Friday, March 27, 2009

AdminRec: The OC Is Not A TV Show

I have just one fundamental question to ask about the OC (original character) in the Twilight Fandom: why is it that only when the prescriptive labels of Bella or Edward are used, we are more accepting of a character that is just virtually an OC? Calling something out of character means that it’s NOT THE ORIGINAL CHARACTER! But for some reason, we need that comfort of familiarity to embrace a story and to spam it with love. Us humans and our little persnickety penchants.

I notice there is one trend that seems predominant when we see that OC (aka OOC in AU-Human in my opinion) in a Canon/AU piece. The tendency to speculate that it must mean Mary Sue/Marty Stu is rampant and many run screaming for the cover of our Fandom Hills clutching to canon names like they are the second coming.

For shame!

Why? Because we assume someone can’t add another dimension to a story many find faultless (I am not one of those people.) Here we are in the midst of a serious talent and yet, we pass it by because of something that takes such liberties as using a different name? When I see a piece of work that not only stays true to the canon of any fandom, but then has the absolute audacity to include their own OC to mix up the established order of things, I am completely awed with the skill of the FanFic Author.

And it’s all because of Elisa and her creator, Avalonia/Ava Sinclair.

Any of you Twilighted old-schoolers will most likely recognize the story Evening Falls by the banner if not by name. It’s the banner with that cute little blonde chick from Gossip Girl and it’s attached to a fic about a girl who was most definitely not in the original Twilight Saga. Elisa is a fully developed and brilliantly actualized original character who is assimilated authentically into the story of our beloved Cullens.

Her journey actually begins in the first installment of a three-part series Avalonia has planned. The first completed fic, Extraordinary, introduces us to Elisa, an average Twilight enthusiast. You don’t have to read Extraordinary to follow Evening Falls, but it’s your loss if you decide to skip it. You’ll miss out on what makes Elisa so fantastic.

Her simplicity.

She is a parable for every girl: you, me, our sisters, and friends. She is a tween whose life doesn’t quite make sense and whose parents just don’t understand. She is slightly self- serving in her rationalizations without being petulant like most giirls that age, but as she experiences loss, we see her mature.

As Evening Falls begins, we see an Elisa who is a bit more wise, but still retains the little quirks that make her endearing, such as her love of books and her precocious snark. She has learned how to accommodate the needs of being a daughter, friend, and sister, but without compromising herself.

"And without thinking, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her..."

"It's about time, Harry." I muttered, turning the page as I shifted to a more comfortable position in the dining room chair. "She's only been waiting on you to get a clue for five years..."

At the start of the story, she is no longer in the Twilight universe, but circumstances of life are about to change that – permanently. A wrong place, wrong time situation occurs and she is transported back to Forks and to the home of the Cullens’ amidst the planning of Edward and Bella’s wedding. With true human perseverance she forges ahead to make the most of herself, including doing everything possible to help Bella and Edward’s reach their HEA.

What’s so subtle about Evening Falls is the relationships Elisa forges with all of the other Cullens. Rosalie becomes so much more than Mommy Dearest and Emmett is the big brother he was always alluded to be. Alice is wonderful as per usual, but it’s Jasper who is the glitch in Elisa’s new family. That’s right, he kinda doesn’t want her there. His motivations are just being revealed and I have no intention of spoiling it for you.

Elisa blends so seamlessly into the story that I swear she has always been there. With each step of her journey, we are introduced to even more original characters which are each pleasant surprises in and of themselves. In addition to the new faces, the canon character stories are not lost. No worries. We still have hefty doses of Edward and Bella for all of you purists.

But in the end, for me, it’s Elisa’s voice that completely captures the reader’s attention and makes everything else white noise. The following passage is one of my favorites in all of fandom. It’s directly after the La Push wolves are demanding Elisa come live with them, but she declines. This is only taken well, depending on where one is standing in the argument, because she has no intention of going vamp unlike our determined Bella. The family is curious about her reasons, because why would anyone not want to be sparkly and immortal?

"OK, well, I want to finish school, of course, and go to college. I don't really know what I want to be yet. I used to want to be a dancer, or an actress, and I still kind of do, but now I think maybe I want to do something that isn't just about me. Something that helps people, but I haven't figured out what that is yet. And sometime between...I don't know, seventeen and twenty-one, I guess, I plan on finding the love of my life. Around twenty-five, I'll get married, and I'm going to have kids. I think I'd like a maybe four or five. It was just me and my brother growing up and I love him, but we never had much in common, plus he and my dad were totally bonded. I used to feel like I didn't belong. It was hard sometimes, never really fitting in. I always thought if I had more brothers and sisters there would be someone that could be more than a sibling...that could be my friend, and that's what I want for my children.'

'So anyway, I'll raise my kids, and have a career, and shop a lot, and be kind of vain all through my thirties and forties. You know what I mean...I'll color my hair, do a little Botox, and lie about my age. Then, somewhere about fifty, I'm just going to let it all slide, go gray, gain about forty pounds, because I think it's important to be huggable when you're a grandma, and bake cookies all day. And I'll retire, and spoil my grandkids until my children get mad at me and travel the world with my husband until I die peacefully in my sleep. So that's it...that's the big plan. Go ahead and laugh." I folded my arms defiantly.

I swear I said the same exact thing when I was her age. Granted, it didn’t work out that way, but the thought is nice and the thing is, Elisa is more the girl next door than Bella ever was. She has dreams and goals, and a little thing like relocating to an alternate universe is no reason to stop her. She is the anti-emo in a fandom so inundated with the tragic, angsty heroine. She is at the very least refreshing, needed to remind us all that it doesn’t have to be dark and dank to be good.

I love her dearly not only because through her, I met a friend, but because I see so much of the burgeoning female in her that it makes me nostalgic at every turn. This is SOLID story-telling. So many of the things that have endeared us to the canon are mixed with the refreshing voice of this lovely girl, that I can’t help being sucked into the purity of this story. So join me and my eighties-hair sized grin the next time Avalonia updates. You won’t be disappointed.

Smellyia is the administrator for this blog and is still emo over the end of BSG one week later. She has been told lately that she rants in her sleep, but always tops it off with a resounding and definitive "So Say We All!"



    My fic is also OC POV, and it is so great to hear someone stand up and tell the world that sometimes those fics don't suck. Sometimes they can be awesome.

    I'm putting this one on my to-read list!


    P.S. LOL @ sign off. Emo as in...liked it? Or hated it? Just curious.

  2. So, I did see this several times when I was browsing, but never took the time to explore it. If they say you can't judge a book by its cover, perhaps it's also true that you can't judge a fanfic by its banner. However, upon reading your review and rec, I think I'd like to read this whole heartily. It sounds like a mash up of Twilight and Fushigi Yuugi (yes, I am an anime/manga addict as well- as if it's any surprise to learn so!) So thanks, this will go unto my ever growing list of TBR's (to be read).

  3. Yes -- this is a fantastic fic and its proud of the OC! Ava is BOLD in this by mixing in an OC with the MAIN canon and really, I just can't get enough of Elisa -- Cullen who?

    The Emo over BSG is JUST because its OVER> The ending -- GAH. Perfection.

  4. Hello-I am wolvesandvamps on twilighted and fanfiction. My email is on there if you want to contact me.

    I loved these stories-thanks for recommending them. Am slightly annoyed that she hasn't updated it since December. I really hate that-you write a good story and get a following, respect it and update. Come one people-have a clue.

    By the way-what the hell is this new trend of the All-human stories? The Cullens are vampires. Deal with it.


    First let me just tell you...I was in chat with Ava, Emibella and siDEADde. We decided we LOVE you. And part of this rec was to get Ava's ASS IN GEAR. I will say though that she is constantly working on it and her chaps are like HUGE word counts. She does have a family, but is a perfectionist. I'm voting for splitting so we can get them SOONER. AND ALSO TO NOT BE SO EMO OVER THE WONDROUSNESS OF IT ALL!!!

    But there is an update on the horizon and hopefully this shall spurn her forth. To quote siDEADde: "Ava, you just got TOLD!"

    Ok -- but what could have been kinda mean was completely saved by calling out the Human. BAHAHAHAHA! Funny thing -- many AU-Human writers (me included) read more vamp fic than Human. The trend is all about us having a vehicle to tell our own stories under the guise of FF and I think a lot of it has to do with perfecting a craft. It's pretty unique in this fandom, but luckily the AU is still alive and well.So while not all love the Human subgenre (many other fandoms have it), I am still happy to see it here because I get to see people being creative and what their own stories would look like if they got the chance to publish. Granted when I want to read Fic -- its the Vamp I cling to. Also, I think you'll notice a lot of Human writers venturing to AU Vamps and Canon -- so don't lose hope! It takes all kinds to make a fandom go round -- I mean even I get sick of the Edward Leaves plot tool.

    But applause to you for getting bold and saying how you feel. But I try to remember that the authors have RL to contend with too -- but still -- UPDATE AVA DAMMIT!

  6. Aw, girl...I am so honored to have my story highlighted amongst all these great fics that have been featured here. I really lucked out the day you happened upon it not only because the attention you've brought to it but because I made a great friend, which a rare and wondrous event. I loved to see your take on it...Elisa, the anti emo. It's SO true.

    AHAHAHA and wolvesandvamps, preach it. When you're right, you're right. I need that kick in the ass - I swear I'm working on it!

  7. I like the oc show so much. I Watch The OC Online regularly. I never skip its episodes. Its my favorite show.


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