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Let's try something a little different. ("The Hunt for Good RPS")
Leather Daddy
ficbitches
No, this isn't an admin notice, don't worry!

Leather Daddy is having some technical difficulties that are keeping her from the RPS. I'll get to these stories soon, I swear!

BTW: If you recommend a long archive of stories and you don't specify that "fic #______ is the one that will change your life and your way of thinking, but fics x, y, and z are necessary backstory so you have to read them first," it's hard for me to see a list of 20 related stories and go, "oh boy, time to read them all!" Give me a hand, here. I want to be fair, but if you don't focus my reading, I'll use the time-honored "stick a fork in 3-5 places, see if it's done" technique. Which may indeed lead me to miss that "FIC THAT WILL ROCK MY WORLD," but I had no idea which fic that was!

Editorial comment #1: I have the greatest respect for you authors (um...usually...) but really, why offer up your fic and then say you don't care what we think? This is sort of a fic review site, you know.

Editorial comment #2: On that note, the adjectives "famous" and "popular" and "well-liked" mean very little to us as a description of a fic. (see: site description)

Editorial comment #3: By the way, you'll notice that none of the ficbitches has really honestly attacked RPS or RPF fandom. We just say the WRITING is often shitty. We haven't even touched the issue of whether it's right or wrong or whether RPS'ers are going to hell or whether people who hate RPS are just narrow-minded bigots who are unwilling to have their viewpoints expanded. (I personally love that last one. Yes, let's all take our fandom very seriously, people.) Please keep that in mind, all right?


Some time ago, Gunstar Heroine reviewed a J-Rock RPS (real-person-slash) fic. Part of the responses to that fic were along the lines of, "Well, of course you're going to dislike BAD RPS, there's lots of good RPS!"

As one of the people who thinks that all RPS is terrible crap, I took that advice to heart and went searching for good RPS. I went to about a dozen rec pages and read their suggestions for RPS. I asked friends who were into RPS. I read actorfic, musicianfic, boyband slash - I read a lot of it. I did my research.

I have yet to read RPS that doesn't make me want to stab my eyeballs out. Either the writing quality is poor, or the "characters" are uninteresting, or the storyline is completely retarded. "An AU where all the boyband members hang out at Skateland in junior high and everyone is gay!" I have read more retarded Eminem slash than I care to. Eminem x Lance Bass. Eminem x Sean Biggerstaff (no, I'm not kidding.) Lots of Eminem x Elijah Wood. Lance Bass x Orlando Bloom. Eminem x Lex Luthor. Eminem x QAF cast. Carson Daly brutally raping Justin Timberlake as a 17-year-old.

I *know* all of this is essentially braincandy, but can't it be INTERESTING braincandy? Most of the fics are essentially about how so-and-so is obsessed with Pixi Stix, so he gives them to his crush who doesn't understand the DEEP SIGNIFICANCE of the gesture, and the entire fic is their retarded attempts to reconcile and do the Humpty Dance. That level of infantile cutesy behavior that's excused because it's FAMOUS AND GAY behavior drives me up the wall, and it seems to be par for the course in RPF.

So, here comes my proposition. You people who claim that good RPS exists - prove it. Leave the link in the comments. I'll read it, and assuming I don't get dozens and dozens of replies, I'll reply with what I thought about it. (RPS and RPF - that is, non-slash, if it exists? are both welcome.) You non-RPS-fans are also welcome to read the fic and leave comments; just try to keep things succinct and fic-related. I'm the only one allowed to ramble for pages around here, dammit!

Go for it. Let's see if you can prove me wrong.

EDIT: What do I mean by "good"? A partial explanation. I'm not asking for realism, or even 100% feasibility, but I'm asking for an interesting story that isn't a madlibs slash story. If you read this thread about how Vivi's LOTR smutfest broke my mind and soul and I compared it to those soul-breaking Depeche Mode slashfics, I realized that the similarities extend far beyond their ability to reduce me to incoherency.

I realized that it was because YOU COULD EASILY INTERCHANGE THE NAMES.

big mean manipulative abusive seme or "top" or "dom": dave gahan/viggo/sean bean
weepy wussy uke who needs serious deep-dicking the seme's "love": martin gore/orlando/elijah
everyone else: held at bay, because either they love the seme and he's too much of a manwhore for them...or they love the uke, and big jealous psycho seme won't allow that.

It's very sad if a fic remains the same whether the cast of lord of the rings or the members of depeche mode are subbed in. That's not a good fic.

That's just an example of what I mean by "bad characterization." In general, people write these real people as brain-dead morons whose sole identifying characteristics are who they want to fuck and how they want to do it. Or they're weepy and whiny and co-dependent like Uke-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fandom fame. I come out of the fic literally knowing nothing more about this "character" than they like to be tied up and paddled, or they have abandonment issues that allow their "lover/master/owner" to shamelessly abuse them.

BO-RING.

So before you excuse all the sins of fandom, both RPF and regular fiction, with "what the hell do you expect, realism? these are just our fantasies" - naw, that's not what I mean at all. Reread what I said.

A boring, incomprehensible, unrealistic RPS fic is like a boring, incomprehensible, unrealistic Mary Sue. Sure, it's your personal fantasy. But don't be surprised if I'm bored shitless by it or say it's badly-written. Muses and Soulbonds are not exempt from the need for editing and plotting.


http://www.livejournal.com/community/jrocktheatre/247991.html

It's locked so you'll have to join the community to read it. I don't think it's so bad because A. one of them is actually...GAY! Yes you heard it. (That would be Ao) the other has been very ambiguous throughout the years (That would be Ryutarou.) B. Ao does indeed seem to have at least a crush on Ryutarou, and they are actually rather good friends. C. We (being me writing Ao, and the other person writing Ryutarou) tried to make them as accurate as possible.

and yes, I am attached to it as it's A. The only lemon I've written and B. the only RPS I've written because frankly it kind of squicks me too >>;;. It makes me feel better that it's (mostly) canon, or whatever the proper word would be.

OH MY GOD MAN you linked her Jrocktheatre?!

I shall never live this down. +_+

*ph33rs*

All, right, all right, now, I'm one of the people who thinks all RPS is terrible crap, but... but I swear, doc, I slipped. It was a one in a million shot.

Or, that is to say, I like jus' about everything else keelywolfe writes, so I figured even if it was RPS, it couldn't be that bad.

http://www.ravenswing.com/~keelywolfe/vivi.html

It's not all good. Well, it's good porn, but I have to do a mental find-and-replace and make "Viggo" into "Steve" so that I am not crushed by my own shame sometimes, but it's good porn. Skip the "Shut Up" series and go to "Drinking Games."

It took so much strength to not post this anonymously, I'll have you know. LOOK AWAY. LOOK AWAY.

I actually used the "Shut up" series to leave Leather Daddy in pure pain. Here's the chatroom log!
*Leather Daddy* ........
*Leather Daddy* no, I cannot be hurt!
*Leather Daddy* "sean? ....orli....NO, WILL NOT FINISH THIS FIC"
* Gilded Fantasy offers LD shota instead?
*Gunstar Heroine* YES YOU WILL:
*Gunstar Heroine* It's part of a VERY SPECIAL series
*Leather Daddy* NO
*Gunstar Heroine* RPS LotR kinksville.
* Gilded Fantasy protects LD
*Gunstar Heroine* You need to get up to the watersports.
*Gilded Fantasy* you can hide under my desk LD
*Leather Daddy* .........................................................................................................
*Leather Daddy* i hate you, Gunstar.
*Leather Daddy* and I WILL get you back for this.
* Bystander sighs and hands Gunstar another notch :(
*Leather Daddy* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MY SOUUUUUUUUL
*Leather Daddy* Gunstar, this fic is destroying my soul.
*Leather Daddy* I mean, me + RPS is like handling concentrated hydrogen peroxide with no gloves.
*Leather Daddy* THIS FIC HURTS
*Leather Daddy* IT'S REMINDING ME OF THOSE GODDAMN DEPECHE MODE FICS
*Leather Daddy* THOSE ALSO REALLY HURT
*Gilded Fantasy* what about the BT stalker fic?
*Leather Daddy* that hurt.
*Leather Daddy* but in a different way, sort of.
*Gunstar Heroine* Are you still on just that one part?
*Leather Daddy* "Viggo won't even trade off with you," Sean coaxed. "He's not treating you properly."
*Leather Daddy* "He treats me just fine!"
*Leather Daddy* "Does he?" Sean rested his chin on his hand. "Spends time with you and Lij outside of the bedroom then, does he?"
*Leather Daddy* "I...." Orli faltered. "He spends plenty of time with us."
*Leather Daddy* "I didn't ask how much time he spends with you, I asked where he spends it." Sean's voice softened, and he looked at Orli with something like sympathy. "I heard you at the club, Orlando. Are you sure he's worth it?"
*Leather Daddy* AUGH
*Leather Daddy* Orli squirmed. "I don't like pain the way Lijah does."
*Leather Daddy* dude, this RPS shit is just wrong!
*Gilded Fantasy* so LD, let's be friends ^-^
*Leather Daddy* um.....will I get bad touches? @_@
*Gilded Fantasy* of course! *3
* Gilded Fantasy reaches out for LD
*Leather Daddy* AUUUGH BAD TOUCHES
* Gilded Fantasy giggles
* Gunstar Heroine molests LD
*Leather Daddy* so now "viggo" is beating "elijah" and "orli" is worried about them and their happy little 3P.
*Gilded Fantasy* ...
*Leather Daddy* meanwhile, "sean" is trying to horn in and get "orli"'s sweet elf behind.
*Gilded Fantasy* as you read this keep in mind that apparently viggo and your dad look alike.
*Leather Daddy* but "sean" has already done half the cast, including "ian" and "dom" and "cate" and "liv"
*Leather Daddy* I HATE YOU, GF
*Leather Daddy* SHUT UP
*Leather Daddy* IT'S WATERSPORTS NOW
*Gilded Fantasy* XD
*Gilded Fantasy* I think I won that one Gunstar
*Gunstar Heroine* w00t

Some edgy stuff some friends of mine have been doing -- definitely not cute boy bands.

http://www.megchan.com/misc/chiaroscuro/

Hmmm. The first thing I did when I clicked on this link was to read the "about" page where it neatly listed the cast and their corresponding kinks.

This is technically well-written (by that I mean spelling and so on), but it's not so much cohesive fiction as a series of vaguely related snippets; more like a handful of photographs than an actual book. The images are lovely, but fairly two-dimensional. After all, the characters are pretty much only defined by who they're fucking and what their particular sexual kink is. That's all that they are, like windup toys.

All writing doesn't have to have Meaning, but this is simply erotica with recognizable names. It doesn't exactly disprove my point that it's hard to find RPF in which careful thought is given to plotting and characterization and all those things which make up good fiction in general. Hot steamy kinky porn is great and I like it, but unless it's part of a greater whole I don't really consider it to be an example of fine writing. I lose interest after the initial "wow, that is one hell of a pleasant mental image" reaction.

I mean, shit, Gabriel Byrne x Jeremy Iron? Hot damn!

But since all they do is spank and knife and fuck each other, it's a bit of a let-down. It really is like reading the transcript of your average fetish porn tape. Not even the best writer in the world can claim that that's much fun to read unless you're horny.

I really want to know when people decided that piling on kinks and fetishes substituted for characterization, in both RPF and regular fanfiction.

(Deleted comment)
I have to admit to having a weakspot for Masterclass, a remnant from my brief phase seeking out RPS - in this case, LotR RPS, Hugo Weaving/Orlando Bloom.

Whether or not this counts as good outside of my own bias toward it is anyone's guess, but when you hold it up to the druggie-suicide-pacts or watersports offerings in the genre, it's a gem.

I have been a member of the Lotrips fandom from the beginning, so obviously I *don't* think RPS is terrible crap as a matter of course. That said, there's terrible crap to be had in any fandom, FPS or RPS. But there is also wonderful fic.

Anything by zarah5 is brilliant, but her Orlijah fic Kinematics is painfully wonderful.

Also, viva_gloria-- again, anything, but the Viggorli Midsummer: Dreaming is lyrical and hot. Such rich textures...

Both links just go to their websites, due to site format.

And, should you wish to examine my wares, I'll step up to the plate and say they aren't crap. Direct link to Butterfly, a well-regarded Orlijah in our fandom. Other stuff at my site, Night's Garden.

Happy reading, and I'll be interested to hear if you think the foregoing are crap, and if so, why.

Ok, I won't be reading any of the fics, since I'm totally squicked by RPS, but I have a small request.

Please please please, for the love of god, do not use the "cute" pairing pet names. By that I mean "Orlijah" and "Viggorli". Type out the names, I beg of you. Splicing them together only gives me the scary mental image of some demented hybrid child. It's freaky as all hell, man. O_o

This is, unfortunately, a shameless plug, but I've gotten lots of good feedback on this piece of mine, and I'm rather proud of it. You can tell me it's crap, but I won't listen. ^_~

Panther

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I do not normally read any RPF or RPS, I have enough seizures from regular fanfiction let alone anything having to do with real people. But I saw the challenge and forced myself to fandomination.net to see what they have stockpiled.

I found this great tension breaker fic for AR in there and think you guys may just enjoy this short piece.

It is by no means serious and made me hack up a lung from laughing too much after my bout of bronchitis.

http://www.fandomination.net/?mode=fanfic&FanficID=60739

The possible amount of PIXI-STIX it took to write this fic baffles me.

Ok--I've read the story I think you were talking about, "Wolves and Boybands Mate For Life", and it's by one of my favorite authors. Merry has a great deal of technical skill and absolutely impeccable grammar and spelling, so regardless of your personal dislike, this fic is miles above the kind of thing most often reviewed on your page. It's not your cup of tea, fine, but... Just sayin' . I don't want other people to be scared off because of what you said. Because I really like the story. In fact, I think it's absolutely genius. I was planning on recommending this fic, in fact.

Mind you, I'm not particularly into RPS. Actor slash, in particular, creeps me out. But boyband slash is diferent for me. For one thing, a great many excellent slash writers have written in the fandom: Merry, helen, torch, Betty Plotnick, and Julad, among others. For another thing, I realize that boy band fic isn't really written about boybands, which aren't particularly interesting at the best of times: it's written about idealized images that the authors play with. I think part of the reason boyband fandom is so desirable to fic writers is because it allow a greater degree of wiggle-room, canonically speaking. The authors have more freedom. The plots don't always have to be about kidnappings or crime scenes or whatever, like they are in some TV fandoms (because that's the only thing that's ever shown on camera.)

Anyways, as for Merry's story--the boys act in odd, childish ways, but I don't think they're supposed to act like real people. It's a stylized way of telling the story, and it serves its purpose--to create an innocent, care-free, and very funny mood. It's not exactly whimsical, because I hate that word, but it is very charming. If it's not your cuppa, then that's fair, but I honestly don't thnk the plot is illogical or stupid in the context of the kind of story it is. It's a humorous story, and to me, it all makes sense in context.

A lot of boyband stories fall in the category of humorous and vaguely odd rather than dramatic and plotty--it's the same reason that a lot of Buffy stories are depressing as fuck. It fits the tone of the characters.

And to wrap this up, since I'm starting to ramble and I wasn't supposed to do that... I just want to say how much I love your reviews and fic_bitches in general. All very funny, much appreciated, etc. Compliments never go astray, right?

A third opinion, maybe

Seeing as how LD has issues with this fic and you really liked it, I decided to check it out for myself.

Problem was, as soon as I read this:

It wasn't like he was a slut, for God's sake. Chris Kirkpatrick didn't give green Pixie Stix to just anybody, after all.

I KNEW I wouldn't be able to take this fic seriously.

Well, actually, I tried to put that aside and continue on, but I didn't feel compelled to read beyond about 1/4 of the way through. It was just... dull. It wasn't hideous train-wreck style badness, it just felt like it wasn't going anywhere and there was nothing particularly interesting that compelled me futher.

I also found the plot fairly dumb. "Oh no! My love does not recognize and/or appreciate the gifts I THOUGHTFULLY gave him! Sobweepetc." Seems like something more suited to a high school drama than a boy band.

The spelling and grammar is perfect, but sadly, the fic itself can't hold my attention at all, so it doesn't make much difference.

Also, I should note that it's a good idea if one's general like of a particular author doesn't interfere with their judgement of their individual works. Every individual/group that produces entertainment has some stuff that disappoints. It happens.

Now here's interesting timing - I'm usually not one for RPS myself, but I tried one just last week that I absolutely loved.

It's Pirates of the Carribean NC-17 RPS featuring not just the usual Johnny Depp/Orlando Bloom, but also Johnny/Jack Davenport/Orlando.

The reason I don't care for RPS is because of issues I have with characterization (how can you even begin to be sure you've got it right?), so I can't speak for that, but I do know that several parts of it made me laugh out loud, the author's exploration of Jack's awkward outsider status was thoughtful and not overdone, and the smut was mmm.

So, "Tocatta."

http://www.broadwriting.com/index2.html

here're two which I like.

Part of the fun of RPF is the whole fantasy part, but most of it is crap. Easily 97% is crap. And I say this as someone who actually likes RPF.

But there are fics out there which are good, without a single mention of pixi stix:
- First Love and Other Miscommunications by Sandy. It's an nsync AU wherein the boybanders are campaigning. I like it, though whether it will pass your test...
- Lovebites + Razorlines by kissedblister on deadjournal. Good Charlotte, more specifically the twins of said band in their youth. Perhaps a bit disturbing.

Wouldn't the same comments about the writing quality/characters/plotlines apply to most fic no matter it's real-personness?

Re: here're two which I like.

Wouldn't the same comments about the writing quality/characters/plotlines apply to most fic no matter it's real-personness?

That's very true. However, if you read RPF as fiction, using the same standards that you would for a fic about copyright characters, there are slightly different excuses used for the same pitfalls.

Poor plotting or writing: Due to the nature of the genre, it's "quirky." (I'm not picking on you, commenter, I'm just making a reply to that.)

Boring/strange/incomprehensible characterization: It's MY vision of their personalities. Since these famous people have stage/public personae that may differ from how they really are, it's okay to make them do completely bizarre things that normal people wouldn't do.

It's a bit difficult to evaluate characterization because, as I said, we don't personally know the people so we can't say for 100% sure that something is or isn't in character for them. Fictional characters have unchanging source material you can extrapolate from for characterization, but famous people only have their public appearances, which may just be all show. So, essentially, RPF'ers are creating semi-original characters. When I read RPF, I try to read it as an original story with names and maybe a few extraneous details/events that I recognize.

Evaluated that way, I still find that many RPF'ers have fairly poor skills in all these areas that are covered up or excused by the nature of what they write. They "show" instead of "tell", they create wimpy, bizarre, toxically co-dependent characters that I find hard to take an interest in (even if they're having really hot sex), and so on.

And of COURSE all those generalizations can be made about fic in general - that's the point of this entire site! XD I honestly was looking for good RPF, since I was sure that there MUST be a few readable RPFs out there, since there are good fanfics out there. But cruising rec pages was getting me nowhere. The fics I read had these terrible shortcomings and weren't doing anything to change my opinion of the genre.

I'm looking to be proven wrong, not to slam all the real-person fics you like for my amusement! (If that happens, I'll try to justify what I'm saying.)

I hope that was an adequate explanation of my reasons for making this post. If not; well, it's late, leave me comments and I'll try to explain myself better. ^_^;;

I will start commenting on fics tomorrow!


Someone recced a Calico story already, but I'm going to add another couple.

Cuisine is not fluffy boyband porn. There is porn, and as always with Calico it's excellent porn, but it's also a superbly-written story with a beautifully tight and disturbing pov.

While you're there, you could check out Relief too, which is on the lighter, funnier, more wicked end of the boyband spectrum.

It's like one of the labors of Hercules. I think the best comparison would be made to cleaning out the stables. 0.0

Good luck. Talk about taking one for the team...

**giggle** That's a great analogy!

~glo!on a search for realism, it's best to stay away from the internet

This is the only RPF I've ever liked

(Anonymous)
The Fanfic Lounge: Fellowship of the Ring (http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=615686).

I don't know if this would technically qualify as a real person fic so much as a humorous metafic about the state of fandom at large.

But it is hilarious, witty, critical,involves two actors in significant roles, there's a plot, and NO sex.