The Ohtori Seminar

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A Literature of Roses
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
A Literature of Roses: A fanwriter's community for the anime Shoujo Kakumei Utena/Revolutionary Girl Utena. The mission, should you choose to accept it: To write, critique, review, and discuss Utena fanfiction of all shapes, sizes, styles, and subjects. To widen and deepen the writing in a fandom with massive creative potential but, for whatever reason, little attention. Also to widen and deepen our interpretations and understanding of this unique, obtuse, and ambiguous anime. In other words? To be pretentious snobs in an attempt to make this fandom a more interesting place. Enjoy!

The quickie version of the rules: Please label your posts clearly in the subject line so we know what is what, put any fic or any long review or discussion under an LJ-cut so we don't have endless friendspages, warn and LJ-cut for any spoilers or disturbing material so nobody sees something they didn't want to, be courteous so we don't waste our fingers arguing, and use that big lovely bundle of neurons between your ears so things don't get dull around here.

Moderator's aside: I'm currently in my senior year of college. I hope not to disappear too often, but if I do for a couple of days, it means RL is kicking my ass. I'lll try to keep up with all comments, and I'll always read everything.

More extensive info and rules, to be ignored at your leisure:

This community is open to all forms of fanwriting (fiction, essays, and poetry) in all states of completion (from a tentative workshop draft to a polished piece you simply want to show off), as well as recommendations and discussions of extant work (anything from a quick note to a full-blown review) and relevant discussions of the fanwriterly process and the characters and world of Utena.

This community is also open to all incarnations of the Utena story--series, movie, manga, even musical and video game. However, the series is, in my opinion, the deepest and most detailed version, and so I consider it the "default option" purely for labelling reasons. If you're posting a story or discussion concerning one of the other canons, please note as such so we don't get confused. And please don't post spoilers for any canon without an LJ-cut and an appropriate warning!

I am a heretic in some ways and this is one of them: I don't believe a full-blown beta reader is absolutely necessary to finish a piece of fanfiction. In fact, I hope that posting a work in progress to this community will be even more productive than having a single beta. But I do believe in the joys of good grammar, so if you need a beta for that, then it might be good to find one--perhaps we can help. And even if you're posting hot-off-the-press first draft--believe me, I know how much fun that can be--remember that the spell-checker, however flawed, is still your friend.

Here's another heresy: I don't believe in that arbitrary American cut-off date which holds that people under eighteen Cannot Read About Sex Ever. However, a lot of people with a lot of legal power do. And a lot of people of the "grown-up" persuasion may be disturbed by some of the darker sexual undercurrents of Utena and how they may manifest in writing and discussion. So that is why I ask that "adult" or disturbing material be labelled and hidden behind an LJ-cut. And it is common courtesy.

I realize the idea of opening up a fanfiction community to writing and canon discussion may get rather insane in practice, but I want to give it a try. My reasons? Stories, especially fan stories, are not written in a vacuum. Discussion and consideration of the canon is an integral and essential part of the fanwriter's process, particularly with a canon as ambiguous as Utena, where sometimes even what did and did not happen is open to interpretation and a new interpretation can spark ideas and lead to new stories. I'd like this community to address not only fanfiction itself but what goes into it. It would be sad, though, if the fanfiction was eclipsed by semi-off-topic discussion.

If you're just joining the community, please introduce yourself! At least post your name and a little bit about yourself; if you wish, there's a rather random but potentially interesting little survey you can fill out at the bottom of this page.

Writers love feedback. I realize this may sound hypocritical to anybody who knows me, as I'm usually very shy and recalcitrant about reviewing even those fics I love, but I will be trying to review and comment as much as possible in this community, and everyone would be happier if everyone did the same. Of course, you knew that already.

You may post work either as an external link or in the body of the message--but if it's in the body, please LJ-cut for everybody's friendspage convenience.

If you're workshopping a piece and don't want it open to the public, feel free to friendslock it so that only community members may read.

If you're posting a glowing review of somebody else's fic, please notify the author so they can share the love.

And if you know or discover anybody who should be in this community, please send them along!

If you have any remaining questions, I may be reached through my own journal, wired_lizard, or an email to that username @ livejournal.com. (Yes, I'm spam-paranoid.)

Comments on current limitations and possible future changes:

At the moment, I'm going to make the terribly arbitrary decision that essays and poetry are allowed while art and visual work is not. I know many other fancreation communities allow all sorts of media, but I'm sticking to the written word for a relatively simple reason: I know that medium, how to critique it in a vaguely relevant fashion, and who uses it and how. The fanart community is undiscovered territory for me, and likely to remain so. If this community gathers enough momentum that it seems like opening to art is the next logical step, then we will. However, I will probably never open it to LJ icons and other Acts of Photoshop, mainly because there are extant communities which are excellent venues for such things.

Also for the moment, I'm keeping the community membership moderated--nobody can join without my approval. This is again a matter of momentum: I want to see if we can get off the ground with a small group who I know firsthand as good writers and

Essentially I'm seeing if the community as I've started it can totter up onto its little baby feet as so many LJ communities fail to do. Once it starts frisking around and chewing on my shoes, then I may well expand it further. We'll see.

Not your piece of cake?

Affiliated commities:

roselinedcoffin is an open, lively, all-purpose Utena community. Most active with commentary and discussions, although people do post fic, art, icons, and all sorts of creative thingies. Also a hub for numerous other affiliates, including icon and RPG journals.

utenadrabble is a very active and friendly drabble/ficlet community - I think I've gotten more feedback per word of fic there than anywhere else I've ever posting. If you're mainly a writer of very short pieces you may well be happier there than here.

The Introductory Survey:

(Please lj-cut this--I discovered it gets quite long!)

- - - Your name.

- - - Your preferred form of Utena (i.e., series, movie, manga, dub or sub), and why.

- - - Favorite character (if you can decide), and why.

- - - A moment from Utena that just sticks in your craw, the first thing that pops to mind. The catch? No spoilers.

- - - Link us to a fanfic (by someone else; this is not writer-ego time) and tell us why you like it. It doesn't have to be your Favorite Piece of Writing in All the World, though it could. Just something you appreciate.

- - - Now it's writer-ego time. Tell us about your own fanfiction, if you've written any. Links would be nice. If you aren't a writer--and readers are what make the world go round--tell us what you think about fanfiction as a reader or in general.

- - - Anything else we should know?

- - - Now say hi!

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