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Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.


I have been asked quite a lot of times a) what the heck the Turn of the Story is, b) how they are supposed to read all of it where is a post with all the parts! and c) why I have done such a thing.

So I decided to make a Master Post, so you could enjoy everything Turn of the Story related in one place.

I don’t know how to put up links on tumblr (I’m technologically incompetent, don’t look at me…) but I will link to this from tumblr, and I hope everything will be perfectly perfect from then on.

1. What is The Turn of the Story?

(Description cribbed off goodreads so as to get an objective description, and altered for elaboratin’ purposes.)

‘Elliot Schafer has been carried off to a magical land and called to fight… but he has no intention of doing so. He is a little disappointed by the facilities on the Border, but he gets to meet Serene-Heart-In-The-Chaos-Of-Battle, an elf warrior, and Luke Sunborn, an annoyingly brave human warrior native to the magical land he’s crossed into. There are also mermaids, unicorns and assorted battles and political issues, with Elliot alternatively using diplomacy and saying the completely wrong thing.’

I have also often called it the story of the grouchiest kid in fantasyland. It follows Elliot from thirteen to seventeen, and it is a story about fantasy lands and the horrors we don’t talk about in them, and the horrors we carry about inside ourselves, and also the hilarious things possible in a magic land and the beauty of friendship, I hope.

As to how I came to write it…

I had this idea for a book that was a romantic comedy with harpies, and when I pitched it a few places with no go (it’s a weird pitch!) I gave up on the notion. Then I was asked by Kelly Link to write her a story for an anthology, and I said yes because only a fool would say no to the magnificent Kelly.

I wrote the story. It was thirty thousand words long. I cut down the story significantly.

And there it should have ended. But the world of the story, and the characters of the story, kept preying on my mind. One of the main characters (but not the protagonist) haunted me, and his personality and voice were very clear to me. And I was having a tricky time writing anything at the time. So I thought… write a short story from Elliot’s point of view, talking about magical training camp! It’ll be fun. It’ll promote the anthology. This is a good idea.


FRIEND A: I’m really enjoying the book Sarah’s writing online.
SARAH: *guilty giggle*
FRIEND B: Sarah’s… doing… what.
SARAH: *cringing* It’s not a book.
FRIEND A: It’s going to be at least a hundred thousand words.
FRIEND B: You’re going to die in the gutters, Rees Brennan. Die in the gutters!

You guys can call it a story or a book, if you like. I admit it is book-length! I admit calling it a ‘short’ story would be a naughty fib.

And here it is, in all its very long glory:


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

I hope you enjoy it!

2. Where Is The Sequel?

Since I wrote the story following Turn of the Story first, I always knew what was going to happen (sometimes distressing, if my poor readers wished a thing I had never thought of and knew was not on the cards… especially if it was a super good idea!) and a few things were not wrapped up in Turn.

The story following on directly after The Turn of the Story is called Wings in the Morning, is from another main character called Luke’s point of view, and is right now only available in an anthology called Monstrous Affections, which is filled by stories by like, Holly Black and Paolo Bacigalupi and Nalo Hopkinson, which are way more awesome than mine!

You can read some snippets from Wings in the Morning here and also here.

You can get Monstrous Affections here or anywhere you wish, or librarify it or borrow it from an anthology-lovin’ friend or find a used copy or whatever legal thing you like. 😉

If you wish for a signed copy, I am doing Monstrous Affections signings with several other awesome authors in the anthology (M.T. Anderson! How cool is that?) at:

McNally Jackson in NYC
Brookline Booksmith in Boston

So you can call and get signed copies from those shops if you wish it!

(I will sign anything people ask for, including Unmade, the latest book, of course. Love signing. Signing’s my favourite. My name’s so long, I keep people trapped and talk to them while I write.)

For those who read Wings in the Morning first and then came found me… I can only imagine your feelings. I am sorry. I am uncontrollable!

3. On The Subject Of The Sequel, Please Do Not Steal It

I have generally made my position on piracy clear: I agree with Seanan McGuire, I don’t like it, plus have you read Seanan’s free InCryptid stories? They are fantastic. I do not like piracy because as a writer people supporting my work legally means that I can eat.

As regards anthologies, writers don’t receive royalties for them, so eating is not my concern, but I do feel like a supremo chump for having written a free book and somehow made people think it’s okay to take other pieces of my work. Also I feel bad for my beautiful editors Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, who very kindly asked me to be part of the anthology and didn’t know what weird things I was going to do. 😉

4. Extras I Wrote For You

For the release of Unmade, I took requests, and one was a request for Elliot in the future which I wrote. To nobody’s surprise, though, it turned out super long and so I am still deciding what to do with it! But just so you know: it exists! There are libraries and battles and making out and misery.

However, I was also asked for a story about one of my favourite minor characters, Adara, and I was very happy to oblige by writing it.

It can be found here: Love from Both Sides and I hope you enjoy it!

Not stories, but for completists here are my thoughts on: elf marriage, writing more (which I have already done, lord, what a disaster I am), elf worldbuilding, and crossing the Border.

And here are Wings in the Morning spoiling thoughts on romance and also romance.

5. Extras To Enhance The Story That Other People Made

Mark Reads, the light of my life, has read up to Part 7 and thus there is half an audio book, basically, for those who like audio books! I adore Mark, who has also read much of the Demon’s Lexicon and the Lynburn Legacy, and I adore the super kind people who sponsored him to read all of them (Natalie began this lovely process, thank you Natalie)! It’s how I discovered Mark, and to be honest listening to his readings of my work has got me through some tough times. (So, the kindness of strangers has illuminated my life, and I think that’s beautiful. Also maybe I am deeply egotistical?)

Mark Reads Turn of the Story Part I, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story Part I, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story Part I, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part II, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part II, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part II, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part III, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part III, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part III, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part III, Video 4
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part IV, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part IV, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part IV, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part IV, Video 4
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part V, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part V, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part V, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part V, Video 4
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VI, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VI, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VI, Video 3
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VII, Video 1
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VII, Video 2
Mark Reads Turn of the Story, Part VII, Video 3

Here is a beautiful fanmix and cover made for The Turn of the Story, appropriately called ‘With A Little Help from My Loser Friends.’ Which clearly, now that I think about it, clearly should have been the title.

Beautiful photosets,, more beautiful photosets, and terribly beautiful photosets,.

Also very lovely art and cuties and grumps and rocking out and cute grumps. Also, a romantic song about strange elven courtship

(I know there is even beautiful more, and I love you guys for it, but I admit the world is going dark before mine eyes… I must finish this post…)

6. What Isn’t The Turn of the Story?

It isn’t fanfiction. I’ve heard it referred to fanfiction over and over, and it’s become pretty painful and unpleasant.

(Even though sometimes people are just confused–someone thought it was fanfiction of Lev Grossman’s the Magicians, and since I haven’t read that, that’d be an extra layer of odd–and most people don’t mean anything by it!)

Fanfiction can be an awesome thing: I know several fanfiction writers who I think are amazingly talented and should be published. (I know several other writers, some of whom used to write fanfiction and some who still do, and they are published and extremely wonderful.) I am not dissing fanfiction. This just isn’t it.

This story does not exist in a vacuum: it exists in a world where people insult stories by calling them fanfiction, or like fanfiction. (I’ve frequently seen people who write and love fanfiction do this, which sort of breaks my brain.) All my books have been sneeringly referred to as fanfiction, with the explanation that’s why they were bad and I was bad.

The story is a serial, but so is Susan Dennard’s Starkiller Cycle, or the Captive Prince, or many works by Charles Dickens. The story is free, but a lot of guys write free stuff (Cory Doctorow comes to mind) and his work doesn’t get called fanfiction. Girls’ writing gets called ‘fanfiction’ more than boys’ writing, e.g. I have seen Diana Gabaldon’s writing called Doctor Who fanfiction over and over, but I never see George R.R. Martin’s writing called War of the Roses fanfiction, even though… come on, where are my history buffs at? You feel me, am I right?

And this story has inspirations and references to same, most notably Tamora Pierce’s the Immortals series, but… all stories have inspirations. Do not buy into the nasty lie that girls’ inspirations make their stories ‘derivative’ and ‘fanfiction’ and not really theirs, and that boys’ inspirations means they are In Literary Conversation with Their Genre.

And sure, I once wrote (Harry Potter) fanfiction, but Harry Potter is not some sort of crack pipe I can’t put down, and I’d be a terrible writer if it was. You can totally think I’m a terrible writer if you like, but if you do this whole blog must be a trial for you to read.

Also, by calling something fanfiction, you indicate the characters aren’t mine. (Sometimes people just flat-out state the characters aren’t mine, or are in fact other characters.) This sucks for me, because… uh, they are mine, and I love them. (This is also why telling me you love someone else’s characters more than mine is hurtful. You can totally love my neighbour’s kids more than mine! But maybe go to her house and tell her that, and instead of coming to my house and telling me that while I weep softly and whisper ‘But I hoped you would like my little Jeremy…’)

I know the vast majority of you who might call it fanfiction aren’t trying to insult it, but after having been insulted a ton in that way, several times in the very comments of this story, I know you guys can see how it might be a sore spot and I know you wouldn’t be hurtful on purpose.

So. Now you are all way too informed about how I feel on this issue. Let us all be awesome to each other and not do this anymore, so I feel like I can write free stories in the future for you without having this hurled at my head. And also so I don’t make any other characters start yelling about how much they hate wizards, sorry Elliot, I might have been projecting a bit there!

Aaaand… to those of you who are just blinking in puzzlement going ‘why would I call it fanfiction???’ thank you for your attention. As you were. 😉

As proof that I truly don’t hate fanfiction, here is a link to Turn of the Story fanfiction, all of which I think is excellent and I was honoured to have written! (My favourite may be the Luke PoV of Part 1. Super sweet.)

7. Why Isn’t There A Link To The Next Bit At The End of Chapter Ten, Jerk?

Because I love school plays too much, and chapter ten is so long that livejournal (which has limits… cruel and restrictive limits!) will not let me add a link at the end.

It is not my fault. I am being cruelly boundarified.

I mean, it is my fault if you blame me for writing too freaking much, but the whole story of The Turn of the Story proves that I have a terrible problem there.

I know, it’s annoying! And I have been told it makes it harder to read. But you can always click on ‘the turn of the story’ tag to see all the chapters, and now you have this master post. So everything’s fixed now! Right, guys? Right?

8. What About Romance?

I tried to make The Turn of the Story have a satisfactory ending on its own: the character arc is Elliot’s, and the story is about him growing up and finding a place of his own, and I hope it does. However, there were limitations necessarily set on me by the fact I wrote Wings in the Morning first, and that means there isn’t a romantic resolution for our protagonist, though he is keen to make a romantic connection! Which… I think is okay, but… just to warn you.

And yes, this does mean there is a romantic resolution in Wings in the Morning. However, I make no promises as to whether it is the romantic resolution you want–not everyone ships the same thing, I could not make everyone happy! But I am sorry to those who were disappointed.

If you wish to know the romantic resolution but do not wish to/cannot yet acquire Monstrous Affections, there is a quote here that makes the romantic resolution pretty clear. Spoilers!

And I will be editing this post to keep it up to date, so if you have any further questions, please ask away! Or… comments or… whatever. I truly appreciate the response to Turn of the Story, and I do hope none of this came off as lecturing or unappreciative. I so hope that this Master Post is all you guys wanted, and that you find it useful.

(And now, to pack for Las Vegas. See you in Vegas, Vegas peeps!)


( 120 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 16th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yay! A master post, which I can use for all my nefarious story-pushing endeavours! And links to all the awesome things I've seen but forgotten where to find, and to some that I haven't. (Adara story!)
Excellent . . .

Thank you, again and always, for this magnificent story. I will cherish it forever.
Oct. 16th, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
All wishes to story-push are delightful and much loved. People were asking for that purpose, as well as the purpose of 'no link at the end of chapter ten, you shall be scragged, Rees Brennan!' (oh the cruel tyranny of livejournal.) ;)
(no subject) - wildpear - Oct. 16th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 16th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
Also, is this an appropriate place to say that it would be super awesome if some people wanted to get together with me and try to finance Mark reading the rest of TotS? It's a bit of an expensive proposition, because long story is delightfully long, and I don't think he's taking open commissions right now, but if there were enough interest it would be such an awesome thing to have!
Oct. 16th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
All things are appropriate here and it is a lovely, lovely thought, but also in no way necessary! I mean, Turn is a present, so nobody feel obliged. Do only as you like so long as it is legal, my poppets! I love you all either way. I but put up the links to share and for enjoyments.

(My extreme thanks again to all those who have sponsored all Mark Reads things of all my work: HUGELY unexpected and delightful and an honour.)

(Thank you to you, wildpear specifically! ;))
(no subject) - wildpear - Oct. 16th, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ejmam - Oct. 16th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wildpear - Oct. 16th, 2014 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxglove_chant - Oct. 17th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wildpear - Oct. 17th, 2014 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxglove_chant - Oct. 20th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Oct. 16th, 2014 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 16th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
Wait did I hear Elliot as an adult story? (ears perk up hopefully) Also thank you so much for all this by the way! Plus the Adara story - squeal!
Oct. 16th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
Tis in my head. Who knows where or when... ;)

You are so welcome! I was like, okay, I will just get it ALL DOWN, and now I fear it looks fearsome...
Oct. 17th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
I have an unholy desire to throw money at you for this free story, so I can't imagine why people would wish to steal its sequel.

(Side note: Can I please throw money at you? It would be the soft kind. I'd throw more for anything else you wrote in this 'verse!)

Thank you, for Elliot and Luke, and for this whole world. It makes me giddy, and cackle a lot, and desperately long for more. I don't think I'd ever be satisfied! There'd never be enough of Elliot and Luke for me to stop with the money-throwing. :D
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: Awesomesauce!
I mean, I know waiting is difficult if people are waiting to librarify, or for its release in another country, and if they wish only my short story I understand not wanting to buy the anthology... though all the other stories are excellent and would be most enjoyable! And I can understand going 'yup, read it, free, next, next, next... what do you mean, hand over dollars!' so I tried to make the end as satisfactory as I could, but it does suck, and thus my plea. You are very kind to wish more! I love money! We shall see where things go. I thank you for your kind words and wishes!
Re: Awesomesauce! - sleepinbeast - Oct. 17th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:17 am (UTC)
You wrote future Elliot!?! Oh please Sarah! Please please post it! Even mentioning it is pure torture! You are a vile creature😩 BUT I LOVE YOU!😍 please post it! That's soooooo not fair. Bad Sarah! Go sit in the corner and think about what you've done😜 and thin post 5 million more parts😁😜😍😘🙏
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:24 am (UTC)
I've heard about TTotS on Tumblr for several weeks now (I follow you there too), so I finally started it this afternoon. Actually, I checked Monstrous Affections out at my library, was absolutely delighted by "Wings in the Morning," and then found out I should've TTotS first. I love it so far, holy cow. Thank you for writing!!!
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:28 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked Wings in the Morning! So far the response from people who read WitM first has been 'you did what... holy cow' so this is cool. ;)
(no subject) - spacklegeek - Oct. 17th, 2014 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wildpear - Oct. 17th, 2014 03:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Oct. 17th, 2014 07:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC)
I actually had no idea what Turn of the Story was. I guess I thought it was snippets of an upcoming published novel? So I kinda skipped over those posts, because I don't tend to read snippets. I don't even read the preview chapters for next books! So thanks for collecting it all and explaining what it is. Because now I'm really excited to read it!
Oct. 17th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
The masterpost has lured a human soul!

I mean... hope you enjoy. ;)
(no subject) - sparkfrost - Oct. 20th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
On the fanfiction thing... I sometimes think it might be this: that people might pick up on that little flavour, that quintessential hint of you that reminds them of your HP fanfiction, and then their subconscious misinterprets what that means. Like, maybe they casually regard it as somehow not yours, as JK Rowlings' or similar? It takes them back to another time and place, to another story of yours, and they brainwave activity does this little blip... and they don't even know it.

Because that flavour was actually always yours. It was always you. You're not stealing anything or reproducing anything to put yourself into your original fiction.

Does that make sense?

I wouldn't even say that it happens often (the reeling back in time), at least not for me. My reaction to your mix of humour and character anguish is the most familiar thing I experience. And I don't think me experiencing something similarly beautiful during my reading experience is you not being original. Your characters are really quite distinct.
Oct. 17th, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
I think you're right on people regarding it casually as not mine, and that is, well, a problem. ;)

I also totally agree that people pick up hints of the writer from their different stories--I mean, you can tell it's me writing both the Lynburn Legacy and the Demon's Lexicon. I remain the same person with the same sense of humour, interested in the same things: family and words are always going to feature heavily. ;) And I think the other stuff is more different than that (as it's partially someone else's, plus in many cases I was youthful and unskilled!) but still, you know, I am discernible! You can tell Jane Austen is the same person writing Mansfield Park and Persuasion, so I am not too downcast. It is sad that people can use something in my past to casually dismiss me, and if I could go back and keep secrets I would, but since I can't, well, I try to be honest these days about how I feel and try to make people *think* about what they're doing.

You're not stealing anything or reproducing anything to put yourself into your original fiction.

Nope! And I think that's beautifully put. God how dreadful it would be if I cut myself out.

Tis a good analysis! After having received actual emails that said 'I want to read Sarah-flavoured versions of someone else's books' and of course, a ton of messages going 'those stories were amazing and your books suck' (not sure how that one works in their heads: someone confiscated my writing talent?) it's difficult to be neutral on the subject of people's motives: you're mostly like 'Just quit saying this stuff to me.'

Thank you for the kind words about the characters! My little Jeremy, etc. ;) I sometimes feel super bad about what I've done to them, and when you are feeling guilty about the people you made up in your head... well, I should take more walks outside, probably...
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 17th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 17th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
omigosh you linked my song *blushes*

This is indeed very helpful for proselytizing, I mean, converting, I mean ... um ... recommending. Yes.

Now I am imagining myself as a door-to-door SRB promoter. Something like this:

Me: Hi! Have you read the words of Our Lady of Bitter Sorrows?

Puzzled Stranger: No...? Is that a religion?

Me: No, she's a writer!

PS: And ... she's crying ...?

Me: Hahaha nope. The readers cry!

PS: ...

Me: Also laugh!

PS: ...

Me: Check out this link! *runs away*

Yeeeeeaaaah, I may need to work on my pitch. But I am sure this post will be extremely helpful!
Oct. 17th, 2014 03:32 am (UTC)
*giggles* I am totally stealing the 'Our Lady of Bitter Sorrows' line. Except, maybe only for AFTER I've converted people. Yes, I think that would be wiser . . . .

I am also pleased to have somewhere to send people to hear your song that isn't: So, you go to the last instalment of TotS . . . scroll down to the, I think it's the second page of comments? It's the same woman who posted the first or second comment I think . . . .

Yes. This should go better ;)
(no subject) - sarahtales - Oct. 17th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
yay a master post!! I had been reading along as you posted, but about 4 hmmm no maybe 5 parts back I started reading and realised I must have missed a bit, and went back and looked for it and then got side tracked etc and ended up putting each subsequent update into my "to read" bookmarks to go back and figure out what was going on and catch up on it all once I had the chance - so now I can just put THIS post into the "to read" list and next time I have a few free hours - sit down and read the whole thing!!! :D
I had no idea it was a prequel to a published work - I'm sure I will need to order that book once I get to the end, so I can find out what happens - couldn't resist checking out the link above to the quote that makes the romantic resolution clear and am delighted that its exactly the romance I wanted!! :D
Love this story, and love that you are still sharing things on line for free, you are awesome :D
Oct. 17th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely going to read the Turn of the Story, thank you so much for putting this masterpost together!

I don't think Diana Gabaldon is the best example. As far as I can tell, nobody ever drew a parallel between Outlander and fanfiction until she went on the record as viewing fanfiction as equivalent to theft, which made people say that her inspiration from Frazer Hines was hypocritical theft - it's been turned into a kind of misinformation/misconception (depending on your level of charity) that that's the same as fanfiction, but I seriously doubt anyone would have made the connection if she hadn't said that writing her characters was like stealing from her or raping her husband. IME, the "calling original fiction fanfiction" tendency comes about when an author has been known to have written fanfiction in the past, resulting in a high level of scrutiny for anything perceivable as derivative. It is something that affects female writers more than male ones (because there are more female fanfiction writers? because female writers are more likely to admit to having written fanfiction?), but my experience is that this is more frequently about a combination of jealousy/tall poppy syndrome ("why did she get a book deal, she's not even a very original writer") with hasty and/or biased judgment ("I never liked that thing she did in Yuletide, she's a bad person who would try to publish fanfiction," "this looks a bit like Supernatural, it must be based on Supernatural"), and the speed with which memes perpetuate themselves. A lot of people will just repeat it because they've heard it, but a good handful of people seem to come to it individually because they're ready to believe the worst. People don't tend to say that Temeraire is Master & Commander fanfiction unless they dislike Astolat for fannish reasons, for example. There seem to be more factors than just female authors being seen as illegitimate. (Sorry if this seems rude; the anthropology of fandom is just very interesting to me!)
Oct. 17th, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
I very much hope you will like Turn of the Story, and I'm so glad if the post is useful!

I actually think Diana Gabaldon is a pretty good example for my purposes. I will explain!

When I wrote up my long tumblr post on my horrible no-good experiences with fandom, I received an ask saying that they were sorry for me, but I should be condemning E.L. James because she misrepresented BDSM.

She may do: that's not my point. The point is that it's remarkable how often I see women asked to do that: condemn other women, prove you're a Good Lady by saying some other woman is a Bad Lady.

And that's a game every woman's going to lose, because no matter what they do sooner or later they're the Bad Lady and they get the horror of being condemned.

It's not a game I'm interested in playing. I really used to believe that if I could just be good enough, I'd escape the ire and condemnation of the internet, and I really tried to be quiet and gracious and nice and do the right thing, but I know now there's no way to be good enough. I'm not a perfect person, and I know there are a ton of narratives out there about why I am a Bad Lady who must be condemned (some stuff I've seen: I'm a plagiarist, I'm a liar, I have bad friends and so we should all be burned on some sort of Bad Lady pyre together, I'm fat, I talk too much about feminism, I'm whiny, I talk too much full stop, via some magical means I wrote amazing fanfiction and terrible books, all my female characters suck and I should stop writing them, I talk too much about social justice, my books have terrible social justice mistakes in them, I should be ashamed for speaking out against being treated badly, I should be ashamed for not putting things differently, I'm selfish, I want attention, I want money, I should engage more with my critics, I shouldn't engage with my critics at all).

Some of this is absolute rubbish, some is true and I don't think it's bad, some of it is true and bad but... I don't think it means I should be dismissed or condemned. And I don't like seeing other women dismissed and condemned either, especially when I've seen over and over the pattern of women being dismissed and condemned.

If I was more successful, I'm pretty sure there would be a prevailing narrative about why I'm awful, and I'm sure the hate would be redoubled, and I'm sure more people would rally to agree I deserved it. I'd still totally like to be more successful because a. it would mean more people were reading and liking my work, so the hell with the haters, b. I actually do really like money. But it's a price successful women have to pay, because subconsciously people look for reasons that women don't deserve success. And if you look for reasons, you're going to find them.

But what has this to do with Diana Gabaldon as an example? Well, I compared Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin because they are, to my mind, very similar: two enormously successful writers with long-running fantastical serieses...es heavily relying on history, and with successful T.V. shows based on their work, both of of whom dislike fanfiction. But they get treated very differently.

Diana Gabaldon did come out and say she hated fanfiction. So did George R.R. Martin--and he said he basically agreed with Diana Gabaldon's reasons and saluted her for expressing them. She's since deleted the post so maybe she doesn't think that way anymore: who can say? I certainly disagreed with most of what she said: the vehemence with which she said it (more vehement than Martin, I admit, but when are two people's behaviour going to be exact equivalents) made me think 'Oh, okay, a personal squick: can't argue with those. She'll probably always hate it but boy, would she have done better to keep it off the internet!'

I agree that the misconception/misinformation wouldn't be spread (at least, not as much) if she hadn't condemned fanfiction, but I also think she'd be treated differently if she was a guy.

I don't agree with her, but I don't dislike her for her opinion and I wouldn't bag on her books because of it. I may be prejudiced, as I like her books and watch the TV show based on them.

Edited at 2014-10-17 11:30 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sarahtales - Oct. 17th, 2014 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 17th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
Well, that Adara story was eye-opening. I loved it!





Best part was when she stretched out her arms, at the precipice of the otherworld, certain she should claim it as hers as well. She is no longer 3-dimensional, but 20-dimensional in my head now.

Also, I got to gush over kind, polite Luke some more. (I think I'm in love)

And she said Elliot was not too bad looking. *swoon* (I'm in double love. Don't judge) And his useless pamphlets came out (Ha, pun!) which I absolutely loved.

Essentially, I just loved a whole lotta things a whole lotta more. Thank you for this story! :D
Oct. 18th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Ha, Luke did spend the entirety of the story when he wasn't asking about piney colliders trying to slope off disgracefully. ;) Luke gets away with so much, though he does try to be polite about it...

You are so welcome!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 18th, 2014 10:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
When is this signing?
... But Sarah... when are these signings, so we know when to catch you?
Oct. 17th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: When is this signing?
Is all on my appearances page. ;) I did not wish to further clutter up my masterpost, but could temporarily add and then remove... I WISH to let everyone know where to see me if they wish to see me!


The Magic of the Paranormal 12:00PM in YA Tent 1.

Followed by a signing at 1PM at Signing Tent 1.


Wednesday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446 – (617) 566-6660
Attendees: Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant, M. T. Anderson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Joshua Lewis

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m.
McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012 – (212) 274-1160
Attendees: Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant, Alice Sola Kim, Joshua Lewis, Greg Purcell, Sarah Rees Brennan
Oct. 17th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
Also: now that you have made a master post, do you think you might... re-release Turn of the Story as an ebook, like Ilona Andrews did with the Innkeeper Chronicles? I'd happily cough up $3-4 for it. Or, like... just provide a link at the bottom of this post as a "tip jar"?
Oct. 18th, 2014 01:39 am (UTC)
I'm kind of deciding what to do with it, and with this new 10k plus short story I referred to in the post--we'll see! For now I feel comfy with it as a gift, though it is very kind of you to suggest a tip jar: with it as a present I can say 'look, guys, can we please try to be kind to each other' and feel more relaxed about setting boundaries for how to be kind to me, which is useful if strange of me. ;)
Oct. 17th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC)
I love everything about 'The Turn of the Story,' and it has never struck me as anything other than yours and yours alone - I have, uh, read a fair amount of your work over the past 5 or so years, and this is all purely SRB, no one else's characters need clutch their collective pearls. Perhaps other people who can't tell things from other things are confused. I'm so glad you wrote this novel, novel-and-a-half, prequel thing. I am tempted to print it out so I can cuddle it. Is that weird? I hope you can take heart from those of us who like your stuff, and not be too hurt by dismissive jerky jerks. I'll try not to be too weirdly affectionate with your story.
Oct. 18th, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
I hope you can take heart from those of us who like your stuff

Every day. ;)
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