ladyfoxxx: (Default)
ladyfoxxx ([personal profile] ladyfoxxx) wrote2013-06-19 11:20 am

My Fannish Origin Story

Let's just pretend I've been posting regularly, shall we?

So some folk were talking about fannish origins on Twitter and it got me thinking, I don't know if I've ever really shared my origin story in any real deapth and it might actually be a fun thing to do. So, here it is.

The only reason I even heard about fanfic was because of the X Files. I was a HARDCORE X-Files fan before I even had the internet (god I sound old now). I'd heard that some folks out there in the "cyberworld" were so sure that Mulder & Scully were in love that they were writing their own stories about it and "R-ing the ST" as it were and as soon as I heard that I HAD TO READ THEM. I remember paying for time at an internet cafe JUST to search for and read fanfic.

Of course once I had my own internet at home I fell down the hole of the Gossamer archive and read ALL THE THINGS (including the terrible Mary Sues before I even realised that was a thing). I wasn't really aware or even interested in slash at first because I was a pretty hardcore Mulder/Scully shipper (they were my first OTP, before I even knew what the fuck those letters stood for).

Me being me, I didn't stay obsessed with the fandom's central pairing for long. I got pretty obsessed with a recurring character in the series, Agent Pendrell who worked in the lab, had a huge crush on Scully and was ginger haired and socially awkward.

Everyone who is surprised that I was obsessed with the dorky lab guy raise your hands. *no hands are raised* I thought so.

Now the Pendrell corner of the fandom was smaller and very friendly and welcoming and this was about the time I thought maybe I could try writing something. About Pendrell, of course. But the problem then is - who do I slash this guy with? I don't want to break up my OTP!

So my first real fic in X Files fandom was a threesome.

Everyone who is surprised raise your hands. *no hands are raised*

Of course there it was only a very small step between writing Mulder/Scully/Pendrell to writing Mulder/Pendrell and the wonderful world of slash opened it's arms to me.

I haven't read any of those old fics in years and I'm a little afraid to. I'm pretty sure the bulk of them are in first person. Oh GOD.

I honestly can't remember how I went from The X Files to Savage Garden. Like, it's a weird leap, right? I mean, I was reading ALL the things (Star Wars episode one, Velvet Goldmine, all the different pairings in X Files etc), but somehow when I discovered that there was a small circle of people writing fic about Savage Garden I was THERE. I was hopping through webrings (ha ha ha WEBRINGS) and reading everything. Not all of it was great. In fact, lots of it was terrible, and a lot of it was getting written in parts with no real idea when (or even IF) the next part was coming. Also not all multipart fics necessarily had proper content warnings thus how I wound up reading a multi part WIP that suddenly had surprise!mpreg and it kind of put me off mpreg for LIFE.

For anyone not familiar with Savage Garden they were a pop duo in the 90's/00's - they had a lot of hits with love songs. I didn't even want to sleep with either of them, I just really liked reading about them. Plus I was totally qualified to write about them because they were from my hometown. In fact, Darren (singer) worked at my local music store when I was a wee thing.

So anyway, RPS. OMG. RPS was SUCH a dirty word in fandom back then. I'm not entirely sure why, but a LOT of people writing FPS about characters in shows were DISGUSTED by RPS. And not only were we writing RPS, we were writing SLASH RPS. We were totally the SEEDY UNDERBELLY of fandom, yo. You write GAY fic about REAL PEOPLE, EW.

I remember one quite well known FPS writer made a throwaway comment about how one of her guilty pleasure was she would occasionally read Savage Garden RPS and OMG IT'S SO BAD but she COULDN'T HELP IT. I was kind of terrified/hopeful that she might one day read one of mine.

Anyway, so my first fic in Savage Garden fandom... was a threesome.

Raise your hands all who are surprised. *no hands are raised* It was Darren/Daniel/Daniel's girlfriend and it all went terribly because of course Daniel professed his love to Darren in the middle of rumpy-pumpy and broke her heart and ANGST ANGST ANGST.

Savage Garden fandom was FUN. We were a small fandom and we had plenty to work with (I mean, Darren is out these days, but back then he just liked to be "ambiguous"). I'm pretty sure I wrote the first high school AU and the first hooker fic, but don't quote me on that. Of course, then the band broke up (as they do) and while the fandom kicked on a while after it eventually died.

I think it was around this time that I thought fandom had died altogether, because the mailing lists (yes, we used to do fandom on mailing lists, GOD I am old) were getting less and less active. I was kind of falling away from fandom anyway, with my own fandom dying and no real interest in a new one so I never really figured out that fandom wasn't DYING but CHANGING.

Fast forward about seven years where I'm pretty much out of it but occasionally checking in to dead mailing lists and I get an email out of the blue from [personal profile] amproof to let me know my (Savage Garden Fanfiction) geocities site is about to go down forever. Of course this is the point where I learn fandom isn't DEAD it just MOVED - to LJ, so I get an LJ, fall face-first into the disgusting, beautiful, stage-gay-ey world of MCR. Like everyone I started with Frank/Gerard but pretty soon it was ANYONE/ANYONE, with a particular bent of Ray/anyone. Also I avoided Panic at first because I thought they were babies but I totally didn't hold out long there, not with all the awesome GSF and BDSM to be had.

Interestingly upon my return to fandom I noticed that RPS was NO LONGER a dirty word, probably because fandom seemed to have moved beyond that to push more taboo boundaries like incest *hands*. No really, it took me quite a while to get past that. But oh, I DID.

So that's my Fannish Origin Story. What's yours?
annemari: A close-up of Amy Pond looking down. (mcr; gerard; capturing moods)

[personal profile] annemari 2013-06-19 01:25 pm (UTC)(link)
This is so interesting. o____o Like, I never knew RPS was considered gross? (I mean, I DID know before I read this, but not when I got into fandom.) Then again, I got into fandom in 2004 right before the HP POA movie came out, so maybe by that point it was okay. Probably, yeah. Plus the first RPF I read wasn't slash, it was an Emma Watson story that someone posted in an Emma Watson forum, where Emma went on dates with Dan, Rupert and Tom, and ended up choosing Rupert, EXCEPT they made it seem like she chose Dan and there was a twist ending. SERIOUS STUFF. Actually, it was the first fic I read, period. I mean, it was kind of Mary Sue-ish, because EVERYONE was in love with her. BUT at the same time it's Emma Watson so it wasn't really a stretch! No, but so then I got LJ because people were posting their icons there.

Basically it took me 4 years after that to really get into slash and therefore fic. Meanwhile I was... making graphics on various forums (like, Smallville (I was into Clark and Lana. And Lana. Lana, Lana, Lana)) and then LJ (when I was into, like. Veronica Mars and Doctor Who. I never read any fic for these, hmm). And then in 2008 Merlin happened. And I wrote some Skins fic, I guess. Hmm. Fandom. *hands*
Edited 2013-06-19 13:26 (UTC)
annemari: A close-up of Amy Pond looking down. (mcr; gerard; most adorable)

[personal profile] annemari 2013-06-19 03:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I keep forgetting I did stuff for those fandoms? Like, I was also in a BTVS + ATS etc forum where I made some Buffy graphics, and there were some actresses (like Emily VanCamp, Michelle Trachtenberg) who I was into (watched videos, made graphics), but mostly it was a solitary type thing, actually. I mean, barring Smallville and other forums where I sort of participated. I think if I'd have to count all my main fandoms that I've been into then I'd say... Emma Watson (NOT Harry Potter, because I never really read fic for that, lol. I read some Remus/Sirius when I discovered slash, but I wasn't really IN the fandom), then briefly Merlin (show + fic and participation, etc), then American Idol season 8 (but mostly Kris and Adam, and then only the Adam Lambert fandom) and then bandom. *CLINGS TO BANDOM* I don't think I've ever felt as home in a fandom as in bandom.

But yeah, I don't read a lot of fic in other fandoms, but I do sort of count them as "I'm into this" but, on a show level? So I'd say I'm into Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, and I used to be into Veronica Mars and such, but never truly in the fandom. Either because I just wasn't interested (Veronica Mars; it was more of a "my flist was into it and that was it", Skins, etc) OR I hate the majority of the fandom and haven't found a corner I really enjoy (except my tumblr dash,or feed, but I don't count that as a fandom, just as a good place) (Doctor Who and Teen Wolf fall under this, crol) (and I don't read fic for them, because nothing's calling out to me). I mean, you could also say that bandom would fall under "don't like the majority of the FANS" (I'm thinking of tumblr here), but yet I still am TOTALLY IN BANDOM because my feed is and I read it and write it, soooo. ... COMPLICATED idk idk. These are my thoughts. \o/
sperrywink: (Default)

[personal profile] sperrywink 2013-06-19 01:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Funny and charming fannish origin story!

RPS had such a bad rep, and I think still does in certain corners, but it is so much fun (as long as you don't take it seriously, omg tinhatters, stop already). I like the flexibility of RPS, it is probably my favorite thing about it.

Of course, except bandom, my main writing fandoms right now are FPS, but I am sure it will swing back around one day.

onthehill: Duo is looking at something exciting (duo)

[personal profile] onthehill 2013-06-19 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL - well it all started with X-files. Heee Gossamer! But I just wanted to find out other people's thoughts on Krycek, because I thought he was awesome. I was immediately plunged into Krycek/Mulder and Krycek/Skinner and occasional threesomes!
I think one of the writers had a account where there were some stories that she hadn't put anywhere else, and so I slithered over there and she'd also written in something called 'Gundam Wing' which I tried, and then spent maybe a year devouring EVERYTHING Gundam Wing. I mean EVERYTHING. I watched the series about halfway through the year, but TBH it was a little disappointingly lacking in angst! WOE. Still, I read nothing else, till I saw that one of my favourite writers had an LJ where she posted everything quicker.

Of course I trotted over to the bounty that was LJ, and followed my favourites again, and added in Buffy, and later Fullmetal Alchemist to my reading lists. Then a couple of them started writing in Supernatural. I read for a while and caught up on the show. And then - you guessed it - one of my favourite SPN writers started raving about MCR, just after Art is the Weapon was released. Heh. BANDOMSPLODE!

Oh, fandom ILYSoMuch! Where will you lead me next???
turps: (voyager)

[personal profile] turps 2013-06-19 01:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Mine is very similar to yours, except instead of X Files I fell into fandom with Voyager.

I was a huge Paris/Torres shipper and joined a few Voyager mailing lists, and got my fannish feet wet sending LoCs to stories that were posted at a P/T ML. Like you I surfed webrings, all the time looking for Paris/Torres and Paris/Janeway fic, because I'd fallen headlong for Tom Paris. At that point I didn't know about slash, and in fact, had ignored MLs on E Groups under the heading slash because I thought they'd be about horror. Then one day I'd pretty much read every Tom story I could get my hands on, so I clicked on that E Groups link, and found my people.

The first slash fic I read was a Chakotay/Paris n/c torture fic. The first of many, because my goodness, Tom Paris was put through the wringer -- and I loved it. This is the point when I started to gobble down slash fic for every tv show I loved, X Files, Voyager, A Team, Highlander, Poltergeist the Legacy, and then, The Sentinel. That's the fandom where I got fully submerged in fandom, I joined mailing lists, read fic and wrote my first story. I've told you about that story before, but I'll always be grateful to the established fans who actually helped when I was a newbie writer who posted this huge wall of text and bad writing to a ML. Thankfully, it was one to help writers and not an actual finished product ML, but even so. The people who helped had the patience of a saint.

I stayed in The Sentinel for a long time. I wrote, joined MLs where you had to write dues --- angsty short stories every month or so -- to stay on the list, wrote slash fic, gen fic, that strange TS thing where you write gen and slash versions of the same story, fell in lust with Blair Sandburg, got ignored on a cliqu'ey ML, made friends on other MLs and generally had a blast in what was a h/c lovers dream fandom.

And then someone gave me a code for a LJ, and I found RPF and specifically popslash. RPF was such a touchy thing back then, so much so I seriously considered creating a sock journal to post my first Backstreet Boys story. But I didn't, and got defriended by some The Sentinel people and told by my TS beta at the time that rpf was raping the characters and she didn't agree with it all. Sadly it wasn't an isolated opinion, so much so that when I went to a slash con at the time I was told people who like rpf were lower that furries on the fandom levels and popslashers lowest of all -- which, thank you for that person I was sharing a table with.

But, I stayed in popslash -- including reading Savage Garden fic -- and made some amazing friends who are still around now, ten plus years later. Popslash is where I grew into being a fan. I kept writing, commented, ran communities and challenges and generally had a sparkly, amazing time. Until the day I saw Pete Wentz, and then, through reading fic about him, found Mikey Way, and though I clung onto popslash for a while, within months I was fully into bandom.

My first badom love was Mikey/Pete, but I quickly fell in love with every Mikey pairing going, and still love them all these years later.

Attitudes have changed so much since I've been in fandom. RPF barely creates a ripple now and I think there's much more acceptance of things like kinks and incest. People may not like them, but for the most part they don't condemn the people that do, and that's fantastic. So yeah, that's my story. Webrings, geocities websites, mailing lists and E Groups changed for DW/LJ, twitter, tumblr and A03. It makes you wonder what the next years will bring.
turlough: Gerard Way smoking and trying to look badass, NME Awards, London, 23 February 2011 ((mcr) cause i don't feel bad about it)

[personal profile] turlough 2013-06-19 06:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I think it says a lot about how big it was that so many people seem to have started their fannish life in X-Files. It wasn't my gateway to fanfic fandom - that was Doctor Who - but it was the fandom I first read widely in.

I'd been quite active both on Usenet and on mailing lists back in the mid-late 90s but that was in science fiction book fandom and I didn't discover fanfic until after my back had gotten really bad and I'd to stop typing so much. It was either in late 1999 or early in 2000 when I discovered Dr Who fanfic on Usenet and about a week later I started wondering if there was any Turlough/Fifth Doctor fanfic and found slash. I never looked back :-)

It was through her Turlough/Fifth Doctor stories that I found Viridian5's website where I discovered first X-Files - where I spent several months happily reading lots and lots of Krycek/Mulder before I got bored - and then Buffy - mostly Xander/Spike - and Andromeda - first Harper/Dyland and then Harper/Tyr. After that I spent quite some time in assorted anime: Weiss Kreutz, Gundam Wing, Yoroiden Samurai Troopers, Saiyuki. Then for some reason I went back to live action with Stargate SG-1 for some months and then fell into my first book fandom with Harry Potter.

Through all these fandoms I'd been a complete lurker. I only read fic and never interacted with any other fans. Mostly because I didn't have either the mental or the physical energy since my back was so bad. I'd become aware of LJ in Harry Potter fandom but it wasn't until after I'd fallen into popslash in late autumn 2004 that tentatively started to interact with other fans again. I got my LJ in April 2005 and was very active in popslash until I couldn't avoid falling into bandom in early autumn 2007. (I completely blame Nafs and her Nick Carter/Patrick crossover story!) I tried to juggle two fandoms for a while but it didn't work. I'm definitely a serial monogamist where fandom is concerned. I read the occasional story in one of my old fandoms and do some graphics but mostly I'm still all about bandom. Or rather MCR since I quickly lost interest in Pete/Patrick and found Panic totally uninteresting. (Also, LOTMS really does have a lot to answer for :-)

I think it must have been because I was such a lurker because I'd no idea there was any stigma attached to RPS until after I'd fallen into popslash. I still feel quite bewildered by all the RPS hate that floated around back in the day. (And still does in certain corners of fandom I've noticed.)
lucifuge5: Black Converse Sneakers with Rainbow Laces (Default)

[personal profile] lucifuge5 2013-06-20 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Huh, funny. I only knew Viridian5 from her due South fic back when I was in that fandom. I remember going to her website and gleefully ignoring all the links except for the due South ones. LOL.
turlough: Spike & Xander Harris ((buffy) snarkitude)

[personal profile] turlough 2013-06-20 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Pike & Benny!! I totally blame Viridian5 for my love of those guys. (And I sometimes think that my lukewarm interest in the Buffy canon was because they weren't in the tv show :-)
lucifuge5: Black Converse Sneakers with Rainbow Laces (Ray is Badass Hotness)

[personal profile] lucifuge5 2013-06-20 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Xena was my gateway into online fandom. I got a computer right around the middle of the first season (talking about 1995). It didn't take me long to discover fic (after following a couple of web rings.) *high-five for old skool web rings. Hee!* This led to me to spend many a late night reading as much Xena fic as I could find. It was...tropetastic: self-cest, AUs, tentacle!sex, BDSM, etc.

After a couple of weeks, I realized that I only wanted to read Xena/Gabrielle (with the occasional Xena/Callisto if I was in a mood for something twisted.) bb!Luce was into the femslash BIG TIME. This trend continued when I also got into Buffy (intensifying during Season 3 when Faith showed up.) I shipped Buffy/Faith like my soul depended on it. Eventually, Faith became the little black dress of Buffy femslash for me 'cause I paired her up with EVERYONE.

It was fun times.

due South was what led me to LJ in late 2003/early 2004. Both Xena and Buffy had gone off the air by then and I was a little adrift in my fannishness. I'd been part of a couple of boards and Yahoo groups, but the general interest for either fandom had died down.

Anyhoo, I found a link to a due South fic posted on LJ. I followed it and was totes blown away by the fandom (this was around the tail end of the second wave of the due South fandom so, things were ridic active). I was Lurky McLurky til 2007 when I posted my first non-anon!comment to someone's fic. It'd be a few months until I wrote and posted my first fic.

Now, due South has a side-fandom called Canadian Six Degrees or C6D that is made up of many TV shows and movies. In some ways, it's kinda like Bandom? Because there's a core group of Canadian actors and musicians (about 15 more or less) who tend to work and hang out with each other a lot. This in addition to being friends for years. So, the slide into C6D RPF was super smooth. As a whole, due South/C6D is generally RPF-friendly.

Personally, I've never had any issues with RPF. I just never 'got' it--despite reading Xena RPF and Buffyverse RPF to see if it'd click for me. Once I got into C6D, though, the RPFs left me googly-eyed.

By late 2010, however, I was falling out of love with due South and some of the C6D branches. It so happened that I came across a rec for a Bandom fic in early October of 2010. I checked it out and was totally blown away by it. Mostly because it was unlike anything I'd read in the due South/C6D fandom. (FTR, I'd heard of Bandom (especially because several of the most active people in due South fell into Bandom and/or the Kris/Adam fandoms). Nothing about it had caught my eye back then so I never paid attention to picspams and posts about The Black Parade and the FOB hiatus, for example.)

So I read tons of short and mid-length Bandom fics, not paying much attention to the pairings (though I was able to suss out that Waycest wasn't for me at all). I had no idea what Mikeyway, Brendon, Spencer, Ray, Gerard, Lyn-Z or anyone looked like and I didn't care. That said, I didn't approach the stories like they were original fics. Mostly because I knew I'd seen Pete Wentz's cock online many years before. Also, I had a vague memory of video for Helena (though I didn't remember what the guys in the band looked like. IDEK.)

Fast-forward to about 3 months later when I got totally @______________@ for MCR (after finally seeing them on TV.)

Bandom (or any active RPF fandom for that matter) is so fun because there aren't any limits to what we can create. It helps that everyone has crazy amounts of chemistry with everyone else. >:)
lucifuge5: Black Converse Sneakers with Rainbow Laces (Ray and Gerard HEARTS)

[personal profile] lucifuge5 2013-06-21 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
Old skool interneting, FTW!

From what I remember, people were INTENSE in the Xena fandom. The fanart (except for podfic--that's something that I didn't come across until I got on LJ) was off the charts. Who knows how enthusiastic it would've been if Xena had aired nowadays. It helped that the show and everyone involved with the show understood the high queer factor and served it up without being apologetic about it. The only really sucky thing was the series finale (in fic terms it ended up becoming really nonsensical ghostfic). :-/

After three months of reading Bandom fics, I was at a friend's house in early January 2011, flipping through his DVR. As it happened, he'd recorded the NYE show that had MCR performing in it. Soon as I saw them do Na, Na,Na and SING, I was a goner. Hunted down every Bandom primer, picspam, Tumblr post, all the music videos and interviews, etc. IT WAS GLORIOUS (Not a spoiler: IT STILL IS!!!!)

Overall, none of the Bandom peeps looked anything like I'd imagined. As a matter of fact, all them were HOTTER. >:)

Another thing I couldn't believe is that a LOT of the things people wrote about in the canon fics ACTUALLY HAPPENED (for example, Mikeyway and Gabe Saporta dirty dancing. *g*) Also, even after you put the vids and albums and performances to the side, there's tons and tons of canon available! Somehow, the hugeness of said canon (even if you look only at MCR, that was about a decade or so worth of canon left!) didn't overwhelm me. Keep in mind, that the canon for the previous RPF fandom I'd been in (C6D RPF) would add up to about 1.5% of Bandom's. Srlsy.

I'm totes nodding at your comment about the Hockey peeps. There was this one fic that I considered reading. It was...disappointing to find out what the dudes looked like. Like you, I didn't find them attractive at all so I soon lost interest in reading Hockey RPF. *hands*

In all truth, my getting into Bandom without any visual clues til later was a singular event. :P

RPF can be anything we want. Granted, that's also the case in FPF fandoms. What I really like about Bandom is the unpredictability of the peeps. They do awesome things, mottsy ones, etc. I like the complexity of their stage/public personae and how we can pick and choose how to approach them. In short, \Bandom/! Hee!

Thank you for this opportunity to look back. ^_^