17 January 2014 @ 09:29 pm
5 Favorite Meta for 2013 - the "Series" edition  
All of these meta posts are part of a "series" (minimum of two entries) in which at least one entry was posted in 2013.

Dawn Summers: Fighting for an Alternative Feminist Narrative - by kwritten This link takes you to "part 4" (really 5 parts including the introduction), which in turn has links to all the previous entries in the series. I don't know if this is the very first meta ever written about Dawn, but it's the first one I've come across; which is astonishing when you consider her importance and impact to BtVS. Winner of Best Meta in round 10 of the No Rest for the Wicked Awards, and deservedly so.


Fragments of My Imagination: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - by Mark Fields, aka "Sophist" on the AV Club. A richly-detailed analysis of every episode of BtVS from WTTH to Chosen with emphasis on symbolism and metaphor, as well as the numerous cultural references made within the series. Unlike most rewatch series of this sort, each post is written with no spoilers for the following episodes. Link to the introductory post above; scroll halfway down the page to find tags for each season on the right.

BtVS and Consent Issues - by Theresa Basile aka "Lady T".  An examination of "rape, sexual assault, or consent issues as a main plot point or as a featured event" of various episodes of BtVS in chronological order. I highly recommend starting with this post outlining her goals with regards to this series. (Warning for possible triggery issues. This is the buffyverse, after all.) "In Defense of Buffy's Later Years" is not part of the series per se but worth a look. (ETA: thanks to petzipellepingo's heads-up, the main link is now fixed.) 

Willow Character Study Meta - by zooeys_bridge These three meta posts are not technically a "series" in the same way the above entries are, or at least not given a common label, and yet they are so much of a piece with one another that it seems appropriate to include it here. Zooey goes very, very deep into Willow Rosenberg: Who Willow is, her insecurities, what makes her a fascinating character, but also why her arc in S6 is deeply problematic at best.

And now for a little something on the lighter side:

Buffy Studies: Getting to the Truth - by fttstar07 The latest entry in this three-part series posted last spring after a 2-year absence is an intense love letter to Buffy and Spike in S7: "I’m gonna prove Buffy loved Spike and it was more than this simple friendship nonsense. It was love. Real, romantic love." SPEAK TO MY SOUL. The evidence is carefully laid out, episode by episode; the most recent entry takes us from Sleeper to Showtime, with a promise of more to come. Her description of the final scene in Showtime, with a callback to S3's Lovers Walk, sets my inner fangirl alight; as does her generous, compassionate love for both Buffy and Spike. MORE, PLEASE.
 
 
 
( 34 partygoers — chatter )
velvetwhip: He's So Strangevelvetwhip on January 18th, 2014 02:51 am (UTC)
Excellent choices here!


Gabrielle
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! I thought I had this one all set and it would be easy to do and as usual, it wasn't. HOW do I decide "best"? It's terribly subjective.

(I'm going to borrow my sweetie's laptop so I can I try for one or two most posts tonight. Who needs sleep, right?)
zooeys_bridgezooeys_bridge on January 18th, 2014 04:00 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh, this was the most unexpected and sweetest surprise! I'm truly chuffed and honored to have been included and recommended by the likes such as yourself red_satin_doll, thank you!

*blushes and runs away*
red_satin_doll: Lesbian Vampire Seal of Approvalred_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC)
I admit it was a surprise to me as well, because I only read them the other day and realized how well they fit here. I'm very happy to help them get the attention they deserve (as self-appointed Ambassador of Fannish Meta. Somebody's gotta take the job.)
zooeys_bridge: pic#122176785zooeys_bridge on January 18th, 2014 04:27 am (UTC)
*bows* Madame Ambassador
red_satin_doll: Laughing Dead Thingsred_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 05:08 am (UTC)
LiveJournal: pingback_botlivejournal on January 18th, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
Friday January 17, 2014
User audela referenced to your post from Friday January 17, 2014 saying: [...] 5 Favorite Meta for 2013 - the "Series" edition [...]
petzipellepingo: buffyversetop5 spike by eyesthatslaypetzipellepingo on January 18th, 2014 08:41 am (UTC)
The link is not working on the third one by Theresa Basile.
red_satin_doll: Get it Donered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 06:36 am (UTC)
The link is not working on the third one by Theresa Basile.

Hey, hon, I've got it all fixed now, thanks again for the heads-up!

Edited at 2014-01-20 06:37 am (UTC)
Kiki May: Good facekikimay on January 18th, 2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
Why I have so little time?! *screams*

All these metas look absolutely interesting. As always, nice list!
red_satin_doll: Get it Donered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 04:09 pm (UTC)
Why I have so little time?! *screams*

Srsly, right?

And the time I do have I organize and utilitize very very poorly unless I have set structure and deadlines.

I hope you enjoy these!
Butterfly: [Doctor Who] Amy and Rorysnogged on January 18th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing these!
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome hon!
yourlibrarian: ScoobyXmasTop5-eyesthatslayyourlibrarian on January 18th, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
That first one seems like quite a project as well!
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
Full disclosure - I haven't read all the parts of it myself *runs away and hides* If she'd only written the intro piece and nothing else,. it would be worth rec'ing - who pays attention to Dawn Summers on any deeper level?
yourlibrarian: DevilYouKnow: indulging_breckyourlibrarian on January 18th, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
Heh, it's actually the second link I meant (my browser window didn't scroll all the way up) but regardless, I like this idea of meta-series as a category :)
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
You mean Fragments of my Imagination? Oh holy moly I won't even pretend I've read more than a handful, but again what I read was excellent, whether I agree or not. (And I was already familiar with his meta writing on the AV Club discussion threads. That's where I first learned how interesting and intelligent buffyverse conversations could be esp compared to other tv shows. (sometimes)

I'm glad you like this series! The idea popped into my head when I made a list of the meta I wanted to rec, it seemed an easy way to group these together.
red_satin_doll: Get it Donered_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
I think the layman's term for the first two series is "monumental achievement". *lol*

It's funny that you point it out because I didn't plan it in any order at all, but I ended up listing the most involved and "academic" ones first. I don't know if that reflects any prejudice in my thinking, or my subconscious mind took over the wheel last night. Ending with the "lightest" one was a conscious choice.
lucy: tara approvedclockwork_hart1 on January 18th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
I've read two of theses - Kelsey and Zooey's ones, if you were wondering (but I think we already discussed them both anyway?) - and they were both SO FANTASTIC. They both made me look at the characters and all the facets they hide in new and more complex ways whilst never going off on weird tangents that seem to deviate entirely. Skillful and awesome work. The others sound very cool also.

Let's just say: YAY FOR META, LONG MAY IT REIGN!
red_satin_doll: Get it Donered_satin_doll on January 18th, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
I remembered Zooey's comments while doing the post on your stories and re-reading the conversations we had with her on your journal; so yay for synchronicity or whatever you want to call it - the fertile breeding ground of fandom.

YAY FOR META, LONG MAY IT REIGN!

I've got a theory...IT'S ALL META. Every time someone writes a fanfic and changes some part of canon, they are analyzing and commenting on canon. Meta and fiction are not "separate" from one another; that's a false distinction. "Meta" underlines all fannish creativity; the distinction is in genres (fiction, nonfiction; academic essay; picspam, banner, icon, vid etc.)

Of course there will be meta on this. *LMAO*
zooeys_bridge: pic#122176785zooeys_bridge on January 20th, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
Fertile breeding ground indeed! It's such a rich community here, you guys have spent years forging it and it's really a wonder to see it still in action.

Gosh, I love that comment, that fanfiction itself is meta on canon. I've found lately that a lot of how I ramble in textual meta posts (with an apparent exception for the above) has a rhythm similar to my writing style. Part of that is due to how tumblr tags work and how they almost have a language structure all of they're own, with fragmented sentences that express things almost like poetry. It's really interesting how they feed into each other. (ANd see, you're right there's meta on this :P THOUGHTS ARE INTERESTING, OK)
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
you guys have spent years forging it and it's really a wonder to see it still in action.

I came to the show and the fandom (LJ specifically) about a year and a half ago, and was pretty amazed by what I found - so much material going all the way back to when the show was still on the air. To me, the internet is like the world's biggest library. And there's still so much activity even if it seems less so to folks compared to "back in the day" or the 2008-2011 "resurgence". It's just scattered a bit - tumblr, Wordpress etc

But the problem in doing these rec lists isn't that there's too little, it's that there's so much! Just that, or the fact that the folks at su_herald do about three links lists weekly, tells the tale.

fanfiction itself is meta on canon.

Almost a year ago when I tried coming up with definite definitions: what makes "meta" different from "fiction" not in terms of genre but in terms of the writer's goals, and how each one functions. Then I tried to define for myself what exactly separates "meta-fic" from "regular" fiction. And I couldn't come up with "hard" definitive answers; what they share or how they "bleed together" was what interested me.

It came together for me though when I was reading a story that I had to walk away from because the interpretation of canon was so...well, not how I saw it at all. (Do you know the feeling? "Where the HECKITY-HECK did they come up with that?") I didn't engage with the author's interpretation or ideas because that's "just not done". The etiquette is to say nice things about the story, how much you enjoyed it, or address the technical/craft aspects but NOT the ideas presented unless the author has explicitly invited such commentary.

But with non-fiction (meta) it's the complete opposite: the convention is to engage with the ideas only (unless the author explicitly asks otherwise) and ignore the craft aspect (i.e. "metas don't need betas"). And why is that? Because EVERY fanfiction I can think of, in this or any other fandom, is explicitly a commentary on another artist's work, another cultural product; whether the author comes to "praise or bury it"; whether or not the author is "conscious" of it. There's always an idea, an interpretation at the root of it.

I'm suspect some folks would argue that takes it too seriously or that "sometimes it's just about having fun" (Yes, I've been accused....) but I don't think that one negates the other.

has a rhythm similar to my writing style.

*Nods* I don't post as much fiction and think of myself as a non-fiction writer (in reality I've written tons of fic that ends up in the trashbin.) I notice that I have the same problems in either genre: rambling, incoherency, lack of structure, run-on sentences, etc. And I think the same strengths, or at least similar goals, in the very few pieces of fiction I've ever posted or published: tell a story that engages both the mind and the heart.

Part of that is due to how tumblr tags work and how they almost have a language structure all of they're own, with fragmented sentences that express things almost like poetry. It's really interesting how they feed into each other.

This is interesting to me; I don't have a tumblr account and the format seems counter-intiutive to me (I like conversations!) but I also wrote poetry years ago and find that experience helped me tremendously when writing facebook posts for the local co-op I'm a member of: very short, concise, to-the-point because I'm conscious of having a very very tight word limit. Every word HAS to count, But you'd never know it from LONG-ASS comments like this one!

THOUGHTS ARE INTERESTING, OK)

YES! We are, therefore we think - we can't help it, that's how the brain is wired. The ability to communicate and connect can't exist without consciousness.

Edited at 2014-01-20 04:06 pm (UTC)
zooeys_bridgezooeys_bridge on January 24th, 2014 04:11 am (UTC)
"It came together for me though when I was reading a story that I had to walk away from because the interpretation of canon was so...well, not how I saw it at all. (Do you know the feeling? "Where the HECKITY-HECK did they come up with that?") I didn't engage with the author's interpretation or ideas because that's "just not done". The etiquette is to say nice things about the story, how much you enjoyed it, or address the technical/craft aspects but NOT the ideas presented unless the author has explicitly invited such commentary."

This is always a tricky thing to navigate bc you want to comment and discuss but just the act of doing so kind of attacks the very idea at the foundation of the fic. It certainly isn't the norm, which is a shame, because constructive criticism is far better than outright praise, or else how can we improve? But I digress. Point is, I think we've all been there, and word.

"And I think the same strengths, or at least similar goals, in the very few pieces of fiction I've ever posted or published: tell a story that engages both the mind and the heart."

Agreed.

Re: tumblr-
It's interesting, because I had no prior interest in tumblr until another fandom dragged me into it because that's where the community was.

It definitely takes some getting used to as a communication medium - conversations are definitely more difficult and scattered and the PM system is a mess - but what's fantastic about it is the tagging system. You can tag for archival purposes obviously, the first five tags are archived by tumblr and searchable but the rest usually is a fertile ground for comments or ideas, feelings and meta that due to character limits, has to be fragmented. a tag can only be about a sentence or two long and is divided by commas. So for example, you can get commentary on a photo set that looks like this (I'm shamelessly linking myself because it was easy to find on my own blog)

The line between commentary/meta and writing/fanfic blurs because of the tagging structure and it's fascinating.
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 25th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
The other day I was recommending tumblr to my sweetie because she has a blogger blog for her paintings but she HATES writing. even a single sentence. So I thought it might suit her better but IDK.

Oh and your meta, just flawless *BOOKMARKING NOW* - OMG I have so much love for that episode, so much. There is SO much going on I don't even know where to begin. Tara, like Jenny in Passions (another witch with a connection to Willow), attacked by the Big Bad because of a piece of information (Angelus wants to supress it, Glory wants to possess it. Knowledge IS power.)

And her sacrifice - dear god, paying back the protection Buffy and Dawn offered her in Family. Buffy not able to do anything except embrace Tara uselessly (no "sexy wounds" no kisses to set a thousand ships a-sailin'), try to comfort Willow and rescue her when she goes on a "suicide mission" after Glory. (And then by the end of the season, Buffy will be dead of her own "suicide mission".)

And Willow going after Glory? Yes it's thrilling and cool - until I remember season 6. *sobs* Oh those girls.

(BTW, you mentioned on another post that "someone" had rec'd your metas and called that person "well-respected in fandom". WHO THE HECKITY-HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, YOUNG LADY? *blushes* I don't know how I got this reputation, I sincerely do not.)

The line between commentary/meta and writing/fanfic blurs because of the tagging structure and it's fascinating.

And I love those sorts of things, those places where hard distinctions disappear; if you have any more examples send them my way!
zooeys_bridgezooeys_bridge on January 20th, 2014 04:37 am (UTC)
The fact that you didn't think I went off on tangents or deviated from the point is only the greatest compliment ever because I AM THE SPAZZIEST MOST RAMBLY PERSON OF ALL TIME. I actually went back and re-read them to check and honestly don't think I wrote them. Who is that person and can I channel her more often?

Also thank you. I'm sorry I haven't been more present here lately (this goes for red_satin_doll too, there are comments I know I have to reply to), but I've been really occupied with another fandom the past two months and neglecting the Buffy LJ community I was just starting to get involved in. (Dammit, Frozen, why did I have to fall in love with you. See?! RAMBLETANGENT)
red_satin_doll: Laughing Dead Thingsred_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 02:43 pm (UTC)
I AM THE SPAZZIEST MOST RAMBLY PERSON OF ALL TIME

Oh I doubt that very much, sweetie. The most? You'll have to fight for the title. (You remember my long-ass replies to your comments on clockwork_hart1's journal, right?)

Who is that person and can I channel her more often?

I have that reaction constantly. Especially if I have little or no memory of writing the piece. My one fanfic in this fandom for instance - I have NO memory of writing it. Editing and posting it? Yeah that was a bitch thanks to LJ formatting bugs at the time; but anything before that, no.

I think it's those moments we live for as writers, when it just flows through us, or seems to come out of nowhere. I've tended to say "Well it wasn't me I didn't do that, I was just present for the ideas"; on one level that's true symbolically but on another that's nonsense. It flowed through us because we made the choice to pick up the pen or apply fingers to keyboard; we are the ones practicing and working on our craft. The work and committment precede the "flow".

But dear god when that happens? Oh goodness the high is incredible. It reminds me of any moment where we feel outside of ourselves, at one with something larger; we've "surrendered" ourselves. I think it's the impulse behind so much of what we do as human beings: sex, religious worship, meditation, shopping (and yes, literal drugs). Acting on stage, being part of a project with other people, volunteering, etc Anything. Or when we're little kids and spin and spin in a circle until we get dizzy. No one teaches us that, we just do it. We want to be transported out of our bodies because it feels so good.

And then like anything else, when it passes, there's an emotional crash.

Now look who's spazzy.

there are comments I know I have to reply to

At this point I have over 800 items in my inbox, some well over a year old that I always intended to answer and never have (along with a few things I decided against responding to and haven't deleted.) Having more friends here and widening my circle of acquaintance in this fandom has been wonderful, but my disorganized brain will never keep up with everything. It's not possible and I need to just be ok with that.

And ok, who or what is "Frozen"?
zooeys_bridge: pic#122176785zooeys_bridge on January 24th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC)
if the internet were to have a fight to the death for the spazziest most ramble person, everyone would probably be dead.

(I do remember your comments, and they were lovely :) )

(Ugh, editing and posting - formatting is truly the devil's work.)

"I think it's those moments we live for as writers, when it just flows through us, or seems to come out of nowhere. I've tended to say "Well it wasn't me I didn't do that, I was just present for the ideas"; on one level that's true symbolically but on another that's nonsense. It flowed through us because we made the choice to pick up the pen or apply fingers to keyboard; we are the ones practicing and working on our craft. The work and committment precede the "flow".

But dear god when that happens? Oh goodness the high is incredible. It reminds me of any moment where we feel outside of ourselves, at one with something larger; we've "surrendered" ourselves. I think it's the impulse behind so much of what we do as human beings: sex, religious worship, meditation, shopping (and yes, literal drugs). Acting on stage, being part of a project with other people, volunteering, etc Anything. Or when we're little kids and spin and spin in a circle until we get dizzy. No one teaches us that, we just do it. We want to be transported out of our bodies because it feels so good."

Ok stop, I might cry that was beautiful. I'm saving that for future reference.


("Frozen" is the latest Disney movie about two sisters and magic and love and sacrifice and I highly recommend seeing it. I have never gotten so emotionally involved in an animated work before and it's…strange but goodness my heart. I'm into it as much as I've ever been into Buffy and that's weird considering how long Buffy's been in our lives.)
red_satin_doll: Laughingred_satin_doll on January 25th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
if the internet were to have a fight to the death for the spazziest most ramble person, everyone would probably be dead.



A Disney movie about SISTERS? I need to make this a part of my life!
zooeys_bridge: pic#122176785zooeys_bridge on January 25th, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
Yes, you do. Right now. With complex characters and issues and the best music in years and LADIES and LADY RELATIONSHIPS. Come talk to me about it after :)
red_satin_doll: Lesbian Vampire Seal of Approvalred_satin_doll on January 25th, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
**SQUEES, BOUNCES UP AND DOWN**

THIS - is not the sort of thing I'd expect from Disney, ever.
fttstar07: Buffy1fttstar07 on January 19th, 2014 02:46 pm (UTC)
I'm so honored you referenced my meta!! Thank you!! I'll keep working on the next part and post soon!! :)
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
I admit to having ulterior motives!

I'll keep working on the next part and post soon!!

YAY!!!!!!!

fttstar07: Buffy1fttstar07 on January 20th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
I figured, lol! But it's nice to know you're reading it :)
red_satin_doll: Chosen One - purplered_satin_doll on January 20th, 2014 06:47 am (UTC)
And I'm hoping other people will too! thus encouraging you to write more. I'm devious that way.

I did re-read them tonight btw and I agree with most of what I said in my comments almost a year later. If anything I'd want to touch on other aspects or details I missed before; there's so much "there there".
( 34 partygoers — chatter )