Why Don't I "Get it"?

This is in response to more than one blog comment, thread response, and review.  Did I really not realize people would leave a story based on particular types of angst?  Yes.  Here's why.

The answer to that is pretty simple - I'm a writer, not a Twilight fan.  Not that I don't like Twilight - I definitely do! - but I'm not a "Twilight fangirl".  Love the characters, find them very interesting, and I write what I consider interesting.  I started writing Twilight FF on a whim, because I wanted more EPOV after reading the unfinished Midnight Sun - NOT because I'm a member of the Twilight Fandom.
  • I don't read that many other FF stories.  I've read a decent number, but not a lot
  • I never read the reviews of other stories. 
  • I don't read forums for other writer's stories.
  • I'm not into the fandom community
The last one is probably the big one.  I don't pay attention to the gossip, I don't follow "Robsten," I would never hang out in line for a panel, I'm not counting the days to the BD release. There isn't anything wrong with anyone who is - I've met lots of wonderful people writing Twific, and most of them are seriously into the Twifandom stuff.  They're having fun, and that's wonderful.  I would go hang out in line for days just to be with them and have a good time.  If there was a panel at the end, well, I guess I'd stick around and watch it, as long as there weren't too many "under-twenties" screaming for Rob.  (I really, really feel sorry for that guy!)

The point of this - I don't know what causes people to "flounce" stories because I don't pay attention to that. I write what makes sense to me and makes sense to my beta and pre-readers.  It's far from perfect, because I'm always learning to make it better, but it does make sense.

If I'm not into Twifandom, why do I find the characters interesting in the first place?  Because they are all horribly, horribly FLAWED.   Here are a few examples:
  • Edward - manipulative, controlling, jealous, and has a lot of anger management issues.
  • Jacob - outwardly trying to steal another guy's girl, no matter how many times they both tell him to fuck off, sexually assaults Bella, then drives her home whistling and smiling. I won't even go into the Renesme thing.
  • Charlie - hears his daughter has been assaulted, and congratulates the perpetrator. Later on - "Oh, you have a demon child.  I guess you can call me Gramps!"  WHA?!?
  • Bella - I don't get her.  Never did. That's probably why I struggle writing her POV. She accepts absolutely everything, from her mother's remarriage, her BF being a vampire, her impending doom over and over again, and the love of her life no longer loving her.  She stoically stands in the middle of the street when four men attack her, hangs out with pack of werewolves, is good with leaving her life behind to become a vamp (OK, I might have done this one, too), is fine with the demon child growing inside of her...etc.  So yeah, I don't think accepting a concubine - a perfectly normal thing in her society -  is a big stretch for her. :)
All that said - even if I was into the fandom, I wouldn't change a thing.
I shall remind you of the slogan on the top of the blog - Fiction with Teeth.  I will go there, people.  Wherever it is you think I just might not go, I probably will.  I have no reservations and consider nothing too taboo.  I'm not going to glorify anything vile (child abuse, slavery, etc), but that doesn't mean it won't be there.  You aren't supposed to "like it" - it's supposed to make you think about it.  Considering all the (positive and negative) responses UC has received - you are thinking about it!

Why?  I like exploring those dark subjects, and the vast majority of my readers do, too.  That's why they read my stories - because they are dark.  I think a few people just got blindsided by UC because they hadn't read any of my other stories, didn't heed the angst warning, and thought they were reading a fairy tale.

I've heard a lot of theories about where Offside is going now, too.  It should also be interesting. :)

I could also pull a Sixth Sense/Fight Club/Crying Game move on ya.

Oooo!!  Edward finds out Bella is transgendered!

Or maybe I'm just messing with ya. 



  1. My suggestion is quite simple: if you don't like what I write, stop reading and/or write your own.

  2. I want to high five you right now! lol

  3. YOur other stories have some very interesting moments but Hide and Drink is your best IMO. The no touch orgasm scene in SB was excellent.

  4. You forgot one thing about Edward: emotionally abusive.

    And I agree with most of what you say, although I think calling what Jacob did to Bella sexually abusive, yes it was wrong and a huge jerk move, but I wouldn't say sexually abusive because that term is very very charged.

    As a writer myself I love angst, I love making my characters suffer and I believe no story is complete without at least some struggle, and most of the time a struggle that people thinnk is very taboo. I have even written a story where you sympathize with the murderer! lol. And I'm currently writing a fanfic (Twilight) that bases itself on adultery. It's "fun" strecthing the limits, exploring the how's and the why's to people's actions, and as you say: make people think.

    I remember getting this response to one of my stories a while back and it made me wonder: what do they want out of a story? Why are they reading something they obviously don't like, with a theme that makes them hunch back.

    UC and the adultery in it *makes sense*, it is somewhat forgiveable although you want to define adultery as just one thing: wrong in every sense and form. In UC they do what they can in the circumstances they are in, where there isn't much choice involved. And I think you're handeling the story in a great way. :)

  5. Loved all of your comments this morning.  I also am  not a fangirl but I was introduced to MoTu and that got me reading a few other fanfics.  I like the dark and unexpected and I also like to read a few that are angst free just because they are  nice stories.  I read the twilight series  because my friends were obsessed with it.  I really don't get all of the fandom readers who will stop reading a story because it's not going where they hope it will.  You write compelling stories.  I loved CBWR?  I love UC and can't wait to see where you are going.  I'd love to see Aro get his but in the grand scheme of things he probably would have beat Edward into the earth by now in real life (back in the day).  You have over 15,000 reviews on FanFic.  I'd say most people are enjoying your work.   

  6. Savage, Look at it this way.. you know you are doing something right when its you and your words that everyone is talking about, even if not all is agreed upon : )

    Jazzer Jazzer sums it very nicely......

  7. First, I must say that I am a terrible reviewer in the fact that I haven't reviewed in quite some time (sorry about that). Second, I think you may be my kindred spirit. Everything you 

  8. Sorry, Shay, for all this drama. Seriously, tho, I have to laugh at how intense all these people get - it's a STORY! Granted, I get sucked into the drama of stories everyday - I (sadly) spend all my free time reading, mostly to escape the boredom of my life - but even I know all this is fiction! I guess all this goofiness comes from the fact that we are reading the story as it is born, not after it is totally completed. It's goofy how worried we all get (myself included) for these characters, and I think reading it as it unfolds makes us harder to accept the break inbetween updates. It's almost as if we think by saying something, you (or any author) will change the outcome of where you are going with the story. Like we can stop the train from derailing.
    I am the type, if I don't like something, I stop reading. Never has happened with any of your stories, tho.
    You are a psychologist - what you must think of all our psyches when we get so worked up at you! Anyhow, glad you have this blog to rant. I really look forward to reading what you have to think about things (other than soccer competitions - not my thing).
    I like that you keep us on our toes and at the edge of our seats- please keep doing that!
    (p.s. biblepam and I already have an outline for out contribution to the Kill Carlisle contest, so please actually set that up!)

  9. your comments, while taken at face value, make a lot of sense...

    so pardon me for saying this, but regardless of the different types of forums that you do not participate in, you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind AND living under a rock to not have ANY idea about the unequivocal, irrevocable and undying love, from twilight readers, for the relationship between edward and bella.  you're obviously a very intelligent person who appears to be pretty worldly and in touch with what's happening in the world, which is why i "don't get it", how you could not know.  hence, i will hold to my own opinion that you did know, but you write what you like and therefore the relationship factor between edward and bella is and will continue to be collateral damage in your stories.

    you're a very talented writer, there is no disputing that.  you used to be one of my favorite authors.  all of your stories, with the exception of the last three, are on my favorites list.  but your stories have gotten progressively darker.  you've taken the flawed characters that you speak of and have made them even more flawed, like you're trying to see just how  fucked up you can make them.  your disdain for these characters is pretty obvious.

    but the beauty in all of this is that it's a free world.  you're free to write your "fiction with teeth" and we're free to read it or not.  and that is something i can stand behind 100%, even if i'm not liking your current stories.

  10. Love taboo Savage keep it coming! 

  11. I have to admit that I'm puzzled by the uproar, too. I don't like that Edward had to take a concubine, but it's historically accurate. Seriously, people, put on your big girl panties and deal with it--or stop reading!

  12. Shay, you obviously do understand people pretty well, or you wouldn't be able to write the way you do. I want to tell you why I put UC down where I did. I read comments on your blog about what sounds to me like the most dehumanising rape of Angela, and I can't see how I could ever get past that, no matter where your story goes for Edward and Bella. I was almost as upset by the focus on E&B's relationship in the comments as I was by what was apparently done to Angela. The word 'flounce' is not part of my vocabulary, I'm as happy to put a fic down as a book with out losing respect for the author if it contains something I don't want to read about. I was fine leaving it there, but this blog post kind of made me want to challenge you on the issue of Angela. You seem to be someone who enjoys a respectful challenge. Am I wrong about Angela, and if did persuade myself to read it, would I see that I was?

  13. God, I love you!  Everything - and I mean, EVERYTHING - you say above totally conforms to my views about the Twilight Saga and the fandom.  Quite honestly, I find it rather disturbing that you feel you have to constantly defend yourself in this way, and I agree totally with Jazzer Jazzer and JBDS.  For myself, I just want you to keep writing exactly what you feel makes sense to you - I am a great believer that authors should write to please themselves because there's a much better chance that they will then also please their readers - but if they don't, that's the readers' problem, not yours.  As I said in my last UC review, conflict is what makes life - and literature - interesting.

  14. To me it doesn't matter if you got a good or bad reaction.  The point is you got one.  You can't please everyone.  You can only love what you write and take the constructive critism and improve your writing.  I have read many books and fan fiction that I loved and many that I loathed.  It shouldn't matter what my opinion is to the writer just that I atleast understood their perspective of the story.  What's the point in writing a story if you don't have the love for it enough to let a little negativity stop you from writing.  Keep writing and move past all the comments.  Take the good and constructive ones and continue.  As for the reader if you can't stand the heat move on.  You are not always going to like everything and eveyone is entitled to their own opinion.  Such is life!  Anyways, who wants to read a story that gives you the same HEA all the time - boring!

  15. I don't agree with the statements about unwritten rules for the plot and the level of angst in the Twilight fanfiction. The fics are very diverse. There are popular and highly appreciated E&B fics, in which the relationship is disrupted due to different reasons, including being with someone else or abandonment, and this causes major angst. The events, causing the angst, aren't revealed in the summaries of some of them. 
    The canon story itself is very angsty, there aren't many fics, which reach this level of angst. The statements that Edward and Bella shouldn't be with anybody else, after they have fallen for each other, contradict canon, where Bella falls in love with Jacob. I also don't think that falling for someone else or having sex with someone else is equal to cheating. I don't think that Edward cheats on Bella in UC and I don't think that Bella cheats on Edward in canon, because at first she isn't aware of her feelings for Jacob and then she doesn't hide anything from Edward.  

  16. I am not a fangirl either, but I do enjoy interactioning with ppl on twitter, the blog hosts, as well as other writer and readers. You claim you do not participate, but theoretically you do. You write Twilight based stories, the characters you borrow, though, you also state, did not really like them. You blog about your Twilight based stories, and you also tweet. You also participated in the Fandom giveback by donating an outtake. So again, theoretically, you do participate in the Fandom.

     And you should pay attention to your surroundings so that you have a better feel of the environment you are walking though. I know I do. I write for a paranormal website and it is necessary for me to pay attention to the happenings of the fandom. I also don't buy in to the fact "you didn't know" the concubine introduction would cause such an up roar. Your an intelligent writer, you knew, you just weren't concerned because you are writing the story you want to write. And that's fine too. But don't make excuses becuase you are hurting the feelings of the Fandom you claim you don't partipate in. It really is offensive.
     You just aren't gaga over Robsten and don't get caught up in it. Well, I don't either, but I have to say, Rob is a cutie but I am old enought to be his mother.   :)
    My confusion is how you wound up here then. You claim Midnight Sun, so obviously you've read the books and sought out more, pretty much how the rest of have got here.
    Personally I have a love hate relationship with you stories and have commented before about how much darker your stories are getting and the shredding of characters we all adore. But to each their own, that's why it's fanfiction.
    But to say you aren't a part of it, not quite true. And your "fame" in the community you claim to not be a part of is because of Twilight. 

    Pooping in the sandbox, not very cool at all.

  17. I'm pretty much a lurker and just like to read the stories and mind my own business.  I do check out the forums because some things people say are freaking hilarious and sometimes I get a different insight into the story from a comment or discussion.

    I'd just like to say, and you can completely ignore my opinion since I don't take part in a lot of the convo's, but you have every right to write whatever it is you want to.  You create the storylines and can take them in any direction you choose.  If someone doesn't like where the story is heading, then stop reading.  It's like watching TV, if you don't like something, you change the channel.  I guess people just fell in love with the direction the story was going prior to the concubine and didn't want anything coming between their idea of how Bella and Edward should be together.  I'm not going to be all high and mighty.  I have suspended my reading the UC.  I'm not abandoning it, I'm just waiting to see how it plays out for the next few chapters.  I am a Bella and Edward girl and like to know they will end up HEA.  Your story, I may never pick it up again, but that's my choice, just as it is my choice to not read stories of slash or extreme violence, rape, etc.  Those aren't my cup of tea and I avoid them, but I certainly don't feel the need to go and berate the author.

    Gosh, for someone who really doesn't have a lot to say I am being quite wordy!

    In a nutshell, I have enjoyed every one of your stories.  I'm enjoying Offside and maybe or maybe I won't complete UC, but it is your story to tell.  I feel bad for you that you are having to put up with so much bullshit from people, but I certainly hope that you continue with your storytelling and make it available to us.

    Have a wonderful evening :)

  18. I don't need the HEA.  I might have preferred so when I first started reading Twific (my first venture into the world of fan fiction), but that kind of got old after awhile.  I like to jump from the fluffy to the angsty to the downright dark.  As long as the characters are well formed, there is a credible story line (whatever genre it may be) and it is well written, I am good.  I want a story that makes me gasp, or scream out loud, or throw (gently) my Kindle down or laugh out loud - I want the story to make me feel something or as you said Shay, it will make me think.   I am a huge fan of AU/AH stories - I find them to be even more compelling than true-to-canon stories.  I do love an author who manages to weave in elements of canon and even more so if they are snarky about it.  So, each to his own.  If you decide to flounce a story because you don't like it, take it off your favorites list and move on.  What is the need to make a huge deal out of it?

  19. this right here is what i got me all nose flared: "He’s flawed. We get that. But he went against so much of the character
    development in earlier chapters, it makes the mind reel!" ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY!!!! it's not the "cheating" but the sudden and total destruction of suspension of disbelief that's giving me whiplash... i've decided to drop the story for now and return to it upon its completion.

  20. You should write your own story, since when did the reader determine the outcome of a book? There are plenty of twilight stories far darker and more abusive than the stuff that you write. SInce when is taking a concubine in order to produce an heir considered adultery? If in fact such a relationship occurred in medieval times I am sure it would be considered a business relationship or one's duty to the crown. The important issue here is that Edward is being destroyed from the inside out -- he is rejecting all healthy relationships because he cannot stand himself and for good reason, he engaged in a war that he was unprepared for, lost lots of lives and now his kingdom is at risk-- all because of his intemperate actions. Again, why is everybody losing it because Edward may have sex with others in Offside, I mean he was having all kinds of sex with others from the very beginning of the story because he has essentially been destroyed by his father. The relationship with his father s is the most significant point here, not the fact that he gets a few blowjobs from girls he has no respect for. When people are treated badly they very often do bad things and have bad, self hating thoughts and this is the problem not that he violated some holy canon of no sex with anybody after Bella.  How can anybody write anything if you already know what the ending is going to be -- what is the point? People do not fall in love and immediately lose all of the issues that have surrounded them their entire lives. They fall in love, fall out of love, leave their lovers, have sex with awful inappropriate people, maybe not have sex at all and maybe not be completely healed. The interest here is to see how the author envisions these people and how psychologically appropriate the outcome for the damaged souls is. That is what makes things interesting, not the HEA which is comforting and sweet sometimes but is of no artistic challenge to the writer. There are some great authors out there in fanfiction who write wonderful stories with healing and comforting endings, Pattyrose, Rosybud and the latest incredible find In Your World. I love these stories. They are beautifully written and wonderfully inspirational. But not every writer views her art or her characters in that way, some like to experiment, put them in peril, show them with really serious character flaws which cannot be overcome by having great sex with somebody you love. Anyway, everybody to their own taste, said the old lady as she kissed the cow ( my grandmother's saying) If you don't like, don't read, but don't deny somebody the opportunity to see relationships and craft fiction in her own unique way.

  21. I am curious...How do you know a lot of readers stopped reading UC? Are you just going by the number of reader replies, or is there another way you can tell on fanfiction?  Or, are you just going by what you read in the replies, blogs, etc?  Just curious.

    Hope the next chapter of UC is coming along.  Can't wait for the next update!  Thanks you so much! 

  22. Excellent post! Its not the idea of a concubine who bothers me. Everybody screams it is realistic of the time period, but it is not realistically done. Edward going to Angela for straight 6 months in the same way is not realistic. The concubine thing was a bold move. It was not a 1 time affair, nor 2 or or 3 .It was God knows a 100 times affair. The way it is happening is nor realistic. You either make the move and own it, or you dont. It would have been very logical for Bella to have stepped out for 6 months, to keep her dignity and allow her husband to properly treat the other woman, and have a heir as a normal human being. By accepting Angela in their lives there would be always the insecurity and the risk of the other woman interfeering in their marriage. The character reaction and handling of the situation, both Bella and Edward is not realistic. I do not get this Bella, i dont even think she is attractive enough as a character. She is so constant, she never changes, she hasnt learned a thing since 2 years ago when she became Edward's wife. She does a lot of thinking and struggling with herself, but she never talks, or expresses herself. What is she going to sacrifice next time when the Kingdom is in danger because her God like husband screwed up again? How come all the Edwards in your stories are so flawless but somehow they do get the pass always? With 13 chapters left?....I dont really know what to say. HEA is the last thing in my mind, because honesly this story ending in tragedy makes more sense to me at times.

  23. And this is why I love to read your stories.....They make me happy, the make me sad, and then sometimes I get completely pissed off. But in my mind this makes you an amazing writer. I feel your characters, their flaws, their morals and sometimes it makes me thing WTF? I am glad that you are balls to the wall with your writing, this is what makes me come back for more. 

    I don't always like it but regardless it stops and makes me think about things. I have read quite a few of your stories, and I always love the controversy that you cause. I saw keep up the good work, and if people flounce that is their problem not yours. 

    Thanks for always keeping me on my toes with your writings....

  24. I'm pretty sure you misunderstood something.  I may "participate" to some degree, but I'm not into it - very different things. 

    I love the Twilight characters.

    Buy it or not, I had no idea the whole concubine thing would have the kind of reaction it did.  If i had, I still wouldn't have changed anything.  I knew it would be heartbreaking and angsty, but I didn't know it would have this kind of reaction.  I don't really have a whole lot of reason to make that up...

    I would think most people have a love/hate relationship with my stories.  That would be a fairly normal reaction. 

    Certainly not trying to offend anyone here...not sure where the pooping comes from. :)

  25. Savage,

    I dont understand why you have to make such self explanatory lengthy post if you are convinced in your own beliefs and what you write. You shouldnt explain yourself, when you receive "negative comments". You have to thank all the "positive" ones and be happy. Honestly being over dramatic and dragging the same issue for weeks when you dont even accept the other side might have a good point, is pointless and tiring. so, as long as you think you are doing great, your beta and pre-readers think the same, as long as you dont care about twilight despite the fact its characters inspire you, or you have favorited over 60 twilight ff stories in your profile, then you should not be concerned if the rest of us "dont get" what you get. Im done asking, demanding, voicing and discussing. Thanks for turning me away. Im not a mean or negative person, I just want to understand better. we dont leave in your head all the time, or are not that wise. I will continue reading the story, because i never give up 3/4 through it. At this point nothing can shock me anymore. So bring on what "you and your editors get". This is your story, own it, dont defend it or justify your writing. Cheers!

  26. When I first read this, I shook my head and said "Oy Vey...again?"
    But as I neared the end of your post, It dawned on me.  You are right, people are reading because a fandom blog said 'you are a great writer and this is a must read story,' or someone on twitter said 'you are living in a cave if you don't read this'
    In the Twi-fandom it becomes endemic: Read what everyone else is reading- despite maybe not really understanding the true intent of the story or author. Hmm, maybe the problem really isn't with the story or subject matter but how blindingly we follow the advice of others.

  27. I love your stories, and although I'm currently holding off on UC until it's "safe" again, I look forward to finishing it at some point.  I went through a long struggle with infertility, so I really identify with your Bella's pain (glad we got to visit a doctor instead of a concubine, lol!)

    However, I'm really confused by this post.  If this is truly how you feel, I don't understand why you don't write original fiction so there isn't such a predetermined expectation for two people to be together.  I think that since you've chosen to write in this fanfic universe, such a huge and painful twist can come off like you're intentionally giving your readers the finger.  I'm not a Robsten follower either, but I enjoy chatting and interacting
    with other wonderful ladies in the fandom and I've made some good
    friends.  I think this is generally what people expect from fandom authors, and it's surprising to readers when they encounter someone like you who doesn't care.  Readers can easily end up feeling betrayed by an author they thought of as a 'friend,' and that brings out a lot of anger.

    Again, I think you're an extremely talented writer, and it's not like I want to see you leave the fandom, but I feel like with so many devoted readers, you have a lot of power.  And with great power comes great responsibility. *rolling eyes at myself*  But really, it's true.  So in my humble opinion, you need to either acknowledge that responsibility, or write original fiction where there aren't so many expectations.

    However, it's a free country, so you can do whatever you want.  Thanks for giving us a forum and being so open to discussion.

  28. I wish people would leave you alone and let you write YOUR stories.  I like your characters and agree with your summary of SM's characters.  I love historical fiction (fiction people) you know what would you rather her to have Bella thrown out because she couldn't suplly an heir?  You know what that was very important for a kingdom. 

    Sorry for my rant.  I get so upset when readers tell authors how to write a story.  You want to write the story than write your own story. 

  29. I'm so interested in what you say here - because in a way, I'm like that. In fact, I would say that my Edward/Bella shipper-ness has actually come about through fanfic more than it did in the books, which I didn't really like that much at all when I first read them. The Twilight fandom - so far as AU fic goes - is sort of unparalleled in its diversity and I found it fascinating, and then I became completely enamored by all the different variations on these two characters, neither of whom I cared much for in canon, but could suddenly feel more alive and fully formed in fanfic than they did to me on the original page.

    I am deeply anti-cheating in fic, and pretty much anywhere else where I'm supposed to be invested in the relationship between the two romantic foils. The idea of Edward sticking his dick anywhere but in Bella (with the exception of some hot 3way action) icks me out and turns me off. It icks me out and turns me off in UC. However, it doesn't classify as cheating to me, because cheating is a willful action, at least when I find it so reprehensible. Edward, to me, in UC, is unwilling - he does it, but he doesn't want to. He's beaten down by a lot of failures, and left with seemingly no allies who can aid him out of this truly awful place. And yes, it's squicky. And yes, it's awful. But that doesn't make it bad to me.  It's a bad situation, yes, but not a bad piece of fiction. The two aren't mutually exclusive. 

    Anyway, I totally think this is why most of the fics I've read - from Womanizer!Edward to PlusSize!Bella to both of them being habitual drug users - don't bother me, because I'm not super invested in their canon relationship to begin with, so this is all just an excuse for an interesting romantic entanglement anyway. Cheers!

  30. Please, just write what you want to. I really hate it when authors get pressured into changing their stories, wether I like how it is written or not (though I very much DO like what you write). Why? Because how a story should go is no one´s business but the authors. It is ok to say you don´t agree with how the story the plays out and then stop reading, but I really hate it when people just keep complaining and complaining.

  31. Okay. I get it. You're a writer, not a fangirl. A writer who borrows another writer's characters, plot points, etc. but I suppose that's besides the point. Good for you.

    What leaves me bemused is this: if you're such a vehement non fangirl, then why do you choose to write fanfiction about Twilight? You say you're purely in it for the characters. Are you honestly saying that Meyers' characterization is the best out there? That's laughable right there. Meyer had a good premise but ultimately blew it, in my opinion. Her characters have promise, sure, but they're - at best - underdeveloped.

    So you just happen to pick one of the most popular fandoms out there, with probably the most active community on the planet.

    And perhaps most puzzling of all: if you're a writer, then why not - I dunno - actually write something publishable, something that will attract the scrutiny and criticism of people outside of this highly self selected community we call the Twilight fandom? The ratio of mindless praise to actual constructive criticism in the reviews is pathetic these days, especially for so called established fanfiction authors like yourself.

    Just doesn't add up to me. You claim not to be a fangirl, but everything you do suggests you are.

  32. Actually, I still don't think you get it.

    If you bothered wandering the "fandom," you'd discover how many are not Twilight fanatics, how many adore reading angst, and how many of these folks are amongst the group walking away from UC.

    The problem with UC is the plot is driving the characters to such an extent they're falling out of character.  The WTF responses come from readers who have no idea how you reached B from A, and have even more trouble figuring out you reached C from B.  You have an interesting story to tell, but your current characters, as developed, are at serious odds with who they were a short time ago.  And this why readers, and other writers, are wondering how much the "teeth" part of your motto is driving this story.

    Personally, my biggest issue is with the lack of midwives.  Midwives - using a variety of titles - whether male or female, have existed in every human culture since recorded history - and I'd assume before as well.  You can't brush off their existence to solve a plot hole.  At the very least, if someone actually does manage to get pregnant, who will help deliver the child?  This is a role for handmaidens?  What about the poor folk who don't have handmaidens?  Experts in the fields of herbs and basic medicine have existed simply because humans need them as a species to ensure survival.  They're not formal doctors, but they do have some training, offered word of mouth for generations.

    And you can bet your last dollar that if the peasants have some "experts" the royal families have the best.

    And this, coupled with Bella's internal acceptance of the situation, is what has caused me to wander away.  Yes, i can imagine Bella being stoic and brave, but inside the woman would be falling apart as soon as the concubine idea was introduced.  I can't possibly rationalize this woman with the one who is supposed to be so desperately in love with Edward.

    Speaking of Edward, I keep wondering where the paranoia went?  Remember him?  The Edward of the first few chapters would not have allowed Jane access to their rooms, or his wife.

    These are the problems.  The primary problems.

    But I do find myself wondering why you're writing Twilight fanfiction without understanding your audience?

  33. Shannon PinkstonJuly 30, 2011 at 6:05 AM

    WOW.  I have to admit that this is the first time I've posted a comment to your blog or read the comments of others.  I also must admit that the concubine angle of UC took me by surprise as well.  BUT I like the way you are handling it.  It's obvious that Edward doesn't want to do it, and it seems to me that he does consider it a betrayal to Bella.  (Just my opinion.) 

    You've also made clear the consequences to everyone in the kingdom of Forks if Edward did not agree to this.  Aro would hurt and kill the people Edward loves before he would kill Edward himself.  Much more pain and vengeance involved that way.

    I guess I don't really have much more to say except that angst and disagreement aside, I love your story.  I WILL keep reading it regardless.

  34. FFnet gives the authors statistics for hits/views (as opposed to reviews) on a chapter-by-chapter/daily/monthly basis, complete with charts and graphs.

  35. That was beautifully put!!! I sometimes feel like I am reading a different story than some of the people who post in the forum...and it kinda makes me ragey! Some of those same eople were quick to defend a rapist/murderer Edward in CBWR..yet they can't accept this Edward..geeze! I guess a lot of people would have flounced NM if it was a WIP too because he left her...I love your stories..I love this one even if it breaks my heart..but I trust YOU to resolve it in a way that only you can...and kudos to you for dealing with the shit-storm with such class!

  36. That was beautifully put!!! I sometimes feel like I am reading a different story than some of the people who post in the forum...and it kinda makes me ragey! Some of those same eople were quick to defend a rapist/murderer Edward in CBWR..yet they can't accept this Edward..geeze! I guess a lot of people would have flounced NM if it was a WIP too because he left her...I love your stories..I love this one even if it breaks my heart..but I trust YOU to resolve it in a way that only you can...and kudos to you for dealing with the shit-storm with such class!

  37. I think you are genius, I like that you don't give a rat's ass about popular opinion.   I always want a HEA, doesn't everyone?  But sometimes the best stories are rife with tragedy, hello, Romeo & Juliet?   Offside seems like a classic R&J story to me, and I love all your stories, warts and all!

  38. i understand also how people are going crazy over UC. But being a writer I do get where you're coming from. I've only writen one FF because it's not really my thing  but i have found there is usually a method to the madness. Have i gotten pissed at some points in reading, sure, but that is what usually keeps me reading, if it didn't it's probaby not worth my time I have to say your descriptions of the characters had me laughing for about ten minutes. usualy they peple who are into twilight around here only point out the flaws of the character they hate most and are not really willing to look at how screwed up they all are. I'm not a huge twilight fan, more of a robert pattinson fan, he's got an interesting career going and i got into twilight while following it. Has anyone here seen those indi movies he did? damn! anyway i get it, have faith it will come to an end that will have me either satisfied or wracking my brain figuring it out. either way it's a win win for me.

  39. Thank you for the info.  I guess Savage does know if the readership has dropped or increased.  My guess is that it has increased because even though there have been some flouncers, there are probably many more new readers to make up the difference. ( AND it could be that some of the supposed flouncers are really secretly reading) :)

  40. you've taken the flawed characters that you speak of and have made them even more flawed, like you're trying to see just how  fucked up you can make them.  your disdain for these characters is pretty obvious.
    This response weighs more than most, in my opinion. 

    What I have seen of your work, Shay, (and there is little due to the way I have seen you handle yourself in this 'so-called fandom you don't participate in') is that you try to push people to see how far you can go. Each one of your stories after Hide and Drink has been a kind of, "Suck it," to your readers. "What is the fandom going on about now? How can I jump in and see if it sticks to me too? Daily updates to get the masses slobbering? Check. Slavery? Check. Child abuse? Check. Medieval times? Check." Yet, you seem to give two fucks about your characters, as well as the readers with each a/n. 

    My friends and I thought you were punking the fandom with CBWR? 

    So why stay? If you don't do it for the reviews, then why extend a story over a hundred chapters? If you don't want to play within the confines of traditional Twi-fanfiction, yet get up in arms all the time, bemoaning and calling out the people who walk away from your stories, then maybe its time for you to move on.

    You have a right to write. Anyone else has the right to drop your story when they stop liking it. 

  41. i applaud your comments above, especially those regarding charlie and bella.
    i love what you do with these characters and the sheer range of plots and character twists you subject them to.
    as far as i am concerned, all your work is vastly enteratining, and cleverly done.
    so ignore the doubters and keep it coming!!

  42. girl, i love you and your writing, i hope you know that. you may not recall that i went through the trenches with you during #cbwr... you came through for me. but i gotta say... the latest curveball you threw with angela's rape, taking a concubine... it just don't sit well with me. it's not because of the idea of adultery. honestly, i couldn't give a toast if ed is faithful in any other story but in this one!!! it just doesn't... errr... fit. see, only knowing about what happened to ed's mom and how marked he was by her rape, plus the effort that he put into seducing the wife and getting her to consent, his behavior with angela makes zero sense. all the declarations he's made to bella — that bit with "amen" upon taking her — are not just broken promises. in my humble opinion, the characters just don't feel believable anymore. their choices are so questionable, they don't resonate with the first 20 chapters of character development. so yeah, my suspension of disbelief was shot to hell... sorry, but that's how i feel. i'll keep an eye out on your other stories tough. i'm definitely thrilled to see how #offside plays out. i know you're gonna take soccerward through the ringer but i'm prepared to see him on the chopping block. i dunno why. maybe because it's been hammered into my subcontinent that after years of abuse he can take it. anyways, i digress...

  43. 'Scuse me for a second while I get my laughter under control.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    Nope sorry still laughing.

    Nothing like a concubine to split the pack eh, hey it could be worse, instead of Angela being the 'chosen one' it could've been another of the feckless lesser characters from the fandom, at the very least it was someone that most twihards like.

    Now I do a little bit of writing in the fandom, but to be honest I'm not a screaming twihard that comes out in hives at the thought of the primary characters suffering from some god awful bout of angst worthy drama. 'Oh no, don't make Edward cheat on Bella', 'Please don't kill off Alice', 'OMG he's shagging that whore Tanya on his desk' flounce flounce flounce *sobs into my slushie*

    Seriously, they are just characters (much loved by many) that have been 'borrowed' and put through a little hardship, its about plot, story telling and character development, who knows maybe Shay will have Edward go all Henry VIII on us next and if Bella and Angela don't start popping out his progeny soon it'll be 'Orf with their heads!'

    Would that make me flounce? Nah, well not unless it gets so unrealistic that we have Bella's head on the block, the axe slowly lowering to her delicately stretched neck (a bit like slow mo on sports centre), when suddenly she pops her head up to look out at the assembled crowd and bursts into song (ala some old time musical)

    "Stop! I might have a bun in the oven, well maybe," to which dear old Emmett will appear upon his white steed 'Rosalie' (well he's always riding her in some form or other!) and ask if its cinnamon or mixed fruit.

    Because we all know that'll happen all the while the 'Poison dwarf' is tampering with her tea.

    Meanwhile wolfboy Jake is prancing around the courtyard singing "I've got a hairy back, and all my pack they don't know how to act, I think it's sexy baby that's a fact...hoooowwwlll!"

    So yeah um, what was my point? Oh yeah.

    Shay carry on as you are, I've enjoyed your twists and turns, I like that you develop the characters further to suit your world, it may be fan fiction, but there's no rule that says it has to stay in close characterisation with the original. Imagination is a precious thing and should not be wasted.

    We are born with free will (for the most part), so if you don't like reading something, then use your free will to not read it, it is that simple. If every author, be it professional or fan fiction only write what people liked to read, the stories would get old very quickly, variety as they say is the spice of life, I think that relates pretty well to the UC world.

    Get with it, or get over it, it is after all...Only a story.

  44. do you think you are being funny? Im LOLing......not because you have any sense of humor. Lay off the bottle btw.

  45. :o)

    Actually I do, but so that you 'get it' I'll use little words.

    It is just a story, the world as we know it will not come to an end because of it.

    Take a chill pill, don't take life so seriously, maybe read something about unicorns and fluffy bunnies.

  46. He did NOT rape Angela.  Angela knew what was going to happen going in, and Esme prepared her.  Edward was very quick and business-like.  There was NOTHING dehumanizing, she just played her role as basically an incubator.  That is what they asked of her, and that is what she agreed to.  There was to be no 'relationship' or 'conversation;' with each other.  And Edward was not disrespectful in any way.

  47. I am not going to write a novel. Lots of your followers have written very lengthy responses to your post, some wonderfully analytical and most intelligently justified. 

    But I'm going to be brief (or at least brief in comparison to other reviews posted).

    I love your writing. I adored SURVIVING BELLA, HIDE & DRINK, and am loving OFFSIDE. That being said, while I am completely enthralled with UC and have been vocal in my reviews with my sometimes complaints or often praises of it's content, I will admit to leaning towards being a disgruntled reader with the story's developments after the introduction of what I call the "CONCUBINE TWIST". 

    My greatest issue with your story as of late is the complete lack of character continuity your story has suffered in late chapters. Bella is no longer Bella. Edward is no longer Edward. And their behaviors and actions are most often than not bewildering and whip-lashing. Bella has no fire, no passion, no anger or agony to fuel her persona. Edward is nowhere near the Edward your story started out with. And your story has jumped time frames so drastically that it leaves us wondering WTH and HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Seriously, did Bella really go SIX MONTHS with Edward giving her the cold shoulder and SHE SAID NOTHING? Come on, we ARE intelligent readers here you know?

    In short, while I am not jumping ship, I will say that your UC's problem (and admit it woman, there IS a problem when you're losing most of your readers) is it's mind-boggling lack of continuity. Whether people hate the whole concubine thing, or they have a problem with Bella being an absolute wet blanket, it's the lack of continuity that's driving us crazy. 

    Oh and btw, don't act surprised that you've managed to alienate so many readers when it's BECAUSE IT'S A TWILIGHT FF that we're even bothering to read your work in the first place. We're reading EDWARD & BELLA for a reason, and you're WRITING them for a reason....because you know THIS is where you find truly devoted and passionate readers. HENCE THE JUMPING SHIP!

    It's just logic, Sweetie. 

    Now go back to writing. I still can't wait for more. 


  48. Yep. you nailed it. This is the main problem with the story. We read twilight fanfic yes, but we have read all your other stories and loved them, angst or not, the flow was logical, the characters were true and meaningful. I too have a problem with Bella's actions. not talking about the acceptance of the concubine (mind you her close friend), but how come she actually begged Edward to take her back, I felt no character conflict, no dealing with the issue after 6 months of not talking to each other, they maybe talked for 1 min and got back in bed together. I dont get it. At some point Edward has to address the Angela issue over those months, to Bella. She has only heard vague comments from Angela and Esme. It should have driven the woman ( the woman not the future Queen blah blah) crazy over all those months of pain, humiliation, rejection, not make her desperate and scared and vulnerable like that. These characters has lost the fire, the passion the meaning. Edward thinks he has caused much pain to Bella when he doesnt even know how she feels. He never talalked to her, asked her, or argued with her for that matter. Bella goes as far as tellimg him no matter what you have to do I love you. Sure, i get it, but not after 6 months of rejection from him. After it became clear you were going with the concubine for 6 months straight no less, I asked myself the question: Interesting, how is she going to get out of this and redeem those characters she beautifully created along with 23 chapters? So far i have seen the contrary, digging those characters in deeper holes. I will continue to read with the hope its a work in progress and maybe im being a bit impatient

  49. anytime hon, but thanks for the advice. Better unicorns than stupidity, tasteless humor and mindless prize. Have a good one!

  50. I've read you saying that you don't care if Edward cheats or not as long as the story is good. And I agree with you on that with certain conditions. If
    the author has characterized Edward to be a cheating manwhore from the very beginning, then it would lessen the blow of Edward having to "cheat." You
    portray Edward as this fierce, loyal man who loves Bella to death and how they're both teaching each other more about life. Sure, your Edward has had
    a sexual history before he met Bella. What medieval future King wouldn't? But then when you go ahead and make this character you created (because
    let's admit it THIS Edward is YOUR creation, at this point in your writing you're only borrowing S. Meyer's characters' names and not their actual
    personalities) "cheat," albeit reluctantly, of course your readers are for the most part going to be outraged. If Edward was a cheater before he met
    Bella, then proceeded to fall in love with Bella, and then was forced to "cheat" on her, this would have been much more understandable since the
    cheating history was already established. Of course you still would have gotten a few disgruntled readers, but not this pandemonium that you're
    currently going through. But I'm sure many of your readers are upset over the fact that Edward cheating is so against your character's personality
    that your readers weren't expecting it. At all. I think they were almost expecting Edward to take Bella and run then even consider the notion of
    engaging in the act of sex with someone else. But again, since you made your Edward be so loyal, I can see where you would make him stay for his
    kingdom.I suppose the whole point of this post is that I don't exactly understand how you just didn't realize how your readers would react to Edward and
    Angela. You say you enjoy exploring dark topics, and I applaud you for that. I think you write beautifully and I thoroughly enjoy your stories.
    But you had to have realized that your readers would be upset over something that they were not expecting because it was your writing style
    that made them not expect it.