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What I owe to the slash world

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Jun. 12th, 2007 | 06:00 pm
posted by: duskpeterson in eternaldungeon

I posted this at a forum for professional writers and thought it might be of interest to some here. The initial quotation is reprinted with permission of the person I was responding to. It was part of a thread where a bunch of us were talking about professional authors who take part in the fan fiction community.

* * *

"yeah, and you're known forever afterwards as 'that [writer] who started off in fan fic'... eesh!"

I should be so lucky.

I know that you're talking about the fanfic stigma, which is certainly there. And I see that you have a bunch of fanficcy LJ interests, so that I don't need to tell you the other side of the story. So this post is for the sake of others who've never been in the fan fiction world and might only know of the stigma, not of what lies within the fan fiction world.

At the time I discovered the slash world (m/m fan fiction and original fiction), I had been a professional nonfiction writer for thirteen years. I thought of the slash world as a trivial stop on my way to real publication of fiction. Slashers were just amateurs, after all; they had nothing that would be of value to me, other than some nice art. (I looked at the art before I deigned to read what I assumed would be horribly written fiction.)

I owe everything to the slashers. Seriously. They were the first people to give my stories feedback (and readers in the fanfic world are very good about giving feedback). They were the ones who became my beta readers (critiquers/editors), which are an absolute necessity to me now that I'm self-publishing. They were the ones who wrote the stories I read that helped me hone my writing. They were the ones who provided me with a place to post the stories that no publisher in his right mind would have touched, because of the taboo subject matter. They were the ones who taught me the marketing value of e-mail lists, fiction archives, LiveJournal, and fan conventions. They were the ones who taught me how to take part in all of the above. They remain my most loyal readers, and they are the ones, I'm quite sure, who will be buying most of my books.

I would not be writing gay fiction today if it weren't for the slashers. Period.

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Comments {10}

s t a r l e t

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from: lovefromgirl
date: Jun. 12th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)

And we're glad you're here. ♥

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Dusk Peterson

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from: duskpeterson
date: Jun. 12th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)


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