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[personal profile] ofvanity
Why is is that my regular talking needs warnings? Fandom scrouples~, discussions~, discrepancy~, beta love, and pretty much, extra thoughts on The Finest, for which this contains spoilers.

Usually, I have a nice little post where I rant about the fic I'm currently working on and when it'll be out and what kind of fuckery and jiggery pokery I traversed to get through it, but this time--not only am I super belated--I decided to talk about my asshole genius of a beta that does most of the magical fuckery that makes everything at least SOUND coherent, [livejournal.com profile] everhaunting. I've known EH since I was 13 and she's been my beta for at least, 3 of those years, on and off and I don't think I've ever stopped and really thought about the kind of shit I put her through.

Guys. Guys. Look at these chat logs.


haunting: Are you progressing ?
vanity: I am fighting with fucking Alex being so goddamn angsty and not just coming out with the fucking fact that's he's a fucking virgin. Erg. :/
haunting: Tell him it's okay to be a virgin! No one is going to judge him.
vanity: No.
vanity: He needs to just tell Charles.
vanity: Okay, look.
vanity: This is how this scene is supposed to go.
vanity: After a <3-to-<3, Charles and Alex become sort of friends, like confidants.
vanity: And after an especially bad round of training after what looked like progress, Charles seeks Alex out.
vanity: They fight.
vanity: Something like, "Alex, Y SO SAD?"
vanity: "PROF, FUCK OFF AND DIE."
vanity: "Alex, you don't mean that."
vanity: *sigh* "No, I don't."
vanity: "You need to have faith IN URSELF, BUTTAHFLIEE."
vanity: "I HAZ NO FAITH. I IZ EVEN A VIRGIN, STUPID MUTATION THAT I CANNOT CONTROL."
vanity: "o..really? : )"
vanity: "yes"
vanity: "...so," cough, "do you, y'know." *CRUDE HAND GESTURE*
vanity: *blushing all around*
vanity: "..well, i did in SOLITAIRE, cos I was alone and DA PLAZMA can't TOUCH DIS"
vanity: "oh."
vanity: "...IM SCARED OF NEVAH CONTROLLIN IT AND NEVAH GETTIN IT IN."
vanity: "let me give you a handjob and mindfuck~ AT THE SAME TIME."
vanity: "OHKAY."
vanity: end scene with an awkward non-kiss moment.
vanity: Did you get any or all of that?
vanity: Because it was like. The Best Summary Ever.
haunting: Sounds like a beautiful plan.
haunting: Forever reblog.
vanity: THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE ARE FORMING.
vanity: ALEX FINALLY ADMITS HE WANTS CHARLES' HAND DOWN HIS PANTS.
vanity: PROGRESS! ANGST! WIZARDRY!
vanity: I'm sick and I'm really tired.
vanity: But I'm like FOUR PAGE STREAK.
vanity: And I need to do this.
vanity: Tell me.
vanity: Nancy, you can do it.
vanity: etc, etc.
haunting: Nancy, You can do it.
haunting: I believe in you.
haunting: You're a beautiful soul with a rough exterior...
vanity: MERLIN WAS RIDING THE DRAGON.
vanity: And the Dragon was all, I can't resist your call, even if I wanted to.
vanity: INTERSPECIESISM.
vanity: or something like that.
vanity: I need chap stick. D;
vanity : My lips are like, FUCK YOU MEAN, THEM TEETH IS SHARP. D:
vanity : Alright. So this next scene is sort of awkward!morning-after.
vanity: Charles is all, I gave you a handjob! You need to keep training! I can train you! I can train you! To have sex! *CRUDE HAND GESTURE* Let's have sex!
vanity: Alex is all, You gave me a handjob! I liked it! I don't want to hurt you! I want to bang you! Sex me up! *cough* I mean, train me up!
haunting: LMFAO.
vanity: As you can tell, it's a serious artistic process.
vanity: Bro. Seriously. Merlin is polishing Arthur's sword.
vanity: how the fuck even.
vanity: They are so bros.
vanity: Bros in love.
vanity: I want food.
vanity: I need to plan this scene.
vanity: Besides all the exclamation points and sex...
vanity: I am four seconds away from bursting into tears.
haunting: Why?
vanity: My red pen is drying out. IDEKY BUT IT IS.
vanity: IT'S HAPPENING.
haunting: Oh shit.
vanity: AND WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT A RED PEN.
vanity : USE BLACK TO CORRECT BLACK?
vanity: NO.

There was also a threat of scrapping everything at least twice, there was a moment when I was convinced the fic was cursed (two broken pens, one lost, the notebook binding tore, and this one time I was trying to write and couldn't concentrate with so many mosquitoes feeding of what is clearly delicious, delicious blood) and swore to drop out of school, become a pole dancer, move to Boston, marry a nice pole repair man and have 2.5 kids.

It might have been that I was dealing with summer laziness or that I'm easily distracted by shiny!Merlin, which I was catching up on while writing this. Clearly, a mistake. It also might have had to do with THE FIC BEING CURSED. Posting this was a hassle for me, especially because Livejournal REFUSED to cooperate with me on something so petty as format. Unbelievable.

In any case, this is basically a very public and vehement Thank You and I Occasionally Love You When You're Not Spamming Me With Random Photos of Whoever Has Struck Your Fancy That Week Letter to [livejournal.com profile] everhaunting. Here's to you, darling, you are gorgeous and immaculate and when you read this you're probably going to throw glitter on me or something, but you deserve it. For the late nights, quasi-arguments, the times where I ignored you and watched Merlin, the times I called you in the middle of the night because of pacing or grammar or goddamn characterizations, for that one time you called Cobb a beautiful soul with a rough exterior, and for the fact that if I picked up my phone right the fuck now--it's two thirty in the AM and you have a fuckton of things to do tomorrow--you would answer it. ♥____♥

The Finest, however, is completely attributed to two things in this fandom and EH was amazing at helping me work through all the insane fuckery that is my brain, to carry beyond those into the story.

The first being something I explained to EH in one of those three AM conversations, "I realized something about this Charles/Alex fic.This is the fic for all the characters in all the fandoms that were ever put in a position to have sex with another character but spend the entire time thinking of their fanon true love and didn't enjoy said sex. This is a fic about everyone having sex and THEY'RE GONNA LIKE IT."

I got pretty sick pretty quickly of seeing every fic in the fandom where Charles gets with someone else in the house but spends the entire time thinking of Erik. Same goes for Arthur in the Inception fandom, and John in the Sherlock BBC fandom. There are just some things that really irk me and this is one of those.

And EH fought me pretty hard on this, that Erik is Charles' SOUL~MATE~, and I believe that if they had different circumstances, that would have been true, but in the long run, Erik left. Maybe he had issues to work out, maybe Charles is a twat, but Erik still left and that just doesn't speak truefuckinglove to me. Especially because Charles comes off as a player in the beginning of the movie, he wouldn't let Erik string him along for nothing.

The second being the characterization that quickly became fanon for Alex. A lot of the time he's either seen as a) an asshole, b) a kid with a history of rape, or c) just one of the kids. Although, he is an asshole to Hank, Hank kinda had it coming, what with being shallow and shit. What other character is he an asshole towards?

As far as the rape history goes, I can understand that people would get that impression, that because he was in prison, Alex would have experience with sexual abuse. The thing about that is, I know way too much about prison to let it slide. Considering the time period and the current social expectations, the fact he was in an army prison, kept in solitary, and came into the place with a reputation, as pretty as he is, no one's going to touch the crazy kid that never comes out of his cell. I feel like, if anything, he would have more exposure to violence than sexual abuse.

An extension of that is the maturity level they present him with. From what I've discerned from the movie 'verse is that he's spent quite some time in jail, immediately following a kidnapping he was involved in with his foster sister. Point being, even if he was a kid at the beginning of the movie, let himself relax around people his own age (which, by the way, notice how he naturally gravitated towards Darwin, arguably one of the more mature members among them), prison, especially at such a young age, with so much solitary confinement, is taxing. Maybe I'm over thinking it or maybe fanon and the movie 'verse oversimplified him, but it seems unlikely that someone who spent a good portion of his adolescence alone, in a place where he pretty much couldn't trust anyone, he wouldn't stay a naive kid.

These were the types of things I was trying to get across, along with some other characterizations I didn't like in fanon. For example, Raven. Everything I wrote for Raven's character was meant for her to come together in a stronger fashion than the movie 'verse. (Jennifer Lawrence was wasted in XM: FC, let's face it.)

Everything else, like the 'verses, and the philosophy was a close second, but I think in this character study, I was trying to write realistic characters, in a setting befitting to the current social standards but adding the extra weight of their mutations. Speaking of which, constructive criticism is always, always, always welcome, especially for something like this where I apparently have so much to say.

I love this fandom, there is so many aspects to play with, and hopefully I will continue to work in this fandom, but if I can't for a while, this was a good place to take a breather. If you read all of this, well, thank you. If it made sense, I applaud you. That concludes our show for this evening.

Date: 2011-10-01 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everhaunting.livejournal.com
Comment space reserved for with it's not three in the morning and I'm not asleep...

Date: 2011-10-01 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everhaunting.livejournal.com
:D I love you too! I was going to fight you right now on the whole Erik thing, but I'm taking the high road and letting it be. Because I know how I feel about him/them, and you know how I feel about him/them. I have like a sixth sense for when you are trying to contact me. I was dead asleep last night and I got the text saying you messaged me on FB, and I was woken up by the text. That wouldn't say much if I didn't have six other texts from other people that I didn't so much as stir for. When you come over tonight can you bring the notebook that has the BS fic in it? I want to read over that one, and before you ask no I can't just read it on your journal or in the docs. many mosquitoes feeding of what is clearly delicious, delicious blood You need to either add another f or change the f to a 'n'. JS. Forever in Beta mode. <3 Can you please stop saying 2.5 kids? I can't stop picturing you standing in front of a white picket fence holding a baby in one arm, the hand of a toddler in the other and a fucking upper torso and head just lying on the grass next to you. Just admit it already you love my spams just as much as I enjoy your spams. Hey, one last thing! Can we just go back in time and punch our preteen selves and tell them not to be dicks?

Date: 2011-10-03 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ofvanity.livejournal.com
2.7 children, then.

Date: 2011-10-03 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everhaunting.livejournal.com
You're an ass. >:

Date: 2011-10-01 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-am-negotiable.livejournal.com
Have you read the Hunger Games? When fans complain about Jennifer Lawrence's casting in it, I have to be like wtf, who else could you want? There isn't anyone better they could ask for. (This applies to your comment about how she was wasted in the film)

Anyway, I agree that Erik and Charles have an undeniably strong connection, but obviously I'm open to other pairings with the two. I hate all the Moira bashing - she is something to Charles as well, you know?

Really, I just want Jennifer Lawrence to be cast in everything so I can stare at her.

Date: 2011-10-03 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ofvanity.livejournal.com
Yeah, I heard she was cast in that but I've never read the books. Are they good?

I hate it when any character is bashed, especially for the sake of pairings.

Yes, she is superb.

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