It was utterly bizarre to me that so many people like this story. Character-wise, Rachel isn't much more than a shell for author/reader insertion, the same way that in shitty romance novels the heroine often has no personality so the reader can just insert themselves into the fantasy. Legrist is more interesting, barely. He's just a tortured-soul archetype. Plot-wise, it's very weak. There isn't much in the way of rising action. It's just information dumps and little vignettes, and in the last chapter, there suddenly is a climax, and it's all over. Prose-wise, this story is nothing special, except for the short-story that is Rachel's retelling of part of Legrist's story. It does, however, hold a shining badge of having very few spelling or grammar errors, which is an accomplishment for a fanfic, kinda.
But, I think I figured it out.
It's a theme, an unconscious criticism I, and many other fanfiction writers have been making towards nerd-culture, to our own fandoms, heck, to our culture in general. It's the whole Anti-Mary-Sue movement, something that I've backed away from on the most part. Ugh, this will take some explanation to get the elephant out of the room so we can think about this more logically. Here goes:
The Anti-Mary-Sue movements were mostly about punishing teen girls for having sexualities and being public about them. Yeah, I'm not so proud of that part of my life. I was a slut-shaming asshole when I was a teenager. Sorry about that. I promise that I've gotten past that nonsense.
But, there was another part of Anti-Mary-Sue-ism that is a valid criticism. This wild obsession with celebrities doesn't honor them. It dehumanizes them. Would you publicly post graphic stories of your cute next-door neighbor screwing you? Thought not. That'd be just creepy and stalkery. For some unknown reason, everyone was acting like that was perfectly alright with Orlando Bloom or any of the other actors that one happened to fancy. Everyone seemed to forget that there were real people behind those images on the screen.
Then there's all of these really personal attacks on politicians, performers, any kind of celebrity, especially if people find them sexually attractive, and we turn around and blame them for having their privacy violated. It's no wonder that so many of them end up self-destructing after years of constant dehumanization and abuse.
So, I wrote a story about people obsessed with a normal Elf, made vulnerable by his separation from his homeland, who end up torturing and eventually killing the object of their obsession. In contrast, Rachel, while curious, respects Legrist's boundaries (after the little stumble in the beginning, anyways). Their relationship isn't all take-take-take; its sharing. That idea, looking back on all of this, is what I was trying to put to words back then, and I guess that it was something that a lot of you felt too.
Thanks for all of the reviews and faves over the years! Let me know if you think I'm way off the mark with this analysis/criticism of nerd-culture.
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