Finish Lines

smalltrolven

The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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smalltrolven

That Question Again

Do you feel like you have to "warn" for who tops or bottoms in your slash stories?
I don't, but am I supposed to? Should I be?
I'd honestly have to go back and re-read all of my stories to tell you who tops or bottoms in each one, really and truly.
I don't keep track and it's not usually the main point of the story.

I guess it's just not that important to me and I don't understand the comments I've been getting on AO3 lately.

Honestly the amount of them makes me want to just stop posting my work at all.
I'm writing mainly for an audience of one...me.  It's a selfish thing, I know it is.
But I'm honest with myself about it. If other people read my stuff and like it that's awesome, I love that. I really do, and I of course really love
hearing from those readers. So I shouldn't be complaining when I do hear from those readers, should I?

But I remain confused. I don't see why the top/bottom thing is so important to people that they are making demands (sometimes rudely, sometimes not) in the comments to my fics.
I received a few comments in this vein on the last fic I posted that have me scratching my head:

"I love this fic, but any chance for fic (put in s11) with bottom Sam from you?"

This comment is mostly fine by me, I could have chosen to be put off by the 'but' in it, but instead I answered by saying yep there are a few i'm in the process of writing. But I didn't take the time to explain that those in-process stories already existed before I ever read the comment.

But when this one was posted by another reader in reply, and I was very surprised at the turn it took:

"I love this story soooo much!:DThank you author writing this amazing fic!But this comment really make me feel a little disgusted.It feels like there will always be one guy asking for bottom sam under every single bottom dean fic. And everybody just go write bottom sam for them... Please,don't do this again,there are still some people who perfer Bottom Dean&Jensen,please give us more respect.I can hardly see any bottom!dean now. It really makes me sad...."

Here's what I wrote in response:

"Thank you so much, I'm very glad to hear that you like the story.

I wanted to point out that the comment you were replying to requesting bottom Sam hasn't changed anything that I've written or am going to write in the future. I was just answering their specific question about upcoming stories I'm working on. And neither will your comment requesting bottom Dean impact my writing plans. As I've said before, who tops or bottoms is just not something I'm personally invested in, I like both, it all depends on the story that I am writing. Sometimes they switch, sometimes they don't have penetrative sex at all, and in my big bang this year there is all of that plus an ongoing MMF relationship. It's hard to explain to a reader, but that's just how it works for me as a writer, it's all about the story that I'm telling, and the way I'm writing the brothers in that story. I hope you'll find something of mine that you'll like to read again in the future."

I erased several heated responses before I came up with that hopefully more measured one. I wonder if I should just ignore it and not respond to them at all, maybe that would be better.

Have any of you experienced this kind of response on your fics, and if so, how have you reacted or handled it?
Thanks for listening to me ramble about this.
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Yes, I got one recently, and have gotten several in the past. It's completely a mystery to me, but apparently it's really important to some people. As for how I've reacted, pretty much the way you did. I was polite, but honest about the fact that top/bottom doesn't matter to me in the least.

I'm glad it's not a mystery to just me, but yep, it seems very important to some people. I think I'll keep going with honest & polite. Thanks.

I hate that people do that its so rude your taking out time of your life to write a fic and people get all bent out a shape on who tops or bottoms it really should not be the point of the fic I agree with you if you don't want to do top bottom tags don't don't let people bring you down at all I would just ignore and delete the comments . the fics you write our yours and not anyone else's I enjoy your fics don't let people bother you with that . I dislike to many tags in a fic I understand the need for them but top and bottom is really not needed at all in my opinion sorry I rambled on I love your fics and jut do what you like hun <3 your fics are awesome

Edited at 2016-05-18 04:04 am (UTC)

Thanks so much this means a lot to me. I don't like too many tags on a fic either, sometimes it's way too spoiler-y, I like to be surprised.

I don't warn for it, but mainly I'm a switch hitter in my fic, no matter the pairing. And a lot of the time without even thinking about it I put the top on the left hand side of the / and the bottom on the right...

Quite frankly *that* was rude, and your response was perfect!

Like I said, I don't tend to warn simply because each story is different and some times the guys and girls who continually say "Nothing but...." put me off of creating for them or their prompts. It stifles my creativity when I know I have to have say Top!Sam/Jared and I'm not allowed to switch hit the guys about!

Thanks milly, I think you're so right about being put off *creating for* people who are requesting a certain sex scene configuration. I am definitely not going there or doing that. Because it is stifling to one's creativity, you're so right. It's one thing if you're writing for a gift fic situation with certain requests, and gosh that's hard sometimes isn't it? Every story is different, most of the time it's not even a conscious decision, it's just naturally flows from how I'm writing the characters.

I love creating gifts for people and when that happens of course I don't mind doing whichever bottom/top combo they want, but when it's one of the comment meme fill things I tend to go cold at the thought of not being able to 'explore' what that version of the characters might want to do. My brain doesn't function well with restrictions, lol!

Who's on what side of the slash matters?? I just always put Jared/Jensen or Sam/Dean out of habit! LOL

No, LOL! That's one of my quirks when typing up the blurby info bit for a fic. I've always done it. It does help me keep track of who's doing what to whom in which fic though ;)

I dont warn for it; hell, I dont even know who is going to be top or bottom, half the time, because I concentrate on how the personalities within the story make them behave, and let it flow from there. The characters are usually fairly evenly matched and switch more often than not - I dont believe it calls for a warning?


Oh gosh, I so agree. It certainly doesn't call for a warning, that just seems super strange to me. You're right it's all about how the personalities in the story you're writing are interacting and behaving.

PS: Wonder if a comment in your profile would be at all helpful? Saying you dont warn for that?


Oh now that's a good idea! I think I'll add a line in there, thank you.

Yes, it's definitely annoying to get comments like that, and I do the best I can to be grateful that the person responded at all, but it still feels wrong. I wonder if some writers encourage prompts (I've seen that a lot on tumblr) and that's what makes commenters feel they can ask for a particular sex position.

Sometimes it reminds me that a lot of people just skip through the story for the sex parts and then move on to the next one. I worry sometimes that I'm contributing to this kind of mass consumption of porn! Do these people even like the show? Do they care about the characters? Am I being too precious when I even ask these questions?

But of course you're right that you're really writing for an audience of one, and that what matters is how you feel about the fic and whether you satisfied yourself that you accomplished what you set out to do when you wrote it.

I think it's only human to feel annoyed and sometimes downright upset by these kinds of comments. It's like every artist who puts his/her work out there and maybe gets 100 positive comments to one negative but it's the negative one you remember. That's okay as long as you don't let it make you give up. PLEASE DON'T STOP WRITING! We need you! :)

Yes to all of this. I am definitely trying to be grateful that the people are responding, but it puts me off. I do think it's a part of tumblr culture that's transferring over.
I too wonder about the whole 'all porn all the time thing.' Honestly in the past, I did have some short times where I consumed fic in that way, so I get that. And maybe that's where the request really is coming from. A certain configuration top/bottom really does it for someone and that's all they're looking for and it's frustrating (sexually frustrating even!) to read through stories and not get what you need to "get there."
As far as wondering if people even like the show or care about the characters, much less your story, well who knows. There are probably those out there that are just in it for the pr0n, but I'd imagine it's not a majority. Especially for your stories which have so much plot and characterization to them in addition to the hot sex scenes.
I won't stop writing, or sharing my writing, you all are right. I just need to get over it and get on with it.

I've gotten a couple asking for one or the other, but I do not feel it's something you should "warn" for unless you feel like it. Sometimes I put it as a tag on AO3 just to draw people who like that particular dynamic (so if bottom Dean readers are looking for bottom Dean), or if that dynamic is intrinsic to the story (Jared bottoms for the first time! that kind of thing) A lot of my stories are non-penetrative or involve switching, so I don't put anything. I personally like reading either, so I don[t worry about tagging it except as I've said.

I think your response was fantastic - you explained your POV and plans and remained completely respectful. I don't know where people get off thinking they can demand shit or whine about what's being posted. You're completely within your rights just to say thank you and leave it at that, so good job saying more ;-)

*hugs*

Thanks, I'm glad I'm not the only one gutting this kind of comment. That's a good idea to tag for bottom or top if it happens to be a story plot point.

I've gotten a couple asking for one or the other, but I do not feel it's something you should "warn" for unless you feel like it. Sometimes I put it as a tag on AO3 just to draw people who like that particular dynamic (so if bottom Dean readers are looking for bottom Dean), or if that dynamic is intrinsic to the story (Jared bottoms for the first time! that kind of thing) A lot of my stories are non-penetrative or involve switching, so I don't put anything. I personally like reading either, so I don[t worry about tagging it except as I've said.

I think your response was fantastic - you explained your POV and plans and remained completely respectful. I don't know where people get off thinking they can demand shit or whine about what's being posted. You're completely within your rights just to say thank you and leave it at that, so good job saying more ;-)

*hugs*

(Deleted comment)
I think you're right, it is the start of a slippery, steep slope "warning" for this kind of thing. I try to be careful to warn for all the triggers you mentioned, but I agree, who tops or bottoms remains in the category of personal preference for me.

It's not something you need to warn for. Personally, I only read bottom!Jensen/Dean, as for some reason top!Jensen/Dean freaks me out (I really don't know why). I appreciate it if writers put in their tags who tops or bottoms, but I def. don't expect it or go around demanding it. And I def. don't go around demanding writers write what I like, because that's just down right rude. I just skip NC17 fics where I don't know who tops or bottoms, because there are enough fics around where it is tagged, or that are lower in rating and 'safe' for me to read.

Uh... yeah. What I'm trying to say is... do what you want to do and what feels right. :)

I'm so glad you answered this as a bottom!Jensen/Dean reader, it's so great to hear your perspective on all this. It sounds like you've found a good solution for choosing which stories to try reading.
"Do what you want to do and what feels right" -- now that's some great advice, thanks!

No. Rude, entitled and just well, odd. Character or physical attributes do not equate to whether or not a person like to take it up the ass on a particular occasion, and it is horribly stereotyping to make those assumptions. It isn't a trigger. Do we demand to know the top and bottom in any published fic or novel? How strange would that make the cover summary? No, we let the author take us on a journey to explore the emotions and dynamics of a relationship and it is the writer's story.

I think I agree with you, about the assumptions that most people seem to make about who tops or bottoms being a form of stereotyping gone awry. Which just rubs me wrong about the whole thing to begin with. I wouldn't say that all of the people who have a preference do that thought, sometimes you just like what you like which is totally fine of course. The shortly worded requests do come off as rude and yes, odd. Which is why I was curious how others were approaching responding or not.

I love your last line about the author taking us on a journey, that's exactly why I write and why I read, so thank you for reminding me of that!

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