IDB Book Club

Our two favourite full time internet nerds who never go outside!
User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am

Overall, I really liked this fic! I don't normally read fics, or have fics that come under my radar, with magic/magical realism in them, so this was a refreshing read.

1. I would use peace (which is described to be good for a glaze) to add decoration to a key lime pie, simply because I love key lime pie and I need some peace in my life haha.

2. I viewed auras sort of like a reflection of someone's soul, and along with that a visual (at least for Phil) of what their deepest need is from that.

3. Moths have an attraction to light, and when taking their life cycle into account, I think the moth is very representative of Dan's growth through the story. Also, when you look at the common portrayal of Phil as a "light" person (which I suppose is more implicitly present in this story with this shop and the good he does for others), it shows how the moth relates to the role that Phil plays in Dan's growth. Along with that, the fact that it reflected Dan's desire to get closer to Phil by actually touching him, is not only a major difference to other people's auras, but also the necessity of Dan and Phil being together and supporting each other is for the ultimate development of their characters throughout the story.

4. I found it to be super strange, but at the same time I kind of figured that there must be something else weird about him to go with his powers. I'm really not sure how to interpret it besides that I feel like it has to do with his magic, and that it's slightly unsettling because I think the auras can be synonymous with souls.

5. It could help with judging people's character, and if they could potentially be a problem. I found the council's efforts to be cute? Maybe that's weird, but I felt like they weren't trying hard enough, even though they seemed to think they couldn't do anything else about Phil (but they totally could have! maybe it's the Harry Potter in my blood, but I thought they would be as brutal as the Ministry tbh).

6. I agree with Lefthandeism (and by extension LtrllySusan) completely.

7. I would give up my abilities in a heartbeat. Love like that doesn't come often, and passing that up would make me miserable, despite any cool ability.

8. It seemed very believable and realistic, and I think I would react the same. I'm just glad it wasn't an immediate cheesy "I don't care what you are! I love you!!" Twilight-esque reaction because I've read far too many cliché fics like that.

9. LtrllySusan articulated my thoughts perfectly.

Finally, for 10. and 11., I once again completely agree with what LtrllySusan and Lefthandeism said.



User avatar
captainspacecoat
stress mushroom
Posts: 601
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:31 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Australia

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by captainspacecoat » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:51 am

Ahhhh, The_Blonde is potentially one of my all time favourite fic authors, regardless of fandom (I have so many faves, but no author evokes such an emotional reaction in me as she does). This fic in particular made me feel like I was watching a Studio Ghibli film, it was so magical. As soon as I finished it I was just overcome with emotion and burst into tears, I just adore her writing so so so much. I haven't reread it since it was first uploaded, but I loved it a lot and I'll do my best to answer the questions based on what I remember.

1. If you could create one magical baked good for yourself, which emotion would you put in and why? What would it look and taste like?

Hmmm probably confidence, as I have very low self-esteem and doubt myself/my abilities most of the time, so it'd be nice to just be free of the way my mind constantly attempts to thwart me by making me feel like I'm not good enough to do certain things/talk to certain people. I feel like it would be golden and glossy, to be iced on top of cakes. And it would taste kind of coconutty.

2. What does a person's aura represent? What determines whether it is a coloured cloud or an animal and what colour or animal it is?


I interpreted auras in this fic as representing a person's temperament and/or personality, reflecting the way a person feels and responds on some sort of subconscious level. No idea as to the first part of the second question, but I reckon the colour/animal is probably representative of the specific temperament/personality of the person.

3. Why is Dan's aura a moth and what does it represent? In what ways is it different from other auras Phil sees?

I felt like Dan's aura being a moth was quite poignant, but I can't exactly pinpoint why. He has a fear of moths, and yet that's what seemingly represents his most base instincts and temperament. Moths are dismissed by most people as the ugly cousin of butterflies, a symbol of darkness and decay - perhaps symbolising the dark place Dan is in after quitting music school.

And then there's the whole 'moths instinctively seeking out the light' metaphor, whereby despite that dark place that Dan is in mentally, fuelled by his lack of confidence in his abilities, depressive tendencies and poor self-esteem, he ultimately works to make things better for himself and becomes a happier person. Dan's aura disappearing at the end would then symbolise him no longer being in such a dark place.

4. How do you interpret Phil not having an aura?

I'm really not sure actually. Going by my interpretation of auras, it'd suggest that Phil has no personality or temperament, but obviously that isn't true. As someone with a physical disability, I started thinking that you could look at it as a disability of sorts - something he was born with that makes him different from most of his peers. There's no real deep meaning behind it, it's just something that happened and it's difficult for him to navigate a society that doesn't cater to people like him (the sensory overload he experiences when in town, etc). That's my personal reading of it!

5. How can the aura reading talent be useful for the council? How do you rate the council's efforts of trying to convince Phil to use the talent?

I agree with LtrllySusan, that it would be useful for determining someone's true intentions. Other than that though, I felt that the council seemed out of touch and old-fashioned, and not super accomodating of Phil's talent.

6. Why does Phil usually only make one emotion for a person? How does breaking this rule for Dan change how we perceive their relationship?


I guess, like others have said, it was an attempt to not get close to them. He saw immediately what they needed most, and then made sure he helped them achieve that. That way his goal was purely to help them achieve what they needed to, and he wouldn't get caught up getting to know them and everything else they needed. He clearly feels a deeper connection to Dan, and is unable to distance himself from him. He cares for Dan more, and by breaking the rule he clearly doesn't just want Dan to achieve a goal, he wants total and complete happiness for him.

7. If you were put in Phil's place before the council meeting, what would your thoughts be? Would you rather give up your unique, once-in-a-century ability or love? What would hurt the least?

Like everyone else, I would definitely give up my ability for love. What I love best about The_Blonde's writing is the way she writes the love between Dan and Phil as so all-consuming and powerful. If I had a love like that, I'd give up any powers in an instant.

8. How do you rate Dan's initial reaction to Phil being a witch? If you were in his situation, how would you react/feel?

I think it was realistic. He felt a total loss of agency, doubted all his own emotions and experiences, and wondered what Phil's true intentions were. I think I would react the same way, but I would also be in so much shock that I'd probably have a heart attack lmao.

9. What part does the hamster Winston play in the story, and what kind of influence does he have on Phil?

Definitely comic relief. I'm not always the biggest fan of talking animal sidekicks, but I think it did actually really work in this fic. His presence never felt annoying to me, and was a useful way to talk through Phil's emotions. I think he provides Phil with valuable friendship in a world that doesn't understand him.

10. Most speaking roles in this fic were filled by characters already known to the reader (Phil, Dan, Martyn, Dodie).
Which parallels between IRL characters (both in their personality and other references) did you notice?


I think I'd be better able to answer this question if I reread it, as I don't really remember specifically, especially with regards to the minor characters. I do think that overall it was well characterised, though.

11. What are the benefits and limitations of using familiar characters compared to original character creations?

I think for me, it means that I already know them. I don't have to spend several chapters getting to know the characters, and the fact that I already know and care about them means that I have full motivation to read the fic. I know I care about them, and I know that they have chemistry, so I have more enthusiasm to read about them. Whereas, with original fiction the premise of the story and the first few chapters need to be really gripping/interesting for me to give them a chance, as there's the possibility I just won't care about the characters.

I agree with LtrllySusan though that it's off-putting when familiar characters are used in a story to fulfil a particular role but are completely out of character. I fully agree that Louise often plays the role of wise female confidant who can solve all of Dan and Phil's emotional problems, and that her friendship is also often exaggerated in fic (she's so often the first person they tell when they get engaged, or the surrogate for their babies lmao). But that's just me ranting, it has nothing to with The_Blonde's amazing writing as I feel like she always makes great use of familiar characters and weaves them into her stories really naturally.

User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:35 pm

Just a quick reminder that on March 1st we will start discussion on Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics, a 25k fic that takes place in 2009, but Dan is a trans boy. I'm looking forward to discussing this one! :reading1:

User avatar
alittledizzy
actual demon phannie
actual demon phannie
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:09 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by alittledizzy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:45 pm

obsessivelymoody wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:35 pm
Just a quick reminder that on March 1st we will start discussion on Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics, a 25k fic that takes place in 2009, but Dan is a trans boy. I'm looking forward to discussing this one! :reading1:
I'm so excited for this one, I sat out fics that weren't in genres I had a ton to say about but I am hunter's biggest stan so I'm ready to share all the opinions about Let the Salt Dry.

User avatar
parallel
cheeky #spon
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:23 pm
Pronouns: he/him

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by parallel » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:11 pm

obsessivelymoody wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:35 pm
Just a quick reminder that on March 1st we will start discussion on Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics, a 25k fic that takes place in 2009, but Dan is a trans boy. I'm looking forward to discussing this one! :reading1:
I just found this thread and holy shit. I love that fic so much, although haven't reread in a while. Looking forward to this (:
Image

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am

I too am looking forward to the next fic! Just a couple housekeeping notes.....

Remember this thread isn't going anywhere and anyone should feel free to comment on any fic that has been discussed so far. Don't feel as though you're too late to the party if you have something to say about one of the amazing fics! In addition, as we build up a library of fics we have discussed, it could be fun to compare the current one to ones we've visited in the past.

IDB has rules about posting personal information. See in particular rules 2 and 3 here. These rules prohibit posting any personal or identifying information--about Dan and Phil, or about anyone associated with Dan or Phil--that Dan and Phil have not explicitly shared. This includes names and other identifying info (such as exact age). Information about some of Phil's and most of Dan's friends and family may not be shared on IDB. For example, Dan has mentioned his grandma many times, but has not told us her name, where she lives, her social media, etc.

These rules get a little interesting around fic: many of the fics we discuss in the IDB Book Club have characters representing real life people (besides of course Dan and Phil!). Sometimes their names match the "real life" names and sometimes they have been altered. For consistency's sake, please do not use any fic names of characters corresponding to people whose information is not public. For example, talk about "Dan's grandma" freely if she appeared in the fic, but don't refer to any name, address, or other personal info that might be associated with that character in the fic.

Finally, we have a fic cued up for March 15, but we need fics for April and beyond! Hopefully the discussions we've had will inspire more hosts. Drop a suggestion in the thread, ask someone to co-host with you if you'd like (everyone here is so lovely :lilheart:), or message me if you have any questions.
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

User avatar
mermaid blood
at the dépanneur
at the dépanneur
Posts: 529
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:48 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by mermaid blood » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:51 am

thanks for posting that, @LeftHandedism! it is a tricky situation when you're referencing something externally that IDB protects. fic is unique in this way, and things have definitely slipped through the loophole. I think you worded that well, hopefully it won't be too much of a shift for people to address side characters a little differently during discussions.
art in avatar by lily

User avatar
parallel
cheeky #spon
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:23 pm
Pronouns: he/him

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by parallel » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:45 am

Ooh, which fic do we have lined up for the 15th? And sure, I can drop a few suggestions here (:
  • talking to the moon, 21.8k. The content is fairly triggering so please read the warnings. Not sure I want to put the summary on here because I don't want to trigger anyone, but everything's on adorablehowell's fic page.
  • Professionally, Yours, 31.2k. It's about businessman!Phil and uni!Dan where Phil hires Dan as a housekeeper. Honestly, I read it so long ago and have basically forgotten most of it, but I have it bookmarked so I must've enjoyed it at the time lol.
  • We Make Our Own, 3.2k. Soulbond fic where the name of your soulmate is written onto your skin, but D&P don't have each others' names. I love the setup and it's a lovely fic, though I'm not sure if it's too short for the book club.
  • a better plan for us, 3.3k. Again, short compared to some other fics that have been recced, but I love this so much. And it's by none other than our very own Mandy, so what's to lose? The summary is "Dan and Phil aren’t anything, and Charlie gets a chance to finish his story." and I'd say that's about accurate and all that needs to be said.
  • Play Me A Song, Write Me A Story, 12.6k. Teacher!AU. I am such trash for teacher x teacher, it's not even real. Super fluffy and nice. Again, haven't read in a long while, but I do remember it was really good and I'd love a chance to reread it along with you guys.
  • Dan and Phil: Lords of the Internet, Masters of Ambiguity, 6.5k. Holy shit, you have no idea how much I love this fic. Outsider (journalist) POV, and the entire thing is basically an article about Dan and Phil. Would absolutely recommend, though you need an ao3 account to read (assuming most people here have one anyway so it's probably fine).
  • closer to where I started, 10.6k. Another dizzy fic, but an absolutely worthy one at that. Dan hits his head onstage. There's a happy ending so don't worry!
  • half step and a tumble, 4.1k. Look, I know this is the third dizzy fic on this list, and I may have a bit of a problem, but I just love Mandy's fics, okay? This is just jealous!Phil. A lot of it.
  • take all the courage you have left, 9.9k. Um... Do I need to say who this one's by? Lol. I mean, it's a fic about furries basically. And other stuff. But also furries.
  • love my way., 4.1k. D&P have just had an argument and are stuck in a lift. Also it's Valentine's Day.
Hope this gives you guys some ideas!
Image

User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:35 pm

:reading1: Fourth Fic for the IDB Book Club! :reading2:

Fic: Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics
Host: obsessivelymoody

"Let The Salt Dry" is an unchaptered fic written in July 2016 that takes place in 2009 but Dan is a trans boy. It follows the timeline of 2009 closely and is written from Dan's point of view.

You can answer the questions below if you'd like, but feel free to make some of your own or contribute to the discussion in any way you see fit!

*Reminder: To abide by forum rules 2 & 3, please refrain from using the names of characters based on real life people in Dan and Phil's lives whose information is not public when discussing this fic.*

Questions for discussion
1. Why do you think the author chose 2009 in particular to tell Dan’s story, and how does the canon of the story affect this choice?

2. How would the story change if it took place in any of the years after 2009, following the same timeline? Do you think it would be as effective?

3. What does Dan’s girlfriend represent in his life?

4. Dan came out to his parents once before, as bisexual. Do you think coming out as trans would have been more stressful or would have been reacted to more negatively in the moment if he hadn’t come out previously?

5. Did you have any assumptions as to how Dan’s parents would react to him being trans, and how did you perceive their reactions after Dan came out?

6. What role does Phil have in Dan’s life and coming out story, aside from being his partner and friend?

7. If Phil wasn’t there to be the first person Dan came out to, or to be a support system throughout the process of coming out, how different do you think Dan and his coming out experience would be?

8. Dan goes through many changes in this fic, and is very much a dynamic character. Where do you think the shift between the character he was at the start of the story and the one we’re left with at the end happens, and why is this change so crucial to his character arc?
:reading1: Next fic: waiting outside the lines by dizzy :reading2:
A chaptered 22k coffee shop/uni AU.
Host: captainspacecoat
Date discussion begins: March 15

User avatar
parallel
cheeky #spon
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:23 pm
Pronouns: he/him

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by parallel » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:19 am

1. Why do you think the author chose 2009 in particular to tell Dan’s story, and how does the canon of the story affect this choice?

Because in 2009, Dan is young and 18, meaning he is pre-T and essentially hasn't medically transitioned at all, and isn't out to everyone either. This means the author can incorporate his trans experience much more into the fic than if it was told in, say, 2018, where Dan would likely be many years on T and possibly have had some surgeries too. As this is based on real life, 2009 is also when Dan and Phil met, so it can align the development of Dan's experience as a trans man along with the development of Dan and Phil's relationship, which allows for the longer narrative style and structure.

2. How would the story change if it took place in any of the years after 2009, following the same timeline? Do you think it would be as effective?

If you mean "following the same timeline" means the exact same events happen later, I don't think it would make a difference, but if even some of the timeline was mixed up, I feel like it would affect the theme of development in this fic. For instance, if the fic started with Dan being out to his family, that would take away all the parts of the fic about coming out to your family (or most of the parts about coming out, at least).

3. What does Dan’s girlfriend represent in his life?

I suppose Dan's ex-girlfriend could act as a metaphor for Dan's past life when he presented as female, as at the start of the fic it's mentioned her presence in Dan's life is less prominent and within the fic, they break up.

4. Dan came out to his parents once before, as bisexual. Do you think coming out as trans would have been more stressful or would have been reacted to more negatively in the moment if he hadn’t come out previously?

I mean, it depends and it's hard to gauge the answer to this question because every parent is different. Some people *cough, definitelynotindirectinganyone* think that you only think you're trans because you're attracted to the gender you were assigned at birth, while some people will use attraction to the same gender as a reason a trans person is just a confused cis person (because clearly gynesexuality is inherently male and androsexuality is inherently female... /s), and being bi doesn't help because these arguments rely on you only being attracted to one gender. If Dan's parents were aware of LGBTQIA+ stuff though (which they might be if they had a child who had come out as bi), they'd probably be more accepting of a trans kid. Like I said with all of the above, it really depends on the parent.

As for how stressful it would be, again, depends on the person. Speaking purely anecdotally and subjectively, I think people would have much more motivation to come out as trans/nonbinary than to come out as non-straight, as staying in the closet means getting misgendered (and, if you changed your name, deadnamed) constantly. Staying in the closet as non-straight just means random relatives will annoyingly ask you when you're getting a [insert girlfriend/boyfriend depending on which gender they heteronormatively assume you're attracted to]. As well as that, a lot of trans people identify as non-straight before they identify as non-cis (again, only speaking from what I've seen), so they might not be ready to come out before they realise they're trans, but once they've realised their gender, coming out might be something they want to do. Although, if Dan was ready to come out both times (which it seems he was), I do find that coming out gets easier the more you do it so he'd probably find it easier than he would if he hadn't come out before.

5. Did you have any assumptions as to how Dan’s parents would react to him being trans, and how did you perceive their reactions after Dan came out?

Considering they were accepting of him being bi and there was no mention of his parents being transphobic, I assumed there would be an overall positive reaction. I assumed there'd be some issues from the start because there almost always are and Dan's perception of his family is written as far from perfect in the fic (eg the first parts where Dan thinks about how much he doesn't like being deadnamed by his parents), but I also assumed said issues would be resolved by the end.

I suppose I overlooked some parts of the text which probably pointed towards Dan's parents being disappointed in his recent behaviour, and therefore might make them see his coming out as acting out against his parents. Dan's father's reaction is a very (unfortunately) common one from parents, and how quickly his parents seemed to come around took me by surprise. Some parents do come around eventually, but I was a little taken aback by how quickly Dan's mother was to apologise. I think Dan's mum did the best thing it was possible to do in that situation, including acknowledging that their behaviour was unacceptable while still being vocally sorry.

6. What role does Phil have in Dan’s life and coming out story, aside from being his partner and friend?

Phil is the first person who Dan came out to, and that's very important regardless of who that is. The first people I came out to (as trans, I've kinda always said I was non-straight online lol) I barely talked to, but the fact that they were there means more to me than whatever our relationship is. Phil is a constant support system that Dan can rely on, even when things aren't going well.

The fact that D&P met online and that Phil isn't involved with Dan's local social circle also helps, as it gives Phil the role of an escape almost, like there's Dan's life with his family and school and then there's Dan's life with Phil, which remains comfortably separate.

7. If Phil wasn’t there to be the first person Dan came out to, or to be a support system throughout the process of coming out, how different do you think Dan and his coming out experience would be?

I think Dan could have made it on his own. It would have been harder without an emotional support like Phil, because being closeted as trans automatically puts a layer of separation between you and your family, meaning that Dan didn't have his family as support. It seems that Dan's (ex-)GF was his best friend, but it's established very early that Dan and his GF have been drifting apart and in the fic they break up, leaving Dan with no support system.

Speaking from personal experience, it's very much possible to survive hard times (including closeting and including unsupportive family) without a support system, but it will be emotionally taxing on you and it won't be fun. I don't like the fanfiction trope of the SO having ~saved~ their partner, because obviously it contributes to the cliché of mentally ill and otherwise struggling people being "cured" by falling in love and also that MI/otherwise struggling people need a romantic partner in order to get better. I do think that Dan could've done this on his own, though of course it would be an unideal situation.

8. Dan goes through many changes in this fic, and is very much a dynamic character. Where do you think the shift between the character he was at the start of the story and the one we’re left with at the end happens, and why is this change so crucial to his character arc?

I think the author did a great job pacing Dan's character development and avoiding having a single point where a character's personality did a 180. Dan develops constantly and slowly throughout the fic. Some moments of development for him include letting go of his ex-GF, coming out to his family, being able to take his binder off around Phil—actually, every section contains some sort of development, and this can clearly be seen when comparing parts.

For instance, on Oct 19 when the waiter misgenders Dan, Dan doesn't want to correct the waiter. However, later on, after coming out to his parents and being deadnamed by his dad, Dan says "Don't call me that." This shows he's more confident in his gender. Another thing that changes about him is his internalised transphobia—when he first comes out to Phil, he believes he's been "lying" to Phil and that he owes Phil an apology. When he comes out to his parents, he shows no sign of this thinking.

He develops in a lot of ways, and starts the story off having a lot of things in his life being unsorted: his thinning relationship with his girlfriend, the fact that he had not come out to a single person (as trans, obviously; he had been out as bi), and a lot of insecurities and bad mentalities that he slowly works though throughout the fic.

---

So those are my thoughts. I really liked this and I think hunterfics did a great job :) P.S., the "self-made man" series has two sequels and I highly recommend you check them out!
Image

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:27 am

parallel wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:45 am
  • talking to the moon, 21.8k. The content is fairly triggering so please read the warnings. Not sure I want to put the summary on here because I don't want to trigger anyone, but everything's on adorablehowell's fic page.
  • Professionally, Yours, 31.2k. It's about businessman!Phil and uni!Dan where Phil hires Dan as a housekeeper. Honestly, I read it so long ago and have basically forgotten most of it, but I have it bookmarked so I must've enjoyed it at the time lol.
  • We Make Our Own, 3.2k. Soulbond fic where the name of your soulmate is written onto your skin, but D&P don't have each others' names. I love the setup and it's a lovely fic, though I'm not sure if it's too short for the book club.
  • a better plan for us, 3.3k. Again, short compared to some other fics that have been recced, but I love this so much. And it's by none other than our very own Mandy, so what's to lose? The summary is "Dan and Phil aren’t anything, and Charlie gets a chance to finish his story." and I'd say that's about accurate and all that needs to be said.
  • Play Me A Song, Write Me A Story, 12.6k. Teacher!AU. I am such trash for teacher x teacher, it's not even real. Super fluffy and nice. Again, haven't read in a long while, but I do remember it was really good and I'd love a chance to reread it along with you guys.
  • Dan and Phil: Lords of the Internet, Masters of Ambiguity, 6.5k. Holy shit, you have no idea how much I love this fic. Outsider (journalist) POV, and the entire thing is basically an article about Dan and Phil. Would absolutely recommend, though you need an ao3 account to read (assuming most people here have one anyway so it's probably fine).
  • closer to where I started, 10.6k. Another dizzy fic, but an absolutely worthy one at that. Dan hits his head onstage. There's a happy ending so don't worry!
  • half step and a tumble, 4.1k. Look, I know this is the third dizzy fic on this list, and I may have a bit of a problem, but I just love Mandy's fics, okay? This is just jealous!Phil. A lot of it.
  • take all the courage you have left, 9.9k. Um... Do I need to say who this one's by? Lol. I mean, it's a fic about furries basically. And other stuff. But also furries.
  • love my way., 4.1k. D&P have just had an argument and are stuck in a lift. Also it's Valentine's Day.
Hope this gives you guys some ideas!
This is a great list of fics! (Maybe you'd like to host April 1st?)

One thing to think about, especially with shorter fics, is that we could read two or three that have something in common and discuss them together. For example, proposal fics, Phil's 30th birthday fic, snow fics.....all of those would be easy to build a cluster around. Or maybe two or three fics that have something a bit more subtle in common, like a particular character's perspective, or both happening to take place in Florida or on the Isle of Man.
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

User avatar
parallel
cheeky #spon
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:23 pm
Pronouns: he/him

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by parallel » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:06 pm

lefthandedism wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:27 am
parallel wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:45 am
  • talking to the moon, 21.8k. The content is fairly triggering so please read the warnings. Not sure I want to put the summary on here because I don't want to trigger anyone, but everything's on adorablehowell's fic page.
  • Professionally, Yours, 31.2k. It's about businessman!Phil and uni!Dan where Phil hires Dan as a housekeeper. Honestly, I read it so long ago and have basically forgotten most of it, but I have it bookmarked so I must've enjoyed it at the time lol.
  • We Make Our Own, 3.2k. Soulbond fic where the name of your soulmate is written onto your skin, but D&P don't have each others' names. I love the setup and it's a lovely fic, though I'm not sure if it's too short for the book club.
  • a better plan for us, 3.3k. Again, short compared to some other fics that have been recced, but I love this so much. And it's by none other than our very own Mandy, so what's to lose? The summary is "Dan and Phil aren’t anything, and Charlie gets a chance to finish his story." and I'd say that's about accurate and all that needs to be said.
  • Play Me A Song, Write Me A Story, 12.6k. Teacher!AU. I am such trash for teacher x teacher, it's not even real. Super fluffy and nice. Again, haven't read in a long while, but I do remember it was really good and I'd love a chance to reread it along with you guys.
  • Dan and Phil: Lords of the Internet, Masters of Ambiguity, 6.5k. Holy shit, you have no idea how much I love this fic. Outsider (journalist) POV, and the entire thing is basically an article about Dan and Phil. Would absolutely recommend, though you need an ao3 account to read (assuming most people here have one anyway so it's probably fine).
  • closer to where I started, 10.6k. Another dizzy fic, but an absolutely worthy one at that. Dan hits his head onstage. There's a happy ending so don't worry!
  • half step and a tumble, 4.1k. Look, I know this is the third dizzy fic on this list, and I may have a bit of a problem, but I just love Mandy's fics, okay? This is just jealous!Phil. A lot of it.
  • take all the courage you have left, 9.9k. Um... Do I need to say who this one's by? Lol. I mean, it's a fic about furries basically. And other stuff. But also furries.
  • love my way., 4.1k. D&P have just had an argument and are stuck in a lift. Also it's Valentine's Day.
Hope this gives you guys some ideas!
This is a great list of fics! (Maybe you'd like to host April 1st?)

One thing to think about, especially with shorter fics, is that we could read two or three that have something in common and discuss them together. For example, proposal fics, Phil's 30th birthday fic, snow fics.....all of those would be easy to build a cluster around. Or maybe two or three fics that have something a bit more subtle in common, like a particular character's perspective, or both happening to take place in Florida or on the Isle of Man.
I'd be fine to host April 1st! And that's a good idea, actually. I specifically tried to pick out longer fics, but if we want to read a whole bunch of short fics at once that would also work!
Image

User avatar
alittledizzy
actual demon phannie
actual demon phannie
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:09 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by alittledizzy » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:59 pm

1. Why do you think the author chose 2009 in particular to tell Dan’s story, and how does the canon of the story affect this choice? I think in order to 'rewrite' Dan (and consequently, Phil's) story with this kind of twist it makes a lot of sense to go back from the very origin of 'them' to give us the chance to weave this kind of au into reality fully.

2. How would the story change if it took place in any of the years after 2009, following the same timeline? Do you think it would be as effective? If it had started out later on, there would be a lot of curiosity (to me, at least) that would probably end up distracting me from the emotional nuance of the story. That said, I think Hunter could rewrite the phone book as a Dan and Phil au and I'd still find beauty in the wording of it, so I'm probably not the most unbiased person to give this response.

3. What does Dan’s girlfriend represent in his life? I feel like she represented a life that he wasn't really happy in, or a time in his life when he knew he wasn't really himself. He seems to think of her fondly but to view the relationship as ultimately something he was trapped in, not by her but by himself.

4. Dan came out to his parents once before, as bisexual. Do you think coming out as trans would have been more stressful or would have been reacted to more negatively in the moment if he hadn’t come out previously?

5. Did you have any assumptions as to how Dan’s parents would react to him being trans, and how did you perceive their reactions after Dan came out?

I've thought about both of these for so long and I don't know that I really have an answer. I guess I apply a bit of canon to this story in that I tend to view the reactions his parents have as through the lens of his perception of them. What hurts him may not be intentionally done by them, it's just the learning curve of their understanding being less than what he actually needs. I'm not sure that would have been difference if he'd come out as trans before bi.

6. What role does Phil have in Dan’s life and coming out story, aside from being his partner and friend? Phil feels very secondary to this story. It's obvious how he functions as Dan's support system and how meaningful it is to Dan to have someone that accepts him unconditionally, but it's rare when rereading this story (as I do often) that my mind is more on Phil than Dan. I feel like that's exactly how Phil should be, since this is first and foremost a story about Dan.

7. If Phil wasn’t there to be the first person Dan came out to, or to be a support system throughout the process of coming out, how different do you think Dan and his coming out experience would be? I think he would have gotten to the same place eventually, maybe with the help of someone else in his life or maybe on his own and it just might have taken a little longer without the companionship and confidence that Phil gave him.

8. Dan goes through many changes in this fic, and is very much a dynamic character. Where do you think the shift between the character he was at the start of the story and the one we’re left with at the end happens, and why is this change so crucial to his character arc? I think the entire story is the shift. The nature of the story is to show us Dan's transition so I feel like to pick one part out and say "this, this is the point" would be to negate the complexity of such a slow but consistent shift toward self-acceptance. So I'm cheating and saying: all of it. And it's crucial because we're watching Dan become Dan, the person he's always needed to be.

User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:13 am

I've enjoyed reading the discussion for this fic because ever since I read it a few months back I've been itching to discuss it more in depth. I actually found it a little difficult to formulate specific questions as I think there's so much that can be talked about, and pinpointing aspects of this story in particular felt weird because I'm naturally inclined to rave about the whole thing. Regardless, I think this fic is really special because of how well the story is told and presented to the reader. To address some fo the questions, I don't think the fic would have been as powerful if it didn't take place in 2009, or follow it canonically. I think it would be interesting to get a glimpse into this universe with 2018 Dan, but I think that's mostly me just wanting more from this world and hunter.

Something else I really liked about this fic was the inclusion of Dan's girlfriend. Most of the 2009 fics I've read either don't include her or she's briefly mentioned, and while she was only briefly present in this fic I think her role and their break up in the fic was representative of Dan letting go and getting the feeling of being able to fully live the life he wants to. I suppose that ties into his character arc, as I think he gained more confidence after that. I also always love to look at the inclusion of Dan's family in fics, since they're really OCs. I guess I sort of assumed that when Dan came out his parents wouldn't react positively at first, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure if he came out as bi and trans at the same time that their reactions would be worse (though I'm sure it would be more stressful for him) but after thinking about it I guess they probably would have reacted the same.

I really like Phil's role in this fic as well. As dizzy said, Phil is secondary and static in this fic, which is important because not only is this fic purely Dan's story, but having Phil as a constant, outside source of support who doesn't change and is a positive figure in Dan's life gives Dan a place of security and unconditional acceptance to turn to when he needs it, which is a really great thing to have when coming to terms with oneself and sharing that with others who see you differently. I definitely think that Dan would have still gotten to the place he was at at the end of the fic, but it obviously would have taken more time, especially if he did it on his own.

And I guess those are some of my thoughts in complete sentences that don't just consist of me yelling about how much I love this fic. Also, just a reminder that anyone can bring up discussion for any of the previous fics we've done if they would like to, and this thread isn't purely for answering questions either! :)

User avatar
captainspacecoat
stress mushroom
Posts: 601
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:31 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Australia

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by captainspacecoat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:46 pm

:reading1: Fifth Fic for the IDB Book Club! :reading2:

I'm posting this slightly early as I'm going by Australian timezones, but here is the fic we're discussing from March 15th to April 1st! (Also, I've been so busy these past few weeks I've had no time to reread Let The Salt Dry, but I've really enjoyed the discussion and once I get the chance to reread it I'd love to jump back in and answer the questions!)

Fic: waiting outside the lines by dizzy
Host: captainspacecoat
Summary: A not-really-coffee-shop, not-really-uni au in which Phil is confused, Dan is cute, no one does Youtube, and there's still a happy ending.

I have some questions you can answer, but feel free to ignore them completely and just discuss whatever you like!

Discussion Questions:

1. What what about the fic resonated most with you? Was there a specific moment or part that stood out?

2. In what ways does the author portray Phil’s vulnerabilities? In your experience, does this stray from common tropes found in phan fic? (e.g. Phil as emotionally together as opposed to a more emotionally vulnerable Dan)

3. The author does a brilliant job of characterising Phil's best friend, Charlie. What is the role of Charlie in this fic?

4. By presenting some tension between Phil and his parents regarding their acceptance of his sexuality, how does the author challenge common portrayals of the Lester family in fic/phandom?

5. In the author’s notes, she informs us that she had originally meant to focus on the physical side of Dan and Phil's relationship but ultimately felt that it didn’t add much to the story so left it out. How does this decision advance other aspects of the plot?

6. In what ways do you think the story would be told differently from Dan’s perspective?

7. Ultimately, the relationship between Dan and Phil in this fic is one of mutual comfort and understanding. In what ways do they each act as support for one another?

:reading1: Next fic: Dan and Phil: Lords of the Internet, Masters of Ambiguity by islet :reading2:
Host: parallel
Discussion begins: April 1st

User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:16 am

1. & 2. So I’m going to combine questions 1 and 2 and say that I really like the way Phil is characterized in this fic. His anxieties surrounding his life after university, his relationships, and just generally socializing with others felt very realistic to me. Phil seems to have been “floating” through life, and dismissing his problems just to move forward, until he meets Dan, who seems to really understand him. I read the fic under the lens that both Dan and Phil were struggling, and finding each other added a sort of balance/picked up their lives in a healthy way, with is refreshing from the usual “Dan or Phil is struggling, and Phil or Dan helps him” that I usually see in phanfic.

One of my favourite moments in the fic after they finish watching movies together and decide to go to bed during the second full day at the rental house. It felt very warm and organic, and true to the characters and the path of their relationship while still getting to know each other.

3. I think Charlie represents what’s comfortable for Phil, in the sense that he’s a constant in his life, and someone besides his family that he has to talk to and experience things with. However, I think the larger role he plays is in representing what Phil’s scared of. Multiple times throughout the fic, we see Charlie pushing Phil into things that maybe he isn’t ready for, or at the very least trying to get him to do some of those things. At times, he seems to act as a part of Phil’s conscience that guides him in the right direction in realizing his actual thoughts and/or feelings that aren’t so obvious to himself at first, but he’s still ultimately a “devil” on Phil’s shoulder. When Charlie leaves near the end of the fic, we have a very different Phil than the one get got at the start of the story; Phil at the end of the fic is more confident and true to himself and who he is.

4. Phil’s family is often portrayed in fics as unconditionally accepting of him, and almost like a safe haven for him (and often Dan by extension) to go to. I think the portrayal of them in this fic is far more realistic, just going off of my interpretation of the canon we’ve been given.

5. Focusing on the emotions behind their relationship offers more room for portraying growth that is often more implicit in fics that takes a backseat for more physical action. I think that focusing on the emotional side of their relationship, especially as a new relationship between strangers, illustrates aspects of predominantly healthy relationships, such as communication and acknowledging each other’s boundaries that is just as important as the physical parts of a relationship. I honestly wouldn’t mind this fic having a more physical aspect to it, and hell, I would definitely still love it as much as I do, but the lack of physicality between them is something I so rarely in phanfic see that makes this one stand out.

6. I think it would focus more on the confusion and frustration of not knowing what you want to do with your adult life and how to gain your footing in it while being in university rather than after it, as well as Dan’s own personal struggles with university and depression.

7. They don’t ever push each other or act “in the moment” with each other; everything leading up to the explicit definition of their relationship is gradual and hesitant without being too awkward. They sort of communicate with each other through that, as well as verbally mapping out their levels of comfort with each other and talking through what’s going on instead of being vague or distant.

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:01 am

I read "waiting outside the lines" when it was published, and I regret to say that I have not had a chance to reread it and offer very specific comments. (So much fic and so little time!) I'm not the biggest fan of AUs (despite swooning over amaaf like everyone else), but I liked the AU in dizzy's fic. I think both "waiting outside the lines" and "a match and a fuse" succeed as AUs (for me) by successfully navigating being a non-canon story but still being about Dan and Phil. I'm not sure exactly how that is done, but I think it must be something about including just enough canon references to anchor the story to Dan and Phil. (I don't think it's simply about the characterization: we all know the characters Dan and Phil so well that it's nearly impossible not to simply fill in the blanks and "know" the characters, almost in spite of what the author writes about them.) Some AUs don't succeed at all (imho) because they fall into an uncanny valley which is neither canon-compliant enough to read like historical fiction nor different enough to read like something fresh and novel.

I also want to mention that the first post in this thread is now an index to all the fics we have discussed including pointers to the start of each discussion! (Thanks so much to thread founder @DatCog for kindly allowing me to hijack the post!)
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:30 am

Our next fic discussion should be up shortly, but we don't have a fic lined up for April 15th! Would someone like to do one then? If there are no immediate takers, I'd like to sign up for that slot and try a different sort of disccusion, covering the fics we've already read (so no additional reading required!).

Carry on!
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

User avatar
parallel
cheeky #spon
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:23 pm
Pronouns: he/him

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by parallel » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:28 pm

Hi! First of all, I really apologise for the lateness of this. However, I'm here with the...

:reading1: Sixth Fic for the IDB Book Club! :reading2:

Fic: Dan and Phil: Lords of the Internet, Masters of Ambiguity by islet (requires ao3 account)
Host: @parallel
Summary: A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2016, on page MM22 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: The Curious Case of Dan and Phil.

Discussion Questions: These are as a guide, but you're free to bring up and discuss your own points if you so desire :)

1. The author seems to have chosen quite distinct characterisation of Dan, and some might say it is exaggerated. What specific aspects of Dan have been emphasised in this fic, and why do you think the author chose to portray him this way?

2. Similarly, with Phil's characterisation, the author seems to have a certain idea of Phil's personality that is commonly shared in certain circles of the Phandom. What specific aspects of Phil have been emphasised in this fic, and why do you think the author chose to portray him this way? How do these characterisations contribute to the overall narrative?

3. This fic takes place in May 2016. If the same sort of situation occurred in April 2018, how do you think it would differ? What would be the most striking differences, and what would be almost/completely the same?

4. Though the author keeps a theme of ambiguity throughout the fic, there are implications in some places. What narrative do you think the author was trying to portray in terms of the nature of Dan and Phil's relationship?

5. Towards the end of the fic, Dan comes out by releasing a documentary about LGBTQ+ teenagers. Do you think a coming out was expected from him? Was it built up to, or did it come as a surprise to you? Why do you think that is?

6. How would you describe the use of a third-party narrator? Are they given a particular characterisation, or is the reader easily able to insert themselves into the narrator's role? What effect on the article/fic (fictional article?) does this have?

7. Do you feel there was any animosity between the narrator, and Dan and Phil? On the other hand, do you feel there was some sort of connection? Why? And how would the narrative be changed if the author's portrayal of the narrator and their relationship with Dan and Phil differed?
Image

User avatar
obsessivelymoody
phillluminati
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 am
Pronouns: she/her
Location: canada

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:12 am

1. Dan was characterized in a way that reflects his liveshows. He often discusses maintaining his branding as danisnotonfire, but also lets more "natural" aspects of his personality shine through that are normally only seen in liveshows. I think the author chose to portray him as such to reflect the common thought of Dan as an "open book", while still presenting Dan as a private person. Dan may appear to share more than Phil, but a lot of that is reflected in how they speak to their audiences, with Dan focusing more on how he feels and Phil more on stuff/facts about him or around him. It works well to show the boundaries Dan (and Phil) have between their private lives and the internet.

2. Phil being very enigmatic and having a very large distinction between his personal and professional self were emphasized in this fic, and I think this portrayal of Phil works very well to maintain the theme of ambiguity. I think these traits were very crucial to the narrator's connection with the two of them, and along with that to help keep the big question surrounding their relationship as more than friends still there.

3. I think some obvious differences that would come into play would be their separation from the BBC, the announcement of their second world tour, and Dan's work with Young Minds. I think their actions towards the narrator would be pretty much the same, though perhaps a little more open than they would be in 2016. I think they would be more firm with their boundaries but share more of their lives through their actions. While I believe that they're definitely still portrayed that way in this fic, I think it would be more pronounced if it took place now.

4. I believe the author was focusing on the "glass closet" nature of their relationship, and how to casual viewers and outside parties they may appear to simply be very close friends, whereas to someone who has invested a little more of their time into them can see through their ambiguous nature.

5. I didn't entirely see it coming, as I figured the documentary Dan was filming at the same time as Phil would have been the supergamers one, though I think it fit really well into the story. I think it mostly surprised me because I was holding onto the canon of a period that I paid close attention to Dan and Phil in (but of course this is a fic and I shouldn't hold it to that kind of weird standard).

6. I think the author was very clever to use a third-party narrator for this instead of writing an objective article. The narrator seems to embody a common feeling that many members of the fandom have, which could be described as a one-way friendship, or even a pseudo-friendship, where a connection is felt with Dan and Phil, but of course never returned, and the connection itself being built on the small part of Dan and Phil's real lives and personalities that they share.

7. I think there's an aspect of very subtle animosity, especially when the more-than-friends part of their relationship is brought up, or even just how close they are with each other, though as stated in my previous answer, I feel like the narrator was feeling a pseudo connection with them. The narrator was never really presented with anything from them that they didn't already know about them, or could find out about them on the internet, besides certain moments such as Dan's hand on Phil's knee or the bts parts of their tour rehearsals and Phil's documentary. I think the only way the narrator could be changed to still keep Dan and Phil's characters canon and the article's topic of ambiguity would be to have the narrator notice the same things that they do in the fic, but instead of reading into them, the narrator would have to be completely clueless and lacking the connection that was formed between them in the fic.

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:22 pm

I was really glad to have been pointed to this fic; I hadn't read it. I love outsider POV and unusual structure, and this one had both!

What especially intrigued me while reading this is that there are actually three time periods at play: when the fic was written (October 2015), when it is set (May 2016), and today (April 2017).

I guess there was a Lindsey Lohan interview that inspired the fic (which I haven't read), but what was in my head while reading this fic was the interview with Dan and Phil which was published in November 2015 (screencapped here; I believe it's behind a paywall so hard to read directly). I wasn't in the phandom at the time, but I guess the article caused an uproar because many fans didn't like the depiction of Deppy therein. I took the view that it was a fascinating glimpse of them from an outsider, and valuable despite being somewhat clueless and unflattering.

Anyway, back to the fic: I felt that the author did a great job with the format precisely because both Dan and Phil seem relatively one-dimensional and impersonal. That's what you'd expect really: despite the BTS aspect, neither of them really let down his guard (except possibly when Phil got the emergency call from Dan). I actually found the bit in which Dan rests his hand on Phil's knee while the interviewer is in the room a rare false note in the fic; I can't see either of them being so self-unconcious when anyone else was in the room, outside the tiny circle of close friends and family (and who knows, maybe not even then). A quick pat on the knee that was only glimpsed because she happened to look right at the moment would be more realistic to me.

I liked how the narrator was portrayed. I think it was realistic for that type of article. There is a format for these sorts of things, and they may well contain non-disclosures or various other restrictions that are agreed to by both parties, despite this being in a "news" publication. The narrator portrays herself as kept at arm's length (eg, Dan crossing out questions) even while there are a few insider glimpses (eg, the knee, the phone call). She doesn't seem to me to particularly fangirl, but to treat this as just another assignment covering celebrities that she didn't know much about beforehand.

The fic author certainly had the right idea about Dan "coming out" more directly in 2016, but we got the Diss Track rather than a documentary--a much more subtle move. Dan's long game is longer than even many writers of fiction can conceive. :D

I look forward to more takes on this fic!

On another note, stay tuned for a different Book Club meeting in the next few days--no prep necessary!
:reading2: :hmmm: :reading1:
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

User avatar
lefthandedism
inveterate introvert
inveterate introvert
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Pronouns: she/her
Location: California

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:57 am

:reading1: First Meta-Question for the IDB Book Club :reading2:

We've got half-a-dozen fics under our belt, and I thought it might be fun to step back and ask a question about fic in general. I, personally at least, am fascinated by what fanfiction is, and I definitely haven't figured it out. But everyone who posts (and lurks) here is an expert on fanfiction (and phanfiction in particular), so I'm really hoping for an in-depth discussion of what this is all about.

The simplest questions are the hardest to answer, but let's give one a try:

What makes a written work a phanfic?

We can say a phanfic is a fictional written work made freely available on the internet, and it's about someone named Dan and someone name Phil (usually, anyway) and they have some kind of relationship or interaction. Or, we can simply say a phanfic is anything that gets put in the "phanfic" tags.

But surely there is more to it? We've discussed here reality-based/canon-compliant fics, fics that are canon-compliant except for one crucial detail, fics that put the characters in an alternate universe (either realistic or fantastical), fics that are set in the future (which may now be the past for us). And we've all read loads of other fics that are different on many axes. But they are all phanfic. Or are they? Are some fics more phanfic than others?

Or, how do we know a phanfic when we see one?
"If you're left-handed, ask a friend."
"Why am I left-handed?"
"Everybody makes mistakes."

Templeofshame
butt chair
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:46 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by Templeofshame » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:21 am

I think I'd make the argument that with the basic definition being 'fictional story about Dan & Phil,' the key to what makes something feel more or less "phanfic" to me is in the characterization. I wouldn't want to say that a fic with characterization that doesn't feel like Dan & Phil to me isn't phanfic, though; there's room in the phanfic world for characterizations that aren't the focus of the story, aren't trying to be a close interpretation of the D&P of our world, or that aren't 100% effective (not that every piece of phanfic isn't perfect, but like, it's good and healthy and necessary for bad phanfic to exist and still be phanfic). Maybe it's more of a spectrum? From stories that are deeply rooted in interpreting the characters of Dan & Phil to stories that use aspects of Dan and Phil (or their dynamic) in service to a story that is more about other things?

User avatar
alittledizzy
actual demon phannie
actual demon phannie
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:09 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by alittledizzy » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:39 pm

Templeofshame wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:21 am
I think I'd make the argument that with the basic definition being 'fictional story about Dan & Phil,' the key to what makes something feel more or less "phanfic" to me is in the characterization. I wouldn't want to say that a fic with characterization that doesn't feel like Dan & Phil to me isn't phanfic, though; there's room in the phanfic world for characterizations that aren't the focus of the story, aren't trying to be a close interpretation of the D&P of our world, or that aren't 100% effective (not that every piece of phanfic isn't perfect, but like, it's good and healthy and necessary for bad phanfic to exist and still be phanfic). Maybe it's more of a spectrum? From stories that are deeply rooted in interpreting the characters of Dan & Phil to stories that use aspects of Dan and Phil (or their dynamic) in service to a story that is more about other things?
I agree with this - though I think there is some room for clearer delineation because I think a lot of what people post as headcanons on tumblr easily fall into the categories of "fictional" and also "about Dan and Phil" but because they aren't framed as someone intentionally posting a story no one recognizes them as fanfiction. Posts that start off with things like "imagine this" or "I bet Dan and Phil..." are not trying to be fact, but also not trying to be phanfic. And it's also interesting to me that people who are emphatic about not reading fanfiction will still read and enjoy those. If you post a 500 word story and crosspost to a03 and give it a title and a rating, you're almost guaranteed to get less notes on tumblr than if you take that same 500 words and just put it in a post with the words "Imagine if..." in front of it.

Templeofshame
butt chair
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:46 pm
Pronouns: she/her

Re: IDB Book Club

Post by Templeofshame » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:39 pm

alittledizzy wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:39 pm

I agree with this - though I think there is some room for clearer delineation because I think a lot of what people post as headcanons on tumblr easily fall into the categories of "fictional" and also "about Dan and Phil" but because they aren't framed as someone intentionally posting a story no one recognizes them as fanfiction. Posts that start off with things like "imagine this" or "I bet Dan and Phil..." are not trying to be fact, but also not trying to be phanfic. And it's also interesting to me that people who are emphatic about not reading fanfiction will still read and enjoy those. If you post a 500 word story and crosspost to a03 and give it a title and a rating, you're almost guaranteed to get less notes on tumblr than if you take that same 500 words and just put it in a post with the words "Imagine if..." in front of it.
That's really interesting; I guess I'm just fic-focused and haven't thought about those kinds of delineations. I feel like the term headcanon gets used for a lot of things that amount to quick phanfic that's not on ao3 and maybe it's a tacky opinion but author intention doesn't really matter to me in classifying something as fanfic or not. (E.g., I wrote a paper on Tacitus-as-fanfic, and I tend to buy the Hamilton-as-fanfic arguments.) "Imagines" are an interesting point, though, because those words do change the tone (I guess just my directly mentioning the 4th wall?) and I think the ones I've seen are less depicting fully fleshed-out fic scenes and maybe more sketching out the skeleton of what could be a fic. But honestly, I don't know the landscape of that.

Post Reply