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Author Topic: A Bird, A Plane, A Super!Xander?  (Read 17186 times)
Lightning_Skies
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« on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 11:07:27 »

This has probably come up before, but I didn't want to dredge up dead threads, so I'm starting fresh. I was going to ask this in the Misogyny thread, but it seemed off-topic.

At what point does an empowered Xander become Super!Xander.

If he's vamped normally (or souled even), the hyena comes back, bitten by a werewolf, starts learning magic at the beginners level etc. I'd still consider him normal, even if no longer 'human guy'. Those are all abilities we've seen before in the Buffy-verse and none of those characters are considered Super!, so it follows that Xander wouldn't be either, even if it isn't exactly canon. In my mind, as long as he still has character flaws, still has some level of difficulty overcoming obstacles and plot devices, and hasn't been turned into an unstoppable 'Gary Stue' he still isn't Super!X.

Unfortunately, with crossovers that line becomes near invisible. Say you stuck him in DBZ, where all the main characters have planet destroying super powers. If he became capable of matching their abilities or even just able to keep up with them, he would be fairly super powered compared to his canon self; but, I don't think he'd count as Super! because as I see it, it's a proportional thing where he has to be many times more powerful than anything else in the Verse he's in.

Does anyone else agree with that, or do you view it differently?
« Last Edit: Tue, 13 Jul 10 13:06:48 by Lightning_Skies » Logged
Luna del Cielo
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« Reply #1 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 12:01:56 »

I've come to despise bad Super!Xander fics but you bring up a good point.

From the perspective of someone who dislikes them, here's where I see the transition into bad Super!Xander occurs:

*Xander's awesomeness can only be shown in clear contrast to the bitchiness or cruelty of Willow & Buffy

*Xander can do no wrong -- similar to Jonathon's spell in S4's 'Superstar -- he knows everything, counsels people, is consistently kicking ass (I mean, even Buffy as the main character didn't always kill the bad guys on her own - Xander and the rocket launcher, Angel helping her in fights, the S4 conclusion)

*Xander has 'weakness', like a bad temper or something lame that never creates conflict in the story. Like, he has a bad temper but it never shows him actually hurting the feelings of those around him.

*He starts acting completely out of character.

Those are just a few ideas. For a literary example, check out the transition of Anita Blake in her later novels; the girl gets every superpower known to the supernatural and is always perfect.
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« Reply #2 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 14:23:49 »

I'm backing every point of Luna's and adding one of my own. This can probably be applied to the misogyny thread too, but it's when Xander starts simultaneously dating two or more women at a time when in canon he's always been a fairly monogamous guy. (kissing Willow aside).

I have to be honest, I've just stopped reading most of Xander fics at this moment, especially the YAHF's that we have propping up *all* the freaking time. All the additions and warps that they have in them are seriously making me hate a character that I've always liked and that's not good.

I want to be able to write Xander at some point in the future but with the spectre of Super!Xander looming over the background of fanfic- all I want to do is kill him off instead of trying to see him happy.  

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« Reply #3 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 14:48:58 »

I have to be honest, I've just stopped reading most of Xander fics at this moment, especially the YAHF's that we have propping up *all* the freaking time. All the additions and warps that they have in them are seriously making me hate a character that I've always liked and that's not good.

I want to be able to write Xander at some point in the future but with the spectre of Super!Xander looming over the background of fanfic- all I want to do is kill him off instead of trying to see him happy.  

Sadly, I agree. I adore Xander but it looks like the 'Latest' page has been vomited all over by Super!Xander stories so I'm annoyed with his character now just because of that.

But I guess Shulik and I are in the minority, cuz judging by all the hits those stories get most people seem to love those stories (why, I will likely never understand, but it is what it is)
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Lightning_Skies
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« Reply #4 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 15:50:30 »

I asked because I can't seem to write anything but Xander stories and I'm terrified that I'm going to turn into/might already be one of those writers that likes him to the point that he can do no wrong. I've got several plot bunnies/started fics where he's going to end up more than human, but I don't want to overdo it and create an unbelievable character.
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« Reply #5 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 16:27:48 »

I asked because I can't seem to write anything but Xander stories and I'm terrified that I'm going to turn into/might already be one of those writers that likes him to the point that he can do no wrong. I've got several plot bunnies/started fics where he's going to end up more than human, but I don't want to overdo it and create an unbelievable character.

Giving him super powers is okay. Just remember to stick to his character and his faults as well as his awesomeness. And don't bash the other characters to make him look better. Just think of it realistically' -- like on the show if he got these powers how would he and the others react? How would he be more helpful? How could that change the Scoobies dynamic? At the same time, how could his new powers hurt his dynamic? Or help/hurt how he views himself?

For one thing, you being aware of his & caring about it indicates that you will probably not write the bad Super!xander fics that people see, so you're off to a good start! Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 16:29:46 »

I would say if you have this attitude then you probably will not be adding to the Super!Xander fodder out there.

My advice would be periodicly reread what you are writing, and if the character no longer bares any resembelance to the Xander of the show, unless you have very carefully worked your Xander to that point, then the time has arrived for you to go back and rewrite.

I've read several stories that I have liked that has shown Xander's growth to a person with very little resembelance to the Sunnydale Xander, but the author of these stories have been very careful to document why this Xander is running around in their stories, rather than the Xander that was the series Xander.


One of the big problems I have with Super!Xander stories is the 'SHAZAM! Here's SuperXander!' With little or no justification for the power up beyond they want to make Xander the centerpiece of the story.
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« Reply #7 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 18:08:27 »

Thanks for the advice! I can honestly say that I hate bashing and try to avoid it whenever possible. That's not to say that within my fics one or more characters won't vilify or complain about another, but that's their personal feelings, not the way I've written the character.

I also love to see Xander evolve beyond himself but can't stand to see him suddenly brain-swapped with someone else for no apparent reason.

Since I hate Super!Xander badfics I think I'll probably be able to stay away from making one.
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« Reply #8 on: Tue, 13 Jul 10 23:49:43 »

I do understand the trouble that it can be to sort out 'is this Super!Xander or Empowered Xander?' when it comes to a fic.  It feels like the sort of thing that is best explained by a group of examples, rather than a simple, quick explanation.


Super!Xander has vast, amazing powers beyond those of almost everything around him!  (Xander's constume was Clark Kent, and now he has the power of Superman!)
Empowered Xander has an ability or abilities that he did not have or keep in the series.   (The hyena abilities came back/stayed, but Xander has his own mind again)

Super!Xander has a girl or three flinging themselves into his arms and bed, because he's just that handsome and awesome.
Empowered Xander has the same dating 'luck' - he's probably got an impossible crush, may be dating Cordelia or Anya, depending on the time, or have a maybe-thing with some dangerous (probably attractive) female who might intend to try to kill him.  Or the one he's interested in is fixated on someone else.

Super!Xander can beat down a pack of ravenous vampires and slavering demons without so much as a bruise, though his clothing might suffer (depends on if the author has spent a few paragraphs glowingly describing Xander's outfit - if so, the outfit lives.  His usual undescribed things can be torn to shreds, leaving him barely clad before the nearby damsels in distress.)
Empowered Xander might be able to hold his own, and can no longer have the argument of 'but your just a normal guy' used to keep him out of the fight.  

Super!Xander learned to fight by Helloween costume magic, or super-secret alien mind tricks.  His skill took no time, effort or suffering to acquire - because he's SUPER.
Empowered Xander has worked hard to improve his fighting abilities, and may still not be up to the same level as some of the threats and/or a properly trained Slayer.

Super!Xander never makes mistakes of any big effect because he's Super Xander, and he's the hero of the story.
Empowered Xander tries not to make too many mistakes, but still sometimes goofs up, or drops the ball.  He messes up sometimes, but he does try to fix most things.

Super!Xander is so awesome that you can only appreciate his amazing skills in contrast to those evil hags Buffy, Faith, and Willow (strike out any who are sleeping with Super!Xander in this fic)
Empowered Xander can get things right and do impressive things without belittleing, degrading or demonizing the rest of the cast.

Super!Xander has all sorts of awesome and impressive equipment, resources, and all the cool clothing, entertainment and weapons the author can dream up.
Empowered Xander has to work on a budget, one that's often rather limited.

Super!Xander may wind up taking over the planning and strategy, and making demands on the supporting cast for equipment, resources, and determining who gets to help in what way - objections are pointless, because Super!Xander is a much better strategist than anyone else in the story.
Empowered Xander may have improved his strategy, but he isn't going to make demands on the established military, tell Giles and Buffy that they are ignorant twits, and will be more inclined to make suggestions rather than ultimatums.

Super!Xander need not fear any possible threat on the Hellmouth, for they can not do more than some artistic bruises and scrapes against his awesome might!
Empowered Xander still finds himself in danger from the baddies of the fic - maybe not constantly getting his backside handed to him, but in real danger.

Super!Xander will know who is Good and who is Bad.
Empowered Xander has to figure it out like the rest of the cast.

Super!Xander never loses!
Empowered Xander is stubborn enough that he never quits (if it's important enough to him.  Homework does not qualify.)

Super!Xander can always back up a promise of destruction and pain to the bad guys - that's why he's the hero.
Empowered Xander may still find himself bluffing wildly and hoping not to get called on it, similar to the s2 scene when Buffy was in the hospital and he stood up to Angelus.

Super!Xander is a mighty stud - his woman (or women) will soon find themselves pregnant with his superior babies and they'll like it.  And the sex is always fabulous.
Empowered Xander would probably be semi-worried about taking precautions - he's still probably not ready to be a parent.  And he's hoping for the sex to be fabulous, but he'll settle for having it.

Super!Xander has a fabulous sports car, probably in red or black.
Empowered Xander may have the old clunker from s3, a newer but still not that amazing car, or even -gasp- no car at all.

Super!Xander smirks, scowls, and has other 'cool sounding' expressions.
Empowered Xander has a full range of expressions, including many that are not angry, intimidating, goofy or sexy.

Super!Xander has amazing control over his awesome powers immediately, or at least before the start of the story.  He can do more things than the original, if they came from Halloween.  All problems can be solved by his power and sheer awesome personality.
Empowered Xander has to learn how to control his new powers - it isn't easy, it isn't fast, and he doesn't start off with all the cool stunts that you can think of.  Even if the power is under control, it doesn't make everything better - it may do nothing for his love-life, and may actually make some things worse.


I'm sure that there are other comparisons that can be made, but there's a few to start with.
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 Jul 10 10:05:43 by Lucinda » Logged
arkeus
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« Reply #9 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 00:17:20 »

a last thing about 'super' character- everything revolves around them.

Even if the character doesn't have Uber abilities to WTFPWN everyone, when everything that happens is because of Xander, and not-so-important things like what Willow is wearing or whatever... it's more than bad.

This often happens to one degree or another in character-centric fics, and it's always a pain to see strong character not being able to do anything without 'X' "helping" her/him.
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« Reply #10 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 06:29:24 »

Your milage may vary on this:  CrazyDan's stories tend to blur the line between Super! and Empowered! Xander (those that aren't crackfics like PlasticXan).  On one hand Xander will generally be in a relationship with more than one girl and will have powers able to easily handle any Buffyverse threat.  On the other hand there's generally a slow progression to Xander's power and bad things still happen to people he cares about.  Also he generally moves away from Sunnydale to deal with threats of comparable power levels and there's minimal bashing (Willow caught some flak in Child of Rao, but it was lampshaded as her being off her rocker due to dark magic corruption).
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« Reply #11 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 09:40:56 »

I do understand the trouble that it can be to sort out 'is this Super!Xander or Empowered Xander?' when it comes to a fic.  It feels like the sort of thing that is best explained by a group of examples, rather than a simple, quick explanation.

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Amen,Amen.
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« Reply #12 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 11:10:53 »

So for the past few months the site has been on a Xander-sue kick.  About 5 years ago it was on a Willow-sue kick where just about every other story was about how awesome Willow was.  For brief period of time there were a ton of Buffy-sue fics out there (although those really seemed to drop in number after seasons 6-7 aired).  And at the time those various 'character-sues' appeared there were a number of threads on the forums bemoaning how lame they were.

Whether its Xander or some other character Mary Sue stories basically suck.  Even if I like a character, when they become Mary-sued they stop being interesting.  But I'll deal with the current wave, as I've dealt with them before, ignore most of them, wait for it to be over and start laying odds on what character will get the Sue treatment next.

I'm still waiting for the Dawn-sue phase.  And I've always been surprised there's never been a sustained Giles-sue phase.  

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« Reply #13 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 11:32:41 »

I'm still waiting for the Dawn-sue phase.  And I've always been surprised there's never been a sustained Giles-sue phase.

You really can't force such things.

I don't think there are enough writers focusing on just Dawn for there to be a prolonged Super!Dawn or Dawnie-sue phase. She was never that popular a character to get the kind of following required. IMHO anyway.  
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« Reply #14 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 12:13:17 »

I'm still waiting for the Dawn-sue phase.  And I've always been surprised there's never been a sustained Giles-sue phase.

You really can't force such things.

I don't think there are enough writers focusing on just Dawn for there to be a prolonged Super!Dawn or Dawnie-sue phase. She was never that popular a character to get the kind of following required. IMHO anyway.  

Really?

I've always thought that Dawn was great for the whole Dawnie-sue phase, as you call it. Her character is filled to the brim with eksistential angst ("Is this real? ... Is this blood?.."). Her character wasn't very well defined (she could be anything and everything, a brat, a babbling, nervous klutz, a kick-ass fighter, a translator of foreign and demon languages). She's young (she can totally change as she grows up). She's not part of the core group (she can leave them behind with much less angst and issues, and explanatory bashing, than for instance Buffy or Xander). Her background is vague (A big ball of energy, but did she have other lives before? Was she part of another crossover universe?). Her powers aren't very well defined (Sure, she's the key, but what does that mean? Magic powers? Powering up the ZPM's on Atlantis? Opening portals to god knows where at a whim? Protection from demon possesion? Immortality?).


Now that I think about it, how come there aren't more Dawn stories? Well, I did my part at least. (In my version of a Dawn story, she's a marine. See? Dawn... vague enough to be anything you like without going OOC. It's ingenious I tell you!)

I'm totally voting for her to be the next big thing, after this Xander business fades away.  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 13:22:38 »

Now that I think about it, how come there aren't more Dawn stories? Well, I did my part at least. (In my version of a Dawn story, she's a marine. See? Dawn... vague enough to be anything you like without going OOC. It's ingenious I tell you!)

But your story isn't a Dawn-sue. It's part of a smattering of excellent Dawn fics that have appeared over the years. But haven't dominated the Latest list at TtH. (Oddly enough, I just realized the other day that one of the characters ( who MIGHT be a Wishverse Dawn analog) in one of my stories owes her occupation in the story to the Dawn in your story. In a roundabout way. )

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I'm totally voting for her to be the next big thing, after this Xander business fades away.  Grin

I'm all for that.
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« Reply #16 on: Wed, 14 Jul 10 13:36:53 »

I like to dabble in and read YAHF and even the occasional YAP (yet another portal), but I prefer to see how characters in the buffyverse will deal with another verse being crossed with them without making them super sue or super stu.
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« Reply #17 on: Thu, 12 Aug 10 08:45:59 »

I'll admit it can be hard not to cross that line.  Actually, though, reading discussions like this one help me to try to 'keep it real.'

Unlike many of you I'm not incredibly familiar with how the characters talk and sound, so I know I can get it wrong.  And I seem to only do crossovers so having a character change can make it worse.

I've been around fanfiction enough to know that there are phases in fandom like the ones mentioned.  They'll be a spurt of 'Buffy is an alien' or 'Willow is Harry's father' or something like that.  You just have to ride it out and try to find the good stories amongst the bad.

So what kind of Dawn-Sue stories should we write when it gets to be her turn?   Wink
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« Reply #18 on: Thu, 12 Aug 10 14:16:01 »

I'll admit it can be hard not to cross that line.  Actually, though, reading discussions like this one help me to try to 'keep it real.'

Unlike many of you I'm not incredibly familiar with how the characters talk and sound, so I know I can get it wrong.  And I seem to only do crossovers so having a character change can make it worse.

I've been around fanfiction enough to know that there are phases in fandom like the ones mentioned.  They'll be a spurt of 'Buffy is an alien' or 'Willow is Harry's father' or something like that.  You just have to ride it out and try to find the good stories amongst the bad.

So what kind of Dawn-Sue stories should we write when it gets to be her turn?   Wink


I think we'll let Joe answer this one...
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« Reply #19 on: Sun, 15 Aug 10 01:48:06 »

I'll admit it can be hard not to cross that line.  Actually, though, reading discussions like this one help me to try to 'keep it real.'

Unlike many of you I'm not incredibly familiar with how the characters talk and sound, so I know I can get it wrong.  And I seem to only do crossovers so having a character change can make it worse.

I've been around fanfiction enough to know that there are phases in fandom like the ones mentioned.  They'll be a spurt of 'Buffy is an alien' or 'Willow is Harry's father' or something like that.  You just have to ride it out and try to find the good stories amongst the bad.

So what kind of Dawn-Sue stories should we write when it gets to be her turn?   Wink



I think we'll let Joe answer this one...

See, now you're just asking for trouble.
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« Reply #20 on: Sun, 15 Aug 10 23:40:12 »

I'll admit it can be hard not to cross that line.  Actually, though, reading discussions like this one help me to try to 'keep it real.'

Unlike many of you I'm not incredibly familiar with how the characters talk and sound, so I know I can get it wrong.  And I seem to only do crossovers so having a character change can make it worse.

I've been around fanfiction enough to know that there are phases in fandom like the ones mentioned.  They'll be a spurt of 'Buffy is an alien' or 'Willow is Harry's father' or something like that.  You just have to ride it out and try to find the good stories amongst the bad.

So what kind of Dawn-Sue stories should we write when it gets to be her turn?   Wink

Fancast has a lot of the Buffy episodes so you can check them out for free.

I don't think it's that fine a line.  Espeacially if you are talking Xander, Giles, or any of the mostly human characters.  Even with Buffy or Willow, if you have one character completely dominating the story to the point none of the other characters are needed in any way, shape or form and they have become either punching bags or a cheer squad, you have passed the line.
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« Reply #21 on: Mon, 16 Aug 10 06:18:33 »

If Xander turns out to be the one to stop *all* of the apocalypses raging around them, regardless of anybody else's contributions.

Common plot point: because he was the one to lie about Willow's saying re:Angelus, he was the one responsible for stopping the apocalypse.
Xander dealt with Jack and the zombies, so of course he was responsible for stopping that apocalypse too.

It's never a team effort with Super Xander, he's always the one that gets things done in the end while Buffy/Willow conspire to relegate him to the sidelines because they're really female chauvinists.

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« Reply #22 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 09:27:22 »

It's never a team effort with Super Xander, he's always the one that gets things done in the end while Buffy/Willow conspire to relegate him to the sidelines because they're really female chauvinists.

Notice how they also never attempt to keep their friendship going when it hits some rocks?
Buffy/Willow cutting off ALL contact with Xander to keep him from helping, and Xander raging and switching to utter hatred of the girls.
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« Reply #23 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 10:15:01 »

It's never a team effort with Super Xander, he's always the one that gets things done in the end while Buffy/Willow conspire to relegate him to the sidelines because they're really female chauvinists.

Notice how they also never attempt to keep their friendship going when it hits some rocks?
Buffy/Willow cutting off ALL contact with Xander to keep him from helping, and Xander raging and switching to utter hatred of the girls.

*Of course* they do. They tried to keep him safe *once* and the legions of Xander fans have forever relegated them into the 'hateful wenches' category of fanfiction.

It's pretty bad, but thanks to the hundreds of SuperXander stories that keep popping up with the women relegated into the roles of hateful monsters, I have lost any inclination I once might have had towards writing Xander.
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« Reply #24 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 10:43:18 »

It's pretty bad, but thanks to the hundreds of SuperXander stories that keep popping up with the women relegated into the roles of hateful monsters, I have lost any inclination I once might have had towards writing Xander.

That's sad, but it's got me feeling the same way  Sad

But at the same time a part of me *wants* to write a good Xander just in opposition of that.

LOL and then part of me wants to write a bad Super!Xander fic with a redic plot just to post it and immediately get 30 reviews on the first chapter and 10 recs  Tongue *heehee*
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« Reply #25 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 10:54:59 »

That's what turned me from somebody who was just occasionally annoyed with Xander to somebody who fully hates the character now. Guess that's one danger of fanfic.
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« Reply #26 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 11:26:01 »

It's pretty bad, but thanks to the hundreds of SuperXander stories that keep popping up with the women relegated into the roles of hateful monsters, I have lost any inclination I once might have had towards writing Xander.

That's sad, but it's got me feeling the same way  Sad

But at the same time a part of me *wants* to write a good Xander just in opposition of that.

LOL and then part of me wants to write a bad Super!Xander fic with a redic plot just to post it and immediately get 30 reviews on the first chapter and 10 recs  Tongue *heehee*

If you want a real challange, start out with a !SuperXander fic and turn it into a Xander/Willow/Buffy ship fic
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« Reply #27 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 12:33:42 »

If you want a real challange, start out with a !SuperXander fic and turn it into a Xander/Willow/Buffy ship fic

That could actually be fun; starting out in typical Super!Xander form, with him suddenly having powers after Halloween/Being bitten by a super-duper-extra-special vampire/finding the holy grail of instantaneous power-ups/etc... Powers, which of course, he has no, or only superficial troubles adjusting to, with no apparent set-backs, or setbacks which just underline, how wonderful he is, and that he has depth of character, etc. The whole Super!Xander spiel - stopping a few apocalypses, saving poor, incompetent Buffy, all the trimmings...

... and then take it all away. Xander usually stumbles into powers quite arbitrarily in these stories anyway. He never works for them, and if there is any type of training involved its minimal to say the least. So I figure, easy come - easy go. It'd be really cool to see a story, where he suddenly reverts back to being just!Xander (not that there was anything wrong with that), and has to cope with losing his extra dose of specialness, and possibly has to mend fences with the girls. It be a learning experience. I could really see potential for some interesting characterwork there.

Alas, I have no time to write it...

Tals
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O'Neill: "'Lose it.' It means, 'Go crazy.' 'Nuts.' 'Insane.' 'Bonzo.' 'No longer in possession of one's faculties.' 'Three fries short of a Happy Meal.' 'Wacko.'"

Buffy: "But there he is, right over the Hellmouth all day every day. It's gotta be like being showered with evil, only from underneath.
Willow: "Not really a shower."
Buffy: "A bidet, then. A bidet of evil."


Sheppard: "This is Sheppard. I appreciate you can't hear me, but I don't have a volleyball to talk to, so what the hell. "

Mal: "This is the Captain... We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbolence and then explode"

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« Reply #28 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 21:33:19 »

Then add a challenge, Tals! This sorta thing makes me wish for the ability to track challenges.
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« Reply #29 on: Tue, 17 Aug 10 21:58:12 »

I was actually going to write a parody SuperXander and see how many people took it seriously.
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« Reply #30 on: Wed, 18 Aug 10 06:18:45 »

Now we're getting somewhere.  Grin

All those bad Xander fics, they don't make me hate the character. They rather make me want to write the character, but better.


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« Reply #31 on: Wed, 18 Aug 10 08:13:16 »

Then add a challenge, Tals! This sorta thing makes me wish for the ability to track challenges.

Thought about it, but as it doesn't have specifications for a specific crossover(s) - or even that there has to be a crossover - I don't think it's elligible for the challenges page on the TTH mainpage. Still anyone reading, feel free to write the story anyway.

Tals
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O'Neill: "'Lose it.' It means, 'Go crazy.' 'Nuts.' 'Insane.' 'Bonzo.' 'No longer in possession of one's faculties.' 'Three fries short of a Happy Meal.' 'Wacko.'"

Buffy: "But there he is, right over the Hellmouth all day every day. It's gotta be like being showered with evil, only from underneath.
Willow: "Not really a shower."
Buffy: "A bidet, then. A bidet of evil."


Sheppard: "This is Sheppard. I appreciate you can't hear me, but I don't have a volleyball to talk to, so what the hell. "

Mal: "This is the Captain... We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbolence and then explode"

My stories at TTH
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« Reply #32 on: Wed, 18 Aug 10 12:28:18 »

You'd put it under multiple crossings. That is where the open-ended cross-over challenges are suppose to go, not just the ones for cross-over stew. lol, stew.......
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We'll change the world with these guitars - Legacy - Black Veil Brides
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« Reply #33 on: Sat, 21 Aug 10 05:33:18 »

Then add a challenge, Tals! This sorta thing makes me wish for the ability to track challenges.

I created a challenge. See it here:

http://www.tthfanfic.org/Challenge-5731/The+Super+Xander+who+isn+t+-+a+Super+Xander+Story+with+a+Twist.htm  

Tals
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O'Neill: "'Lose it.' It means, 'Go crazy.' 'Nuts.' 'Insane.' 'Bonzo.' 'No longer in possession of one's faculties.' 'Three fries short of a Happy Meal.' 'Wacko.'"

Buffy: "But there he is, right over the Hellmouth all day every day. It's gotta be like being showered with evil, only from underneath.
Willow: "Not really a shower."
Buffy: "A bidet, then. A bidet of evil."


Sheppard: "This is Sheppard. I appreciate you can't hear me, but I don't have a volleyball to talk to, so what the hell. "

Mal: "This is the Captain... We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbolence and then explode"

My stories at TTH
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« Reply #34 on: Sat, 21 Aug 10 07:53:25 »

Then add a challenge, Tals! This sorta thing makes me wish for the ability to track challenges.

I created a challenge. See it here:

http://www.tthfanfic.org/Challenge-5731/The+Super+Xander+who+isn+t+-+a+Super+Xander+Story+with+a+Twist.htm  

Tals

I'd prefer it if he kept his powers and just didn't act like a jerk
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« Reply #35 on: Sat, 21 Aug 10 08:16:10 »

Then add a challenge, Tals! This sorta thing makes me wish for the ability to track challenges.

I created a challenge. See it here:

http://www.tthfanfic.org/Challenge-5731/The+Super+Xander+who+isn+t+-+a+Super+Xander+Story+with+a+Twist.htm  

Tals

I'd prefer it if he kept his powers and just didn't act like a jerk

Obviously, but this challenge was kinda made after this whole discussion about some of the Super!Xander cliches, and one of those is Xander acting kinda like a jerk (although it is usually legitimated by Willow and Buffy being grossly out of character). I love well written Super Xander stories as much as the next girl, they can be hugely entertaining, they are usually nice and long, and they don't let petty things like reality interfere with a little wish-fullfillment (although that last thing can be said for most fanfic).

But I kinda liked the idea of a Super!Xander story for the people who think that Xander is special for being normal. Let's see some love for normalicy, which is hugely underrated. And I like the idea of Xander's journey from normal, to super, and back to normal again, but wiser and more mature.

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O'Neill: "'Lose it.' It means, 'Go crazy.' 'Nuts.' 'Insane.' 'Bonzo.' 'No longer in possession of one's faculties.' 'Three fries short of a Happy Meal.' 'Wacko.'"

Buffy: "But there he is, right over the Hellmouth all day every day. It's gotta be like being showered with evil, only from underneath.
Willow: "Not really a shower."
Buffy: "A bidet, then. A bidet of evil."


Sheppard: "This is Sheppard. I appreciate you can't hear me, but I don't have a volleyball to talk to, so what the hell. "

Mal: "This is the Captain... We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbolence and then explode"

My stories at TTH
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« Reply #36 on: Wed, 25 Aug 10 18:27:07 »


All those bad Xander fics, they don't make me hate the character. They rather make me want to write the character, but better.


That's exactly how I feel. Xander is my favorite character, so there's nothing out there that will make me hate him, but I've taken the challenge several times to try and write someone I hate into a sympathetic character that I can appreciate or at least tolerate.
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« Reply #37 on: Thu, 26 Aug 10 17:13:04 »


All those bad Xander fics, they don't make me hate the character. They rather make me want to write the character, but better.


That's exactly how I feel. Xander is my favorite character, so there's nothing out there that will make me hate him, but I've taken the challenge several times to try and write someone I hate into a sympathetic character that I can appreciate or at least tolerate.

Pretty much. I look at the glut of very, very poorly written Super!Xander, Anti-Buffy, Anti-Willow fics  that have been coming out and go... "Oh come on! I don't want to see another one by XXXX or YYYY! I want to see real, actual writing, conflict and possibilities!" Just because I'm not a fan of one character or another, doesn't mean that I want to see them bashed, or I don't find people portraying them in ways that they aren't to be deeply insulting.

Personally, I'm not sure where people consider my own fics, Echoes and Aftermath especially as they potentially walk the line. Of course... at the same time, there's also the people that take something as bashing when it's a mistake that was purposely written for the character to make.

It's a hard line to walk if you love the character, to keep from going over the top. But, at the same time... to author's that look at these fics and find themselves suddenly losing interest in the characters... I implore you to not let other people's failings to influence your own creativity or interpretation of the character.

Well, no, that's not true. I implore you to look at them, see what they're writing and find the inspiration to show them how it should be.
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« Reply #38 on: Fri, 03 Sep 10 19:14:42 »

I think it must be the super Xander phenomenon but for some reason I'm working on my second Xander story after never really having an inclination to write him.  I think the urge to write a Xander that's nuanced and complicated and not a paragon of something is at least part of the reason.  I hope the new one garners at least part of the success the previous one has.  I've taken a break from that for a bit b/c it's a bit too close to home with my RL at the moment, so I'm writing a X story that's not anything about me or my life... [unless I've changed drastically Tongue].  

Reading this makes me a little concerned for the site.  I know it's odd stuff that can hurt a site, and I've been mostly avoiding the latest page recently b/c of what I've been finding.  Great writing seems to be thinner on the ground than it usually us. I hope the poopy-super-Xanderphiles will go hide some where for a while and some of the really great writers will take time off from their soon to be best sellers and favor us with something new and unusual.  


Peace,

Blue
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« Reply #39 on: Fri, 03 Sep 10 20:32:50 »

Quote
It's never a team effort with Super Xander, he's always the one that gets things done in the end while Buffy/Willow conspire to relegate him to the sidelines because they're really female chauvinists.

When I was watching the season three episodes for the first time (an interesting experience, to be sure, since I had discovered the fandom first), I was struck by the episode *after* The Zeppo, i.e. Bad Girls; Buffy relegates Willow to the sidelines in favor of Faith. (See http://vrya.net/bdb/clip.php?clip=1549).
Quote
BUFFY: But... there's a 'but'. And that's 'but you shouldn't come... tonight.' Is that cool?

WILLOW: Well, sure. Makes sense. You know... You'll be facing big, hairy danger.

BUFFY: Uh, b-biggest and very hairy.

WILLOW: You'll be risking your life.

BUFFY: Right. And why risk yours?

WILLOW: Because I'm your friend?

BUFFY: I know, Will, and that's exactly why I don't want you going. It's, it's too dangerous.

WILLOW: But I-I've done this sort of thing before! Like, a million times, and I can totally handle myself. Besides, minty fresh protection. So?

Sound familiar? Xander isn't the only one Buffy wants to make 'fray-adjacent'. The Zeppo was part of a larger pattern of Buffy pushing away all the 'civilians' from patrolling because It's A Slayer's Fight; she just happened to start with Xander.

Quote
I have to be honest, I've just stopped reading most of Xander fics at this moment, especially the YAHF's that we have propping up *all* the freaking time. All the additions and warps that they have in them are seriously making me hate a character that I've always liked and that's not good.

Mmm...I'm actually having fun writing a YAHF where Xander barely remembers a thing from Halloween, and he doesn't come out with a single superpower or direct enhancement of his own. Like feynstrom, Luna del Cielo, Lightning_Skies, and Blue, I'm inspired by the bad to rescue the good. (Disclaimer: I must admit that I used to have a secret weakness for YAHFs in general. As soon as I started writing, though, I had to go cold turkey on reading others' YAHFs in order to keep a clear vision of who I thought 'canon' Xander was in my head.)

Quote
Super!Xander has amazing control over his awesome powers immediately, or at least before the start of the story.  He can do more things than the original, if they came from Halloween.  All problems can be solved by his power and sheer awesome personality.
Empowered Xander has to learn how to control his new powers - it isn't easy, it isn't fast, and he doesn't start off with all the cool stunts that you can think of.  Even if the power is under control, it doesn't make everything better - it may do nothing for his love-life, and may actually make some things worse.

Yes, yes, yes!

p.s. tals, I think the challenge idea is brilliant. Can't wait to see what people come up with.
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« Reply #40 on: Sun, 05 Sep 10 09:05:04 »

I like Xander as a character, but I CAN NOT STAND YAHFs!!!

Xander is cool because he is human. He's the normal one who fights, not because he has to, but because it's the right thing to do. He doesn't have powers as such, just an almost Batman level stubborn streak.

I've known people like Xander who have gone into things feeling totally outclassed, but refused to stop swinging because if they did, 'bad things' could happen.

He doesn't need !Super or !Empowered. He's powerful enough as he is. His most useful abilities are his willpower and his loyalty to his friends. Not Xander!Hyena or Xander!Soldier. Great Xander fics are stuff like his section of 'SNTeam' all of 'Headhunters' and the like.
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« Reply #41 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 06:55:28 »

The thing I don't get about the 'Need for Super' is that 'ordinary' Xander has a serious pair on him.  Super Xander doesn't really need them.  I think therefore that in an odd way, super Xander is emasculated.  Also, he stops having a personality, b/c there's no space for quirks if you're 'Perfect-in-every-way.'  When you make him into a super, uber-creature, he stops being the courageous guy who does everything that the supers do... goes into every fight they do... with NONE of their advantages -- and still survives, and even is critical to the success.

Season 1:  If he hadn't saved Buffy, she wouldn't have stopped The Master, and we wouldn't have had a show!  Smiley  Remember what a world w/o Buffy and with the master free was like?

Season 2:  He's the one who gets the rocket launcher that stops the judge.  Major world saveage!

Season 3:  He's the one who figures out the explosives and helps coordinate the fighters, to stop the mayor.

Season 4:  He's the heart in the big spell to stop Adam.

Season 5:  Glory bowling.  If he hadn't put her down, Buffy couldn't have stopped her, and Giles couldn't have killed her.

Season 6:  He saves the world by being the ONLY person who can reach Willow

Season 7:  He loses an eye saving a potential.  He's a part of the final battle to save the world...  He's one of those crazy people that Anya talks about who fights despite the odds.

The man's got balls.  Most people would have just run away from odds like these (above).

How much more super does he need to be?  The reason we're all here years after the show went off the air is because the people in the show were human and we relate to them.  There are many great shows that are entertaining while they are on the air, but few that touch people the way the buffyverse does.  I think it's the 'Xanders' and the whole cast of crazy, imperfect, human, fascinating people that populate it, that make BtVS such an amazing sandbox to play in.

Blue
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« Reply #42 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 09:19:07 »

I don't really mind Super Xander per se, it's the fact that the vast majority of Super Xander authors either bash, or minamize every other character in the cast.

I agree completely, there is no one character that made the show, it was the combination of all of the cast memebers that made it so enjoyable. So when one character becomes the black hole at the center of the Buffy universe and sucks the personality out of every other character it kills the enjoyment of the story.  At least for me.
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« Reply #43 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 10:12:39 »

I don't really mind Super Xander per se, it's the fact that the vast majority of Super Xander authors either bash, or minamize every other character in the cast.

I agree completely, there is no one character that made the show, it was the combination of all of the cast memebers that made it so enjoyable. So when one character becomes the black hole at the center of the Buffy universe and sucks the personality out of every other character it kills the enjoyment of the story.  At least for me.

I couldn't agree more.  I've enjoyed super-powered Xander stories, Terran Jedi, for one (though I think it is a bit on the line at times, b/c it makes him a bit too powerful, but it doesn't bash or make the other characters unimportant) but the stories I'm talking about are not simply 'super-powered Xander' stories, but Super-Xander stories...  Super-powered Xander could still be a person, just like all the mutants, superheroes and Buffy etc, are people -- capable of failing and screwing up, and most importantly, needing others.  

Super-Xander, on the other hand, needs no one, and actually may need the others in the story to be incompetent, bivelling [sp?] idiots.  He's bigger, better, shinier, sexier and smarter than everyone and everyone is an incompetent ass who overlooks his glorious perfection.  He's Glory!  Buffy's murk and Willow's Jinx, or vice versa...

Blue
« Last Edit: Tue, 07 Sep 10 11:53:26 by DeepBlueJoy » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 11:04:15 »

So when one character becomes the black hole at the center of the Buffy universe and sucks the personality out of every other character

>.< Gee, thanks for the plot bunny. Now I gotta go try to pawn it off on someone else.
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« Reply #45 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 11:08:48 »

 He's Glory!  Buffy's murk and Willow's Jinx, or vice versa...

So... You're saying Xander is Glory?
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« Reply #46 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 11:20:28 »

So when one character becomes the black hole at the center of the Buffy universe and sucks the personality out of every other character

>.< Gee, thanks for the plot bunny. Now I gotta go try to pawn it off on someone else.

You're welcome, I think.
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« Reply #47 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 11:51:36 »

 He's Glory!  Buffy's murk and Willow's Jinx, or vice versa...

So... You're saying Xander is Glory?

Only Super!Xander.   Normal regular Xander is just a nice guy with a depth perception problem!
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« Reply #48 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 15:37:33 »

 He's Glory!  Buffy's murk and Willow's Jinx, or vice versa...

So... You're saying Xander is Glory?

*snort* Now that sounds like an excellent idea for a fic! After all, Ben was born as a normal human male who just happened to have an evil diety sharing his brain...hmmm...of course, we all know that Xander would sacrifice himself (kill himself) before allowing Glory to take Dawn once he learned that Dawn was the Key...or would Willow be able to separate them?

Hmmmm..... Interesting thoughts plague my brain now...
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« Reply #49 on: Tue, 07 Sep 10 18:12:03 »

That's not how it would go at all. In the world of  Super!Xander, Glory would become one of "Xander's girls", he would open an internal dialog with her in their shared mind, overpower her conciousness with help from the sprirts of the soldier and hyena, then convince her to renounce evil, cure her madness, and gain access to her powers whilst in his male form and then go on to deal with all future evil threats personally, sidelining Buffy and Willow both of whom never really understood what it was like to be a hell-god trapped in an alien dimension and with no friends, and, just for good measure, shag Miss Calendar.
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