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Written results, summer 2008

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  • Written results, summer 2008

    These results are for works of fanfiction submitted to the Written during the summer of 2008. The Written grading scheme can be found here.

    Thanks and congratulations to our sole entrant

    It has been decided that the Written will close this summer, and therefore this was the final round. The Written will be moved to the Fanfic Archives, and can be revived again in the future should interest re-awaken in the competition.

    Undead – Aissy

    PEN - 6
    PLOT - 2
    PRO
    BUFFY
    CLIPBOARD
    and, despite the fact that it doesn't happen 'onscreen', we feel that this qualifies for
    TEAR – we know what's coming.

    HOT

    Review:
    This one gets a clipboard for the innovative development arc. 'Undead' is a deep and moving exploration of how people face death – something that's fairly unusual in a high-resurrection-quotient world like the Buffyverse. At the same time, it has that Buffyverse feel of humor, managing to get in quite a few chuckles in the course of that exploration, with some brilliant one-liners scattered throughout.

    The Panel did find it a bit of a struggle to accept off-the-rails Fred, but that was the whole point of the challenge this story answered: to take a character and find a plausible means of spinning them off the rails. What would it take for that to happen? This is an imaginative exploration of that theme. Equally, even though the Shape-Shifter subplot was a necessary distraction from Fred, it felt a little awkward – as a distraction, it was too obvious, which killed the urgency of the beta plot. Also, it felt like something of a cheat at the end as well, to simply wipe everyone's memory of the incident, and didn't seem entirely in-character for Fred – she's the 'screw destiny' girl, after all. If she really felt the dream was prophetic, it seems more likely that she would do everything possible to avert it. Sometimes once you've broken away from canon, you just have to let the story run where it will.

    One more very tiny quibble - there's a tiny exchange in which Angel claims that staking with a pencil wouldn't work, because the lead acts as a barrier. Don't we see Buffy successfully staking a vampire with a pencil in season 3?

    On the whole, however, this is a really creative work. The writing is strong, the plotting tight, and the characters largely true to themselves. Except for Fred, of course, which is the whole point of the story - but even in her rebellion, Fred still babbles in true Fred-style.

    A worthy Written winner.


  • #2
    Thank you so much, Panel, for the brilliant feedback! A mega confidence boost (always needed) and such useful comments!

    I'm glad you picked up on my pencil goof cos I always wonder about that (pencil-staking can be very handy, in another fic I've got Spike threatening Angel with a pencil but I never know if it could happen so I just use whatever suits my lines) and I actually looked up "pencil" in the jossverse just in case I could find a pencil scene, but I didn't, so now I know. Which eppy is it?

    Also, excellent point about the cheating at the end. I have got issues with that, in that I daren't go off canon, so if I've had to make major alterations to something, I usually undo what I've done one way or another just so the canon can take over again after my story. It's a strange psychological process, cos I am aware the canon doesn't get "affected" by my story but I think I find it difficult to buy my own story if it doesn't fit in canon in such a way that whether my story exists or not, the canon story remains the same. I think that's just down to plain fanficking guts which I haven't yet got. But I'm definitely taking your advice into consideration as this is precisely what I'm struggling with for the current challenge. (I'm planning on PM-ing the challenge starter about this very issue as I'm not sure I can write a story that interferes with canon in such a drastic way.)

    Anyway I am extremely pleased with these results, majorly proud, and I shall miss the Written.
    "I'd like to keep Spike as my pet."
    "Get out of my temporal lobe, House!"
    "Confessssssssssss!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Aissy View Post
      Thank you so much, Panel, for the brilliant feedback! A mega confidence boost (always needed) and such useful comments!

      I'm glad you picked up on my pencil goof cos I always wonder about that (pencil-staking can be very handy, in another fic I've got Spike threatening Angel with a pencil but I never know if it could happen so I just use whatever suits my lines) and I actually looked up "pencil" in the jossverse just in case I could find a pencil scene, but I didn't, so now I know. Which eppy is it?

      Also, excellent point about the cheating at the end. I have got issues with that, in that I daren't go off canon, so if I've had to make major alterations to something, I usually undo what I've done one way or another just so the canon can take over again after my story. It's a strange psychological process, cos I am aware the canon doesn't get "affected" by my story but I think I find it difficult to buy my own story if it doesn't fit in canon in such a way that whether my story exists or not, the canon story remains the same. I think that's just down to plain fanficking guts which I haven't yet got. But I'm definitely taking your advice into consideration as this is precisely what I'm struggling with for the current challenge. (I'm planning on PM-ing the challenge starter about this very issue as I'm not sure I can write a story that interferes with canon in such a drastic way.)

      Anyway I am extremely pleased with these results, majorly proud, and I shall miss the Written.
      For the record...Willow uses a pencil to stake a vamp working for the Mayor. It's the episode she gets captured, but I never remember them by name.

      As for the canon...I guess I kinda understand. It's not my way of writing stories--I prefer to start with canon, but even that's not to be taken for granted, and trying to conform to canon is excruciatingly confining. I can only think of one fic where I did that, and it felt rushed, cramped, and unlikely. But to each his or her own!
      DeadWar: Burden of Proof
      Out Now.
      Avatar by Barb
      Feedback is always welcome here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aissy View Post
        I'm glad you picked up on my pencil goof cos I always wonder about that (pencil-staking can be very handy, in another fic I've got Spike threatening Angel with a pencil but I never know if it could happen so I just use whatever suits my lines) and I actually looked up "pencil" in the jossverse just in case I could find a pencil scene, but I didn't, so now I know. Which eppy is it?
        Ummmm.

        I want to say season three. But then I realise it could be season two. Giles is in the cemetery with Buffy helping her study (for SATs? Season three, then) and she uses her pencil to stake a vamp. Giles provides a replacement so she can't get out of studying. I think it's the teaser for the episode, but I'm blowed if I can remember which one. Clearly, I need to have a re-watch!

        Oh, but the one Mabus refers to is Choices, I believe. Also season three

        I'm not sure I can write a story that interferes with canon in such a drastic way.
        Hee. I feel your angst! I'm a total canon whore.

        Well done, again - it is no easy feat to write a story this long and hold the plot together so well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Damn, I wanted a rematch with the Written. Congrats Aissy!
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          • #6
            Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
            Congrats Aissy!
            Oh thanks!

            I am still pm-ing you about your challenge by the way, although I'm gonna be offline for 2 weeks so I don't know if I can write an entry this time.

            But if I do, the important lesson I've learnt, is that my newly-sired vamp is gonna stay clear of pencils.
            "I'd like to keep Spike as my pet."
            "Get out of my temporal lobe, House!"
            "Confessssssssssss!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Llywela View Post
              Ummmm.

              I want to say season three. But then I realise it could be season two. Giles is in the cemetery with Buffy helping her study (for SATs? Season three, then) and she uses her pencil to stake a vamp. Giles provides a replacement so she can't get out of studying. I think it's the teaser for the episode, but I'm blowed if I can remember which one. Clearly, I need to have a re-watch!
              The episode your thinking of is in 'Band Candy' and yup, it's the teaser. Willow also kills a vamp with a pencil in 'Choices' and Dawn kills a vamp with a pencil in 'All the Way.'

              Congratulations Aissy
              - "The earth is doomed" -

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh this is a shame that The Written isn't around anymore. I'll admit that it'd be nice to win in a competition sense, but what really draws me in is the actual rating and constructive criticism. That's the best thing for a developing writer. It's wonderful to hear the "I loved it" and "It's awesome" critiques, but sometimes what you really need to hear are the harsher ones about style and characterization - knowing where you need to work on improving and growing.
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                • #9
                  It is a shame Emmie but it wasn't getting the love it deserves. We're struggling at the moment to get challenge entries in as well which is a real shame with the amount of talented writers we have about. Both The Written and challenges are good ways of getting some good constructive criticism. I don't know if The Written will be back (it takes a lot of organising I believe) but I would urge anyone who's looking forsome good detailed feedback to get some challenge entries in.
                  JUST ENOUGH KILL

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