aunt_zelda: (Default)
aunt_zelda ([personal profile] aunt_zelda) wrote in [community profile] yuletide2017-09-13 12:07 pm

Character Coordination

 Hi all!

This is a post I've been meaning to make for a few years now. Every year we have great challenges and collections, such as Misses Clause (promoting fics that pass the Bechdel Test) and collections for characters of color. However, the posts for those come during sign-ups, when people only have the tagset to work from. If nobody nominated any women or characters of color for your favorite small fandom, you're out of luck.

Look over your own nominations in these next three days. Look at the spreadsheet and the nomiations post on DW and LJ. Are these the characters you want to make requests for, write for, or both? Did you have a free slot and are you nominating them after looking at the requests tab on the spreadsheet? Are you already coordinating with a friend, or friends, to cover a big cast list?

Consider coordinating with fellow fans using the nomiantions posts and spreadsheet in these final days. Who is your cast list comprised of for your fandom? Are there women, are there characters of color, are there characters with disabilites? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in Misses Clause, will they be able to? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in a chromatic challenge, will they be able to? (Obviously not all fandoms can do this, some fandoms only comprise of a few characters at all, sometimes no one can find someone else to help with nominations. I mean this in general terms.)

I know every year only about 1/3rd of people nominating end up using the nominations coordination posts and spreadsheets. This year, why don't some of us help each other out to make the tagset more inclusive?

Edit: tl;dr: If you want to nominate more characters from a fandom, it's best to coordinate with fellow fans on the nominations pages I've linked above. If you don't want to, you don't have to.



rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-09-13 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
This is super awesome, thank you! You've inspired me to swap one of my picks out for a character of color, and just doing that is already giving me some great fic ideas.
Edited 2017-09-13 20:39 (UTC)
maeve_of_winter: (Default)

[personal profile] maeve_of_winter 2017-09-13 10:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Who is your cast list comprised of for your fandom? Are there women, are there characters of color, are there characters with disabilites? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in Misses Clause, will they be able to? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in a chromatic challenge, will they be able to?

I certainly agree with the goal of this post, and I admire the encouragement for participation in the Chromatic and Misses Clause challenges. It is very generous of people to help out others who need a spare nomination slot. And certainly, coordinating character nominations for a particular fandom helps eliminate redundancy and allows in a greater number of characters.

However, I don't think it's entirely necessary that Yuletide participants reconsider the characters they've already nominated. Presumably, those are the characters they like and want to read and write fic about, and I don't see why their preferences require self-examination. I especially don't see why it falls to other nominators to ensure that individuals in their shared fandoms can participate in either Chromatic or Misses Clause challenge. My firm opinion is that if you want to see particular characters in your fandom, you need to nominate those characters instead of relying on someone else to do it for you. It shouldn't come down to some participants giving up their own nomination slots to accommodate others who have the same opportunity to nominate characters.

Again, I admire the sentiment of this post. There are a number of characters of color, female characters, and LGBTQ characters I'd love to see more fic for, and I can commiserate with the notion that fandom can tend to overlook some of them. And I'd certainly be happy to see this post's type of enthusiasm for the diversity challenges when they occur later this year. But I don't fully agree that a small fandom fic exchange needs to be the time to question your chosen characters when fic for those fandoms at all is fairly rare.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
How do you know fans aren't already coordinating nominations for characters of color, female characters, and LGBTQ characters in their fandoms on the nominations post? You don't know every single fandom that's on the spreadsheet. Why not give fans the benefit of the doubt instead of giving friendly reminders that we must examine our nominations and see whether the characters we requested are diverse enough?

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 02:15 am (UTC)(link)
Because then she doesn't get a self-righteous high from lecturing everybody on what they "should" nominate.
maeve_of_winter: (Default)

[personal profile] maeve_of_winter 2017-09-14 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
People do this every year with extra slots. "I have an empty slot, I'm willing to nominate someone else's fandom if you've run out." There's a whole sheet on the spreadsheet right now of fandoms people are requesting others nominate on their behalf. Is that "giving up" a slot? No, it's making someone's Yuletide happier. It's a nice thing to do for someone else, if you have a free slot and you want to use it.

Please forgive me that I wasn't clear in my initial post. When I mentioned that "It is very generous of people to help out others who need a spare nomination slot," I was referring to people with spare nominations slots who nominate other people's fandoms at their request. I'm well-aware of the nominations posts, which is why I mentioned the coordination of character nominations in my first post.

When I referred to "participants giving up their own nomination slots to accommodate others who have the same opportunity to nominate characters," I was referencing several of the questions you asked. I quoted them earlier, but for the sake of clarity, I'll quote them again.

Who is your cast list comprised of for your fandom? Are there women, are there characters of color, are there characters with disabilites? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in Misses Clause, will they be able to? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in a chromatic challenge, will they be able to?

Is this case, it does come across like a request that individuals give up character nominations consisting of characters they'd like to see in order to instead nominate the characters who are included in the categories you mentioned. You are asking people to reconsider their character nominations for the specific purpose of "If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in Misses Clause, will they be able to? If someone who likes this fandom wants to participate in a chromatic challenge, will they be able to?" That really does read at is you're asking people to give up the characters they've already nominated in order to ensure other people from their fandoms can participate in the diversity challenges. However, please forgive me if I've reached an incorrect conclusion.

This post is an invitation to connect with fellow fans sooner rather than later. You don't have to if you don't want to.

I've said before that I agree with the sentiment of this post, and now I'll attempt to explain why I disagree with the execution. I had a wonderful time participating in the Misses Clause challenge last year and wrote several fics (IIRC, Chromatic challenge didn't run last year, but I'd love to see it this year). And I'm looking forward to doing so again. But the part I disagree with in your post is the questioning of people's character nominations/preferences, ie, "Are there women, are there characters of color, are there characters with disabilites?" That seems like you're saying that if people didn't nominate those types of characters, they're wrong for that omission and need to correct that wrong by substituting in different characters so other people can participate in the diversity challenges.

I pointed this out earlier, saying, "I don't fully agree that a small fandom fic exchange needs to be the time to question your chosen characters when fic for those fandoms at all is fairly rare." to which you responded, "I disagree. I think now is the perfect time for it!" That reads to me like you might be convinced that people are doing Yuletide character nominations wrong and should reevaluate their approach to meet your approval. As I mentioned earlier, I am interested in writing and receiving fic about characters of color, female characters, and LGBTQ characters, and I'd love to chat about some of these characters, should you ever be interested. But I take the responsibility of nominating these characters upon myself, because again, these are characters I'm already interested in. These are the characters I want, so these are the characters I nominate. And I think anyone has the right to nominate the characters they want to see in Yuletide and not have their preferences questioned in regards to the diversity of the characters, which certain parts of your post seems to doing.

That is what this post is about. If you have characters like that, make a post on the nominations post and coordinate with fellow fans to get them nominated.

Thank you for this advice. I independently nominated these characters several days ago.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-13 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the sentiment here is good, like maeve_of_winter said above, but wouldn't it be better to encourage people to request those characters rather than nom needlessly?

Or even better, at this point in the timeline, maybe promote canons with diverse characters at the forefront that people might consider offering/requesting?
(deleted comment)

(Anonymous) 2017-09-13 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, it's very easy to forget about those other characters.


/Sarcasm
(deleted comment)
(deleted comment)
muccamukk: Laura and Jubilee sitting together on a tree branch. Text: Sittin' in a tree. (Marvel: Sittin' in a Tree)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-09-14 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say I've been thinking about this since my Internet died earlier (which was probably for the best), and the more I did, the more I agreed that this is a good idea.

I don't think you're saying anything about making people nominate things they don't want, just suggesting a use for the extra spaces, and checking to make sure we're not nominating the same person six times. Both of which are good things.

Def made me think about what I'm going to use that last nomination for, though I still haven't decided, lol.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
The only issue is that I can see this making matching harder if people set up to offer for characters that were nomm'ed...but then unrequested. You can't guess what people are going to request unless they put up letters, and those aren't required.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
I didn't say it was going to wreck Yuletide. But inflating characters in the tagset regardless of reason/rationale doesn't do anything to benefit matching.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
I have no problem requesting characters for the above three reasons. If someone came to me on the nom coordinating spreadsheet and asked me to add two diverse characters to a fandom I had open slots for, no problem.

But you're not asking that. You're asking people consider adding in a bunch of characters blind bc there's open slots, in case someone hypothetically, maybe, wants to offer that.

And that's great for Critical Role, but it sounds like there were enough fans/people dedicated to that fandom to request it on its own and well as offer, which is how it got a coordinated, robust tagset. It wasn't just people adding in characters willy-nilly bc they thought someone might request or offer it, possibly.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Apologies, then. That's how I'm interpreting this initiative. What do you mean?

(no subject)

(Anonymous) - 2017-09-14 14:24 (UTC) - Expand
muccamukk: Sara in a beret and a lot of diamonds glancing back over her shoulder. (LoT: Undercover)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-09-14 12:25 am (UTC)(link)
Lots more people sign up than nominate though, so this would just make the tagset a bit more robust. If I nominate three obscure fandoms and then pick something as my fourth than someone else who nommed and didn't end up participating did, I'd still be unmatched. There's always a list of initial pinch hits.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
Like I said before, the sentiment is good and I understand what they're going for here. But I don't see what's so great about adding a fourth fandom (and potentially widening your net) only to still be unmatchable bc no one was actually interested in offering those characters on first blush.
muccamukk: Maria looks extremely unsatisfied with this turn of events. (Avengers: Disgruntled)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-09-14 06:40 am (UTC)(link)
I think there's a lot of fandom history here that you're either not familiar with or aren't really tuning into. I totally get what you're going for, but there's been a lot of past history in fandom and around fests where fans have felt like, as I said, unless they want to write X set of characters that they're wrongfans having wrongfun. Not "maybe think about this" as genuine helpfulness, but "Hey, I'm sitting in judgement of you for having NOT thought of this, and assuming you haven't, and haha btw since you haven't you suck!" It's come down to bullying on several occasions.

I don't think that's what you're saying here, but your language is... similar enough that I think it's got a lot of people cocking their heads and trying to tell if there's a dog whistle in there or what.

The other thing I was thinking of after the Discord thing is that there's been a lot of uncomfortable crossover between efforts to try to get fandom to be more inclusive, and fans who are from marginalised groups trying to find a space where people don't tell them what to think. I mean, I don't know about you, but I get pretty strong daily messages about what I should and should not think/enjoy/feel as a queer woman, which some sections of fandom coughtumblrcough are pretty happy to run with, so I'm at the point of baring my teeth and hissing at the suggestion these days.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 06:52 am (UTC)(link)
Lord, I didn't even think about the Tumblr connection, but 100% yes.
mlravenwrites: (Default)

[personal profile] mlravenwrites 2017-09-14 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
Dark Matter (TV) characters of color, women, and women of color to nominate:
Solara Shockley
Misaki Han-Shireikan
Teku Fonsei
Four | Ryo Tetsuda
Sarah
Sajen
saiditallbefore: (Default)

[personal profile] saiditallbefore 2017-09-14 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
I know you mean well, but honestly? This feels a bit condescending. I want to write about women-- that’s why I always nominate them. I assume the people who don’t nominate them don’t want to write about them-- and that’s OK. This is fandom. We’re all here to have fun; this isn’t activism.

(Realizing too late that a character you really wanted didn’t get nominated is a whole other ballgame, and it sucks, though! Definitely a good reason to coordinate.)

You said in another comment "I have said absolutely nothing in this post about "forcing" yourself to do anything you don't want to do."

I don’t think anyone thinks you’re forcing them, but-- as someone who almost always focuses on women in media, especially queer women-- it comes off as... odd. I love writing about women-- that’s why most of my noms are women! If people are really that interested in writing about POC, LGBTQ people, women, or disabled characters, then it seems that they will probably already be nominating those characters.

And YMMV here (I’m a lesbian, but other issues here don’t apply to me), but it comes across as focusing more on the tickyboxes the characters check off than the actual characters. Personally, I’m not interested in stories that center around being a woman, or being queer, or being disabled, or being POC. I want stories where my two faves who happen to be women are together. Or solve mysteries, or go on adventures, or whatever.

Also, tagset bloat is a real problem, especially in Yuletide when we have such a limited number of request/offer slots! If there’s a bunch of characters in the tagset that no one really wants but were nominated “for the complete set”, it messes with people’s ability to offer/request any, and that’s really frustrating.

Like I said, I know what you’re going for here, but please understand why it’s rubbing many people the wrong way.
saiditallbefore: (Default)

[personal profile] saiditallbefore 2017-09-14 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
You’re saying that only 1/3 of people coordinate nominations-- well, a lot of participants don’t nominate at all! And many of the ones who do prefer to nominate the things they really care about themselves, rather than rely on someone else who may change their mind without telling them. (Which is a dick move, but it can and has happened.)

People have been saying it all damn day on discord and here.

I can’t speak to what people have been saying on discord, as I haven’t been keeping up with the chat, but I don’t see anyone here saying you’re forcing them. I see some people pushing back how you’re going about this.

You keep bringing up CR fandom as an example of why tagset bloat isn’t a problem. How many of those 15 fics were people who actually matched on that fandom, and how many were treats? I have no experience with CR, other than seeing some people talk about it in passing. I don’t know if there’s a lot of overlap in who likes which characters, or if there’s a large divide between fans of certain characters who don’t want anything to do with the others (as happens in some fandoms). For another example, let me propose Baby-Sitters Club. There were 16 characters in the tagset. 6 of them were parents, many of whom barely appear in the books-- or don’t appear on-page at all, in one case. 5 of them were members of the titular BSC, and the main characters. The rest were (mostly male) siblings who get shipped together in various ways. It’s a diverse tagset, and it really complicates offers and requests. I don’t want to request any if I don’t care about Jeff Schafer, even if I want stories about everyone else, etc. etc.

Now, if you genuinely want a character in the tagset? Definitely do it, or coordinate with someone else (if that’s your style)! But if you’re just adding characters because you think people might hypothetically want them? That’s kind of annoying, and makes things harder on people who had their offers/requests all planned out.

I know you mean well and you probably just really want everyone to enjoy participating in Misses Clause and the chromatic challenge. But many (most!) people don’t participate in those challenges, even if they’re writing about women or POC. So perhaps that’s why this is rubbing many people the wrong way? If you had just reminded people to coordinate nominations, without reminding them to nominate disabled people/POC/women/LGBTQ people, I think this would have gone off better.

Let me say that again, because I don’t think you understand:

If you had just reminded people to coordinate nominations, without reminding them to nominate disabled people/POC/women/LGBTQ people, I think this would have gone off better.

I don’t think you meant it this way, but it stinks of wanting brownie points. It implies that people who nominate straight white men aren’t as good. And that’s not cool.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
"That's you. Plenty of other people are. And that's ok. We're all different. If you read this post and didn't see the appeal or the point, then this post is not for you."

As someone who fits in several of these categories you list, I find this mindset -- and in truth, this whole post -- to be fetishizing.

You're actually saying that you don't want fics about these characters having adventures or such; you just want things that focus about how they're disabled or whatever. Can't you understand how uncomfortable that might make people feel? If you wish for issuefic that's perfectly fine, but don't try to ram it down people's throats like this. At the very least you could acknowledge that your wording could've been so much better, instead of haughtily defending yourself.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
I agree, and I really wish this had been a 'share your five minute fandom with disabled, queer, POC characters' post instead of a 'nominate characters out of duty' post.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 02:24 am (UTC)(link)
I thought your goal was to increase nominations of characters of color, non-white characters, LGBTQ characters and women. I would think encouraging fandoms with those aspects would be more effective than reminding people of characters that they had literally forgotten. I write and read Yuletide to fall in love, not fall in obligation.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
DA

This is an encouragement/reminder to coordinate with fellow fans to nominate characters that check off diversity ticky boxes.

"Coordinate your noms" and "consider these side challenges" are two different messages, and making them one message is a big part of the problem here.

(Anonymous) 2017-09-16 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
Not every anonymous person is a troll.

Not every person who posts on a Yuletide post has or wants a Dreamwidth account or something that connects to OpenID.

If you're going to be upset by anonymous comments, don't make a post on the Yuletide comm and expect everyone to comment with a Dreamwidth and/or OpenID account.
elf: Petalwing in snow, saying "Yuletide!" (Yuletide)

[personal profile] elf 2017-09-14 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
I've had plenty of years where I had one or two fandoms where I wanted to nominate only one or two characters, and was open to suggestions for the others. If I didn't coordinate with other people, I tried to pick characters that I thought were less likely to be nominated by someone else.

I've also had a couple of years where I missed nominations week, and was very happy for a broad range of fandoms and characters to choose from.

That's all I thought was being suggested here - if you've got extra slots, consider nominating marginalized characters so they'll be available for those who want to request or write them, but don't have enough slots to nominate them.
saiditallbefore: (Default)

[personal profile] saiditallbefore 2017-09-14 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
I have no doubt that was the intent of the OP, but as I said, it came off very differently. I am very in favor of coordinating nominations, for those who wish to do it!


YMMV here. But I think there’s a difference between telling chat/the nomination post I have extra slots and I’ll nom a couple characters (some of which may be queer/POC/women/disabled), and nomming queer characters/POC/women/disabled characters because you feel like there won’t be enough in the tagset. One is being helpful to your fellow fans; the other feels judgmental. I have a knee-jerk reaction to nominating/writing/praising characters just because of their identities. There are characters I identify with because I’m a woman and because I’m a lesbian. But I’ve seen people outright say that they just write those characters because they feel that’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s like they want social justice brownie points, and that’s what this post felt like to me (and apparently to others), even though that doesn’t seem to be what Aunt_Zelda was going for.

In the end: this is fandom. It’s a fun hobby, but that’s all it is.
paradisi: (Default)

[personal profile] paradisi 2017-09-14 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry people missed the point of your post, but you have to understand that's not how it came across.

The suggestion of nominating more marginalized characters (if people are interested in writing/receiving them) is not the issue here, and not what touched off a nerve. But you've been explained that already (here and on discord) so I'm not going to explain it again.

I hope that you regain your YT spirit and things look better tomorrow.
Edited 2017-09-14 14:44 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2017-09-14 10:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Someone else who understood the OP.

The people complaining they're being "forced" to nominate characters and fandoms they don't want to sound like the type of folk who complain about equality quotas.

Are y'all serious?

(Anonymous) 2017-09-15 10:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreal though? None of the language in Aunt_Zelda's original post implied anything about "making" or "forcing" anyone to do anything. Reading that into those words says lots about you, though. Reacting so defensively to the mere suggestion that *some* people who mean to nominate/are open to nominating more marginalized characters can use the coordinating posts to do so is utterly ridiculous. If *the very idea of such a thing!* calls for this tight a grip on your pearls, then you should go ahead and check that privilege. A little discomfort won't kill you.

Re: Are y'all serious?

(Anonymous) 2017-09-16 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
I have never wanted a like button more.

Are YOU, serious, AZ?

(Anonymous) 2017-09-16 01:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Looks like Aunt_Zelda decided that the best way to handle this was to sock up to white-knight for herself!

You're the only one who'll see this, AZ, because you're a thin-skinned coward who whines when you don't get 100% agreement, but here goes: Put the damn shovel down already. People are handling you with kid gloves on the Discord because Cult of Nice, but pretty much everyone is sick of your martyrdom and your thirst for white-ally points. And most of that "everyone else" is people who regularly nominate diverse characters. Not someone like you whose fandoms for the most part are blindingly white. Stop projecting your need to be reminded to nominate diversely onto everyone else.

Also, real classy there, letting someone in the Discord think you were black the other day.
saiditallbefore: (Default)

Re: Are y'all serious?

[personal profile] saiditallbefore 2017-09-16 04:41 pm (UTC)(link)
You know what? I’m going to repeat what I said on my other comment (the “you” I was addressing there was Aunt_Zelda, of course):

I don’t think anyone thinks you’re forcing them, but-- as someone who almost always focuses on women in media, especially queer women-- it comes off as... odd. I love writing about women-- that’s why most of my noms are women! If people are really that interested in writing about POC, LGBTQ people, women, or disabled characters, then it seems that they will probably already be nominating those characters.

And YMMV here (I’m a lesbian, but other issues here don’t apply to me), but it comes across as focusing more on the tickyboxes the characters check off than the actual characters. Personally, I’m not interested in stories that center around being a woman, or being queer, or being disabled, or being POC. I want stories where my two faves who happen to be women are together. Or solve mysteries, or go on adventures, or whatever.


Edited to add (because I had more thoughts): The Misses Clause challenge post is already up. Presumably that’s (partly) what this was all about? And there’s been no problems with it, because the people who run the challenge are inclusive. They don’t say “you’re doing it wrong if you don’t do this” (which is how the original post came off). They say, “here is a fun thing we enjoy, and we want you to enjoy!” That is, in fact, how all the Yuletide challenges are run, including Crueltide and Yuleporn and the IF challenges. They’re not about changing minds or scoring points in an argument or “fixing” Yuletide, they’re about gathering like-minded fans together and having fun.

BTW, aunt_zelda, screening comments that disagree with you and letting only the positive ones through is not a good look. Disagreement is not the same as “hate”.
Edited (More to add) 2017-09-16 16:49 (UTC)

Re: Are y'all serious?

(Anonymous) 2017-09-16 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Let it go, aunt_zelda, and stop supporting yourself in anon comments. Maybe you could spend some time writing encouraging comments on the fics that focus on marginalized characters instead of giving all of your attention to Stucky and Clint/Coulson? Since marginalized characters is such a concern for you, after all.