Creating a sporking organization.

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by Athol Magarac, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    I'm looking to create a new shared sporking/MST organization that is similar to what Protectors of the Plot Continuum does, but with some notable differences. Who wants to join in?

    The rules for the discussion is to try not to go too far off-topic.

    General rules for author interaction:

    General rules for in-universe:
  2. anthers

    anthers sleepy

    What is sporking, because the only definitions I can find are for the eating utensil, or for spooning when you have an erection.
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  3. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    Basically it's taking a less-than stellar fanfiction and making fun of it. It's actually really educational because you have to actually say what's bothersome about it, like one time I realized that I was making fun of a fic that was falling apart because the villain didn't care about what he was doing.
  4. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I feel like writing feedback and discussion that didn't rely on cruelty or mockery would probably be, like, more in line with general overall goals here on kintsugi?
    • Agree x 10
  5. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    One of my ideas was to be a bit more gentle than what you usually see in sporking. Like, if you're actually using someone else's story instead of an old shame or creating a bad story to spork, you're not going out of your way to let them know about it, but also trying to make it not be too bad if they did find out about it unless they're oversensitive to criticism.

    Neither of these has been looked at, so I don't know if they're funny or as gentle as I would like.

    Samantha sighed and shoved a bookmark into her book before closing it. She was trying, really making an honest effort, but it was a struggle to read Twilight. She knew it was out of curiosity and a misplaced sense of obligation, but she felt she'd eventually give up and admit that it wasn't to her tastes. At least she treated the immigrants from that canon with proper respect, and that's what really mattered.

    As she set the book on the shelf, Samantha's eyes tracked to the binders that held Liz's fanfiction collection. The first binder had a label with “funny good LOK” while the second was “serious good LOK.” Samantha thought that perhaps reading good fanfiction was why Liz seemed to have a greater tolerance for the badfic that they encountered in missions.

    Samantha took the serious binder and noticed that a third binder had been between the two with its spine towards the back of the shelf. She grabbed that one, and saw the label on the spine read “LOK slash.”

    They never got slash missions, though it wasn't out of unwillingness. Samantha was the opposite of a prude, and Liz insisted that the only problem with the slash was that the characters weren't supposed to be gay.

    She prepared to open the binder, and that's when she saw what was on the cover. She dropped it. “Is this some sort of sick joke?”

    Liz paused her game and glanced at the binder. “I hope so. It was hanging on the bedroom wall when I got here.”

    Samantha shuddered as she picked up the binder again and stared at the picture. Kain kissing Moebius... no, it was worse. They were snogging as if their lives depended on it.

    “Um, there's a lot Janos/Raziel in there,” Liz said, “and I don't think you'd like Lamb.”

    “How does that even work?” Samantha asked, shuddering again.

    Liz shrugged. “The sex part, not so well. But the conversations are hawt.”

    Samantha decided to ignore that Liz read porn of her sire and a walking corpse. She started flipping through the binder, which prompted Liz to say something more disturbing.

    “There's also Moebius/Mortanious,” Liz added. “I suggest Bruises Prove Devotion and Human Females Taste Great.”

    Hesistantly, Samantha read the latter story first. It was a ranty rapefic, but it was more dull than bad. She could actually imagine such a thing happening in canon.

    Bruises Prove Devotion was excellent. It was a Kain/Raziel story that was the opposite of safe, sane, and consensual on all three points, but it worked. It wasn't even about sexual attraction or romance, but rather about pure gratification and control. Samantha especially liked the part where the blood from Raziel tearing all but glued Kain into place.

    Samantha randomly flipped through the collection until she found a Raziel/fem-OC. She frowned as she read. “Elizabeth, have you actually read Reaving the Heart?”

    “Disappointing,” Liz said. “I want to like it, but... I'd put it on the kill list, but I'm not sure how to charge it.”

    “Using the Reaver as a sex toy? Squicking the agents? Necrophilia?” Samantha supplied.

    “Well, it was love at first sight. Really I'm bothered by how they didn't bother with romance before getting in the sack together, so yeah, thanatophilia because the corpse is moving. Necrophilia is different and complex,” Liz said. “The bigger question is what to do with her and her friend. They seem like they're from World One, but maybe not.”

    Samantha glanced again at the story. “We will go when we figure it out. Do you have any other recommendations?” She was seriously not trusting her partner's taste in slash, except that the binder did not have good on its label, and the ones Liz actually recommended weren't horrible.

    “Try Shallow Water,” Liz said. “Light infantilizes Raziel, but otherwise it's pretty good.”

    Samantha was unsure that infantilize should go with slash, but it wasn't as bad as it sounded. Raziel was being petulant, demanding, and a spoiled brat because he could get away with it. The Raziel and Kain that Samantha had known personally would have found the story ridiculous, but they were only an interpretation of the canons and no more correct than anyone else's. The powder that would allow a vampire to bathe was interesting, but Samantha felt the disguise generator was more reliable if she ever felt the urge.

    Samantha hesitated before asking, “Raziel and Janos slash?”

    Liz confidently answered, “Try Grooming.”

    True to Liz's stated opinion, the slash was better without the overt sexual parts. Raziel being allowed to tend to Janos' feathers was a powerful moment in itself, but it was also goodfic.

    “When you said that I wouldn't like... Lamb was it?” Samantha asked.

    “Janos/Squid,” Liz said. “It tortures him and doesn't say anything.”

    Samantha winced. “And you like it?”

    Liz thought carefully before answering. “It's tragic.”

    Samantha tentatively began reading the story, but had to stop. It was more something she did not like than badfic. Also, getting involved would mean letting the Squid see them, and she was sure that the eldritch abomination would not easily forget their direct interference if it wasn't aware of them already.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  6. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    So you're going with the 'write a fic mocking a fic' rather than 'write critical analysis of a fic' version of sporking? I don't get why not just . . . write your own fic independent of other people's fanworks.
    • Agree x 9
  7. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident POTSie potato.

    Feels.... Not Nice tbh. Even if someone wasn't being outright cruel I know that a ton of people, myself included, would flip their absolute shit if someone did that to any work that'd been done.
    • Agree x 6
  8. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    Do you want writing critique or are you just posting examples
  9. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It may not always seem like it, but by and large, this community tends strongly to a cultural default of wanting to be supportive in ways that help people without hurting them. Sporking is rarely a good way to help people improve, and mostly consists of Fun At Other People's Expense. As such, I think you're gonna get low interest in a thing specifically aimed at attacking bad writers.

    We have some very, very, good writers around here. They were all bad writers once.
    • Agree x 12
  10. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    Using real stories helps with writer's block and gives real examples of mistakes.

    Having fun with the mistakes and such? Or even just criticising?

    I was posting examples. But if you're up for some constructive criticism, please don't hold back. I actually want to switch to writing for publication eventually, and they don't worry about feelings.
  11. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident POTSie potato.

    Touching it in any way without my permission with the express intent of picking it apart instead of just enjoying it or shrugging and tabbing backwards out of it because I'm not actively seeking criticism or help from strangers (I go to friends for help with that, or I ask when I feel up to it and then am directly addressing comments and such to work on things) and finding out someone was messing about with my work I put out while in a fragile emotional state as a form of self care and self entertainment just for the sake of sporking it would enrage me to an over-extreme amount because that's just how I am. Other people it might just crush or even make them not want to write anymore. There's no way of knowing how someone will react to even "playful" sporking.

    Just feels mean spirited in general tbh.
    • Agree x 9
  12. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    okay so the second one doesn’t even feel like a story too much. it just reads like a list of fan fiction you read and didn’t like, using a character as a mouthpiece. part of it is probably my unfamiliarity with the canon, but even the reasons why you didn’t like the fics seem opaque. you reference specific events and scenes in the fics that no one would know about unless they had read them, like you’re expecting the reader to already know these random stories and I don’t know how likely that is. like instead of being like “Samantha thought fic X was bad because in scene Y, such and such happened,” you’re like “Samantha thought fic X was bad because of Scene Y,” and it’s like you’ve expected the reader to have already read Scene Y and know wtf it is you’re talking about. You don’t link the fics or anything, so if the reader hasn’t read them already they’re just shit out of luck.

    also the way you explain that they’re willing to take slash missions but just don’t get them comes off really homophobic. Saying something like “Samantha wasn’t a prude (and therefore has no problem with gay people)” insinuates that gay people are inherently sexual, which people will take issue with. And Liz “insisting the character weren’t supposed to be gay”...people who bag on M/M relationships in fanfiction use that as an argument constantly. Which...who actually cares what the characters were “supposed” to be. It’s fanfiction. None of this is “supposed” to happen.

    (tbh I think that’s part of the issue with sporking. fanfic is inherently unlike canon, and trying to “protect” canon just feels silly ultimately. plus I think that anti-slash shipping, especially back in the early 2000s when sporking was super big, wasn’t actually at all about trying to protect canon, it was about people being grossed out by the idea that characters they liked could be not straight and trying to justify the reaction. so you’re going to get pushback, if you do things that look like that.)

    I feel like I can’t give as much advice on the first one, cause again I’m not familiar with LOK. but even still there’s a ton of issues.

    what is that discussion at the beginning even for? again, it just feels like a bunch of thoughts and opinions you have on the franchise put in the mouths of your characters reason whatsoever? they spend several paragraphs kvetching about the developers of this game and it’s only vaguely connected to what this story is supposed to be about, which is this mission.

    also, how recently written was this? cause there’s a lot of references to stuff from the PPC (consoles, minis, the idea of the author as an evil spirit possessing a character(? it’s been a long time since I was interested in PPC)) which you’re going to have to change if you want to make your own thing. otherwise anyone who’s familiar with the PPC (and the people who’d be interested in this will be) is gonna accuse you of being unoriginal

    this is less a criticism and more of a complaint, but your writing is a slog. the prose is plain. the dialogue feels wooden. it’s not funny. i’m not gonna go line by line and beta this, but that’s what I’m gonna tell you. i don’t think people will enjoy reading this

    also writing out laughs and snorting sounds like that is fucking annoying
    • Agree x 5
  13. anthers

    anthers sleepy

    Yeah, I am Not at All for this. Especially since a good portion of work that's arguably bad is put out by young folks who might not have a good grasp on writing.
    • Agree x 5
  14. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    Yeah, that one was more noodling around to see if I could get it to go somewhere, sorry it was worse than I thought it was. My mouthpiece was actually Liz. I like the stories, but I was trying to look at things from Samantha's perspective.

    I think it was also a little bit of PPC culture, where people could just say one line about a story and get "oh dear god" reactions. Assuming I want to fix this story, should I put in more descriptions or snippets? (50/50 chance I'll fix this story, almost guaranteed chance that I'll run into a similar situation that the advice will translate for.)

    Samantha isn't a prude about any sex. One of my cut lines was alluding to her participating in orgies. How do I talk about them not doing sex-fics when a generous estimate puts 10% of it is het, without making it sound homophobic? There was literally one voice actress per disc.

    As for Liz, I guess I made a point failure. One of the stories where she couldn't figure out how to charge it was het, where Samantha could think of two valid reasons. Another story did have problems that would normally be charged for. How do I fix those problems?

    As far as the fandom, it was the creator who was complaining about the characters not being gay. Then there were some people who were against sex metaphors having sex. Most of the sex-avoiders were about wanting more violence.

    Actually, that was a response to something about PPC stories where interludes and development of the sporking characters was supposed to be bigger. This story probably didn't have the best showcase of that, and I'm pretty positive that I wrote that beginning part well after writing the mission. It's like on MST3K where why is Gypsy even a character, or I haven't watched the show much but it seems like they were usually doing a bridge scene when I surfed in. You're not supposed to care about Mike's hydroponic garden, but if Tom Servo has feels it makes him more interesting.

    The mission was probably... early spring 2015? The interlude couldn't have been before last summer. I asked for volunteers from the PPC to say what I can and can't use, but sofar my only guideline is "just don't rename stuff." Frankly, I'm more onboard with publishing them as PPC stories just to piss them off or just try to arrange a local webpage for the sake of getting it organized; the audience really isn't out in the wild.

    Now this is something that I'm really interested in fixing. That was kinda the point of trying to join the PPC, honestly.
  15. Ouija

    Ouija Nani the fuck?

    heres the thing: unless i or any other fandom-going asks for criticism, it's not welcome and actually really damn insulting to pick apart my fiction and make it "better."

    I'm not being paid to write, I don't make novels, novellas, short stories, biographies, etc. I'm not catering to an audience first, I'm writing because I want to write and an audience comes second. I'm not destroying Butch Hartman's franchise by making Danny Fenton trans in my own little headspace and fanfiction simply because said creator is a slimeball homophobic/transphobic dumpster fire. Death of the Author won't kill his career but if you did it to somebody who has no horse in the race and is writing to make themselves feel good you could very well be destroying the potential career of an aspiring novelist.

    To reiterate what @anthers said, a lot of "arguably bad" work is written by a younger demographic who don't have the concept of cliches, tropes, feelgood writing, etc and are writing to have fun. A recent trend lately on the internet is "Destroy Cringe Culture" where people let kids be kids (and adults be kids at heart) by giving them the space to have their mary sues and sparkle wolves. Like. Who is it harming? Why do you feel the need to come in and go "um actually" about things as harmless as fanworks?
    • Agree x 13
  16. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    if you want to be a better writer joining the PPC seems like an oblique way of going about it. it's not a community about good writing, it's a community about making fun of bad writing. which really super does not make you immune to bad writing.

    what is it about sporking specifically that appeals so much to you? why do you not write your own fanfiction or original work and just try to get better at that?

    i honestly find your writing tedious so i'm not going to give you any more advice about the stories you posted specifically
    • Agree x 6
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  17. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    I think that there is a cultural disconnect. When I was growing up, diaries had cute little locks. Then people started posting their journals online as an open invitation to read them.

    When did people start putting things that they were fragile and emotional about online instead of being mentally well enough to have it seen regardless of the reaction? Have trolls gone extinct?

    As far as not wanting to do something anymore simply because someone criticized it... obviously it's not really a passion. If you step on a skateboard and eat pavement, you can't just throw it away because gravity was being mean.

    Do young folks get report cards anymore? Are they filled with gold stars regardless like they're some sort of participation ribbon? Young folks should be the most resilient about not being so good.

    I think I need to read the fandom where sparkle wolves are actually a thing because it sounds kinda awesome. I don't mind Mary Sues. Even if I pick out 20 common traits, there's still something interesting. Just because my Mary-Sue was originalish fiction and I never got around to uploading it on Geocities doesn't mean I don't have sympathy. I'm pretty sure I could actually find that old shame and feed it through the scanner.
  18. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    you realize how absolutely fucking hilarious this is coming from you, right?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    • Agree x 8
  19. Gyro Zeppeli

    Gyro Zeppeli Pseudo Anti Cult Leader

    My dude, this is primarily like, a mental health and recovery forum. If there was ever a group that wouldn't go in for this ~people are too fragile and need to just deal with adults writing douchey fix-fic about their work~, it's probably gonna be this forum.

    Given that a significant amount of us are abuse survivors or neuroatypical, as a whole we're not really fond of cringe culture "well, there's no law saying we CAN'T mock some teen's fic, so it's totally cool and good" shit.
    • Agree x 8
  20. rigel

    rigel youve got teeth for a reason, dont you?

    greallen im sorry but like........... compared to uh, a few threads ago when you screamed at multiple people for calling you out on being racist? i really dont think you get to say that People These Days Are Too Soft And Fragile when you can barely have a discussion mentioning your history of racism without flipping your lid
    • Agree x 14
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