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Thread: Debriefing Dana/Slayer Memories by Hello_Spikey starting on 21st September 2018

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    Default Debriefing Dana/Slayer Memories by Hello_Spikey starting on 21st September 2018

    Hey all,

    we are going to discuss

    Debriefing Dana/Slayer Memories by Hello_Spikey

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/15...pters/35706765

    from next Friday on.

    This is a story with about 18k words. When I put up the date for this discussion, i forgot, that season 12 issue 4 will be published next week and we will all be reading and discussing the end to all Buffy seasons until we are blue in the face I hope you will find the time to read and discuss this story nevertheless.

    It is a Post-Damage fic. I am looking forward to it!

    I also take the opportunity to ask for suggestions for the upcoming discussions in the suggestion thread.

    flow

    ETA: If you are Hello_Spikey or a writer of fanfiction and you have found your way to this thread, please be so kind as to read this
    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...re-you-proceed!
    before you proceed. Thank you for your consideration.
    Last edited by flow; 26-10-18 at 09:29 AM.
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    I'm procrastinating so I've just skimmed the opening chapter. It looks good flow! If I stop procrastinating and do what I'm supposed to do, I might just have time to read it. Alternatively, I could procrastinate by reading it...kill two (or three) birds with one stone. Sigh...I have a headache now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Read it - good but could have been better.

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    I'd agree. It'll be interesting to see when we discuss it next week if it's for the same reasons.

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    I admit I haven't read this but normally I love hello spikey's writing. I adored her kink/slashfics she used to post up on Live Journal.

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    I drafted out my thoughts yesterday and hope others will join who have read it. I'm really interested to hear how others feel on this one. So I'm going to start the ball rolling...

    What an intriguing idea for a fic, getting to see what happens next with Dana is brilliant. Generally I thought it was interesting and very well done. I especially liked how Dana's inner trauma was explored. Unfortunately there were a few decisions characters made which were hard to accept and stopped it being a fabulous story for me, which was a shame because outside of those issues I thought it was really great.

    The idea of Spike developing an approach with slayers, (threatening to kill on a set day, applauding her victory over another vamp) fits the notion of it being a performance, a role he envisages and plays out. Hearing about this from a slayer he didn't get to eventually fight was a clever idea to show him having targeted others but not having a higher number he'd killed. I liked this little addition a lot.

    Dana's interjections and references to Spike that Buffy kept dismissing were well done. The idea of Dana gaining a fixation with him because of how broken she is along with having Buffy's memories of him was brilliant. How that would mix in a troubling way in Dana's mind along with the other slayer memories and her own, and her specific meeting with Spike too, was excellent. I thought the snippets that gave a sense of Dana moving forward as she is treated were good and I loved her fixation/fear in her repeated deaths and her disconnection from her parents. The mix of good, violence, and uncertainty in her time being schooled and questioned was clever. Her like and dislike of physical contact too. The chaotic mess of Dana's mind was exceptionally well done. The inclusions of points of stark clarity, such as her surety of why she took away Spike's hands sat against Buffy saying Dana didn't know what she was doing, as a great touch to show how little those around her were understanding her.

    Buffy's connection with Dana, that sense of knowing her as a slayer, works well with canon of course. That she's so lost herself in the story and with having suffered some psychological trauma herself, it makes sense that she is feeling that draw to helping Dana. I think delaying the reveal/realisation Spike was really alive until after Buffy had spent some time with Dana was a good choice for looking to then continue their relationship, but this is where the problems start for me. I don't think there is really any solid justification for Buffy choosing to break Dana out. That she is managing to look beyond hearing that Dana cut off his arms is remarkable enough to be honest, but with a good deal of time having passed and as Dana has been getting help I can see that Buffy could do this. But knowing that Dana also has other slayer's memories plaguing her, her choice to take Dana with her is really poorly considered and I don't think it is justified well enough when Buffy has contacts where she is going and indeed heads straight to where Spike is.

    The internal thoughts and states of minds of the characters generally continues to be solid though and Dana's possessiveness over Spike, her wish to have him for herself (or perhaps to 'share' him) is well considered. The mix of anger and desire works I think for how broken she is, how affected she is by her own trauma along with the memories, but it is disturbing and has a deep disconnection inherent to it that is so well done. I also really loved the ideas that Angel may have been bothered that Buffy didn't contact him or go to LA to regroup. The Buffy/Angel argument was great really and her accusing Angel of taking the chance to attack Spike's ego and the effect that could have, the whole banter and understanding between her and Angel, was all done really well. But the whole time I'm reading this I'm wondering why the flibberty heck anyone would leave Spike with Dana, it's another truly hard to fathom choice.

    I can understand why Buffy went off alone to LA and can see perhaps that in the mix of emotional responses why she might believe in her connection with Dana and in Dana's 'like' of Spike to believe Dana understands what he means to Buffy. I also accept that Buffy doesn't understand the extent to which Dana is traumatised and how damaged her thinking is within. Perhaps there is also a degree to which the whole situation is overwhelming, but the main reasons I can think of why Spike is left with Dana are about what the author is wanting to explore and wanting to occur. I assume there may have been a drive to see how Buffy would have responded to what happened to Spike with Dana in AtS if she'd been there and maybe to show the care both Angel and Buffy have for him together. But this all requires the horrific history specifically between Dana and Spike to be getting entirely brushed aside by both protags and it's just too hard to believe. Spike is being set up to be hurt again just to draw responses from the other characters. If this was the first time Dana and Spike had met and they didn't truly understand how broken she was, how the mix of memories might make her a threat I could understand, but that is so far from the situation.

    Even if I'm rolling with the idea that Buffy and Angel are somewhat affected by the suddenness of the meeting, Spike's choice then to take Dana off somewhere that totally isolates them is ridiculous. Especially as she is being overtly sexual with him and he is shown to be uncomfortable with dealing with it. I think his crumble at the words thrown at him from Dana's memory could work, but wasn't built into enough for the emotional impact to be great enough for her to overpower him again as she manages, for him to not manage the situation better, be seeing or outright calling for assistance.

    I think Spike's dismissal of having been raped is sad but believable. I can see the memory of the words mattering more to him as it all connects with his sense of self-worth and into his acceptance of what happened. Buffy trying to avoid talking, saying they are both too good at wounding with words links to this and how they've hurt each other in the past. But the elation at being with him again, I really felt. The emotional aftermath is somewhat hit and miss. Dana's ongoing confusion as she awakes bound in a hospital bed, why Spike wasn't hers, why it didn't work, really just continues the great exploration of how disturbed she is. The scene with the three, of them as Buffy and Spike try to talk to Dana to get her to understand how what she did was wrong was tense and layered, but again was difficult to imagine them looking to work on an ongoing relationship with her after. It felt as if they were still not truly considering her problems and their histories.

    So a bit of a mixed bag, as always. Overall I'm left feeling like the characters' logic is too hard to parse at specific points and it feels like they do illogical things just to head it where the writer wants rather than the story working with the choices. But some aspects of this story I thought were truly fantastic. I loved the premise of following the 'what happened next' for Dana and I thought the exploration of what would be an utterly confusing melee in her mind was brilliant. But Buffy taking Dana in the first place even though she was unhinged/had mutilated Spike/wasn't needed, leaving Spike to deal with Dana despite their history and Spike isolating himself taking Dana to her room despite what she did to him/how she was behaving right then, were all really big stumbling blocks against it being a perfect story for me. Just one might have been easier to shrug off, but they were pivotal decisions and they just weren't adequately/reasonably justified I don't think. Also, having Buffy and Spike committing to helping her I assume was a finishing point that was supposed to be showing compassion and resolve, but considering how connected they are to some really negative memories she has too you could argue she would be better off if they left others to help her and exited stage left! It just felt like they were still ignoring how damaged and dangerous she is. But perhaps that was the point.

    Despite my reservations and complaints I'd still recommend this story, the good bits are really very good and it is an unusual story. I'd love to read similar ones.

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    The writing was really good. There were some good lines, such as Dana's 'I've died three thousand times,' which was really affecting.

    The language was a little un-pc and old fashioned, with Dana constantly being called 'mad'. We know she's suffering from specific and unique issues, and to reduce that to 'oh she's mad' seems a bit cold and unfeeling and shows a real lack of understanding of her situation I thought. Though the writer was trying to make Buffy seem more caring than Dana's doctor, that didn't work for me because of the language.

    Harmony was great in this fic. Hello_Spikey captured her really well.

    The major problem I had with this fic was Buffy's decision to take Dana out of the facility and take her to LA. There was absolutely no need to do that. It was a terrible decision and I didn't think Buffy would ever do that. It seemed like the only reason to bring Dana to LA was to put Spike in jeopardy.

    Dana's 'memories' then slowly seemed to change as the fic went on. It begins to sound like Dana isn't just discussing her memories but a though Spike was talking to the benevolent dead. That felt a bit fake to me, and the dead wouldn't be so benevolent and be more angry. That just struck an odd note.

    Overall I did enjoy the fic. The writing was very good and in the main the characterisations were very good. It was also a really interesting concept for a story and I'd not read another that included Dana in such a central role.

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    First of all I have to apologize that i completely forgot about the time scedule for this discussion because of the discussions that were going about with issue 4. Thank you, Stoney, for opening the discussion here.

    I have to agree with Stoney and Priceless. The set up for this story is very unique, the writing is brilliant and the way the writer explores Dana`s mental issues is convincing.

    But to have Buffy, Spike and Dana at the same place, the writer needs Buffy to take Dana to L.A. And to give Dana the Chance to almost kill Spike, the writer needs to get the two of them alone in one room. Both events are completely unbelieveable. Buffy, who has no experience at all with mentally challenged people but knows about Dana`s super strength would never take her to L.A. And for what reason did that happen? Buffy goes straight to W&H. She got the address. Dana on the other side would not have known where to find Angel or Spike. Leaving Spike with Dana alone also makes no sense at all. Why not leave her with Wes? Fred? Lorne? The security People? Xander? Heck, even Harmony would have made more sense then Spike of all people.

    I loved the line Priceless mentioned above. I also loved "He had an eye patch. He looked evil." And I absolutely loved Angel. For once he was a fanatastic character in a Spuffy fanfic, not just a sidekick, who gets bashed all the way.

    On the whole, despite those two major plot holes, this fic is clearly a 7/10 for me.

    flow
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    I forgot about posting too so I guess we're a quorum now. My feelings are in tune with everyone else. I'll add that I think the writer did an excellent job in creating a mood for the story. The writing just sucked me in and made me feel the story.
    Last edited by GoSpuffy; 23-09-18 at 11:21 PM.


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    I also don't have much to add to what everyone else has already said. I also liked the story; the portrayal of Dana's inner turmoil was terrific and I loved Buffy taking care of her. But I agree that Buffy taking Dana to L.A. and then leaving her with Spike was very irresponsible and not very believable. I didn't even notice that the language was "non-PC". I only was a bit disappointed that the story ended quite abruptly. In L.A. the warring influences of the different Slayers "possessing" Dana regarding Spike were revealed, and I was very interested in seeing this further explored. But it hardly lead to anything, with the story being wrapped up really quickly after this first reveal. In my opinion, so much more could have been done with this.

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    Hey, Guys,

    Just read Debriefing Dana again and I agree that it's a really imaginative fic with some really-hard-to-swallow plot twists. I agree with Stoney/Priceless/flow - Hello, Spikey needed to give the reader a more compelling reason why Buffy would bring Dana to W&H. She could have set it up so that Dana was either abused or treated very badly by the Council and only W&H had the ability to help Dana regain her sanity through either a miracle drug or some kind of spell/operation. Of course, this would act as a metaphor for Buffy's own psychological damage after Chosen - with Dana as a doppelganger.

    I can easily see Buffy smuggling Dana to LA if she thought it would drastically improve her situation - especially if the Council's efforts were less than effective. Perhaps the cure goes "wrong" or the Council could have tried to take Dana back - and while Buffy and Angel were fighting/arguing with them or perhaps Eve and each other, Spike and Dana were left alone again. I can also see Spike willingly acting as her temporary solo protector as part of his penance after seeing Buffy again - just enough time for Dana to psychologically and physically break down Spike. Otherwise, it's hard to believe that Buffy and/or Angel would so easily allow for such a nightmarish situation to happen all over again. Especially with Spike begging them not to leave her with him alone. That was somewhat out-of-character and threw me out of the fic.

    It's a terrific idea to center the fic around Dana - although I would have really been impressed if we had seen the entire fic through Dana's schizophrenic view. Very hard to do, but really rewarding if you can pull it off without descending into cliches of mental illness - this fic skirted most of them successfully, but I agree with Priceless that there were a few questionable moments.

    I would also imagine a bit more gruesome imagery than Dana pictures in the fic considering her background and her visions - which changed in nature as the plot necessitated and the change could have been explained by some kind of attempt at a "cure" - which could have set her off on Spike without warning.

    Nice characterization of Angel - no bashing here as in many Spuffy fics. The end was a little thuddish - Spike's near final words, "We'll take care of her" are obviously displacement, but should have been voiced in the middle of the fic. It needed something a little stronger to draw blood at the end.

    Altogether, it was a fun read.

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    I'm glad everybody is finding things to appreciate with this story. I obviously agree about the outstanding premise and the excellent quality of the writing. I also agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense for Buffy to bust Dana out and take her to LA. Maybe Buffy felt like she'd found someone who understood how she (Buffy) felt? Or she didn't want to leave Dana in the hands of therapists she felt were Doing It Wrong? IDK. It's a stretch and I remember being amazed that Dana could keep it together for the length of a transcontinental flight.

    However, once they get to W&H, I don't really wonder so much at leaving Spike with Dana. He's a big, strong, Slayer-killing vampire, and he knows enough to take her seriously, or so I'm sure Buffy thought. She has a habit of underplaying other people's challenges, and she especially assumes that Spike will be able to handle anything. It's not especially sensitive, but it is in character for her and for Angel to do this. I do think it's a little odd (but not entirely out of character) that she'd dismiss Spike while having a private convo with Angel, given the recent history there. Again: she's being insensitive. I say that as a huge Buffy fan. And Spike likes to perform as if he isn't afraid, so I can see him thinking it would be silly to worry about being alone with Dana.

    This writer is excellent, but she does tend to make Spike suffer at the hands of those he loves and those he doesn't a lot. In a way, what Dana does isn't even the worst of it, for him. It's being dismissed by Buffy, even temporarily, and being reminded of his past misdeeds toward her.

    Except for Buffy taking Dana to LA, most of this story makes sense for me.

    For those who would like to read more Dana fic by various writers, there is a rec list here: https://fantas-magoria.livejournal.com/400918.html
    Last edited by Rebcake; 23-09-18 at 10:51 PM.
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