So true.

Jun. 20th, 2011 01:48 pm
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)



Click to see the full-sized version.  Now I want to make "formulas" for all of our favorites.

mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
So, I'm working on a collaboration fic.  It didn't start out that way.  You see, gone_ashore had a Brilliant Idea (TM), and needed a beta with some general medical knowledge and an eye for tormenting Jim Kirk in every possible way.  As she began working, and I began beta'ing, it slowly morphed into a collaboration.  I started supplying more and more content, and finally we realized that we might as well turn it into a collab.  I've NEVER done a collaboration before, so this... is something new for me on many levels.

I went back and modified the first couple of sections (marking my territory?), we both went over the edits, and we're just about ready to post Part 3.  The thing is, we decided that we'd like to have the fic posted on BOTH of our journals.  So, before we post Part 3, I'm going to post the first two parts on my journal.  Part 1 is going up today, and Part 2 is going up tomorrow.  Then, we'll both post Part 3 simultaneously on our respective journals.  Read and comment wherever you prefer.

Now, here's the clincher.  This is an mpreg fic.  NO, this is not about magical ass babies.  No, we're not talking about men turning into women, physically OR emotionally.  In our classic tradition of absolutely tormenting Jim Kirk, the situation is one of alien biomedical experimentation and engineering, and this is NOT a happy, consenting, expectant good time.  It's a medical train wreck and a psychological disaster.  (Good times, eh?)  As always, it's a character exploration.  

If you generally avoid reading mpreg because it:
- glosses over medical impossibilities
- turns male characters into women
- ignores deep-seated gender psychology
- is a fluffy, crack-tastic "omg baby!" fanfiction trope
... then give our fic a try.  We're doing something different. 

Then, maybe, if I can survive writing this fic, I'll finally be able to make myself write the H/D mpreg fic that I promised someone so long ago.  *sigh*

Anyway, the first section will be posted on my journal soon.  I dare you to read it.  ;)
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
So... I'm back at it.  Writing, that is.  Yep, up to my eyeballs in yet another novel-length Academy fic.  As of right now, I'm planning on this being the last in the big trilogy, but we'll see.

As I'm getting the ball rolling, I've got to get the groundwork set up.  I know some people go piecemeal and throw stuff around as they go, but for me, I like to get things solidly cemented (fermented?) in my brain before I really kick off the wagon train.  It makes sure my plot is rock-solid so that I don't find myself scrambling to fix a dozen things after I've written 100K or more of story, and hoping I found all the glitches before I post.  It also lets me make the plot more detailed and rich.  If you know everything solidly in your mind, you can paint a clearer picture.  Example - In my mind, I KNOW the layout of Starfleet Academy.  I know where everything is, how the buildings are arranged, what the architecture looks like, and the general feel of the campus.  I've also been to San Francisco and took a bit of time to put my mental image of Starfleet Academy into my real-life experience of being there, so I know what the wind feels like, the air smells like, and the surroundings look like.  Therefore, when I write it, it just feels natural.

Okay, I'm getting off-track.  Here's why I'm posting:

1. Kirk said to Pike, as be boarded the shuttle, "I'll do it in three."  We of the fandom seem to assume that because he SAID he would, that he actually did.  Is it fair for a fanfic author to assume that Kirk will work his ass off, take extra courses, and manage to graduate in three years?  Is that canon, GOOD fanon, accepted fanon, or bad fanon?

2. Original characters!  Love 'em or hate 'em... in Star Trek, we've gotta have 'em.  Unless you want to write nothing but short vignettes about what happens on the bridge of the Enterprise, or locked away in Kirk's quarters, there needs to be a good cast of OC's.  And I do try.  I really do.  My view of the Star Trek universe demands a wholly diverse cast of characters... all races and cultures, genders and appearances.  In the case of Star Trek, we even get different species.  Without that, it doesn't look like Star Trek to me.  In my last Academy fic, we had an Andorian (who makes a cameo in the upcoming one, btw).  We've got a Betazoid with a semi-major role in the one I'm working on now.  Nothing more fun than having a guy like Leonard McCoy working in close quarters with a telepath.  *grins*

Anyway, I've been looking over my cast of OC's from the entire course of the Academy series... from minor characters to more prominent OC's... and I'm trying to figure out who should come next.  Obviously, the details (personalities, quirks, "good guy/bad guy," abilities, and so on) are vital when it comes to plot, but what about the things that paint the broader picture of the Federation?  What alien species?  What Terran ethnicities?  If you have been following my writing, who hasn't shown up enough?  The Federation is an interplanetary organization.  At the point in history 200 years in the future, EARTH is represented within the Federation... not just a tiny fraction of our planet. 

Then, of course, there's also the question of HOW we represent the cultures of people within Starfleet.  As an ex-military officer, I can say that when we're doing our jobs, the details of our cultural differences often get pushed aside, and then become more obvious off-duty.  In the future, is the human race more homogeneous?  Does the event of "World War III" (which we hope will never happen) cause changes in global cultural exchange?  Increased globalization?  The use of "Federation Standard" as a common language?  (NOTE: We *hear* Standard as English when we see Star Trek, but I actually believe that Standard is NOT English.  Star Trek just happened to be filmed in English.)  Where's the line between GOOD treatment of the concept of culture in OC's, and becoming heavy-handed and distracting? 

Thus far, to be completely honest, I've mostly tried to model my portrayal of ethnicity, Terran culture, and non-human species, on what I saw in ST:TNG, while still trying to show this as the TOS era.  I want to show this vision without being heavy-handed.  How am I doing?  Have I screwed up in my endeavor to be true to this vision of the future?  Or am I hitting fairly close to the mark?

Who's missing?  I've already pinned down a few minor characters, and have already written them in.  I need three cadets who will be working on a team with Kirk (not the flight team), a couple of nurses and one junior doctor who will be working with Bones (I've already got the CMO and one nurse), and a few senior officers.

If you haven't read my Academy series, feel free to chime in with thoughts and suggestions about who we need to see represented (and how they should be respectfully represented) in Star Trek fanfiction.  If you HAVE read my Academy series, don't hesitate to let me know who you feel is missing from the picture.  I'm only human (regretfully), and am still trying to wrap my 21st-century brain around 23rd-century social science and culture while not being insulting or insensitive to our current problems.

Enough rambling from me.  You get what I'm trying to ask.  Go for it.
mijan: (Doctor Crusher is NOT amused.)
I get reviews on old fics on my ff.net account fairly frequently. Usually, it's my big Harry/Draco fanfic from back in the day. Sometimes, it's my smaller fics.

The one in question today was a one-shot. Posted in October of 2005, it had just over 5,000 words, wasn't terribly deep (although it did have some insightful content), and could almost be categorized as crackfic in some regards. The title was "Stop the World! (I Wanna Get Off.)"

Anyway, it's a one-shot. It was MEANT to be a one-shot. That's it. Some readers, it seems, jut can't accept that. There were some reviews begging for a sequel, or asking why I wouldn't just continue the story. (Uh, because THAT IS THE STORY. Period.)

However, we all know that when people beg for more, it's really a compliment. I totally get that. I've expressed to some of my favorite writers that I hope there will be more of a particular fic, or a sequel in the works. That's not what today's meta is about. Today, we're discussing entitlement culture.

You see, today's review gave me pause, NOT because the person wanted more. No, it was actually the specific phrasing is what caught my attention:

That.is.not.fair. What do you mean no sequel is planned? D: )
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
Hello loves!  This is going to be something between a rational explanation and a rant.  If someone reading this fears that this might be about them and their fanfiction specifically, NO, it's not.  I've seen this is so many fanfics... almost ALL the fanfics that even mention anything related to money, cost, income, paychecks, or anything economic... that this applies to almost everyone who is writing Star Trek fanfic but who doesn't have a life-long grounding in Star Trek philosophy.

Here are a few things you need to know about economics CANON in Star Trek.  This isn't a judgment call, nor a decree of whether it's the right way or the wrong way to structure an economy.  I'm NOT telling you that this is the way the future WILL be or SHOULD be.  I'm not even saying that this would ever work.  No, this is just telling you how it is in CANON:

Capitalism is DEAD. )

Here are some things that should NEVER be said or implied in a Star Trek fanfiction if you're sticking to canon:

1.  Starfleet's "budget." 
2.  Any reference to a person's income or paycheck.  Or alimony.  Likewise, saving for retirement.  Why do you think there are 100+ year old people in Starfleet?  I'm sure they COULD retire, but if they love what they do, why should they stop?
3.  The "cost" of repairs.  (The limiting factors should be listed as "time" and "resources," and the limited resources should be things that are known to be limited in canon, like dilithium.)
4.  Talking about people being "poor" or starving on Earth.  (Tarsus IV was a disaster of extenuating circumstances.)
5. Any mention of people being unable to afford basic things like food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.  (That doesn't mean that people like a young James T. Kirk wouldn't avoid going to a doctor out of sheer stubbornness.)
6.  Competition for profit, unless you're talking about a Ferengi.  (Now, people will compete for opportunities, prestige, and so on.  If you've got, for example, four groups of engineers trying to design a new shield for space ships, they might compete to have their design accepted by Starfleet.  That would be canon-compliant.  However, a "lucrative" contract is not.)
7. Credits being used for essential things.  And no, booze is not "essential," so using credits to buy drinks at a bar is within canon.

However:
1. People still have personal possessions.  This is a socialistic society, not a communistic society.  It's just that the focus has shifted away from the accumulation of WEALTH.  Restoring an antique car for the joy of it?  Within canon.  Accumulating 100 cars just so you can re-sell them for profit?  Not within canon, and that mentality wouldn't be understood by a person of 23rd-century Earth in Star Trek canon.
2. "Menial" is re-defined.  Remember Boothby from TNG?  The old groundskeeper at the Academy?  He loved his plants, and despite the fact that he wasn't faculty, he was highly respected.  Maybe we should re-think the concept of "menial labor" ourselves.
3. Maybe some people aren't "productive" by our current standards... but who said they have to be?  Tell me how to put a price tag on a painting.

So... there it is.  You don't have to like it, you don't have to agree with the philosophy, but if you're going to write Star Trek fanfiction, you need to be aware that you're NOT dealing with a capitalistic economics system.  Love it or hate it, accept it or debate it - whatever you want.  But just be aware that in Gene Roddenberry's universe, this is the way the chips fall.

Now, that's not to say there aren't inconsistencies.  There's a lovely list of those inconsistencies to be found here:
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/economy.htm
But still... realize that almost none of the contradictions are found on Earth itself.  And none of these things involve the price of essential needs.

I'll leave you with this:  Live long and prosper.  NOW... debate to yourself what "prosper" might actually mean in Vulcan society.
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
For all the fannish fun, the geeky stereotypes, the meta, the movies, the costumes, the toys, and the many episodes of all the series... what's a Trekkie? Trekker? Star Trek fan. WHATEVER you want to call us. The name isn't important, but I can tell you what a Trekkie is.

A Trekkie is someone who has a greater hope for the future; one who truly believes that human beings can and WILL do something better with our tiny corner of the galaxy. And from there, believes that someday, we'll become both capable... and worthy... of going beyond our tiny corner, to explore something greater. Believes that there are new frontiers to discover, and a universe adventures to be had. And that as grand and vast as the universe may be, and whatever we may discover out there, there is nothing more incredible, precious, and unique as each individual sentient being. And in all that, and maybe more... we sure as hell better have a little bit of fun along the way. :)

Well, I guess I'm a Trekkie. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
mijan: (Real McCoy)
I know people love to fuck with nicknames.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  But I need to know, my dear fandom, what is this strange aversion you people have to using the full name "Leonard"? 

Listen, in all of TOS, the old movies, the new movie, the novels, and even the animated series, there has only been ONE NICKNAME for Doctor Leonard H. McCoy, and that's "Bones."  And the only person who calls him that is Jim Kirk.  Nowhere in canon have I ever seen McCoy called Leo, Len, or Lenny.   Maybe if you're going into his past and showing him as a little kid, I could deal with it.  If you're telling an anotherwise fucking amazing story, I can deal with "Leo," but NEVER "Len" or "Lenny."  NOT HAPPENING.  

His name is Leonard.  And yes, he may be a fictional character, but he's my favorite, I'm protective of him, and I'm not apologizing.

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