Femslash Fanfic & Feedback

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Title: Femslash Fanfic & Feedback
Creator: havocthecat
Date(s): May 11, 2009
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, Femslash
External Links: Femslash Fanfic & Feedback
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Femslash Fanfic & Feedback is a meta post by havocthecat.

It has 92 responses.


I'm spammy today, I know. It's called avoidance. :) Also, it's called curiosity.

twtd posted an open letter to femslash fandom, and, ONCE AGAIN, the paucity of feedback on femslash stories came up. I'm doing a whole different post on the subject of feedback, but you should go and check out twtd's post on femslash because it's got a lot of other good issues to bring up.

So. Femslash fandom. I have to ask: If you read a story, what prompts you to leave feedback? If you don't leave feedback, why not?

Other things that came up:

Do you think femslash fandom has some self-hate issues going on?

There are other femslash fen who are into Forever Knight. This means that the Forever Knight/Stargate: Atlantis story that I still hope to finish some day may have more than three readers who aren't me or friends I've bullied into looking at it. I sent it to one of my poor het friends who was all, "Well, I liked everything except the girl/girl sex scene." I know it's not really relevant to anything, but it makes me feel good there might be a bigger audience.

ACTUALLY. WAIT. Maybe there is something relevant: Do you think the lack of feedback is because there just aren't the numbers to support it, or do you think it's because people just don't leave feedback? Or does one feed on the other? I mean, lack of feedback could cause people to leave for the shinier pastures of het or slash.

God knows, I've run into that. Check out feedback numbers on my Sheppard/Weir fic for Stargate: Atlantis, and then compare the feedback numbers on my Emmagan/Weir fic. Or any of my femslash as compared to any of my het fics. By and large, when I get feedback, the het gets a bigger number of comments. (I just don't write that much slash, so even the few times I wrote any, it just didn't get many people reading it. So looking at that as a sample is just inaccurate, whereas people do read me for het, gen, and femslash.)

We always want to draw more people into writing and reading femslash, but are we driving them away by not giving good feedback to the good fic that's out there? Or do we just hide on our filters and bitch about all the crap instead?

I...am partially guilty on the second there.


[cimorene]: According to isiscolo's stats work, I think she concluded that a median rate of feedback was one in twenty readers. But given how much fandoms vary demographically, that's got to fluctuate somewhat. Still, I'm fairly sure that feedbackers are always a rather slim minority.

Another issue is fandom cohesion - I suspect that people are more likely to leave feedback for someone they share a sense of social integration in fandom with. That would mean that "drive-by" readers, or readers who don't consider themselves active in a fandom, are probably less likely to leave feedback. Could it be that the nature of femslash fandom is so fragmented (across source canons) and small that a sense of not-really-belonging is more widespread?

[spockette]: I have a tendency to get into fandoms way too late, and I always feel weird about leaving feedback on a fic that's a couple of years old. I think the reason is that I feel a kind of disconnect with the fandom, when I got into it late, and especially so because femslash fandom is so small. There's definitely, as [personal profile] cimorene says, a sense of not-really-belonging.

There are certainly less femslash readers, and because it's actually quite difficult to find good femslash fic (there's not the sheer number of communities for femslash as there are for slash & het, femslash is recced less often because there are less readers, etc), I don't find it until well after it's written, and then I just feel awkward about commenting, again because of the sense of not-belonging.

On the plus side, I now feel guilty enough that I'm off to leave feedback on the last couple fics I read. heh. :)

[alittlebirdy]: I think part of the problem, and this isn't just restricted to femslash, its fandom wide... is that people don't know how to leave feedback. I know this is true of me, to some degree. (I have trouble when the story was just ok. Not great, not bad, just ok.) I usually only leave feedback when the story was really good (imo). I'm less likely too if I didn't like it (because people don't take neg feedback well) or when there are 30,000 other people gushing over it. Which sounds odd, I know. But there you go.

As for self hate... I find that some femslash circles are very cliquish. Unless you are part of the group from day 1, then you are viewed a little bit at least, as an outsider. Particularly in a group where the members have been friends from previous fandoms and have been writing femslash together for years and years. I'm sure its something to do with having to stick together and support each other over time (and I don't begrudge them that) but it isn't encouraging when you join a group and are made to feel (even by accident) like an outsider.

And then, there ARE people that bitch on filters, and while I fully support their right to do so (and enjoy reading a few people that do lol), it does make you feel "are people secretly bitching about my writing?"