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30 December 2011 @ 12:12 pm
Got a question for fanfiction writers/readers  
In setting up a new relationship and ending an old one, where is the line between realization and ship/char bashing?

What I mean is let’s say I’m writing a fic where C2 and C3 get together but it is set in a season where C1 and C2 are together. If C2 realizes the relationship is not working out, is trying to justify the breakup to themselves, where is the line where it is serving the story vs. bashing? Is there a line? (And feel free to link this so I get a variety of replies, not just from friends, though you all are A-MAH-ZING)

Also, anyone have some time to beta one maybe two 5 things fics for me this weekend, preferably someone who has a good Spike voice cause my Spike voice is lousy?
 
 
Current Mood: curiouscurious
 
 
leobratleobrat on December 30th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
What is the thing that is causing them to break up? Is it the old infidelity route? That's a fine line, because I think we all know that it happens in real life, even when it's least expected, but what was the driving factor?

Is it something else? Does some random thing happen that pushes this couples issues (commitment, a future, etc.) Is this an Angel/Cordy fic? Can you give a bit more background?
Kellyxlivvielockex on December 30th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
I don't want to give too much away because it is a gift fic. It's not an infidelity issue. It's more like C2 realizing that while they love C1 and always will, things are just so much easier with C3. That in the long run, C1 and C2 will be better off if they break up. So it's more like what naturally happens in relationships. Sometimes you realize it's not working out. It's not anyone's fault really. It just is.

Was that enough to help or should I PM you details?
leobratleobrat on December 30th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
It doesn't sound like villification, it does sound realistic.

Would you like to email me if you want opinions on specific details? (Do I know the characters?)

If you want to hammer it out, my email is leobrat12@gmail.com
Kellyxlivvielockex on December 30th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
I fired you off an email. Thanks for the help, bb. :)
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on December 31st, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
IMHO, as long as the above scenario is fairly clear in the fic and C2's thoughts are fair to both relationships - not harping only on the bad, but recognizing the good as well, I think you're okay. If it's appropriate, allowing C2 to have a little grief over the end of the C1-C2 relationship goes a long way, again IMHO.
sinkwriter: Mulder - Smart is Sexysinkwriter on December 30th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
If C2 realizes the relationship is not working out, is trying to justify the breakup to themselves, where is the line where it is serving the story vs. bashing?

I think for me the line comes depending on how all the characters are treated as characters. If C1 in particular is being distorted or vilified in order to make the breakup make sense, then the characterization no longer feels genuine to me. Instead it starts to feel like C1 is being made into a bad person or ridiculously out of character just to make it okay for C2 to break up with him or her and be with the person that the author wants C2 to be with (in this case, C3, whomever that may be).

On the other hand, if all three characters are treated with honest characterizations and the breakup feels natural and believable according to the story, then I'm okay with it.

But it's definitely a very fine line. For me, anyway. Not everyone cares if the characters are 'in character.' But I do. :)
Kellyxlivvielockex on December 30th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Me too. I really like to pride myself on being in character or actually, the highest compliment I can get is "this feels like a missing scene or something that should have been on the show". So I really want to stay true to that.

I don't want to villianize C1 because I LOVE C1. I just don't think C2 was good for either of them. I told leobrat above, I just want it to be a realization that while they love each other, it is just too hard sometimes. More like a natural progression of the stages of a relationship kind of thing.
sinkwriter: Snoopy - Writingsinkwriter on December 30th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Argh. I was writing a response and got kicked out as I hit send.

Let me try this again..

I just want it to be a realization that while they love each other, it is just too hard sometimes. More like a natural progression of the stages of a relationship kind of thing.

That makes a lot of sense. If you write it that way, and present it as C1 and C2 caring about each other but slowly but steadily coming to realize that it's just not going to work for them, then I think it sounds like it could work. If you honor the characters as you write them, and write what they would believably do and feel as characters from what we know of them, then I think it could be a believable and lovely (though potentially angsty) story.

Ah, the challenges of writing! ;)

Will this be something we'll end up being able to read here on LJ? :)
Kellyxlivvielockex on December 30th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
That is why I was asking for help. LOL I haven't written in so long, I feel so rusty at it.

And yes, it is a gift fic that I will eventually post over here when I finish. I just got the idea today (in the shower of all places) so working out the kinks before I sit down to write it.
sinkwriter: Snoopy - Writingsinkwriter on December 30th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
Well, if you need an extra pair of eyes to give it a glance, I can't promise I'm any expert but I could give you my observations.

:)
Kellyxlivvielockex on December 30th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks. That would be great. I might take you up on it. It's still planning and note-taking stage right now. LOL I will PM it to you at some point when I finish it.
ladysophiekitty: C/A laughingladysophiekitty on December 30th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
I think another big part of it (other than what was mentioned) is the character's reaction. Oftentimes when I read a story where I feel a character is being bashed, it's because the author goes ott with the reaction. I know back when I liked Bones, I read a Booth/Brennan story where Cam basically tried to kill Brennan after she and Booth got together and then ended up getting killed herself by a serial killer and nobody cared at all because she was so mean to Brennan.

If it feels true to the character and respects everyone involved (and even if there IS some reaction, like I know that Buffy in her earlier years tended to just say stuff sometimes when she was upset. Though most people tended not to care or notice) then I think you're fine. It's usually pretty easy to tell who is bashing and who isn't, so if that isn't your intent I doubt that it'll happen.
ms_scarletibis: Spike coatms_scarletibis on December 30th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
I think I have a fairly good Spike voice. When would you need it by and how long is it?
Rebcake: btvs_spi_biteyourtonguerebcake on December 30th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
This is a great question! My daughter is sort of mystified by all the adults she knows who are still friends with their exes. I tried to explain that if people aren't cruel to each other, eventually you might be able to remember why you liked each other in the first place.

It's tricky though, because breakups often bring out bad behavior, even OTT and OOC behavior, because of the stress and the high emotional state. Nobody likes to be rejected. I'd say if you DO have one (or both) parties behaving badly, just give enough of their internal reaction, so that the reader can feel their pain and hopefully a bit of their awareness that they are not being rational. Maybe?

I'd be willing to take a whack at betaing for you, especially if it has Spike in it. ;-)
samsom: angel cordysamsom on December 30th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Well, I think it's like pornography - you know it's bashing/villification when you read it. :)

Honestly, if the break up reasons stem from text/canon, it can't be bashing. Even if it happens earlier than it does in canon, because the root causes will already be there. And if your characters are in character - ie their voices ring true - you're not villifying them.

It's okay to break up with someone who's completely awesome, who does all the right things and says all the right things. It's not always about fighting or drama. Or it shouldn't be. I think that's one of the mistakes some writers make - hell, some movies make - that for a person to find love with someone else, the person they're with has to be a total monster.

So, in short, follow your instincts, missy. You do not bash characters in your fics, so I don't think you need to worry you're doing it now, just because their SO doesn't believe it's going to work out, or they don't love that character that way anymore.
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on December 31st, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
It's okay to break up with someone who's completely awesome, who does all the right things and says all the right things. It's not always about fighting or drama. Or it shouldn't be. I think that's one of the mistakes some writers make - hell, some movies make - that for a person to find love with someone else, the person they're with has to be a total monster.

OMG, yes. Can I quote you on this??
samsom: cordy profilesamsom on January 1st, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
Sure!