Rules of the Road

Some Directions For (But Mostly Opinions about) Writing Good Slash

What constitutes good writing is easy to recognize when we read it, but hard to explain. Because I'm a long-time slash fan, I'm naturally interested in seeing the world enjoy more and more good slash.

So, I've put together some opinionated little ramblings about various facets of writing, and mostly about writing slash.

We'd better start with a definition of terms. When I say slash - I'm talking about a deeper exploration of an emotional and usually sexual relationship between two same-sex characters on a show. Thus, by definition, stories about Maggie and Fraser on Due South are not slash, because they're m/f, not f/f, or m/m. Ditto for stories about Mulder and Scully on the X-Files. If this idea grosses you out, you'd better run away. I don't suppose there will be much explicit sex discussed, but with me, you never know.

I don't normally care for crossovers, but I've made an effort on that subject and others to leave room for opinions that differ from mine. On the other hand, this entire first section is supposed to make it clear to you that these are MY opinions, no more, and no less. They're as valid as anyone else's, and probably about as accurate. I'm an opinionated person and I like myself that way.

There's no point in writing to me and saying that a lot of my own stories break most of these rules. First, I've learned a lot in the two or three years since I started writing. I did a lot of things in the beginning that I wouldn't do today. Second, I said I was opinionated. I didn't say I was perfect. I didn't even say I thought my own writing would qualify as "good" writing.

Nearly 100% of my fiction was written before I tried to define what I would define as "good." People have written and threatened to go read my stories to see these principles in action. I did use spell-check and I usually rely on a beta reader. That's about it.

The truth is, I have some bedrock beliefs about writing, and about fanfic. Beliefs that not all my attempts to be "fair" and "PC" are going to change. Chief among these is that talent makes a difference. And that very few fanfic authors have any real talent for writing.

On the other hand, attention to detail will take even an only marginally talented author a long way. Characterization, exposition, description--be careful with these and you can turn out some darned good stories.

If you disagree with me, feel free to say so. Or, not. You're under no obligation do anything at all. Read this stuff. Don't read it. Throw your computer off the balcony. Use your keyboard as a doorstop. Tell everyone you disagree with me. Refuse to speak to me for the next five hundred years. Go ahead--treat yourself.

It's pretty much a given that there's something in here to offend everyone, so buckle up, because it's going to be a bumpy ride. :- )


Merge - Canon and non-canon story elements

Pedestrian Xing - Crossovers

Sharp Curve - Plot

Slippery When Wet - Sex 


Business District, Next Exit - Bits of Business; or, What Do They Do With Their Hands?

Construction Zone - Editing (Yes, we mean also "deleting")

Hospital Zone - Damages and Consequences

Information Booth - Slash Resources

Population: 1,745,325 - OC's and their functions

Shortcut - (1/23/00) - The PWP as a legitimate story form


All! Talk! Radio! - Dialogue

FantasyLand (Next Exit) - So, you want to write an AU?

It's Your Music Station! - Song lyrics in stories


Using Your Map - (1/16/00) Writing the journey

Toolbox - (1/16/00) - The tools you need for your journey

Owner's Manual - (1/23/00) - Style, mood, voice

Packing - (7/31/00) - Planning the trip. (With apologies to those who are sick of discussions about mythological archetypes in fandom.)

ROAD RAGE - General complaints about stuff that annoys me in fandom and in stories. No attempt to educate the reader, just me letting off steam.

Minor Leagues - Minor Character slash

White Line Fever - Character obsession

Ker-Chunk! - Web page rants (with a side note about flames)

Look Both Ways - (12/4/99) - Feedback

Icy Roads Ahead - (12/4/99) - Chill out, people!

Wrong Way - (1/16/00) - Stories I'm never going to write.

Burning Rubber - (1/23/00) - Get mad, get even

Looping the Loop - (1/23/00) - Post-canon stories

Feedback, should you feel the urge, can be sent to:

All opinions expressed on this web site are purely those of the person who wrote the essays and are not intended as a personal comment on the work or works of any individual fanfic author or any fandom. Except where I criticize my own stuff. I reserve the right to make as many personal remarks about my own work as amuses me.