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26 June 2011 @ 09:44 pm
just stuff  
  • First, my SummerGen sacrifice has been offered to the deities of the season; I coulda kept tweaking but shoooooey, do I have other things I need to get to. THANK YOU, my lovely betas! *makes googly eyes at fannishliss and fhionnuiscetine* You're magic.

  • Second, are there awards for Best Big Bangs out there? I'm a bit conflicted about this, because BBs are, at their core, simply wonderful opportunities to hone skills and share the love we have for 'x' fandom. But it's also a way to find some really great reads.

  • Lastly, does anyone but me think the art part of a Big Bang should be beta'd too?

Just some stuff to chew on. Nom.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
ratherastoryratherastory on June 27th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
There are no awards, but keeping an eye on the rec communities is a good way to find some of the really good ones. :)

I don't know how many people would be able to beta art. A lot of the artists involved are new(ish), a lot of them are posting fanart for the first time... I don't know. Are there betas for art? It doesn't seem like a common practice. I certainly don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to art critique (though last year my artist and I had a fantastic dialogue about part of the composition that seemed problematic from a story point of view), and I don't imagine there are many out there who do.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Dovetailing off of your rec comm comment, which ones should I be watching? I think I'm only watching one, at present, besides the SPN Newsletter. Which I love, btw. It covers all the bases.

Re. art beta-ing, in the professional realm, you usually work with an art director who acts as your editor, while you have trusted friends play beta. Frankly, I see no reason why the folks participating in BBs as artists couldn't start a practice of offering/requesting beta services for/from eachother. It doesn't have to be anything required, but we'd all like to be better artists and it might put concerned authors at ease.

Maybe I'll play pioneer and see what happens if I ask for an art beta, offering to reciprocate to whomever wants concrit. Oh, and you don't have to be an expert to look at a picture and know something is amiss. Like you and your artist did last year. I doubt anything official will come of this, but what the heck...couldn't hurt!
ratherastory: BSG Get All That?ratherastory on June 27th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Off the top of my head there's crack_impala, sawedoff_recs and spn_gen_love (which, alas, has gone dormant of late).

There are plenty of others, I'm sure.
Not Quite by Firelighttahirire on June 27th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Art should totally have a beta. I know some of the artists are new artists and need to practice, but some of the art compared to the hours and hours and hours an author puts into a story just seems so WRONG. I was very fortunate when I did mine to get a wonderful artist. She doesn't draw but she does graphics and vids and it was AMAZING. So you don't have to be able to draw to be an artist that can come up with something high caliber.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Hear, hear! I mean, I get that it's a crapshoot for the authors; we, as artists, get to pick the project that tickles our fancy and the authors are stuck with us. (I'm doing the GenBigBang and I'm nervous about who will pick my piece!)

Sure, it's all for the Love of the Sport, but this is an awesome opportunity for everyone to sharpen their skills, artists included. And I agree; you don't have to be an illustrator. Graphic art is a whooooole 'nother discipline. I suck at graphic design, in fact.

BTW, I feel like I should know this, but what is the symbol in your userpic?
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
(Clearly, I forgot how to code. Ignore the italics.)
Not Quite by Firelighttahirire on June 27th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly. No author that has spent countless hours bleeding from their eyes into a blank Word document deserves their story to be accompanied by something that looks like a crayon drawing that an internally wincing parent might tape to their fridge. :P

That symbol was designed by blacklid and myself. It is our main character's tattoo in our current ongoing long fic of doom, No Way Back. You probably saw it when I posted the master list. Speaking of art, that story has some. And it is awesome. Because our beta loved us very much even though we are making her beta a fic that was only supposed to be about 20 k and now it is nearing 70.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
Awesome! *runs to check out the lovelies* Hey, with self-publishing being the juggernaut that it is right now, no reason you can't publish when you guys get to that point! I'm just praying to get to 20k someday...soon...
Not Quite by Firelighttahirire on June 27th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
Lol, well, it would help if it wasn't fanfic. But it was intended to be good practice writing an original character as the main character, and I think in that respect, it is doing its job. :)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah, that pesky 'fanfic' thing. Funny, I totally forgot about that!

The art is awesome. Really gritty; I dig it. You should put the first two books out on pdf. Just for me. Because I'm needy like that and I don't like reading off the computer. ;)
Not Quite by Firelighttahirire on June 27th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
Lol. There will be a pdf when it is all done, don't you worry.

I have a working pdf on my Nook, actually ...
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
Tease! *makes grabby fingers*

Okay, okay, I'll sit on my hands until then. So you're collaborating with blacklid? How do you do that? Co-writing, I mean? Always wondered.
Not Quite by Firelighttahirire on June 27th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
We beta for each other a lot, so we are both familiar with each others styles, but I won't say it's been 100% smooth sailing, lol.

Our first time was when we co-wrote Unbreakable, but for that one she did all the Winchester parts and I did all the historical flashback parts and then she went over it and put all the pieces together, like 2 halves of a puzzle.

This time we threw everything into a google doc so everyone (us and our 3 betas) could work on it at once, and we just started putting up scenes as they came to mind. It's been a little scary how much they just go in where they go. I don't think we've ever overwritten each other by accident. In all of the parts that are posted, I can go back and read it now and not be able to tell who wrote what, unless it was a really special scene for some reason. I do know that I have written the majority of Blake and Gwen, and she has written the majority of the Winchesters, but it is turning out pretty seamless.

It's fun to co-write, but it's a whole different monster from doing it yourself. I think it's worth it, though. I never could have done it on my own. :)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
What a cool symbiosis! And it's a wonderful solution to the solitary life of the writer/artist. So much of what we do is self-reliant, as a creative, that we forget how much we can learn by letting another person share the process.

I just downloaded 'Unbreakable' to read tonight. Happy times!
monicawoemonicawoe on June 27th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
Grats on finishing sumergen!

I finished and turned mine in too and now I have to keep reminding myself that there won't be any feedback for weeks still, lol

I thought I saw awards for bigbangs somewhere, but maybe I am confused (it's been known to happen).
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
Ha! Doesn't it suck to have to wait for posting? But turning in early is merciful on the mods. I'm glad you participated; I'll have to see if I can guess which is yours... :D
salty_catfish on June 27th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
I'm a GREAT proponent of art-betaing (AND A SIZE LIMIT FOR THE GRAPHICS), and love doing it, because I'm a bad person. There's been some attempts to establish it at spnartsupport, but it hasn't really caught on (and only attracts the drawing crowd). I've been pestering the dcbb mods about it, too, and from their reply it seems like there will be some sort of art beta post. Yay!
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
I thought I responded to this. Must not have. Good on, for the dcbb mods! I couldn't do the dcbb this year; too much on my plate, but maybe next? I look forward to this year's offerings, though!
salty_catfish on June 29th, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
Er, the layout (I don't think it's displayed correctly in this browser) hides the reply button behind you icon, so I'll answer here.

Yeah I'm really happy, there'll be an official thread for it. :) I don't know if they plan to do threads for other BBs at artsupport, for spnj2bb the beta request post was somewhat late, seemed to be due to modding troubles.

But I wanted to answer the awards question. I haven't seen any! I think for BB recs it's best if you know what kind of story you'd like to read and then systematically look for recs. Have you checked sawedoff_recs? (I've read few BBs, I could rec, too ;)) I've found delicious' relinks to be a pretty reliable indicator of quality, too. And the anonmeme discussions.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 29th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this layout isn't perfect in Internet Explorer. Works better in Firefox but I don't know enough about coding to tweak it. :/

I didn't even see an art beta request in the spnj2bb; I'll go back and look because that's one I'm working on.

I'd love to see your recs! I'm watching sawedoff and cracked impala, but I tend to be a little more gen/het in my prefs. But some of my favorite writers do the racier stuff and I'd read them no matter what they wrote! Great writing is great. :D
Morgan Briarwood: SPN Sam Worrybriarwood on June 27th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
Betas for artwork?

Art's like any other creative work, it can always benefit from a critical eye. But a fic beta is primarily there to catch mistakes: typing errors, continuity issues, canon mistakes. I'm not sure that function really applies to artwork.

It makes sense that there's a rule in most fic challenges that you must have a beta for stories. Particularly for long fics, it's easy to lose track, and mistakes slip through that ruin the story. But while I think an art "beta" for someone who wants it would be great, I wouldn't want to see it as an obligation the way it is for fic.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 27th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it is comparing apples to oranges, but an art beta can catch anatomy errors, color and compositional improvements, or just impart helpful hints on how to better utilize fontwork or Photoshop operations (since there's a great many photomontages in the BigBangs.)

But I certainly see your point. A beta isn't nearly as important for the artists, since the art is really there to support the writing. Any beta, though, regardless of discipline, is a good thing for the creator! And better art for the fiction will woo readers, whereas bad art can scare them off. Even though BB readers should know better...
fannishliss: young severus readingfannishliss on June 29th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
My red flags went up at briarwood's comment! :)
As a professional copyeditor, my job isn't simply to catch errors, but to clarify meaning, improve flow, and help make an argument (or story) the best it can be. I learned all my copyediting skills getting an MFA in poetry: it's the exact same set of skills.

I'm certainly not a visual artist, but I am a well-trained critic, and I can always point out room for improvement. Especially in the digital format, art can still be moved forward.

I'm not following summergen, but I'll look forward to your fic hitting the public eye. Good luck!! :)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on June 29th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'll take you up on that offer and message you a link to the art. I'm a firm proponent of getting the opinions of not just artists, but viewers as well. My hubs, who has not an artistic bone in his body (well, save ONE, perhaps...ahem...) can give me the best crits ever. He doesn't know exactly what's wrong, but knows it when he sees it. And it makes me really deconstruct the piece and think hard. So thank you! Link, in transit...