Thursday, January 15, 2009

Essay: Twilight Fan Fiction: Home-wrecker?

Disclaimer: This is meant to be a comical and light-hearted interpretation of a generalized fandom audience. Though there are some important messages hidden herein, please do not assume that I'm being serious here. And please do not assume that these are my own personal experiences, as I'd rather keep them between myself and my better half, whom I do love greatly. I am not a man-hater.

This is mostly for the authors of the fan fic world, but I know it applies to the readers as well. I'm no expert on this topic by any means, and I won't go into specifics on my own personal issues in regards to it, but I would like to share my observations. I'm only assuming the majority of the readers here are women. So for the male ficsters of the world, I apologize if you feel left out.

The truth is... we love this hobby. For some of us, writing and reading these fantastic stories has gone beyond the simple constraints of being worthy of the term 'hobby' all together. Because we love it... hard. If you are a devoted author or reader, chances are, you've been down this rocky path before. You'll be up all day and night, working feverishly to perfect that new chapter, or impatiently reading all of the chapter updates for your favorite fics, and before you know it, someone is upset with you.

Usually this person has a penis and wants all of your complete and undivided attention. *Simultaneously sympathetic audience nod/groan/YES*

It starts out harmless, sure. Just a little "Hey? What about me, snookums?". *Cringe*

Maybe they'll walk up behind you as you're typing or reading *grumble/eye roll/go-the-hale-away-geez* and make some half -hearted attempt at gaining your attention with a kiss, or - if they're truly evil - the ever nefarious neck massage that always looks and feels like a neck massage, but somehow stinks of bullshit. You know the kind, ladies. I affectionately dub this the... I'm-massaging-your-neck-but-I'm-really-doing-it-for-my-own-personal-benefit-of-bedding-you-get-off-the-computer-and-pay-attention-to-ME... massage. It exists. I can spot these from thousands of miles away.

We are annoyed, frustrated, impatient, and most importantly, armed with consumer electronics. A wireless mouse does make a nice projectile. I can attest to this. You can use one of those prehistoric wired mice, but he'd have to be close enough. Luckily, we are crafty women and can make anything projectile given the proper amount of instigation.

If it were anyone else pissing us off like this, we'd probably kick them out of our houses and make them into our next villain character so we may kill them off as we so please.*Possessive and disgruntled Vampward, anybody?*

Unfortunately, it's not just anyone. It's the significant other-fucker (Fist pump to Smellyia for creating this glorious typo turned favorite nickname of mine).
And as annoying as they may be, we just so happen to love the petulant assholes. So begins the first phase of the vicious circle known as "Man vs. Fiction".

Phase 1: Guilt

Yes, we feel guilty because we love them. It's fair, I suppose. If the tables were turned, we'd probably feel a little petulant and hurt ourselves. The thing about guilt is that it is a violent infection that kills all enjoyment for us. There's no better method of completely destroying all inspiration like sitting down at the computer and only being capable of wondering... "Is this going to piss him off?"
It usually will.

In a desperate attempt to recapture our muse and love of the fic, we then initiate the rather infamous and widely used Phase 2.

Phase 2: Affection/Affliction/Inflection

If you can do this just right, it might just be your saving grace for a long while. Sacrifices must be made however. And it can be a very slippery slope. Much like we can smell a fishy neck massage, they can smell when we're only doing it for computer time. You have to want it. You can't just pencil him in between Chapter 9 of your fic and the newest update of "Scotch, Gin, and The New Girl." Shit. Talk about being distracted the entire time.

*Mental inner monologue while man is talking animatedly* - "I wonder if Edward and Bella have done it yet? Geez, can I leave now? I HAVE TO READ THE UPDATE! I'll bet Anna's already read it. That lucky bitch..."

They can smell it on us. Read the updates first. It's better in the long run, and your time with your significant other-fucker can be untainted.

Am I saying it's morally just to barter affection for computer time?

Hales no.


Ha! Just kidding.


We will more than likely grow a little militant feminist over this phase. That's okay. It's perfectly normal to loathe the concept that a man *sneer* wants a woman *chokes* to be available at his every beckoned call while our craft is meant to be left at the wayside. This probably won't disappear until the final phase. Embrace it, or shove it down. Your call.

Some of you may be stuck in Phase 2 for a while. Enjoy that while it lasts, because Phase 3 is particularly unseemly and not for the faint of heart.

Phase 3: The Climactic Bloodshed

Much like Edward in the pivotal arc in a really good ExB romance fic, suddenly, everything will catch up to us and kick us in ass. It will be swift, and chances are you may not see it coming. It will begin over a burnt dinner, or perhaps when you've failed to realize you've been awake for twenty two consecutive hours.

*Zombified inner monologue* - "Oh, Edward... no you DIDN'T just say...wait...WHAT? It's already five? In the evening?! Where the hale did yesterday go?" *Looks around disoriented*

This is where the bloodshed comes in. Words are spoken, and consumer electronics are once again jettisoned as we refuse to surrender to their harsh criticism of our addictions.

For those of you embracing that inner militant feminist that has been burgeoning since Phase 2, this is probably one very exciting confrontation. I give you a fist pump of solidarity.

For the others who have chosen the more common path of denial, this conversation is likely more predictable and far less volatile.

"It's just a hobby! It's no big deal! I can stop any time I want." *Gets phantom tremors at thought*

Then, quite suddenly and without warning... the significant other-fucker will do - or say - something really fucking insightful. Dammit. It will give us a sudden and shocking epiphany and show us the bigger picture, which… has probably become somewhat blurry as a consequence of our severe, fic induced, sleep deprivation.
And then we'll abruptly realize... maybe it wouldn't be such an awful idea to cut back... a little. Cue the final Phase.

Phase 4: Rehab/Rekindle/Reprioritize

*Hangs head on bright fandom stage* - "Hello. My name is AngstGoddess003, and..." *Trails off into timid and pained whisper* "... I'm a fic-aholic."

*Vast crowd of the fandom speaks concurrently* - "Hi AngstGoddess003."

So, it's not a problem until it's a problem. But therein lies the problem. Crap, we have a lot of problems! And responsibilities toward the people we love. So we cut back on the fic time grudgingly. We have to make a middle ground with the significant other-fucker, and meet him halfway. And it will need to be halfway, because more likely than not, he has some work to do as well - because insecurity breeds contempt and resentment of our craft, which isn't fair to us.

But there is, essentially, no bad guy here. We don't love them any less just because we have found something new and exciting, and they aren't controlling pricks just because they crave our affection. This is where you must meet a satisfying compromise that pleases both parties. Which can be a very difficult, and in some cases, nearly impossible thing to do.

But we soldier on, because at the end of the day when the chapters are posted and the updates are read, we have to return to that one person whose happiness is paramount to our own. And if we are that single thing that makes them happy, then we are truly blessed, are we not?

And if we're really being honest here, chances are that the significant other-fuckers in our lives have given us most of that sappy romantic inspiration in the first place.

So, fight for the fic, but don't forget what's most important to you.
And… for the love of God people… if they ask, just tell them your Edward is based on them. Humor them? Just trust me on this. Nothing strokes an ego like your woman basing her romance character off of you. *Winks*



AngstGoddess003 is a new author to the fandom who has written one incredibly long and frustratingly epic fic [Wide Awake]. AG003 has zero credentials or impressive accolades, but she has very specific weaknesses for kittens, Coke, and skinny white boys with guitars. She also has a soft spot for crude vulgarity and cookies. Unicorns are officially her favorite mythical creature.
The opinions expressed here are our own, and are not made on behalf of Twilighted

AngstGoddess003 on FF
Wide Awake Thread on Twilighted
My Girl's Unicorn Wide Awake LJ Community


  1. well said, well said! yep, I've been in, through and back again...and only as a reader! I've literally stayed up until 4 am reading, on a work night...and I am not (repeat, never was) a 'night-time' person; until fan-fic.

    yes, relationships take compromise. however, this stuff has, shall we say, 'reinvigorated' my interest in what he's always interested in...and then some.

  2. Well said AG. Now, when will we get a new chappie on WA?? =) I'm DYIIING here!

  3. sam-a-lot, i ain't gonna bug for an update and you know why. heh


    ps... anna knows nothing. she knows i only like to tease. in fact... i'mma go do it right now in her box. so rude.

    for all of you out there... the significant otherfuckers will, in fact, reconcile, but the things you need to remember are to try to do at least one load of laundry a week, make his favorite dinner on the night you decide to catch up on updates/write... and always, always remember: NEVER lock your jaw, and a well-placed swipe to the SIDE will help your throat from triggering that gag reflex.

  4. What i need to how do you move to the final phase?

    I'm still working on it and dude it's been months upon months.

    but i have a system worked out that seems to be hodling for now....

  5. Well said indeed! I'm a reader (obsessed one thanks to YOU!!) and the words can't REALLY describe the look of my hubby (or significant other-fucker lol) when he asks me 30 times the same question and I keep answering him with a "ehm...what did you say honey"? BECAUSE I'm so focus an my reading!!! Oh, yes and the sleepless nights to read...oh yes!!..LOL. Maria

  6. This post is Epic! Sooo true. I read EVERY night! The significant other-fucker sits on the couch with me and asks me every NIGHT 'whatchareading?' Like he's interested!! Psssshhhh...right! *rolls eyes* Anyway...I kind of forced us into the last phase! LOL! I've kinda compromised, but it's all I'm willing to give so he accepts it! LMAO! Great pos!

  7. Hee - this made me laugh. The key I've found is to hook the Significant Other on his own brand of crack (ie some video game that he and other online people mod the heck out of, so he's also constantly looking for updates as well) and then happily retreat to our respective laptops until time for mutual togetherness.

  8. AG--what an insightful and true-to-life post. I found myself laughing my ass off because I can 100% see how this blog mirrors my life and many others. I have to agree with aquamarine, though, that this stuff (particularly, your stuff) has also 'reinvigorated' my interest in his interests, so he can't complain too much. And I also agree with Anne in that it's best to go out and buy him a new video game so you can both enjoy your own addictions while on your own laptops. Distractions are FTW.

  9. Ummm, I was recovering from my plain old Twilight obsessed life until I found the beautiful unlimited world of fanfic. My husband will never be the same. I'm only an obsessive reader (why is an all-nighter never that hard to pull when you are just reading) so can't imagine life for you actual writers. This hits so close to home although mine is more indulgent than most. Nice to know I'm not alone!

  10. as it is friday night and I am psyched up for a weekend of fanfiction madness~ and I have Monday off~ I nearly pissed my pants reading this...I am hardcore into phase fact I was just making a deal with myself that- if I can hurry up and stick a pizza in the oven and watch pineapple express with him~ I could be done with that by 9...and stay up till about 3AM reading fanfic...lmao!

  11. AHAHAHA, preach it,'s true, all of it. The net is my other woman and half the time I can't even make myself feel bad about it.

    WaT 4EVA! :D

  12. Amen sista! I'm currently navigating these murky waters with my other-fucker. I think we advance and retreat among the phases. My husband is a huge football fan, so up until recently, he really couldn't say much. While I was glued to the computer, he was glued to the tv. Now that football is just about over, I am anticipating a change in attitude toward my fanfic addiction. Although...recently some of the stuff I've been reading right before I went up to bed has made the 3Am appearance go more smoothly. (wink, wink) He sometimes says he wants to write Thank You Letters to the people at and Twilighted!

  13. Closet reader here. I completely relate with this post. I nearly lost my GPA last quarter thanks to my OCD reading and my nose stuck in my smartphone. I can't imagine the vortex suckage if I was writing fics, too. My SOF (significant other fucker ~snort~) has put up with years of my blogging, so it's not all that new for him. He does however, ask what I'm reading. "Um, stories online. You know? Project Gutenberg, Google Books, classics and um, other stuff..." I think of Stephen King who recommends that to become a prolific writer, authors should read 4 to 6 hours as well as writing 1000 words a day. Though, I can pretty much guarantee that Stephen King doesn't have kids, housework, and a full school schedule. This said, crock pot dinners are a gift of the gods. ;)


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