By the way, if you have missed posts this week we have posts with double giveaways from Kara Louise, Becky Thumann and Sharon Lathan. So read ALL of them and don't forget to comment! Comments are how you WIN those giveaways!
June 8--Gayle Mills
June 10--Jan Ashe
June 12--Shannon Winslow
June 15--Karen Wasylowski
June 19--Krista Bagley
June 22--Stephanie Hamm
June 26--Laurel Ann Nattress
June 29--Pam Dixon
July 3--Jennifer Petkus
July 6--Karen Aminada
July 10--Marilyn Brant
July 13--Meredith Esparanza
July 17--Lori Smith
July 24--Barbara Tiller Cole: Christmas in July
July 27--Amy Cecil
July 31--Maria Grace
August 3--Wendi S.
August 7--Moira B.
And Many more to come!
Comments on Gayle's post will be entered into the monthly drawings here at Darcyholic Diversions. Winners will be selected along with other June winners, at the beginning to July. Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member via Google Friend Connect (GFC) (See the left hand column on the blog to join!), sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.
I AM ADDICTED TO JAFF
I am an addict. Yes, it’s true. If you had known me years ago, you would surely have thought me the last person in the world to have come under such an affliction.
I am not very particular about the delivery system – books, kindle, movies, TV series, on-line versions, blogs. I will read completed stories, PIP’s, one-shots… I even find myself reading WIP’s – WIP’s for heaven’s sake! I have been known to haunt fan sites and check chat rooms. I have even gone so far as to PM or email authors and suggest ways to speed the process along, offering to come clean house or run errands – anything to get them back to writing the story I was currently imbibing. I never considered it stalking. I can’t imagine why anyone did. But the officer who came to the door was very insistent that it stop. Oh, well, I guess I’ll just never know if Frederick manages to recover and bring justice to bear on Aine and her cohorts, or find out who killed Mr. Collins, or if Darcy really would take Lizzy as his mistress (eeek!), or if Elizabeth took the job in Hunsford and left Will to his Dreamliner, or if Darcy cut his concert career short to humor Lizzy’s desire to teach. I mean, come on, I love teaching, but would I choose that over Darcy? Who are we kidding here?
I am all too familiar with the language used in Regency. Thither, whilst, pelisse, curricle, rattlepate, modiste, breeches, barouche, abigail, hoyden, rake – perfectly wonderful words in sentences with a flowing cadence. And the places I’ve visited! – London, Lambton, Longbourn, Meryton, Bath, Pemberley, Derbyshire, Kellynch, Somerset, Highbury – all within the pages of the books I greedily devour.
I love the Regency stories, but I’m an equal opportunity reader. I’ll also read modern stories, as well as stories set in the depression era, World War I, World War II, or the American colonial period. I’ve been to England, Ireland, Canada, New York, Seattle, the San Juans, Cape Cod, and Hudson Bay. I’ve even time-traveled. And recently, I’m making trips to heaven with my Darcy angel.
I’ve often been asked (mainly by my son) why I enjoy reading stories that follow the same basic plot. Well, it’s obvious he’s uninformed. He spends way too much time reading psychology journals and research analyses. But the question has merit; so, I’ve given it some thought.
JAFF basically falls into three categories: 1) sequels, 2) re-tellings, and 3) variations.
I enjoy sequels because they answer the question of what happened to these wonderful characters Jane Austen wrote. Did Anne and Wentworth have a wonderful marriage with almost no time to test their love for each other? It’s not like they were writing to each other during those eight years they were apart. Did Darcy and Elizabeth find happiness or did they struggle to control their stubborn natures and find that balance in their marriage that would enable them to share the life we all imagine that they had? Did Emma give up her match-making agenda or did she test Knightley’s patience time and time again? He was, after all, almost two decades older than she.
There are so many paths to wander down in sequels, but re-tellings focus on filling in the gaps, revealing to us what Darcy was thinking after the Netherfield ball, showing us how he spent his winter before visiting Rosings Park, taking us through his summer before his reunion with Elizabeth at Pemberley. Re-tellings give us background for those eight years Anne and Wentworth were apart. They give us insight into the man who wrote the most beautiful love letter in any Austen work. The words “pierce my soul.”
But the most possibilities abound in the variations. They take the skeleton of Austen’s plot and drape it with a different era, or a different location, or a different outcome. They are the great “what-if” stories. And I love them. I love that I can follow a Pride and Prejudice variation knowing that the insult is coming, the attraction is brewing, the confrontation is looming, the explanation is following, the reunion is at hand, the crisis is averted, and the proposal is accepted. I don’t read any story where Elizabeth and Darcy don’t end up together. An author can play with the colonel, Jane, Charles, Charlotte, Wickham, Lydia, Georgiana, and Caroline. But D & E must be together when the dust settles.
I used to be of the same mind with Persuasion variations until I read Love Suffers Long and Is Kind, the marathon story Susan Kaye and Laura Hile wrote. By the time the story was nearing its conclusion, I totally loved Captain Benwick and was perfectly satisfied to find him married to Anne. Of course, that was an anomaly – one I don’t expect to be repeated any time soon. Laura’s done much the same thing with the Mercy’s Embrace series. She’s taken a character we all love to hate, and made her into a character that I can totally embrace because it’s easy to see myself in her. I just love variations. Did I say that already?
I do have standards, however. I’m not a total lush yet. I want a story that’s well-written and edited. The plot must at least be credible. The characters must remain true to the qualities that defined them in Austen’s works. The era and the circumstances may change, but the characters and their quintessential natures must be identifiable in order for me to believe the story is a legitimate Jane Austen Fan Fiction.
Otherwise, why bother?
What’s your addiction? How are you handling it? Let’s talk.
Gayle blogs with The Crown Hill Writers' Guild at http://crownhillwriters.wordpress.com
"I do have standards, however. I’m not a total lush yet. I want a story that’s well-written and edited."ReplyDelete
Amen, Sister! That's why we beta, isn't it? Those wonderful, interesting stories aren't nearly as wonderful or interesting if the grammar and mechanics are distracting. Here's a salute to you for all the work you've done to make the stories of so many authors, including mine, more readable and enjoyable. May you never stop helping us. You are very much appreciated.
Well, you and I both know there isn't a great deal of editing to be done on your stories, but thanks for the encouragement.Delete
Gee, I should have had you give me a book so that I could give it away here. I do have an old geometry book if anyone wants it. :)
Thank you for your outstanding contribution to the wonderful world of JAFF, Gayle! It's so exciting knowing that you have a story in the works. I have abundant reasons to expect it will be terrific! I can't wait to read it.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to read it either, Pam. Unfortunately, since I haven't started writing it yet, we will both be waiting a while.Delete
Meanwhile, I can read more of your excellent stories.
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"...not a total lush yet."ReplyDelete
I'll believe that when you have to go cold turkey without getting a case of the shakes.
I am glad that you are an addict because you have given me so much confidence in my abilities.
You know me well, Annette (you really do). I wish all my students were as eager to learn as you are. Then maybe what I do at school would be as much fun as what I do online.Delete
You have just scratched the surface of what you are able to do. The best is yet to come.
"I don’t read any story where Elizabeth and Darcy don’t end up together."ReplyDelete
Sing it girl!
Any writer would be fortunate to have such a dedicated beta on their side, and I have no doubt that they are very glad for your help, nudging, yelling, cheering, bribary or whatever is required to get those WIP's finished.
I put my vote in for the variations, because the realm of possibility is limitless, and that is how we can write the same basic theme over and over, and still make it unique. I have no doubt that you next story will be wonderful.
And you do the variations so well, Linda. The first paragraphs of your story always pull me in. And then, of course, I am in for the count. You have written some of my favorite D&E couples.Delete
Bless you, Gayle. I just wish you had been around when we were writing LSL. Each post was a new opportunity for some readers to think up names to call us. Laura's mantra was "Advance, advance, advance. We'll just show them that they can't shut us up." When I signed on I didn't know it was for a fan fiction reformation!ReplyDelete
My particular passions now are What-ifs. I love taking one element, the smaller the better, and seeing what happens when it's implemented.
I'm hoping Gayle will be giving me help with a new Persuasion novel so I should get out of here and work on that!
Of course I'll be more than delighted to help with any writing project you're working on. You know that.Delete
I've told you this, but for the benefit of the few who read comments, my first taste of JAFF came when Robin and I found Pamela Aidan's trilogy in a bookstore in Greenville. We were there for a Fine Arts competition. I think I had read the first book before we left. She mentioned you in her acknowledgments, and I promptly googled you (did you feel it?) I found your books, and I found your story, When I Dream.... Ahhhhh.... My life at the time was total crap, and it was heavenly to be able to escape into the beautiful story you crafted. Being the stalker that I am, I found the story that you and Laura had written, the MEGA story. It was heartbreakingly lovely, but with the oddest, funniest things inserted. (Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie -- I laughed so hard, I thought I'd expire on the spot.) I really loved Frederick, and ended up not caring if he found happiness or not. Benwick really drew me in, and I could totally understand how Anne fell in love with him. He really was a better fit for her. And I loved the house that he had inherited -- the crazy house with the treasure in the cellar. Vases -- who would have thought it? And that's where I met Laura's Elizabeth and McGillvary (totally a heartthrob).
I started following your blog, and I am still in awe of you and Laura and Pamela.
From your biggest fan, thanks for all you do. Looking forward to your story. I have not been able to look at tatoo's since our talk. lolReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to your help with that story. I'm thinking we can spend the weekend working on the plot. That's your specialty, after all. I'm looking forward to it.Delete
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How do you feel about the spate of JA/horror stories such as "PP and Zombies" and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters"?ReplyDelete
I don't know, June. I have downloaded both of those to my kindle and hope to read them this summer. I'm generally more open to weird story lines than most JAFF addicts. I don't require canon purity in order to enjoy a story. (I REALLY enjoyed yours.)Delete
I've read quite a few vampire Darcy stories that I really liked (Tempt Me/juliecoop; others by Regina Jeffers and Amanda Grange). I really liked Mary Simonsen's werewolf story, Darcy's Bite. So, I'm not opposed to the supernatural stories. Much of it depends on the quality of the writing.
I'm hesitant to comment on a story I haven't read, so I'll have to get back to you on that after I've read them.
Thank goodness for your JAFF passion. Your comments and friendship have been so helpful to me. I have benefited by your beta talents as well. Gayle, keep reading! Writers need fans like you. :)ReplyDelete
And JAFF needs writers like you, Mary. Your lovely writing makes it easy to fall in love with the genre. I have a friend who's reading Darcy on the Hudson now. She loves it. I think you have another adoring fan.Delete
Not that you need it, but I'm always available to read for you.
Thanks so much for posting here! And thanks for being patient with ME and helping me with your beta talents! Barbara
I was very flattered that you asked me to post here, Barb. It truly is exalted company in our "world."Delete
I've enjoyed all of the insights that the authors have offered here. I like the personal touch.
The only patience you require is the patience to wait for your next chapter. Now, when did you say it would be ready? :)
Great post, Gayle! If it weren't for your comments, and then your offering to beta, I would have given up before I was halfway through posting my first story. I love your one-shot and can't wait for your next story to come out!ReplyDelete
Thanks, dearie. You have a real talent for writing. It wasn't difficult to offer encouragement. As I'm working through Dreams and Expectations, I am again reminded of how you interweave elements of the plot. I had forgotten how much I liked that story the first time I read it.Delete
It's a great "What if...."
Gayle, I read The Tryst when you posted in D&L and it has been ages! This is not fair. When are you going to post the story you are working on now? I hope your fascination with Persuasion doesn't makes us wait as long as Anne did for Wentworth. Pleeeease.ReplyDelete
It's been almost a year, China. Hard to believe. I've never tried to write anything longer than 2000 words. I'm not yet sure that I can do it. And I really do stay busy. Teaching full time, music ministry at my church, beta'ing WIP's, editing books for publication, and most importantly -- grandmothering my five blessings. I am going to try this summer (after I finish final edits for Wendi, Grace, and PatS).Delete
I think I have to. I'm afraid Laura Hile and Gayle Messick will come after me if I don't. :)
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Oh my gosh, thanks for writing this, Gayle! I just reread a JAFF post from a blog that I tweeted to a JAFF author I love and realized that it may have sounded like more of an insult to JAFF writing since I'm rather blunt with my opinions. You said everything perfectly. Bless you ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading and commenting, Jamie. I'm sure the author was glad to receive your feedback. Sometimes just a word of encouragement that may seem insignificant to you can become the "push" that they need to return to the very hard work of writing. Working with JAFF authors has opened my eyes to the amount of effort that it takes to post those stories that we all enjoy on the boards we love to visit.Delete
I always read a story when Gayle Mills is involved. Nuff said.ReplyDelete
I sometimes offer to beta a story if I see that it's a really good story, but it just needs some TLC to be a really great story. I love to work with authors. It's just part of the teaching process. The bonus is that some of them become very good friends.
That being said, when I agree to help with a story, I usually don't have much of an idea where the story is going. Once I've committed to a project, I will see it through, even if I might have some issues with it.
I'm very glad to have met you in this crazy world of JAFF, Terry. You have a wicked sense of humor. You really should write.
My addiction are coffee and Mr. Darcy and not in that order lol! Lovely post!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Margaret. When I'm indulging my addiction to Mr. Darcy, I usually have a cup of coffee at hand. I am trying to moderate my behavior, so lately I've converted to hot tea. Is that a first step?Delete