There is this a peculiar set of reasons and biases when it comes to NOT commenting on AO3.
They are all false, but here they are:
Do not comment on old fics
Do not comment on each chapter of a multichapter
Do not comment if the author left the fandom
Do not comment if the author doesn’t respond to comments
It can be summoned up as DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU ENJOYED THE WORK AND YOU LIKE THE AUTHOR.
It comes from the idea, that if you leave a comment on my old work, or leave too many comments, I will think you are strange, clingy, and gross.
Readers are imagining it as commenting on an old Facebook photo — only your granny and creepy strangers do that.
That is not the case with AO3.
Writers put their works there for long-term storage, and we expect, wish, and hope that you will like our works and tell us about it.
This all very interesting, not, but why should I care?
This has awful consequences. Fanfic authors feel constant pressure to create more and crippling fear of being forgotten, useless, and being literally kicked away from fandom.
I’m online friends with a few great fandom authors, who wrote storied with thousands of kudos, but ALL of them at some point expressed this fear. Very talented people told me, “I’m not sure if I should have ‘writer’ in my bio. I didn’t post anything new in the last half of a year.”
Some young or entitled readers might say, “Hm, well, they are right. They should create MORE to be relevant. Isn’t that a good thing to push authors to write more?”
For better or worse, life doesn’t work like that. We are talking about real people, who go to real schools, have real jobs, families, and all the other important things outside the fandom. Some of them might push to create more from that fear, but most would only get more frustrated and depressed about the whole fanfic writing.
So, please, if you like the work comment on it.
Even if it’s old, even if it’s a multichapter, even if the author doesn’t have time and energy to interact. Especially in all those cases.
Encourage your authors, and show them your support.
I die laughing every time I get a comment that’s like “Sorry to comment on something so old.” and it’s from like 5 years ago tops. Like… dude… there’s stuff on AO3 that was written in the 70s. Five years is nothing.
One thing I kind of love about the whole concept of “The Old Guard”’s immortality is that it doesn’t really take that much away from the standard action movie set up.
Like, yes in theory, having characters who can’t die reduces tension. But let’s be real, how often are main characters actually in danger during most of these types of films? Conversely, how often do these main characters get a career ending injury like getting shot in the shoulder or stabbed in the stomach, and then shrug it off because the plot demands they’re back to being badass in the next action scene?
As long as the Old Guard writers keep getting captured in mind as the real threat, rather than death, the tension level really doesn’t drop all that much. Getting shot in the head is still a threat, because a bad injury has you down long enough that you’re helpless. Certain types of capture become much more terrifying, like torture (another action movie staple when you want to hurt the good guy but not kill them) when there’s no sweet release of death as a possibility if things get really bad, or starvation, or as we see in the film, getting put in a chest and forgotten about. Honestly, IMO, if as a writer you’re so dependent on the threat of death (or injury) for creating tension that you can’t come up with a million scenarios where capture, discovery of your superpower, or temporary incapacitation aren’t real, serious concerns, then you’re probably not a very good writer.
Which is my roundabout way of saying: yes please, give me a bazillion episodic missions, an adult Saturday morning cartoon, and literally whatever spin-off you can think of for the Old Guard, in particular badass queer couples Joe/Nicky and Andromache/Quynh kicking ass across the Middle Ages, and I will eat that up with a spoon. Their immortality adds drama if you’re not an idiot. The fact they can’t get permanently injured or killed is completely in line with how most action movies function anyway and if you can’t come up with tense scenarios for that then you’re a bad writer and you should feel bad.
LARPing has completely warped my appreciation of elaborate fantasy action movie costumes. Sure it’s pretty, but you’re gonna get super annoyed by your hair flying free, or that corset means you can’t bend at the waist which will be a huge pain in the ass during a fight or wow, those pants sure look tight, I wouldn’t want to drop into any kind of actual combat stance wearing those.
My first Viking-inspired LARP character was basically wearing pajamas all the time (or essentially a martial arts gi, weird how those are easy to fight in!) and if we had a serious battle coming up I’d even drop off my belt pouches in the cabin because they threw off my equilibrium. My character had a half-ponytail and side braids (like Thorin in the Hobbit) and during seriously tough fights I’d also pull that entire mess back into a full ponytail.
My latest character costume is even more prepped for fighting. I raided the paintball equipment catalogues because weirdly enough, clothing designed for playing combat games outside is really easy to move and fight in unlike clothes designed for looking nice at a Renaissance Faire. So I’ve got tactical pants (we won’t even go into the infuriating journey of trying to find women’s clothes in these tactical stores that weren’t pink or cutesy t-shirts about how my boyfriend was a marine, jfc) an un-dyed linen shirt, sports bra, cowboy duster from a re-enactor catalogue, combat boots, and multiple layers that can be rolled up or removed entirely depending on the weather. All I’m missing is something for the rain. (And for the pandemic to end so I can actually play…)
But the final take away is: wearing an outfit that’s actually easy to fight in is most of the time super different from an outfit that’s designed to look good. Yeah, it’s inherently obvious to most people, but on the reverse side it did give me a huge appreciation for movies that actually do give their characters comfortable clothes for fighting (like The Old Guard <3).
Tumblr, I’m heckin’ begging you, stopping giving me a notification bubble every time I like a reblog of one of my own posts or reblog one of my own old posts, I have ADHD and I must check all of the notifications in case they contain validation and I feel (justifiably) like an idiot every time the notification is from me to me -_-;;
Trying to write Joe telling Amnesiac!Nicky about their first time in bed together, back when they were still angry warriors in the 1100s who didn’t talk and “Oh what a night”(December 1963) got stuck in my head and aoidjaoidj checked the lyrics they’re kinda perfect and I’m dying
I woke up and remembered this, imagining “Oh what a night” being all peppy and playing in the background of this hate-sex scene I imagined as Nicky and Joe’s first time and I busted out laughing so hard I got tears in my eyes
Happy to say it’s a month later, I’m not too far from posting the chapter I was working on when I wrote this, and I still break into tears of laughter every time I imagine Joe and Nicky’s first time together while still enemies frothing with hatred and repressed sexual tension towards each other, meanwhile a bouncy slapstick song like “Oh what a night/December 1963″ is bopping along in the background as they punch each other, then kiss for the first time, get heated for a second, then break apart in horror, and one of them goes scrambling off into the night wondering what the fuck just happened
if you want to revitalize your relationship with tumblr just abandon it and go be exclusively on twitter for a year and that year is 2020. like choosing to shut yourself in a dark box scrambling your own brain with a cobbler’s awl for 18 hours a day. nightmare slide projector of apocalyptic “news” flickering unstoppably past your eyeballs until your blood is so thick with stress hormones that you’re essentially circulating pure meth, and the resulting derangement makes you think it is your Responsibility To Post because of Awareness. not here, baby! i love to scroll for an hour and see nothing but gifs from obscure early-‘00s luca marinelli movies. oh, sure, you apparently can’t put the word “butt” in the tags anymore, but that’s barely a blip on the radar of ridiculous social media platform choices. this is the garden of fucking eden to me now