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Old 08-08-2017, 01:07 PM
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Default What the heck is going on in YA fiction social media

So I read this article today about the social atmosphere in the YA fiction world (particularly on Twitter).

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Representatives of both factions say they’ve received threats or had to shut down their accounts owing to harassment, and all expressed fear of being targeted by influential community members — even when they were ostensibly on the same side. “If anyone found out I was talking to you,” Mimi told me, “I would be blackballed.”
Quote:
One prominent children’s-book agent told me, “None of us are willing to comment publicly for fear of being targeted and labeled racist or bigoted. But if children’s-book publishing is no longer allowed to feature an unlikable character, who grows as a person over the course of the story, then we’re going to have a pretty boring business.”
what the butt
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:53 PM
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You know those people who put up videos on Facebook where they berate a mom in a parking lot whose sin was leaving her kid in the car for five minutes at the gas station? That's pretty much how I see it: people willing to go to any extreme for virtue. Do kids die in hot cars? Yes! Is humiliating their moms on FB the answer? No! Are racism and sexism a problem, especially for young people? Yes! Is a (admittedly milder) version of RequiresHate's tactics the solution? No.

I mentioned it on Twitter, but what especially troubles me is the idea that you don't have to actually read what you're criticizing before you criticize it. It's one thing to decide "I'm not going to read that" based on a review--that's what reviews are for. Frankly, none of the books mentioned in the article sound like anything I'd want to read--simply not my taste. But then you have situations like with Nikos Kazantzakis, who was nearly disciplined by a national Church because people were mad at a book they hadn't read. I have a hard time believing that attitude is as progressive as people think.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:04 PM
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Self-labeled progressives are generally not as progressive as people think, and certainly not as progressive as they themselves think they are.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:42 PM
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It's important to note that, while that article definitely shows how awful it can be to be a YA author on social media, it also points out near the end how little the controversy has actually affected the book's sales. It's a small group of people making things very miserable for another small group of people.

Social media is a blow-horn where success is measured by amplification, and youth makes you very confidant in your views. Take a good impulse (I should be critical of what I read), combine it with an immature impulse (I will stamp out all evil through the power of being right), then mutate the two with an unhealthy impulse (MOAR VIEWS), and you end up with a harassment mob. The problem probably won't change until the way we interact with the Internet changes. Again.

There's definitely good criticism to be made about yet another fantasy novel where fantasy races are stand-ins for oppressed groups. It is a right and good thing to get annoyed and mad and explore why you are annoyed and mad. It's just crummy to take that and then demand the book and all who look upon it be scoured from the earth. Condemning someone for reading a book is like cult-level abuse.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:56 PM
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It seems these are the same kinds of people who get mad at Huck Finn for having the n-word in it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:26 PM
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Eh, I'm not sure I'd go that far--I can at least imagine a sober, serious debate over Huck Finn. This feels more like people who attack fanfic authors for backing the wrong ships... except some of them are industry professionals.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:58 AM
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The whole thing reminds me of that incredible Post that broke down how shippers realized that they were able to sucessfully shut down their HATED ENEMIES (other shippers) by claiming that their hated enemy was racist/sexist/whatever, which lead to a sort of wide-ranging CONTEST to see who could best use IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY as a way to as a way to beat down people who want the incorrect fictional characters to kiss.

And then how this lead to young impressionable people seeing grown-ups using IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY grossly misused, and took it at face value.

FAKE EDIT: Ok I found it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:48 AM
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Oh yeah, I remember reading that one. Definitely a best post.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
It's important to note that, while that article definitely shows how awful it can be to be a YA author on social media, it also points out near the end how little the controversy has actually affected the book's sales. It's a small group of people making things very miserable for another small group of people.

Social media is a blow-horn where success is measured by amplification, and youth makes you very confidant in your views. Take a good impulse (I should be critical of what I read), combine it with an immature impulse (I will stamp out all evil through the power of being right), then mutate the two with an unhealthy impulse (MOAR VIEWS), and you end up with a harassment mob. The problem probably won't change until the way we interact with the Internet changes. Again.

There's definitely good criticism to be made about yet another fantasy novel where fantasy races are stand-ins for oppressed groups. It is a right and good thing to get annoyed and mad and explore why you are annoyed and mad. It's just crummy to take that and then demand the book and all who look upon it be scoured from the earth. Condemning someone for reading a book is like cult-level abuse.
This level of viciousness is nothing new in publishing, or so I understand, and the main difference here is that it's in a public medium that people outside of that minuscule community can access.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
The whole thing reminds me of that incredible Post that broke down how shippers realized that they were able to sucessfully shut down their HATED ENEMIES (other shippers) by claiming that their hated enemy was racist/sexist/whatever, which lead to a sort of wide-ranging CONTEST to see who could best use IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY as a way to as a way to beat down people who want the incorrect fictional characters to kiss.

And then how this lead to young impressionable people seeing grown-ups using IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY grossly misused, and took it at face value.

FAKE EDIT: Ok I found it.
wow, what's the source for that? i need to share it around.
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  #11  
Old 08-09-2017, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
The whole thing reminds me of that incredible Post that broke down how shippers realized that they were able to sucessfully shut down their HATED ENEMIES (other shippers) by claiming that their hated enemy was racist/sexist/whatever, which lead to a sort of wide-ranging CONTEST to see who could best use IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY as a way to as a way to beat down people who want the incorrect fictional characters to kiss.

And then how this lead to young impressionable people seeing grown-ups using IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH MODERN SOCIETY grossly misused, and took it at face value.


(here)
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2017, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivam View Post
wow, what's the source for that? i need to share it around.
Did a quick google and it took me to this reddit post. Near as I can tell that's the original.
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2017, 07:30 AM
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Oh wow I didn't know this had spilled out of fandom this hard.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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now I want a YA story about the specific sort of social dynamic that seems to have formed around YA fiction
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
now I want a YA story about the specific sort of social dynamic that seems to have formed around YA fiction
Ready Player One?
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  #16  
Old 08-11-2017, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hologramblue View Post
Oh wow I didn't know this had spilled out of fandom this hard.
I mean, people get invested hard in authors and their work. Crap like this happens all the goddamn time, and has since the dawn of the modern novel. The Internet just served as a centralization factor rather than as an innovator. The biggest difference is that you can now twit your beef in seconds instead of having to sit down, write a letter or put together a newsletter and then wait a few days to weeks for your target and/or allies to get your missive.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:43 PM
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A lot of people CONDONING SERIOUS ISSUES THAT DON'T AFFECT THEM DUE TO THEIR PRIVILEGE in here
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2017, 04:08 PM
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Well certainly every day I thank my lucky stars I don't have to make a living as a, god, freelance writer.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2017, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
Well certainly every day I thank my lucky stars I don't have to make a living as a, god, freelance writer.
When I stop and think about the glut of absolutely fantastic writing talent on the market I feel a little blessed that my original plan for getting a literature degree and MFA fell the fuck apart.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:09 PM
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Writing is something I approach from the viewpoint of "I like thinking of stories and writing them down (sometimes)." If I ever get myself together enough to write something that isn't just a collection of narrative bits and settings notes, any money I'd make off selling the resulting novel would be a nice bonus.

I think that's the only way to approach it unless you can do writing as an actual full time+ thing.
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  #21  
Old 08-14-2017, 04:34 AM
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I feel pretty confident in saying that fanfic writers/members of "fandom" are largely the same demographic as the target audience of YA fiction, so I'm not terribly surprised we're seeing much the same issues with (small but vocal groups of) both.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2017, 03:56 PM
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Relevant: It looks like a would-be YA author managed to buy her way, albeit briefly, to #1 on the NYT bestseller list.
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