Saturday, August 1, 2009

GuestEssay: Hmonster Gobbles Up Some Emmett Love


Emmett: The Lionhearted, Canon Bad Ass.

Hmonster


I’ve spent the last month and a half elbows deep in fan fic for the Indies. And in the process I noticed a disturbing trend.

Not enough Emmett.

Actually, let me rephrase that. Not enough GOOD Emmett.

Okay, in all seriousness, two male characters did dominate the stories nominated. The first one was common sense. Heck, he lured us in from that first meeting in biology. But the second one surprised me. It wasn’t a dark haired Quileute. It was a quiet blonde haired Texan.

Very simply, the ladies love them some Jasper.

He’s taken over the fandom lately. Canon, non canon, hetero and slash.

And it made me wonder why the other two Cullen boys get such short shrift. Don’t believe me? Do a search on fan fic. Emmett has ½ the stories that Jasper does (we won’t even touch Edward, although…well…yeah, that’s a different article).

So after deep conversation with some of my pals, I’ve decided that it was time for someone OTHER than Edward and Jasper should get some loving.

With that said, I’d like to welcome you to Emmettville. Population? Me.

Well, okay, me and a few others (yes, Emibella, I have plenty of room for you).

I am an unabashed Emmett lover. I have no problem admitting it; I like him better than all the Cullen boys put together. I promised people when I started Deconstructing Dracula that I’d make them fall as madly in love with my Emmett as with my Edward. I think I managed to convert a few.

But in all seriousness, Emmett is one of the most maligned characters in fan fic, second only to Alice the chirpy shopping obsessed pixie. I get that it’s common practice to leverage traits from the books when threshing out character. We have all done it in different degrees. Bella the Klutz, Esme the housewife. Rosalie the bitch. Please shoot me if anyone ever serves mushroom ravioli.

But Emmett seems to be stuck in his own special ring of fan fic hell. Cursed to be the dumb jock, the big oaf. A two dimensional caricature who is all about sex and no substance.

I decided it’s time to rectify the situation.

I trolled fan fic sights in the hope of finding the next great Emmett fic. And I came away sadly disappointed.

So I went with plan B, and reached out to the authors of some of my personal favorite Emmett’s. I plead my case. I offered bribes. And in the end, Emibella, OCD_Indeed, Gemmabobella and ElleCC were kind enough to weigh in on what inspired them as they wrote one hell of an Emmett.

What they don’t know…I’ve lent my visualizations along the way. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Okay, lets start at the source.

Canon Emmett

Ah…the Emmett that won my heart. Funny. Emotionally intuitive. Loyal as hell.

But let’s be honest. The moments that we remember about canon Emmett the most tend to be teasing Bella and shouting ‘Go Gators.’ Forget that he was usually doing it out of great affection or to diffuse a rather tense situation. The outgoing, gregarious nature shines through.

While it’s endearing – that in and of itself contributes to the dumb jock characterization of Emmett. The majority of the things he does happen for a reason, yet we get so caught up in the ‘what’ that a lot of times we forget the ‘why.’

Canon Emmett is all about laughter, about joy, and honestly, about love. Not just for Rosalie, but for his family too. I always found it ironic that, while Jasper is the one that can sense and manipulate emotions, Emmett may be the most ‘intuitive’ of the bunch when it comes to the dynamics of those around him. So may call it an EQ, others street smarts, but very simply, Emmett gets what is going on and usually one of the first ones to understand the impact it will have on the family.

One of my favorite fics for this is
The Fallout
by
OCD_Indeed
. When I asked her why she chose to portray him the way she did, she had a fit of hysterical laughter, then gave me this.

When I first started Fallout, I really wanted to get to the meat of the characters. BD was so disappointing, in that I really thought we were going to get to read so much more about the Cullens, and we didn't. Since I was going to be doing my POV from Edward, I went to Midnight Sun for as much research as I could find as to how Edward reacted with each of the Cullens. I cut and pasted my favorite lines into a doc they really kind of told me stuff about the characters. To my surprise there were a ton of hidden gems involving Emmett. I never intended to write him that way, but as I skimmed through all the MS stuff, Emmett just stood out so much more than just the meathead, jokester most FF's portray him as.


Canon Emmett isn’t a rocket scientist. But he gets how the world works, he considers the implications of his actions, and he’ll fight to the end for them.

Very simply, Canon Emmett is the one that we want to have our back, to be our brother, or to save us. He’s the one that will fight to the end.

While we are on the subject of canon Emmett – I a short one that holds my heart and nails him.
I like Bears
by
Alice Laughed


I don’t need to explain. Just read – it will take three minutes max. Trust me.

This is my visualization of Murmur of Fire in the Vein Emmett…he can save me any day

Lionheart Emmett

Let’s step outside of canon and talk about AUH Emmett. He kept growing, and oh my holy Hale what a fine specimen he became. The heart, the spirit, the joy are all still resident. But there is a sense of self, of confidence that he exudes. I jokingly call him Emmett the Lion heart. He’ll go to hell and back for the people he loves. And if he loves you, oh hello.

In
A Murmur of Fire in the Vein
(and I don't think any of this is far from Canon), one of Emmett's strongest traits is that he's level-headed. While he is compassionate and caring, he doesn't get overwhelmed by it - I think he's a lot like Carlisle, his father, in these regards. He's solid and stands his ground. People can rely on him. He's loyal and knows what he believes in. And he can see past the bullshit - past the family drama, past Rose's icy exterior - to what's important and real. He's not going to let someone sway his opinion without an extremely good reason. He's incredibly fair. At the same time, he's still fun and sarcastic, gorgeous, gigantic, and crude. - ElleCC


Gemmabobella
: I always knew there was more to Emmett than what we got in the books. Him and his dimples always smiling and listening to the people that too often get ignored and marginalized. So mostly, it was a means of rounding out his character, so he wasn't a dumb jock who liked to have lots of sex.


OMG, possibly the sexiest damn Emmett I’ve ever read. He’s edgy, he’s angry, and I’ll try to make it better any day of the week!

Bad Ass Emmett


When I started writing
Beaches
I thought that that Emmett was the perfect combination for a character with a lot of baggage. The push and pull of the menacing vs. the sweet was the perfect dichotomy for a character who needed to be both. Keeping in mind that I made him a very clever, manipulative bastard, my Emmett has an edge wrapped in a package of sweet and sexy. It is as if you are drawn into looking past the intimidation of his size to see that inside he is a really a lover at heart only to be played for a fool. I try to encompass everything I know about Emmett and make him into a complex character. I know that this can't be done all of the time, but I hope that it has at least made people think that they can make more of Emmett than meets the eye. - Emibella


What I adore most about Bad Ass Emmett (there are truly very few of them) is that the foundation is there for an amazingly evolved character. I’d argue just as much, if not more than Jasper with all his baggage. I would die and go to heaven if I could find a few more bad asses. He doesn’t have to be a jerk – just let him be something more than a happy bumbling fool!

And finally, there is one Emmett that we only know about in third person, but I am dying for the day that he finally shows up in
Left Holding the Bag
. Smart? Dude, he’s a broker. Love’s baseball? Sigh….man after my own heart. Wait….maybe the baseball love isn’t a good thing (read the story if you don’t know!!) Jasperlurks, give me some Emmett soon, please?

So next time you start to write and you feel the need to create a character with great depth and a bit of a wicked sense of humor, go for the big guy with the dimples. I’ve been stuck in the kitchen (so to speak) trying to create awesome Emmett’s. Throw a girl a frickin bone and write a killer one for me, will you?

Emmett is the second character to be highlighted in a new (and very impromptu) series of character explorations in fic. Jasper was done by AngstGoddess003 who has exactly zero merit in doing so. Hmonster decided that Emmett needed some love and swiftly snatched him up. Ninapolitan and her Carlisle peice is next.

Have a character you feel yourself a bit of an expert in? Have some free time to explore it with us? Send me a line! angstgoddess003@tlydf.com

20 comments:

  1. I love me some Emmett as well. I love them all, but Emmett has a special place in my heart. I have also noticed the sad lack of Emmett fics. Thank you for bringing it to everyone else's attention.

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  2. i hate myself for loving you emmett is fucking awesome
    same with Hiding in Plain Sight
    bout as far from dumb jock you can get: US marshall and a priest

    but yes on the whole emmett is totally underappreciated and unvalued and underused. he's the one i would most like as my brother anyday

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  3. Oh! how I loved reading this essay. I think people is not very willing to see through a character's first layers and that is obviously what had happened to Emmet and most of the story actually.
    The first time I readed the "saga" I let myself fall in love with the love story (...obviously) but the second time had me falling for the coven, more than the love stories in it. I love the way Carlisle is respected because he's the oldest one, the wisest if you want to put it like that but he's leadership is shared in some way. They all know who is good at what, the respect the individual choises of each member even when they don't agreed.
    That was the only thing I liked about BD. When Bella is converted, we get to see ( even when is not that much) how the Cullens work. They are there for each other, but the feeling of family as we all know it (dad, mom, children) is not there. That fact, give us the chance of knowing the nature of their bond and the nature of each character. I find it so deep.
    So, when I come across a fan fiction with more substance than a love story is when I enjoy being a fan fiction lover and that's always why I read your essays. They are full of gems.

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  4. Gahh, I loved this article! Trust me, you are not alone in Emmettville, HMonster! I am someone who has her feet firmly planted in Werewolf Country, but I have a soft spot for Emmett. All the other vampires...I could do without. But not Emmett -- I could never do without Emmett. Thanks for sharing the love and shedding some light on a much ignored character!

    Also, another great portrayal of Emmett can be found in "Waiting for the Sky to Fall" by Kobe Grace. Yeah, it's a fic that centers on Leah, but she has a very interesting friendship with Emmett and...just trust me, it's good, and definitely worth checking out. :D

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  5. Good stuff, bb, good stuff. I'm glad you did this - the lack of good Emmetts is painful. Maybe he'll be the new Jasper (don't tell Jasper I said that, though!), although you so rarely see Emmett paired with Bella or Edward that I'm not sure he'll ever gain the level of notice that Jasper has. :sadface: But maybe we'll see fewer dumb Emmetts and more smart ones.

    It still makes me a happy goofball that my Em makes your list. I don't take that lightly :)

    Great article, H!

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  6. I have so much Emmett love. So. Much. I currently have two fics that feature my favourite Emmetts: for vamp!Emmett, it's "In the Blink of an Eye" by that_writr, and for AU/AH it's "Cocktails & Dreams" by why_not (on Twilighted)/fatallyobsessed (on ff.net). Love them both to death.

    Just my two cents. :)

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  7. So, although I love the article, HM...what I really want to know is who did the art? I *think* I've seen that Jasper floating around ElleCC's icon on lj? Am I crazy? I love that drawing so very much...want to congratulate its maker.

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  8. I lovew me some deep Emmett. I know often in the books he doesn't really express who he is, but I always figured he ahd to be a smart and empathic individual - he'd have to be to deal with Rosalie and be able to melt her icy exterior, which he obviously does.

    I have to mention Lolashoes's 'Let your light shine' There's a particular scene in there where they are all on the island and Bella has a moment with Emmett. I loved that Emmett. He doesn't say much, I think he listens a lot, and in that scene LS really captured the guy I've imagined him to be all this time.

    Chris

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  9. Well, I may not share the same physical attraction to an Emmett type, but I do find that the character is an amazing one to write and read. Done with depth, he can really bring out the best and worst in E/B.

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  10. Loved this, thanks for pointing me in the direction of some more Emmett's that I have yet to read. My personal favourite Emmett is from "Voice Inside My Head by Miztrezboo. Loyal, intelligent, kind and self-sacrificing - everything that we have come to adore about this character.

    Bec

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  11. I absolutely hate stories that portray Emmett as an idiot. I've always seen him as being a little silly but smart with a heart of gold, a person who would do anything in the world for those he loved. I've tried to write my Emmett in "What Happens Tomorrow" in this mold, and thankfully my readers like him. I've even had him cry a few times!

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  12. I agree - there needs to be more good Emmett. One of the most interesting portrayals of him I've seen is in Poughkeepsie by Mrs. TheKing. His character is over the top, but the way she has portrayed him is amazing.

    giselle-lx - the art is by someone named nami86. Val showed me her stuff and it is amazing. Here is her deviantART gallery: http://nami86.deviantart.com/gallery/

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  13. Woo for surprise pimping! You are the best.

    And Emmie's not so bad himself, either.

    <3

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  14. I just said that the other day. And i went crazy looking for some good Em/R or just some very good EM's and so far i only came across one good one so far called "VANITY AND PATIENCE" its the story about how the 2 met and its quite AMAZINGGGGG... she develops the characters well and has things that would shock you...it bridges that gap that we dont know about their love story =)

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  15. The story that has a fantastic Emmett, is Bare. He's funny, caring, loyal, and can talk philosophy with Bella. That's definietly the kind of Emmett I'd likke to see in more fics.

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  16. I miss Emmett. Emmett, as you mentioned is always portrayed as this big cheeseball, but he is far from it. He's courageous and true. Thank you for this character essay!

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  17. Hmm... I feel like this article is missing something.

    There was, actually, an Emmett/Rosalie fic that made the finalist list for Best Canon in the Indies, and that was Vanity and Patience by achelle131.

    Yes, Emmett is a bit OOC during much of the fic, but that's because it's the story of how he became a vampire, and as such is suffering from a severe case of newbornitis.

    It's written from Rosalie's POV, not Emmett's which, is the only reason I can think that it wasn't mentioned in this article.

    V&P is well-written, actiony, angsty, and achelle happens to be a pro at building up the sexual tension. It's an all-around great read!

    Oh, and Achelle's also writing a companion piece from Emmett's POV, Strength and Remorse. It's only one chapter in, but I just love her characterization of Emmett.

    -Kari

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  18. I am totally an Emmett fan, right from the start. My mom was joking about it the other day.

    I've searched for good Em fics also, and always end up disappointed. Sometimes, I find ones where he's protrayed really well but isn't the main character (I have to say I like Emancipation Proclamation's Emmett; he's still the goofball we know and love, but he's loyal, smart, and sees past bullshit). Still, I'd love to find a great Emmett story.

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  19. Without reading through all of these reviews, I must say that Emmett's portrayal In Midnight Seductress' Destiny Awaits is probably my favourite on, as far as non-leading man goes. Hands down.

    And, I do remember that scene from Lola's fic, and I loved that Emmett, too. That scene was very special.

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