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Various meanderings


I won't make the 50k, and I won't be finished with a novel. However, I count the whole experience a victory. I learned far more than I thought I would, and I think I've got a viable novel concept hashed out for the first time, ever. Vast chunks of this won't be reusable, but the things I learned about the characters in doing them, and the things I learned about myself in writing them, are invaluable. What started out as a list of stick figure characters and a vague notion is coming into focus, and I am very happy with it.

Doing NNWM was good for me in many ways, but I was on target to assume that expecting an actual draft of a novel was way too ambitious for a month in which I'm changing jobs, writing a book proposal, preparing for holidays, and generally attending to home and hearth. I'm planning to let this sit for about six weeks and work on some other things, then return in February to it and see if I want to start rewriting or keep going forward and hold the rewrites for later. If I decide to keep moving forward, I think I *will* try to use the NNWM 'word count' technique until I finally hit the end of the story -- probably more on the order of 90k words, based on what I'm seeing so far.

How do others feel about their NNWM experiences? Would you do it again? What did you get out of it?

And about characters and suchlike

There are two tons of folks out there who truly despise the idea of Wesley with Fred. If I'd done an AtS specific "unpopular opinion" meme, I think I'd have been safe in putting my fondness for that particular plotline on the list. Somebody tell me what bugs you about it? I am a sucker for the unrequited love underdog storyline (cf S/B), and although I found the Lilah storyline highly engaging (read: hot as hell), I *truly* wouldn't mind seeing the W/F journey on screen if Stephanie Romanov is gone forever... I'm not saying it has to end pretty, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing it play out a bit.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2003 01:42 pm (UTC)
There are two tons of folks out there who truly despise the idea of Wesley with Fred. If I'd done an AtS specific "unpopular opinion" meme, I think I'd have been safe in putting my fondness for that particular plotline on the list. Somebody tell me what bugs you about it?

For several reasons, the biggest of which is that he is particularly condescending to her, treating her like a child instead of a grownup. They all do, to one extent or another, but Wes is the worst. A good example of this was his dragging her to the arms dealer meeting, but not offering her hardware, and then later saying "I shouldn't have taken you," instead of "Why didn't you make sure you were properly armed?"

It's just creepy.

NaNoWriMo for me? An unqualified success. :) I've never, ever written so prolifically in my entire life. I'll definitely do it again next year.
Nov. 30th, 2003 01:55 pm (UTC)
Hurrah for a triumph and for finding out who your characters are! [claps wildly]

As for your question about Wes/Fred, well, I'd be one of the people who find that ship... hugely problematic. (I'm trying to be diplomatic there. [grin]) Why do I have issues? And mind, I love Fred, and I am probably most like her out of every Jossverse female.

1) Wes is my favourite character by far on AtS, but I hate how they write him with Fred: condescending, patriarchal, a little immature, not nearly as sensitive to rejection as we know he is in all other areas of his life. As written, Fred makes Wes...less than he should be, and less than he was with Lilah. I see no difference in Season 5 AtS writing of the unrequited story; the same notes are being hit.
This is a significant difference from the S/B stuff, too: until the debacle of the second half of Season 6, Buffy-love made Spike a better man.

2) Fred seems hugely insensitive to Wes and to his charms. I don't get that she finds him sexy at all. And frankly, I want my darling Wes to have passion in his life, because Lilah showed us that he's got it to burn.

Could this be changed? Maybe. But for this viewer, we've had two and a half seasons where she's not been attracted to him at all, and it would be a hard, hard sell.

3) Wes and Fred are too similar in the wrong ways for my own taste in 'ships. They seem to feed each other's bookish, geeky sides in an unhealthy way, rather than complement them.

But that's just me. :-)
Nov. 30th, 2003 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you, ma'am. This is just the kind of response I was hoping for! I know I'm odd, but it feels more like "real Wesley" to me when there is that note of pompous ass, and you're right on the money that Fred brings it out.

Huh. I never realized that until I just typed it. //wanders off to contemplate.
Nov. 30th, 2003 01:58 pm (UTC)
Mmm…what I don’t like about it.

I’ll start by admitting that I’m pretty biased, cause I’m such a Lilah fan. I know she’s hopelessly amoral, even evil. But that didn’t seem to be the real issue when it came to the comparisons between her and Fred. Instead, there seemed to be a kind of value-judgment being made between confident, aggressive, sexual Lilah, and whiny, equivocating, little-girl Fred. I’m probably wrong, but I can’t help but hold the lingering feeling that pure little Fred, with her traditionally feminie ways, was so much more worthy of (borderline psychotic) Wes. Which could very well be irrational, but there it is ;-)

Other than that, I don’t like what Fred makes Wesley turn into: a creepy, chauvinistic jerk. He’s put her on a pedestal, and seems to be treating her more as an ideal than an actual person. Not even bothering to consider giving her a gun is only one incident of a very long line of occasions when he’s clearly treated her as somewhat…lesser. Like a child, or a maiden from some fairy story. Wes isn’t like that around other women. Certainly not around, say, Faith, or even Cordy.

I have no doubt that Wes is in love with Fred; but he’s in love with an idealised Fred. A Fred who is good and pure and sweet and everything he should want. He believes she’s his salvation, that if she loves him and returns his love, maybe he can be saved from his darker impulses, and from himself. But that’s just not an equal relationship, or a fair one.

Beyond that, they’re just kind of too similar. Both are rational, scientific, thinker types who show a minimum of emotion. I’m not sure they have a lot to learn from each other, or whether the relationship could be made particularly absorbing. Plus, Fred has never shown any interest in Wes - there is no sense of underlying 'over-denial' that there was with Spuffy (ooh watch me try and rationalise this! I realise I probably sound very funny and hypocritical to anti-Spuffy people ;-)), just Fred seeing Wes as a good friend and companion, but not someone she wants to sleep with or pursue a relationship with. Him killing his father for her probably isn't going to change her mind.

That said, each to their own. The relationship does ahve that air of the unrequited, and I felt sympathy for poor Wes in LotP. So I cans ee why some people like the ship, and I totally respect your right to be a F/W shipper *g* ;-)
Nov. 30th, 2003 02:50 pm (UTC)
Well I like it too, even though I agree with the above. I'm always attracted to the unrequited love stories.
Nov. 30th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC)
Wheee! At least there are two of us ;-) I'm not quite sure I can call myself a shipper, since I really loved the Lilah pairing as well, but I sure won't be upset if they choose to explore W/F a little further.
Dec. 1st, 2003 11:40 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't call myself a shipper either, but I did enjoy the storyline before. I think to go and explore that again would be a little repetitive, although it would be nice to have the odd crumb here and there.
Nov. 30th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC)
/judgmental on
1. The two actors lack chemistry IMO, for all that they give it their best shot.
2. Wes turns into an annoying wet rag when he's around Fred, intermittently either sheepishly meek and (what modern American perceptions often see as) condescending.
3. Fred shows no sign of being sexually attracted to him, only intellectually. While intellectually based relationships are just great in real life, they are boring on the screen.
4. Between them, they don't have an ounce of spare body fat; I can almost hear the clanking bones.
5. There is something almost incestuous about the idea of the two of them together. They are just far too similar.
/judgmental off
Nov. 30th, 2003 05:30 pm (UTC)
Mostly because I think Wesley comes off as a creepy molester type guy most of the time he's around Fred. It's the same issue I have with early season 5 S/B.
Also he doesn't even seem to see her so much as he sees his idealized vision of her as being Miss Molly Good Girl Sunshine and light. He wants to tell himself he loves someone like her rather than someone like Lilah or whatever. Mostly, it is just a ship that rubs me the wrong way. However everyone's mileage will vary
Nov. 30th, 2003 09:36 pm (UTC)
Good for you for making the effort Chris. Most, myself included, didn't even try because we decided in advance that we wouldn't be able to do it. You should be very proud of the fact that finished or not, you tried. And that's what matters. :-)
Dec. 1st, 2003 11:33 am (UTC)
I'm glad you got such great experiences on the NaNoWriMo thing! I agree wiht you, it's a fabulous way of learnign stuff about yourself and your writing process.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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