1471: Heroes and Villains – Chapter 2, Part 2

Title: Heroes and Villains
Author: Horrible’s Igor
Media: Television / Movies
Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer / Kitchen Sink
Genre: Supernatural/Drama
URL: Heroes and Villains
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Eliza

Welcome back to Wednesday, patrons!  Once again I’m here with Eliza as we tear deeper into Heroes and Villains, the script-turned-fiction that dares to have no setting, characters, or plot.  Now, over to Eliza for the recap.

“There was stuff that happened, and ominous portents about stuff that might happen to some people.  Also, Willow went down into the basement to meet with a snake lady who was never named but was probably Vasuki.  Vasuki added a lot more ominous portents about additional stuff that might happen to some people, who may or may not be the same people that the other stuff was portended about.  Also, Boss visited Willows office for no apparent reason.”

As you can see, if you skipped last week you missed a LOT!

Anyway, this week we jump back into the fic right after the line break from last week.

Today was not a good day for Olaf the Snowman.

You know, I just noticed something. This fic doesn’t have POV tags or scene tags.

“Glitter parade!?”

Naw, we’ll wait until the author does something that’s actually good as opposed to just avoiding doing something bad.

It had been three weeks since he, Anna, and Sven had all left Elsa’s castle in Yosemite

Whoa there, buddy, stop the train!  You can’t just drop a ‘Elsa has a castle in Yosemite’ on us without some kind of… something to ease us into that.  Sure, Yosemite is far from the worst place to dump Elsa’s castle, since there are mountains and glaciers and stuff, but even ignoring the temporal displacement, that’s still a long-ass way from her hometown in Denmark.

(Olaf believed it to be pronounced Yo-sem-aight-ee)

First off:

*GONG*

No parentheticals!

Second:

*GONG*

No parentheticals that contain utterly pointless information!

but a week or so into their vacation, he’d realized that this vacation wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun without Elsa to be there with them.

“Still, it is small fun there even to be without Elsa them with being!”

Stahp.

So he pestered Anna and Sven for a few days nonstop, filling every silence with questions about when Elsa would be coming and would she be coming would they have to send her a card telling her where they were would they try one of those telee-phonee things or something wait, what about-

*Taco turns blue and falls out of his chair gasping for breath*

“Commas save lives, people!”

Anna had then suggested that he go back and find her himself. Suddenly it made total sense to the tiny snowman. Elsa was waiting for him!  She didn’t want to have to make the trip alone- she wouldn’t know how to get where they were going, and she would be super lonely without a friend!

Um, what?  I know Olaf is kinda out there so far as cause-and-effect thinking goes, but even he would find a logical path like that to be quite, quite insane.

So Olaf would go back, find her again, and the two would run back to Anna and Sven and they could go on vacation as a family again! Everybody would be so happy!

“At least his childlike naivete and unerring optimism is intact!”

I wonder how long it’s going to be until the author turns him into an edgelord.

Unfortunately for Olaf, he failed to grasp the connotations of Anna’s suggestion.

Thank you for spoon-feeding that to us, author. Totally not insulting in the slightest that you assumed we couldn’t figure that one out for ourselves.

She hadn’t meant it as a solution. She had snapped it, like someone who is so tired of hearing how hungry someone is they lose their cool and yell, “Then why don’t you eat something?”

We fucking got it, author!  It wasn’t subtle, you weren’t being particularly clever, so it doesn’t need explaining.  Stop patronizing the audience and get this train-wreck back on the tracks!

Olaf took this literally: Anna said to find Elsa himself, so he would go back and find her.

Beat that dead horse, author!  Beat it until it comes back to life, and then beat it some more!

“Wait, you can beat a horse back to life!?  Maybe that’s what I was doing wrong with the leftovers from the unicorn juicer.”

Don’t want to know.

The biggest, most glaring aspect he’d forgotten was the small problem of the sheer size of the world.

Which wouldn’t necessarily matter if they were all on foot the entire time.  But then, everything is so vague that they could have flown off by giant eagle for all we’ve been told.

Yosemite was approximately 220 miles away from Reno, where Anna and Sven said they’d be leaving from that day to go to some place called Minneapolis (Minée-a-pole-is), and a lot happens in 220 miles.

Which, okay, maybe they did travel by flying eagle.

“I think it’s a lot more likely that they’re traveling by map.”

Nah, if that was the case, Olaf wouldn’t have any issue traveling back.

Mountain ranges can happen. Valleys.

Well, they can, but there’s also a lot of road around these days, so most of that trip would be pretty easy going compared to what they’d be used to in their canonical time.  Even walking  at a comfortable rate, he could easily make that trip in under 10 days.   And after the first few days, he’d be in really good shape so he could make better time.

“Does Olaf even get tired?”

What?

“Well, he’s a tiny snow golem animated and maintained by magic.  Can he actually become physically fatigued? Seems like he should just be able to go without need for rest.”

I- that’s a really good question.  I mean, yeah, if he’s just a magically animated golem, and that magic isn’t really taxed by him walking around, which I doubt it would be any more than just keeping him alive and frozen in the heat of the Nevada desert, then he should be able to just walk until he gets where he’s going.  That being the case, at a slow stubby-legged walk, he’d be able to get over to Elsa in like four or five days.

“Or he could hop on a bus.”

I suppose.

So it is hardly surprising he became hopelessly lost.

“Poor guy.  None of the road signs were in Danish.”

That’s even if he can read.

“Somebody get Olaf a smartphone!”

‘Elsa’s Castle’ gives me directions to Disney World.

“EVEN BETTER!”

A week and a half later he was in Sunnydale, a good 300 miles away from Yosemite.

“When Olaf gets lost he does it at another level!”

Oh!  Time for some research!

Okay, so this fic is based on the idea that Sunnydale is South of LA.  While this has long been a fan favorite for the position of Sunnydale, it’s also demonstrably false given all the localization references we get in the show.  The most likely location of Sunnydale is actually somewhere between Santa Maria and San Simeon, about 100-150 miles North of LA.  That puts Olaf close to 200 miles off his mark, not 300.  It’s a small thing, especially since Sunnydale has no explicit canonical location, so it’s not really a ding against the author so much as it was an excuse for me to do some canon research.

“How far is that from Reno?”

Like 500 miles, give or take.  If he was walking around the clock, that would be about a mile-and-a-half per hour to make that trip in 11 days.  So it’s actually reasonable if we go with the tireless-golem theory.

Even Olaf knew when his odds of finding Elsa were slim, and right now he was certain that he had taken a wrong turn somewhere, because there should’ve been mountains and snow and a tiny little village in avalley surrounded by trees.

“I like his optimism.  He admits to being in the completely wrong town, but still assumes his chance of running into Elsa is not zero.  Which it isn’t!  She could have suddenly decided she needed to visit Sunnydale!  Take in the sights and see the… uh… well the smoldering crater that was left in the wake of the Hellmouth collapsing and destroying the entire town.”

It’s like a circular Grand Canyon.  Of evil.

Now he could practically smell sea-salt on the wind he was so far west.

Which is fair, Sunnydale is indeed near the coast.  It has docks and everything.

Other than subscribing to the ‘South-of-LA’ team of Sunnydale placement, this author has been strangely accurate on this stuff.  I’m beginning to catch a faint whiff of actual research.  Which is something I haven’t run across in a while.

And all this walking and hiking through California was beginning to taint even his unbreakable optimism with the bleak taste of reality.

So what was that, like ten sentences before he started down the path to being an edgelord?

“It was more like twelve.”

Anna would’ve told Elsa he was coming, right? She must’ve known, and if she knew, then that begged the question Is she looking for me?

Alright, everyone, drop what you’re doing and please read this definition:

Beg the Question

The phrase everyone needs to learn is, ‘So the question follows:

?’

She was the Snow Queen! She probably knew where every single flake of the stuff was in the entire universe!  And since that must be true, she must know where he is!

Uhhh, maybe?

“Elsa’s powers are rather ill-defined in scope.  And they broadened out quite a bit in the short, so it’s very possible she has a way to track cold things.”

So why hadn’t she found him yet?

“Well, she does have to sleep and stuff.  Even if she started hunting you down the moment you overshot your destination, it would still take her a few days to catch up, so I’m sure she’ll be along.  Maybe relax and catch the sights of Sunnydale while you wait!”

You mean the crater.

“It’s a very nice crater!”

Olaf’s mind began to go down a road darker than any that you would imagine such a cute, fun-loving, warm-hug-giving snowman could go down.

Edgelord Olaf activate!

“First Xander gets ruined, and now Olaf!  Why authors!?”

It just wasn’t right on a fundamental level of Olaf’s existence.

“If it doesn’t make sense for him to think this way, why did you write it, author?”

Look, I keep telling you authors this, but you won’t listen.  Pointing out when you make a character do something stupid and out of character doesn’t make it not stupid.

Something was seriously wrong with Olaf and his mother.

Yeah, their new writer doesn’t do characters very well.

“Poor dears.”

If Olaf was getting sad, then Elsa must’ve been in absolute mourning.  Of course, Olaf had no idea about the slightly-there psychic link to his creator, but it was a side-effect of the fact that she did, indeed, know where almost every snowflake she cared to know about was, but she believed Olaf had done the right thing and stayed with her sister.

Gods this narration just can’t decide between limited third and omnipotent third.  It’s giving me whiplash!

“So, Elsa not only has snow magic, but also psychic powers.”

Of course, because water.  Next she’ll be using it to time-travel and shift dimensions.  Even so, her psychic powers are only slightly-there, whereas her snow powers are mostly-entirely-there.

Now she stayed in her castle and slowly wasted away, and some of that depression wormed its way into Olaf’s mind.

Yes, we get it.  Now that you’re being specific, you need to stop belaboring all of your points.  Make them and move on, we don’t need to dwell on each and every thought for a half-dozen sentences in order to understand them.

He tried to shake it, but i was no good. Maybe giving it a voice would help- he could babble on about every thought that came to mind until the worse thoughts were all thought out and he could be happy again.

This is going to be the sequence where Olaf talks to himself as Elsa, isn’t it?

“It was so good the first time, we might as well do it again, right!?”

Speaking of unwavering optimism.  Honestly, how do you do it.

“A tall glass of unicorn nectar every morning!”

Right back to not wanting to know.

So as he walked down an empty street in the city of Sunnydale, Olaf decided to talk to Elsa.

Question:  What street?

SunnydaleDestroyed

Canonically they don’t even bother trying to rebuild, by the way.

“Weird that the research seemed otherwise so good.”

Well, I’d say it was passable before.  Likely the author just started getting lazy as they wrote the chapter.  Probably one of those writers who thinks they’re on some kind of deadline or something and won’t take an extra day to make something right.

“Hey Elsa,” he started, forcing good cheer into his voice, “Is there enough snow up there to build a snow-me? Well, I’m made of snow already, so I guess snow-me is’t the right phrase.

Uhh, she can make snow at will, dude.  Olaf is naive and unwaveringly optimistic to a fault, but he’s not stupid.

“Maybe this is his version of small-talk?  It always sounds awkward from the outside looking in.”

Oh, trust me, it’s just as awkward when you’re in the thick of it.

But anyway, how you doing?

howyoudoin

 

Dammit, Eliza!

We miss you a lot.” He switched to his impression of Elsa. Unlike Kristoff’s voice for Sven, this was not a totally accurate representation.

I dunno, I can easily imagine Josh Glad being able to pull off a perfect Elsa impersonation.

“I know, Olaf. I miss you a little too, but I’m happier now. It’s nice up here.” The bad thoughts were beginning to come back. Suddenly this plan to spew them out seemed like a terrible idea, but now that he’d started they just kept coming. Maybe the reason she wasn’t coming was far worse than simply forgetting- but- but-

Sweet crap this narrative is all over the friggen’ map!  Olaf’s point of view, disinterested third party, Elsa’s point of view, back to Olaf’s point of view, and then suddenly deeply invested Olaf’s point of view.

Author. Pick. ONE!

“At least it stays in third person.”

Barely, but yes, you are correct.

“Well, that’s nice, I guess,” he continued, his voice a little weak. “It would be even nicer if you came down though. It’s sunny down here.”

“Under the sun, under the sun! Darling, it’s greater, down in the crater, and so much fun!”

You’ve definitely been hanging out with Crunchy too much.

“Naw, he only covers villain songs and anything by Donna Summers or Bonnie Tyler.”

Another bad thought, an old one from two days ago. Anna and Elsa had been shouting directly before they all left.

How do you shout indirectly?

“I think the author meant that the shouting happened directly before they left.”

Ah, okay then.  Still, probably could have used a better word there; like ‘immediately’ or ‘just.’

Maybe Anna hadn’t invited Elsa.

Maybe Anna really didn’t invite Elsa.

“I don’t remember Anna being so petty.”

Other than being rash and a bit impulsive, she really is not.”

Maybe it was the Eternal Winter but reversed and not about protecting but something not so nice that split them up.

*Tilts head*  Wha?

“I think he was trying to say that Elsa cooked up another winter to push everyone away.”

Oh.  Okay.  Why?  See, this is why we need some kind of lead up, author.  You don’t have to show your entire hand, but at least give the audience something to work with.  Otherwise the whole setup comes off as a wholly fabricated situation.  Which this totally is.

These bad thoughts were becoming scarily close to the truth-

Thoughts 2spooky4me.

“You’re not allowed to post that video again.”

Swenia?

“On pain of being glued to a chair in the auditorium and letting Crunchy give one of his cloaca lectures.”

Eesh.

Elsa’s link with him was becoming too in tune for their own good.

“Woof!”

You enjoy that too much.

“I could be persuaded to enjoy it less in exchange for a puppy.”

You’re just going to eat-

“PANTHER PUPPIES!”

Oh, right, one of those.

Hopefully soon it would fade back to its normal background noise.

Background noise is meaningless, random signal caused by environmental factors.  Learn the meaning of words before you use them, author.

“No. I won’t,” he mimicked, “Kristoff and Anna don’t want me anymore. If thats the way they want it, they can have it that way.”

“Yeah, I did the thing and they told me that they didn’t like the thing and I said if they didn’t like the thing, they’re stupid heads, so they said I was the stupid head.”

Pretty much.

He’d gotten Kristoff’s name right, for goodness’ sake.

Wait, who the hell said that?  Is there another person in this psychically induced MPD discussion? Is it Sven?

“You leave Sven out of this, Taco.  The less page time he gets, the better.”

“But what about me?” he despaired, his façade abandoned.

Wait, what façade?

40acres_flat_facade_t

“It’s so alone and abandoned.”  *Sniff*

If snowmen could cry, he would be on the verge of tears. “Don’t you want to see me?”

This would be so moving if the buildup made any damn sense at all.

“I do, Olaf, I do. It’s just that you’re less important than them to me, so it’s not worth it.”

Speaking of fabricated conflict.

Now their fears were lining up.

The fears go marching one-by-one harrah…

Elsa was afraid Olaf would forget about her, despite the fact that that’s what she’d been trying to accomplish, but nobody wants to be forgotten by one of their closest family members.

“Not even the prose can make up its mind on what the actual conflict is.”

I think it’s a manufacturing defect.

Now Olaf was afraid that the Snow Queen wasn’t coming because she no longer wanted to.

*Swenia bursts into the room*  “That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard!  That woman needs some sexual healing, stat!”

Out!

“But-”

No buts, I’ve only got the one pair of quotation marks and having the two of you in here would get confusing! So out!

“Fine, but I’m going to have Syl override your lockdown so we can save that poor woman from herself!”  *Swenia rushes out*

*Taco pulls a phone out of his pocket and dials a number*  Bifocals?  Yeah, about that literary transporter.  Can you tell me how it work, again?

*A small explosion echoes down the hall, followed by a long string of explicatives*

“That wasn’t very nice.”

Nice or not, it’ll keep the Committee for Lewd Acts out of Elsa’s pants.

“For a while, anyway.”

“Oh. I see.” His breath hitched. “You don’t care about me anymore. You would rather die than see me.”

“That’s, right, Olaf.”

“Okay. Bye, I guess.”

Edgelord status confirmed.  Now, rub coal into all your snow, put some shoulder armor on one of your arms, and get a sword that’s also a gun.

He’d been right to think it was a bad idea.

Wait, he thought something was a bad idea?  When did that happen.

“You know, before the scene started.  I think that’s also when he became the top street fighter of New Jersey.”

Now those nasty fears were running rampant in his brain, stifling the sunniness that normally inhabited it.  Elsa’s depression coupled with the questions niggling at the back of his mind had led to a disaster of the mind.

Now he’ll have to get a brooding nook.

“Crunchy is running a special on those this week.  With every brooding nook you get a free cranny of despair!”

“You’re kidding yourself, Olaf,” he sighed despondently. “She doesn’t want you anymore. She’d come back for you if she did… Loved ones come back. She won’t. Gonna have to earn how to deal. You’re not in Arendelle anymore. You’re in Sunnydale. Different worlds.”

If by ‘worlds’ you mean ‘cities.’

“Craters.”

I don’t think Arendelle is a crater.

“Well, not every city can be perfect.  Or a crater.”

Don’t give Goeth ideas.

The link relaxed its death grip ever so slightly.

I’m not sure the author understands how a ‘barely-there’ link works.

The thought of the fact that he was in a bright, cloudless city

“Crater.”

on a warm fall afternoon was managing to etch away a little at the darkness.

“We have a time of year, and some weather!”

The fic is 22 chapters, so by the end of it we should have about the same amount of setting as you’d find in the first three paragraphs of a published novel.

“At least it’s sunny and warm in winter here, right? There’s a change.” Even though it didn’t completely work, Olaf grabbed onto that little detail and ran with it as far as he could.

Uh-oh, he’s making a break for it.

“Poor guy will never outrun the fic.”

“Makes sense. It’s Sunnydale, and it’s Sunnydale for a reason! Might as well enjoy it!.

Pictured: Iceland

Pictured: Iceland

“I’m sure that’s just an aberration.”

Pictured: Greenland

Pictured: Greenland

“Oh.”

Trying to banish the last of those pesky doubts from his mind, he began to skip down the sidewalk, looking around.

“I wonder when the pit will open, I could use a nice cool bowl of caldera.”

You get the best abyss at those hole in the ground places.

Maybe what he needed to do was ask around and see if anyone had seen Elsa.

“Well, nobody here didn’t see Elsa.  That’s almost the same thing.”

She had to be somewhere…

Yes, in her castle, which is apparently somewhere in Yosemite.  This was established.

And at this point, the chapter ends!

“Yea-”

Unfortunately…

“Awww.”

What a whirlwind that was.

Yes, a whirlwind with lots of random words in italics.

It’s 12:30 A.M.

Okay… and?

I think I’mma post this chapter and hit the sack.

“Oh dear.  This author does think there’s a deadline.”

Leave a review- I am open to suggestions for fine-tuning this!

We’re a little beyond needing just a little tune-up, Igor.  You need to tear this thing down and rebuild it from the ground up.  If this were a car, I’d be suggesting you take the rear-view mirror as a memento, tow it to the junkyard, and mush it down into scrap.

If you take no other suggestion though, don’t post a chapter that you threw together at midnight just because you want to have something to put out there.  At least do one complete drafting cycle, sleep on it, and then do a second complete drafting cycle.  A lot of your little mistakes will shake out in those.

“And no more italics.”

Yeah, you can’t be trusted with italics, so just stop with them.

“Until next week, my loves!”

You’re going to give them hyperglycemia.

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37 Comments on “1471: Heroes and Villains – Chapter 2, Part 2”

  1. GhostCat says:

    “Wait, you can beat a horse back to life!? Maybe that’s what I was doing wrong with the leftovers from the unicorn juicer.”

    Don’t want to know.

    It’s not like glitter grows on trees, y’know.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    She was the Snow Queen! She probably knew where every single flake of the stuff was in the entire universe! And since that must be true, she must know where he is!

    Uhhh, maybe?

    “Elsa’s powers are rather ill-defined in scope. And they broadened out quite a bit in the short, so it’s very possible she has a way to track cold things.”

    Oh God.

    ELSA IS SUBJECT 23.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    “On pain of being glued to a chair in the auditorium and letting Crunchy give one of his cloaca

    Ohgodohgodohgodohgod….

    lectures.

    Oh.

  4. BatJamags says:

    You know, I just noticed something. This fic doesn’t have POV tags or scene tags.

    “Glitter parade!?”

    Naw, we’ll wait until the author does something that’s actually good as opposed to just avoiding doing something bad.

    Nah, the only reason there’s no tags is because we’d at least know a little more about what’s going on if we had those. As it stands, I’d almost welcome them if it meant we got some setting

  5. BatJamags says:

    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! I SHOULD NOT BE ASKING THIS TWO CHAPTERS INTO YOUR STORY!

    (Well, I mean, I guess it could be a mystery and the protagonist is also trying to figure out what the hell is going on, but that’s not the point!)

    • TacoMagic says:

      The stuff between the Frozen crew I could almost forgive if it wasn’t for the entire lack of setup.

      All the stuff where Willow is making vague, pronoun-laden references to plans, people, events, and locations, though, that’s making me stabby.

  6. “Wait, you can beat a horse back to life!? Maybe that’s what I was doing wrong with the leftovers from the unicorn juicer.”

    *Nervous neighing*

    Cain: One moment, I have to go comfort my unicorn.

    *Glares at Eliza and walks out*

  7. Alright, everyone, drop what you’re doing and please read this definition:

    Beg the Question

    The phrase everyone needs to learn is, ‘So the question follows:

    According to Merriam Webster, Beg The Question works there. In addition, modern vernacular has reached the point where I won’t be surprised if the proper version gets phased out entirely.

  8. "Lyle" says:

    that’s still a long-ass way from her hometown in Denmark.

    Norway.

    • "Lyle" says:

      “Poor guy. None of the road signs were in Danish.”

      Norwegian.

      • BatJamags says:

        Well, to be fair, in the medieval period, I think the two shared a language. Medievalism isn’t my strong suit, but Norway, Denmark, and Sweden at least had somewhat of a shared culture.

      • "Lyle" says:

        Finland, too, I imagine since they’re all sort of in that area.

      • TacoMagic says:

        It’s weird all the way around. The original Snow Queen was written in Danish and happened in Finland and Frozen happened in southern Norway in a fictitious Kingdom inspired by Arendal, which is across the Skagerrak straight from Denmark, where the original was written.

      • BatJamags says:

        I know this was months ago, but Finland culturally has very little to do with the rest of Scandinavia. It’s more closely related to the Baltic States. Linguistically, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic are Indo-European languages (along with most languages spoken in Europe, south and southwest Asia, and northern Africa). Finnish and the languages spoken in the Baltic States are Finno-Ugric languages, which are more closely related to Korean than to any of the other geographically Scandinavian languages.

      • BatJamags says:

        Just did some research to double-check that. The Finno-Ugric languages are a large subdivision of the Uralic languages, which stretch most of the way across Russia, but I’m not sure if Korean is considered to be in the same family. I just recalled learning in a class I took on early medieval Scandinavia that Finnish is more closely related to Korean than Swedish, but I may be misremembering.

  9. "Lyle" says:

    I think that’s also when he became the top street fighter of New Jersey.”

    *pours tea out of her keyboard*

  10. "Lyle" says:

    “Well, nobody here didn’t see Elsa. That’s almost the same thing.”

  11. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    No parentheticals!

    FUCK YOU WHY THE FUCK NOT

    (I USE IT ALL THE FUCKING TIME FUCK YOUR STUPID FUCKING RIGID BULLSHIT GRADE SCHOOL NAZI WRITING CONVENTIONS)


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