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After recaps announcement and explanation

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Back in the day, when I was recapping 50 Shades of Grey, I thought to myself, “Gosh, Jenny. This is kind of mean. What if someone did that to your book?”

And then I did more research and I saw how shitty E.L. James was to Twihards and how dismissive she was of their contributions to her success, and I was like, “HA HA fuck that bitch, I’m gonna keep going.” And then she was like, “Stop saying my hero is abusive because you’re ruining the good times of all the women who like to fap to boring erotica!” and I was like, “HA HA FUCK THAT BITCH, WHO WANTS TO BUY MY FRIENDS A TRUCK BECAUSE I WILL KEEP GOING.”

Sort of the opposite has happened with me and the After recaps. Since I started recapping the first book, the whole phenomenon has exploded, and I’m seeing a clearer picture of the author behind the book.

And I feel like a total dick. Because here’s a picture of Anna Todd:

sunshine

I can find nothing about her online presence that suggests she’s ever going to be the next E.L. James. I don’t mean that in terms of sales, I mean that I can’t ever see her throwing victims of domestic violence under the bus, or calling them trolls or witches. And I have been contacted by a staggering number of her readers and fellow WattPad writers since I started these recaps, all of them with stories about how much she’s helped them or nice things she’s done for them. Does that make After grammatically and thematically perfect? Of course not. But as a clearer picture emerged, I saw someone who wasn’t cold and calculating and trying to shake money out of fandom. And I ran out of a little bit of steam.

Let me tell you a tangential story. I promise it will come round full circle. Once upon a time, I was a member of an internet fanfiction forum that “sporked” fics. Like, really bad stuff. For example, the most memorable one I saw on there was one in which Princess Jasmine and the Incredible Hulk… you know what? There’s no good way of doing this without trigger warnings, let’s just say it was disturbing. Anyway, in another section of the forum, they would make fun of people on the internet. Sometimes, it was neo-nazis or MRAs or some shit like that, and that was fine. But then I saw them making fun of this person who was basically harmless. She loved Disney princesses, her hobby was singing, she was just basically this ball of sunshine person, and they were stalking her livejournal and making fun of her. And since I liked basically 100% of all the stuff she was into, I was like, “This is stupid,” and I started talking to her on LJ and we became friends and tada, we’re still friends years later.

The point is, after I got to to know her, I started to see how what those people were doing hurt her. And it was gross, and I felt gross for ever hanging with that crowd. The nazis, the MRAs, those people I had no problem mocking. But this person who was just not hurting anyone and just rolling with life? That bugged the shit out of me. And then as these emails and DMs and FaceBook messages started rolling in, I started to see parallels between the two situations.

So, while I was on my rustic camping adventure of mosquitoey doom (details to come soon), I gave this After situation some thought. I was already pretty iffy on whether or not to continue the recaps, after I learned that the book would be edited at S&S by someone who used to be my editor. We don’t work together anymore, but it still seemed ethically shaky. Maybe it’s not. But it didn’t sit right with me to have that crossed-wires connection thing happening. Adding in the way I feel about Anna Todd and the way I feel about her work, and the difficulty I had in separating the person who seems very positive and cool from her work, I kind of thought, well. Maybe it’s time to pack it in. I came to the conclusion that my feelings toward After were clouded by the bad taste left in my mouth by E.L. James and her shitty behavior, and that was that.

Then I came home to the STGRB bullshit. And I had this horrible moment of, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I have to keep going now. Because if I don’t, they’ll take credit for it.”

And then tonight I sat down to do another After recap that I didn’t have the heart for, and I went, “Fuck those bitches, they don’t get a say in how I run my blog.”

So, this is what’s going on now:

  • I won’t be finishing the After recap project. The recaps I’ve already done will remain up, but I’ll be removing After from the “Jenny Reads” tab.
  • I’ll be recapping something else, instead. One of the charges alleged during the 50 Shades of Grey and After recaps was that I wouldn’t feel so great if someone did that to me. Fair enough. Starting in the first week of July, I’ll be recapping my first book, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, chapter by chapter. And lest you think I’ll go easy on myself, it is the first book in a series that I cringe to look back on. Tons of problematic content that is going to make you go, “Jenny. JENNY.” And then no one can say I’ve never had a taste of my own medicine.
  • I’ll still be serializing The Afflicted on WattPad. I’ve still got a lot of unanswered questions about the WattPad experience, and I’m a learn-by-doing-er. Doer? Learn-by-doer? Whatever.
  • I will still follow the progression of After from fanfic to book, and any further developments regarding the P2P phenomenon. Because why is P2P happening? Will we ever know?

One thing I want to make absolutely clear about this decision: Nothing STGRB have done or said has led to this decision. Bear in mind that they will take total credit for this, and pat each other on the backs and suck each others’ internet cocks over how they really got to me and I was so threatened, but let me reiterate: there is nothing those people have on me or can get on me that would make me afraid of them, because everything about me is on this blog. I have blogged about naming my vibrator Rupert Giles, I’ve blogged about my suicidal thoughts. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I frequently tweet about my bodily functions and my bad credit. My entire life is an open book, so there aren’t going to be any nasty secrets to uncover. That ain’t how I live. Let them have their little delusional victory party, because at the end of that day, that yawning emptiness is all they have.

So, in summation: I started to feel like an asshole, the recaps weren’t fun anymore, I’m not going to do them, but guess what I am going to do? Smoke this weed and hit the coloring books HARD, because it’s Saturday night and I live every second like I’ll die the next. TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?!

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79 Comments

  1. Mitzy247
    Mitzy247

    You’re a good person, Trout.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  2. Victoria
    Victoria

    Hey, more power to Anna Todd for turning her awful fanfiction into big bucks. It’s not her fault that major publishers are stupid enough to look at Wattpad page loads and think “wow, we can make millions off this hugely problematic and horribly written RPF!”

    Now, is there any chance of you recapping anything by Laurell K. Hamilton? Because there’s a hugely self-important author of dubious quality who really does deserve to get raked over the coals. My best friend linked me to spoilers of her latest Merry Gentry book yesterday, which quickly devolved into a crude MS Paint war depicting illustrations of her color-coded harem. Taste the rainbow!

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I would have to read LKH then. And after Micah, never again.

      Never. Ever. Again.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
      • AD
        AD

        Aw, c’mon. Hilarity would ensue.

        (And I absolutely admit I love Anita Blake and Merry Gentry.)

        June 8, 2014
        |Reply
      • Petra47
        Petra47

        Omg… if you recapped some LKH, I could die happy…

        June 8, 2014
        |Reply
      • Queen Mab
        Queen Mab

        I haven’t read Micah yet….it’s that bad, eh?

        The last LKH book I read was Obsidian Butterfly. I could never get into the Merry Gentry books, try as I did.

        June 11, 2014
        |Reply
    • Tiger
      Tiger

      A friend and I are recapping Narcissus in Chains right now. I’d be happy to post the urls if Jenny is okay with that.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
      • JennyTrout
        JennyTrout

        Yeah, I don’t mind, tear it up.

        June 12, 2014
        |Reply
    • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic (which is supposed to be a trilogy, I guess) is another good one to recap. I don’t know much about the author and the writing isn’t QUITE as bad, though it’s pretty awful, but based solely on some of the things she writes into the story, she’s a snotty, holier-than-thou jackass.

      June 9, 2014
      |Reply
  3. I’m really irked by how many fanfics are being picked up for traditional publication, and more irked by how many people want fanfics versus original fiction. Sometimes it makes me want to throw the towel in on anything original and just write a bunch of 50 Shades spitefics. The one I started to try making sense of the bull in those books has more followers than my original fiction.

    Why is this? Why do readers want more of the same? Is it because it’s easier to read than having to actually envision a new world with each book? That’s the only thing I can think of.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • zeeeee
      zeeeee

      i have an answer for this! for me, at least. and of course, i still loooove original fiction… so maybe i’m not the best to answer?

      but for me, i love to read fanfiction of things that are over, or don’t have a lot of material (harry potter, bbc’s sherlock, for example). i love those fanfic types specifically because i do love that world, and i want to spend more time in it without it being literally the same old same old.

      and occasionally i want to read crackfics or really really funny spitefics of things i don’t like (and sometimes of things i do!)

      but, again for me, reading fanfic is kind of like dozing after hitting the snooze button. it’s not the same dream, or it’s very very close and you’re able to change the inevitable outcome, but it’s still nice to be in that warm bed under those cozy covers. plus i like that it gives me the knowledge that there’s someone else who wants the same thing. someone else who wants “just five more minutes! please!”

      but like i said, i still read original fiction, and nonfiction, and whatever else i stumble on that seems interesting. just some days i struggle more to get out of that bed than others.

      June 9, 2014
      |Reply
      • A lot of people enjoy fanfics. I do myself. But is this really what publishers should be snapping up left and right?

        I also have a moral issue with people making money off of other people’s work. Fan fiction, by its very definition, means you’re taking the copyrighted intellectual property of someone else and using that, and that property’s existing fans, for your own financial gain. Most fan fiction is freely given, as fan fiction itself should be. Filing serials off doesn’t mean that the final published work isn’t fan fiction.

        June 9, 2014
        |Reply
        • Sharon
          Sharon

          I agree, especially since there was always the unwritten rule that fanfic writers wouldn’t make any money off their stories. Part of me wishes Stephanie Meyer had stepped up and sued James’s @ss off for copyright infringement.

          Could this lead to even more author backlashes against fanfic? I used to write fanfic and do appreciate it (at least the good stuff), but if I had original works published and suspected someone might get rich off a world or characters I invented, I would try to shut the fanfic down as fast as I could – which would be sad, since I’m not really an evil person. Honest!

          It just seems to be setting some very dangerous precedents.

          Of course, if these precedents must be set, why in Hades aren’t they at least picking the good fanfic? Why do the vast unwashed hordes read and love such tripe? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

          Argh.

          June 9, 2014
          |Reply
          • I think Meyer didn’t only because she doesn’t really like to admit sex exists, and has admitted she can’t say “seminal fluid” without giggling.

            George R. R. Martin (Song if Ice and Fire) won’t even allow fanfics of his characters and world because he can’t stand “some third rate writer who leaps at the opportunity” (which it sometimes seems is the only way these days…) who treat it like “[i]t’s just a cash cow to them.” He will also never allow anyone else to write spin-offs. I love that he brought up the abomination of the book “Scarlett” in that statement.

            I can’t say I blame him. It’s hard for a writer of original fiction to get noticed, and it’s got to be annoying as all hell to have some two-bit hack jump on the parade float you managed to build, and get a free ride at the very front.

            June 9, 2014
  4. Kritty3311
    Kritty3311

    I respect your decision on whatever you do. I will continue to read your blog with interest every chance I get. TBH after you read 50SofG I totally wanted you to read my stuff (of course I’m not a published author and have a very thin skin). I think your recaps are done with snark and fun. I look forward to reading any and all recaps you do.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  5. I commend your decision. Part of the fun of reading the “50 Shades” recaps was cringing at just how astoundingly WRONG they were – not just the grammar, but the whole worldview. I just didn’t get that with your “After” recaps – it’s not the world’s best writing, sure, but it’s better than at least half the fanfics out there I’ve read (and I tend to cherrypick the better ones).

    Also, I’m all for any decisions which leave you more time to watch/snark at “Buffy” and “Merlin.”

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  6. Wonderbink
    Wonderbink

    I’m not actually that disappointed that you’re ditching the After recaps. The material you were working with was too thin to do much with anyway. I’m looking forward to your self-sporking. Maybe the STGRB people will take up the cause of defending you against yourself!

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Akri
      Akri

      That would be the best thing ever.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
    • the-great-dragon
      the-great-dragon

      I really want that to happen

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
    • Promise
      Promise

      OMG! Yes!

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  7. Evaine
    Evaine

    And this blog post, Jenny, is why I continue to follow you here and on twitter after having discovered you through the 50SoG recaps. You’re the real deal, kiddo.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  8. merc
    merc

    Recapping your own stuff sounds SO INTERESTING. Honestly, if I were brave enough, I’d do that with my old (or not-so-old) fanfiction … looking forward to it!

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  9. To be honest, After reads too much like a retread of 50 Shades with 1D characters, so I don’t blame you. If you’re not enjoying recapping, by all means, don’t do it. I didn’t know much about Anna Todd going into your recaps, but she definitely sounds like a much nicer person than EL James.

    I actually prefer the Buffy recaps, because it’s a nice change of pace and it’s always fun to look at things you loved as a teen or child when you’re grown up, and seeing how your perspective changes (and how the show ages). Plus they’re also hilarious. Recapping ’90s TV ftw!

    I haven’t read your Blood Ties series yet, so maybe I’ll read it before your recaps begin. Looking forward to them! Looking at my old writing and cringing at it is always fun.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  10. I loved your old vampire series! (I actually just bought book #2 fairly recently.) But I’m super excited to see where you go with this. Snark is fun, even if it’s for books you like!

    #TeamTrout

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Oth
      Oth

      Agreed!

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  11. Laura
    Laura

    You know? Stuff like this is what really makes me go “Yeah, well, my friend Jenny blah blah…”, when we actually live in different continents.
    But it is so not my fault. You kick ass.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Emerald
      Emerald

      Lmao, I also say “my friend jenny” even though we’ve never met and live in different countries. I do however have a book with her signature in it, that means we’re buds right? Lol

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
    • Promise
      Promise

      This. A thousand times this. Jenny, you are my hero!

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  12. lily
    lily

    I think this is a good decision. I was enjoying the recaps, but also felt a little mean for that since Anna Todd seems pretty genuine and nice. I’m very much looking forward to the new recaps, too (and also more blogging in general, of course)!

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  13. Angie
    Angie

    Aww, I liked your vampire series. Was it perfect? No. But I think it’s cool of you to do that, and I look forward to reading the recaps of it.

    I think I know the fanfiction forum you’re referring to. I never “sporked” anything, but I read it. A lot of it was pretty mean-spirited, but I still look back and wince when I remember a “legomance” with a villain whose name rhymed with “jelly belly.” I lost my taste for the group when I wound up befriending a 17 year old author they critiqued. She actually was a pretty good writer; just young, and I had so much fun beta reading for her.

    I think that’s good of you not to let STGRB dictate your decisions here. Screw them.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  14. Sarah
    Sarah

    I’m going to miss the recaps. They were funny! But I completely understand your reasoning, and if it isn’t something you want to do, don’t do it!

    I have to say, I’ve read all three books (because of the recaps) and while they are obviously written by an immature writer (and there were several sections in which I felt like pulling my hair out or throwing something hard toward the nearest mirror), she shows some signs of genius in her writing, and her characters experience some true growth and development, very much the opposite of 50 Shades, where there is nothing like that. I think with a good editor, and some instruction in the writer’s craft, she will be a fantastic writer in the future!

    Looking forward to the recaps of your book!

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  15. Alison
    Alison

    I really admire the way you handle criticism. People told you if you didn’t like 50 Shades you should write something better and you did. People told you you wouldn’t like if someone criticized one of your books chapter by chapter so now you’re going to do it.

    I love that you can take in all that negativity and instead of having a knee jerk defensive reaction, you give it some real thought and turn it into something positive. That is some impressive emotional maturity you have.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • Megan M.
      Megan M.

      Totally agree! 🙂

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  16. This is why you’re so effing awesome. I admit as much as I was cringing when I read the After excerpts a tiny, tiny part of me felt a little bad since the author is reported to be a really nice lady. I never felt like your recaps were bullying since you didn’t take any shots at her personally, but I can still see why you’ve decided to stop. Even though I too would have wanted to keep going just to show the STGRB’s what’s what. You rock.

    And totally seconding the “I always say, ‘My friend Jenny’ ” thing. I mean, we’ve exchanged comments on twitter so we’re totally friends, right? 😀

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  17. I honestly don’t know much about Anna Todd except the fact that while I do say that reading After, for me at least, is like watching a train wreck (you want to take your eyes away from it and need to at times but you just can’t help but watch in horror and fascination) that there is some potential in her writing. But dear lord does she need a proof reader or beta reader with access to spell check.

    And y’know, I actually did like your vampire series and am working on hunting down my own copies of them (and by that waiting til I have the money to actually buy them). Though I am VERY interested in what you’ll have to say about your own work, after all, we’re all our own worst critics. I’m not saying it was perfect but it was an enjoyable read.

    I don’t hate that you’re not continuing After recaps. You’re doing what will make you the happiest. And you’re not doing it by being malicious to another person. So that makes me happy. Also, I kind of want to see how you paint that gnome you showed in the other post……

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  18. the-great-dragon
    the-great-dragon

    I’ll admit, I enjoy the After recaps and am sad to see them end, but Anna Todd does seem genuinely nice and I think you made a good decision. And I know you didn’t do it because of STGRB, but if you had, I’d have respected that too. Not because they’re right, but because that’s just too much crap to put up with. (fingers crossed this means they’ll stop bugging you)

    I’m excited for the Blood Ties recaps!!! 😀 It sounds like a lot of fun. I admire your bravery – rereading your own work is always awkward and difficult. You can never quite enjoy it as a reader.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • KathleenCat
      KathleenCat

      Basically, I figure even if Jenny had stopped because of them, that would only show more that they are the real bullies anyway.
      Which still shows, when you read how creepy stalkery they are.

      June 15, 2014
      |Reply
  19. If it doesn’t make you happy, it’s best to give up and do something else that’s more fun for you. So, I applaud your decision. What I like about your recaps (besides being super snarky and funny) is that you can learn a lot about good writing vs bad writing. But, I think you can do that with some consistent material, and After wasn’t that because it was mostly bad fanfic that suffers from all the issues of newbie fanfics.
    I can’t wait your recaps for Blood Ties and I think it’s awesome and brave doing recaps after your own book.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  20. Jessica
    Jessica

    You are an impressively ethical person. Well done. I’m sad to see the recaps go b/c they are hilarious but I completely respect you’re reasoning to stop doing them.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  21. That sounds reasonable to me. And I hear you. There’s NOTHING more annoying than finding some bunch of interfering gits have ordered you to do something you actually want to do…

    I’ll look forward to your comments about your own stuff. 😉 Should be just as good.

    Cheers

    MTM

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  22. Nonnie
    Nonnie

    It’s a bummer that you won’t be continuing the After recaps – I’ve been really enjoying them! But I get your reasoning and it’s pretty classy of you. It is nice that she genuinely enjoys what she does and appreciates the fans that got her where she is. Bleh. Still pissed at the publishing world in general though.

    It’s cool that you’ll be recapping your old books! I have a strong emotional connection to those things so I think the only person I could take trashing them is you, yourself. Kinda looking forward to it!

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  23. Lieke
    Lieke

    Aw, I’m a little bummed about the After recaps, because I was enjoying those. I get why you’re not going to continue, though.
    Plus, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ll have to say about your own writing. Everyone’s early stuff is kind of embarrassing, isn’t it? I bet it’ll be fun to analyse.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • Ren
      Ren

      Indeed! And no more ‘yea’s’ to play with 🙁 Woe is me! Oh well, as long as there’re more recaps of something, I am content 🙂

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  24. Well, you must be an important person Jenny since you have a hate club now . It’s a very courageous thing to admit being wrong, not many would ever do that. And recapping your own books from long time ago when being embarrassed about them? Wow, I just used to write diaries and when I reread them once in a while I’m so embarrassed I want to die of shame. God, was I stupid. So props to that!
    Also I might have missed some posts or something but I hope you’re going to continue Buffy recaps too. I didn’t watch that show before and your recaps made me:-)

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  25. Sushi
    Sushi

    Aww, kind of bummed to hear the After recaps are being abandoned. Not enough to go and read the story myself though, and I get why you’re doing it. I shall look forward to your self-sporkage now.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  26. Flo
    Flo

    I have to admit I am a bit disappointed to hear that you are going to quit doing the After recaps, but I totally get it too. If your heart isn’t in it, there isn’t much point. To be honest, I think eventually we would all get bored (you included) because there just isn’t much substance to the book. Once you get passed feeling like throwing something at the computer screen in a couple of chapters, it turns in to the same old/same old. There were two things I was really looking forward to seeing your comments on–all the “spitting” that goes on during a large section of one of the books and the Ford “Carpi”–wtf? As one of the group who has read all three books (at least as far as you can at this point), I am really wondering if anyone at S & S or UA actually read them, or if they were just going on all the hype?

    Which brings me to my real concerns for Anna Todd. I agree that she seems like a really nice person, I’ve read all of her comments throughout. As I’ve said before, I just wonder if anyone will take her under their wing and provide some guidance, or is she the flavor of the day, to be tossed to the curb when it’s all over with. I just hope she isn’t being used as strictly a money making tool for some fat cats. Time will tell. I just hope she actually gets to keep the bulk of the money they threw at her and that she isn’t being swindled by agents, etc. We all know it goes on, and she seems an easy target.

    I think the momentum is already starting to die, she has been taking her time updating these last chapters and it’s taking way longer for her to get the number of comments and hits she was getting before. I’ve also noticed that the writing of these last few chapters is much better, so I’d be curious to know if she’s actually writing them and someone is editing the hell out of them, if she’s got someone else writing them for her, or if someone at S&S has advised her to brush up on her writing skills. Anyone else notice that?

    Oh–and fuck you STGRB!! (just had to throw that in–still snapping my fingers)

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  27. That’s a really good and humble thing to do,Jenny. It’s so hard to do the right thing when you potentially lose face by doing so (in the eyes of arseholes anyway). It’s hard but important and I have a lot if respect for you.
    Plus I’d really like to see your book – I’ve not ready any of your work yet and this would be a great way to do it .
    Thank you for continuing to be an inspirational lady.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  28. Jeanne
    Jeanne

    Bummer. I only even heard of After through your recaps and I went and checked it out myself ONLY because of your recaps. I didn’t think your recaps were mean-spirited at all. I understood from the very beginning (from what you said!) that this author was nothing like the 50 Shades author, despite the heavy influence. I even was able to appreciate her twist in the story, which was genuinely surprising to me and much better than anything James ever turned out. Derivative? Yes, but so what? It worked in her story, it really did. Point being, I wouldn’t have read the thing at all if not for you. I understand that your heart is not in it (I could tell from reading the recaps it wasn’t but I chalked it up to the similarities with 50 Shades) but what bugs me most is STGRB is going to take credit for this and crow about it, even if it doesn’t have to do with them. Just a bummer. I am looking forward to your next recap project though!

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  29. I like how the tangential story still affects you today. Just like a good story — old plot points coming back to serve a greater purpose. 🙂

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      And I’m so glad how the tangential story worked out in the end. 😀

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  30. DancedAllNight
    DancedAllNight

    I totally enjoyed your After recaps. However, if doing them made you feel like an asshole, then I support you quitting. Long as you think that’s what’s best, then I’m down. Are you still gonna recap Beautiful Disaster? Cause that book sounds terrible.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  31. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    I haven’t looked up anything about Anna Todd the person, but I can totally respect your decision to stop recapping After. It sounds like how I feel about a super-popular indie author I’ll call B.H. (not her real initials.) I have huge problems with her books, but she is such a NICE and GENEROUS person that I feel bad about it. So I stopped following her FB and stopped hate-reading her stuff, and if I ever have the good fortune to have as many fans as she has, I hope I can follow her example.

    I think recapping your own book is GENIUS and I can’t wait to read it!

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  32. Alicia
    Alicia

    Aww.
    I had never heard of After until you started recapping it and really enjoyed your recaps.
    Oh well. I love this site and am looking forward to reading The Afflicted.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  33. Ilex
    Ilex

    I completely understand not wanting to make fun of Anna Todd, who does seem like a sweetie (nice pic there in your post).

    I do think there’s still plenty of room for criticizing the “After” publishing phenomenon, which is pretty disturbing, without mentioning the author, since it’s not her fault any of this wave of popularity happened.

    I am looking forward to seeing your critique of your own book! I’ll definitely read it in order to follow along.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  34. Amelia
    Amelia

    If you don’t feel comfortable with it, you shouldn’t do it, but I don’t like how this explanation equates professional criticism with personal attack-isn’t this what you’ve said your against?

    I know we’re just talking about books here, but if we applied the same logic to crime, politics…it just seems silly. Even in the field of art, perhaps we should fill museums with infant vomit because babies are cute (and they are SO cute).

    Also, regarding the ‘how would I feel if this was my book?’- I personally think a good, clever lampoon would be flattering – it means you’re an important part of the cultural landscape and it’s all in good fun.

    It’s not like you’re writing lazy comments here — You’re an intelligent person and you have a real gift for critique-what you do is actually a form of art itself and I think your readers would agree that its better than the art you’re referencing.

    Not to discredit everything I’ve just said, but I actually read Fifty Shades and enjoyed it. I also enjoy your criticism, even though, in a way, you are critiquing me.

    I can totally understand that you may not have the stomach to continue, and I respect that, but I object to the criticism = personal attack overtones, which I hope were down to my own misinterpretation of this post.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I have a longstanding reputation for arguing against “criticism = personal attack.” I think I made it pretty clear that this was a combination of me not being able to separate the author and their work in this case, as well as a common connection within in the industry, that made it unethical for me to continue.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I didn’t mean for that to come off so snappy, btw, I just woke up from a nap, LOL.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  35. Lucy
    Lucy

    Long time lurker, first time commenter, I agree with what Amalia said (though I loathed FSoG). If you don’t feel comfortable with continuing the recaps you shouldn’t, but if an author is writing stuff that’s problematic from the point of view of content and style, and nevertheless being highly successful, I think it’s completely legitimate to criticize their work and address the issues it presents, no matter how nice that author is as a person. You can criticize a book without attacking its author.

    Does that mean that if a wonderful person write terrible books these books shouldn’t be getting negative reviews?

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      As I said in my post, I was having a hard time separating my feelings about the author from my feelings for the work. This is a decision I made for myself, not as a statement on the nature of criticism.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  36. Jon
    Jon

    Can I commend your honesty, integrity and humility? I see little enough of such things on the internet most days.

    Can I respectfully ask when we are likely to see another Buffy update as I am looking forward to them?

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Still doing the Buffy recaps. I try to aim for about one per month, because they take a really long time to do, LOL.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
      • Jon
        Jon

        As they take a long time to read that is probably best.

        I am interested to see how the review of your early work goes.

        It occurred to me, and this is a probably silly suggestion only, that it might be an idea to arrange with an author you don’t completely agree with on topics of world view to do a review of each other’s works.

        June 10, 2014
        |Reply
  37. Alexis
    Alexis

    As somebody who is trashing other peoples bad fanfics AND has trashed her own old stuff while howling with laughter I can understand your position while I still say I wouldn’t for myself feel guilty about making the recaps. Because no matter how good or beloved something is you can always rip it to pieces with a bit of skill. No matter what the quality, with a bit of creativity you can see where stuff falls to pieces when you get in at a good point and tear the whole thing down. Thats why I always construct two parts of my works, the normal thing and a parody where all the parts that could easily go over the top exist in an over the top version. It’s a funny way to know where the weaknesses are in a story and where to be careful to not slip into hilarity.

    I understand why you got angry at James but I never got the feeling you were particularly trashing Anna Todd for what she wrote, just analysing her stuff and giving comment and thats what I always try to remember when I trash or overread stuff to help improve it – that I can trash the text without attacking the writer and thats the way it should be.

    Long story short I just wanted to say it’s totally okay to stop the recaps of After if you don’t feel like it but I also wanted to make sure that I think you weren’t totally mean or aggresive towards Anna Todd in your recaps.

    And I desperately want to see you recap your own stuff. Trust me, it’s a whole lot of fun once you have gotten into it and see it as something that your younger self wrote. I learned to appreciate myself and who I was a lot more ironically.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  38. Promise
    Promise

    My hope for Anna Todd is that out of all of this she matures into a really good writer. There’s definitely room in this world for another good writer with a sunny personality.

    As always, Jenny, I completely support you and your decisions re: this blog and writing in general. You’ve got a fan-for-life in me. If you’re ever in the Atlanta area, you’re welcome to come by my house for an amazeballs home-cooked meal and board games (we’ve got Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride Europe, Cards Against Humanity, and Guillotine [which, if you’ve never heard of it, is a hilarious French-revolution themed card game that I know you’d love]).

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  39. Lavender
    Lavender

    Oh, Jenny, I’m really sad about this.

    It’s your blog. You write whatever the hell you want, girl. And if you feel like ditching this project because you don’t have the heart for it anymore, that’s totally cool.

    But it kind of sounds like you’re ditching it because…the author is a nice person? Sorry, but I’m confused, because then it sounds like you were snarking because you thought the author was a terrible person. I *thought *you were snarking because the writing was bad and laughable, and this was a place of sanity where we could come discuss and make light of it. And the writing still is bad and laughable, no matter how much of a ‘ball of sunshine’ the author is.

    You’re not a bully; you’re a snarker. There’s a difference. You weren’t being a bitch to the author, you were critiquing her material in an intelligent and humurous way. And if no-one ever critiques her material, how the hell is she ever going to realise how bad it is? It’s really important to talk about these anti-feminist cultural phenomenons because there seem to be a disturbing amount of them lately.

    So again: your blog, your life, your rules. But I just wanted you to know I’m sad about this decision because I feel you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. This was my new favourite thing to come and read and I really looked forward to your recaps every week. I hope someone else picks up the snarking of this, or that your next project is just as amusing.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  40. Kelsey
    Kelsey

    Well, I’m not going to sit here and say I’m not disappointed – I was enjoying the recaps. But I also understand and think you’re doing the right thing, so I suppose I’ll just have to accept that 😛

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  41. Sharon
    Sharon

    When you start snarking your own books, I’m kinda hoping that the STGRB will complain about you being so mean to poor Jennifer Armintrout. Because the snark possibilities on that are just endless. 🙂

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  42. Janine
    Janine

    I feel you re: the Anna Todd thing- I actually started reading After in anticipation of these recaps and there are tons of chapters where she calls out to a random reader in an author’s note to congratulate them on their birthday or to comfort them as they go through a hard time.

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  43. ali
    ali

    synchronicity in the universe: today my sister showed me this video of cats rocking it to “turn down for what”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaxGT9FcHU8

    you do you, jenny. <3

    p.s. i'm totally looking forward to the blood ties recaps!

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  44. Ange
    Ange

    So Jenny is there somewhere we can buy the blood ties series to read along? Even if you think it’s problematic I’d like to support it and I’ve never found it anywhere.

    June 9, 2014
    |Reply
    • Megan M.
      Megan M.

      Look for “blood ties Jennifer Armintrout” on Amazon.

      June 9, 2014
      |Reply
      • Ange
        Ange

        Thanks 🙂 I can get every book of the series for kindle except one, durn it!

        June 10, 2014
        |Reply
        • Ange
          Ange

          I should point out I’m an Aussie so can’t seem to get any paperbacks locally either. Boo!

          June 10, 2014
          |Reply
  45. I have an idea for you. Plenty of your readers are writers of varying levels of success/popularity. We obviously enjoy your recaps and snarking. Why not put out an open call for readers to volunteer their own work for recapping?

    June 9, 2014
    |Reply
  46. CoolHandLuke
    CoolHandLuke

    “And I feel like a total dick.”

    You should.

    June 9, 2014
    |Reply
    • Field tripping from STGRB?

      There is nothing wrong with an honest critique.

      June 9, 2014
      |Reply
  47. Since it sounds like Anna will get a real editor, and might actually listen to advice, how about continuing to recap, though not meanly, to compare to the final published work? Then readers could either see how she ignored her editors, or, hopefully, how much a finished work can be from the first draft? Maybe let people snicker now, and then have their eyes bug out of the finished piece is improved.

    I actually enjoy seeing others’ writing processes.

    June 9, 2014
    |Reply
  48. Lindsay
    Lindsay

    You are so honest. I know you don’t do this for praise or reward, but if you’re ever in Detroit drinks are on me.

    June 10, 2014
    |Reply

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