missiondoll (missiondoll) wrote,
missiondoll
missiondoll

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[recs]

I don't rec fanfics very often, mostly because I don't have time. However, the directions my own writing's taken lately has made me think about Mary Sue and how you can have original characters that aren't Mary Sues. Behind the cut are recs for "Supernatural" and "X-Files" fanfic.

Standard disclaimers: The stories recced here almost certainly include sex, graphic violence, and gratuitous pop culture references. The stories may include slash, noncon and schmoop (if you don't know what those are, go look them up and then decide if you want to read my recs) but the recs will have specific warnings if the story contains rape, incest or sexualized torture. I'm aware that the overwhelming majority of fanfic writers are female. However, unless I actually know that a writer has publicly declared herself to be female, I tend to use the gender-neutral pronouns 'hir' and 'sie'.



The Sad Ballad Of Mary Sue's Blues is one of those stories I only read after everyone else in the fandom had read it, deconstructed it, and discussed it to death. Sometimes I think it's better that way, although I probably mostly think that because I didn't really read any of the discussion. What little I did take away from the discussion is that most of the people who were most incensed, didn't get it. They focused on the fact that Pares described the writer as physically unappealing (in all the ways the media teaches us to find women disgusting) and overlooked the indescribable thing she'd done to the concept of metafic.

Later on I read Shrift's stories about having all her fandom muses hanging around her living room (which I also rec, by the way, they're awesome), and a "due South" fic I can't quite recall about the author going to the beach every day with Fraser and fighting over whose turn it was to vacuum the sand out of the car. And later still, metafic would of course become the territory of teenaged fanbrats who all thought it was the most original plot in the world to have a teenaged fanfic writer suddenly receive a letter of admission to Hogwarts. For me, though, every time I sit down to write, Pares' author protagonist is still with me.

"The Amazing Incredible Adventures Of Freakboy And Dykegirl" can be found here. It's a work in progress, for which reason stele3 hasn't yet collected all the chapters in one place, meaning that reading the whole thing thus far is a little inconvenient. It is, however, worth it, times a zillion.

First of all, some segments of this story involve many, many original characters all onscreen at the same time, and every one of them is entirely real. That in itself is a tough task that most writers mangle badly. Second of all, the protagonist/VP character, Kim, is possessed of abilities beyond those of normal humans and still manages not to be a Mary Sue. She's probably one of the realest original characters I've ever met. (It doesn't hurt that her 'voice', her speech patterns and rhythm of dialogue and all, sound exactly like the fictional 'voice' that's been rattling around my head for years. I don't know whose voice it is, only that it must be an amalgam of half a dozen things I've read and heard and seen, but now I know it is Kim's voice and I don't need to worry about being able to write it because stele3 has already done it.) Third of all, stele3 is an outstandingly skilled handler of original character/canon character interactions. Hir Dean-voice is spot-on, but that's not (thankfully) unusual in this fandom. What is unusual is that sie's also got a note-perfect handle on how Dean interacts with other people. One reason I like this story so much is that most of the screentime is Dean's, but Sam and John also show up eventually and stele3 has them down just as impeccably.

I also recommend the rest of stele3's writing, with some caveats.

--Just about everything sie writes can be viewed through Wincest-colored glasses if you're so inclined. Sie includes warnings if that becomes explicit.

--There is some Real People Fic there. (I'm not into RPF myself, partly because of the invasion-of-privacy issues but mostly because RPF about TV actors, movie stars or professional rock stars will spend most of its time talking about things that don't interest me--namely, the day-to-day lives of TV actors, movie stars and professional rock stars. If someone wrote RPF about stage actors, I'd probably read that.) Anyways, if the very existence of RPF offends you, you'd want to skip visiting stele3's fic listing.

--In The Company Of Demons, which is the backstory to the Freakboy And Dykegirl series, contains extreme depictions of graphic violence and violent sex. It's not gratuitious--is, in fact, central to the plot--but if that bothers you, don't read this one. It's also got a mega-mega-angst factor, but that's really kind of a given in this fandom.

I can't be bothered with any more LJ tags! Just go to stele3's page and poke around. "The 1300 Days" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" are both, in different ways, excellent, and "The 1300 Days" should be required reading for anyone who's struggling with how to write non-Mary Sue original characters. I haven't read "One Father's Sons", and I absolutely hate the title, but I suspect I'm going to like the story when I get around to it. Mostly, though, I'm crossing my fingers for stele3 to write more Freakboy And Dykegirl.

Go. Read. Giggle. Swoon. Enjoy.
Tags: fanfic, recs
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