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Thread: As Good as a Rest by Quinara starting on 12th October 2018

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    Default As Good as a Rest by Quinara starting on 12th October 2018

    We will be starting to discuss

    As Good as a Rest by Quinara

    from next Friday on. It is the sequel to The More Things Stay the Same and Part two of the Turn and Face the Strain series. It is about 31k words long and you can find it here:

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/26...hapters/418215

    We will discuss the third part - Turn and Face the strain - the week after this discussion has started. I will create a separate thread for the thrid part next week. You can find the discussion for the first part here:


    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...h-October-2018

    flow

    ETA: If you are Quinara 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 09:28 AM.
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    Okay, here are my thoughts on the second of the series...

    That the attempt to have a real relationship, although without full disclosure to her friends at first, was shown as a little rocky and not that all her concerns were instantly smoothed over was good. This story times itself well I think for Buffy looking to give them a chance against canon, although obviously taking it in a different direction with them coming out (as Tara says) and the others coming to accept the relationship. I think the concerns of the other's were shown without it descending into bashing too, which is always preferable. Even though going down this route, the attempt to date, is ignoring issues like his past at least it was acknowledged she's doing that. This doesn't stop that being problematic against the relationship of course, but Buffy's willingness to give things a try at this point when she is distanced from her past self and is re-establishing her life works passably I think. It's really the only blip in characterisation to me, that Buffy is going to look past Spike's problem in seeing the lines and what he has done in the past, who he is. Her trying and considering it around this point in her life I don't think is an issue, and I think she does briefly consider it around this time, it's just that the issues that are there and can't be 'fixed' are being set aside. Eventually I think they would push back to the fore for her and we'll see if this ends up being addressed or avoided in the final part of the series.

    I like the psychological exploration that the writer chose to go for her in how Buffy could struggle with her own death and Spike's undead status melding. That finding Katrina managed to trigger this was good against canon and how Buffy was shown to be unnerved by her dreams/thoughts/responses and how this reflects on her own sense of self at this point was excellent. It's a really interesting factor that I don't remember another story really getting into in this way.

    The snarky conversation between Dawn and Buffy was good. And I adored this snippet of their dynamic and Buffy's self examination, "Spike tended towards impatience bordering on categorical incapacity to wait five minutes, so you couldn’t trust him to follow the rules of the habit – which was possibly more just something she liked to do?" However, in comparison and going against one of the things I liked most in the first fic, Buffy and Spike's loooong conversation about her difficulty resolving feeling alive with him against his dead status dragged. It just became far too heavy and about the character working out their inner turmoil out loud, articulated to another. I was glad Spike eventually turned to wanting to work past it, a straight acceptance of the rejection despite how things had been seemed unlikely, particularly as the trigger for Buffy's reaction was psychologically understandable.

    Spike is being written a little bit too 'good' perhaps. Not unusual in stories that want to go with him unsouled, but it isn't as overdone as you sometimes find. He is still shown to bristle and respond badly when challenged, even if the writer has Buffy considering that he isn't quite like that in truth when you get to know him. He's being written to be a little bit more sensitive and less selfish perhaps, although I did like that his gallantry was somewhat limited in truth. This direction for them isn't without ruckles but it is being written well as the start of a different path without just trying to make everything perfect instantly.

    The new crossover with Kate is interesting. I liked her character and use in AtS so I was happy to see her shift to Sunnydale, even if it's a little bit of an awkward fit and hard to believe that she'd have transferred to SD. Her possible friendship with Buffy works well though I think and I can see her getting on with Tara as happened at the party too. Buffy's wariness of taking the job and knee jerk reaction to change even if it could be better I felt worked well with a natural reluctance to have that sense of accountability within a hierarchy. It was also another 'official' sense of responsibility on top of everything she is dealing with. The prospect and worries of what unforeseen complications/issues change could bring a realistic one for where she is at this point.

    I enjoyed the scenes with Dawn and Willow finding out about Spike and the coupley conversation she/Spike continued to have about the job options. The alternate birthday party worked well to move her relationship with both Spike and Kate forward and bring the relationship out into the open. However, this didn't really feel much like a story in its own right though, just very much part of a wider story. If there had been more worked in around the story's use of Warren, so that his role was more central than just a tag on to Kate's appearance I think this instalment would have felt more like an individual story which also moved the series forwards. I still enjoyed it and like the writer's characterisations and voicing, but it didn't work as well stood alone as the first did. Again I feel that this is a really solid attempt to write things going in a different direction and I'm looking forward to the final part.

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    The discussions is officially open, folks!
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    I haven't read this one yet, but I shall begin today

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    When I started reading the second part I was thinking "Oh my god, Buffy is having all those doubts and resentments about Spike again. This is nothing that`s new."

    But then her dream got introduced (quite late through the story) and suddenly everything fell into place and made sense. I could relate to Buffy`s feelings about Spike`s (un)dead condition and I actually loved how she talked to him about it. I loved that she talked to him about it at all and I loved the way she was really having difficulties talking about it but made the effort nonetheless.

    I may have said this plenty of times before. I don`t like fix it fics. There are countless fics, where (soulless) Spike becomes a Mary Sue in season 6 and fixes every little Problem Buffy has (he himself has of course none at all) and everything turns out to be roses and teddy bears.

    This series has a rather unique approach. We have Buffy and Spike trying to make their season 6 relationship work, but it doesn`t turn out to be all wonderful and easy going. It is really hard work, difficult for both of them to manage and Buffy still has (justified) doubts and she also is still depressed. At the same time Spike is still soulless and therefore his understanding of her emotional issues is limited. But they both try.

    The series goes in a very different direction compared to canon, where the restriction that Spike`s soullessness and in a minor way also Buffy`s depression made a relationship impossible.

    Here we see an attempt at making the relationship work, but the road is still bumpy and they struggle. I have to admit, that I have already read ahead and therefore know, how it will end. But at this point of the series it is still possible to go in every direction.

    I think, it is really well written with excellent characterization and voicing, especially for Buffy`s insecurities and fears.

    flow
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    Sorry I didn't wait for the official opening of the discussion!

    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    This series has a rather unique approach. We have Buffy and Spike trying to make their season 6 relationship work, but it doesn`t turn out to be all wonderful and easy going. It is really hard work, difficult for both of them to manage and Buffy still has (justified) doubts and she also is still depressed. At the same time Spike is still soulless and therefore his understanding of her emotional issues is limited. But they both try.
    I think this sits well against canon in the sense of where it fits then heads off down a different route. Using the trip to LA to see Wes in the first story, giving them some time out of sunnydale where they experienced different responses to what they would expect was a great spring board for this following section of the series when they return and try to continue the relationship. I honestly don't remember if they ever try to address the issues with his limitations/murderous past in this fic, but setting it within the point in canon where Buffy I do think briefly toys with whether it could ever work is good. What I really like about this series is that even if they do skirt past some of the thornier aspects of having Spike stay soulless, they aren't making it easy and without issues for them to work through. Despite the fact that characterisation wise I think eventually those issues would flare, as an alternate that uses Buffy's return and depression to trigger her reassessing her life and being willing to try and keep working at it, I think it is still the most plausible and well written approach to a soulless fic that I can remember reading (which is what I thought the first time). Really looking forward to reading the third, and will cross fingers and toes that I manage to find time to fit it in before next Fri.

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    Stoney
    What I really like about this series is that even if they do skirt past some of the thornier aspects of having Spike stay soulless, they aren't making it easy and without issues for them to work through.
    Yes, that is absolutely, what I love about this fic too and I have never before read a fic, where the writer went down that particular road.

    Stoney:
    Really looking forward to reading the third, and will cross fingers and toes that I manage to find time to fit it in before next Fri.
    We`ve got until Friday fortnight!

    flow
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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    We`ve got until Friday fortnight!
    Oh that one doesn't start until the 26th? I'll be surprised if I don't have time to read it by then.

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    I like part one more than part two. There was more action in it. I find the story interesting and easy to read but bogged down in the heaviness of Buffy's internal thinking. I think that's what the author is going for so they at successful it's just I like my spuffy a little more light and playful with lots of humor and banter. Spike seems both to good and too serious in the story.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    I enjoyed this part as much as the first. Personally I don't think Spike needs to have a soul to be in a successful relationship with Buffy, but of course as a soulless vampire he has his limitations and I do like it if stories do not sweep them under the rug. I also liked Kate in this story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Dutchess View Post
    as a soulless vampire he has his limitations and I do like it if stories do not sweep them under the rug
    Last night I read a very enjoyable Spuffy story set in S4 and I realized that I have to amend that statement. Actually I don't mind if they do, at least in case of fluffy lighthearted stories. I don't expect those to address the moral quandaries of Buffy getting it on with soulless Spike, except maybe just as a passing thought (or something Buffy will worry about "tomorrow") . For more serious stories I do like it if they are addressed, but it's not a deal breaker to me if they don't.

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