Saturday, March 21, 2009

Throwing the Perfect Wankfest

Seems like every couple of weeks (hell, maybe more often than that, but I don't get out much) a wild 'n' crazy go-round kicks up in Writer Land. Some people have a genuine flair for staging these kinds of things. I don't. So, of course, I had to make a study of them.

From what I've been able to gather, there are certain components essential to a successful Wankfest. Here's a bulleted checklist I've compiled. Should you ever want to launch your own Wankfest, just make sure you have the following:

  • Live Journal account. I really don't know why this is important, but it sure as hell seems to be. LJ is the preferred venue for Wankfests.

  • Attitude (and plenty of it). Now pay attention, because there's a difference between a mere rant and a Wankfest. Attitude in and of itself has many variations. Basically, there are "acute" or ephemeral attitudes, like the one I have this week because some virus has invaded my body (or the one you might have because your partner has been a complete dickhead or your computer is being difficult or your boss is a complete dickhead or your kids are acting up or your publishing company is rife with complete dickheads). Then there are "chronic" or permanent attitudes, which stem from fixed mindsets and the issues that trip our self-righteousness triggers. Acute attitudes usually result in mere rants; chronic attitudes are the true progenitors of Wankfests. (Of course, there are exceptions. With some people, the acute and chronic are inextricably linked.)

  • A worthy enemy or enemies. Well, duh, you can't work up and keep up a proper head of steam without someone or something out there stoking your ire. So choose your enemies well. Make sure he/she/it is good for at least a week's worth of wank. Wankfest attendees have short attention spans and lose interest if one trebuchet full of shit isn't quickly followed by another, even bigger hurl.

  • Like-minded allies. It's tough to be the only person on your side. You need homies. Homies will cover your back when you're away from the computer and out dealing with those RW forces that have made or helped make you ornery to begin with. Homies (cynics call them "suck-ups" or "sock puppets") will also reinforce your sense of moral rectitude, which in turn contributes to your . . .

  • Stamina. A Wankfest is essentially a war of attrition. You must be able to hold out longer than your opponent(s). You must be able to fling the conclusive glob of really stinky shit when your enemy least expects it and isn't ready with a comeback. This amounts to having the last word, and it is the last word that (you can only hope) will stick, so to speak, in attendees' minds.

CAVEAT: Based on my observations, Wankfests can be like crack. Stage them sparingly. If you attend them, pop in and out without drawing too much attention to yourself, lest you end up being affiliated with one side or the other. And, if you're an author, always remember:


Jenre said...


This is so funny KZ and yet also cringingly true.

Wankfests fascinate but also frighten me. I admit I look for a little while, open mouthed in amazement at what people will say to each other - and usually over something extremely trivial. Then I have to stop looking as I worry that all the 'hate vibes' might start to affect me too!

Of course, I have been known to rant on occasion.

Clare London said...

My God, what a sharp and witty assessment *lol*. So bloody true. They scare the hell out of me, I don't mind admitting. No one comes out of them well, no one is encouraged or supported or made a better person as a result of them. Yes, like Jen I sometimes start with the 'open-mouthed' approach, then it's like following a train wreck.

I like the idea of defferentiation between occasional rant and chronic wankery. *hehe*

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, guys!

I, too, am always astonished as well as fascinated by these events. They're mini-courses in human nature, which I find endlessly intriguing.

Some people will take umbrage at the most innocuous things. I don't know if this is the result of thin skin or a vivid imagination or what; I'm just glad I'm not cursed with it, whatever "it" is.

Hey, we all get ranty once in a while. It's therapeutic. To tell you the truth, I don't trust boundlessly, ceaselessly "nice" people any more than I trust the meanies. Extremes of any type have always made me uneasy.

(So, Clare, you got a firm pub date for Freeman? I thought I saw something at one of your sites. Can't wait! And have you taken your trip to NYC yet?)

Clare London said...

Arrgghh...just sent back the latest edits. There can't be TOO much more to go, can there?! *laugh manically*. Believe me, I'll be trumpeting the date as soon as I know it. Thanks for still asking! I dread people having just moved on by the time it comes out...LOL

NYC next Thursday!! *makes diary note to blog about it this week*. I'm really excited about the trip, meeting new people, shopping in NYC, blabbing on about my books and plenty of other great fiction - what's not to like?!

And there have been some great reviews for your Utopia-X series, right?! Congratulations. #2 is top of my plane-reading list ^_~.

K. Z. Snow said...

Hey, no way can I forget about poor Freeman! Once I read an excerpt that sticks with me, I become fixated on that book.

No reviews for UX2 that I'm aware of. I'm hardly a shining star in the GLBT firmament, so I never get my hopes up when a book comes out. One best survives in the publishing world, I've come to believe, by checking one's expectations at the door.

UX3, though, should be coming out in June, so at least I have something to look forward to! My editor thinks it's the best book of the series. But she is my editor, after all, and if she didn't say things like that, I'd have to fire her. :-D

Do be sure to tell me about your trip, Clare. I so envy you. I adore New York City!