter of Domestic Bliss that is, in essence, a bubble bath. Cic wrote some NHI sock headcanons recently and I'm eating 'em up. Hey, let's read "Nobody But Yourself" by knitzkampf and cry over Luke thinking Leia is turning to stone metaphorically (although he's extremely drunk at the time, so he might be thinking that literally). It's unproblematic to me: I hold none of that under seige the way my brain has decided to hold my own stories.

    I have no idea why the pressure is on to WRITE something that I don't necessarily need to READ in other people's work, but there you go. I've been one of those people stuck in space battle hell for awhile in my AU so I curse at myself for this very thing all the time. Who needs space battles? Can't we just enjoy a nice smut scene with maybe like Han cooking dinner and Leia being grateful? Nope? Complicated plot instead, you say? Timing and pacing and hours on Wookieeepedia trying to figure out the difference between proton torpedoes and concussion missiles. Awesome. Thanks, brain.

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    1. Just to clarify: all those stories that I mentioned are EXTREMELY well-written and lovely character work. Please don't interpret my words condescendingly, I meant all of that as a compliment. Those stories far outshine whatever conflict is happening in my brain. If you haven't read "Domestic Bliss", Cic's sock headcanons or "Nobody but Yourself" you should treat yourself and do so ASAP. :)

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    2. Thanks for popping in. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who is drawn to certain things. Seems fairly universal that all of us seem to be a lot more open in what we will read compared with what we will write.

      I get what you're saying about feeling like you need to give people plot. This is why I don't see myself writing much else after I finish my current story. As much as I WANT to come up with good plot for more interesting stories, it's just not happening. But I think this is also why I like to sometimes do the little challenges here, because it seems to give people permission to write cute little one-shots where not much happens, and we all know what we're getting into, and the authors contributing don't have to feel like it's not "enough" or whatever because hey, you're just following instructions and giving us exactly what we asked for.

      I think the pressure maybe comes from not wanting to be "that" author who only writes fluff, so people will see your name and be like, I'm not even opening this, because I don't need another story where absolutely nothing happens and it's just Han and Leia alone in their bedroom.

      Funny about Wookieepedia, I'm sure we have all been there. My guiltiest thing about Wookieepedia is if I need to come up with some new planet for them to go to or mention, I go and look at the list of planets on there. It hasn't happened often, but if you look, you'll probably see that most of the planets I use come at the beginning of the alphabet, because it's listed alphabetically and I'll be starting at the beginning of the list and it's just like, "Atzerri, ok, that sounds good."

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    3. JustineGraham and I have come to realise that thinking too hard about what "legs we have to stand on" in a fic is a surefire way to induce writer's block! We never have any legs to stand on because we are just so happy to write Han and Leia on the horizontal. ;)

      My personal insecurities as a writer are set aflutter by this thread, though, because I fear I am "that" writer whose stories attract little attention because everybody knows it's just going to be MOAR fluffy smut, or smutty fluff (in the bedroom or elsewhere)!

      Otoh, I get such pleasure from writing that cack, I don't really mind if our audience is limited to five or ten core readers. It's still fun to write! And I can always dip into the work of other authors if I want something a bit weightier or more involved. Best of both worlds!

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    4. Nah I was thinking I was "that" author, haha. Often because I know there is a group of writers that reads and reviews each other's stuff, and I'm not sure any of them have touched anything I've written. This could have nothing to do with me and perhaps they've never even opened one of my stories, but it does make me wonder. And I wouldn't even really blame anyone for not wanting to look at more of my stories if the one thing they looked at was like, Han giving his son a stuffed animal. Or maybe they started with one of my stories that are multi chapters but also my early work, which I leave up anyway but, well, they aren't very good. I doubt it takes much to be turned off by someone and be like, nah, I'm just gonna read all these other people that I already know always write good stuff.

      I do enjoy fluff though. And sometimes in the right mood, a nice fluffy one-shot is just perfect.

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    5. Meanwhile, I'm pretty positive I'M "that" author.

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    6. Guys, if the characterization is neat, there's nothing bad in being *that* author! :) It's better to write a fluffy/smutty/domestic one-shot that has a relatively simple premise once a month than struggle and punish yourself and end up not writing in a year because you can't get a really complex plot moving.

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    7. If it's written well, if it's written with love and a sharp eye for the characters, you are NOT that author. :)

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    8. Exactly!!

      Another thing I just thought re:

      "I know there is a group of writers that reads and reviews each other's stuff, and I'm not sure any of them have touched anything I've written"

      I think it's possible that the problem might be not with your writing, but the fact that a lot of authors are now on Tumblr, so my personal case is that I don't go searching for fics on FFN or AO3 because my current list is huge, and I got those fics from other people's rec lists and stuff that I see on Tumblr. For example, your "Accidental Marriage" has been on my list for ages, and I found it through a Tumblr rec list! I just haven't had time to read it, but after I do I will probably check the rest of your stuff there (also because I already read some of your writing here and liked it). So, I load the multi-chapters in my "reading list" to my Kindle for whenever I can get to them, and "on the go" I mostly read one-shots that are posted to or linked from Tumblr, which is probably the group you mention, because that's what I come across daily.

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    9. Forgot to comment on this too. I agree there does seem to be a contingent on tumblr. Which is nice that there are fans getting together, but man, I can't deal with another "thing" that I'd feel like I had to keep up with! I peek at it from time to time, and trying to follow people discussing things on there is... challenging, to say the least. But it's definitely rough when there is a group that tends to overshadow a lot of the rest. And it makes me feel especially bad for authors who are just totally doing it on their own and who might get completely overlooked. It used to be a lot easier to kind of get your footing because new stories were sparse enough that it was easy to at least look at pretty much everything that got posted and have a better idea that way. But now there is so much people are kind of forced to be pickier about what they even attempt to read.

      Well, glad you've got some of my stuff on your list, haha. Accidental Marriage is probably a really good choice because I only wrote half of it ;) Read mine in reverse chronological order or you'll read my old stuff and immediately decide to not read the rest, haha.

      I do know it's tough though, there is so much to read, so little time, so easy to get distracted.

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    10. As Erin can tell you, it's not the best place to keep up with discussions and build a community (you CAN--personally I feel like I have a community there, and you can choose what to see and what to avoid--but it's not the same as coming to this blog or joining a forum).

      I think that's a problem of increased quantity then, because for me finding fics has always been like this. When I was in a forum board I got my fics from there; then when I was on LJ I mostly read what my f-list wrote and found new fic through recs and challenges, so on. On Tumblr sometimes I come across new authors when they post their fic to the tags I follow. I'm picky, so getting my reading from writers I already know I like is both an easy choice, because I don't spend a lot of time reading, and a little support for who I consider to be my friends, but I still try to read other people and promote them because I know it's hard (I felt so lost when I started writing Han/Leia! Who the hell was going to read me??)

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    11. Now I want to get on Tumblr and just mad promote the fic that I'm in love with. Haha!

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    12. Do it!! I love getting messages about recs, and people who make rec lists! And people like it exactly because it gives them material without them having to look through pages of stuff that might not be what they want to see (AO3 has a troublesome search: you look for Han/Leia and you might get Reylo fics where Han/Leia is only a background ship, so it makes things hard if you don't know how to exclude those results.) This is why it's nice to not rec only the same authors over and over, but have some variation.

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    13. The mention of Tumblr... and FF... so... where DO these stories all get published? Like, is there a list that could be posted somewhere of all the places people publish their work, or, the top picks of places where people publish? I've mostly been checking out Archive of Our Own, and have wandered over to fanfiction.net, but often find that trying to figure out what tags to use is a real challenge. And didn't even realize until this thread that Tumblr wasn't just for images?

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    14. Lordy, what is Tumblr for? I'm damned if I know!

      It's a terrible web site, imho. Or, rather, it's a web site that is presently being used for purposes for which it clearly was not designed. In addition to posting "microblogs" and bits of multimedia, some people seem to be publishing whole fics there, which they may never archive at FFNet or AO3 (Archive of Our Own) at all! And trying to find a specific post on Tumblr that you've seen there before is an exercise in frustration.

      It mystifies me why the place is so popular but I've now gone and made an account and find myself hanging out there, too, so I'm just perpetuating the problem by using the damn thing. >:( Otter and KR and others clued me in a bit on its use so at least I don't rage-quit it every time.

      I haven't published any fic there, though. I mainly publish to FFN and (if I remember to do it) also to AO3. I hang out on Tumblr mainly for the pretty pictures and the interaction with the community.

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    15. Oh, and Tumblr totally made up for all the pain it has caused me when Cicatrick posted her NHI socks excerpts there. Gahhhh. I died. And then I asked her to email it to me because I knew I'd never find it on Tumblr again haha

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    16. I love looking at tumblr for excellent pictures. It drives me insane when I see what looks like a conversation, and usually there are only pieces of it and it's missing things, and then you keep scrolling down and there are more pieces of the conversation, or large chunks of the same one. And then suddenly there is a fic and you're like... wait, what? Someone post this somewhere else! I wish people would keep it just for pretty pictures!

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    17. I have a whole folder on Gmail of Tumblr posts I've liked - I email them to myself. Tumblr has the WORST search of anything outside Facebook. The coding is a mess, it behaves in completely stupid ways....

      But I love the fic and the photos and GIF sets. And all the fun people I've met ::g::

      Come join us, LoveThis! I have been on for ages but only in the last 18 months, first with finding figure skating fans and then X-Files and Star Wars fans, did I finally start hanging out there!

      I did start a "TFA Fix IT" rec list and there's a great Tumblr of Han and Leia fic recs too.

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  12. Zyra, forgive me - I get notified of a new post, but I find it's days late-you guys are already deep in discussion.
    But this is an interesting topic, and I find I am pretty similar to you all. I will read anything, and I don't necessarily need anything to happen. If the writing is good, characterization is good, I am a happy camper. I do like conflict and crisis, too, though, because there's resolution, and that makes it satisfying. I'm like Knighted Rogue, though on the writing. I feel like I need to have something happen for the reader, otherwise they are thinking, "what, again? All these people do is stand around and talk!" I had to laugh about the research - yes, I check Wookieepedia a bit. Sometimes I think it would be lovely if our characters settled on earth, because it would be simpler to write. Then again, I don't think science was George Lucas' strong suit. I once read a fic where Han and Chewie run out of fuel and wind up on earth, though it's never said, but it's clear they enter a 7-11 and Han steals a case of Mountain Dew for fuel because his "credits" aren't good, and humans think they've met Big Foot. It was funny. "NHI" was absolutely gorgeous and made me think why not on AU Earths. Because we love the characters. (And thank you to those who mentioned my stories here. Very gratifying.)

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    1. I wish I knew how to fix the post notifications, sorry about that.

      I understand liking conflict and crisis sometimes. And I don't know if anyone else has this problem more recently, but I have no attention span anymore, so unless I'm sucked into a story from the beginning I'm really unlikely to start a story that already is well underway and is going to take me a long time to catch up, even if it is getting rave reviews and I'm sure I'd enjoy it.

      One of my issues with Earth AUs is that sometimes it is hard to understand why we are basing the characters at all on Han and Leia (or Luke or Obi Wan or...) when everything about it is completely different. I guess it just starts to seem like, at what point are these just completely different people who may share some traits with our favorite couple? So then why not just write an original story with original characters? I'm not picking on any particular story, I can't even tell you when I read an Earth AU (if ever, to be honest). And actually this applies to regular AU stories too, like if we say Han was the prince and Leia was the smuggler, or totally change their backgrounds in some way.

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    2. In Earth AUs (or any AU or really in any type of story at all) the key is characterisation, I think. If you get that right, then...everything else can work. Even the outlandish stuff. I totally get why you might avoid such fics altogether, though, when there are plenty of GFFA fics around to read. More than anyone has time for, really!

      And I definitely relate to feeling a little put off reading really long fics that are already in full swing, with 50+ chapters to read. Why that is, I really don't understand, because I do love getting drawn into a long, absorbing story. I guess it's just a little daunting, somehow.

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    3. I'm the same way with full-swing stories. I think it's too much for me to catch up with and get in the swing of things before the next update and I have all these chapters to read. I like catching them just as they're starting so I have a neat reading schedule and I can sit down on Friday nights or whenever it is that wonderful time of the week. I like reading a story as it is update, getting the impact of suspense and cliffhangers. Sometimes, it's just too much to try and get into a story that's already in full swing.

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    4. I think for "in swing" fics, part of it is the overwhelming thought of having 100,000 words to catch up on or whatever. And I don't know why that is a big deal, because if someone handed me a big fat book that I already knew had subject matter I liked, I wouldn't think, ugh, I wish you could just hand this to me one chapter at a time... no, it's GREAT having a new book to read and sit down and binge on, I don't know why it's different from fanfic.

      Maybe part of it is the sort of communal aspect. Because of course unlike with books, you can't interact with the author as it goes along. It's fun to be able to give feedback and hear back from authors, and see what other readers are thinking in their reviews, and to sort of feel like part of this little group as you all read together. I think that's part of the fun, too. And if you're 3 months behind on reading someone's fic, then you lose out on that aspect of it.

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    5. TBH, my least favorite fic is an unfinished or in progress one. I prefer when fic is complete before I start. Usually because I'll devour the whole thing in a sitting or two if it's good, and when I wait for updates I can lose track of of the story and have to go back and re-read chapters to get up to speed.

      Not that that should influence any of you fine writers! But a complete fic always has special appeal for me, so I'm the opposite of people who don't want to play catch up with something that has already started.

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    6. Well, I do get that, too. And there is almost nothing worse than a totally awesome fic that you get super into, and then suddenly you have that horrible dread wash over you when you realize it's not finished, and it's been a VERY long time since it's been updated, and therefore it is unlikely it will ever be finished. And I'm mad at myself for my incredibly slow updates right now because I also get the frustration with following along on a fic, but the updates are so sparse that when it does get updated, you're really excited, but you also realize that you almost have to start over completely in order to remember what the heck has been going on, and I hate that I'm doing that to people with mine.

      The best method is people who start posting and tell you they're already finished, and will publish on scheduled days. It's like getting involved in a TV show, and always knowing when you can rely on an update. I like having it kind of broken up that way too. I'm actually not a fan of when people update multiple chapters at once. I don't know why!

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    7. I am so new that many of the multi-chapter ones I read were complete. I never thought of the social aspect. While that is fun, as a writer I wouldn't want anyone skipping it because it's no longer "fresh". And yes, with long ones that have been around a while, there's that danger you'll not see it finished. I am thinking of quite a few right now. Plus you can read a long one at your leisure. Some updates are very far between, and I'll have to re-read to remember what's been going on.

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    8. Yes, all of what you guys said! I enjoy both getting updates and interacting with the author as they're writing (which is also encouraging for the author) and being able to download fifty chapters to my kindle and read them on a weekend off. But reading a finished fic is safer (unless you forgot to check and it turns out the fic was abandoned...), and you don't have to re-read the last chapter to remember what happened if updates are slow, so that's also why I don't jump to start reading a new multi-chapter (Erin and Justine are tempting me, though... damn! :P)

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    9. Ha! The new one is only four chapters and came in under a bazillion words, so you're safe. :)

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    10. LMAO! Justine! 4 chapters is great. It's in-between a one-shot and a multi-chapter!

      Anyway, Just because I'd *rather* read something finished (because I am impatient AF, and compulsive, so I want to read it ALL right away) doesn't mean that an in-progress fic will *stop* me from reading. Oh no way... in fact, some of the best stuff being written at the moment is all in progress, and I do LOVE the updates! It's just hard to keep track of a fic when it gets too long and updates are long in-between. But again, don't let that stop any of you from writing! I'm enjoying your work too much, don't stop!

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    11. We need a support group. Fan Authors Anonymous. We sad souls who torture our poor readers with looooong periods between updates.

      *Raises hand* Hello. My name is KR and I'm 100% guilty of this. :)

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    12. @Justine Yes!! I love short multi-chapters!!

      @KR do you think by the time I start reading Mighty Things it'll be finished or I'll have to join in the pestering-for-updates group?

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    13. Some of us have been reading it for 9 years. That is some commitment right there.

      At least you came back, though. Don't pull a Stoned Rose though and give us hope and then disappear again.

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    14. Yes, "Mighty Things" is probably more interesting as a documentary about fic writing than it is as a story at this point. :)

      @O&T: MT has one more chapter and an epilogue left. I'm working on the final chapter at the same time that I'm going back and re-editing the previous chapters, to make sure that I wrap up all the threads that I started writing almost a decade ago. Wait until the chapters are redone and the whole shebang is posted, just to be on the safe side. :)

      @Zyra: I seriously have the best readers. It's like a generational rite of passage now, to despair over that story being finished. I am absolutely confident that it will be finished, much more than I've ever been. This last chapter has three scenes I've been dying to write since I started the thing, and I'm just taking my sweeeeeet time. :)

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    15. I'd be more anxious about it if at this point I didn't trust that you were going to finish it, but I do. So I'll just keep waiting patiently, haha.

      Maybe as an experiment I'll stop writing my current WIP and come back with another chapter in 5 years and see if anyone cares anymore ;)

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    16. I need to join KR's support group. It totally takes me too long to update. On the first long form, I had sworn to myself that come hell or high water, it was going to be done before TFA came out and changed my perspective on anything (for good or for bad, as I didn't know at the time what was going to happen...). I don't have that clock on myself anymore, so I'm slow (I don't think I could ever do that again for a fic - I don't think I slept more than 4 hours a night for the week before TFA came out, as I WAS going to finish that story before I saw the film).

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  13. It's so interesting, the different preferences we have as readers, and that you all have as writers. When I first started reading fanfic, I read a lot of plot-driven, high-action stories, and thought they were great (and still do!) because a) they were well-written, and b) they had more Han/Leia together time than I'd found in the EU.

    Lately, though, I'm just not into the plot-driven pieces unless there's also a lot of character-development. I want to read about Han and Leia together (or nearly getting together, or looking forward to getting together, or remembering when they first got together) all the time. That's my happy place.

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  14. I always seem to arrive late to these discussions, too! I don't get the notifications either and life gets away from me before I notice that there's a really interesting post on the go.

    I'll read almost anything as long as Han and Leia are happy and together and their characters ring true to me. I do love fics that have that lovely balance of action and romance (Mighty Things comes to mind, of course) and I'd love to try to write something with action and battles (even someone drawing a blaster, for heaven's sake!), but it never seems to sound right whenever I try. I just can't seem to get beyond the romantic fluff that I so love to tinker with. It's just my zone, I guess, and I'm happy there. I'll just enjoy all the action and plot the rest of you are so good at creating. :)

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  15. Yeah, my notifications function seems to be a bit sketchy too. It's a blogspot/blogger thing, I think.

    But this is an interesting topic. My fanfic writing is usually propeled by me thinking: If I were going to write an EU book, but it was going to be mostly Han/Leia, what would I write? That's why everyone has to have some sort of plot in my long-form stories, as I feel like if I'm trying to write something novel-length, it needs a plot to serve as its skeleton. That said, the one I'm currently working on has H/L on their honeymoon as my A story, and although I have Luke and Lando B and C stories, I am not sure what the heck I am going to do with Han and Leia, as I have an A story that is going to meander, as it's not plot-driven. I'm also very, very bad at writing smut, so there are going to be a a lot of chapters that could probably be summed up in one line: "Han and Leia talk, kiss passionately, and...scene." A little worried about my A story (or my A non-story, I guess) on this one. I'm just going to lean on character stuff, I guess.

    That said, even when I'm writing a meandering Han/Leia chapter, I always have more fun with it than I do with writing Luke or Lando even if I know exactly what I want to write in the Luke or Lando chapter. I just feel like I can't leave them out as my mental space on the long-forms I'm writing is "ok, this is me writing the EU, where do these characters go?" So on that level, it's a bit of a writing exercise too.

    As far as reading, I don't like to read things that are too dark and violent unless they go from dark to light, I'm not all that into pre-TESB stuff as fan fic or as "real" fic from comic books etc, and I have trouble with Earth-bound AUs, although I am getting into NHI, which is really well-done and also feels a bit like a Star Wars - American Graffiti mashup, which is pretty neat.

    I like fluff as much as plot-driven things, I don't really have a preference as long as Han and Leia are either in the process of getting together or together. I'm also happy with one-shots or multi-chapters. I guess, as a reader, all I ask for is Han/Leia - romance, family, ordinary day, battle, whatevs, any kind of togetherness that implies love and commitment to each other gives me all the feels!

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    1. Since that time we stopped getting notifications at all, then started getting them again, mine usually come about four hours after Zyra posts. So, I guess mine aren't so bad.

      I love writing the EU! I love it so much! My go-to is Recovery-based H/L one-shots. I have an entire list of different Recovery-based shots I could write. Whenever I don't know what I want to write, I like pulling those out.

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    2. I should say that when I write, I'm not in the EU, I'm in my own version of "Ok, if I wanted to write an EU after ROTJ, where would I go?" I do wish I knew the EU as a whole a little bit better - it lost me around the time of COPL, and after that I kind of picked-and-chose what I read. I'm slowly collecting the books from re-sellers though (I won't buy EU unless it's re-sale now, as some of that money goes to Disney...so why would I give them money for something that they took apart...)

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    3. I understood what you meant when you mentioned the EU. Not that literally you would write something in that specific universe.

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  16. I also don't get notifications for new entries, but I thought I just couldn't find the settings :/

    My problem with Earth AUs is the same as Zyra: it might be the best characterization and plot ever, but my brain thinks "why is it necessary to have them meet in a coffee shop on Earth if part of the charm is that they belong to a galaxy far far away?" Like that Tumblr post with a picture of Carrie in Frankestein and Harrison as a cowboy: in picture it looks awesome, but I'm not interested in reading a Western Han/Leia AU. What I'd like is to go back on time and have Carrie and Harrison starring as different characters in a Western movie, lol, but I /guess/ that's not doable. So NHI sounds interesting just based on everyone's opinions of it, but because the plot is at the bottom of my list, I'd rather read all the others I've been neglecting first.

    I feel so guilty about multi-chapters... I love them, but my two main problems are that I don't like reading more than one (or two, tops) at once, because if they're so interesting they suck you in, it gets confusing, and that I don't like reading more than 5k words on my computer if I can help it. So right now I'm reading "A journey of a thousand miles" and "Domestic Bliss" faithfully, and waiting for "Into the future" updates. I started reading a so far great TFA fix-it that is new, but I'm already behind :/ So generally I read complete or near-complete fics that I put in my kindle, and then try to leave a bunch of detailed reviews to compensate.

    I love researching everything, even when it's not fundamental to the plot! I have about three cross sections of the Falcon and a handy interactive galaxy map that I haven't had the chance to use yet.

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  17. When you mentioned the EU, and what you'd like to write/read there, it made me think that one of the things I really like to read about it stories where they are already together, maybe even already have a family, and the plot comes from somewhere else. Partly maybe because one of the most popular things is of course finding some new story to tell about how they got together, and having the drama and conflict come somewhere from that. So there are a lot of those, and a lot of them are really good, but sometimes it's good to find something else. And I'm trying to think, but it seems really, really rare that there is a multi-chapter story that is sort of like the EU, where the conflict comes from somewhere else but the relationship is already intact and solid. It's one of the reasons I like Mighty Things. And one of the reasons I liked WRITING my story where Han and Leia take the kids to Corellia. And also reminds me that for a long time, back when the Corellian Embassy was where I did a lot of my writing, I really liked reading Carolyn Gollege's stuff, because she tended to write a lot of stuff like that. I'm not sure she ever once wrote smut, although she had plenty of "fade to black" scenes. Actually GreatOne too, same kind of thing. Stories like that are a real rarity these days, I think. Unless now one of you is going to point me to 20 stories that were recently published that totally fit exactly what I just described....

    It's tougher now though because we have people writing in the "new" canon and having Ben Solo. And I just can't. I sort of feel bad about that because I'm sure the authors of those stories might do a great job, but I just can't do it when I know how it turns out.

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    1. I hear you on the Ben Solo thing. I think it's been mentioned already how it created a splinter in the fandom, having these two official-to-a-degree universes. I go with Ben Solo just because... I /can't/ with the idea of three kids and one of them called Anakin. "Ben" doesn't make much sense either, but at least it has a more positive implication. I'm fine with reading about the EU kids, though, but if I'm writing kids, it's a boy named Ben, and maybe later a girl, and nobody turns to the Dark Side. Okay, I wrote two fics when there's a bit of darkness implied, but it was just nightmares and mostly an excuse for hurt/comfort. Now, I just use Ben in lieu of making up a new kid for my harmless domestic stuff, but I'm aware that it puts me on one side of the fandom and not the other, lol

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    2. Hah hah. I am the exact opposite, O&T! :) If I see "Ben" followed by anything other than "Skywalker", I have a really hard time reading it. And it's NOTHING to do with quality or the author ... it's me and my TFA trauma. It could also be that I was an EU reader for most of my childhood and old habits die hard. I actually wish I could read anything from the new canon - I feel awful being the kind of fan that has to live in the EU/AU. There are incredible authors writing (what I hear is) fantastic stuff with a Ben Solo, and I'm sitting in the corner with a blindfold, going "no, no, no Jacen, Jaina, Anakin, no, no, no". :D

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    3. Oh no, by "positive implication" I only meant that it makes more sense to me for Leia to name her kid Ben after Obi-Wan instead of Anakin, even if it doesn't make loads of sense.

      I totally understand that reaction. I only read Ben Solo stuff (or Jaina, Jacen and Anakin stuff, for that matter) if no darkness (or little darkness) is present, written by people I know are good Han/Leia shippers, and I write it not because I buy into the "Kylo Ren is a GOOD PERSON INSIDE" bs, but just to save myself of making up a kid. Because I think the thing here is that authors who make up new kids are rare in the fandom (I only know that Madame Alexandra does this), so if you want to write Organa-Solo kids it's a choice between Jaina/Jacen/Anakin and Ben Solo, and I've chosen my path 😅

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    4. Ultimately, I don't care about the kids for themselves, but for Han and Leia in a family dynamic, so if the fic gives me strong ship/family feels, I don't care about what names and number of kids you use :)

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    5. I know this will show me to be a rock-headed curmudgeon but if I see "Ben Solo" in a fic, I will almost immediately find my [BACK] button and nope right on outta there. I don't tend to stick around long enough to find out if he's a different version with a different path or whatever; the name alone is enough to send me packing. That's my TFA trauma, too, no doubt.

      I have read some stories (AU) that feature a Ben Solo, though. Arallute's stuff, for example. But only because I learned through correspondence ahead of time that it was an AU TFA-era fic where Han doesn't die.

      I've chucked the baby out with the bathwater in terms of writing kids for H/L now. I was never very happy with the EU depiction of H/L's family anyway (so much death and loss, good grief!!) so, in collaboration with JustineGraham and CorellianAngel, I've given them five daughters instead. That one's not published yet but the girls are pretty well fleshed out in our own minds.

      There's also the possibility, which we've been discussing elsewhere, of having them opt out of having children altogether or deciding to adopt. Sue Zahn has a lovely story Always In Motion which touches on that idea. I've always liked it, but I like it even more now, as a childless-by-choice H/L seem more appealing to me these days than they ever did before.

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    6. The discussion of kids and names comes up fairly regularly, and has for YEARS. It's been over 20 years since I found the EU and started reading about Jacen, Jaina and Anakin, so even though my adult brain now tells me that Anakin is a really dumb name for Leia's kid and she wouldn't have done that, it's just been so etched in there and accepted for so long, I can look past the stupidity. And I also spent 10+ years reading the EU, where there was no foreshadowing of terrible things to come for those kids (because as far as I know, that wasn't in the plans to happen until later) so I can more separate the good from the bad there, even if it didn't turn out well.

      And I'm sure I've said this before when it has come up, but I think for a lot of us utilizing existing kids rather than having to come up with totally new ones is a lot easier. I think especially if you want to jump into the family part rather than having the whole background to it. Like if someone had a more long-term plan and had the kids being born, gave them names, established their own universe that people had gotten used to, it makes more sense than if you just sort of jump into a story and are like, so here are Han and Leia's 5 kids named Joey, Brittany, Steven, Dana and Han, Jr. I think it just gets confusing. But I'm sure there are people who can pull it off!

      I'm with KR on this. If I see "Ben Solo" I'm out. Even if the story has absolutely nothing to do with what he became and it's all cute and light, I just can't. Maybe someday, but not anytime soon.

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    7. Yes, why Anakin? I could never quite figure that one out. It doesn't sit right.

      I hear you about Ben/Kylo/Darth Whiney or whatever. I'll close the tab and run a mile...I just can't go there. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from TFA and that name just...gah.

      We had quite a lot of fun naming our five Solo girls and giving them all unique personalities. We're all big on researching everything, so I believe the reference doc is actually larger than the story itself at this point, but it's plodding along. It's been fun to explore, and it was our way of giving Disney the middle finger.

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    8. It has a lot to do with the fandom history of each of us, like you said, if you got used over the years to Anakin, it's natural now, or if you love the EU kids maybe you won't read about a made-up bunch, or if you hate the EU kids you won't touch that, etc. I reject TFA but it wasn't such a hard blow to me as it was to all of you, so I'm not going to try to fix it because it just doesn't exist as canon in my head, but I take elements that I agree with from the Disney 'verse. So if I want to write about Han and Leia winning a hottest couple poll and embarrassing their little kid I'm not going to develop a whole 'verse just for that; I just won't touch on any darkness because it doesn't exist in that universe. And it's a shame because "Ben Solo" does have deeply negative resonance with a lot of you, so instead of widening the fic reading options, it might limit them, but it's not /your/ fault. It's understandable.

      FIVE daughters! Wow.

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    9. I agree, it is hugely dependent on each person's history with the fandom. I've talked with Han and Leia fans my own age, who didn't read the EU or anything until they were into their 30s, who are far less forgiving about the whole Anakin Solo idea.

      And now you've made me want to read a story where Han and Leia are voted hottest couple and their kids are embarrassed. This is coming from someone who actually did write a story where Han gets voted sexiest man alive and they have to deal with that. But they didn't have kids yet.

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    10. .... Well, I mentioned it because I wrote it, but the catch is that teenage Ben Solo is there (and there is also mention of an old Sexiest Man Alive poll!)

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    11. Thanks for the link. See? You just got me to enjoy a Ben Solo story, haha.

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    12. There's another cute one I've read with baby Ben. Trio of Solos by organanation on AO3. I followed the link to the adoption one and I enjoyed it too!

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    13. Sorry. Otter, I read these as well and I enjoyed it very much. I wasn't expecting that turn you took with the picture and Ben getting picked on by the older kids. I was expecting a focus on the mere humiliation of finding his parents receiving such an ... honor. But I liked it a lot!

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    14. Yeah, I'm with the crowd that quickly backs out of the room, like this, if Ben Solo is around:

      https://pix.sfly.com/FFBfe0

      (Best meme I ever generated...)

      Although I've read StatsGrandma's fix, where Ben gets de-forced :) in his teen years, and I like it, because...well, because it would have stopped TFA from happening. And I could be convinced to read a "Sexiest Man Alive" thing, lol, even if Ben is there. I'll just ignore him/rename him in my mind.

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    15. BAh haha Kels that is perfect. Are you on Tumblr? (DAMMIT CV73 and KR and Otter why is that now my first question!? Gahhh I've been tumblred)

      But I totally want to share it on Tumblr now.
      I really do. hahaha

      P.S. Thank you guys for helping me get to grips with Tumblr. I now only rage-quit it, like, once a week.

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    16. Haha! Very nice, Kels. I'm guilty too- however, I have an odd obsession with pregnant Leia fics, so I've read a few with Ben. I refuse to read him otherwise, though.
      Just remembered- was it Erin who was talking about the fic from Han's perspective and the first ten or so chapters are really great? Awful description, but I don't remember the name. Anyway, I read the rest and ... I'm sorry, but I couldn't stand the story surrounding "Padme's" birth and checked out after that.

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    17. Erin - I'm not on tumblr and I tend to become a social media addict once I join anything (I had to quit FB for 4 months to break that addiction, I swear it is all like crack to me), so I'm staying far, far away from tumblr. Feel free to copy that pic and share it.

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    18. Yes, that was Never Will I Ever and I would recommend reading up through chapter 10 (it's really good) and then just...tiptoe away...if you don't like TFA, Ben Solo and lots of misery and grief. God. WHY IS THIS MISERY AND GRIEF EVEN PART OF STAR WARS NOW WHY

      Sorry sorry sorry I'm mostly past the stage of wailing and tearing my hair out, but the thought of nu-canon still makes me pop my cork sometimes!

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    19. Thanks, Kels. You're a wise woman. Tumblr is pretty toxic, tbh.

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    20. I'm glad you liked the fic! (though now I feel slightly guilty that I made you read Ben Solo, lol. It's fine by me if you change the name in your head). I wrote another one where Leia is pregnant, they're at a fancy function and Han gives her a foot massage, and I think I don't even mention the name there because you can get away with that in pregnancy fics. corellian-smuggler wrote the most adorable fic with Han and Ben building a gingerbread castle for Leia, and that one is also recommended because it's pure fluff.

      Haha, we're sorry Erin!!

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    21. Don't be sorry! I think I've read that one of yours too.

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    22. Okay, I sort of skipped through parts of Never Will I Ever and by the Maker, I thought TFA was depressing - that story makes it worse! I didn't think that was possible!

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    23. I corresponded with Flick for a bit after reading this (well, as far as I could stand it, anyway) because I'd been reviewing faithfully up to a certain point and I just couldn't take it any further, and I wanted to explain. I couldn't deal with the darkness of that middle section; the *betrayal* and the grief. No way. She is a GREAT writer but, I agree with you CV, this exposition of "what went wrong" somehow made TFA even worse. I understand why she wrote what she did but I'm damned if I'll ever read it again.

      I still maintain that chapter 1-10 are worth reading, though. They are *lovely* on their own. Just...you know... STOP after chapter 10!

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    24. I've come across that fic, but because it says "TFA" without "fix-it" it doesn't make me want to read it. I only read Disney canon fics when I know the author doesn't include marital and evil child problems, so if it doesn't say fix-it or AU, I don't want it. Those ten chapters might be great, but knowing that awful things are coming doesn't make me want to invest my time on it (at least not when I have so many other lovely things to read!)

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    25. OMG, I love that one-shot on your Tumblr OtterAndTerrier!

      I am a reader who remains unafraid of Ben Solo's presence in a fic. I do however, do a quick scan of the summary, scan the fic, make sure it's a TFA doom and gloom free zone before I proceed. Dysfunctional Solos and/or Emo Darth appearances cause me to bounce right out! But I love the stories that use baby/young Ben minus the Darth tendencies to explore parenthood for Hana and Leia. AU is definitely where it's at for me!

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    26. Thank you!! I haven't posted it anywhere else because I need someone to tell me if there are mistakes, but people seem to have liked it over there.

      I've read a few with implied darkness, including one called... Bronze Boy?? Bronze something. It was good and the Han/Leia treatment was also good except for a few things. I can handle the darkness if we're talking about a little kid who has nightmares sometimes and that's it, but I try to stay clear from anything that sticks too close to TFA.

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    27. Me too! I now avoid the TFA-territory fic. I got suckered into a few here and there, and then just realized... no. Not for me!

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    29. @Otter

      Just read it, really loved it, especially because I do remember Harrison Ford being named "Sexiest Man Alive" twice, about 15 years apart, by People Mag. So it resonated on a few levels for an oldster like me.

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    30. Thank you!! Lol, that's one awesome coincidence!

      And I know you deleted the other comment so I'm going to whisper the following: I try not to judge people based on their appearance because I fall on the ugly side too, but I seriously don't see any resemblance between Ben and his two gorgeous parents. I guess acting matters most in casting but still (also... black hair?? who did he get that from??)

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    31. ** correction: acting matters most in casting if you're white (:

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    32. Ok, first, don't think yourself ugly. People come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and looks, and what is ugly to one is hotness personified to another. (Adam Driver would actually be a perfect example of this)

      I did delete it, though, because I thought it was just a cheap shot and Adam Driver's looks, no matter how I feel about them, have little to do with the reasons I don't like Ben Solo. If Adam Driver played Han and Leia's fantastic son Ben, instead of needs-a-binkie-emo-creature Darth Whiney, I'd be thinking how great it was that they cast someone not classically handsome to play their kid.

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    33. Am I the only one who thought Adam Driver looked great as Ben? I mean, I don't like Darth Emo the character, but they made Adam Driver look much more attractive than he usually does. He also looked so much *younger* than his actual age. I totally would have believed Kylo was in his early 20s, which is interesting because Adam usually looks like he's closer to 30 in everything else I've seen him in.

      Also, Kylo Ren would have at least been a less ridiculous character if he was still around 20 and wayward because he was young hotheaded and easily manipulated (kinda like Anakin) but whatever. We know all the Mickey to that Mouse is just BS anyway.

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    34. I heard some people *laughed* when Krylo took his helmet off. It's not so much that Driver is unattractive (I can see how he might be attractive to some) but there's just a sort of....dorkiness about him? He looks GOOFY to me. And that doesn't really match with the bad-ass costume and lightsaber.

      I actually think the Kylo Ren "look" is pretty cool, if only I didn't have to remember every time I see it that underneath it all is the so-called only child of Han Solo and Leia Organa. No. No, he's f***ing NOT. F*** that noise. Makes me so mad.

      Sorry, sorry. *Puts some money in the swear jar.*

      For me, I think those emotions (loathing, outrage, betrayal) that I feel about the storyline given to H/L are bound up with the sight of Driver's face. I don't watch broadcast television and I don't live in the U.S. so I'd never seen him on anything else before TFA. Now I have a very visceral and childish reaction to the sight of him that I don't think I'll ever be able to separate. I picked a film to watch on Netflix late last year and almost turned it off when I realized he was in it, but I gave myself a stern talking-to ("Grow up! Get a grip!") and made myself watch it anyway. He was good in it. Very good.

      I just...hate the sight of his face. lol

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    35. Oh, and the reason his hair is black? Darth Emo dyes it, because it's more "Darkside." LMAO.

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    36. Yeah I can't really judge Driver's looks, because my opinion of him is so hugely based on him being that evil, horrible person who killed his dad who was just trying to help him. So when I picture his face, I picture him luring Han out under a ruse and then coldly murdering him. So, well, I just can't. I am sure I would've felt that way about any actor they had gotten to play that role.

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    37. You know who looks like Han and Leia's kid?

      Rey!

      Her looks are straight up in line with Jaina Solo. Too bad she isn't, but I'm trying not to snark too much since you all know how I feel about the ST.

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    38. I know they've done everything in their power to persuade us that she's NOT related to the Skywalkers but this resemblance cannot be a coincidence! TPTB seem to have gone out of their way to find a young unknown who looks like Padmé.

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    39. Oh, so true about Rey. The second I saw her picture I was like, well obviously that is Han and Leia's daughter because she looks like she could be theirs and she looks a LOT like Natalie Portman. So I was really excited about that. Only of course to be completely and hugely disappointed when I saw the movie.

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    40. All right then, I'm not ugly, but I'm not conventionally attractive and Adam isn't, either. So I applaud that people see him as a hot guy... but at the same time, I know that's a huge part of why Crylow is woobified in the fandom, and I'm mystified. If he was a brave young Jedi, then maybe I wouldn't be so bothered, but I'd still have a problem with how little he looks like his parents. Unlike Rey!! She even has greenish/hazel eyes!! (but I hope that's an actual casting decision and not just the go to option for Kennedyfilm)

      Objectively, I thought Adam's acting was great even if I hate the character, but when he took off the mask before you-know-what and had that emo lost boy look on his face I thought, "ugh, really?" The character is NOT cool or powerful--it's plain pathetic. And I'm glad that he's portrayed as being in his thirties instead of his twenties because that'd be more reason for people to cry abuse and manipulation and erase his responsibility (even if at 20 you're still supposed to be held accountable for your actions). Anakin has a valid tragic backstory, but all of what we are supposed to infer about Ben's is that he's the son of two awesome war heroes. It doesn't appeal to my sympathy, the way they're telling it at least. The whole character is almost a cartoon, and it's infuriating that he was slapped as Han and Leia's son. And I also hatehatehate that Adam had to go and make public the backstory he used for his portrayal that takes a piss on Han/Leia's story and makes people assume that is the actual backstory.

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    41. That scene on Takodana where Han gives Rey a blaster, she looks SO MUCH like his daughter. She has the dark hair and dark eyes of Leia, but more height. With a grandfather and father who both clear 6ft it would make sense...

      But whatever. I hate the ST. Disney sucks. :)

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    42. Dying his hair is the only explanation I can find. I'd be as bothered if they're cast a blond guy!!

      Incidentally, the one other movie with Adam Driver I've watched is one with Daniel Radcliffe--Kels' comment made me remember that, lol

      I'm still holding out for Rey Solo. Lucasfilm's hints and misdirections are confusing and contradictory (and remember nothing is true in Star Wars anymore!!), so anything could happen.

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    43. OtterAndTerrier, have you seen the "Modern Adventures of Han and Ben"? OMG. So funny. Ben/Kylo is a pathetic millennial (not that all millennials are pathetic. But Ben is hilarious played that way) and Han and Leia are the long suffering Boomer parents trying to deal with their adult man/child still living at home.

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    44. The color of his hair is the least of my problems. The only other thing I've seen him in is the movie This is Where I Leave you, and he was very good in it. It's definitely not the acting that is my problem!

      I've given up on Rey Solo only because it is what I most want, and since they only do the opposite of what I most want, I fully expect that is NOT going to be the case.

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    45. Oi, I'm a millennial!! Haha, yes, I've seen it! It's a great parody, and I love the bonus scenes of young Han/Leia too. Recommended for anyone who needs to fight TFA with laughter: http://mamalaz.tumblr.com/tagged/modern-solo-adventures

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    46. I'm still holding out for Rey Solo, too, although I feel like such a fool when I admit to that. I know they're going to knife me in the gut AGAIN but I just... can't... help it! It's Star Wars! You know??? I can't not have hope.

      I just really can't believe TPTB are blowing it like this. I want to believe they're going to right the ship before it sinks.

      I agree re: Adam Driver's acting ability. He seems a very good actor, from what I have seen (including the flick with Daniel Radcliffe, which is the one I very nearly noped out of when I saw Driver's face). Even in THAT scene in TFA, I think he did a great job. So, no ill wishes to him.

      But to the writers? A plague upon all their houses! >:(

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    47. Adam was great in Midnight Special. I have no problem differentiating between him and Ben/Kylo, mainly because I think he looks so different when he's playing other roles. I actually didn't think he looked that goofy as Ben (again, I thought they did a good job of making him look pretty good) but he is definitely not a conventionally handsome man. I haven't seen him in "Girls" (because I have no interest in watching that series) but in other movies he's great.

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    48. I don't check my email for two hours! Come on!
      Okay, let's see. I don't find Driver particularly attractive, but I agree that he's a decent actor. I think I've seen a couple of his movies, but I only remember seeing him in that movie with Radcliffe which I enjoyed.
      Now, Rey Solo? I highly doubt it's true, but I want it so terribly bad! I saw a post on tumblr just yesterday going over the blaster scene and it focused on Han's reaction when he asks for her name. I completely agree witht he people that think there's too much "HEY! THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT LOOK! PAY ATTENTION!" right there and I'm convinced it means something, but I do doubt that it means she's a Solo just because Disney has done nothing to prove they will do anything to make us happy. Rey Skywalker probably has a bigger chance than Rey Solo, but I enjoy letting myself believe in Rey Solo.

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    49. I kinda feel bad for Adam Driver. Right now he's best known for killing Han Solo and simulating sex with Lena Dunham. That's a rough resume right there. (I know, I know, many people like Lena Dunham but she is like self-obsessed, sanctimonious nails on a chalkboard to me.)

      Anyway, I do agree with LoveThis! that the best he's actually ever looked was with his big poufy 80s New Wave band hair in TFA (and on that GQ cover right around then), but I have the same problems many others here have with separating him from that character and thinking that he doesn't really look like offspring of these two characters. I watched his TedTalk about working with military vets, and I really, seriously admire his work bringing theatre to the military, but...well, the thing is for me that the guy is really intense in a lot of ways and combine that with the character and it caused me to just nope out on him. He's a good enough actor that I would expect that someday in the future he walks away with an Oscar or two but...sorry, Adam. Your future work is likely another thing the ST has ruined for me.

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    50. @Jaina "I saw a post on tumblr just yesterday going over the blaster scene and it focused on Han's reaction when he asks for her name. I completely agree witht he people that think there's too much "HEY! THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT LOOK! PAY ATTENTION!" right there and I'm convinced it means something,"

      I would agree with you, there DEFINITELY should be a point to that scene, otherwise it is just a big, pointless red herring.

      But I used to watch Lost. And I've seen enough big, pointless red herrings out of JJA's stupid Mystery Box, which is the DUMBEST concept in all of dramatic writing history, to know that assuming a big, obvious moment will actually pay off may be a fool's errand. It's at best 50-50. May just be another misapprehension that what people like is the mystery, even if it never pays off (WRONG. Mystery that doesn't pay off is a waste of screen time).

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    51. Sorry, meant to say: May be just another symptom of JJ's misapprehension about people liking a mystery, even if it never pays off.

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    52. Yes all this mystery box garbage is just a cheap ploy they put in place of actual storytelling. You need something to get people talking and interested, and if you can't come up with a good enough story to accomplish that, which clearly they can't, then just keep everything mysterious and ambiguous and drive people crazy with wondering and guessing. Gee, that's just as good, right? Um, no. No, it's not. And while I'm sure some people haven't quite figured that out yet, eventually they will and they're going to get really annoyed when they realize the "payoff" (which I suspect will be nothing special at all) won't be worth it, and when you go back and rewatch the movies after you know all the answers they won't hold up at all.

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    53. Kels, your word on this is always gospel, as far as I'm concerned. You hit the nail bang on the head.

      If I ever meet JJA in person, I'd like to whip out a "mystery box" of my own and crash it down over his head to hide his insufferably smug face. He thinks he's done something GOOD here! He's proud of it! Gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *runs around flailing arms*

      I started to get a really bad feeling about TFA about a month before the release date because I was consuming all available spoilers at that time and (being in desperate denial of what I'd learned) started combing through JJA's history to gain some insight into which direction he might take with TFA. Because, surely, he wasn't going to do anything horrible to the OT3. Surely.

      I came across his "mystery box" thing, and then I read or watched an interview with him in which he mentioned an old film that was hugely influential to him because of the strong emotions it evokes. He said something to the effect of "always" seeking to replicate that same feeling in his work. The film was Ordinary People, which (in case you're not familiar with it) tells the story of a family ripped apart by the accidental death of the elder son and the suicide attempt of the younger. I've never watched the entire thing but every summary and clip I could find of it painted a very bleak picture. Realizing whose hands Star Wars had fallen into (combined with the spoilers I'd read about what happens to Han, Leia and their only child), is what started me writing again, in trepidation and (this will sound weird, I know) almost as a ward against evil! lol By the time TFA came out, I was as braced as I could be for it, but it still gutted me.

      I sure hope people DO catch on to the mean trick that has been played and the emptiness we've been offered in place of an actual story. Certainly the tide seems to be turning in the fandom, as far as I can see. More and more people seem to be openly deriding TFA and bewailing the fates of the OT heroes.

      On YouTube there's a new video compilation floating around featuring Mark Hamill "shitting on" the new SW movies. I must say, it places compelling evidence in suggestive proximity to make the case that Mark truly loathes the direction these new movies have taken. The number of comments he has made here and there have been collected together and it does seem that he is very unhappy with it all, but he's bridled by circumstances and has to guard his tongue. For now.

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    54. If there's enough to make a compilation of his remarks ... Whew! If you don't mind, I'd like the link, please.

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    56. I also want a link, because wow!

      I wasn't familiar with JJA's work before TFA though I /might/ have heard people complaining about him because of Star Trek. I think the thing that gives me some hope is this arrangment where it seems like every director is also their own screenwriter, so this is Rian Johnson's story and he might have changed something from the original plans or AT LEAST cut the mysterious box crap. However, I hear the director for IX is a sexist douchebag, so, really.... *sigh* You can't give people a mystery box that they can't open, or that after opening they find out it was filled with air. Or worthless garbage. That's bad storytelling!!! Tbh he makes such a good example of the Hollywood white boy filmmaker trope--which is to say, a person who shouldn't have been handed this legacy.

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    57. oh gods I just saw a terribly ominous post about TLJ... hope has been deleted

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    58. Here's the link I believe Erin is talking about. Ten minutes of Mark being derogatory in that "nice guy" way of his. It's pretty interesting, IMHO, because he's as big a nerd as anybody:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw0IR6fJlV0

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    59. Ominous...??? Oh dear...

      For the sake of those avoiding spoilers, can you tell me where to find that post? If it's on Tumblr, hit me up there, please. I intend to know everything there is to know about TLJ before I see it.

      Here is the link to the compiled comments of Mark Hamill talking about the new movies.

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    60. Thank you. And, I don't care about spoilers either; I'd like to see this post.

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    61. @Otter - about the necklace? (which is...cough...Harry Potter theivery...cough)

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    62. Yes, @Otter, I'd like to know the spoiler as well - I'm on ff.net - can email me there.

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    63. I skimmed through the necklace info but I'm not interested in that kind spoilers that make no sense outside of the context of the movie, I'd rather just wait and see. This one is actually a comment from Oscar Isaac about how dark TLJ is going to be. It's very brief, so I'll leave the link here:
      http://otterandterrier.tumblr.com/post/159981511620

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    64. And about Trevorrow, I don't know if he's sexist or not, but to me he's a very straightforward action/adventure writer/director. I'd put him on an Indiana Jones film if Spielberg bailed way before I'd put him on a Star Wars film, so that was an odd choice to me. Especially if everyone is just dumping a lot of unfinished stories into his/his co-writer's hands.

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    65. Read it...TESB is as far into dark as I'm willing to go with Star Wars, and it never let go of the overriding theme of "hope" that imbued all of the OT.

      TFA was, to me, not only dark but exceedingly grim and hopeless. If this one is even more grim and hopeless, then I'm going to stand by my statement of a few weeks ago that the big surprise in film this year is that Guardians of the Galaxy Two does better at the box office than The Last Jedi.

      I had to speak to a large group of millennials last weekend in my real life, and I used GOTG as an example in a hypothetical. Their response -- their outright JOY at another one coming out -- was ASTOUNDING.

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    66. It's a really depressing comment to make and a depressing direction. You're right, there are tough moments in the OT... I know probably if you watched them as they came out there must have been some trepidation between ESB and RotJ, but no part of those films feel soul-crushing and hopeless! TFA was worse than Revenge of the Sith, because you knew what happened to Anakin. But we were led to believe Star Wars had a happy ending, and now we see an awful load of crap that has no connection to the OT.

      Just watched those clips, and I wasn't as aware, until now, of how much Mark has been dissing the ST, haha. He literally said that in Hollywood it doesn't have to be good, just to make money, and that's what TFA is all about.

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    67. Actually, thinking back to the day, there was a little trepidation about where ROTJ would go, but I don't remember for a second thinking that Han wouldn't be back or that the good guys wouldn't win, and the Empire wouldn't be defeated, and the good guys wouldn't live happily ever after in the end. My only real trepidation was whether Han and Leia would end up together or not.

      And also remember, they didn't have this *Crazy* need for secrecy about every tiny plot point back in the day. Perfect example: Han Solo is all over the ROTJ trailers. And the "Star Wars Fan Club" sent out production stills to all its members about six months prior to opening with all the big characters present and accounted for. Life was much better back then...LOL.

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    68. Yeah, I think the point of serials like Star Wars used to be that you knew everything will be fine in the end. Maybe some death, some bumming life lessons, but your main characters (that you invested time building up and getting attached to) would ultimately survive in the fight between good and evil. But that's overrated now!! The world isn't bleak enough!

      I read an old interview with Carrie recently and I have an unrelated question: was RotJ supposed to be "ensembled" differently? The way the journalist talked about it, it was as if the Endor battle came first, and then Jabba captured Leia and Tatooine happened, something like that.

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    69. I don't remember ever hearing that - but I was 12 at the time and we relied on the Star Wars Fan Club, Fangoria, and...shoot, what was the sci fi mag?...to tell us what we needed to know.

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    70. Okay, multiple response:

      I feel the same way about Adam Driver as many of you do - he seems like a nice guy but I'll never be able to watch him in anything else because of TFA. I know that's not nice to him (actually I think Harrison even warned him this might happen!) but that's how I feel. I couldn't even watch the CBS Sunday Morning he was on! (also I think he looks NOTHING like Harrison or Carrie. I have to give credit to Hasbro with their new Jaina Solo figure - they computer merged Carrie and Harrison's features together to make her face).

      The magazine you're looking for is STARLOG. You can actually get PDFs of the old issues online, I can post the link if anyone wants.

      Jedi went through several variations - Leia was supposed to lead a team to get the Death Star knowledge and Lando and Luke rescue Han at some point, Luke and Han were at odds at one point about a mission. Han was supposed to die midway through and Luke walk off into the sunset like Shane while Leia was the queen alone. Luke was supposed to be dark and put on Vader's helmet at the end. Thank George for saying "no unhappy endings." Yeah, we got the Ewoks but we also got Leia rescuing Han, Han not dying and Luke not turning. If we'd gotten Han dying and Luke leaving, I would have never seen Jedi again (and hey, doesn't that sound familiar?)


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    71. Yeah, Kasdan had been itching to write that film for 30 years.

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    72. Why is there a new Jaina Solo? I thought the EU was in the dustbin of history?

      And yes, STARLOG. LOL.

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    73. The EU fans banded together and voted in the Hasbro poll to get a Jaina. Of course the new canon fans were furious and now this year, there is mudslinging about the EU fans voting when they aren't "true collectors" (whatever that means) - they're block voting for Ben Skywalker.

      There's still Funko and Hasbro EU figures.

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    74. Yikes at that ending!! There's probably an original script floating around the www. There's one for ESB--MEGA cheesy, but at least not dark and it ends with a cute (if quite ooc) Han/Leia scene.

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  18. Sorry; sign-in problems and my tablet hates me, so I can't comment in the reply box.
    I have an AU Solo family I wrote for a while, but it feels weird even to me. I much prefer just sticking with the EU. That's my comfort zone. (According to Graciecatfamilyband and Jesiofgrace, I'm the official EU expert now. It's very recent as we're still working out my new title.)
    I think Revival is my first EU multi-chapter, but nearly all my one-shots are EU-compliant.

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    1. Also, I guess I sit on the other end of the radar because I actually like the whole thing with Anakin's name. I completely understand why that makes many of you guys a little queasy, but I like Leia's reasoning when she's explaining it to Elegos (I could recite the order of NJO except for everything pre-BP). I do like the concept of Leia finding it as a way to- I have thoughts but I don't know how to articulate them and this is probably going to come out wrong- atone for Vader's actions and make peace with it.
      However, I am bothered from time to time when I think of her making that decision and her little tantrum she threw at Luke that one time ...

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  19. Part of the reason I never really cared for the EU were the tiresome kids of all of them. I'm okay with Jaina and Ben Skywalker, but I haven't read enough of Jacen or Anakin to know either of them yet.

    Yeah, if I see Ben Solo in a summary, I'm pretty much gone. I'm in the childless by choice group (they have to be in my universes but...). I rather like them being the surrogate parents of all of Luke's younger students (I headcanon that Han is basically the head of "Muggle" relations, talking to the parents who somehow ended up with a Force sensitive kid and don't know what to do. Who better?)

    I did read one terrific Ben Solo - where he's not theirs but a kid they adopt, and you only see him at age 3. Great Leia study, "Last Princess of Alderaan" https://archiveofourown.org/works/6561274

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    1. I love Han as the Muggle liaison. LOL.

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    2. thanks! I need for Han to have something to do while Luke is running his school and Leia is running the government. I kinda like racing but I like him teaching people and I think he'd be a great chief wrangler for Luke's school - quartermaster, Muggle relations, teaching practical skills...

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    3. I kinda liked the idea of Han being a racer, too, but it's now tainted a bit for me because it's all part of the new canon and it reminds me of everything else....

      I struggled to think of anything better on my own, but now I've discovered Kelleher's version of Han's work after Endor and the immediate aftermath of war, and I think it's the winner, for me. She mentions it here, in her sweet fic "A Change in Plans". In that 'verse, Han has a position overseeing new ship design and construction in the Corellian shipyards, drawing on his own unique ability to modify existing constructs to make them faster and better all around. He also acts as a test pilot for new designs, which satisfies his wanderlust a bit, while still keeping him near home (i.e. Leia).

      The more I think about it, the more I like it. I think it's swiftly becoming my new headcanon for Han in that era.

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    4. Totally agree, Erin, it's tainted for me too because Nu Canon. If you notice on Tumblr, I rarely reblog anything that has new on it, even if it's a great picture or set.

      I did like that idea in Change of Plans too!



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    5. Han as a test pilot is a great idea! I love that one, and Kels' vision for Han's future. I have to say though I am someone who can appreciate Han as a professional racer and independent business man without feeling put on with TFA/nu-canon baggage.

      Either way though, I think both scenarios are more likely than Han sticking with the military as a more staid and established "General." That man is just too independent and too anti-authoritarian to stick with something like the military for too long IMO. I am always snickering at fic that has Han in the "military" but he doesn't really seem to *do* anything, but hang around and wait for Leia to show up.

      It's too bad. There's a lot I like about some of the post-ROTJ landscape they've put together in nu-canon, but yeah... can't get down with TFA at all!

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    6. Aw, thanks, ladies - it will take me a while to get to Han-as-CE-test-pilot in my fics (I've got to make those "special modifications" Han boasted about turn into something, right? It can't just be braggadocio...), as it doesn't happen until Han can get out of his commitment to the Alliance (1 year), so given my current writing speed, expect me to get to that story point sometime after the next Indiana Jones movie comes out. (Kidding...I think)

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    7. Can't wait for it, Kels!! I'm excited to see you continue to develop your AU.

      I'm going to try to resist the temptation to dive right back inrto writing (at least for a few days) so I can catch up on some reading, and your fics are on my list!!

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    8. I'm with LoveThis!--I love Han as a racer and it's very important to me that they did that, especially since in his later years he's not so much a racer but a mentor and sponsor of young people, running a shipping business AND racing for charity... like, how can anyone say anything bad about him and his growth when his official, new-canon-given jobs involve enforcing the rules, mentoring people and donating his time and skills for other people's causes?? I'm taking that and defending it if only to stick it up anyone's ass if they so much as imply that Han didn't care about anyone but himself.

      That said, I really love Kels idea too! It seems similar in spirit to a career in racing: allowing him to apply his skills and experience, letting him travel, giving him a flexible schedule (I assume) and finally a legal job that he can choose and that makes him happy. And makes way more sense than a career in the government or as Leia's personal chauffeur.

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  20. And ok, someone help me here. I thought it was already decided that the Star Wars movies would all be December movies, but now I just saw an announcement that 9 is coming out in May of 2019? What? Or is this just garbage again while they tell us that until they inevitably push it to December just like the last 2 times?

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    1. Probably another December movie. Why would they want to release Episode 9 if 7 and 8 both came/come out in December?

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    2. May 24. They also announced the next Indy film (with Harrison).

      But I do believe they're probably going to move it because... mo-o-ney!

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    3. So lost...isn't that pushing Indy BACK a year? Harrison Ford will be turning 78 the week it comes out?
      Ok then.

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    4. I think I hadn't really read the 2020 date and now I feel old just thinking about it.

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    5. Well, someone theorized it's because Frozen 2 opens in November 2019....

      I'll believe Indy 5 when it opens. I still think it's a stalking horse for Han returning. And it's already delayed a year.

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  21. Can I ask the people on this board for some advice? (CV, thanks for also responding to me on your tumblr). I've got a IRL close friend who I just discovered is a hardcore Reylo shipper. She never watched SW until TFA and then went back and watched the OT. Now, this friend has fallen in line with the other Reylo shippers that Han and Leia were abusive to Ben and that's why he went to the Dark Side, which is apparently what Adam Driver says as well. So when she went back and watched the OT she watched it through filtered Han/Leia hating glasses - like she thinks the way Han yelled and was rude to 3PO throughout ESB is how he treated his son.

    The complicated part is that this friend in particular was actually abused by her father, and still is suffering from PTSD to this day and has been in extensive counselling for it. She told me that diving into this Reylo forum and identifying with Kylo Ren (who is "mentally ill as a result of the abuse suffered by his parents") and reading Reylo fan fiction all day she's dealing with the abuse from her childhood. She also spends all her time posting on a Reylo fan forum which has like 11 000 members who all agree with the Han and Leia were abusive fanon who I feel simply feed her obsession. Which I don't want to say anything because if it's working, of course I don't want to interfere in her coping with childhood trauma. But now every conversation we have revolves around her talking about how much she HATES Han and Leia and how she watches the clip of Han dying and goes "Get him, that bastard!" and how she celebrated Carrie dying because she's linked Leia to Carrie and she really hopes Kylo kills Leia in the next film. Her Facebook feed and twitter are also now full of Reylo gifs about how horrible Han and Leia are or Reylo fan art of Han or Leia being gruesomely killed by Kylo, or Rey and Kylo together.

    I'm just at a loss of what to do. I love Han and Leia so of course it hurts to see them being seen like this. On the other hand, I feel like I can't blame her because Han/Leia being abusive parents was even said by the actor playing Kylo and JJ supported that theory. And I know the Reylo fandom has thousands of people in it and they all think along the same lines so it's really easy to feed her hate. Plus if it really is helping her get through her past abuse, who am I to judge that?

    Any advice? I came here because I knew you guys would understand! Most people IRL would just be like "They're just fictional characters!" And I know they are, but they're very dear to me!

    - Laura

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    3. Oh goodness, that's SO messed up.

      First off, you can tell your friend that there's zero (0) canon evidence that Ben Solo was abused by his parents. Driver did not say that. JJ Abrams did not say that. The only thing they said was that they were too busy to pay too much attention to their son, which is also a gross thing to say, IMO, because busy parents doesn't equal neglect. There's sexism underlying that idea if you think you can't have two working parents because your kid will turn out messed up--obviously one of the parents need to stay home. But this is NOT abuse. I looked up the interview for you, here. I don't think they spoke on any other occasion about this, but if so it was along these lines; there was NEVER parental abuse involved. The canon material released so far DOES NOT have any mention of abuse, either. I can make you a list of all the mentions of Ben Solo in all the canon material. All there is, is love from their parents and no references to darkness, past abuse, future abuse, implied abuse... nothing. Even the TFA novelization implies that Ben was loved and that's why it's such a huge blow to his parents.

      As for the OT, have you pointed it out to her that Han and Leia stop yelling at each other the moment they work out their mutual attraction, and afterwards do not yell at each other even once?

      Ugh, I swear I'm stressed just from reading this because I know that's how a lot of people feel. There are a lot of abused people using REALLY gross stuff as "coping" instead of proper therapy--not only that, but they can't differentiate that what works for them does not work for everyone else and is actually unhealthy, so any calling out on that is answered with "You're neurotypical and gross!" I don't think using these coping mechanisms help (and I have the support on this of a psychologist friend). It gives them a really screwed sense of reality and it's not a positive way of dealing with your own trauma.

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    4. I don't know what advice to give you because these people generally don't want to confront facts (bc as it's a coping mechanism for them, they hold on to that and there's a certain blindness). IF you have the mental energy for it, maybe try to make her see the facts: it was never said in canon that Kylo was abused by his parents; no, the actor and director did not say that either; it's INCREDIBLY messed up to be happy about real people that you have no connection with dying; Kylo Ren DID murder people cold-blooded and with full responsability AND canonically abused Rey, and he's as mentally ill as Han is abusive, which is to say, no. Also tell her that fandoms can be toxic and it's probably not a good approach to deal with her personal stuff on such a negative way. But all of this is if you feel like you're prepared for it, because YOUR mental health matters here too. You don't have to do this and you don't have to engage with her hating on YOUR favourite fictional ship.

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    5. So you could also do a short version and let her know that you don't agree with her and are not willing to put yourself through a mentally and emotionally taxing situation over fictional characters: if she's willing to let you give her your opinion, that's fine, and otherwise maybe stop following her on social media and ask her to please avoid the topic irl with you. Yes, they're fictional characters, but your attachment to them is not less important than hers, and honestly... she's not doing it right.

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    6. I'm going to take a different position here - I don't think you should engage her on this at all, try to talk her down from it, try to dissuade her of her beliefs, or anything whatsoever. I think you should come here or to FF.net to get your fill of the characters as they are meant to be portrayed and box off this part of her life from this part of your life.

      She's been abused, and she sounds like a deeply troubled individual on many levels -- considering a real person's death to be a good thing based on a movie character they played is deeply problematic and something she needs to deal with on a professional psychiatrist-to-patient level -- so I wouldn't engage her on it at all. I'd just say "we can't talk about this" and keep Star Wars out of all discussions with her because she's relating to a work of fiction on a very unhealthy level and needs to handle it with a professional. Plus, she's going to really lose it, given her position and her past, if what all the Reylos currently think they know is not the "story truth" at all, which is why I say that she needs to deal with this on a professional level.

      If she's bringing it up just to get you angry and upset, well, then I guess if I were you I'd reconsider the friendship - and not because of differing feelings about Star Wars, but because that's not how friends treat each other. In the end, as much as we love Han/Leia and as much as someone else loves Kylo, that doesn't really matter to a friendship unless it is just the tipping point that makes you both see growing differences that make a friensdhip "unmaintainable", e.g. that you generally have really vast and gaping differences in outlook or about who you are as human beings. Anything can set that off - from deeply-held beliefs about fiction to an election to a Brexit to a disgreement about a charity. But it happens with friendships, and it's sad, but many friendships are not lifetime relationships.

      My two cents, take it for what it's worth or not, and all the best with it.

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    7. Yes, that's actually really good advice.

      Gosh, fandom can be fun and comforting but also so scary and troubled...

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    8. Oh, and yes, however she feels about the characters, she knows you feel differently. So while she can feel however she feels, it's not right for her to badger you about your differing feelings, and she probably should hear that. Even if she has been abused and is troubled, that does not give her a license to turn around and abuse you or your feelings (which is unfortunately not uncommon among those who are troubled). So don't let her use your friendship to abuse you.

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    9. Wow, that is even worse than the ask you sent me! The stuff with Carrie is what is really disturbing to me. The folks I know who read/write Reylo or Kylux just treat it as another ship, but that is beyond.

      I guess I would say that you can't even let it go now, if they keep shoving it at you like that. If you think a confrontation would work, maybe yes, but I think it's going to be an awful scene. The Reylo contingent usually doesn't listen to facts, because there is a whole subset on Tumblr that says charming things like "the villagers were armed and it was probably for the best they got killed instead of tortured." This sort of stuff scares the hell out of me and unfortunately, you've got a front row seat. I don't know that even telling her that there's no evidence for it will help, because the identification of people with Kylo over mental illness is really strong. I've had otherwise rational people lash back about that and...yeah. Like OtterandTerrier says, it's going to be your decision as to how much you want to get into it. At a certain point, I just tend to back off because you are never going to win the argument.

      (I would add that this sort of stuff makes me mad all over again at what the canon has come to. Just infuriates me again that these characters were destroyed for Kylo and this subset of villain fans, who frankly scare me worse than any fans of anything in my over 30 years of fandom activity, are doing these things.)

      I'd say if you still want to keep the friendship, unfollow or block her on Twitter - I don't think blocking shows up to the person blocked, or you can just unfollow and blame it on Twitter coding. Facebook, you can limit someone to "important updates only" - hit the little triangle down in the corner of their posts and you can limit someone - I did that with a friend who had completely different political views than I do and posted crap non stop. Now I just don't see her posts. They don't know you've backed away. At least you don't have to see it every time you log in.

      I'm sorry - that situation is just bad all around :-(

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    10. @CV: "Just infuriates me again that these characters were destroyed for Kylo and this subset of villain fans, who frankly scare me worse than any fans of anything in my over 30 years of fandom activity,"

      This is true. It makes me want to shake TPTB and say "Can you not see that our society's moral compass is askew? YOU ARE NOT HELPING. YOU ARE ADDING TO THE SKEW."

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    11. I know people will bring past fandom wars up when I mention how awful it's gotten in SW fandom but when I start telling people what I've read from Reylos/Kylostans...even the older fans will sit there in shock. The level of victim blaming and hatred for other characters (what's said against Han and Leia, the flat out racist stuff said about Finn) is really something I've never seen in fandom before - and I made it through nine years of X-Files, which was pretty nuts. I know Supernatural and Harry Potter got worse...

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    12. And yes, I agree with CV. Blocking someone on social media - I think it is called "mute" on Twitter and "unfollow" on Facebook - is an excellent sanity-saver. They are still your "friends" but they do not know that you cannot see their posts.

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    13. Tbh... YES to the ruining the OT characters, but there are a lot of things the new canon is NOT doing or even implying (at least atm); it's all on the fans. The First Order is practically the new and improved Empire. Who but a small closeted bunch would have publicly defended the Empire a few decades ago?? NO ONE. It was depicted as an analogy for fascist regimes and that was all there was to that: defending the Empire equals defending fascism. The First Order is the same. It's society and new public platforms that are a big part of the problem. The Harry Potter fandom had terrible shipping wars of which I wasn't a part of in the beginnings because I didn't have internet. It has people genuinely thinking bullies should have ended up with the people they bullied and nearly got killed, people defending Snape's actions, people saying the Weasleys helped Harry to benefit from his fame... I've interacted with these people: their opinions have no basis in canon and they either haven't read the books in years or read them with a very thick filter. And yet I don't think it's as bad as Star Wars has gotten in the past year (can't speak for how it was before TFA). I think the fact that it has a black main character against a white character that fits SO much with the kind of guy who gets a pass after shooting a school or raping a drunk girl, combined with the existence of places like Tumblr and the current state of society explains how toxic some fandoms have become more than the actual content does (but of course, the way SW handles a lot of things in the next movies and material will have a huge impact, for better or worse).

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    14. You're so right when you say it's all on the fans. I think that's the problem (I'm sorry; I'm mentally exhausted right now.): because everything's been kept under such tight wraps, it's up to the fans to interpret what's going on. and what will happen.

      Maybe, I'm still not thinking entirely clearly, but I have myself convinced that this is half of our problem.

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    15. In addition to that, as I read recently, now you tend to have a more direct contact with creators and some of them actually look into the public's response and wishes, which has led the public to believe they can have an impact on the direction a story (or a ship) is going to take. Harry Potter is (hopefully) over now. It was over before Tumblr and Twitter were a thing and you could get a ship tag to trend. Star Wars has resurfaced on a very tricky media stage, so the shipping wars are on full force because now they have several platforms where they know that, if they yell loud enough, their voices might be heard and they can have a say in the content that is going to be produced. Look at the Reylos' exaggerated and unwarranted response at "Rey" liking a Reylo picture on Instagram!

      (I'm going to be honest and say I did a campaign for Ron Weasley to get a fair treatment on the Pottermore website last year or so, and I'm pretty sure it worked. So as you see, sometimes the fans get heard, which is why we yell, and it's not always the best thing.)

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    16. I agree with what you say about it being a lot on the fans, but insofar as SW goes, I can't put it all at the feet of the fans. JJA, Kennedy, and Driver (who can be excused for it, as he had to find a way into the character) all at least implied, at most flat out said, that there was parental fault here before Hildalgo walked it back. They provided the poisoned seed for this whole rotten tree, and in a world where we seem to be morally adrift and so committed to everything reflecting perceived -- but not actual - truth, I think leaving these things open for interpretation in the worst possible light (i.e. letting people believe a hero may have been a rotten father) or allowing these thing to develop into some form truth over the arc of this trilogy is reprehensible. I have some similar issues with Rowling and her later statements about Ron/Hermione and also her current thing about comparing Trump to Voldemort.

      It's all a disservice to the point of mythic storytelling, which should live on a level of truth and clarity above our everyday lives. Mystery boxes have no place in myth, and neither does a lack of moral clarity.

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    17. No, yeah, I don't deny that. They're definitely at fault for how the OT trios were dealt with in the sequel. But I was talking about other problems the fandom has, like the vile demonization of Finn and the Resistance to the point of excusing genocide, and reading into Kylo's problems as "mental illness and abuse" when that (at least, thank goodness) has never to my knowledge been said or implied by anyone. I'm saying that those things were not left up for interpretation but done as clear as can be. The only bad character that suffers some sort of conflict that can be read differently is Kylo, but there's nothing grey about what the First Order does.

      JKR's sayings about Ron/Hermione were a huge disappointment to me, not as bad as what you guys experienced for Han/Leia ONLY because her words weren't reflected in any official material, but it hurt and I agree it was a disservice to the fans and her own work. So I really don't excuse Driver, either, because he operated as "the official voice of", so his sayings (while not canon) still hold a lot of weight on how we perceive canon. However, that's a lot of resposibility to put on an actor's shoulders... he should have had a clear backstory to work with, that didn't have to be retconned later (although I have to be glad that's not the case!)

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    18. Laura, I was going to write a long and detailed answer but it would be, basically, everything Kels said in her first post (1:01). This doesn't sound like something you can fix. If you want to preserve the friendship, you'll need to draw firm boundaries and insist that she respect them (and be prepared to take a step back if she refuses to do that).

      Eliminate the toxic stuff coming from her (and any others) in your feeds on all social media platforms and hang out in places where the fans are supportive of the happier, more positive aspects of Star Wars that fit in with your own views.

      I really cannot believe it has come to this. Makes me so profoundly sad.

      But I'm SO grateful for you guys and this tiny community of positive Han/Leia people! *sniff*

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    19. Having been recently faced with the decision to bring an end to 20+ year friendship for the type of fundamental differences that Kel described, I can say undoubtedly that she is 100% correct in her very insightful advice. You need to both protect and stay true to yourself, and maintain those boundaries. You have a right to your point of view, and a true friend will respect that without question or judgment, or trying to sway your opinion. It isn't worth your own sanity or your enjoyment of something you love.

      This poor things sounds terribly troubled, and in need of help to deal with her issues. Hopefully she can find someone to help her learn positive coping strategies to deal with her feelings.

      It's awful that the fandom has to be divided like this...just awful.

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    20. I think everyone here has given very sound advice. I wouldn't judge your friend too much - it sounds like she is using a fictional universe to cope with her real life trauma and if it actually IS helping, then she shouldn't be discouraged not to. From what I understand of the Reylo community, most of the fans ARE made up of people who struggle with mental illnesses who have had difficult relationships (raging from neglect to outright abuse) with their parents who project onto Kylo and see him as representation of their problems in the film. It is true that mentally ill people are often stigmitized and not represented fairly in the film so I think a lot of fans are really relieved to see a nuanced representation in Kylo, who'll probably end up being the hero (that's not a spoiler - just an educated guess based on everything that's been said).

      I agree with those that said facts likely won't matter - I've tried arguing with some of these people on tumblr, some who are actually very reasonable about other matters but they've got blinders on when it comes to Kylo. They've take interpretations of facts from the movies - like Kylo flinching when Han approaches him on the bridge means that he suffers from PTSD from Han's abuse - and turned it into absolute fact that's irrefutable. Same with interpretations like that the villagers on Jakku deserved to die because they were part of a terrorist organization. The problem with all these Reylo fans existing in an echo chamber of their forums and tumblr is that they never hear competing viewpoints and then it just devolves into an echo chamber where they only hear what THEY want to hear and become convinced it's actually fact devoid of reality. But you know if it is helping all of them cope with mental health issues and their issues with their parents, maybe it's a healthy outlet for them right?

      I would agree with those who have said to unfollow her on Facebook. During the election I actually had to unfriend a few people who supported Trump, but for my relatives I didn't want to unfriend them so I just unfollowed them so they wouldn't know LOL. It's just easier than working yourself up when you see their posts.

      ~Brit (posted here before but can't remember my log in information!)

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  22. I also co-sign Kels' advice!

    And yes, TPTB deserve all the scorn we can heap on them because they blithely set this up without thinking it through, just decided "we want a new better Vader" and what better way to do that than to make his parents and uncle - heroes for thirty years - the culprits - or imply it. They destroyed those heroes AND made a villain into a reliable narrator - as was implied onscreen, in the novelizations, in the unbelievable number of articles we saw about "why Han/Leia never worked and made their son dark" and so on and so forth. And because it's Star Wars and Kathleen Kennedy loves Adam Driver, he'll get redeemed and hell, they probably will have him walk off into the sunset, over the graves of Luke, Han and Leia. Or more likely as they beam at him from Force Ghost world.

    Now the same people are foaming at the mouth to rip Luke up too, for good measure. Just one more grimdark ha ha fantasy. It's just a movie, who cares if the old heroes are torn down. They were always that way, you were just blind. Don't you want conflict?

    Except what we're seeing online is frightening. We need some heroes right now in this world, and we get this served up to us. And Captain America was always a Nazi - which is even more poisonous, considering its origins.

    Maker forbid we ever get a happy ending - people REVEL in the fact that ROTJ is torn up and thrown out. The Hollywood Reporter writes articles about "oh how are they going to end 9 because it's set up to keep going the same way forever."

    Then we wonder why the world is the way it is. The culture reflects reality and reality reflects the culture.

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  23. There is apparently a huge fight going on right now in comic book world as Marvel has tried to get comic book shop staff to dress as "Hydra" (I don't know what this is but it is some Captain-America-is-a-Nazi thing) and comic book stores are telling Marvel to go #*(@(* themselves.

    Not right on topic, but a lot of fandoms seem to be both infighting and fighting back against their corporate overlords right now.

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    1. It's the end of the (fandom) world as we know it! ...

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    2. How about this? (another song)
      We're all gonna' die! Sorry to upset you, but we're all gonna' die!

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  24. Better...but I may not know the song! :)

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    1. I can never remember the name or artist either!
      "And what we're going to leave behind. Just a big pile of stuff! For people to remember you by! 'Cause we're all going to die-die-die-die-die-die-die-die!"

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  25. So. On Tumblr, I called H/L the classic OTP. In response, someone told me that I was delusional to think that.
    This fandom war is depressing me.

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