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Thread: So you're stranded on a desert island with a fanfic to read.....

  1. #21
    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
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    I'm going by what people who have read it have described it to me as and the perspective it gives of Buffy and Spike's S6 relationship. I really dislike stories that aim to 'correct' canon by having characters realise the truth of what was shown and how it wasn't what they had understood (effectively how canon left it). Often this is Buffy coming to see how she mistreated Spike and/or the suggestion that if only she had appreciated him fully everything would have been better. Sometimes heavy emphasis being put on how she had set him up for misunderstanding her because of how she had treated him in a way that leads to almost victim blaming her for the AR. Often, the disservice to Spike in S6 is revealed and understood by the characters and so appreciated by the reader. It often leans to woobifying Spike and demonising Buffy. The S6 relationship was negative in mutual ways, but often the desire to diminish the difference the soul makes leads writers to try to reduce Spike's limitations by suggesting misunderstanding and prejudice was what held him back. I'm not keen on the idea of a story that's purpose is to seemingly 'fix' what was seen and understood by essentially suggesting the existing canon/character perspectives are wrong and need better informing. Exploring different ideas and changing canon is kind of one of the main purposes of fanfics and I've no issue with that. But I think there are an awful lot of fics post S6 that aim to have Buffy/other characters realise how wrong they were about Spike and/or Buffy and Spike's relationship in S6 and that feels like trying to just tell us canon got it wrong rather than actually developing a tangent themselves.
    Last edited by Stoney; 31-03-19 at 01:21 AM.

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  3. #22
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    I really don`t want to talk you into reading Demons, Stoney, but if you want to have a glimpse ... this is for example a conversation we never had in the show in which Spike explains to Buffy why he thinks she came back "wrong". I am not saying I am fully on board with histheory but I think it`s an interesting new perspective and it is brought to us in excellent prose.

    Spoiler:
    He paused then asked carefully, “Have you ever wondered why your resurrection has left you so messed up?”
    And least this answer was easy. She huffed at him, “Because I was in Heaven. Happy. At peace. Free!”
    “So?” He ignored her incensed look and continued. “I mean why’s that such a big deal? I mean, you were blissfully happy for awhile and you know you’ll be blissfully happy again. In fact, you might be the only person alive that knows with certainty that you’ve got an eternity of perfect happiness to look forward to. So why have you been such an unrelenting, suicidal, bitchy fruitcake since you came back?”
    “Do you have any idea how hard the adjustment has been for me to go from—”
    He wasn’t deterred, just talked over her. “Why do you think you felt so free and peaceful in Heaven, Luv?”
    “Because it was Heaven!’ she shouted, exasperated. How was he not getting it!
    “Exactly, and one of the few things I know for sure about Heaven is that it has a limited guest list, no demons allowed.” He stubbed out his cigarette. “Not sure why it took me so long to figure it out, but I’m guessing that when you died and headed through the Pearly Gates, you checked your Slayer-demon at the door.”
    He paused, let the thought sink in, gave her a moment to shout down his theory. She stayed silent, plunged into sudden doubt and unable to mount a counter-argument. He continued. “You got to sit up there on your cloud, plucking your harp, eating bonbons; plain ol Buffy Summers living demon-free. Then, bam, dragged back to Earth, under the earth actually, trapped in a coffin and wedged right back into your mortal body with its resident demonic power.”
    “And the thing is,” he continued, “The thing is now that you know what it’s like to live without a demon, it’s all that you can feel. You can feel its hot angry breath on your neck, feel its craving for power, combat, strength, darkness. You forgot how to use it, embrace it, control it, push it down below the surface.”


    Although I admit that the writer loves Spike more than Buffy. But ... yeah. Somehow I can let the pass. I really don`t know why .

    And here is the added scene to the AR:

    Spoiler:
    Suddenly he was walking towards the door and her fear was superseded. Fury raced up to overtake it.
    Grabbing his arm she dragged him back around to face her. “No, no, absolutely not, no. You don’t get to do that and then walk away. You can’t just do that to me.”
    “I know, I know. I…” He lunged for the toilet and she listened to him puke.
    She waited for him to finish and he sank down to sit on the floor next to the toilet. The anger made her voice shake as she asked, “What the hell was that?”
    “Vodka mostly,” he said flatly as he leant over and flushed the toilet. He wiped his mouth. “Tequila too possibly, don’t really remember.”
    Her voice turned deadly, “Don’t you dare joke.” He held up a hand in apology and she hissed, “Explain yourself.”
    He opened his mouth to speak but couldn’t find the words. His head dropped into his hands.
    For a minute the only sound was the water flowing in the toilet, refilling the cistern. Then he said quietly, “Proved you right in the end, didn’t I?”
    “What?” she asked.
    His voice was low, flat. “Proved myself to be every inch the soulless, evil monster.”
    “You did.” Her tone was as flat as his now, her anger giving way to consuming ache.
    “You wanna say ‘I told you so’? Do a couple of victory laps?” he asked.
    “Sure.” She realised that she was crying, fat silence tears, yet her voice was emotionless as she added: “Yay me.”
    For minutes he just stared at the tiled floor, then he said quietly, “I know it doesn’t mean anything now, but I did try not to be… not to be this.” He swallowed and continued, “But I’ve been lying to you, lying to myself really, telling myself that there’s something in here, something in me, stronger than my death and my demon and the gaping maw where my soul used to be.”
    His voice started to break up. “God, I’m a ****ing moron. I thought I could just suppress my nature through, what… sheer force of will? Pluck and gumption? The power of William Pratt’s half-remembered Victorian moral code?” He swiped his hand across the tear on his cheek. “I thought I just had to want it enough.”
    “Want what enough?” she asked.
    “Want not to be a monster,” he said plainly.
    She watched his tears forming and falling and found herself saying, “It says something, Spike, something important about you, that you want it. That you even tried.”
    His voice was jagged as he said, “Scraping the bottom of the barrel, Slayer, giving points for effort.” He scrubbed his tears away with the heels of his palms then, using the toilet seat for leverage, he pulled himself up shakily. “I need to leave.”
    “Ok.” She didn’t know what else to say.
    At the door he paused and turned back to her. “Look, they say the easiest way to ruin an apology is with an excuse… so I guess I should be glad that there’s no excuse that I can possibly offer here to **** this up.” He looked her in the eye, “I’m very sorry, Buffy.”
    He left and she didn’t see him again for three months.




    kamw30
    Sometimes I thought it was so well written I wondered who the author really was - especially given the authors very sudden arrival and sudden departure
    I hope the writer got a contract. I only wish, we would know. I would buy her or his original fiction in a heartbeat.

    flow
    Last edited by flow; 31-03-19 at 02:05 AM.
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  5. #23
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    But how readable it is/isn't doesn't eradicate my issues with the points I made about seeming writing intent. I'm really not sure about the idea in the first sample you've given, it's an interesting idea I haven't heard before. I don't think it would do Buffy any good to think of herself in those terms, or for it to be true in fact, but Spike's ideas don't have to be accurate for him to voice them. The second scene though makes both Buffy's scene with Xander a bit odd and in particular it makes the incredible crypt scene with Clem pretty nonsensical in tone and for what Spike says in it. It interjects Spike being far too self aware and reasonable, too reasoned and quickly able to rationalise. It really doesn't fit in well at all. These really don't make me feel any differently and the second just confirms my issues with the idea of interjections into canon designed to correct what it said/showed about Spike in S6 and it even disrupts what we did get. I appreciate that you enjoy it, it's obviously well liked as you're all going to be sharing it across islands . But some of what I find off putting is evidenced there and that's without the aspects I've been told are factors and details I've heard about that I find most off-putting and, to be honest, really unpleasant representations of the characters (and that's more than just Spike and Buffy) and of Spike and Buffy's relationship. There are so many fics to read we all have things we choose to avoid and actively dislike and I know this definitely hits that for me.
    Last edited by Stoney; 31-03-19 at 06:32 AM.

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  7. #24
    Sunnydale High Student kamw30's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Okay, likeflow I don’t want you to read something you’re not interested in but I think this one has been a wee bit misrepresented. I certainly don’t think Buffy was ever portrayed as ‘seeing the error of her ways’ . It was more that she genuinely did have feelings for Spike, but denied them because they were a compromise of everything she was. This is a premise than I actually like because if she really wasn’t even a little iN love with him it was just awful. My version of Buffy just isn’t that sort of girl. Flow is also right that the author really does love Spike, but it is in both of his incarnations. I think that some of the S7 parts are even better than the S6. Also this is the super clever, classically educated Spike ( who is also nasty!) But she does a lovely job with Buffy and never really bashes the Scoobies either. Still, each to his own. Lord knows there’s enough fic to go around.

    ....and I’m sad your sitting on your beach, lonesome like
    Last edited by kamw30; 31-03-19 at 07:53 AM.

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  9. #25
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    I don't think it has been misrepresented to me as I've heard specifics about it rather than only general comments or just casual remarks and I've felt the same way about them that the person I've chatted with does, but I understand interpretations can clearly vary. I don't disagree that Buffy had feelings for Spike in S6 and it was very confusing for her, it's something that we've been discussing throughout S6 in the rewatch and I'd say is very much there in the show and deliberately part of their canon relationship. But some of what I've heard about this fic I'd class very much as rewriting and presenting Spike as more reasonable, capable and Buffy as unappreciative. And all to the extent of having her friends/sister intrusively viewing her life in complete graphic detail in order to help her review the level of criticism of Spike when soulless, whilst gaining their own group amended appreciation and understanding of course. Reducing his failings is exampled above, where he instantly sees the impact of the AR rather than having the confusion we saw in canon and mix of responses to it. Just theoretically leaving in a scene you've just undercut isn't fitting in alongside canon it's rewriting it by stealth. Seemingly expanding but instead significantly changing it/the characters in ways that at a glance seem mild but aren't. As I've said before, changing canon and exploring differences is part and parcel of fanfic'ing, but fics that look to show that canon was wrong rather than just rewriting it or going off and developing their own tangent frustrate me and especially so when it is directed at S6 so I prefer to avoid them.

    I'm not sure if it is this fic's S7 or just within Basked where Spike is presented as resentful of the way he's treated in S7. (I see the Angel jealousy of Basked, which I understand that fic to be centred on, as very much a separate thing). If that impression of Spike's pov towards Buffy in S7 is in this too it's just another mark against it for me as her forgiveness and support, her belief he can become a better man, goes above and beyond what he feels about it himself. I think Spike is truly appreciative of what she gives him and the genuine emotional connection they start to forge. But then I don't think canon Spike views their S6/himself the way Demons presents him, so S7 being altered too would be expected. Anyway, I appreciate that that might not actually be this story, I haven't gone back to the original messages I shared about the fic to check, and we can still find interpretations vary of course even if it is.

    I want to add I enjoyed reading Help You Do What? by gwennie I'm certainly not against the writer and think that she is very capable, but I'm 95% confident that her versions of Spike and Buffy and their relationship dynamic in S6 and the writing intent of this story are going to hit my biggest dislikes and I would view as significant rewrites and undermining of canon. I accept I could be wrong as I haven't read it, but I know others that have had that experience themselves and the examples they've given me of why are enough that I won't choose to read this one. I'm happy to accept some people love it and don't feel the same. As you say, there are enough fics out there that we don't all need to agree and like the same things. And I don't want to argue and/or derail the thread any more.

    And please don't feel badly for me, I won't stay isolated. I'm planning on befriending a pod of dolphins and meeting a local turtle that takes me on tours of the island sat on his shell, so I'll be entertained between reading my fic(s). You never know, I might even lure you all to put down Demons, swim over and come to meet the wild dolphins. (Sadly the turtle's a little too shy to greet new people on a first visit.)
    Last edited by Stoney; 31-03-19 at 10:49 AM.

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    Stoney:
    (Sadly the turtle's a little too shy to greet new people on a first visit.)
    We have already seen AllPenguin fics and a Pumpkin!Spike fic. So how about a turtle!Spike fic?He could even meet a dolphin!Buffy ;-) There should be plenty of time on our derserted Islands to write new fics (GoSpuffy, do we have pen and paper?).

    I`ve read Distress Signals (I think it was actually you who recced it to me) and I can see, why you`d pick it. It is a very solid canon fic and it could very well be a continuation of the series because it simply fits and catches each character exactly where they are without changing them in a manner that would make them unrecognizable. It also has a very nice Spike-Xander bonding.

    flow
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    Scooby Gang GoSpuffy's Avatar
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    Sure, why not? If people can be floating fanfics back and forth between islands why can't you choose to bring pen and paper and write your own? Seems fair to me.


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

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    Bloody Hell! Will you make your minds up about the Terms and Conditions? It's worse than Westminster here!

    Flow - or is it Pricey: from Distress Signals: "She put a finger to his lips".

    flow: did I ever see the Polar Bear fic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    We have already seen AllPenguin fics and a Pumpkin!Spike fic. So how about a turtle!Spike fic?He could even meet a dolphin!Buffy ;-) There should be plenty of time on our derserted Islands to write new fics (GoSpuffy, do we have pen and paper?).
    I was going to point out the existence of narwhal fic, but unfortunately that's just as unsuitable for a desert island as AllPenguin fic...

    I think I may need to check out Distress Signals; I don't think I've read it.

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    I think I've just come to accept that Spike and Buffy are constantly putting their fingers to each other's lips . . . it saddens me, but it's where every writer goes eventually

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I think I've just come to accept that Spike and Buffy are constantly putting their fingers to each other's lips . . . it saddens me, but it's where every writer goes eventually
    Hahaha as a single woman I dream of a man who will express his love by placing his finger to my lips, I get regular manicures in case the opportunity to reciprocate arises.


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

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoSpuffy View Post
    Hahaha as a single woman I dream of a man who will express his love by placing his finger to my lips, I get regular manicures in case the opportunity to reciprocate arises.


    I don't mind if it's the odd thumb, done erotically, but it's usually used to shut someone up and I don't think that's ever happened in real life, or not in the modern age.

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    TriBel:
    flow: did I ever see the Polar Bear fic?
    Mine? It`s not finished yet. I`ve written about two thirds of it and it took me a year. Duh. Hopefully I`ll be finished within the next half year. But no promises made!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    TriBel:

    Mine? It`s not finished yet. I`ve written about two thirds of it and it took me a year. Duh. Hopefully I`ll be finished within the next half year. But no promises made!

    flow
    You're still planning on posting a chapter on Seasonal Spuffy aren't you flow? I'm really looking forward to reading it

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    Yea, I am!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    Yea, I am!

    flow
    Yay! Honestly so looking forward to this, just to see what your thinking is and where you might take a story. I've not worries about the writing because I know it'll be fab

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    Drabble...or dribble...or drivel.


    "He pulled her to her feet and walked her into a field of golden flowers. With no sense of urgency, he removed his duster and spread it on the ground. From nowhere came the thought that from space it resembled a large sunflower....The actual sunflowers displaced by the coat sprang back to create a canopy. “You are like nobody since I love you. Let me spread you out among yellow garlands”, he murmured. With one arm, he cupped her legs, with the other, her waist. He scooped her up, held her for a moment, and then lay her gently on the coat. Leisurely, he removed his clothes while she watched. Once naked, he began to remove hers. He looked at her. “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees” Then he straddled her. He grasped her hands, kissed them and laced his finger through hers. He took each hand in turn and placed it above her head. He covered both of her hands with one of his own, pinning her arms to the ground. His free hand (CENSORED)... His blue eyes became darker, swirled through with indigo. Flecks of gold appeared. “Starry, starry night”, she murmured. He smiled. “Hush” he said. The planes of his face grew keener, his canines sharper. His back arched as he brought his face to hers, predator to prey. Their eyes locked. His chest brushed lightly against her *******. She trembled and turned her head to the side. He moved closer and said, sotto voce:

    “I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
    Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
    Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
    I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

    I hunger for your sleek laugh,
    your hands the colour of a savage harvest,
    hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
    I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

    I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
    the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
    I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

    and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
    hunting for you, for your hot heart,
    like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue”.

    “Vampire”, he said. He nipped her throat, just enough to draw blood. “Tasting” he murmured. She turned her head once more and once more held his gaze. He slipped his hand (CENSORED). Edited to read: "Quoting a Nobel winning poet is all well and good mister", she murmured, "but if you put your finger to my lips again, particularly in view of where it's just been, I'll bite the bloody thing off". She paused before adding "You're evoking every cliche in the book. This...place...for want of a better word...is camp enough to have been conjured by Andrew. I've got sand where sand really shouldn't be and...oh look...is that a turtle?"

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    I can't believe I couldn't see where you were going with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I can't believe I couldn't see where you were going with that.
    It misses the bit where Spike gets drunk and starts espousing what he calls "Johnny Walker Wisdom" (that phrase is nicked from Cohen) - below. That said...I quite like the rewrite.

    “Wanna know how Lorca d’scribed Neruda?” he slurred. No I don’t but suspect you’re going to tell me. “A poet closer to death than to philosophy, closer to pain than intelligence, closer to blood than to ink.” There was a short pause. “Proves Neruda was a vampire”. He sank down again. After a few minutes, Voice heard the unnecessary (but not unwelcome) sound of snoring".

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