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Flipping Between Victorian Lit and Fanfiction

I think as we observe our reading selves, we learn a bit about what kind of reader we are.

I'm a shitty reader. I read in order to have read. What can I say? I like checking things off lists, even if they're lists that only exist in the Ethereal Space Around Alice's Head and not fun real ones I get to draw lines through.

And this is why fanfic is maybe the most relaxing and enjoyable thing I read. Reading fanfic is not impressive in the least. It's an activity that one probably isn't supposed to admit to people, but I've been doing it so long that that social acceptability filter didn't attach properly, and here we are.

The thing about fanfic is that yes, it's one of the lowest forms of writing, if not the lowest. And bad fanfic is the worst thing you'll ever see, because it (presumably, since you chose to read it) involves characters you love, and when they're written terribly, something inside you screams. 'WHY ARE THEY DOING THAT; SHE WOULD NEVER DO THAT. DEAR GOD, MAKE IT STOP.'

Because this kind of adverse reaction can happen, fanfiction is a tricky genre to navigate. If you stumble upon an author who's really, really amazingly excellent, then you can ask them for recs, and then those people for recs, and so on and so on until you've established a nice Well-Written Fanfiction path from which you never need stray. But otherwise you just blindly walk into a minefield of bad grammar, incorrect characterization, and script-format pieces, all profoundly terrible.

I write this because, due to the trickiness and general pitfalls, I'm not a frequent reader of fanfiction. And there is of course the added necessity of characters you care about so much you want to read internet-written stories about them. Because Life Is Busy, I don't find these characters often. But last week, I found Doctor Who and River Song, and now I'm thoroughly immersed in fanfic and it's wonderful. Good writing is swell, and I will giggle with happiness when I find a particularly well-put-together phrase. But do I stay up until 2:30 in the morning reading George Eliot? No. I stay up until 2:30 reading about River Song and the Doctor making out in the Tardis. 

I end with a fanvid that should at the very least convince your that Professor River Song, archaeologist and space traveler, is one of the most kickass female characters ever. And she's apparently played by That Lady from ER! Oh, and her first episode takes place in a library, so BEHOLD, BOOKISH PEOPLE (which would be all of you, as this is, of course, a book blog). This show should be watched.


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