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Old 01-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
Xiph0
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What Happened DLP?

So as it tends to happen lately, I was trawling through the Library looking for something good I hadn't read yet. I'm starting to find all these different ways to sort the threads to find the "good ones" - including "Sort by Reply Count." Well I just did that in Dark Arts. These are the results. A bunch of old ass fics [there's like 3 from early 2010]. Syao's there for a fic he made five years ago. That's half a fucking decade ago.

So I went back and sorted it by when people last replied [the default]. Before you even get off the front page you're into 2009 replies. What happened DLP? That's our maiden ship right there. That's our shit. That's why the site even exists.

I just dunno anymore. Is everyone writing Dresden and shit? What the hell?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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New stories slowed down, folks left the fandom in disgust after HBP/OOTP/DH, folks grew out of it. I can give you my entire bookmarked list of stories I used to read if you want it, but I dunno if the links are good, I havent read in years.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #3
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The fact that the series is over and done with and there's not exactly a lot of room for extrapolation? I mean I think the real flood of fics was when 5 came out. That was the flood of "IndieHarry" I think. Same concept with 6 but since 7 came out the story is over and done with. Unless you want to read a next gen fic.

And that leaves a bad taste with everyone.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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Most Dark!Harry stories can be summed up as post-OotP year 6 'independent Harry' who decides he's had enough of 'Dumbles' and will proceed to pick up a bunch of dark arts books from a convenient (because it's never particularly hard to get them, ever) source. He will then go and curse people who have wronged him with his new Dementor & Basilisk dual core wand which is really good for the dark arts. And then the story ends because thats all the author thought of.

If there were more dark!Harry stories in the library, I would be worried. Because that means that DLP is letting trash in.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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What happens is everyone wants Dark, capital D if you please, and everyone gets comic book, campy B-movie puppy killing evil, goffik emo depressing heroes with no substance, fanny packing vampires, or a combination of the lot.

Its the same problem with the series, actually. JK Rowling and her 'Love is the power he knows not.' Why? Because he's evil? Or obsessed with overcoming his fear of death by becoming immortal? S'a kind of love in its own right.

tl;dr: 99% of the shit sucks and the ones capable of writing it don't always want to, as its not really the formula.

Anti-Hero love and this fake, poser emo dark shit will die off soon, hopefully, so someone with some sense can write good shit.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midknight View Post
New stories slowed down, folks left the fandom in disgust after HBP/OOTP/DH, folks grew out of it. I can give you my entire bookmarked list of stories I used to read if you want it, but I dunno if the links are good, I havent read in years.
I'm the same way - my list of "Favorite Stories" on ff.nazi has 64 in it but I can't even remember 99% of it much less if it was good. I just know I thought it was good then.

I have to wonder if the 'fads' didn't burn people out - the Naruto, Dresden, etc. It seems like there's a lot of different places you can go with HP [not that people do] and there's not that potential with mangas or books someones stamping out for an annual paycheck instead of some overarching plan with characters I don't want to bludgeon to death for 5 books.

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The fact that the series is over and done with and there's not exactly a lot of room for extrapolation?
Probably, but I don't know why that changes much. No one ever had trouble jumping off from GoF or OOTP even after more books came out - and it's not like anyone cares if you just totally ignore books.

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If there were more dark!Harry stories in the library, I would be worried. Because that means that DLP is letting trash in.
Why though? There's so many more directions you can go in than the dual-core basilisk fang/blood wand who randomly angsts and rages. Dark stories don't have to be juvenile and shit.

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tl;dr: 99% of the shit sucks and the ones capable of writing it don't always want to, as its not really the formula.
I think you're right, I just wonder where the enthusiasm went for fucking that formula in the ear and coming up with brilliant shit.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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That and the fact that the standards for what gets into the Library has risen a lot since this site first came around. You said it yourself in your fav list. It was good 'then.' If the same standards today had been there then, the Library would be substantially shorter.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:10 PM   #8
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I suppose. But I think a lot of that comes down to some things have gotten cliche in the 5/6-year gap from when I read them; the underlying writing should still be up to snuff, just the content matter outdated.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #9
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As Vash noted, of the genres out there, Dark Arts is the category that is hardest to write for fanfiction. At the same time, it's probably the category of genre original fiction (dark spec-fic/horror) that is easiest to sell. This dynamic lends itself to at least some of us (me, Heather Sinclair, probably others) putting more effort into original fiction as opposed to fanfiction. It's not a lot of authors, granted, but the niche doesn't have a whole lot of writers as is.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:25 PM   #10
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As Vash noted, of the genres out there, Dark Arts is the category that is hardest to write for fanfiction. At the same time, it's probably the category of genre original fiction (dark spec-fic/horror) that is easiest to sell. This dynamic lends itself to at least some of us (me, Heather Sinclair, probably others) putting more effort into original fiction as opposed to fanfiction. It's not a lot of authors, granted, but the niche doesn't have a whole lot of writers as is.
I think what throws me off is that while that's all true, DLP should be like a microclimate where it isn't. It seems like that's the original point. You look at all the 'dark' cliches out there [aforementioned angst included] and most of that originated here and then got copied when people realized it was compelling/interesting.

We're like a company that's stopped inventing shit we're really good at inventing.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:48 PM   #11
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As written before by someone else, the series itself is now over and done with: no new books are coming out, and the second part of the last movie is coming out this year. There's no real fresh infusion of reading/writing 'blood' coming into the fandom that would obviously come for a growing series. Because of this lack of 'fresh blood' and thus ideas, fan-authors are writing and rehashing the same cliches over and over again, until all that's left is -eventual- degenerate crap.

No one wants to read about Albus Severus' and the possible adventures of the 'New Marauders' at a threat-free Hogwarts: the series was about Harry and Voldemort, and now that it's been wrapped up, there's not much left there plot line wise unless JKRowling decides to pull some radical shit out of her billionaire arse and write an off-shoot series that's more adult (cue inevitable crack about porn here from generic DLP member) orientated. (Alternate realities, timeline divergences etc).

The fandom, I think, also started dying down with the last two books, because they were (in many opinions) sub-par. Heck, a lot of people disliked the fifth book, too, although the fandom at that time was pretty much booming.

The characterizations in the last two books were terrible as well, and seemed -in fact- to be a devolution of what the previous books had set up: Ron with Hermione? We've all heard of '19 Years Later', but in '20 Years Later' I'd expect to see Hermione in Azkaban for suffocating Ron with a pillow in his sleep due to how the way he snores/argues all the time.

Harry with Ginny? That's a whole different can of worms.

Another key thing that helped to kill creativity was the blasted Epilogue. It basically crack-fapped things over for fan-authors because it limited what 'could of been' after the Final Battle. Instead, it was all canonically "bright and cheery."

All in all, JKRowling basically -albeit unintentionally- fucked over her own fandom. That being said, I'd still read Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione from the 'horses mouth' over anything that Stephanie Meyer writes, anyday.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:03 AM   #12
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All this is reversible, though. The issue is interest level among authors, who may be tepid toward fanfiction at present, and drawing them out.

I propose that the DLP mods/admins (Vash? Xiph0) host a simple readers' choice Dark Arts contest challenge. Make it simple (not a complex beast, like the DLP awards in the past). Give people a couple months to write a new Dark Arts story, maybe have three or four categories of prizes: Best Overall, Most Original, Best Anti-Hero, say. Offer up something cool as a reward, such as trophy glyphs on Patronuscharm and links on the main page.

It doesn't have to be all that complicated. As an example where it's been done successfully, SIYE runs a prompted writing contest every two months with minimal effort on the part of their admins; they typically receive 5-10 submissions and we have way more and better authors than they. With a little bit of organization, I bet we you could get a dozen solid new Dark Arts stories and reinvigorate things.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:13 AM   #13
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I'd be willing to submit something. I've gotten better with my writing since my last attempts and could probably come up with something. I think it would also help some of the authors on here to step away from current productions and try their hand at something new? And maybe a few older stories could be continued...such like the sequel to Oedipus Flower?
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:17 AM   #14
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The heyday of HP fanfiction is over, as pretty much everyone has said. When a series is over, it's only natural that the amount of interest will die down. I don't know if there will ever be another series with as much good fanfiction potential, either (at least in the near future and on the same scale as HP).

On the other hand, even if interest may be dying down, there is still a huge amount of activity in the fandom. One only has to look at the fanfare surrounding Methods of Rationality to be convinced of this. Regardless of what DLP thinks about MoR or LessWrong, there are a fuckton of people who enjoy that fic.

So perhaps there should be more good fics being written. We could have massive DLP-sponsored writefests to encourage this. If you win, you get candy. Maybe even acid pops, to inspire even more creativity in the winner.

Edit: kinda-sorta ninja'd by Pers. Acid pops are still a good idea for a prize!
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:21 AM   #15
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This, I would love a DLP Dark Arts write-off, give us a few months and a word limit and off we go!

The Fic of the week/month by popular consensus can get it's own thread in the DA forums.

EDIT: For one of those fancy custom titles I'll write my misspelling ass off.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:22 AM   #16
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I'd try my hand at writing one of the ideas in my head if it meant a prize. That sounds awfully shallow. You know what? I'll write a story anyway, and hopefully it'll amount to something.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:34 AM   #17
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I'm mostly with Vash on this particular issue, but I'd also argue that many fics that have what one would consider a 'dark!Harry' aren't always in the Dark Harry section. Just using my own fics as an example, Countdown is technically a dark!Harry story when it discusses the things he does, but the time-travel element is more pervasive, so it becomes the main category for the fic. The 'Game' series of oneshots I'm writing (and on a similar note, most of Vash's work) also feature a Harry that is 'dark' as hell. He's manipulative, arrogant, borderline sociopathic and some people would consider damn near evil - but the fics are also NC-17, and thus end up in that category, when they'd likely feature in the Dark Harry category if it wasn't for the sex.

Let's be honest here - writing believable 'dark!Harry' fics (regardless of the last two books and the epilogue) that don't descend into emo bullshit is very difficult, primarily because writing genuinely interesting 'evil' characters is challenging, and framing a story around them is even more difficult. And even if one succeeds in this, not having the story be reclassified to fit in another category (mostly NC-17) is rare.

I dunno if it's possible for fics to be featured in more than one category of the Library, that seems to be the obvious answer to filling that category faster, but maybe reclassification of some stories is in order. I think most of the Dark!Harry stories have ended up in NC-17 - maybe it's a better idea to kill that category, attach NC-17 tags and warnings to the stories, and then move them into the other appropriate sections of the Library.

And I'd be very excited to see the 'DLP Awards' come back - I've been campaigning for that nearly since I've been on DLP, and I'd definitely participate.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:36 AM   #18
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I'd try my hand at writing one of the ideas in my head if it meant a prize. That sounds awfully shallow. You know what? I'll write a story anyway, and hopefully it'll amount to something.
Shallow or not, contest + possibility of bragging rights + deadline = folks actually getting their stories done and submitted.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:36 AM   #19
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I'd be open to another DLP Awards if it only included submissions [ie, work made specifically for it] - too often in the last ones it was just the same authors getting massive fan votes even if they hadn't updated in forever.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:41 AM   #20
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I'd be open to another DLP Awards if it only included submissions [ie, work made specifically for it] - too often in the last ones it was just the same authors getting massive fan votes even if they hadn't updated in forever.
Understandable, but maybe there just needs to be some conditions on the awards, such as the fic being updated within the past few weeks or so if it's a work in progress. Maybe instead of 'Best Overall Fic' it can be 'Best WIP', 'Best Completed Chaptered Fic', and 'Best Oneshot', sort of a three-way split that covers the bases.
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