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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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the mutant registration act was highly inspiring
children of dune - leto 1
I'm always fairly relieved when I write under thirty thousand words, as I'm less likely to overthink it and I don't know if you know this, but the dividing line between 30K and 150K is what we call when I stop to think about what I'm writing. The core, what I actually meant to write, is usually about ten thousand words in there. Call it an executive summary. In my fandom career above the 30K line, there are precisely two exceptions to that, where I needed every word; the second was And All the World Beneath. The first was Jus Ad Bellum, which I'm currently bracing myself to re-read in lieu of X-Men First Class, since this movie completely--and I do mean completely--changed my view of Xavier.

I didn't like him then, and whoo, checking one of my first X-Men fic featuring him using Rogue as a stand-in for Erik---I would say it's not like that, but really, it kind of is--I really, really, really didn't like him, and I forgot that, which is why I'm currently having severe cognitive dissonance. I remember not really caring for him, but apparently, there's a period of time in there that I was ready to kill him, and then finally I did.

Now I feel bad about it, because with First Class canon, he totally could have led a mutant revolt against the humans when mutants were enslaved. He could have kicked great amounts of ass in the camps. He could have made them all kick their own asses. It's upsetting; I killed him because to get a world where the mutants fought back after beign confined to camps, I couldn't have him there, I needed him to catalyze Erik and Scott with his death; I couldn't see him able to take the step they needed that Erik would run with to create a new mutant oligarchy on earth. I couldn't see Scott and Jean and Logan letting themselves be corrupted by the new world order if Xavier could pull them back. I didn't think if he was there, they could do what they had to do to survive.

Do comic fans feel like this when you get a new writer for the series (or hey, Ultimate)? I never was into teh Batman movies enough to feel the dissonance, but I am officially getting a headache from a.) guilt (I--know, leave me alone, I've been McAvoy's since Children of Dune and all that time without a shirt; way to go God!) and also b.) interpretation failure on a massive scale. I don't mind making leaps, but either they are that different in character or I missed something important in the first movie (and later, somewhat, in the second and various cartoons over the years).

I'm not sure I so much got better about writing out my character dislike (see, Smallville; it was a lesson), but I'm not sure I was ever so naked about before X-Men or after.

Also, for the record, I just realized I wrote Erik/Toad and I have no memory of why. I didn't even write slash back then. I didn't even write anything Logan/Rogue! And now I am all confused because ten years ago I didn't like Xavier and I'm pretty sure I didn't care for Erik and now I am in some kind of fugue state when I think of Charles (I think of him as Charles okay?) and realized I've really missed writing the apocalypse. And that I wrote Erik/Toad, and somewhere I have to have some notes on where the hell that came from.

Sometimes I think fanfic writers' problems are kind of unsettling. Feel free to share your own! That's kind of a plea, in case I need to be more transparent here.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/87900.html. | You can reply here or there. | comments

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I'm um. co-authoring a fic for stbb and its...hard. Way harder than I thought it would be because we have to keep passing it back and forth and I've never written anything even close to this long and I want to cry because she's not really a stxi writer so I have to like, rework her parts sometimes and seriously she's just lucky I love her because I want to set this fic on fire even if I know I'll love it at the end. I don't know if anyone else will love it, but whatever.

Oh man, cowrites, yes this. *hugs you* It's stressful. Even with cowriters who were fandom and style simpatico could be--stressful.

The four X-men fanfics I wrote when I was 16, right after the first movie came out, are on fanfiction.net. In the last 2 months, they've randomly started getting people favoriting them and me. I find it awkward and can't even bring myself to go re-read them to try to figure out the minds of the people liking them.

I got feedback on a few that I'm not embarrassed by, but I'm just starting at some of the utterly naked character hate and wincing so hard on some of the others.

*curious* What was your pairing?

That is actually fascinating. Hmm, the only thing I can kind of analogize to is LOTR, in that the movies verse version of the characters in some cases completely changed my concept of individual characters and also their interrelationships. (But it wasn't like I'd written any of them, which is a whole other level of investment).

I haven't read the comics so only have familiarity with the movies... But am I getting your meaning right that you're saying that the Charles of First Class is more ambiguous -- and potentially scarier than comics/earlier movie versions? I have found myself thinking a lot about what it would take to push him over the line. Actually I have a couple of ideas along those lines -- and I do think it's totally possible to see this Charles decide he had to protect what was near and dear to him. Of course, humans aiming nuclear missiles at them wasn't enough, so maybe the characterization you saw earlier is still basically there?

Is Erik's characterization in First Class similarly different or is that more consistent with the comics?

(Also, apparently there are fics of yours I haven't read, which I thought wasn't actually possible lol.)

I just posted an X-Men First Class one!

It's weird--for Trek, I shifted series to TOS, but I didn't have an inherit change in my favorite character, though I definitely like Jim more now. Considering my fic leanings (its' not like you can't guess those) and my faint dislike of Xavier, I went in leaning Erik and came out so pro-Charles it's kind of insane. And pro-Erik, obviously, but Charles enchants me. He uses his power and he's not afraid of it and he doesn't hobble himself in the use. New. World. Order.

And yes, this Charles is scarier. Professor Xavier was the X-Men leader but not team leader and I always assumed I was reading it due to his wheelchair, but it's the personality difference; this Charles doesn't need to walk to be their leader in ideology and in combat.

For a while, I got kind of twitchy about comic book movies and new writers and new games. And then it occurred to me, in a blinding flash of light, that I could accept them if I decided they were just AUs. And then I was okay. So that's something fanfic has helped me with.

I'm kind of terrible at writing fanfic, though, so I don't have much to share in the way of trials and tribulations.

I think McAvoy put an entirely different spin on Charles' personality with this reboot. Don't get me wrong, I adore Sir Patrick Stewart's portrayal of Xavier in the first X-men movies, but that Xavier is a much more benign, almost saint rather than the creature we get in First Class.

McAvoy's Xavier is much more approachable for the viewer. He's down at the pub, he's hitting (and failing) on girls, he has terrible pick up lines - this is not the calm saint who barely bats an eye at anything. McAvoy's Xavier is closer to the Xavier we, the viewer, can relate to; he's got failings, he's not the untouchable saint on a pedestal. He's got no problems using his powers to manipulate the FBI/CIA, he does put his fellow mutants first over humans and is very protective of them. I view this as far different from the peace pushing, everybody love each other Xavier from the first few movies.

Now I get to the part of First Class that bothered me, in regards to both nu!Xavier and nu!Erik's characters: the beach scene, before the missiles. Erik comes out of that sub with a massive personality change. We don't really get a heads up to the grandiose speech that falls out of his mouth at that point. During the whole movie, Erik is a Nazi hunter (GO MAN KILL 'EM ALL), a terrible motivator, dead sexy in a turtleneck, and Protective!Erik when Charles is about to get squished on the Blackbird - but then, he does a one eighty and goes all megalomaniac and preachy. There is something in that scene that just does not jive for me. I would have bought it - right up to the point where Charles reaches out with his mind to confirm the missile strike. Charles, up to this point, has agreed with Erik about his protective stance towards mutants. So why the ever loving FUCK does Charles make a plea for Erik to save the humans when he knows that the military will just fire again?

And, for that matter, why didn't they fire again? Didn't think about that before, but the captains should have said, fuck it, let's try again, because there's a threat to be eliminated on the beach. So, unless something happens that the viewer doesn't get to see, it makes no sense that Charles and company were just left on that beach, free and clear.

Sorry, left field. Where was I? So. The rift at the end of First Class doesn't make a lot of sense to me. During the entire movie (and even after the damn beach scene) we see a Charles that's dead set on protecting his mutants from harm, up to even wiping a human's memory clean - so why the fuck does he disagree with Erik on the beach? Yeah, I get that Charles would be all about not killing people - BUT. I think his character should have known Erik's personality enough that Charles would have argued against killing the humans so that they, the mutants, could mitigate the horror that's about to come down on them if Erik did go about with the return missile strike and not tried to argue that the men on those boats were just following orders.

As for the comic-canon Xavier - I remember a Xavier that sat in the gray areas a lot more than the noble shining saint of the first few films. There was a particular issue - god I can't remember which, but it was the one where Magic died from the Legacy virus and the Professor, for reasons I don't remember at the moment, can walk for the day, and Jubilee takes him roller blading. The First Class Charles reminds me of that guy and not Stewart's portrayal of the man.

I guess one other problem I have with Charles being set up as a saint is that he's a telepath. He's probably seen the darkest part of every person's soul. He should at least be a little more pragmatic than Stewart's version - and McAvoy brings a little of that to the stage with his version of Charles. So I guess that's why the ending of First Class drives me a little crazy with the need to fix the fucking thing.

tl;dr - Stewart played Xavier as a saint on a pedestal. McAvoy gave Charles feet of clay. We dig the feet of clay, man. He's much more fuckable.

So much this. Put much better than I could have.

Although I would say not only more fuckable - which sorry Sir Patrick but yes, McAvoy edges ahead of you there - but more likeable.

I do think it's a shame they didn't leave the becoming enemies on opposing sides thing for another movie, bot because another movie, and also because yes, they went to that beach too close together in ideology to buy the sudden shift easily.

you are just excellent, okay?

I'm currently trying to work out a plot where Charles merrily mindfucks entire armies and I am so going to hell, but he'd be so like, awesome doing it!


I love you more.

Someone, I can't remember who, pointed out that in the first three X-Men movies Xavier spends the climax incapacitated in some way - comatose in the first one, mind-controlled in the second, and dead in the third - because, from a storytelling point of view, that's pretty much the only way to get around the problem question of "So why doesn't Xavier just wheel in there, freeze everybody, have his X-Men concentrate on taking down Magneto who would now be their only problem, and basically just save the day with his scary telepathy?" Because seriously, that thing he did at the museum in the beginning of X-Men 2? That is the most frighteningly casual display of power ever. Stryker, and then Magneto, try to use his telepathy to commit global genocide, because with him that shit is totally just a slip in sanity away. I think making Xavier into a near-saint is pretty much the only way to have him as a protagonist; I can't see a way to wield mind-control powers like his and get much of a moral grey area.

TL;DR I'm pretty sure if Erik had Charles' powers he would have taken over the world by teatime.

Stryker, and then Magneto, try to use his telepathy to commit global genocide, because with him that shit is totally just a slip in sanity away.

That is the greatest quote in history. I just keep reading it and going "Oh hell yes."

...was that the wrong reaction? I'll happily take "mind controlled world of willing followers in a cult-like religion" which--oh God, why am I thinking this?

Yes, Charles could consume the world if he were pushed far enough. That's what "Omega Class" means. The question is, what could push him that far?

You need to read Mike Carey's X-Men Legacy. Xavier is one of the main protagonists in that book, along with Rogue and Magneto. Carey breaks Xavier and rebuilds him along more pro-active lines. He's still reluctant to hurt anyone, but he's got no compunction against using his mind control abilities to create elaborate mental restraints that will allow him to walk among entire teams of violent mutants who hate him and try to persuade them to join him. His recent "conversation" with the Juggernaut and recruitment of the Accolytes involved immense displays of telepathic power and control. I've written an introduction to it here: http://crabby-lioness.livejournal.com/70706.html

I just ordered Divided He Stands entirely due to the movie. I have high hopes!

Also, do you happen to know the Omega Class mutants on the top of your head? I know Jean Grey, Bobby Drake, and Remy was at one point when Nicieza was writing him.... Ororo? The Nates and Rachel?

Oh, and if you really want to see Erik and Charles take over the world, that's House of M: Civil War: http://www.amazon.com/House-M-Civil-Christos-Gage/dp/0785133801/

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