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Fic Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: nicksgal on December 28, 2020, 07:30:56 PM



Title: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 28, 2020, 07:30:56 PM
I thought this might be a good companion to "The Writing Thread." The first part is for slightly selfish reasons, mainly give me something to read.

First, I'm looking for things to read once I finish my editing binge (2/3 of the way done, woo!). There's a couple things I've already noticed that are being updated and wanted to read along with while they're getting posted to provide some encouragement along the way, but I'll read just about anything and figured who better to ask for suggestions than the authors. So, if you're working on something you want someone to read, holler at your girl! Especially suggest it if: it's nostalgic, it has lots of "band of brothers/family of choice" moments, there's good cliffhangers/interesting foreshadowing, or you're just really proud of it! I love some AU and fantasy, but those are definitely not necessary to me while reading (writing-wise, that's me though if anyone wants their own reading suggestions). I have zero problems with graphic content or any other warnings, walls of text are fine, any POV is fine, completion is unnecessary (I get long writer's blocks), old or new is fine, long or short is fine, and it can also be original fiction if there's not a BSB fic you want read (I might be slightly more picky though, unless your characters are prone to those "band of brothers/family of choice" moments, they'll get me every time). Post a summary and a link below, please!

Second component to the reading thread that I thought might inspire some writing: what's something you want to read, but don't necessarily want to write? Anyone currently sheltering/fostering some "Rose plot bunnies" in need of a good home?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 29, 2020, 12:09:42 PM
I sadly don't read as much fanfic as I used to, but one I'm enjoying currently and will recommend is "If I Knew Then" by Tracy (FrickingKaos).  https://archiveofourown.org/works/17574686/chapters/41421044  It's a Frick/Frack slash set back in early 1998, so there's definitely nostalgia and both bromance and romance.  I don't read a lot of slash, but this one is about Nick and Brian figuring out who they are and coming to terms with it, and I really like aspect of it.

I also recommend reading anything by KeepThisSecret on AC: http://absolutechaos.net/viewuser.php?uid=2386  She was active a few years ago, so you may have missed her run on AC when you were taking a break.  Every story I read by her was well-written and entertaining.  She writes a lot of group-centered suspense stories that have an old-school feel, even though they're set in the modern era.  "Dodging the Daylight" is my favorite by her, but I also loved "Soldier Down" and "Ladies' Choice."

Along the same lines, I'm going back a few years, but if you missed "Hope is the Last Thing Ever Lost" by Mare, it's a must read!  Amazing bromantic suspense story - what Mare does best!  http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=11140

And finally, here's a couple more older (but within the last decade) stories you may have missed:

"Save a Prayer" by Steph (Carter-Orange): http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=10625  This one's a fun survival story!

"Remember Me This Way" by Rose: http://absolutechaos.net/viewstory.php?sid=10108
This one is a Nick-centered drama that features the whole group.  It's heartbreaking!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 29, 2020, 12:31:45 PM
If my last post wasn't obvious enough, I love a good, old-fashioned group suspense story.  I enjoy reading them more than I enjoy writing them, so if anyone wants to write one, please do!  Survival stories are always fun too!

I would also love to read more medical dramas.  I had an idea over the summer that involved Brian being diagnosed with a brain tumor, but I've pretty much decided I won't be writing that one.  It seemed too depressing, even for me, and I told myself no more cancer stories.  Then that guy from The Wanted got diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, and that was the nail in the coffin for that idea for me.  But if anyone else wants to write it, you know I would read it!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 29, 2020, 04:41:31 PM
I was expecting personal plugs, but ooh, lots of suggestions! Thanks Julie. I will peruse! If I knew Then was on my list already, but it's extra on my list via recommendation .

I would also love to read more medical dramas.  I had an idea over the summer that involved Brian being diagnosed with a brain tumor, but I've pretty much decided I won't be writing that one.  It seemed too depressing, even for me, and I told myself no more cancer stories.

That would be hard to write if it depresses you. As cancer becomes more and more prevalent, I think it hits home more and is harder to write about. Semi related, a long, long time ago (like pre-PBox long ago), I started writing a mental health medical drama where Nick made up the Backstreet Boys but believed it was all real. It was really depressing, and clearly not anything I was capable of dealing with at the time, so I always shied away from medical dramas after that. Also poor Nick, always the victim of so much drama. But if anyone wants to adopt that one for a medical drama, emphasis on the drama, take it.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 29, 2020, 08:29:47 PM
OMG, that's so sad, but what a great idea!  I would read that, even if it would depress me.  You know I love depressing stuff.  And yes, Nick is the fandom's favorite victim.  Poor guy LOL.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 29, 2020, 10:13:01 PM
I think it's easier to read depressing things than write depressing things! I am definitely fine with some depressing subject matter when reading, but if I'm writing it, I need to take frequent breaks. I don't know why that reminded me of that one, I think I attempted writing it when I was 15 or 16? It's a really old idea.

I feel for him because he had a lot going on anyway. I always wondered why AJ did not also get the same treatment? Not that I can sit over here saying "Leave Nick alone!" to everyone else or anything.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 30, 2020, 11:09:11 PM
I think for me, I would actually say writing depressing things is easier than reading depressing things.  I like doing both, but when I'm the one writing it, I'm in control of what happens.  I know what's coming, and I also know I can change the outcome if I really want to (although I usually don't).  Whereas when I'm reading someone else's depressing story, I don't know for sure what's going to happen, and that makes it more emotional when I get blindsided by something sad, like a character death.  I love a good tearjerker because it's cathartic to cry over sad fiction, and it often makes me feel better about my own real life problems (as in, things could always be worse).  But I definitely cry more reading other people's stories than I cry or feel genuinely sad while writing or rereading my own.

I don't know why Nick gets tortured so much more than AJ or any of the other guys.  I guess it's because he's the fandom's favorite, but he's not my favorite Backstreet Boy, and yet he is my favorite fanfic victim, if you go by the numbers LOL.  I have definitely done more to him than the others over the years.  Maybe the fact that he has had a lot to deal with in his life makes him a good victim.  He tends to attract drama, in real life as well as in fanfic.  AJ has his demons too, but it's mostly just his substance abuse issues, whereas Nick has had those on top of family problems and relationship problems and everything else.  There's also a lot of different sides to Nick, which makes him fit well into the main character role for a lot of different storylines.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 30, 2020, 11:27:15 PM
I think it depends on if I know it's possible in whatever I'm reading or watching. I love This Is Us, but I definitely DVR it and then pick the appropriate time to watch it (e.g., "Can I handle crying for two hours right now or not?") If it's out of left field for me, then it takes longer to process. Like this morning, I read an article written by the owner of that dog Tuna about how Tuna changed his life and accidentally became an internet sensation and bawled hysterically for about ten minutes. Although, I say that and then I took a course in college to fulfill the "Multicultural Literature" requirement and I chose "Literacy of the Holocaust" and the professor was awesome, the class was great, and all the books were great, but even knowing that it was going to be a processing course, I definitely sat and stared at the wall for hours some days after finishing our reading contemplating existence and humanity...

I think you hit the nail on the head. There's a good basis for how he might react realistically to something, no matter how outlandish it might seem. I don't want to say it makes it easier, but "more fun" might be right? It takes less willing suspension of disbelief on the part of your readers? And even something crazy and fantastical seems fine. Like I remember writing Gobosei (The Backstreet Project on steroids, really) and was like Nick's going to get magic powers and be stoked. Not even quietly accepting, stoked as hell. And the others will be like, "What is going on?" and Nick will just be so excited about the whole thing. I loved drawing that page when it was a comic because of their reactions. It was my favorite.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 30, 2020, 11:52:59 PM
Aww, I love This is Us too.  I think I cried at every episode the first season.  It hasn't made me cry as much since we got through the fire episode in Season 2, but it's still good.  I cry at all of those animal videos and articles too.  And anything involving the Holocaust for sure.  That would be a hard class to take.

You have a good point about Nick.  He is so much more public than most of the other guys, between his social media posts, the reality shows he's done over the years, and so on.  It's made him easier to write because we see all those different sides of his personality, not just his stage persona.  We've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.  He has given us a lot of material to work with.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 12:07:33 AM
I cried a few times at this season's premier and haven't made myself get reinvested in it yet. I've been distracted writing, I guess, haha.

I think that's probably because celebrity felt more normal to him than his home life back in the day, somewhere where he could be mostly him and not navigate family politics. I know he said so many times in his Masked Singer clue packages that he felt like he could be the real him behind the mask, but I feel like he's always given 100% him (maybe just to BSB fans). He gives off too many "main character" vibes, haha. We're all characters in a book or tv show somewhere and he's still a main character.

I had the stupidest dream the other day that I decided to publish PBox and he tweeted about it (I don't really even use twitter that much so dreaming about someone else's twitter is just weird...) and said he really vibed with the main character (who was named something else at that point, obviously) and I was like, "Do I tell him? No, probably don't..." And I was embarrassed for myself that he read it.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 31, 2020, 12:12:41 AM
What a great dream!  I bet he would like your fantasy stuff, especially if he didn't realize it was about him LOL.  He definitely has main character vibes.  I love that way of thinking about it!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 12:20:09 AM
It's up his alley for sure.

Is there anything he hasn't done in a fanfic at this point? Quick! Think of the weirdest thing you can!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 31, 2020, 12:24:37 AM
LOL Probably not.  Nick in fanfics is like Rule #34 of the internet.  If you can think of it, it exists.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 12:27:00 AM
If there's BSB fanfic rules, I feel like that's Rule #1, haha.

Shape of Water, but all the characters are Nick. That's mine.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on December 31, 2020, 11:16:43 AM
I stopped reading fanfic long before I stopped writing it, so itís been awhile. I can recommend some books to read though. Iím almost done with Where the Crawdads Sing and itís been terribly sad but awesome. The Institute was a great SK suspense and if you enjoy lawyer drama The Guardians by John Grisham was awesome.

I agree with the both of you why Nick seems to be the favorite to torture. I also think it has to do with him being the youngest. From loving the old school brotherly bond stories, the inclination is to have all the big brothers look out for the younger one. I know that was always a motivator for me.

I regret never finishing the last story I was working on. I canít even remember itís name but I had vowed never to leave people hanging the way I felt like other authors left me hanging, but alas... lol

And as far as writing versus reading. Iím not sure where I stand on that. I think I preferred to write the disturbing stuff over reading it because I had total control over what was going to happen. Too many times I found myself rewriting other peopleís stories in my head to fit with what I wanted to happen. Probably something every writer secretly does.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 31, 2020, 12:35:57 PM
I need to finish Where the Crawdads Sing!  I started it toward the end of summer and then got distracted reading other stuff and haven't come back to it yet.  The pace was a little slow for me, but there's no denying it's well written.  I know a lot of people who loved it, so I'm sure it gets better.

I think you're right about Nick being the baby of the group.  That's another factor that gives him a certain vulnerability that's fun to exploit, especially when writing stories that take place in the early days of the group.  I think the fact that, up until recently, Nick's only real support system was the other guys plays a part in that too.  Lately I've tried to twist that dynamic around with storylines where I hurt big brother Kevin instead and force little brother Nick to step up and be the protector, but poor Nick still usually ends up being knocked down somehow.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 31, 2020, 12:37:06 PM
Too many times I found myself rewriting other peopleís stories in my head to fit with what I wanted to happen. Probably something every writer secretly does.

Ooh, this would be a good question.  How would you change specific stories you've read?  What would you have happen instead and why?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 02:18:32 PM
I stopped reading fanfic long before I stopped writing it, so itís been awhile. I can recommend some books to read though. Iím almost done with Where the Crawdads Sing and itís been terribly sad but awesome. The Institute was a great SK suspense and if you enjoy lawyer drama The Guardians by John Grisham was awesome.

Ooh, actual book recommendation s! The last few things I read in order were:

1. My twice per decade reread of Les Miserables. It's my favorite book and I've found that over the years, I get different things out of it.
2. The Crazy Rich Asians series. I wanted to read it before the movie came out, failed, eventually read it anyway and loved it.
3. The Konmari books. Team self improvement in 2020 over here, basically.
4. The second Hyperbole and a Half book "Solutions and Other Problems". You can always use a good laugh!

And I bought and keep meaning to read American Gods, it just hasn't happened yet.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 02:27:40 PM
I think you're right about Nick being the baby of the group.  That's another factor that gives him a certain vulnerability that's fun to exploit, especially when writing stories that take place in the early days of the group.  I think the fact that, up until recently, Nick's only real support system was the other guys plays a part in that too.  Lately I've tried to twist that dynamic around with storylines where I hurt big brother Kevin instead and force little brother Nick to step up and be the protector, but poor Nick still usually ends up being knocked down somehow.

When I was trying to figure out the other three gifts for my little holiday story, I went on a binge of their youtube channel looking for inspiration and was rewatching the video where they talk about their breaking points and perspective. And when Nick was talking about Now or Never and said, "I was just trying to rebel against my family like all kids do," that stuck out to me on that vulnerability note. I think that's why he kind of seems like a mix of all of them a little bit, maybe not necessarily all the best qualities of all of them, mind you.

Nick would go in guns blazing if Kevin was hurt, get knocked down, and get back up again guns blazing. There's that vulnerability, but I think at the end of the day he'll get back up again for them and do what needs to be done.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on December 31, 2020, 03:54:51 PM
Absolutely!  That brotherly relationship is a big part of why I love the boys, both in real life and in fanfic, and why I keep writing them as main characters in my stories.

I loved hearing Nick talk about Now or Never recently.  That whole album definitely has that "college kid who's in the process of discovering himself" vibe.  Some of the songs are kind of cringey, but others still hold up as some of his best solo work.  Even though it was the beginning of a rough patch for Nick, that era made me a fan of him individually.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on December 31, 2020, 04:13:29 PM
"Band of Brothers/Family of Choice/True Companions" is my life's weakness. It's all their faults for sure. I'm team boy bands forever, but I feel like none of the others really had that dynamic and that's why the Boys are the best.

I think I've said it before, 22 is hard for everyone for that reason and I think overall he might have been more okay without that break... And then Kevin leaving a few years later, poor guy. Do I Have To Cry For You and Help Me are two of my absolutely favorite songs. I Just Wanna Take You Home is a bop, but definitely cringey... Miss America I've enjoyed less as the years go on... Those ones stick out. I think overall I've enjoyed it more than his other albums though.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 01, 2021, 12:52:33 AM
I do think that's the main reason BSB have stayed together all these years.  They genuinely love each other.  So many of the other manufactured boybands didn't have that same kind of bond.  Another reason is that BSB have figured out the right balance between being a group and allowing each member to shine individually.  They didn't let Nick wanting to make a solo album break up the group the way NSYNC did when Justin went solo, and they're not five wannabe solo artists like One Direction was.  I think they've realized they're at their best when they're singing together, so they're content to keep doing that.

Yeah, I think Nick was a little lost without the other guys during the hiatus between B&B and NG.  He surrounded himself with toxic friends and girlfriends and made some bad choices.  But sometimes you have to learn things the hard way.  I'm proud of the person he's become.

DIHTCFY is such a great ballad.  My favorites from NG will always be I Got You, Blow Your Mind, and Who Needs the World.  I've enjoyed all his solo projects, but my favorite is All American.  It's such a fun album.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 01, 2021, 12:55:57 PM
I feel like the genuine love really permeates all their things. Though I feel like they had some odd management issues when NON was released... Didn't Nick stay with their management while they were trying to fire them? I think it's a tough balance to figure out, especially if you got put together by someone else. I feel like part of their saving grace was managing to throw off Lou as soon as they did. Then they really had a chance to sit down and be like, yo This Is Us (pun absolutely intended) and figure it out. As much as I hated it at the time, I think Kevin leaving was honestly the perspective they all needed. Like "Oh, we can be *this* together," (gestures roundly), "but I can also be *this* on my own." (gestures up and down), "And *all this* will be there in the meantime." (gestures AIHTGly) I'm just glad they made good on their promise, 90's teeny me wished so hard "Please be around forever" and it worked, haha. They definitely bring out the best in each other on and off the stage, so whatever makes them happy.

Same, proud of our boy! Maybe he's even better for it having learned the hard way.

I love all those ones too. Heart Without A Home was also up there in my Wednesday driving rituals. Girls in the USA was one I used to love that I like now, but not love ("omg, he mentioned Colorado specifically, that's me obviously!" It was not me...) I've enjoyed that they're all different and experiment in different ways with his sound and the times. If 80's Movie is any defining indication for the next one, I'm stoked as hell.

Also, I'm happy to see you wrote in acronyms. I forgot that was a thing until I was saying something recently about a poster I used to have in my room when I found some old pictures (we were talking about whose childhood bedrooms were frozen in time and whose weren't) and my friends were like, "The hell is SMTMOBL?" And I was like, oh no... we don't do that? Alright, let me type out a lot of words...


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 03, 2021, 12:53:22 PM
LOL It's the Boys' fault for having such long song titles!  But you're right; I only write in acronyms when discussing BSB with fellow fans online.  No one in my real life would have a clue what any of those meant either.  It's kinda like a secret code! LOL

I'm just glad they made good on their promise, 90's teeny me wished so hard "Please be around forever" and it worked, haha.

We are seriously so blessed to still have them around!  When I look at other boybands and their fans, I realize just how rare it is to have a group like this last as long as BSB has without breaking up or taking a super long hiatus.  This proof that we picked the right boyband back in the BSB vs. NSYNC days.  Suck it, NSYNC! LOL


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 03, 2021, 01:16:09 PM
LOL It's the Boys' fault for having such long song titles!  But you're right; I only write in acronyms when discussing BSB with fellow fans online.  No one in my real life would have a clue what any of those meant either.  It's kinda like a secret code! LOL

OMG, right! So many very long ones. Although, I feel like in recent years, they've gone the other way and named so many of their songs with one word titles. And then you'd have the opposite level of confusion. Like we couldn't say. "I really like I, it's one of my favorite songs they did." Because which one is that? I think I did it on accident with non-BSB friends because a week or so before, we were talking about singing to ourselves in our bedrooms as children (something that had to do with Masked Singer in some way, don't remember) and I said, "My poor mother probably wanted to tear her hair out every time I sang IYWITBGGGYABB as a pre-teen, because I sounded terrible. Also the thick 'intercourse with you' implications of the song." But I typed it out and was like, can I acronym the next time one of these comes up? I think I'm going to acronym. That was a lot.

We are seriously so blessed to still have them around!  When I look at other boybands and their fans, I realize just how rare it is to have a group like this last as long as BSB has without breaking up or taking a super long hiatus.  This proof that we picked the right boyband back in the BSB vs. NSYNC days.  Suck it, NSYNC! LOL

As long as there'll be music. A bold, but true statement. And I always like how there like, "People forget how young we were when we started, so we still dance and everything." Any time I watch that NKOTBSB concert from the O2, I'm always like, did NKOTB ever dance? It seems like they didn't dance. Other than the "oh oh oh oh" ball change. The Boys were always all around better than NSYNC (not biased). Like I have plenty of friends who were like, "I was hardcore team NSYNC, but I definitely skipped half the songs on the albums." And I was like, same for NSYNC. Not the Boys. There's definitely songs I like better than the others, but I've never skipped a song no matter how many times I've listened to the albums. Though "shuffle all" makes it more fun.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 09:56:45 PM
This is random, but reading-related.  I hate how on AO3, when you click on a story title, it takes you straight to the first chapter and not a table of contents.  Inevitably, I always start reading Chapter 1 of Tracy's story instead of the chapter she just posted, and it takes me a few sentences to realize it and remember to go up to the top and find the right chapter LOL.  I swear I've done this for at least four updates in a row.  It's like Groundhog Day; it's always Nick's birthday LOL.

I guess maybe I should read on AC instead, but I don't because I can't review there.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:05:37 PM
Haha. Is Nick's birthday a good groundhog day for you and him or just kind of mediocre?

See, I think I would read everything on here that I can and keep track of my thoughts and reviews in a google note or something.

I also hate that it just goes to the chapters. I think the layout is super weird. I hate it. Hey universe, make AC the great place to be again with no spam, thanks!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 10:07:51 PM
It's kind of depressing, considering Nick feels alone, like he doesn't belong.  Every day.  LOL

I don't wanna have to go back and forth; it's easier to just leave a comment at the bottom of the chapter.  I miss reviews on AC. :(


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:12:52 PM
What a horrible way for Nick to feel, especially on his birthday. Thank goodness Brian comes along to pet his hair, haha.

That's fair. Convenience is a big factor. I think the little thumbs up are weird. Like yes, this has reviews, but you can't see them.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 10:45:59 PM
The thumbs appeared when reviews were turned off, but they're only on very old stories, not all stories with reviews.  I think they're just on stories that were given star ratings back when that was a feature on the site?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:51:37 PM
Ugh, I remember those. I hated the stars so much! At least the thumbs are all positive? They're on every PBox chapter that had reviews, so I assumed it was a "this was reviewed" thing.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 10:54:01 PM
I only have vague memories of the stars, but we sure had a lot of angst over them back in 2007!  http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,309.0.html  I haven't made it through this entire thread yet, but I think we succeeded in getting them turned off because none of my stories posted after 2007 have the thumb.  Every one posted before May 2007 has it.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:55:29 PM
Ugh, I remember those. I hated the stars so much! At least the thumbs are all positive? They're on every PBox chapter that had reviews, so I assumed it was a "this was reviewed" thing.

I see you also found the post where I originally complained about them.

 :dance:
I do that when any of you are on, but I for sure creep on the guests.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:56:06 PM
Hahaha, I posted that while you were typing.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 10:57:31 PM
I only have vague memories of the stars, but we sure had a lot of angst over them back in 2007!  http://absolutechaos.net/fictalk/index.php/topic,309.0.html  I haven't made it through this entire thread yet, but I think we succeeded in getting them turned off because none of my stories posted after 2007 have the thumb.  Every one posted before May 2007 has it.

Man, when we collectively set our minds to something, it happens. Taking down plagiarists? Removing star ratings? What next?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 11:03:58 PM
LOL Stalker!

I'm glad they took off the stars.  It just sparked too much drama and competitivenes s.  Reviews are more meaningful.  I'm glad they did away with anonymous reviews too, which was the subject of another thread.

I like the kudos on AO3 as a quick way to say "Hey, I read this," like a "like" on social media, but I also think it makes some people feel like they don't need to leave a review.  I think that's one reason why readers as a whole seem to review less on that site than they did here.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 11:05:27 PM
Who was the person who kept lowering everyone's stars?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 11:15:04 PM
LOL Stalker!

Hahaha. I was going to ask if it was stalking if you knew about it, but... It probably still is. I'll stop stalking you. And letting you know about it...

I'm glad they took off the stars.  It just sparked too much drama and competitivenes s.  Reviews are more meaningful.  I'm glad they did away with anonymous reviews too, which was the subject of another thread.

I like the kudos on AO3 as a quick way to say "Hey, I read this," like a "like" on social media, but I also think it makes some people feel like they don't need to leave a review.  I think that's one reason why readers as a whole seem to review less on that site than they did here.

I hated it on the stories, but I like to know for my restaurants and Amazon products. Does that make me hypocritical? I struggled on AO3 whether to allow anonymous reviews or not... They have so many settings.

I like the kudos as well for that same reason, but it's also kind of disappointing to see zero comments. Then again, it's an old story in chunks, so maybe that's part of it. Who knows!

Or, maybe everyone read all our feelings about reviews over the years and finally decided that if they had nothing more to say than "Update soon" it was better to be silent? I don't know which I would prefer.

Who was the person who kept lowering everyone's stars?

I don't even remember? Some Anonymous Aardvark probably?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 15, 2021, 11:29:57 PM
I hated it on the stories, but I like to know for my restaurants and Amazon products. Does that make me hypocritical? I struggled on AO3 whether to allow anonymous reviews or not... They have so many settings.

I like the kudos as well for that same reason, but it's also kind of disappointing to see zero comments. Then again, it's an old story in chunks, so maybe that's part of it. Who knows!

Or, maybe everyone read all our feelings about reviews over the years and finally decided that if they had nothing more to say than "Update soon" it was better to be silent? I don't know which I would prefer.

I don't even remember? Some Anonymous Aardvark probably?

I also appreciate star reviews for products, hotels, etc.  Maybe if we were charging money for our stories, it would make more sense.  But reading through that thread, I understand why we were all frustrated.  It wasn't that we all expected to get a perfect 5-star rating.  It was that we wanted to know why we were getting less than 5 stars - and that they were being lowered for a legitimate reason and not as a flame.

As for AO3, having posted both old stories and current stories there in the last 9 months or so, I can tell you I've gotten a lot more reviews on the new stories.  But most of those have come from people who have read my stories here or on my own site.  I haven't gotten many from AO3 users I don't know on any of my stories.  I'm not sure if it's because it just takes time to establish a reputation on a new site, or if what I write isn't popular there, or if the feedback culture is just different there (kudos instead of comments).  But it makes me appreciate the people here even more.

Personally, I would prefer a generic "Great chapter!" or "Update soon!" over nothing.  I at least like to know who's reading.

Mare knew then, but I'm not sure if she'll remember now LOL.  Mare?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 15, 2021, 11:42:16 PM
I also appreciate star reviews for products, hotels, etc.  Maybe if we were charging money for our stories, it would make more sense.  But reading through that thread, I understand why we were all frustrated.  It wasn't that we all expected to get a perfect 5-star rating.  It was that we wanted to know why we were getting less than 5 stars - and that they were being lowered for a legitimate reason and not as a flame.

I think that was it. I also hate bad reviews for restaurants where they just write "Bad one star," but then the owner presses and it turns out that "my sister tripped in the bathroom and we couldn't get a bandaid soon enough to order a beer before happy hour ended, but I guess the food was tasty." And then I'm like, your sister deserves the one star review, not this restaurant! If someone wants to lower my star rating because I did something wrong, I'd rather know. I think part of it might have also been, "this new thing is different and I don't like it!" based anxiety.

As for AO3, having posted both old stories and current stories there in the last 9 months or so, I can tell you I've gotten a lot more reviews on the new stories.  But most of those have come from people who have read my stories here or on my own site.  I haven't gotten many from AO3 users I don't know on any of my stories.  I'm not sure if it's because it just takes time to establish a reputation on a new site, or if what I write isn't popular there, or if the feedback culture is just different there (kudos instead of comments).  But it makes me appreciate the people here even more.

Personally, I would prefer a generic "Great chapter!" or "Update soon!" over nothing.  I at least like to know who's reading.

I'm curious how many of the people there are from AC or elsewhere? I'm guessing no one just started posting BSB fanfic on AO3 when they started writing since it's not that old... I don't think anyway. I would like to know who's reading too. Right now I'm just assuming it's all spam bots. If someone is enjoying it, I think I do want to know even though feedback isn't necessarily the main reason I'm posting.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on January 16, 2021, 05:06:03 AM
I also appreciate star reviews for products, hotels, etc.  Maybe if we were charging money for our stories, it would make more sense.  But reading through that thread, I understand why we were all frustrated.  It wasn't that we all expected to get a perfect 5-star rating.  It was that we wanted to know why we were getting less than 5 stars - and that they were being lowered for a legitimate reason and not as a flame.

As for AO3, having posted both old stories and current stories there in the last 9 months or so, I can tell you I've gotten a lot more reviews on the new stories.  But most of those have come from people who have read my stories here or on my own site.  I haven't gotten many from AO3 users I don't know on any of my stories.  I'm not sure if it's because it just takes time to establish a reputation on a new site, or if what I write isn't popular there, or if the feedback culture is just different there (kudos instead of comments).  But it makes me appreciate the people here even more.

Personally, I would prefer a generic "Great chapter!" or "Update soon!" over nothing.  I at least like to know who's reading.

Mare knew then, but I'm not sure if she'll remember now LOL.  Mare?

Big surprise, but no. I donít remember. Although I think it was someone we had to ban for it and other things like writing bad reviews of things with an alternate username because she wanted to seem like she had more stars than anyone else? I vaguely remember someone doing that. Lol back Iím the day there used to be so much drama here


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on January 16, 2021, 05:11:08 AM
The stuff I chose to post over on AO3 have very few reviews but a few kudos. I think thereís so much being posted on that site and so many fandoms, unless you already have a loyal following there you kind of get lost in the shuffle. I think at this point, we are considered the oldies so most have read them or the newer people might just skip right past because our pen names arenít as familiar. At least mine. I had been nice getting a few random reviews for things out of the blue.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 16, 2021, 10:04:35 AM
Big surprise, but no. I donít remember. Although I think it was someone we had to ban for it and other things like writing bad reviews of things with an alternate username because she wanted to seem like she had more stars than anyone else? I vaguely remember someone doing that. Lol back Iím the day there used to be so much drama here

Surfing through old threads has reminded me of all the drama there used to be around here!  So many conversations about Nick romance vs. everything else.  I do miss the debates though; a little drama can be entertaining, especially when it's frivolous fanfic drama, not the "Brian is a racist"/"Nick is a rapist" drama we've been dealing with for the last few years.  A part of me would love for Tanja to pop back up and start plagiarizing people again.  That kind of stuff always worked to unite the fandom.

As for AO3, I know I've said this before, but I think the culture there is just different from here.  It seems like the most popular genre is angsty slash, so if that's not what you write, you're probably not going to get as much attention.  I've had trouble finding the kind of stories I really like to read there.  But that's exactly why we should keep posting ours there, so there's more variety.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 16, 2021, 12:10:02 PM
Big surprise, but no. I donít remember. Although I think it was someone we had to ban for it and other things like writing bad reviews of things with an alternate username because she wanted to seem like she had more stars than anyone else? I vaguely remember someone doing that. Lol back Iím the day there used to be so much drama here

*slips Mare some ginko biloba* Does that help?

See that's a perfect reason to remove the stars. People can't just go around creating fake usernames to make themselves look better. What a crazy thing to do for something we all do out of the love of fandom and the joy of writing!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 16, 2021, 12:16:31 PM
back Iím the day there used to be so much drama here

Surfing through old threads has reminded me of all the drama there used to be around here!  So many conversations about Nick romance vs. everything else.  I do miss the debates though; a little drama can be entertaining, especially when it's frivolous fanfic drama, not the "Brian is a racist"/"Nick is a rapist" drama we've been dealing with for the last few years.  A part of me would love for Tanja to pop back up and start plagiarizing people again.  That kind of stuff always worked to unite the fandom.

I think part of it had to do with the fact that we finally had a forum to speak our piece (pun absolutely intended) and know that the people who had registered accounts here were generally well written, thoughtful people who could have a discussion with us without it devolving into hate shouting.

There was also drama within the Nick romance department. I always enjoyed when authors who mainly wrote Nick romances had grievances because I always felt like it brought us all together in the "everyone has problems" sector. I would take frivolous fanfic drama any day, because it started some good debates and we were still all talking about something we loved: writing and reading.

Drama about the Boys is hard because it's something that connects us, but I think our opinions on the matters vary a lot more based on outside factors. That and this is a fanfic forum. In the right atmosphere, it should mostly be conversations about writing and reading.

It seems like Tanja realized that we fight back and will do so dirtily if needed. We're dangerous collectively, haha.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 16, 2021, 12:19:29 PM
The stuff I chose to post over on AO3 have very few reviews but a few kudos. I think thereís so much being posted on that site and so many fandoms, unless you already have a loyal following there you kind of get lost in the shuffle. I think at this point, we are considered the oldies so most have read them or the newer people might just skip right past because our pen names arenít as familiar. At least mine. I had been nice getting a few random reviews for things out of the blue.

As for AO3, I know I've said this before, but I think the culture there is just different from here.  It seems like the most popular genre is angsty slash, so if that's not what you write, you're probably not going to get as much attention.  I've had trouble finding the kind of stories I really like to read there.  But that's exactly why we should keep posting ours there, so there's more variety.

You guys are oldies. I'm "who?" haha

I agree, the more variety we have, the more chances we have to create a wider fandom selection again. I know this has been discussed ad naseum over the years, so we don't need to keep discussing it here, but if there were ever donations solicited to help AC with new code, I would help.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 22, 2021, 09:18:00 PM
Throwing a different kind of reading question out there:  What device/medium do you prefer to read on? Tablet/e-reader, phone, computer, actual paper book...?

I'm ready to throw out my second Kindle Fire, which I bought to replace my first Kindle Fire after I could no longer charge it because the charging port became too loose and wouldn't even hold the cord, let alone actually charge the device.  Same exact thing has happened to the second one.  I will always love paper books, but I've been converted into more of an e-reader person because of the convenience of being able to read in bed without needing a light and collect books without them taking up shelf space I don't have.  I loved my Kindle, but I will never buy another one because there is obviously a design flaw with the damn charging port.  Trying to decide if I should invest in a different brand of tablet or just use my phone and/or Chromebook for now.  And also just curious to find out how everyone else likes to read, whether published books or fanfics.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 22, 2021, 09:31:04 PM
I couldn't bring myself to get any kind of e-reader, I love the smell of printed ink and paper too much. Physical books forever! I usually just use my phone though if I'm reading something on the internet; my tablet got too heavy after a while.

Sorry the kindle has a weird charging port. That's crummy that it keep happening.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 22, 2021, 09:34:55 PM
I never thought I would prefer a screen to a paper book, but I got the first Kindle as a Christmas gift, and it won me over.  Besides reading, I also used it for watching videos and listening to podcasts as I fall asleep.  I can use my phone for that stuff too, but the bigger screen without the bulk of a laptop was nice.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 22, 2021, 09:41:24 PM
If it's lightweight, it's probably not too bad. I never found one that I liked and worried a lot about missing the feeling of a book, but then I've also never minded reading fanfics on a computer and it's basically the same thing. I'm hoping everyone else can give you great ereader recommendation s!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on January 23, 2021, 04:08:48 AM
If you are looking for an e-reader, my Nook is still working great and Iíve had that for a really long time. I wanna say for at least 8 years. I never thought Iíd read anything electronically but I got one with all the B&N gift cards I received from my students that year. I do have to admit, I still tend to prefer reading a physical book over using the Nook, but it comes in handy that you can just buy them and there they are ten seconds later.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 23, 2021, 12:09:13 PM
Yes, so convenient!  I'm glad your Nook has lasted so long.  The only thing I'm not sure about with a Nook is if all the Kindle books I've already bought are compatible with it.  I think they're different formats.  I would want something I could use the Kindle app with so I can still access my collection.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on January 23, 2021, 05:32:08 PM
Yeah, Iím not sure if they are compatible. They probably arenít. Bummer!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 23, 2021, 06:26:01 PM
Since you did a nice google search for me, I did a quick one on this. You would have to convert them to a epub file, which seems like a hassle, but is doable. You can get the kindle app on several devices as long as they're sold and/or supported by amazon, so maybe that's the route you go to look for a new e-reader?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 23, 2021, 09:55:28 PM
Thanks!  That's why I thought, that Nook wasn't compatible.  I have converted some of my stories into e-reader format, and I knew Nook and Kindle had different file extensions.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 23, 2021, 10:17:38 PM
That sounds like a hassle too, but one I'm sure your readers are grateful for!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 23, 2021, 10:27:31 PM
It wasn't too bad when it worked correctly.  I used a program called Calibre that you could upload a doc or pdf to and convert it into ebook format.  It seems kind of unnecessary now that everyone has smartphones, but when I first started doing it, it wasn't as easy to read fanfics on the go.  Now that's how most visitors access my site - on mobile devices.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 23, 2021, 10:44:29 PM
It's interesting that you can see how people access (unless you did a poll or soemthing)! I think a phone is easier because unless you're loudly doing something on it, most people don't really creep on your phone as much as they do larger devices like tablets, e-readers, or laptops.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 23, 2021, 10:51:07 PM
Yeah, my site stats on Wordpress tell me stuff like where people come from and what platform/browser they use.  Almost 60% use mobile devices!  It's kind of interesting.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 23, 2021, 10:55:20 PM
Fascinating! Have you always been on wordpress or did you make the switch? I seem to recall wordpress not really being a thing before 2009?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on January 23, 2021, 11:23:03 PM
Fascinating! Have you always been on wordpress or did you make the switch? I seem to recall wordpress not really being a thing before 2009?

I switched to Wordpress in 2012.  Before that, I was using Microsoft Word to do my site LOL.  Quite an upgrade!  It was a learning curve, but it's so much nicer and easier to maintain now.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on January 23, 2021, 11:24:45 PM
I liked wordpress when I was blogging. I thought it was really user friendly. I'm impressed that you did all of the things on your site that you did from Word for such a long time though!


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: Rose on February 05, 2021, 06:30:46 AM
I prefer books, I'm so old fashioned though I have a tablet for when I soak in the tub or my phone when I'm out and about. But man, there's just something to books.

I liked wordpress when I was blogging. I thought it was really user friendly. I'm impressed that you did all of the things on your site that you did from Word for such a long time though!

I love wordpress. Lord knows I only know the basics but it makes me look like I know what I'm doing LOL.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on February 05, 2021, 07:09:49 PM
I prefer books, I'm so old fashioned though I have a tablet for when I soak in the tub or my phone when I'm out and about. But man, there's just something to books.

I love wordpress. Lord knows I only know the basics but it makes me look like I know what I'm doing LOL.

It's the smell and the inky feel of the pages.

Yeah, it's so user-friendly! I only used the free version, but it made everything so easy and cute.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on February 07, 2021, 11:10:22 AM
New question:  Do you prefer reading fanfics one chapter at a time as they're being updated, or would you rather binge-read a story that's already finished or at least pretty far along?


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on February 07, 2021, 01:08:55 PM
New question:  Do you prefer reading fanfics one chapter at a time as they're being updated, or would you rather binge-read a story that's already finished or at least pretty far along?

I think they're both good for different reasons. If you read stories as they're being updated, you get to enjoy the anticipation between chapters and also serve as a motivating force for those authors who say they update as they write or those authors who are still writing as they're beginning to post.

If it's almost complete, or already complete, and it's so engrossing that you just want to keep clicking next, you can keep clicking next until however many hours have passed to your heart's content. I think it's easier to commit to binge reading a novella size story (10-20 chapters) than a novel (20-50 chapters) or an epic (50+ chapters). Because with the shorter ones, you can say: This will probably take me a few hours, but an epic is probably days unless you get sucked in and do nothing else for however many hours.

I feel for anyone who saw PNecklace appear and thought: A new story being updated! I'm going to try it! Wait... I have to read this whole other novel for it to make sense? Wait, you're updating weekly and I'm still reading the first one! Wait!

To all two of those people (Possibly ten? It's hard to tell.): sorry.

As a writer, I also think maybe it's preferable for people to read as they go? Because if they were going to leave feedback, they'd be more likely to leave it on each chapter. Whereas if they have a lot to catch up on, they'd likely only leave one large feedback, so you would miss hearing about the subtle things from each chapter. But then all feedback is good feedback? So...  :shrug:


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on February 07, 2021, 01:41:58 PM
I agree with all of the above!  It's the same as with TV shows - it's fun to binge-watch a show that's already complete or has several seasons to catch up on, but I also enjoy the experience of watching an episode a week as it airs.  I enjoy following fanfics as as they're being written, but it's also nice to read one that's already finished and be able to go at my own pace and not have to worry about being left hanging.

From a writing standpoint, it's absolutely more fun to have readers read the story as it's being written and leave feedback on every chapter.  I do enjoy getting random reviews on old stories that someone has just discovered and read in their entirety, but like you said, most of them just leave feedback at the end and don't review every chapter.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on February 07, 2021, 04:01:25 PM
I agree with all of the above!  It's the same as with TV shows - it's fun to binge-watch a show that's already complete or has several seasons to catch up on, but I also enjoy the experience of watching an episode a week as it airs.  I enjoy following fanfics as as they're being written, but it's also nice to read one that's already finished and be able to go at my own pace and not have to worry about being left hanging.

I do like binging TV shows, but I think it's easier with a half hour comedy than the hour long dramedies or dramas. It's that novella versus novel thing again.

It must be pretty heartbreaking as a reader to invest time in a story and then wait however long for an update. I feel for them when that happens. Not as much as for myself if I'm the one writing it because of course I want to update, but also here we are.

From a writing standpoint, it's absolutely more fun to have readers read the story as it's being written and leave feedback on every chapter.  I do enjoy getting random reviews on old stories that someone has just discovered and read in their entirety, but like you said, most of them just leave feedback at the end and don't review every chapter.

Mare was talking about that with Protect and Serve. I think that must be really fun to have someone pop into something older and let you know that it still holds up however many years later.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: mare on February 07, 2021, 05:45:20 PM
New question:  Do you prefer reading fanfics one chapter at a time as they're being updated, or would you rather binge-read a story that's already finished or at least pretty far along?

When I used to read, I always preferred to read it after it was done as opposed to waiting on chapters because of lack of updates. You all know my memory sucks, so if too long went by between chapters, I would end up forgetting what happened and have to reread the previous chapter and eventually that really started to annoy me, and my thinking became, well if I have to reread the previous chapter it probably means it wasn't worth remembering so I'll just wait until it's done. LOL

As a writer, obviously it's the opposite. We all want that instant praise and don't want to wait. That's another reason why I used to make sure I stuck to my update schedule because I absolutely HATED waiting forever for updates.


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: nicksgal on February 07, 2021, 07:51:08 PM
As a writer, obviously it's the opposite. We all want that instant praise and don't want to wait. That's another reason why I used to make sure I stuck to my update schedule because I absolutely HATED waiting forever for updates.

Once again, Mare is so wise. Everyone (readers and writers) likes predictability .


Title: Re: The Reading Thread
Post by: RokofAges75 on February 07, 2021, 09:32:41 PM
Agree, the predictability of having a weekly updating schedule is so nice!