A lot of flames that I receive are simply ‘slash is evil’, and the like. But occasionally, I get asked why I write what I do. What could I be thinking. Stuff like that.
For instance, just the other day I received the following review for "Swallow The Moon" (quite possibly one of the slashiest stories I’ve ever written) -
From: I dont want to give my name for potential flames in the future.(
Why the hell would you right a slash of those two? Eddy is a selfish
bastard who can go to hell, and Double D needs a really hot, black
haired, white chick, that should set you up for ur next story,Eddy goes to hell and Double D gets a hot girl, sry i dont like slashes so i didnt read this, just gave you some ideas...THIS IS NOT A FLAME!
I don’t know the exact definition of a flame, so I will not pass judgment on whether or not this constitutes one. I will say that while one may heartily disapprove of writing slash, I heartily disapprove of leaving reviews such as these, where you openly say that you didn’t read a story yet you feel you must pass your judgment of it on to me. You don’t like slash. I do. Why you think you should tell me this matters almost as much to me as why anyone who reviews me this way thinks I should care.
Your opinion of my story is important to me, to my development as a writer. I welcome constructive criticism for just this reason, though often my feelings get hurt. However, not liking slash is a personal opinion, not relevant to my life in any way. I’ve marked the story clearly, so you can avoid it. That you didn’t, given your feelings, is what I don’t understand.
There are pairings, both slash and het, in all my fandoms that I don’t like nor understand. Muraki/Tsuzuki in Yami no Matsuei, for instance, or Tohru/Haru in Fruits Basket. Rather than click on these stories and leave reviews questioning the author’s motivations (and often, in my case at least, morality), I simply avoid them. Seems the expedient thing to do, wasting neither their time nor mine.
Yet people review me, and other slash authors, with this kind of thing all the time. I lay no claim to understanding what brings about your behavior, either, if that consoles any of you out there who’ve reviewed me wondering why I write slash. You make no sense to me, either.
And while normally I feel no need to defend my views on slash, once again I feel I must restate what little I’ve said on this issue before, this time including how it relates to the Eds. I’m going to focus on what this one particular review asked for the moment, purely to give myself a starting point, but feel free to contact me for further explanations, if this doesn’t suffice.
First of all, your opinion of Eddy is markedly different from mine. He’s a selfish, greedy person, but he’s also just a kid. Selfish, greedy children can grow out of it. I look back on my own behavior as a child, and see much that I wish now I could change. I wasn’t perfect – far from. I don’t know anyone who can honestly say that they were perfect – nor do I think I would believe anyone who did.
As for him deserving to go to hell – I won’t say I know your religious beliefs, but as most people who harshly criticize slash seem to believe being ‘teh gay’ will send you to hell, I guess he’s screwed whichever way you look at it, wouldn’t you say?
...sorry. Bit of ill-timed humor there. Moving on.
My particular religious beliefs don’t condemn a child to hell for the simple fact of being a child, and thus flawed in the ways of basic human niceties. And that’s what Eddy lacks, really, is politeness, and a stronger sense of right and wrong. Seems to me it’s all learned behavior, acting out, his way of dealing with the his life and his place in it, and before I go too psychological on all of you I’m just going to say that I, personally, don’t think Eddy should go to hell. Nor do I intend to ever write a story wherein he does.
Though it might make a good humor fic. But I suck at humor, so again – moving on.
You sound as though you have a girl already in mind for Double D. By all means, write that if you wish. I certainly won’t.
This is not to say it isn’t a good idea. I’m sure it is - for someone else. I do not write original character insertions. And if you were referring to Marie Kanker (who has blue hair, really, but in the real world I think it could be written as black, as blue often substitutes for black in animation; or is that just my own wild – and wildly off – estimation?), there are, I believe, quite a few stories out there with the Edd/Marie pairing. I wrote in my own livejournal once about why I don’t subscribe to that pairing – I won’t repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that "Inevitable” covered my feelings on the Kankers pretty well.
As for the overall question, the reason I write Edd & Eddy together (which has come up in other reviews before) – I just like them together. The way they interact on the show, especially in the later seasons and particularly when Ed is involved, always struck me as being very much like an old married couple – they bicker, over the tiniest things, but come back together to ‘raise the child’ (or in this case, the Ed). There’s a certain kind of spark between the two that appeals to me – call it chemistry, or subtext, or my wicked brain overheating, but it’s still what I see. I write to that. I write to give it a stronger voice, an image that’s more vivid, so that hopefully more people than just me can see it. Sometimes I’m told I succeed. Other times I know I fail. But it still remains what I do.
I’m not saying my way is the Absolute Right, that they are definitely together, definitely meant for each other. That would be horridly presumptuous, not to mention downright arrogant and just plain stupid. It is simply my opinion. My writing is an expression of that opinion. I have no more authority on the Eds than any other fan. This is simply my view of the Eds and their world, my interpretation. You don’t have to visit my Eds-world. The door is always wide open for you to come and go as you please. However, please don’t come in and judge on the basis of the decor alone. If you enter, actually look around. It may not be as bad as you think.
I’ve gotten other reviews from people who tell me that they honestly dislike slash, but they were able to look past it, and judge me and my work fairly. I commend these people. We will never agree on whether or not slash is good, but they respect what I do, as I respect what they do. That’s all any of us can ask from each other.
And for the record, I do not flame people. Once, upon receiving a review much more vile than this one, I did read and review a story the author had written. My reasoning was that I wanted a chance to see if I should even take the author seriously, and to tell him/her that the slash warning is there for a reason – so people use it, and avoid what they don’t like. I told this author what I honestly thought of his/her story (had potential, needed heavy editing), and I know that I was probably less gushy-nice than I was arguably ‘supposed’ to be, but I do not believe I was unduly cruel. And believe me, I beat myself over the head when I think I’m being mean. You have nothing to fear from me.
Though, it’s best, in my opinion, to never say something you won’t back up. If you won’t tell me who you are, why, again, should I give your opinion any more weight than I would anyone else’s? You don’t like slash. My usual reviewers do. And, as arrogant as it sounds, I do, and when it comes to my own writing, my voice is the deciding factor. I will quit writing the day that stops being true.
As a final note, directly to whomever wrote this review – I swear, I intended no disrespect to you. I don’t know you; I’m not trying to insult or upset you. But your review enabled me to get out what I’d been needing to for a while now, and for that I humbly thank you.
As my final note, it is still, as ever, my personal belief that love, in whatever form it comes, is still love. And as long as it is honest, and true, I see no reason for it to be disrespected, degraded, or worst of all, wasted.
Peace, love, and hope to you all.
For the first time ever, I'm crossposting something - this. It's going up at ghost_helwig, my personal livejournal, my personal author board, at a community for fanfiction.net authors, and on my fanfiction.net profile.