8.02.2010

What the Frak is Wep Reading?

So it occurred to me the other day, as I was sitting around doing absolutely nothing, that I don't have a lot to offer compared to the other contributors to this blog.

I'm not all analytical of motivations like Musey, I'm no expert on the writing process, or Sarina, um, I mean Carina like MXPW. I don't have incredible video editing and graphics talents like Crystal and Frea. I don't have Liam's dark twisted sense of humor (okay, I have that a little, but not on Liam's level). And most of all, I don't have tons of out-takes from fics I've written lying around waiting to be published here on the blog.

What I do have is a sadly thorough knowledge of all things Chuck fanfiction, past and present (still working on future). So to satisfy my need to contribute, I talked with Frea, and decided the best thing I could do was to discuss fics I've read (I've read literally everything on FFnet, and most Chuck fic posted elsewhere) that many of you may have missed. Some of these, I'm sure you will have read. Some of them, you may have not, and hopefully I'll help you uncover some gems.

This week marks the first in what will be a weekly series in which I discuss some of those stories. I'll do one a week, and hopefully this will be a feature you'll enjoy.

This week, I'll be discussing Chuck vs A Man Named Stone by Gaseous.

Chuck vs A Man Named Stone was first published on August 27, 2008. In line with many post season 1, pre-season 2 Chuck stories, Chuck and Sarah start out in a bad place. Well, that is to say both parties have strong feelings for one another, but feel there's no way for them to be together.

There are parts of this story that, now, seem almost prophetic. Intersect issues physically draining Chuck, and things of that nature.

Also, in another almost cliche of pre-season 2 fics, Bryce is portrayed as an overbearing jackass, and (SPOILER WARNING) eventually a bad guy.

That having been said, this story had a lot of things very unique to it. We get to see a very dark side to Sarah and Casey's job that surprisingly works quite well. Admittedly, I'm not always a fan of darker stories. Chuck is a show that is supposed to be light, and fun, and funny, and often times, the darkness seems forced and unnecessary.

But A Man Named Stone is a dark!Chuck tale that works on several levels for me.

The biggest downside to this story? It's incomplete. It's one of many fantastic Chuck fics that has been (apparently) abandoned. And while there is hope that some of the abandoned stories of the world will one day be updated, this one hasn't been touched since December of 2008, so I think it's safe to say that we'll never see how this one ends.

Despite that fact, this is certainly a story that I would recommend reading. As a writer myself, I often times look at abandoned fics as an opportunity to write my own ending. Read it, enjoy it, then decide how I would finish things. It's an excellent exercise, if nothing else.

So you've been forewarned that you won't get the whole story with this fic, but I still recommend checking it out. It's well worth your time. You can find Chuck vs A Man Named Stone at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4503315/1/Chuck_vs_A_Man_Named_Stone. Happy reading!

Next week: I'll take a look at one of my favorite action sequences in Chuck fic history,
written by Sharpasmarble.

11 comments:

  1. Holy crap, Wep, you've read virtually all Chuckfic? Damn, I should've come to you for suggestions sooner. But this is cool, and now I have a weekly suggestion for happy reading. :D Checking out this story now!

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  2. Ayefah2.8.10

    I've read literally everything on FFnet

    Woah. I've *tried* to read everything there, but sometimes they just hit my DO NOT WANT button so fast and hard I just have to stop. Props to you for giving everything a full chance. Truly you are the queen of obscure Chuck fic.

    I always did like "A Man Named Stone", too, and it's a shame that it's been abandoned. There are a few post-S2 fics that were similarly laid aside, and they still niggle at me sometimes.

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  3. Haha, yes, I'd say within the first 3 months of my Chuck fanhood, I'd cleared out the archives, and had to look forward to new stuff, or go read old stuff again to sate my desire for more Chuck. I'm nothing if not committed, haha. And Yay! Crystal. I hope you'll enjoy some of my suggestions. =)

    Like you, Ayefah, I quite enjoy a number of the post S2 stuff, although some of it got too loaded with mythology for me. Not that I don't enjoy that stuff, too, it's juts that I'm more concerned with the emotional side of storytelling. I think that's a pitfall many authors fall into. They write very well, and they wonder why they don't get more response/reviews/reads. It's simple, really. As an audience, I think the Chuck fandom is more into the why than the how. Why did Chuck react the way he did? What was going through his head? Ditto for Sarah. Don't give me a travel log of events, you know?

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  5. "A Man Named Stone" is actually one of the few stories, when I run out of new material and still want to read Chuck fic, that I go to over and over again. I've probably read it at least five times at this point, and I'm always disappointed when I get to the last chapter and remember that it's not actually completed. It was a shame that the story has been abandoned, but I can't really complain, seeing as how I've got my own long-abandoned story.

    It's the inevitable pitfall of fanfiction. Because we don't get paid and this is all a hobby, a lot of times, writers just fade away. You just gotta shake your head and say, "Oh well," and then move on.

    But this was a good choice to inaugarate your column with, Wep. For the life of me, I can't remember what Sharp story you are talking about though. I guess I'll just have to read next week to see what you come up with next.

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  6. Anonymous3.8.10

    I'm interested to see which story you pick for Sharp. I've always loved everything she's written.

    Robert Modean is another author who had a really great writing style and really got the characters. I'm still holding out some hope that he'll finish, eventually.

    Ski

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  7. I have read a lot of FF and I accept that stories don't get finished for whatever reason.
    I have never read Stone (would like to but is not finished)
    so is it worth it to start reading Stone even though I know it will never be complete.
    It is one thing to be reading a story and the author abandons, I took my chances with it not finishing but should I now invest my time in an incomplete knowing full well I don't get a payoff or is the payoff in good story telling

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  8. In my opinion, the story is worth reading even while knowing full well that it isn't finished. There's a lot of good stuff in it and the story is pretty entertaining. You might get frustrated at the end because you don't know what happens next, but I think it's worth it for the story. But that's just me. I've been reading fic for a long time so it doesn't bother me as much when I see a story unfinished. I'm used to it.

    Plus, I always enjoyed his take on making Chuck competent, and since this was written before Intersect 2.0 ever appeared, Chuck's competency came by using his brain instead of his fists. His Sarah is a bit frustrating in the beginning, but it's all explained and she comes back in a big, vengeful, scary way.

    Thanks, Ski, for mentioning Robert Modean. His story, Chuck vs. Topeka, is one of the best unfinished fics you'll find in the fandom. It's always been a shame that he never continued it, but that's the nature of the fanfic beast.

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  9. You've read everything on FF? I'm impressed, I can't bring myself to read incompletes that are dead (like the one this one is about), just can't bear to deal with knowing that the story won't have a conclusion. I have actually gone so far as to check to make sure a story isn't in a series that is dead before reading them (that was when I first went through the archive and read all the completed fics).

    Also there are two authors who I simply can't read no matter how hard I try.

    Oh also what are some of the main non FF Chuck fic archives?

    Can't wait to see your take on an action sequence, I'm apparently pretty rubbish at writing them.

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  10. There are a number of non-FFnet locals where you can find Chuck fic. One of them is now sadly defunct. A say sadly, because that archive was, to the best of my knowledge, the only archive that held my favorite Chuck/Anna fic of all time. Come to think of it, it's one of the only Chuck/Anna fics, haha. Anyway, now it's gone. But you CAN find Chuck fic on livejournal at /chuck_fiction. Livejournal tends to spread out it fic, and it gets more separated by pairing, so without knowing what pairing (or type of pairing) you prefer, it's impossible for me to make any further suggestions as to where you should check.

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  11. Ayefah4.8.10

    Oh hey, everyone's naming my favorite unfinished fics! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one pining for endings to them.

    The kind of awful thing is that one fic I read in a previous fandom finally got its ending/epilogue years after it was seemingly abandoned, so now I always hold out a smidgen of hope. You just never know when inspiration will return, right? I mean, sharp himself seems to have come back, at least sporadically, and I'd pretty much given him up for lost.

    Oh, and Wep - at the risk of bringing the OTW-haters down upon my head, the loss-of-archives issue is one of my biggest reasons for advocating Ao3. It's concerned with precisely that problem - that individual fandom archives are sometimes run by only one fan, and when that fan's life circumstances change the whole archive can be lost along with all the works inside it, often with no notice to authors or fans. And even if archivers try to contact authors to let them know what's going on, authors themselves can disappear and not leave contact information. Ao3 is meant to provide safety and continuity - to really be an archive that won't go away.

    Oh, and it lets you tag for just about everything. I friggin' love tags.

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