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I know the lack of Tyler/Caroline fanfiction (especially well-written fanfiction) has always been a problem in TVD fandom. In the beginning, I got in the habit of checking Fanfiction.net and LiveJournal regularly (as in every day) for new fics or updates to existing ones that were actually good, or half decent in some cases (desperate times called for desperate measures). There wasn't much, but there was some. Once the Originals became the focus of the show whenever the ToD wasn’t, many in the fandom started shipping Klaus/Caroline, and to my disappointment, I learned that many of these people used to be Tyler/Caroline shippers but had jumped ship. I was so upset when I saw a couple of really great--like amazingly great--T/C fanfiction writers start writing for K/C. And so the already scarce T/C fanfiction began to dwindle.

But I kept checking Fanfiction.net and LJ for T/C fanfiction, hoping more would eventually be written. I started checking Tumblr, but it's a badly formatted site for featuring fanfiction, and since I mostly found graphics there, I gave up on it. Or maybe I just don't know how to search the site properly for fanfiction? That's possible. Tumblr has baffled and mystified me since day one. I just don't get it. It's often referred to as a blogging platform and a social media site but it's neither, IMO. But I digress. So, after no luck with fanfiction on Tumblr, I stuck to the usual method of searching for things on the internet: throwing a variation of keywords into Google, hoping it would yield results, but I only ended up with mostly Fanfiction.net links and a smattering of LJ ones for fics I was already aware of.

And I continued to do this faithfully until the end of S3 when I tossed in the towel and gave up on the show because of the way Tyler was always being sidelined and constantly screwed over. For a while, I still searched out fanfiction in the vain hope I'd find some new fic. I'd quit TVD but I still loved Tyler/Caroline and would have been happy to not watch the show, but read some great T/C fanfiction. Sometime last summer, maybe early autumn, I stopped looking. There was nothing to be found on LJ and all that turned up on Fanfiction.net was OOC or had bad grammar or dodgy spelling, or some combination of the three. And when yet another babyfic got uploaded, I deleted my Tyler/Caroline Fanfiction.net bookmark.

Which brings me to what happened today.

This morning, I made the mistake of investigating where the best places to post Tyler/Caroline fanfiction are since I haven't done so in a long while. I figured if I'm going to post this new story of mine, it may as well be where the bulk of any of the remaining fic-seeking Tyler/Caroline shippers hang out on the internet. I hit all the usual suspects: LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net and the results depressed the hell out of me. It's even worse now. (I don't know why I didn't think it wouldn’t be worse.) There's practically nothing on LJ, and by that, I mean even entries about them as characters on the show, not just pertaining to fanfiction. When I typed in variations of “Tyler/Caroline” and their ship name, the results consisted mostly of my own entries due to my recent S1-S3 re-watch and catch-up with S4. There were a couple of other ones, mostly trashing the pairing, which made me so, so sad.

When I checked Fanfiction.net, the new T/C stories (and there didn’t seem to be that many) had either no or very, very few reviews. I know reviews are not always an indication of quality, but that’s not what I was searching for. I was looking at it from a supply vs. demand perspective. These fics may well have been the best T/C fics ever written but if so few people ship them now (and the ones that still do don't want to read fanfiction about them because they’d rather look at pretty pictures and gifsets of them on Tumblr) then why post my story at all? Yes, I know the first rule of writing is to write for yourself, and I am writing for myself as I always have done. I don’t just want to get this story down on paper, I need to. But then what? Post it? Have no one read it? Then agonise for god knows how long because no one read it and the vomit-inducing stress I went through just gathering up the courage to post the damned thing wasn’t worth it because no one cares? As of now, I’m still writing the fic because the point of writing it is for ME but I’ve decided not to post it anywhere. I mean, WHY POST IT IF NO ONE IS GOING TO READ IT BECAUSE NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT T/C FANFICTION ANYMORE?!

Out of curiosity, while at Fanfiction.net, I decided to check something I knew in my heart was a bad idea, but I couldn't help myself. I guess I was feeling particularly masochistic this morning. This is what put me over the edge and has me out on the figurative ledge, wanting to jump off: there were only 450 odd fics for Tyler/Caroline compared to the 2,500 odd fics for Klaus/Caroline. And most of those K/C fics have reviews, some so many that I can’t even wrap my brain around it. This has crushed me. Absolutely crushed me. So I ask again, what is the point of posting my T/C fic if no one is going to read it because everyone is on the fucked up bandwagon of the pairing whose mashed up ship name sounds like a goddamned brand of hair products and whose ship initials remind me of a certain fast food fried chicken?!?! (God, am I PMSing? Is that why I’m feeling this way?)

Clearly I was wrong in my initial assessment that fanfiction was dying. It’s alive and well and thriving in certain fandoms and with certain ships. It’s only with the Tyler/Caroline ship that fanfiction is on its last leg--or maybe the T/C ship in general is on its last legs. After all, Tyler has been banished yet again, and Klaus is ever-present in Caroline’s life. Oh, I know there’s more to it than just Tyler getting sidelined when he’s actually in an episode and then leaving for a billionty episodes so fandom forgets about him, but it can’t possibly help T/C in any way that one half of the ship is sidelined and/or gone for half the episodes every season. I hate this show and this fandom so much.

And this is where I decide to talk at length about my experience with fandom in general and get reflective about it and its place on the internet, both past and present because I just need to vent my spleen today and I need to vent it big time.

I remember once up on a time on the internet, when you'd get into a show, or a movie, or a book, you could just go to a search engine and type in its name, or the name of the ship that had caught your attention, and maybe add something like "fan site" or "fanfiction archive" and voila! The internet, being what it was until recently, would have provided a myriad fan sites and loads of fanfiction archives for the show/movie/book/pairing you were looking for.

An excellent example of this from my personal online experience would be Alias. Back in the day (let me get out my walker), when I was hardcore into Alias (before it went off the rails in S3--some would argue that happened mid-S2 and I wouldn't say they're wrong, but IMO, the show was still watchable through S3. Season 4 and 5, however, were terrible), all I had to do was type in "Alias fan site" and I would get sites dedicated to showcasing Alias in every conceivable way and supplying a place for a fan to, well, be a fan amongst others of their kind. Not every site had these features, but, on average, I'd say they'd have had:

- a section on the each of the characters with profiles, stats, appearance, etc.

- a section for an episode guide offering anything from a simple episode summary to thoughtful reviews and recaps--some sites even offered full transcripts, which was a lot of work and showed amazing dedication

- a section for a gallery filled with screencaps from each episode

- a section for fanworks, often split into sub-sections comprised of graphics, fanvids, and fanfiction, although fanfiction, being such a huge factor in most fandoms, often had its own section

- a section for links to other Alias sites such as fanfiction archives, character specific sites, ship specific sites, etc.

- a section to list members, which sometimes included links to their own fandom sites, LJs, etc.

- a section for the forum/message board where all fans could discuss the latest episodes, spoilers, characters, the actors, ships, rec fanfiction, and talk about other subjects they were into

And there was new shit in every section every freaking day.

And at that time, LJ was booming. It was THE place for fandom. Back in the day, if you liked a show, and especially a pairing, all you had to do was click on a ship you had added to your interests, as I did with Sark/Sydney or Sarkney (one of only TWO times I've actually used a goddamn portmanteau for ship names--I usually hate them and want to kill them with fire) and I would have been lead to communities and other users who were into the ship and either wrote fanfiction or linked to them in rec posts. And you can still do that on LJ, but the results are often old and no longer relevant as the person has moved on from that show or ship.

It was all I could ever want from fandom. The looming death of LiveJournal--at least as a hub for fandom--and the complete disappearance of the fan site that not only encouraged but lived and died by the creative input from its members has made it really hard for me to enjoy fandom as much as I used to.

Or, and this is a strong possibility, all the shows I have an interest in and all the ships I’ve become invested in are not as popular as others and that’s why little or no fanfiction exists for them. A good example of that right now is probably Mr Selfridge. It’s not particularly brilliant, just more of the very soapy historical drama ITV has been producing lately, but I find it entertaining and I’m happy a second series got commissioned. As I usually do, I watched without intending to ship anyone. I am not a shipper at heart. Shipping is a by product of loving two characters too much and wanting to see them interact more and in different ways because they have great chemistry (also for the sexxors if the actors are particularly hot because, yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m a very shallow fangirl).

But back to Mr Selfridge: as unlikely as it was, I began shipping a pairing right from the start, one that I couldn’t, in my wildest dreams, actually imagine ever happening on the show. But it did! And they were awesome and hot in that delightfully repressed English way [Spoiler (click to open)]even though one of the characters is French. And then the S1 finale happened and I WANTED TO DIEEEEE. [Spoiler (click to open)]Please come back, Henri! Now I need fic. I desperately need fic to keep me going until S2 airs. But there isn’t any. And no one on LJ is talking about it, at least, not in English. I am hoping once Mr Selfridge starts airing on Masterpiece Theatre at the end of this month and gets a wider audience, fic will happen. But it probably won’t. *sigh* It might (and probably will) just result in gifsets appearing on Tumblr.

So all that to say I hate Klaus/Caroline with the intensity of a million suns going supernova and that fandom ain’t what it used to be and I miss that so much sometimes, especially when I have a shiny new show/movie/book and pairing to go along with it and nowhere to go to share in my newfound obsession. :(

Short version: Julie Plec and Tumblr have ruined everything.

I should’ve spent this time and energy and these words working on the story instead of writing this entry, but I was, and still am, upset by all this and needed to get it out of my system.


Mar. 17th, 2013 05:42 am (UTC)

I understand your frustration, but it has always been this way with TC fanfiction.

But I can promise you that not only will I read your story, but I have friends who will read as well.

I will even pimp out your fic on my tumblr.

TC fanfic doesn't spread like wild fire, but those of us who enjoy this ship and the few awesome fanfic writers we greatly appreciate it.

ATM I am currently obsessed with nrgburst's multi-chapter TC fanfic in which she has Tyler and Katherine working together while Tyler is on the run. It is so awesome I scream and flail like a mad person when she updates.

The TC fandom lives on dude. There are still some of us out there who foam at the mouth for well written fic. Don't give up please. Pretty please?
Mar. 17th, 2013 06:08 am (UTC)
I've now realised I should have put a footnote in there explaining how even though I don't want to post the story anywhere I will let you read it. Whether it's sending you the document via email or having a friends filter comprised of just you, you will get read the finished product.

I may end up changing my mind once the story is complete--I am a fickle individual and prone to waffling back and forth on my decisions--so we'll see. Whatever my final decision ends up being, you will get to read it, I promise.


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