beatrice_otter: Wonder Woman--Black and White (Wonder Woman)
2017-07-18 07:51 am
Entry tags:

Wonder Woman, Made of Clay

Thing I do not understand about what people take away from Wonder Woman: "Zeus and Ares considering Diana to be Zeus's daughter"="Diana was not sculpted from clay by Hippolyta."  It's like, they assume that the whole "sculpting from clay" thing was just a lie to get away with "where the heck did you get sperm on an island with no men."

I mean, the Greek gods were "born" and came to life in all kinds of weird and wacky ways.  Athena, for example!  Athena was Zeus' daughter with Metis (and very similar to Diana of Themyscira, in a lot of ways).  How was Athena born?  She sprang fully formed from Zeus's head!  He was still her father and Metis her mother.  A bunch of Zeus's other children were at least sometimes considered to have been born through means other than sexual reproduction.  (Ares' mom may have gotten pregnant with him by eating the wrong lettuce leaf at the wrong time.  Ares was still considered a child of Zeus.)  The Greek gods just kind of went with the flow.  The people involved in your creation (whether through sex or not) were your parents.

What I'm trying to say is, everything we are told in the movie could easily be true all at the same time: Hippolyta wants a daughter so she sculpted one out of clay and prayed to Zeus.  Zeus wants a god-killer to take out Ares, and so he obliged her by flinging a lightning bolt her way or whatever, and bringing the baby to life.  The Amazons know this, but what is most important to them?  This is their Queen's daughter, their princess, the only child on the island, their Diana who was sculpted out of clay by her mother.  What is most important to Ares?  That Diana was brought to life by Zeus and is thus his daughter, and therefore Ares' sister, whether or not her birth fits into the standard "mommy and daddy have sex and nine months later a child is born" model that is the only way humans reproduce.  Ares and Diana are not humans.  They are Greek god and demigod.  Ares, in particular, scorns humans, so why would he care about human definitions of parenthood and sibilinghood?  Especially when he's trying to get Diana onside.  "Come join the family" is a lot more compelling than "come join the dude you've been taught to hate all your life for all the horrible things he's done."

As for Diana?  How does she consider herself?  What is most important to her?  That she is Hippolyta's daughter, sculpted from clay.  Yes, she was brought to life by Zeus.  Yes, that means that in the way the Greek gods thought, Zeus was her father.  She acknowledges this tie.  That means Ares is her brother.  But I bet you that when you ask her how she was born, five minutes heart-to-heart with Ares on a battlefield doesn't overturn the fact that she is an Amazon and thinks like one.  And therefore, unless you are specifically considering her role as god-killer, the fact that Hippolyta sculpted her from clay is far more important than Zeus's contribution.

Look at the battle between her and Ares.  She doesn't really ... react much when Ares starts calling her his sister.  She doesn't look, talk, or act like a person having a major identity crisis.  She's just like, "okay, you want to call me sister, sure, fine, whatever, guess that fits too, let's get on with this."  She doesn't react like "OMG, my mom LIED to me, everything I know about myself is a lie!"  It's more in line with "oh, right, yeah, from your POV Zeus's contribution is the most important, whatever."
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
2017-07-14 11:43 am
Entry tags:

Writing Resources: Trauma and recovery

One of the things we fans love is our Woobbie Heroes, the guys (like Daniel Jackson or Bucky Barnes) who suffer so beautifully.  Hurt-comfort, we loves it, precious.  (And oh, I am dating myself with those terms.)

Anyway, there are a lot of fics about, say, Bucky recovering from torture, or where his psychological recovery is a large part of the story.  And one thing I've noticed is that the treatments for PTSD that people normally use are behind the times.  Like, they'll have talk therapy, and maybe a therapy animal or journaling--and these are good and helpful--but there's been a LOT of research into trauma disorders and recovery in the last two decades, and a lot of developments of new treatments.  Talk therapy is not the gold standard of what a cutting-edge therapist recommended by Tony Stark would use.  It might well be part of the therapy, but not the whole of it.  And Sam Wilson, working at the VA, would certainly know this as well.  I am not a professional, but I have read enough of the top books on trauma to have some feel for the subject.

If you would like to incorporate some more current research, understandings, and techniques, the best place to start is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.  He's got decades of experience and research dealing with combat vets, survivors of childhood abuse of every kind, and every sort of trauma you can imagine.  The book is well-written and interesting and suitable for a non-specialist to read, and it covers the history of trauma in psychology and how we learned what we know today, along with some very interesting case studies.  Best of all, the last few chapters are overviews of what he's found to be the most effective forms of treatment, including a brief overview of what the treatment is and their best guesses as to why it works, and then some examples of what's happened when he has used it or seen it used.  (Also, it's fun how he burns the DSM-V and some of his colleagues.  Like, there is SO MUCH SHADE, OH MY GOD.)

If you want some medical jargon to use in your fic, the place to start would be The Body Bears the Burden by Robert Scaer.  Scaer is a neurobiologist, not a psychologist, and boy howdy can you tell in his writing.  This one is a little more challenging, but it has a lot of medical stuff if you want to use that in your fic and wikipedia isn't doing it for you.
beatrice_otter: Eowyn holding a sword (Eowyn)
2017-07-08 09:24 am
Entry tags:

That sounds familiar ...

I'm listening to the 1200 years of women composers playlist on Spotify (it's 78 hours long with lots of really great music, give it a shot).  I think my favorite composers are Alice Mary Smith (1839-1884) and Amy Beach (1867-1944).  But anyway, as I'm listening to Smith's Symphony in C Minor, I notice several fragments of phrases that sound a lot like the Hobbit themes from The Lord of the Rings.  Not an entire melodic line, but a few bars of a phrase that then weave into something different, and then a few minutes later there's another one.  Howard Shore obviously knows Smith's work, even if I've never heard of her before.  (Why, I don't know, because her work is delightful.)
beatrice_otter: Cover of Janelle Monae's Archandroid album (Archandroid)
2017-06-30 10:20 am
Entry tags:

Just got my ebook of The Furthest Station

Abigail, you are AWESOME. Don't ever change.

Abigail and the CCTV )


I love her resourcefulness--and the fact that she's double-checking stuff from the records by getting an old film camera and learning to develop film.

Also, Peter, word DOES get around. How many landmarks have been demolished or seriously damaged with you involved?

The Thames Valley Police: I don't think they were joking ... )


And Nightingale, hee!

Greek, Abigail, and operational priorities )


And Peter has good taste in music if he likes Janelle Monae.

Spoilers for the end )
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
2017-06-25 06:05 pm

Harry Potter trends on AO3

I read Harry Potter fic, even though I'm pretty sure I've never managed to read any of the novels all the way through, or watch any of the movies start to finish.  Whatever, that's fandom.

Anyway, I periodically go through looking for new fic on AO3, and the best way (imo) to do this is to click on the Harry Potter works tag, sort by date, and then put "kudos>100" (or whatever other kudos threshhold you choose, today I picked 1000 because it's such a huge fandom) so you only get stuff a lot of people have liked.  (If you just go "sort by hits" or "sort by kudos" in a fandom as old as Harry Potter, you only get the oldy-goldies, which I've mostly read already or know I won't like.)

I also have AO3 Savior, a greasmonkey script added on to my browser that allows me to blacklist tags and such.  Items tagged with stuff I don't want to see show up in Works lists as blocked, with reason for blocking.

I went looking for Harry Potter fic today.  Apparently, a VERY high percentage of popular fic right now has either character bashing or Voldemort sexytimes.  Also!  I have "*/Tom Riddle" and "Tom Riddle/* both blacklisted (the asterisk tells it to block anything there, so I don't have to go through and list alllll the possible Tom Riddle pairings).  But apparently, if I want to block threesomes with Riddle, I have to ALSO blacklist "*/Tom Riddle/*"

Why do so many people want to write and read about Voldie sexytimes?!?  I do not get it!  I'm not judging, you do you, but gah.

(The bashing is, alas, a Harry Potter trend of longstanding.  Thank you to everyone who a) realizes that that is what you are doing and b) tags it properly.)
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
2017-06-18 10:55 pm

Fic: A Purpose-Driven Life

Authors for [archiveofourown.org profile] SSR_Confidential_2017 have been revealed! I wrote A Purpose-Driven Life for [personal profile] sapphire2309. And, uh, in a STUNNING lack of connecting-the-dots, I didn't check before asking the only other person volunteering as a beta to beta for me. And did not notice that I HAD GOTTEN MY RECIPIENT TO BETA FOR ME until I was uploading my fic.

::facepalm::

Also, I am hovering really close to burnout, and so I don't think I should do any more ficathons for a while, much as I love them.  The last two, I wasn't able to actually get myself to write until the deadline was bearing down on me, and then I was in pure panic-mode and not really able to make good writing and editing decisions.  (Thank you to those who have held my hands through this.)  I don't need the extra stress.

Anyway! I like this fic, here it is.


Title: A Purpose-Driven Life
Author: beatrice_otter
Fandom: Agent Carter
Rating: PG
Characters: Dottie Underwood, Agnes Cully | Whitney Frost
Word Count: 6,194
Betaed by: [personal profile] sapphire2309 
Written for: [personal profile] sapphire2309 
Summary: Dottie escapes the Red Room as a child. Everything goes differently from there.

AN: ::hangs head in shame:: Why yes, yes I DID accidentally ask my recipient to beta for me without even realizing it until I went to post. I AM SO SORRY, SAPPHIRE2309! I swear I will never ask for a beta without double-checking who the recipient is!

AN2: Yes, I know, I have fiddled with the timeline. According to the show, Dottie Underwood was a pre-teen in 1937, while Whitney Frost was already an adult living in California and starting to work as a model/actress by 1934. I have made Dottie older and Whitney younger, to match.

AN3: I was not able to figure out the cost of a mob hit in the 1930s. However, I was able to find the cost of hiring a hitman in 2013 (https://priceonomics.com/how-much-does-a-hitman-cost/), and use a historical inflation calculator to figure out what that would have been in 1935 money.

AN4: in your letter, you said you love stone-cold-terrifying villain!Whitney, but you also ask for what would have happened if she'd gotten what she wanted (science) in the first place. And I think in that case, she wouldn't have needed to become stone-cold-terrifying villain.

At AO3 FF.net tumblr


Vsevolod's hands scrabbled for purchase on the side of the building, and, desperate, he hissed at her to help. )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
2017-06-18 10:13 pm
Entry tags:

UK Politics: Brexit and Grenfell

From [personal profile] rydra_wong:

Brexit negotions start tomorrow even though we don't actually have a government, and those theoretically in charge are still pushing for leaving the customs union, ending freedom of movement, etc..

The Guardian: Big business leaders press Theresa May to rethink hard Brexit

David Davis, the Brexit secretary, says on Sunday that he would head into Monday’s Brexit talks aiming to “secure a deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom”, but signalled that the plan was still to leave the customs union and reduce immigration.

So, still "contact your MP" time.

Grenfell:

https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfell is still doubling all donations until match funds run out (and have also started releasing funds in emergency cash via the groups that have established themselves on the frontline, i.e. not via RBKC who are apparently continuing to fail to provide co-ordination, organization, or much of anything)

The Home Office are helping Mohammad Alhajali's family get to the UK, so no more need to sign that petition.

https://grenfellsupport.wordpress.com looks very useful.

North Kensington Law Centre are providing legal education and support to residents affected by the fire: their donations page -- this would be a good thing to donate to as there may be issues with the general funds being used for legal support.

RBKC have £270 million in reserves. As far as I can see, that means they could afford to buy nice property in North Kensington at market prices to rehouse the survivors.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
2017-06-15 09:53 pm

(no subject)

Just found a flyer stuck to my front door, advertising a real estate agent who lives an hour away and specializes in rural areas and small towns like ours, and knows how important it is to know and socialize with the community blah blah blah.

A few things:
  1. There is a typo in the second line.
  2. If this agent gave more than lip service to how important the local touch is, they would not be trying to steal business away from our local agent, who actually DOES live here, and learned at the knee of the guy who started the agency and who ALSO lived here.  Like, if you care that your agent knows the town and community, why would you choose the agent from fifty miles away instead of the one who is very successful and right here in town?
  3. If the agent sending out the flyers actually knew the town, they would know that this is a parsonage, and as such EXCEPTIONALLY unlikely to be sold.
beatrice_otter: Wonder Woman--Black and White (Wonder Woman)
2017-06-14 12:15 pm

Fic: Hello, Piccadilly, Hello, Leicester Square pt 1

Title: Hello, Picadilly, Hello, Leicester Square
Fandom: Wonder Woman 2017
Characters: Diana Prince, Etta Candy,
Author: beatrice_otter
Rating: kid
Length:
Summary: Diana can't go back to Themiscyra. She can only go forward into a new world and a new life.

At AO3 and Tumblr



Etta knew before they made it back, that Steve was dead. )

Chapter Two.
beatrice_otter: Wonder Woman--Black and White (Wonder Woman)
2017-06-13 08:14 pm
Entry tags:

Wonder Woman Rocks!

It is an AWESOME movie.  Yes, there need to be more women of color.  Yes, the ending is ableist as shit.  But the rest of it is SO GREAT, HOLY COW YOU GUYS.

One thing that left me raising my eyebrows: spoiler] )
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
2017-06-12 08:55 pm

Keeping the Political Pressure On

Remember back in January when Trump was inaugurated and the Republicans started to try to pass their vile agenda?  Remember how they got FLOODED with calls from their constituents saying FUCK NO?  Remember how they backed off from some stuff and looked really dumb?

What they were hoping was that this was not the new normal.  What they were hoping was that people would get tired, and give up, and if they just waited this out, people would let them do all the heinous stuff they wanted to do.

That's mostly happening.  Call volumes now are, apparently, back to pre-Trump levels.

This is bad news for progressives.  We need to keep the volume up.  Not up to insanely high first-outrage levels, no, but a sustainable REMEMBER WE HAVE OUR EYES ON YOU AND DON'T WANT YOUR SHIT level.  That we can maintain until we regain control.

How do we do that?  My friend, there is a website!  Actually, there are two!

If you can only make one phone call a week: bookmark TheSixtyFive.  It gives a "weekly call to action" where it lays out the most pressing issue of the week, gives you the name and phone number of your senators/reps, and a script to call them with.  (It does ask you to do some research to get the specific name of the person on their staff handling this issue, but honestly you can just leave a message.)

If you can make more than one phone call per week: bookmark 5Calls.  it gives a whole list of issues with bills in congress right now, a rundown of the issue, and the phone numbers of your senators/reps, and a script to call them with.

Both are simple and easy.  I use 5Calls, mostly because if I call every morning before work, I'll remember, whereas if I only try to call once a week and it's not part of my everyday routine I won't remember to do it ever.

If you have social anxiety or don't want to talk to a real live person for any reason, call at night and leave a message.  Or find the email addresses of your senators and representative (search on https://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/), and email them instead.

The point is, contact them.  Let them know how you feel and what you want.  This is especially true if they are Republican, but even Democrats need to know we have their back and we are politically engaged.
beatrice_otter: Stargate--My fandom has Space Pyramids! (Space Pyramids!)
2017-06-10 10:34 am

Fic: In Juno's Lands

Title: In Juno's Lands
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Artist: Major Cliffhanger [deviantart.com profile] majcliffhanger 
Rating: kid
Length: 21,178 words
Betaed By: [personal profile] tielan  and [personal profile] princessofgeeks 
Written for: Stargate Reverse Bang 2017 ([community profile] stargate_summer  and [community profile] sos_lounge )

Daniel Jackson stands silhouetted on a ridge watching the sun set wearing desert robes.  Teal'c stands in the foreground, watching him, wearing Jaffa armor.  A large planet hangs overhead.

Summary:
Daniel and Teal'c crash on a planet with no Stargate, and no way of surviving without depending on the Goa'uld-worshipping locals.


At AO3 and tumblr



It was a landing only by courtesy, and also because of Jack who insisted that  )




Author's Notes: much grumbling about languages, names, and history )
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
2017-06-09 05:38 pm

SSR Confidential is Open for Business--lots of great fic!

[archiveofourown.org profile] SSR_Confidential_2017 is open for business!  There's a lot of great Agent Carter fic, and  nice variety of stories.  Lots of minor-character love, too.  You should check them all out!  Here are some of my favorites:

I received A Brief Period of Rejoicing.  With the war in Europe coming to an end Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos get to have some well earned R&R with an old friend and some new ones.  It's a nice crossover with some minor comics characters, a little bit of action, lots of fun.

Tomorrow, in a year.  Inventions, the consequences they have and the choices you make: Three encounters Howard Stark has with German scientists he does and doesn't work with.  Interesting look at scientific ethics from different perspectives.

What's Next.  “I keep saying she’s going to get herself into trouble, trying to fix everything."  Violet, 1931-1944.  Interesting look at a character we only got brief interactions with in canon.  (She was Daniel's girlfriend in season 2)

Reclamation.  Jack gets himself in trouble. Again. Peggy and Daniel attempt to help him. Again. Things go exactly contrary to plan. Again.  Good casefic, wish it were longer.

A Purpose-Driven Life.  Dottie escapes the Red Room as a child. Everything goes differently from there.  Interesting AU idea with both Dottie and a young Agnes Cully (i.e., Whitney Frost)

Playing the Cards.  Jason ponders his life after Zero Matter.  Interesting idea of what the long-lasting effects of Zero Matter might be.

Girls' Night Out.  Peggy Carter, Rose Roberts, and Ana Jarvis walk into a bar . . .  What it says on the tin.
beatrice_otter: Honor Harrington--Flag in Exile. (Honor Harrington)
2017-06-08 09:46 am

The General series by Drake and Stirling

You know, the General series by S.M. Stirling and David Drake have many, many flaws, of style, of gender and sexuality issues, etc., etc. that one would expect of books mainly written by Stirling.  (HOMG, all the loving descriptions of eight bazillion battles per book.  And while there are a lot of strong female characters, they are all only "strong" in ways that further the plot, characterization, and desires of the male heroes.)

However.  While FAR from perfect, there are many charming things about the series.

For example, in the main books?  The good guys are mostly Latino.  Like, there's some Scottish stuff in there, too, but they are brown-skinned people who serve the Gubernio Civil and speak a language obviously derived from Spanish.

The main antagonists, the enemy who is just as smart and civilized and in every way their equal?  Muslims.  So, yes, they're the bad guys, but clearly several steps up as a people from the rest of the planet.  Opponents, not evil.  And we get told several times that if Center (the sentient computer guiding everything) had happened to be in their territory rather than the Gubernio Civil, he would be happily helping them instead.  On both a sociological level and a moral level, they are equal to the main characters.  They just happen to be on the other side of the war.

There are barbarians, however.  People with a society that does not support technological or educational development, people with morals that basically add up to nothing more than machismo.  And all of them are white.  Each and every one.  The really barbaric Skinners are French.  The medium barbarians are blond and blue-eyed "norteamericanos."

The people fitting the "Jewish" role, the scorned and hated religious minority that is "tolerated" but forced into narrowly-defined economic roles and then further stigmatized for it?  Are Christians.

I mean, it's not perfect, there is still a lot of the sorts of race problems you'd expect from a straight white guy who thought "I'm not a racist, let's try something interesting by race-flipping what you'd expect a white guy to write, but since I'm not a racist I don't have to do much research or put much thought into it beyond the initial cool concept."  And yet.

(If you would like to read this series, it's legally available for free download if you poke around the Fifth Imperium website.  They're on the "When the Tide Rises CD."  Now, you used to be able to click on the name of the CD and see all the books on it and just download which ones you want.  These days, the direct links are gone, so you have to download the whole CD by clicking on either iso.zip or cd.zip for that CD, downloading every book that was on that CD, and then extracting the ones you want from it.)

beatrice_otter: Hobbes says "God must have a funny sense of humor" (God's Humor)
2017-06-01 07:17 pm

I just figured out a title for my SSR Confidential fic.

I am snickering.  I will be snickering for some time to come.[personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle, you will probably laugh, too.
beatrice_otter: Ginger Rogers--Dancing! (Dancing!)
2017-05-23 11:14 pm
Entry tags:

Sewing Woes

When my grandma died, she had a huge fabric stash.  Lots of it was either awful, scraps, or half-finished projects from thirty years ago, but there were some nice fabrics in large enough pieces to make stuff out of.  There were also some interesting vintage patterns.  I took the interesting/nice stuff.

Over the weekend, I pulled it out and decided to make some of it into a sundress.  Problem: I needed about 1/8 yard of interfacing, which I do not have.  I live an hour away from the nearest city with a fabric store, and was not about to drive two hours round trip for 1/8 yard.  So I ordered some from fabric.com.  It will get here in 4-7 days.  But it's all cut out and I've done all the steps I can do without interfacing, AND IT'S SITTING THERE STARING AT ME.  The executive dysfunction of autism means that I have two modes: hyperfocused on something, and unable to focus on it without outside pressure.  So not only do I feel really bad about the fact that I can't sew it right now, but there's a decent chance that by the time the interfacing gets here, the focus will be gone and the sundress will sit in a pile on the table for months and possibly never get completed ever.

Also!  This is a light, delicate fabric that ravels if I look at it, and I do not have a serger.  I did the seams of the skirt as French seams (where the raw edges are encased in a sewn channel so they can't ravel), but I don't know what to do about like armhole seams where you can't do that (and in fact need to clip the seam allowance so that there's less bulk and it curves better).  The only time I've done significant work with fabrics that ravel like this was in the costume shop of the theater/dance department in college, where it didn't matter if it ravelled apart quickly, because it was only for stage use.

Googling has not been helpful.  I have seen a lot of seam finishes (some of which are new to me), but none that look like they'd be good for armholes and other curved seams.  Anybody got any advice?
beatrice_otter: Jedi fighting against a blue background (blue Jedi)
2017-05-21 07:18 pm

Fic: Vast Beyond Knowing (The Details Remix)

I just realized that after the [community profile] starwarsrollingremix authors were revealed, I never posted my story here! There was one starter story, The Devil in the Dust by [archiveofourown.org profile] sevenofspade, and three chains of remixes. I was the first remix in my chain. It was an interesting experience. Obviously, we didn't get to pick what story we remixed, and we only got two weeks from the first time we got it to the due date. So there wasn't any time to ponder or think, you just had to get it and go. It wasn't a fic I would have picked to remix; for one thing, I'm pretty sure there were some thematic stuff going on that I was missing that would make the plot make sense. But I didn't have time to let it sit and ponder it, even though that feeling of missing something crucial made me really leery about remixing it. Remixing works best, imo, when you take something to pieces and play with the guts of it. But you can't do that if you're not quite sure what the guts ARE. Which left me ignoring theme and plot and doing a character remix.. But it was a time travel/vision thing--none of the three characters were from the same time period, so I could either just ... retell the story (boring!) or take the setting (desert) and the characters and look at how the deserts they grew up in shaped them. And throw in some meta about the Force while we're at it, because they're all strong in the Force. So that's how I ended up with my story.

As to the title, both the desert and the Force are vast beyond knowing, and the remix subtitle refers to both the problems I was having pinning down the original fic well enough to remix it, and to the old saying the devil is in the details (picking up on the title of the original).

Title: Vast Beyond Knowing (The Details Remix)
Fandom: Star Wars: Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Rating: kid
Length: 5,579 words
Betaed By: [personal profile] anghraine 
Written for: Star Wars Rolling Remix 2017
Summary: Anakin, Luke, Rey. The desert taught them much. But not everything.

At AO3


Anakin wasn't a baby. He knew how things worked. )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
2017-05-20 11:05 am
Entry tags:

AO3 Best Practices: How do I choose whether this is a story, a chapter, a series, or a collection?

[archiveofourown.org profile] Jenrose has two great pieces of meta/guides for AO3 use. One is a primer for posting Google Docs fic to AO3 and how to avoid the pitfalls thereof.

The other is about the differences between chapters, stories, series, and collections, and why you should choose carefully which you use for different fics.

I am not affiliated with the Archive in any formal way, and never have been, even as a volunteer, but I do use the archive A LOT both for posting my own stories and reading other peoples', so take my opinion for what it's worth.  Here's my take on stories/series et al on AO3:

To decide how to categorize your writing on AO3, you should take into account both what feels good for you as a writer, and what works for your readers, as well. You want people to be able to find what they're looking for easily (so they won't throw their hands up in disgust), you want everything related to be together, you want them to be encouraged to comment/kudos. And some people (like me) who are fandom veterans and download copies of every fic they like for personal archival purposes (I've seen too many beloved fics disappear), and it takes very little effort for us to be happy, too.

A story/work is the basic unit. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. It may be long or short, and it may or may not contain internal subdivisions (chapters). You should be able to read it on its own with no problems, and nothing other than a few sentences explaining the previous works if it's part of a series. It can be a work in progress, but other than that, it should be complete in itself.  This is what most people think of when they think of a story.

A story/work should not be a dumping ground for short unrelated pieces.
  • If someone likes one of them and then gets excited that "oh, wow, there's 30k words of this story!" they are going to be VERY disappointed when they find out otherwise.
  • If someone is looking for one particular trope (say, wing!fic, or curtain!fic, or "Howard Stark's A+ Parenting," or any particular trope) and you tag the story as that because one piece has it, they will read the first section, maybe the second section, and probably give up in disgust because what they've read has nothing to do with whatever they're looking for. By putting short unrelated pieces together, you prevent people from finding (and hence READING) the stories of yours that they actually want to read.  Lots of people simply are not willing to wade through all of the different tidbits to find the one tidbit that they want.
  • It clogs up the tags, especially if you put pieces of different fandoms in the same "story." Say you have a work/story with three Harry Potter ficlets, two Naruto ficlets, and one Rivers of London ficlet. You tag it with all of those fandoms; it appears in the works list for all of those fandoms. Then you add two more Harry Potter ficlets and a Once Upon a Time ficlet. Every time you do that, it goes to the top of the tag for every fandom it is tagged in. This is especially annoying for the small fandoms, where they don't get much new fic, and they get excited because yay, new fic! only to be disappointed that it is not, in fact, a new fic in their small fandom. They will probably be very annoyed with you and less likely to read your fic in the future because it feels like you are using bait-and-switch tactics. (Yes, I have heard more than one person in more than one small fandom complain about this.)
  • You will get fewer readers. Most people choose to read a story based on the summary. They may use tags to find stories they might like, but a large part of the decision on whether or not to read this particular story is the summary. If you have a lot of unrelated short pieces together, you can't really write a summary that has stuff about them all, and hence you are DRAMATICALLY reducing the number of people who will read any of it.
  • Sometimes people are looking for a long fic, and will click on a tag (fandom, character, pairing, other tag) of stories they'd like to read and sort by length. Your collection of unrelated ficbits now looks like a long story of the type they want to read! Except it's false advertising, because it's not 50k words of what they want, it's 783 words of what they want with 49k words of other stuff they don't care about. Chances are, they will be very annoyed, and more annoyed if they don't figure out what the deal is right away.
  • You will get fewer kudos. If each ficlet is its own thing, and someone reads two of them and likes them, they can kudos both of them. If they are part of the same story/work, they can only make ONE kudos for everything altogether.
  • If someone does read all of it, and likes one ficlet but not any of the rest, and they make a habit of downloading their favorite fics to read while commuting or for personal archival purposes, they won't be able to do so.
  • There are two exceptions to this.  One is for drabbles (true drabbles that are exactly 100 words) and other ultra-short things.  Even if you put 50 drabbles together, that's still only 500 words total, and the very smallness mitigates against many of the problems.
  • The second exception to this is if you have a series of longfics, and also some really short scenes and gapfillers and outtakes and whatnot.  Then you can put them in one story with a summary that tells what it is--"short stories and outtakes from my [whatever] series"--and people won't mind.  Everything is there in one place, easy to find (if they like that series) or avoid (if they don't).  Everything is clearly labelled and easy to find.  It's not clogging up the tags.  Even so, if there's something that stands on its own as a story within the series, I would recommend making it its own work, rather than just a chapter in a jumble of scenes.

It is better to have a single work marked as a WIP than to have each chapter of your story posted as a separate work.
  A chapter is a short piece that does not stand on its own but must be read in order with the other parts of the story.
  • Someone looking for a complete work will be very disappointed.  They thought they were getting a complete story, and all they're getting is one chapter in a WIP.  There are some people who don't read WIPs, only complete fic.  If each chapter is a separate work, they can't tell if it's complete or not ... so they won't read it.
  • The default at AO3 is to view a fic chapter-by-chapter, but you can also set it to view an entire work all at once.  If you post each chapter as its own work, nobody can do this.  Those readers who prefer to read a whole work in one page will be annoyed or disappointed.
  • Those who download fics to read offline or for archival purposes will find it much more difficult.  Instead of downloading one story, they'll have to download a lot and figure out how to get them in the right order on their device.
  • It's false advertising.  People know what a story is, and they know what a chapter is, and if you give them what is basically a chapter and tell them it is a whole work they will be annoyed.  Annoying your readers is counterproductive.
  • You clog up the tags.  This is especially annoying if you're posting frequently in a medium/small fandom.  Someone clicks on that fandom and they get a whole slew of "works" that are, in fact, just different chapters of ONE story.  It drowns out other stories and thus annoys other authors and any potential reader who wants to find more than just your fic.
So what do you do if you have more than one story (complete works that stand on their own) that goes together?  How do you handle that?  On AO3, you make them into series or collections.

A series is a group of related works/stories in the same plot arc set in a particular order, be it chronological or otherwise. When you put things in a series, you are telling your reader a couple of things. First, that all of these stories belong together quite closely (more closely than a collection) and that they should be read in a particular order.

A collection is a group of works or stories that you believe belong together for whatever reason.  Maybe it's "all the fic I've written about Bitty cooking."  Or maybe it's "all the fics I've written in any fandom with kidfic."  Or maybe it's "all of my favorites."  Or maybe it's "all of my tumblr meta ficlets."

Note: I don't think there's much point in creating collections or series with all of your works in a particular fandom in them; it's super-easy for a reader to find them without you doing anything. They click on your username, and get taken to your dashboard with a list of the fandoms you've written in right up there top center. Clicking on the one they want will take them to all of the works you have written in that fandom. On the other hand, it's not like there's any problem with it, or any inconvenience it causes your readers, so it's purely a matter of personal preference.
beatrice_otter: This looks like a good day for World Domination (World Domination)
2017-05-17 03:14 pm
Entry tags:

Political Action Alert: The Fight for Net Neutrality

As you know, Bob, Net Neutrality is (among other things) the principle that your ISP shouldn't be able to play with your browsing speed to drive you to their services and away from their competitors.  There are a lot of great explanations of this online, including John Oliver's.  A couple of years ago this came up for a vote, the American people spoke firmly and coherently in favor of net neutrality, and the FCC so ruled.

Now, Trump's government is trying to undo that.  If you haven't already done so, please go comment on the FCC's proposed rule change.

Second, the FCC and others are trying to prevent real comments and put fake ones using stolen names and information, instead.*  So please check and see if your name has been used to send a fake anti-net-neutrality comment.

*It's possible that the FCC is completely innocent and that it really was a DDoS attack that just HAPPENED to take down their servers when John Oliver's piece on the rules change aired, but in that case, why would they not publish the evidence on it when questioned?  And why would they not respond to evidence from multiple news organizations that many of the comments on their website were completely fake?