25 Things to Know About the OTW

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:06 am
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OTW 10th anniversary history


We've been around a while now, so as part of celebrating our 10th anniversary here are 25 things to know about the OTW! https://goo.gl/FuuMWS

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OTW 10th Anniversary Chat


What were some of your early experiences like when your work gained its own fans?

*MarthaWells
I think my favorite experience is seeing the fan art, and seeing fanfic from my books show up in Yuletide. That’s hugely exciting to see fanfic and fan art of your work, especially to someone who was a fan from way back in the print zine era.

*SeananMcGuire
The first time something I’d created showed up as a fandom option for Yuletide, I literally cried. Happy tears! But it was like, HOLY WHAT NO HOW OMG VIXY LOOK AT THIS DO YOU SEE THIS. It’s amazing. It’s still amazing. I can’t read any of the fanfic of my own work, but knowing it exists makes me so happy.

Did you miss our chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells? If so check out the transcript of their talk https://goo.gl/Q3Wu6P
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OTW 10th Anniversary Chat


What things have you been excited to see in recent years, either regarding fandom or work in your genre(s)?

*Catherine R.
I really like fanfiction and its explosion on the internet. I think fanfic is a great way for people to learn the craft skills of writing. Many of my college students fall in love with writing that way: by reading fanfic and then starting to write it themselves. I always encourage them to go for it! I love the supportive structure it creates for imagination and fantasy to run wild. I think that realm is so important. Imagination lets us explore quandaries of desire and justice and truth and conflict: all the central problems of what it means to be human.

*Christina L.
It’s been incredibly exciting to see so many writers from our fandom specifically or fandom in general out there publishing books. Of course we all know the big ones—EL James, Cassie Clare—but there are others from the Twi world that had fantastic voices and ideas and who are now also bestsellers. Sally Thorne, Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci, Leisa Rayven, Mariana Zapata, Amanda Weaver—all of these women wrote fantastic fic.

Did you miss our chat with Christina Lauren & Catherine Roach? If so check out the transcript of their talk! https://goo.gl/8DR1PG
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Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine

TWC's issue 25 is out! Essay topics include book history, women's writing, Teen Wolf, World of Warcraft, Sherlock, cosplay, Lego, Harry Potter & more https://goo.gl/dN3m5a

Five Things Naomi Novik Said

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:31 am
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

As part of our Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said series, we have a special anniversary edition with OTW co-founder Naomi Novik. She discusses its evolution during her 10 yrs volunteering for it: https://goo.gl/nJXJrY

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 62

Sep. 12th, 2017 12:45 pm
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This Week in Fandom banner by Olivia Riley

This Week in Fandom: The author of My Immortal and her story, the Not Now I'm Reading podcast talks fanfic and AO3, and more: https://goo.gl/7YLw4h
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OTW 10th Anniversary Chat

Did you miss the chat with author Lev Grossman? If so you can check out the transcript of his talk at https://goo.gl/KGa7sw

August 2017 Newsletter, Volume 116

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:17 am
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages




In the OTW August newsletter: Election success, legal advocacy & the DMCA, updates to AO3, and more! https://goo.gl/JX72MU
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This Friday is the big push for tweeting at 9 PM EDT/8PM CDT/7 PM MDT/6 PM PDT.
The hashtag will NOT be #TeamRaza, that tag is burned, it will be something new so it will trend more easily.
@DarkMatterFTL will announce it 30-60 minutes before hand. I will try to retweet tptigger42 but depending in when I get off work, I may be frantically trying to get my walk in and take a shower before tweet time/sunset.

Full details of the campaign are available on Three if By Space with a slightly outdated TL;DR on this post.

If nothing else, be sure to Sign the petition!

I promise I will not be spamming the comm with this. (The sets get struck in two weeks, and it's over, so worst case, there will be one more Friday reminder post.)

EDIT: the hashtag is #RocktheRaza - remember do not use it before 8 PM CDT (9 EST), always mention "Dark Matter" (no tag) in your tweets and @netflix (be nice). Only use one hashtag, #RocktheRaza and do not start before the top of the hour!

Joe says he has someone very interested and watching fan reaction closely, so this may actually work!

There's this trope that bugs me...

Sep. 7th, 2017 05:40 pm
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...and, for lack of a better term, I'm going to call it the Possum in the Road. (I trust someone here will let me know if TV Tropes has already codified and named it.)

A Possum in the Road is a specific sort of last-minute obstacle that a story throws up because the plot beats so demand--not only without foreshadowing, but in direct contradiction to everything the narrative has shown us about the characters and/or world up to this point; in short, it invokes a surprise Informed Attribute. (I considered, and rejected, the term "Speed Bump"; possums will abruptly scurry out of the underbrush into the street(1), whereas a speed bump will have been in position all along, awaiting the motorists' arrival. Comes to that, "Speed Bump" might be a suitable term for a fairly-played last-minute plot obstacle.)

Some examples (spoiler warnings for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Doctor Strange (2016), and--because every day new fans discover old stories--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows):

1. Toward the end of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Valerian and Laureline argue over what to do with the MacGuffin(2) they've recovered. Laureline wants to return it to the indigenous people who were robbed of it; Valerian insists upon turning it in to their superiors--because he's a soldier who follows the rules. That assertion would carry more weight had the film not thoroughly established Valerian as a freewheeling man-child who seems to regard his job as a combination sandbox RPG and opportunity to meet hot babes.

2. Stephen Strange, upon learning that his duties as a member of the Order of Kamar-Taj will include fighting and sometimes killing enemy sorcerers, protests that killing(3) would violate the Hippocratic Oath he swore as a physician--except that nothing we've seen up to the point of his injury suggests that he'd given a particular shit about human life; he seems to have entered medicine for the challenge, the money, and the egoboo.

3. This one may simply be an individual pet peeve of mine: a worldbuilding detail of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World that I appreciated was the one-size-fits-one functioning of wands, and their status as a reflection of personality and individual signature tool; we have it from no less than Ollivander, Britain's foremost authority on the subject, that "you'll never get as good results with another wizard's wand." I found this idea not only satisfying but applicable to real life--consider how intensely personal a thing one's cell phone, car, cooking knife, or whatever might be.

And then Deathly Hallows introduces the whole dueling-for-wand-mastery thing--which will be absolutely essential to the plot resolution!--without the merest bit of foreshadowing; this never came up before in dueling practice, where it would seem to be a fundamental bit of knowledge. (Again, this may be a personal butthurt spot, reflecting the partial Jossing of a favorite worldbuilding detail--but am I the only one?)

In short: if your reaction is, "Since when?" or, "Where the hell did this come from?"...it's a Possum in the Road. Feel welcome to cite further examples.



(1) This applies to the North American species; I can't claim any experience of the South American and Australian varieties (who, for all I know, might have a better grasp of traffic safety.)

(2) The plot consists, in essence, of recovering the Beach Elves' Magic Porridge Pot--but conservation of energy is a whole 'nother nitpick.

(3) Lucian, the mook who ambushed Strange in astral form, was a clear-cut case of self-defense.
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