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Trabia Garden
You May Have Seen A Million Entries About This, But This One Has Pokémon.
If I Hate Myself So Much, Why Don't I Hatemarry Myself? 
1st-Nov-2013 05:40 pm
Oh no, I somehow fell back into Homestuck. I'd dropped out at the beginning of Act 6, when it suddenly introduced a new cast of characters and I went 'HOMESTUCK, YOU HAVE A THOUSAND CHARACTERS ALREADY, HOW AM I EXPECTED TO HAVE ANY ROOM TO CARE ABOUT THESE ONES?'

And then, a couple of years later, I revisited it in an idle moment, and... well, it turns out that I love Jane, Roxy, Dirk and Jake just as much as I loved John, Rose, Dave and Jade. That'll teach me to judge.

The friendships in Homestuck are so great! I had forgotten how wonderful they were. All the Homestuck hatred floating around on the Internet had sort of driven its excellent qualities out of my mind. I had not forgotten how fantastically incomprehensible the plot was, but the characters and their dynamics make up for it.

There's a part of me that wants to reread the entire thing from the beginning once I've caught up. There is another part of me that is pretty convinced that that would be a terrible idea. Homestuck is a million years long and incredibly confusing, and the start, if I recall correctly, is a bit on the slow side. But it's so much fun!

It'd also be quite nice to re-experience the early acts with my later knowledge. When I first started reading Homestuck, I didn't pay much attention to the trolling bits; I was much more interested in the conversations between the kids, and I hadn't yet realised that the trolls actually had significance in the story. I still love the John-Rose-Dave-Jade friendship, of course, but it would be nice to reread the early carcinoGeneticist logs in the awareness that Karkat is the best forever. He's just constantly ineffectually furious in a way I find utterly charming.

I think I hateship Karkat with basically everyone. But especially himself.

This is a particularly unfortunate time to get back into Homestuck, as it happens. I haven't formally participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2006, but I do try to write at least a little each day during the month of November. Naturally, I usually end up writing fanfiction for my fandom of the moment.

If my fandom of the moment is Homestuck, this is a problem, because Homestuck is completely impossible to write fanfiction for. Even setting the incomprehensible plot aside, there's the difficulty of getting into the heads of characters who are mostly aliens, and then there's the issue of how to write dialogue. In Homestuck, most of the conversation takes place through chat clients; when people have physical conversations, though, their speech is still rendered in the style in which they type. I can't imagine writing Homestuck fanfiction that isn't in chat-transcript style! IF KARKAT ISN'T SPEAKING IN GREY ALLCAPS, HE'S NOT KARKAT TO ME. Dont Even Get Me Started On Kanaya OR T3R3Z1. maybe writing the kids would be ok, but i think it would still feel weird not to use their font colors and capitalization styles! (Whoops, just realised I'd used the American 'colors' but the British 'capitalisation' there; I am already screwing up John's voice, and I haven't even started writing fanfiction yet.) And all of this would look ridiculous in a non-transcript format fic.

"ok, that sounds good!" John said.


In conclusion, Homestuck fanfiction cannot be written. It looks like there are over twenty thousand Homestuck works on AO3, but I'm fairly certain they're all blank documents.
5th-Nov-2013 11:57 am (UTC)
Well, I suppose one of the things in its favour is its excellent female characters and the way they're treated; the male:female split amongst the central cast is almost completely even, which is incredibly rare even in canons that don't have twenty-something significant characters, and the female characters all have distinct personalities, plotlines and motivations of their own. It's sort of sad; it seems like such a small thing - 'give the female characters as much significance as the male ones' - and yet actually finding something that achieves that really brings home how rare it is.

Fandom-wise, the even gender ratio and the huge cast probably brings in 'shippers of all stripes; whether you like slash, het or femslash, Homestuck can provide both subtext and canon, and the wide range of characters allows for a huge range of relationship dynamics. Meanwhile, it's still fundamentally a story of friendship and adventure, so people who aren't particularly 'shippy can still enjoy it. Maybe it's just a 'something for everyone' thing? I'm not sure whether that really explains why it became so astonishingly popular, though, and I don't know how the fandom made such a bad name for itself.
6th-Nov-2013 12:34 am (UTC)
That makes sense. I hadn't heard about the fandom having a reputation, although I can guess. Any large fandom, you get some people behaving really badly, and some people going "Oh, X fans, they're all like that!"
9th-Nov-2013 09:47 am (UTC)
My theory: Tumblr. Tumblr is why the fandom has a bad reputation. Tumblr is why many fandoms have bad reputations. There's something uniquely inflammatory about it.

BUT I would also say the other reason is that fans of Homestuck tend to be very into Homestuck, and have a habit of making every single thing about Homestuck even if everyone else isn't interested in talking about it. That weird way Hussie has of linking disconnected phrases, concepts and frameworks into his big weird story means that any one of those things coming up in an unrelated discussion can turn that discussion into one about Homestuck. Nick Cage. Spiders. Magic eight balls. Dogs versus postal workers. Mayoral sash. Capslock. Uranium. Hard reset. Scratch. Page, knight, lord. Pawn to queen. Spirographs. Astrology. The classical elements.

I've also heard stories about Homestucks behaving badly at conventions - throwing metal buckets of paint at strangers, for example - but from what I gather that was just the product of a disproportionately large fandom having a proportionate number of assholes, and they've since learned to behave or get kicked out. This is, however, purely hearsay.

Anyway, I wanted to say that I find one way to make it a little easier to organise the plot in my head is to think of it as a video game. Each time you place a game disk into your given platform and turn it on, you create a universe, in a way - the game world. You have your player character, who can sometimes have extra lives (dreamselves?). There are NPCs who are the same each time you play the game, existing in the same role, but they can have different fates depending on what the player does (carapaces). Each time you create a new player character in, say, an RPG, you're manipulating one set of values while others remain fixed (so, the post-Scratch kids). Games often reuse animations, poses, textures, objects and models. Character-specific coloured speech text? Point-and-click adventure has those! Dave is a very, very long-running examination of the idea of save games and check-points - imagine if, each time you died and reloaded a save, the body of the "dead" self remained. The "server" and "client" terminology is really familiar if you've ever had a LAN party or played online multiplayer. And what's the worst thing for a fun game? Some overpowered, overbearing jerk who thinks the only way to win the game is if he wins the game and everything is always his forever - or nobody can play at all.
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