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Genfic--Vive la rev... ooo, shiny!... what was I saying? - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Genfic--Vive la rev... ooo, shiny!... what was I saying?
Okay, I'm reading about slash WIP communities now, and there are pairings challenges, and all sorts of things to promote and encourage shipfic. We genficcers are always complaining about not getting enough attention, but then we aren't as aggressive as the shipficcers about promotion... or particularly aggressive at all. Where's hpgen100? genfestcomm? GenWIPs R' Us? genlove?

Part of it may be that shipfic tends to subdivide and create new communities based on each ship, while genfic tends to stay kind of lumped together, whether it's about Snape escaping the Death Eaters or Moody losing his eye. Genfic is also, of course, about relationships--all fiction is--and could legitimately be splintered up Marauadergen, Triogen, Ordergen, DeathEatergen, etc. Blackgen. Pottergen. Dursleygen. Weasleygen. Maybe that would help, since people tend to look for their favorite characters in fanfic, and not for a nebulous concept like "gen." :shrug:

It's not that we don't do anything. mincot started Godric's Hat, jetamors keeps a genfic rec list, saeva did a gen ficathon. I made icons, free to good genfic-loving homes.

But, er... I don't actually want to do anything about it. Oh, I'd love to have hpgen100. I'd totally dig seeing genfests and gen recs and gen art communties and so on. But, er... I don't want to do it. I just want to sit around and write about 2000 words a day and drive myself completely crazy because that's what I love to do. I kind of wonder if that's true for other genficcers, and that's why we're so very quiet like little mice.

Er, do I have a point?

I thought I did. But then I got all distracted trying to figure out how the visit to McGonagall at St. Mungo's is going to go later on. And, hey, Sirius is going to send her a long-distance kiss. Maybe I'm a shipficcer at heart after all--McGonagall/Sirius, OTP! ;)
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ashtur From: ashtur Date: February 11th, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Our problem is that we can't get everyone all excited over things the way the shippers can. I mean, we just "miss" the entire feeding frenzy of figuring out if Peter/Bertha is canon-plausible!

So, we just keep slogging on.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 11th, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, clearly we need some good gen controversy.

Umm... could it be canon plausible that Aberforth Dumbledore is older than Albus and raised him?

Oh, good gentroversy: Did Sirius really loathe Regulus, or does his tone suggest a kind of fondness?

saeva brought up a good one: Does Molly have a right to think of herself as Harry's mother figure?
mincot From: mincot Date: February 11th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I was planning to have a ficathon at Godric's hat ... and then Real Life caught up with me. Damn teaching--you know, it actually requires some preparation ;)
mincot From: mincot Date: February 11th, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think also, though, that genfic tends to be less "short", if that makes sense. PWP lends itself to short bits, but genfic tends to require more thought ... more preparation ... and thus more time.
furiosity From: furiosity Date: February 11th, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's hp100 which is for all HP stuff. I've written gen drabbles for it before, actually, when I do write for the comm, it's usually gen.

I would love to see more genfic, and more attention paid to genfic. However, when I say that I prefer genfic to shipfic and only read a single ship, people usually do the equivalent of looking at me like I've got two heads.

Hmm. At the risk of sinking even deeper into the quagmire that is fandom, I think I'll go start hpgen100.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 11th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wrote there for awhile, but there was so much shippy stuff that I felt lost in the shuffle--it seemed to default to shipfic.
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idleleaves From: idleleaves Date: February 11th, 2005 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Part of it may be that shipfic tends to subdivide and create new communities based on each ship, while genfic tends to stay kind of lumped togethe

Merf, yes. It's hard to find good genfic, too, because of the difficulty with keywords and search options.
mincot From: mincot Date: February 11th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
COme on over to Godric's Hat and rec us some more good stuff! http://www.ravenclaw.us/efiction/index.php
From: hobviously Date: February 11th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's also hp_shipless.

I always have a hard time differentiating between gen and shipfic, myself. Like, the only story of mine that's both completed and over 1kw is labeled as Lily/James, and was posted in a L/J comm to garner more readership. But deep down I really think it's gen: it's about Harry's birth, and even though Lily and James are a couple in it and go through changes in their relationship, and that's what a READER might focus on, that's not what it's about for me at all.
But I would feel idiotic posting it in a "shipless" comm, since I've already posted it in a shippy comm and it's just so easy to call L/J even though thematically the whole thing rests on Harry. Bah.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 12th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I think there's a difference between "shipless" and "gen." Gen may well be about a relationship; it's just not a romance, per se. A pair of parents dealing with the changes in their lives after the birth of a baby is, imho, gen. A wife struggling with her feelings for her husband's best friend is ship.
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: February 11th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
i am ship-weary. i am label0-weary and clique-burned out and group/category-overdosed ;P this is what keeps causign the blody devisiosn and i'm so so so glad that we genficcers tend to jstu write fic and not hav e character wars...oh we have (sirisu vs snape ,marauders vs slytherins...)
I am not a sometign or soemoen..i jsut read stories when I like them. I read some pairigns when i liek the mbut i'm not specifically on t he lok otu for every remus/tonks fic inthe world.
furiosity From: furiosity Date: February 11th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I started hp_gen_ch. Monthly genfic challenge. *nods* I've posted a discussion topic already (i.e. what would be considered good challenges).

(Gah, LJ codes)
From: netbyrd Date: February 12th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful idea. I went and joined, because I am up to my eyeballs with ship fic and with reviews demanding that my stories "get on" with the romance when I am more interested in the adventure plot.
saeva From: saeva Date: February 11th, 2005 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, it took me way too long reasonably to figure out how to comment on this post. *stares at the layout*

Anyway, speaking of gen and a gen ficathon and me doing one, I'm doing another one this year, preferably in March-April when everything calms down a little (getting over the beginning of the semester/beginning of the year/four billion and a half things being started/etc stuff). I don't really want to run one myself, per se, though I learned a lot of What Not To Do from my last attempt, but I'm certainly going to do it anyway.

Right now I'm just slowly announcing this and seeing what people think and if they might be interested.

- Andrea.
japonicastar From: japonicastar Date: February 12th, 2005 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I bid you all to go to HMS Wreckage where you are able to chat about everything Gen to your hearts content. It's an No Ships community, where people are able to discuss anything and everything Gen in a comfortable atmosphere.

Love to see you there...
impinc From: impinc Date: February 12th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart.

While I have no problem reading shippy or even smutty fics, I search for certain plot points and interesting interactions over smut. For example, saeva's fic Anger Management has very hot smut, but it's the Harry and Lupin characterizations that make me adore it. A good example of that is that I recently posted a query for fic about the repercussions of the brain-attack for Ron. I got a smutty fic. I don't object to this, because I find the idea interesting but it isn't the smut that draws me to it. Well, usually. ;)

As for myself, I write almost purely gen fic. As a result of this, I don't get much feedback and it's hard to find a beta. I think that part of this is because I am not agressive enough. But why I am not agressive is I feel uncomfortable pushing fic that nobody has commented on. "Is it horrible? What did I do wrong?" I think. "Why won't somebody give me constructive criticism!?" I think it's easy for gen writers to feel insecure in this fandom.

I agree about splintering it up. I know that I actively search out Black!fic. And some days I just want to read about the Weasleys or the Dursleys or Bellatrix's descent into madness.

I think a Gen Revolution is in order. :)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: February 12th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I think, as was discussed on an HP genfic Yahoo group... of which I no longer seem to be part, for reasons I can't remember... part of the trouble is in fact the tendency to define genfic negatively. "Not just everything else" is true, but we don't talk about it that way enough. Which is, I think, another reason your suggestion about splitting things up by character groups or whatnot might help. Genficcers are too cohesive, but only in a superficial way, I guess.

At some point, someone mentioned that the update for often-recommended fics in the Fictionalley Help I'm Looking for.... forum didn't include a genfic category yet, and I suggested that we could conspire to have people go in regularly and ask for genfic recs. That has the vagueness problem, but it might be something to start....
humantales From: humantales Date: February 12th, 2005 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
First, I'm liking and using the fourth of the four icons you posted. Thank you.

Second, I agree with the sparsity of genfic communities out there. I've joined all the ones I can find; I like reading ships, but it's gen I write.
bethbethbeth From: bethbethbeth Date: February 12th, 2005 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It's interesting how different people's perspectives can be depending on one's fannish background. Most of my decade's time in fandom was spent almost exclusively in slash circles. I read het and gen, when I could find it, but my friends were almost all slashers, which may be why I've found HP to be pretty gen friendly in contrast.

I mean, yes...I understand what you're saying about ship fics and how they seem to be priveleged over gen, but I've found slashers (and het writers) in this fandom to be far more open to reading and writing gen than in many other fandoms, where you have to practically pay people to read a great gen story. In this fandom, I haven't had much trouble getting even my shippiest friends to give good gen a try.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I've been reccing gen (along with het and slash) for a half year now:
From: isabela113 Date: February 12th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you may be right about the temperment of genficcers. Shippers have a built in audience of people who already (avidly) support the basic premise of their story. Gen fic is more of a mixed bag. When I start writing Ministry memos between Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley, or Molly's feelings about the Order, I have no idea of knowing whether that will be interesting to anyone but me. That is one of the reasons I like the Sugar Quill so much. The readers there tend to be open to gen, even though it could be classified as a site that supports shipping.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 12th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that, possibly counter-intuitively, having very blatant shipping preferences helps encourage genfic, because it sort of... how to put it? Normalizes shipping. You've got X pairs. There are only so many romances to be written about those pairs. So, hey... how about something that's not a romance?
julia_fractal From: julia_fractal Date: February 12th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I just joined hpgen100 and hp_gen_ch, and I'm very glad that your post inspired their creation :)

Like you said, I think part of the reason genfics are overlooked is because they're less visible (less fics, fewer writers, less promotion.) Also, being a slasher carries a certain slightly subversive sense of pride, whereas being a genfic writer just prompts a "so what?" reaction.

In addition to subdividing fics by characters/groups, perhaps subdividing gen fics by genre would also help.

After 2 years of reading slash fics voraciously, I'm finally discovering the beauty of good gen fics. For some reason I'd assumed that most gen fics would be aimed at younger readers. Silly me, it only took a few mature, complex, and well-written pieces to change my mind. Gen fics offer a wonderful venue for focusing on characterization, plot, and the myriad types of non-romantic relationships, and as a writer, you can't ask for a bigger sandbox to play in than that!

Personally, I enjoy writing gen, femmeslash, and slash, and I intend to keep doing all of the above.
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