Citizens Against Bad Slash Interview with Te

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Citizens Against Bad Slash Interview with Te
Interviewer:
Interviewee: Te
Date(s): July 11, 2001
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Buffy, slash
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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Contents

Citizens Against Bad Slash Interview with Te was posted in 2001.

It is part of a series of interviews at Citizens Against Bad Slash where fans were each asked the same ten questions.

Some Excerpts

It's so easy to list off a bunch of things that can make me stop reading, wash my eyes out, and mock the writer with joyous abandon, but a lot harder to try and come up with tangible things that make a story great.

One thing that always appeals to me is when a writer takes the characters in startling directions -- *and* backs it up with enough information and analysis to make the new direction make *sense*. To be able to do that without an embarrassing info-dump in the author's notes... now that's good stuff.

Also, all kinds of people experiment with style, but some people do that experimenting *with* style. That is to say, no one's going to call you the new Chip Delaney if the readers have no fucking clue what you're talking about. A good writer can toss most of the rules of grammar out with the trash and make something beautiful and new. A bad writer can do the same tossing and make something incoherent and migraine inducing.

What else, what else... a good writer is *not* afraid of using the characters' names. The Spike taught me that way back when I was just another XF slasher, and it stuck with me. No one is going to beat you if you use Xander's name more than once in a given paragraph. Please, anything but "the smaller man," "the younger man," "the youth," "the teen," "the sorrowful teen," "the weeping, sobbing, suicidal-to-the-point-of-accidental-comedy teen," etc., etc.
In my opinion, if you can't at least *respect* a character, you have no business writing him/her. I can't count the number of stories I've read in various fandoms in which the author's rabid hatred for Character X is expressed in every possible, improbable way. From said character proving to be the force of all evil in the universe, to having said character's friends and loved ones suddenly turn on him/her -- *with no explanation of why*.

I *hate* that, and it's all over Buffy fandom. There've been any number of public, heated... discussions over the preponderance of hatefic. Me, I just don't get it. It's invariably characterized in a way that suggests the writer is watching a wholly different show, and it strikes me as a profound waste of time.

I don't know, maybe this is just how other people handle anger management.
I read pretty voraciously. I'm on a frightening number of mailing lists, and if it doesn't look too egregious, chances are I'll read it. I send feedback every time I like a story. Period, the end. I know how *I* feel about feedback, and I hope to get what I give. If I don't like a story, but I feel the writer has potential, I'll send constructive critcism. I also regularly hunt down other people's recs pages and scan for new stuff. God, if you're out there, and you're reading cool fic, and you're thinking of starting a recs page, *do* so. And let me know where I can find it. I swear, sometimes I *live* for a recs page update, fandom notwithstanding.
I think a lot of the older fans -- that is, fans who have been around for a few years -- are a little superstitious about writing fan fiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean, they're used to spending all of their fan-writing time fixing the assorted mistakes and inconsistencies of *crappy* shows.

Personally, I think there's a lot to say in Buffy that'll never get onscreen for one reason or another, and I'd love to see some of the older, experienced writers tackle things.

Besides when the show's creator says something like "...all the relationships on the show are romantic, hence the BYO subtext principle," I think it's pretty much our *duty* to get our grubby little paws all *over* the characters.