It’s my turn to rant

I am going to take advantage of my personal page here to speak about the illogical amounts of hate thrown at me for “The List”. First and foremost… if you are going to shit hate all over the FREE story that you got to read because of my need to express myself and tell a story, at least have the courage to log in and sign your name to the flame you feel the need to roast me with. You don’t like the story I chose to tell? FINE! I really don’t care if you like it or not. But here’s an idea… if you don’t like it, don’t read it.

As I have said previously, I was inspired by an episode of “Friends”. I liked the idea of friends sitting around talking about who would make their “fantasy celebrity sex” list. Granted, I took it a little further and delved into Sookie’s character, making her someone who initially wouldn’t even make a list, much less someone who would cheat on her boyfriend. And she never does, based on an understanding between herself and Sam when they started seeing each other exclusively. I covered that in at least 2, if not 3, chapters. Anyone who (either anonymously or not) calls this Sookie a cheater or a slut OBVIOUSLY didn’t pay much attention to the story or the dialogue between the characters.

Second – I love how I’m getting blamed for being misleading because certain readers chose to ignore blatant facts about the characters that I didn’t veil or hide at all. Eric: young celebrity, single, not searching for any kind of relationship, loves his career, and is very physically attracted to his rental agent. Sookie: young professional, has a boyfriend, loves her job and hometown, and is very physically attracted to one of her renters. Once Sam gets himself taken out of the story, neither Sookie nor Eric had any kind of overwhelming urge to completely uproot their stable lives for the other. What they decided was to take advantage of the time Eric was in the same area and enjoy the benefits of said attraction. Never once did I try to build it up to be anything more than that. Neither one admitted to others (or the readers in their unspoken thoughts) a deeper feeling than sexual attraction. If certain readers CHOSE to overlook the clearly stated facts, I don’t see how I can be blamed for their own obliviousness.

Third: I brought Godric in for a very specific purpose. To use another “Friends” reference, he’s Sookie’s lobster. He’s the one that got away when they were in college. Eric is the only person she’s had sex with that she didn’t have a committed relationship with. Godric returning to her life brought her back to reality and out of the fantasy that she had with Eric. If you look over the chapter while Eric was doing his publicity tour and Sookie was talking to her girlfriends, they bring up multiple times that Sookie is not the kind of girl to have a fling; she has commitments. Her “thing” with Eric was out of her norm and her girls didn’t want her to get hurt because of it.

Bringing Godric in gave Sookie something back that she lost years earlier. I know how she felt perfectly, if in a different way. When I was waitressing the summer after college, imagine my shock when I saw my ex walking down the street through the window when I thought he was in Massachusetts. He was the son-of-a-preacher-man stoner frat boy who was always well-stocked with pot that graduated before me. He was tall and lanky with crazy curly blond hair and dark green eyes. I wanted be true to my mental vision of Godric, so I changed some of the physical traits, but that’s it. However, the reaction to seeing each other for the first time on a random street – me in my tiny waitress uniform and him in his usual t-shirt and jeans – was faithful. In my case, the relationship didn’t last, but who’s to say that it would be that way for Sookie? I would be the LAST person to begrudge her having some summer fun with a sexy famous Swede, but knowing that it was a limited engagement made it easy for her to end their fling to start something more stable with her Godric. Hating on me because certain readers (again) chose to overlook clearly stated facts is simply disappointing.

Finally… I don’t think anyone reading this would have been one of the ones to leave one of those hateful unsigned reviews. Many of those threatened to never read anything I ever wrote again, so if you DO happen to be one of those cowards, I can now call you a liar. *neener neener* I’m hoping that if you follow me, you can understand my motivations in telling the story I did, even if you didn’t love the way I ended it. To be fair, this is the ONLY story I’ve written (out of 18) where Sookie and Eric didn’t end together. I don’t count “What the Hell” because that’s being continued in a sequel. So, I am going to do what has been told to me by several people, all of whom have read the story in question, and shake off the hate and continue writing what I like and tell the story I want. Honestly, if no one is paying me in anything but comments and critiques, why shouldn’t I? But here’s an idea. Since the reader isn’t spending anything other their time reading the drivel that spews out of my head, why be needlessly cruel to the person who spewed said drivel? I’m not pulling a “Clockwork Orange” and prying their eyelids open and forcing them to read the words. I can understand voicing disappointment over certain details. But, honestly, only 3 reviewers know me personally, so hurtful comments about me as a person have nothing to do with me as a writer and have no place in reviews.

To both the anonymous and signed reviewers that called me a Charlaine Harris wannabe… hmm… Well, look back a couple of posts and see that, while I would have liked to see Eric and Sookie together at the end of DEA, I didn’t hate the book. However, the comparison isn’t fair or accurate. I didn’t spend 12 books building up a relationship that started with mere curiosity. Never once did MY Eric and Sookie ever say that they loved each other. Never once did Eric and Sookie commit to more than some truly awesome sex for a limited amount of time. Never once did either give up anything for the other. If the only basis for comparison is the fact that she ended up with someone other than Eric… well, again, it’s not MY fault that blatant obvious facts were ignored.

Last thought… if you liked The List, thank you. Even more if you left a review saying so. I won’t lie and say that my confidence wasn’t shaken by the sheer amount of hate that was spewed at me for simply telling a story that I had a lot of fun writing. Fortunately, I have some very good friends, and you know who you are, who have convinced me to shake it off because I’m better than the cowards that shit hate over a creative work that they didn’t appreciate. So I will persevere, to be a little overly dramatic. I will continue writing when I have time and feel inspiration. And for reading my rant, enjoy the eye candy below…
M magazine alex

By the way… who else excited for Sunday and pretty clearly the final season of “True Blood”? I’m feeling cheated because my local B&N is carrying the EW with supid “Dexter” on the cover.

16 responses to “It’s my turn to rant

  1. I haven’t read the list yet, but I’ll say this… any story that runs along a Friends type of story arch works for me. Without having even read it, I LOVE ERIC BEING SOOKIE’S PAOLO!

    Those anonymous cowards can fuck off. I really do wish I understood what motivated people to be so mean and spiteful. There’s constructive criticism and then there’s being an asshole.

    And I really, REALLY don’t understand why people assume their going to get a happy ending. That’s not the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes your OTP doesn’t ride off into the sunset together, happily married and with a gaggle of adorable babies in tow. Anytime an author doesn’t turn Eric into a mushy, romantic hero and Sookie into a swooning, dedicated worshiper of Eric’s FANMADE sex god status, readers get all up on a huff and pull shit like this. The same thing happened to Lubadub after she posted the final chapter of ComicCon Connections a few years ago.

    It’s ridiculous.

    Since I haven’t read the story yet, I can’t say if there was no romantic build up but I have no reason to think that you’re lying about that. Readers are just pre-programmed, at this point, to assume that Eric and Sookie are going to have some “ah-ha” moment that makes all of the planets align so they can have the happy ending I mentioned earlier. They completely disregard the narrative and then when the ending comes they end up feeling disappointed with the author because they were too caught up in their shipper feelings to really read what was being put right in front of them.

    ***SPOILER ALERT***
    After reading “What the Hell” how can they possibly be surprised that you would end a story on a note where Eric and Sookie aren’t together? It’s not the end of the world. It’s. A. Story. Breaking Eric and Sookie up doesn’t make you a Charlaine Harris wannabe. Hell, I had people BEGGING me to break Eric and Sookie up when I was writing “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin” so these newbies that think they’re entitled to find happy endings everywhere they look can just fuck right off with that bullshit.

    But thank you for posting this, not only in defense of yourself since these cowards made it impossible for you to respond in private, but also for piquing my curiosity.

    Looks like I have a kick ass story to read 😉

    You’re awesome, Ali. Don’t let these shitheads get you down.

    • Thank you honey. I’ve already gotten (again) anonymous reviews to the list criticizing me for this post. Having fellow, well-established writers (like you and MissyDee and a few others) encouraging me and honestly making me laugh through the stings of the flames means more than I can say. Thank you for replying and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on “The List”. It was honestly the most fun I’d had writing in a very long time.

      • You’re so welcome. I honestly think that these Anon Shitheads must think that we’re ficbots that just spit out stories, like we don’t put a piece of our heart into the things we write. Yes, it’s true we open ourselves up to criticism by putting our work out there and it takes balls to publish the things we write. There’s definite risk involved. However, they aren’t paying for our service and no one is holding a gun to their head to force them to keep reading if a story takes a turn they don’t like. Yet there are a select few that feel entitled to not just rain on your parade, but SHIT ON IT. And they do it anonymously because they can. I really hate that FFN disabled anonymous reviews for this very reason. It used to be if you wanted to flame someone, you HAD to leave your name. Now you can just peck away at your keyboard and essentially bully any author you choose without having to man up and say who you are. That’s one of the big reasons I decided I wanted to back away from that site. If a reader wants to be a bag of dicks they can do it on WordPress where I not only get their email address, but their IP address as well. And the funny thing? I get far fewer flame-like reviews here for that very reason. It’s not so much fun when they can have someone call them out on their shit, I guess.

      • Funnily enough, I thought about copying and pasting some of the anon reviews and responding to them openly in this forum, but then thought… why give them more “air time” than necessary. If they wanted my response to their shit, they would have logged in. The only reason I’m still spending so much time on FFN rather than here is because I find the formatting easier. Plus, since I didn’t set this site up, I’m still a little clueless as to how it works and I don’t have the time or energy necessary to learn. Now that my new schedule has taken me away from my kids, I want to use that time cuddling and reading to my boys. So I still use FFN to post my stories and this site to sometimes archive, but more often than not, vent about things that bug me.

        Your encouragement means so much to me! Knowing that other writers have my back makes me smile and mentally throw the finger at the anon haters.

  2. Aww, sweetie, I’m so sorry you got such nasty “hate mail”! You certainly don’t deserve it. None of us do for writing FREE stories that everyone has the option and free will to read or not. The thing that makes me the angriest is that most of the haters are too cowardly to sign their names to their nastiness. That tells me that they know what they’re doing is wrong.

    I will admit to being a sucker for a HEA ending, but I can accept any ending if it makes sense and isn’t just thrown on with zero regard for what’s happened so far in the story (i.e. DEA). While my personal choice is generally for Sookie and Eric to end up together, it certainly isn’t a requirement for a good story and your ending was perfectly reasonable for that story, and could even be considered a HEA. (Just because some readers weren’t happy, doesn’t mean Sookie wasn’t…lol!)

    Chin up and hang in there! For every one of the haters, I guarantee you have 10 or more who love your writing, even if they aren’t reviewing. 🙂

    • Like I said to MMHS, THANK YOU! I, myself, am a sucker for HEA stories. But if it’s not realistic, it grates a nerve. Even in the fantasy world, I can’t think of a believable reason that Sookie would uproot her grounded, stable life to follow a man to a different coast and leave all she knows just because he has the ability to get her off. Same goes for a celebrity in the prime of his career to drop out of his world and live a quiet life in a nowhere town 3000 miles away from his career. I truly felt (and still feel) that Sookie’s Happily Ever After would be with someone other than Eric based on her life.

      Because I’ve gotten even nastier anon reviews to the story in a response to this post, I’ve started going in and deleting them. I’ve read them and I’m sure that’s all the cowards wanted to accomplish. If someone is truly interested in reading what I write, they will disregard the hate and give it a chance. If they don’t like it, they have the option of stopping at any point. Thank you for your encouragement.

  3. Like i reviewed on FF, i’ll say it here. While i am just slightly bummed at a non ES ending, its in no way a write off of your story. I 100% get it, it makes perfect sense, and its real. and what else? its YOURS. I just crave happy endings because i have to sort through so many fucked up lives in my day to day. xoxo

  4. Good Afternoon Ali
    I realized from the get go that ‘The List’ wasn’t my style of story. That’s OK, I didn’t read it.
    I am appalled at the hate mail you have gotten and at the writers lack of manners. What makes hate mail acceptable. Nothing.
    I’m sorry for the pain that they caused you. As Neil Gaiman offers as a response to the shit storm that is the world……….’Make Good Art’ that is the only appropriate response.
    Toni

    • You know what… that is the exact right response. Like I said, i’m not forcing anyone to read my story. If it’s not your style or your thing, I’m fine with that. I personally try to avoid angsty stories because I have enough crap in my real life that I don’t need anymore in my down time.

      My problem that I was venting over is the fact that… if you feel cheated by spending time to read a story that you didn’t appreciate… again, no one tied you down and it didn’t cost you anything but a little bit of time… it’s no excuse to shit all over the author who truly does put a bit of themself into everything they write.

      I appreciate your response and even if you never read “The List”, I still appreciate you reading my long winded rants and gripes here.

  5. I think the list was great. The ending was awesome. Everyone in your story was mature about the situation. As for the comparison to Charlaine no way! You were not misleading at all. Charlaine misled the readers to sell books then gave us the middle finger on the way out cause she was sold out her original thoughts of ending the series. Shake off the nasty cause lately there has been an uprising of cowardly annon commenters plauging some of the writers I follow. I mean if gou dont like a story stop reading it. Lol! Keep up the great work and I for one will definitely keep reading yours!

  6. OK, so I was not happy with the ending (and I did leave a non-anonymous review to that effect which I hope wasn’t insulting in any way) but the moment I read chapter 27, I KNEW there was going to be a backlash… For a number of reasons:
    1)As I said in my review, with the story being Eric & Sookie (and I agree that we could debate for hours whether that label is appropriate or not, it is your story so, your call as far as I am concerned though if it was mine, I’d say it is a Sookie story as I don’t think we got to know Eric that much), many people expect an ending where Eric & Sookie end up together – again whether that expectation is reasonable, it is another matter.
    2)I do think the end came sort of quick and to me felt unexpected – and there wasn’t a lot about Sookie and Eric together which I do get was not the point of the story but somehow it felt as if we were going to be getting chapters of Eric & Sookie getting to know each other. I think this is because the first chapters were very detailed as in a scene could go over 2/3 chapters (or more, can’t recall right now). Personally I did not see the Godric arrival coming at all and it didn’t really convince me but that is just me
    3)Your story got an incredible buzz thanks to the frequent posting and the crazy goal of getting 1,000 reviews (which you got so congrats). I am guessing for a while it was the most popular story for this fandom. The trouble with that is that it gets people on a sort of ‘high’ which is great but it kind of puts a certain pressure on the story to finish on an even higher note and I think for many readers the higher note was an E&S one.
    4)The internet affords the ability to leave hateful and irresponsible messages with virtually no consequences and not everyone handles that well which is a shame.

    On the Charlaine Harris comparison… I think if one thinks for a second about it, it is absurd (not just in terms of sheer size: 13 books vs. 1 fanfic story but also the plot itself) but people don’t even think for a second and this story came out right after the release of the last book (and the whole debacle)… People’s brains work funny that way – I remember when Gone Baby Gone’s release was delayed for months in the UK due to a real life tragedy of a little girl disappearance. Again, not two events that compare really but I think the human brain focusses on certain things esp when emotions run high and cannot think rationally.

    Thank you for writing and I hope you don’t mind my answering on behalf of the discordant (but polite) voices..

    RJ

  7. I loved this story! I love all your stories & I think it’s incredibly brave to put yourself out there & write them. I also loved all the Sookie books & understood Charlaine’s need to end them the way she did, even though I am a due hard Sookie & Eric lover. I have also found myself defending her in posts similar to this. I think your fabulous, your stories always out a smile on my face, please don’t let cowardly haters, spoil it for those who truley appreciate you. Keep up the good work & bring on Season 6… Eliza McCarthy – Australia 😉

  8. It’s a shame you’ve been subjected to hateful posts from gutless people who hide behind the “guest” tag. It may just be me, but since FF changed their rules about “anonymous” posters, there seems to have been a sharp increase in really ugly reviews. Still a small minority, but I’ve noticed them on other stories as well. I guess these idiots weren’t taught any manners when they were growing up. I recall being told over and over, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
    The story you wrote made sense in the context used. And it was well written. At the end of the day, that is what should be important.

  9. I loved The List & the whole fast posting begging for updates race for reviews experience. It was fun & I enjoyed it & I’m truly sorry that your entry to the Viking club with this story has been marred by these spiteful reviewers.
    I have to admit that initially I expected a S/E hea, but as the story progressed I couldn’t see how, given the characters you had written, this could happen. It worried me a bit to be honest, that if this hea happened it would be a bit contrived. But my shipper heart hoped for it all the same! The crux of the matter is that you wrote this story & you shaped the characters & you gave them an ending that was realistic & made sense & was a happy ending for both of them, just not together! And I liked it; the characters were honest to themselves & the narrative worked.
    It seems to me that people are less & less willing to enjoy a story for what it is. Surely the point of fiction is to be surprised? To go with the flow of a narrative & see where it takes you. I think it is important that the ending makes sense & that there is a logical progression of events but if we always know what is going to happen then is it fiction?
    I am not a writer, but I am an avid reader & I am constantly in awe of the amazing, well written, entertaining stories that I get to read FOR FREE in this fandom. As I said in a comment on the same issue some time ago to mmhs, what these people meant to say is thank you!

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