Something about "Connecting the Dots"

I started writing fanfic as a wee teen in 1986, though I didn't finish my first one until 1987, and wouldn't even know that there was a name for writing stories about characters from fictional universes until a year or two later. I started my first archive about fifteen years ago I think, on pair.com. It was called "Pieces of Gold" and later would grow into "Selma's Multi-universal fanfiction archive" as I grew it. I got tired of a flat HTML site and migrated to efiction and later wordpress for my archives, but I finally went back to the basics when I started "Connecting the Dots". With the advent of better WYSIWYG HTML tools, and a lot of experience from running archives with SQL databases, I was better prepared to set up and run a HTML-only site. (The reason behind this being that while I love the ease which automated software tools allow me to archive and categorize fic, they're awfully vulnerable to attacks. This isn't.)

When I designed the site, I wanted to make it as easy as I could for people wanting to read my fic (including making it accessible to color-blind users, and I'm still working on screenreaders). While tags are a bit harder to implement when you're more or less hand-coding, because you have to make sure that each fic is represented in the categories you want it represented in. For example, each fic is initially listed in its fandom page (and the crossover page if it is one), the all-fics page, and the characters page. Sometimes I also have to add things to the pairings, serials, or challenges pages because I've had a few of those, too, and eventually, I'll have everything up on the by-length page.

I had to make several design decisions when putting things together. For example, every single fandom has stories arranged in alphabetical order, no matter how old they are or how Original Character-heavy they are. This is so that I represent all my fics, no matter how much I'd like to hide some of them. I have written a Mary Sue or two, to be honest, along with children of canon characters and OC/Canon character romances (and other things that I'd like to bury). I trust my readers to skip over any fics that they might not like. One of my fandoms is very tetchy about what season a fic comes from, because it had a really major broken base. (I should know; I was right there for the first split, and that is a painful memory.)  Some fics will be WIPs or abandoned, and will be so marked.

Since all my fics are in alphabetical order (most people will probably access them by fandom, but I also have them in alphabetical order by other sorting methods throughout the site), I've also made it possible for people to find their favorite pairings, read serials in order, and check out fics by challenge. I haven't gotten everything perfected as I first write this - for example, serials and character pages do not have summaries, and I need to incorporate a feedback link into pages, and individual stories will eventually have tags at the end but don't yet. But it's a start.

I'm also awful at ratings, but generally speaking, I write at most what the MPAA would call "PG-13" with a couple of "R" rated fics. I have written 1-2 "NC-17" fics, which will not be archived here. For one thing, I have other places to store them, and two, I really don't want irritated parents hitting my site. I do write fic that requires warning - I have one incest pairing, a couple of mpregs, an offscreen rape, and I've written about suicidal ideation/suicide more than once - but when I do, I warn.

For the sake of completeness, I'm also including some book fandoms that I've written for Yuletide. If I find that the author/estate no longer/has never condoned fanfic, I will be a polite person and take it down from my site (because of the rules of Yuletide, I cannot remove the fic from either of its archives, sorry). If the off chance that this happens, I will explain what happened. That being said, I think rather poorly of authors who don't allow fanfic, will not buy their works, will advise fandom friends to avoid them, and will get rid of any works I have of theirs. I think it's only fair.

I hope you will enjoy my fics, because I think I've written some good ones over the years. There are probably some bad ones here, too, and I trust that you won't think everything's bad because one of them is. Good or bad, they're a part of who I am and who I was and who I might be someday. So, hit the back button, or the link below, and enjoy!

-Estirose, July 2011


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