That Body of Work

So I've decided to write a series of critical pieces on Slash authors who put their writing on Fiction Press. I do this 1) to introduce readers to great writers, and 2) to get people to take a closer look at these writers and what they do. There are plenty of communities devoted to listing great Slash stories, but I have yet to find any place that seeks to describe and appreciate them. That's what I'm trying to do here.

I've spent some time thinking about my audience. Who exactly am I writing this for? Here's my answer. I'm writing for the common reader who wants to know not just what to read but why they should too. I'm writing for the reader who, perhaps, despairs of anything worthwhile being written here. I'm writing for the reader who appreciates stories and wants to talk about them, to hear what people think of them beyond 'omg update' or 'so-and-so is sooo cute.' Not that these comments are bad or anything, but sometimes we yearn for something more.

I imagine this as a grand project. Think: instead of a sea of titles and authors, dates of first published and of completed, favourites and forum posts, we can begin creating a big web. A web where we try and link the things that people are writing back to our lives, to each other, to the universe. As authors, these people deserve some kind of appreciation beyond a number, the kind of appreciation that shows that someone want to understand what you're saying and why you're saying it.

Each piece will go a little something like this:

Introduction

A small introduction to the author, their overall themes, and general information. If I can wrangle a bio out of anyone, here's where it'll go.

Overview of Stories

An over view of the different stories the author has written that I treat here. This will be without spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet this can convince you to read it. I'll try to define what kind of story it is, if I think it matters. Just some general discussion.

Specific Story Headers

Each story will get its own header, and these sections will go in depth into the story. I will talk about themes, symbols, meanings, anything I can think of to talk about that has to do with the story. My ultimate goal is for you to think 'hey, he's got a point. I never looked at it that way before!' So I'll do what I can to manage that. These sections will include spoilers, because I obviously need to draw specific examples from the stories, and endings need to be discussed.

Conclusion

I'll pretty much just sum up what I said at the beginning. I won't include spoilers, in case anyone wants to read the conclusion before reading any of the stories.

I'm going to avoid, when I can, talking about incomplete stories. I'm trying here to make sense of and celebrate what has already been achieved, not what is still in process. However, if an author has an incomplete story going on, I may very well include it.

To authors whose stories I've reviewed: I'll be leaning heavily on the reviews I've already done, so don't be surprised if there's some overlap.

Anyone who has suggestions (even of yourself,) feel free to PM me. I can't promise anything, but since I'm always looking for authors to feature on here it helps me out.

My plan is to let authors know that I'm featuring them and run things by them. I'm not sure what the rules are for writing about someone else's work on here, exactly, so I'll proceed with caution.

I've decided to do my first piece on d'Neronique. That will be up shortly, if everything continues as planned. I have many ideas for future features, but I'm not going to say anything about them until I've actually got down to writing the features.

-Johnny Heartbreak, January 2012