Amy R. (brightknightie) wrote,
Amy R.

On Defining "Gen" and its Counterpart for FKficfest

The rules of play for fkficfest will be very similar to those used successfully in the femme_fic and oldschoolfic fanfiction story exchange events.  However, there's one big difference.  Those are multifandom; this will be FK-only.  Similarly, we can't quite parallel the rules for the single-fandom Harry Potter games that [personal profile] leela_cat plays, because those are single-genre -- even single character -- and we'll be playing across all factions.

For fkficfest, players will submit three FK prompts.  We need to differentiate them somehow to provide some diversity of choices to the writer and aid in matching.  My co-mod and I talked about the possibilities for that, the different available categories, and we settled on: gen, ship, other.  This should, we hope, help us get compatible prompts into everyone's hands.

But do you see the challenge?  Definitions!  What should be the definition of "gen"?  Is "ship" the best collective term for that which is not "gen"?  How about "romance"?  (I have trouble accepting that we need to say "het or slash or femmeslash" every time we mean "that which is not gen.")  We need, if we can get them, definitions that help spread contentment, not contentiousness. 

My working definitions presently, for this event, are:
  • A "gen" story spotlights any plot or theme except romantic encounters/relationships.  This does not mean that mentions of Don and Myra's marriage are banned, or that Nick can't kiss Janette, or that Lacroix doesn't have designs on Nick.  It just means that the main focus must be elsewhere than on romantic/sexual encounters/relationships.  Mystery, action, adventure, horror, philosophy, science, friendship, humor...  The episode "Father Figure" is gen.
  • A "ship" story spotlights romantic/sexual encounters and/or relationships.  This does not mean that cop plots and existential angst are banned.  It just means that the main focus should be on romantic encounters/relationships.  (Obviously, it may be m/f, m/m or f/f, as called for.)  Erotica is a subset of this genre.  The episode "Be My Valentine" is ship.
  • An "other" prompt, in the game, could be another gen or ship scenario, or it could be something category-busting or completely different.  This would be the place for a wild AU, perhaps.  The episode "Curiouser and Curiouser" is other.

What are your better definitions of these labels, or your better labels for these same definitions?

For example, is "Partners of the Month," as a whole episode, a gen story or a ship story?  What if it is divided up, and the scenes examined as individual units?  Is the scene with Nick and the lawyer gen, and the scene with Nick and Janette in the Raven ship, and what does that mean to the ability to classify the episode as a whole?  And what about the conversation between Schanke and Janette, which is clearly all about their respective romantic relationships with other people -- is it in itself gen, or not?

For another example, take "Dance by the Light of the Moon."  The flashbacks must fall under romance/erotica, but in the present-day story, Nick seems to be falling for Anne Foley, but is not; does that undercover revelation make it gen?  What about "Last Act"?  Or "Night in Question"?

FK canon does not fit these categories easily or snugly.  It is all things, all the time.  I love it that way.

In the past year or so, I've encountered a few fans -- not in FK, actually; elsewhere -- expressing bitterness and even hostility toward the genre that is not their own favorite.  I don't want to mess with that hornets' nest.  I like FK in every genre.  But I cannot think of a better way to match readers and writers within FK (except by faction, and that has its own challenges -- numbers being the first).

How do you define these categories today?  How useful are they to you in FK (which is not necessarily like other fandoms)?

And what kind of set of prompts would you most like to receive to work with as a writer, if you're considering playing in fkficfest?

  • By genre? Gen; Ship; Other
  • By plot? Cop shop; Vampire fantasy/sci-fi; Interpersonal
  • By season? Pre-DK, first season or hiatus; Second season; Third season or post-LK
  • By angle? Dark; Light; Shades of Gray
  • By character? Nick, Lacroix or Janette; Natalie, Schanke, Stonetree, Cohen, or Reese; Tracy, Vachon, Urs, or Screed
  • By type? Keyword; Quotation; Scenario
  • Other?

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Tags: chat, foreverknight:fkficfest
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