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Sunnydale Fanfic Club Discussion #5: Unconquerable Souls

Grace

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This thread is for discussion of the Sunnydale Fanfic Club podcast. The next story will be:

Unconquerable Souls
by @Taaroko
Summary: Wishverse. With the help of the White Hats, Buffy and Angel have, for the most part, taken Sunnydale back from the monsters. Now, one thing after another keeps coming along to make sure they can't enjoy the fruits of their labors, from a lengthy Council inspection, to the fine print of Angel's curse, to the return of Darla.
Rating: Teen and Up
Words: 20,774
Relationships: Angel/Buffy Summers, Jenny Calendar/Rupert Giles

This is a sequel to a one-shot from 2010 that I recommend you read first: Windows to the Soul

The podcast episode with the author is set to be released on Jan. 8.
 
JforJenny
JforJenny
You are an Angel!

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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@Taaroko - I know you are off somewhere writing Punisher fic (which I should get around to reading soon) but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed hearing you talk on this podcast. It's interesting to get the perspective from someone who is actually educated and trained with a degree in literature on writing fan fiction (the rotating third person perspective is interesting too and I hope to learn to break up the perspective a little better so that its scene based and it doesn't feel so choppy). I'm glad you straightened out the co-host regarding her misunderstanding on your fic regarding the demon getting stronger versus the soul getting stronger because I was basically like yelling in my car - "Umm no she is NOT saying that."

Great story and I'm glad we got to hear your take on it! :)
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Hahaha, it'd be awesome to get some more overlap between the Buffyverse fandom and the Punisher fandom.

I was so excited when I first found out that there was a term for my favorite kind of third person. I think I might've said it wrong in the podcast. Officially, it's Third Person Rotating Limited. (I think it sounds better to say Rotating Third Person Limited, but whatever.) I can't remember if I said this, but I feel like forcing yourself to stay inside one person's head for a whole scene helps you learn a lot about that character, and it also forces you to think harder about how other characters express themselves (and how much of that the POV character would even notice). The narration can also be flavored by the voice of the POV character, but it doesn't have the forced introspective quality of actual first person, which doesn't really work for some characters.

I have lots of tricky plans for messing with perspective in my original fiction. One series will be kind of a blend of third person limited and third person external (that's where you don't get the thoughts and emotions of any character at all, just their tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language), because the main girl is an empath, so the readers will have access to the emotions she feels in other people, but only when she's the POV character, and we'll only get internal information in her scenes. Another series will be entirely third person external...until the character who has actually been the narrator the whole time shows up several books in and it becomes clear it's really been first person all along. Really excited about that (except for the part where it might have to switch to present tense too, because I *loathe* present tense). Perspective is probably one of the more technical things about writing that I can seriously geek out over.

The image of you yelling in your car almost made me burst out laughing at work. I was really surprised when she started talking about the demon getting stronger. No no no, it's the soul that gets stronger, which, ironically and unfortunately, is a huge problem because Angel's curse was designed for misery and cannot hold onto a soul that strong.

I'm glad I was fun to listen to! :)
 

Kairos

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HERE I COME HERE I COME! I haven't actually listened to the podcast yet, I just finished the fic and I'm really excited about it! Love that the show has been on such a consistent schedule, but I'm not, so I've fallen way behind just like I did with IWRY.

Lucky for me, two of the episodes I really wanted to hear were also IWRY stories, so now I'm just reading backward through time and I'll end up at Grace's fic and then I can listen to her episode too.

Like, I swear, I'm not really dead! I exist in fandom! You guys are the best and I'm totally jazzed about your stories and podcasts!
 

Mrs Gordo

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Like, I swear, I'm not really dead! I exist in fandom! You guys are the best and I'm totally jazzed about your stories and podcasts!

tenor.gif


You're also off writing Punisher fics! lol ;)
 
Kairos
Kairos
That is happening, yes. XD

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Messages
438
Hey, @Grace and @dcai0830, thanks for your fan questions! Did I answer them enough or is there more you wanted to discuss related to them? (I'm guessing I also have you to thank for the fic being recommended to Jenny and Quincy. I really appreciate it!)
 

Mrs Gordo

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Hey, @Grace and @dcai0830, thanks for your fan questions! Did I answer them enough or is there more you wanted to discuss related to them? (I'm guessing I also have you to thank for the fic being recommended to Jenny and Quincy. I really appreciate it!)

Actually I had not got around to recommending another fic. So it was another one of your fans.

Yes you did answer my question. I do think it’s interering that you mention that Darla thainks that Buffy is the rebound because that is what Tim Minear said he wrote the s2 around, this notion that Darla was the first and Buffy was the rebound girl. And he basically says it as much in GWBG.

While I obviously disagree with calling Buffy the rebound chick. I find TM perspective interesting. And I like the idea that it is what Darla thinks but it’s not what Angel thinks.
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Messages
438
Oh, dang, really? Does Tim Minear not like Buffy or something? *narrows eyes* Wait a second... *checks writing credits of "Sanctuary"* Holy crap. He (and Joss) wrote it. I'm thinking Tim Minear didn't like Buffy, because she comes across as way harsher in that episode than I would expect even under those circumstances. I've always had a really hard time sympathizing with her there, and that would make sense if one of the writers who wrote it didn't like her and the other wanted to be done with Buffy/Angel. Thankfully DB never played it like Buffy was a rebound for Angel and the other writers didn't seem to think she was one. But yeah, Darla's dialogue makes it pretty clear that she believes it, because it's easier than believing someone else is her boy's soulmate.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Oh, dang, really? Does Tim Minear not like Buffy or something? *narrows eyes* Wait a second... *checks writing credits of "Sanctuary"* Holy crap. He (and Joss) wrote it. I'm thinking Tim Minear didn't like Buffy, because she comes across as way harsher in that episode than I would expect even under those circumstances. I've always had a really hard time sympathizing with her there, and that would make sense if one of the writers who wrote it didn't like her and the other wanted to be done with Buffy/Angel. Thankfully DB never played it like Buffy was a rebound for Angel and the other writers didn't seem to think she was one. But yeah, Darla's dialogue makes it pretty clear that she believes it, because it's easier than believing someone else is her boy's soulmate.

Oddly enough, Tim Minear is very respectful of Bangel - he has called them the great mythic romance and he was against the Cangel relationship because he felt that while Darla didn't touch the Buffy and Angel dynamic (because it was based on his history) the Cangel relationship did. I think the issue is he didn't come to Angel from BTVS. He was tasked with creating a love interest for Angel and so the he went about doing that was by making a decision that it would be the past that would come back around.

But yeah I disagree with him on the whole rebound thing. Although I could see how he would have to look at it from that perspective if he was writing Darla to be as epic as it was in Season 2 you know?
 

Kairos

Joyous Rebel
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Okay! Now posting from the other side!

I don't think I'm being biased when I say this was a great episode. So much covered, not just on the story but the shows, the writing process, mythology, the keyboard code to make the † symbol, that one useless friend who can't come up with any demon names for you...

Some of the things they asked and commented about were really neat and I hadn't expected them at all, like the appreciation of your author's notes. I like those too. I would do them more often myself but it turns out once I've finished a chapter or a story, all the running commentary in my head dries up and doesn't turn on again until people start asking me questions.

Oh and yeah I didn't know the term Rotating Third Person Limited, either, and I have a hard time not writing in that format for anything longer than a one-shot. Dcai's right, it's cool to get the educated perspective. :)
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Bahahaha, you did help with that name! I don't think I would've keyboard smashed right then if we hadn't been talking about it, and no two keyboard smashes are alike, so I definitely would've ended up with something different than Naqraw.

Feeling pretty validated about those author's notes now! :D

Yeah, Rotating Third Person Limited comes so naturally. It's weird looking back on when I had to make an effort not to flit in and out of everyone's heads willy-nilly.
 

Mrs Gordo

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Yeah, Rotating Third Person Limited comes so naturally. It's weird looking back on when I had to make an effort not to flit in and out of everyone's heads willy-nilly.

Do you make yourself stay in that one persons pov for each scene/chapter/section? I notice sometimes I’m writing from Buffy’s perspective and I think I want to know what Angel is thinking so I switch but when you go back and read it gets confusing. But it’s hard to resist the urge to communicate what Angel is feeling at that moment.
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Yeah, I stick with the same PoV character for an entire scene. Sometimes I end up with writer's block in the middle of a scene or before writing it, and then later I realize it's because I picked the wrong character as the PoV character. (That just happened in the Punisher fic I'm writing.) I've rewritten entire scenes to be from a different character's PoV before, and it's always been worth it, even though sometimes I'm sad to let go of the insights into the initial PoV character's thoughts and feelings. And sometimes if I need to switch the PoV, I just have a scene break before the actual scene is over, but that doesn't happen very often.
 

Mrs Gordo

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But - and feel free to start ignoring me but I literally know nothing about story telling writing - if you are doing third person omniscient is it generally acceptable to slip in and out of different perspectives throughout your writing?

**I never took classes on creative/story telling type writing. The only English class I took in college was Persuasive Writing to help me in law school. There is no dialogue. It is very structured and dry analysis. So this is a whole new world for me! I'm trying to pick your brain a little :)
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Yeah, that's third person omniscient. Free access to any character's thoughts (or just the omniscient knowledge of the narrator that no actual character may know) at any given point. I don't like third person omniscient because I feel like imposing limitations improves the creativity. If you can't just come right out and say what characters X, Y, and Z are thinking, you have to come up with a different way of conveying that information, and it feels more earned. That's why I like third person external (which is basically the perspective of a camera) and rotating third person limited better.

Heh, I taught persuasive writing for five semesters (during and after my master's program) before I got sick of grading papers and got a copywriting job.
 

Kairos

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Bahahaha, you did help with that name! I don't think I would've keyboard smashed right then if we hadn't been talking about it, and no two keyboard smashes are alike, so I definitely would've ended up with something different than Naqraw.

Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure that my actual response was along the lines of, "I can't even come up with a name for this alien race I'm trying to write an entire novel about," and guess what? I still don't have a name I like.

See, the reason I find third person omniscient so difficult is that I'm sure there's a way to make it sound balanced and natural and I just don't know what that is. I'm used to showing what Buffy is thinking in a scene if it's her POV; if it's everyone's POV, do I have to put in Angel's thoughts too? Do we not get anyone's thoughts? Can I just meander from Buffy's thoughts to Angel's thoughts without a page break? Sweet Lord, that's horrifying. You cannot take my page breaks away from me!
 

Mrs Gordo

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How do I do the crosses without a mac? (says the PC user?)

Do you all mind if i uses the crosses too ? :)
 

Taaroko

Gunner of the USS Buffy/Angel
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Alt + 0134. Go ahead and use it! It's always been a page break that made the most sense for this show to me!

(I use an X for TVD fanfiction page breaks, since crosses aren't really a thing with those vampires, I use DD for Daredevil fanfiction, and I used >>>-----> for Robin Hood fanfiction. Page breaks are awesome!)
 
Kairos
Kairos
The Robin Hood one is brilliant!

Grace

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Finally got a chance to finish the episode, and it was really great! The background details for the story and for your whole fandom journey were very interesting, @Taaroko.

Now I get to catch up with the entire thread! Yippee!

Really excited about that (except for the part where it might have to switch to present tense too, because I *loathe* present tense).

I just wrote a whole story in present tense and I have decided I do not like it much either. It was definitely an experiment, but I wanted it to feel like a TV episode. Your ideas for playing with perspective in your original fiction sound so neat and I'm going to scrub them from my brain now so when I read them for real someday it still comes as a surprise. :)

Hey, @Grace and @dcai0830, thanks for your fan questions! Did I answer them enough or is there more you wanted to discuss related to them? (I'm guessing I also have you to thank for the fic being recommended to Jenny and Quincy. I really appreciate it!)

I definitely recommended Dancing with Death (which I know @JforJenny also read because she recommended it at the end). You know I'm particularly devoted to that one. So the person who recommended Unconquerable Souls remains a mystery! It was a good pick, though!

I loved getting more details about your choices with Michael, because I did feel bad for him. I thought it made sense, though, and of course sometimes there have to be casualties to keep the stakes high. I liked how you came up with Naqraw for the demon, and I had forgotten about the soul-eater on AtS!

I'm thinking Tim Minear didn't like Buffy, because she comes across as way harsher in that episode than I would expect even under those circumstances

The scenes with Buffy herself were written by Joss. Tim Minear wrote the rest of the episode but didn't feel like he could write Buffy, so he asked Joss to do it. So the context Buffy was in was set up by TM, but it was Joss who was responsible for what she said. In the Joss bio that came out a few years ago, there's a funny story about how Joss told TM he didn't need a co-writer credit, but TM a) didn't want to take credit for stuff that wasn't his and b) wanted to have a co-writing credit with Joss in which Joss came second! ;)

Go ahead and use it! It's always been a page break that made the most sense for this show to me!

This was one of those things I absorbed by osmosis, I think. I started using crosses right away when I started having the need for scene breaks. It truly is fitting.
 
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