IDB Book Club

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by phillyforgot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:08 pm

I haven't really written much in this forum before, but yay, I guess I can say I'm part of a book club now :D which is pretty exciting. I'd be up for any kind of discussion here, I'm definitely looking forward to it.



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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:28 pm

readingmama wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:38 am
I have never been part of a book club before but its something that I have always wanted to do so this is awesome!

I have a thought on a series that might be fun to discuss:

Right Where We Are- http://archiveofourown.org/series/270268:

It is a series of 5 works about 38k word count total. Its a bit older but has a few different, topical themes. I don't know if the setup of a series versus a chaptered story or longer one-shot would work but kinda of sticks with the themes of reality and family.

There are lots of fics out there that would be great to explore so this is just a suggestion and I'd love to hear more ideas!
That sounds great! Let's put it down at the February 1st fic:

Right Where We Are by thatsmistertoyou

Still looking for suggestions for future fics!
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:56 pm

:reading1: First Fic for the IDB Book Club :reading2:

Fic: home is where the wifi connects automatically by oqua
Host: LeftHandedism

"home is where the wifi connects automatically" was written in September 2016 and was the winner of "Best Reality" in the 2016 Phanfic Awards. (Note: among her many other talents, oqua is an Admin here on IDB!) This fic is written in limited third person from Dan's point of view, and is a series of snapshots of Christmas from 2010 through 2015. Dan and Phil spend each Christmas apart, with their respective families. It's always a difficult time for Dan.

Questions for discussion

1) This fic is canon-compliant--nothing in it contradicts what we know to be "true". How does this make the fic emotionally powerful?

2) Dan's parents are portrayed as pretty terrible; this is certainly based on Dan (in real life) saying things about his parents that sound like complaints, which could be summed up as a complaint that they do not pay attention to him. Is it reasonable to suppose that Dan's parents must have some redeeming qualities even if we don't see them? Is the point of view of this fic showing them as they really are, or is the reader seeing them through a negative lens that is distorting reality (e.g., by failing to notice caring gestures from his parents or by interpreting a tone of voice as more dismissive than it was meant)?

3) What is Phil's role in the story? In what ways does he provide a counterpoint to Dan's experience with his family?

4) The wifi is pretty obviously a metaphor. For what, exactly? At what point does Dan realize it is a metaphor? Phil doesn't seem to realize that the wifi is standing in for something else until the 2012 chapter. Is this realistic, and if so, why might it have taken Phil so long to understand what Dan was really complaining about?

5) This fic is written in the present tense, with a linear, straightforward storytelling style (for example, there are no flashbacks or pauses for exposition). What are some of the features of the author's writing style that help make the story she is telling compelling?

6) Which of the six Christmases is the most sad and painful, and why?

7) The title of this fic is unusually long--in fact it is a full sentence. It's memorable because it's very concrete, and because it's a contemporary saying, based on the old saying "home is where the heart is". The title itself doesn't appear in the fic; instead it is a remarkably effective one-sentence summary. Would this fic be as powerful if it had a different title? What role might such a perfect title have played in this fic being remembered, recommended, and read?

8) This fic was written just as tatinof was winding down, and in the pre-Baking Video Universe. What would the 2016 and 2017 chapters look like? Would they be redundant? Would they change the story? Was Christmas 2015, by conincidence, the perfect Christmas on which to end the fic?

I had fun writing these questions and in particular thinking about how a fanfic is different from other sorts of published writing. I eagerly await everyone's responses to these questions (or just skip the questions and respond to the fic itself!). I have some particular thoughts on a few of these, but I'd like to hear some other perspectives before sharing more of mine.

:reading1:Next fic: Right Where We Are by thatsmistertoyou :reading2:
This is a series of 5 works (~38k words) written in 2015, continuing the family theme.
Host: readingmama
Date discussion begins: February 1
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by phillyforgot » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:26 pm

1) In a way, the fanfiction is easier to connect to if it's realistic and not in a whole new universe (AU-ish). We're automatically slightly more connected to the Dan an Phil we know and love than to the same duo in a different setting.

2) It's pretty likely that Dan's parents have redeeming qualities in this fanfiction. While they weren't shown, the story was told by Dan, who was feeling pretty disconnected to everything going on in his family lately. The story might've sounded different if told by his parents.

3) Phil has a really close relationship to his parents in this story. He excitedly tells Dan about his brother and parents and grandparents. This provides a clear contrast to Dan's messy family life. Phil's role also includes comforting Dan about his family events, he's compassionate, kind and really understanding - especially considering his different experiences.

4) Dan tells Phil that he Wi-Fi has no connection which is obviously false. There is, however, a lack of connection between Dan and his family. That's what the Wi-Fi stands for. If someone uses metaphors in such a context, it's easy to just see what's been said instead of reading between the lines. I think it wasn't that hard for Phil to misunderstand the whole thing.

5) I can't really do into depth as to why, but I personally feel like the present tense suits the story pretty well.

6) Personally I feel like 2011 was the most painful year, especially considering it was the year before Phil properly understood what was going on. He felt misunderstood not only by his family, but also by Phil.

7) The title is fitting. It easily suits Dan's family situation with the lack of Wi-Fi and their missing connection. And then there's also the fact, that he wasn't where his heart was, his heart was with Phil (I can't believe I'm being so cheesy today).

8) The 2017 version could've easily included the whole Colin eating the cake dilemma. Dan seemed to be generally more relaxed in the past two years, so maybe the fanfiction would've been less angsty?

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:57 am

1. Because we're so used to watching and following the boys lives, in a way where it feels like we 'know' them (especially when adding in the fact that they make relatable content), a more "real life" form of compassion can be felt towards the boys in the story due to the established connection in the real world. it only gets further intensified when dan goes through all the emotional hardships we see him experience in the story, because along with seeing him in a familiar and friendly way, we also get into his head a little.

2. I think that Dan's parents can absolutely feature some redeeming qualities and that Dan's view on them is skewed through a negative lens, however I think this ties into the last question about the canon of the story. While Dan is, and was in 2016 when the story was written, very private about his life outside of Phil and other youtube friends, everything we know about his parents (up until recently, as it can be debated that the little bits of information he shares about them more positively now), was talked about very pessimistically. When taking that into account I think it makes the canon of the story feel even more real, adding to the emotional impact of the story.

3. I would say that Phil represents everything Dan wants, whether that be regarding family or stability, or both (which, again when regarding the canon, I find interesting because of the way their relationship came to be irl). I also think he grounds Dan back to the reality that he thrives and feels most comfortable in.

4. I believe the wifi is a metaphor for Dan's ~disconnect~ (i'm sorry i couldn't resist) with his family as he grew into an adult away from home, and through that Dan's negative reflection on his life at home. I'd say that Dan realizes it's a metaphor near the end of the 2010 chapter, but I don't think it concretely sets in until the 2011 chapter. I think that perhaps Phil had an idea of what was going on before 2012, but it didn't sink in until Dan actually said something while he was still with Phil before they left for the holidays. I personally think it's realistic because it wasn't something Dan seemed to complain as much about to Phil when they were together, and because of how brief the time Dan spends at his parents during the holidays was, it can be harder to pick up the actual meaning the wifi holds.

5. By telling the story in present tense, which creates no time for reflection, the reader is more interested in how the problem in the present can be fixed as time passes, and I think it also adds to Dan's character discovering himself through this predicament with his family over the years, and having him do so in present tense is more effective to the general theme/message the story is telling.

6. 2011 felt the most painful to me because it was during a very transitional period of Dan's life where he started to figure himself out as a person by making a bunch of changes with Phil and university, and it was also when the ball started rolling for him and Phil career-wise, so the dismissal of his parents, as well as Phil's lack of fulling understanding what was going on made the whole chapter feel so awful. Also, 2013 felt pretty bad as well considering Dan really broke in that chapter. The worst bit of me was the two sentences before the final line of the chapter: "The Final Step is to repress it. Which Dan does." Yikes.

7. I really love the title of the story, and as it's so fitting, the story really wouldn't be as memorable. Also for some reason I can really see Dan saying that phrase, and in my brain the context is a 2013 liveshow, which may just be me being random or the story's impact on me

8. I think that with the ending of the story, along with when it was written, works so deliciously well with the "end of an era" feeling 2015 had. However, if the story were written now, I think it would be written a little differently, as well as being looked at in new ways that weren't there in September 2016. To be honest, I didn't look at the date it was published, so I assumed it was written recently (even though I'm pretty sure I came across it on tumblr in the middle of last year or something :roll:), which made me think that story was doing to subtly introduce Dan's journey with mental health, so I think if it were written with the information we have now, it could have possibly had a stronger focus and connection to mental health. I wouldn't say that 2016 and 2017 chapters would be completely redundant, instead I would think they would focus on communication, growth, recovery, and forgiveness to certain extents for each of those.

I love these questions! They're really thoughtful, especially when taking discussion into account, so props to you LeftHandedism. Honestly, it feels pretty good to hash out some thoughts on a fic like that.

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by smartcookie » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:01 pm

I’d like to start of by apologising to my Spanish grade for ignoring my homework in favour of this. With that out off the way,

1. Unless a fic is a deliberate AU I always think it being canon-compliant just takes it up a notch so to speak, so yes i do think it makes it more emotionally powerful. At least in hindsight, as it being canon-compliant wasn’t something i reflected upon whilst reading.

2. I’ve always found myself a bit bored and also uncomfortable with the ever so popular trope of how awful Dan’s family is. He has done a lot of complaining about them (allegedly, not that I’ve picked up on but seen others talk of it) which i believe is the root to that impossibly popular trope. Nevertheless i choose to believe that Dan’s parents both fictional and real have loads of redeeming qualities, too. But for the sake of the fic they are left out and in the case of irl dan i think it is him being just generally a bit pessimistic, and also it is just so much easier to complain than sing praise and i feel that maybe it felt a little bit awkward and not so compelling to talk about his family just generally but when it was something he was upset with or so on it felt more okay because problems are relatable and perhaps more urgent on his mind to talk about. I don’t know, I’m probably just projecting, always been a bit uncomfortable on the Howells’ behalf when they are so often perceived in a bad lightning, especially in fics.

3. I think phil in this story playing such a mellow yet big role. He is little heard of but yet his presence is all over the story. I think he adds a very important role, without phil as the light in this story it would just be too depressing to read. Just constantly the grief of feeling unloved and never ever actually mentions of feeling loved. He adds a nice balance to the story.

4. The WiFi is pretty obviously a metaphor for ‘the grief of feeling unloved’, and i think it is a pretty damn good metaphor. I think it is at the back of his mind from literally page one, but it becomes blatant to both the reader as well as dan at the encounter with the barman (Beach shack man?) in India, it is pretty much spelt out. I think it is quite realistic it took him so long to figure out, up until that time dan hadn’t been quite so clear with what he actually meant and if you have no reason to believe everything isn’t alright, why would you?

5. I always have a tough time pin-pointing what exactly makes me like a fic or makes me put off by it (writing style wise, that is), but i just think it comes down to the way each different author writes and whether the plot is intriguing. So for me personally at least I just think that the author have a good idea and a good way with words that makes you want to continue reading.

6. I think the 2011 Christmas is by far the saddest one, it is just so blatant what he feels and just as blatant are the neglect from his parents. I just feel so bad for him during that whole part. Everything about it is sad. Phil doesn’t seem to want to understand yet. He is stressed and under some kind of pressure to deliver. And just all the neglect from his parents, it is obvious how unwanted and unloved he feels during that “year”, and that hurts even as the reader. Likewise i also think that it is just no real light in this “year” the feelings are more severe than the previous year and phil doesn’t realise to offer much support.

7. I think a title can of course be eye catching and make you interested, but for the actually content itself i don’t think it plays that big of a role. And hadn’t it been it been for it being a particularly clever title i don’t think i would even have remembered it. The titles bother me very little.

8. Interesting question. I actually think the year it ended on was a perfect closure. The feeling this fic gives me is that if it had continued into further years dan wouldn’t have gone. That last “year” gives me such a strong feeling of closure and his mum slamming the door shut behind her just adds to that. The story lead up to that last bit where we finally got some kind of both metaphorical (the door) and real closure (the closure-y vibe lol). Excellent end to the story. As well as i think that if it had been continued into 2017 could have thrown it of a little with both the cake tweet (just got really sweet and homely vibes from it) and those other one (two?) tweets he shared about his mother, that doesn’t really, at least for me, tie in with the canon of this story. So if further years had been included (and somewhat canon) i think that would have taken of the edge a little, because now it is, sad sad sad, but with a very fulfilling closure that makes you remember it as something beautifully melancholy, whilst further chapters could have turned it into more of a, sad sad sad aw happy, kind of deal with would be so much less memorable. Even if we then, hypothetically, was presented with a equally fulfilling and closing ending it wouldn’t be nearly as memorable, just yet another ‘and they lived happy forever and always’ kind of fic. It would completely destroy the story’s emotional value!

Wonderfully interesting and thought provoking questions! :respekt2:
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by alittledizzy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:14 pm

I've sat down three times to answer the questions and keep finding myself interrupted and losing track of the tab (therefore losing my answers) so what I'm gonna do is just throw some thoughts out freeform instead.

How many of you guys were in phandom when this fic got posted? Oqua wrote it in Septmber of 2016, which isn't that long ago - but also in terms of phandom shifts feels like a lifetime ago. I think Oqua and her fic actually started a trend of people outside of forums sitting up and taking notice of Dan's family, and this fic might have been the one that kickstarted it. I know I personally don't think I read too many depictions of Dan's family that were realistic but hard skewed toward negative before this, at least not ones that got so much attention. A lot of people very quickly took it as fact, and with that came a more slow growing but definite backlash as people who disagreed with Dan's reliability as a narrator (in real life) also began to question Phil's reliability as a narrator and wondering what parts of his family we don't see because his lens is such a positive-skewed one. It's basically just a really great reminder that powerful fic can prompt conversations outside of just the little universe the fic itself lives in. I'd also kill for a strong Phil version of this fic, perhaps set in earlier years, or where Phil us struggling to maintain positivity while realizing there are things his family (especially grandparents) aren't accepting of and how that makes him feel.

And I'll sneak one question in here: personally if there were going to be new chapters I'd love to see the take on Dan being engaged with his family (or at least, his mum) and making the cake that Colin ate. Perhaps exploring the balance between removing the 'grass is always greener' aspect (since Dan did go to Isle of Man as well) and having him gain some perspective on the positives his own family has to offer.

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:02 pm

I've been enjoying everyone's thoughts on the fic! :ribena: Glad y'all liked the set of questions. I do want to say that by making a numbered list, I didn't intend to imply that anyone should answer all of them--I just wanted to put a variety out there.

To briefly address some of my own questions, I found 2011 (the Christmas radio show) and 2013 (India) the most wrenching, though for different reasons. 2013 was perhaps the most interesting--though I'm not sure what I mean by that exactly. Maybe because it was more exotic? The author was able to fill in more blanks creatively? Maybe because we had the introduction of the outside character (the bartender) for Dan to interact with, and help make the wifi metaphor explicit (yet not in a heavy-handed way). I think that might be it for me, actually: I think phanfiction can revolve too tightly around the two main characters, and their well-known circle of family and friends, and an outsider POV or even some outsider interaction can be refreshing.

2011 was painful because Dan's parents so thoroughly ignored him. I'm sure there are parents like this, but I have a hard time accepting (imagining?) it. And here, actually, it's hard to given Dan's parents the benefit of the doubt--what parent would rather watch some tv show than listen to their kid on the radio? Whereas in some of the other years, such as 2013 or even 2015, I can understand his parents' frustration with him a bit better--it's eaiser to see the bad dynamic as not being entirely one-sided.

As for the title, I think it's brilliant: it takes a very good fic and makes it even better, whereas most titles don't add anything to their fics (and some perhaps even detract). I can imagine that the title came first, or at least was an organizing principle for the author when writing the fic itself.

I am fascinated in general with what gets fics read, and in particular I have to think that a brilliant title is a great hook. It's something that will make a potential reader look twice when they are scrolling through a tag, a blog, or a feed.

I like alittledizzy's idea that Colin and the cake could make a nice coda to story, to show how things are different and better a few years out. Though I agree with the general sentiment that the original fic ended at the right Christmas, and just tacking 2016 and 2017 on would weaken the overall fic. Not every story should end with rainbows and puppies (and cakes)!
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by captainspacecoat » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:41 pm

God oqua's fics are all so good honestly, and I think they all fit together as a really fascinating example of complex family relations. While I think it's super important to emphasise the fictionality of the fics, and ensure that we aren't making definitive statements regarding Dan's relationship to his family, I think oqua does such a brilliant job of exploring familial dysfunction. In answer to the questions:

1) This fic is canon-compliant - how does this make it emotionally powerful?
I think the fic serves as an imagining of a potential behind-the-scenes scenario in Dan and Phil's lives, and contemplating the events of this fic as actually happening to the real Dan and Phil that we know is kind of heartbreaking. The real details oqua draws on and the fact that they really did make a radio show that aired on Christmas 2011, Dan really did go to India in 2013 etc, just makes it more believable. But at the same time it's important to recognise that the vignettes we see in the fic, while loosely based on reality, are ultimately fictional.

2) Is it reasonable to suppose that Dan's parents must have some redeeming qualities even if we don't see them? Etc.
I think it's definitely reasonable, and important even, to keep in mind that this fic is a fictional exploration of complicated family relationships rather than a factual statement on the nature of Dan's relationship with his family. While Dan has certainly indicated at times that there are aspects of his childhood and relationship with his family that he views negatively, or that weren't so happy, or that he would improve upon with his own children, and we should absolutely respect that, it's also important to acknowledge that Dan has also spoken positively about his family (especially more recently, I think), and that ultimately we don't know enough about Dan's childhood or current family dynamic to conclude with any certainty what kind of relationship he has/had with them.

I think we need to look at it with nuance, and recognise that most people do not have a wholly positive or negative childhood (with exception of course), and it's likely that Dan takes issues with some aspects of the way he was parented but not all, and ultimately probably loves and appreciates his family overall. But of course, this fic specifically sets out to explore the (potential) negative aspects of his family life, and the nature of the fic as fictional means that there probably isn't such a need for nuance.

3) What is Phil's role in the story? In what ways does he provide a counterpoint to Dan's experience with his family?
I guess it's ultimately a hurt/comfort fic of sorts, so Phil plays the role of the comforter - someone who is concerned about Dan and is there to provide him with the love and attention that the Dan in this story isn't receiving from his family. And he is also there to be juxtaposed with Dan, as someone who is receiving love and attention from his family, and therefore causes a level of envy in Dan. I think it would be interesting to read an exploration into Phil's family dynamic, which would ultimately show Dan that the Lesters aren't as perfect and together as he thinks.

4) The wifi is pretty obviously a metaphor? For what exactly? When does Dan realise this? Why does it take Phil until 2012 to realise it's a metaphor?

Interesting question! It's obviously a clever metaphor for family/the love of his family/family dynamics, as Dan mentions in the fic several times that his family is "broken", as is the wifi. I think Dan realises right from the start tbh, when Phil asks if he's sad because the wifi's broken and Dan thinks no, it's because his family's broken. I think it took Phil until 2012 because there was no way to be absolutely sure before, given that it'd only been two years and it had been plausible before that the wifi really did just happen to be shitty for two years in a row. There was probably no way to deny that there was actually more to it by the third year.

5) What are some of the features of the author's writing style that help make the story she is telling compelling?
I think her writing style is quite sparse, and not overly detailed, but I think that's engaging in that it gets right to the point and keeps the fic flowing. She characterises Dan and Phil really well (Dan especially), and in particular nails their texting styles.

6) Which of the six Christmases is the most sad and painful, and why?
I think 2011 probably, just because it hurts to think of Dan being so proud of his first proper opportunity with the BBC only for his family not to pay any attention. And the way Dan avoids asking them to watch with him as a means of self-preservation, and also the fact that his parents aren't trying to be mean, they just genuinely don't understand the significance. It perfectly demonstrates that disconnect between Dan and his family as opposed to Phil and the Lesters, and it's really heartbreaking. 2013 is similarly sad because it's the first time Dan properly breaks down in front of his family, and then later on the phone to Phil - like he can't hold it in any longer :'(

7) Would this fic be as powerful if it had a different title? What role might such a perfect title have played in this fic being remembered, recommended, and read?
I don't think so, actually. It's the perfect title, in that it summarises the themes of the fic in a really succinct and understandable way. Just from the catchiness and recognisability of the title alone the reader has some idea of what the fic might cover, and I honestly can't think of a title that would better suit the story that was told.

8) What would the 2016 and 2017 chapters look like? Would they be redundant? Would they change the story? Was Christmas 2015, by conincidence, the perfect Christmas on which to end the fic?
I think the fic was fine ending with 2015 and the story was tied up nicely, with a hopeful ending (Dan envisioning his future family with Phil). However I do think it could be interesting to look at 2016 and 2017, and to perhaps explore a more healed or positive relationship between Dan and his family. As others have mentioned, Dan baking a cake with his mum last Christmas would make a nice anecdote, and the humorous situation with Colin could also make for a more lighthearted story. That way we'd get that nuance that it's important to keep in mind when discussing Dan and his family (and Phil and his family tbh), that while there are undoubtedly negative aspects of Dan's relationship with his family there are also many positive aspects (and vice versa regarding Phil and his family).

Thanks for such interesting questions LeftHandedism, and sorry this is so long!!

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by readingmama » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:19 am

This has been fun to explore and I am looking forward to reading more responses! I do remember reading this when it was first posted but haven't really re-read it so it was nice to review the wonderful writing. I took a bit of time to think up some answers so here goes( hope it makes sense!)


1) This fic is canon-compliant - how does this make it emotionally powerful?

I always find it easy to get drawn into canon-compliant fics because there isn't anything that interrupts the immersion in the way that an obvious inconsistency to the accepted reality would. For me, that strengthens the impact of the emotions as I can more easily imagine the impact irl.

2) Is it reasonable to suppose that Dan's parents must have some redeeming qualities even if we don't see them? Etc. Personally I always try to keep an open mind and be aware that any story that is told from a limited perspective will have information/context missing that can change perception of a situation. In this particular fic, I am aware that Dan is struggling with fitting into his family as a adult and also dealing with some unresolved issues from his younger years. This results in his negative and unforgiving view of his parents. I expect their perspective would soften their representation.


3) What is Phil's role in the story? In what ways does he provide a counterpoint to Dan's experience with his family?

I agree with the concept of Phil as both comfort and contrast in this story. His seemingly happier and more involved family experience acts to highlight the perceived deficiencies in Dan's homelife and he provides the comfort and strength Dan needs to cope. I think Phil also provides a much-needed sense of hope that there is a better future possible.

4) The wifi is pretty obviously a metaphor? For what exactly? When does Dan realise this? Why does it take Phil until 2012 to realise it's a metaphor?

To me, the fic is about connection and that is why wifi is a great metaphor. Without a wifi connection, the internet is out of reach and a family is just people occupying the same space without a bond or connection. I agree that the reference Dan makes would have been relatively easy to take at face value at first but then becomes clearly more than what it seems in time.

5) What are some of the features of the author's writing style that help make the story she is telling compelling?
This fic has the beauty of being told with exceptionally well chosen words that layer on context and invite introspection.

6) Which of the six Christmases is the most sad and painful, and why?
2011 absolutely underscores the theme of lack of connection in the most relatable and heartbreaking way.

7) Would this fic be as powerful if it had a different title? What role might such a perfect title have played in this fic being remembered, recommended, and read? Honestly, I probably would have read it anyway because I read pretty much everything but there is definitely a satisfaction to a title that alludes to the metaphor of the fic. It also certainly makes it easier to remember!

8) What would the 2016 and 2017 chapters look like? Would they be redundant? Would they change the story? Was Christmas 2015, by conincidence, the perfect Christmas on which to end the fic?

I think it would be nice to see the hope of the 2015 carried out into some changes that could make the years to come potentially better. That said, though, a hopeful but vague ending makes it possible for the reader to carry on their own story and make of it what they want to see so that's fun too. I feel like all the concepts of the fic are quite common for young adults who are growing up, challenging their perspectives and looking to change things for their future.

Thanks for the great questions and I had so much fun with my thoughts! All the responses have been wonderful - I love reading more perspectives :stan:

Just a quick reminder that the next discussion will be starting on Feb.1 and we will be looking at:

Right Where We Are -https://archiveofourown.org/series/270268

I will be leading the discussion and I would like to thank LeftHandedism for her example and encouragement!

We also need future fics to explore so please leave suggestions!

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by LtrllySusan » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:18 pm

Tbh I am a bit intimidated by you guys' thoughts and in-depth analyses, but since I enjoy reading the replies and no one else has come forward so far - I'd be up for hosting a discussion about but home is just a room (full of my safest sounds) by blueshirt:

In which things fall apart, and then back together.
Or, the one where they break up in 2012 and stumble across each other three years later. Featuring Dan as a radio show host and BBC presenter, and Phil as a weatherman on the Isle of Man.

(ca. 22,000 words, 1000+ kudos on AO3)

Since the Phanfic awards are out, it would also be great to discuss some of the winners, e.g. The_Blonde's when i sing, you sing harmonies - though to be fully honest, that story is so creative and amazing, I don't think I can do it justice as a discussion host. But maybe someone else would like to do that?

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by smartcookie » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:32 pm

LtrllySusan wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:18 pm

Since the Phanfic awards are out, it would also be great to discuss some of the winners, e.g. The_Blonde's when i sing, you sing harmonies - though to be fully honest, that story is so creative and amazing, I don't think I can do it justice as a discussion host. But maybe someone else would like to do that?
Honestly though, every singel one of The_Blondes fics are just so intimidatingly good. I’d love to but I dont think i could do that or any of their fics justice as a host either, but I’m seconding that I’d more than love to see that or any of their other fics discussed here. :love2:
So bottom line of my meaningless post is, that I’d love to discuss any of The_Blonde’s works, and i would kinda love to host the discussion but I’m intimidated by the quality of previous questions and don’t dare.
Either way, it isn’t really a problem for now, since we already have the fic for the at least first half of February decided.
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:11 pm

@LtrllySusan, @smartcookie, and anyone else, don't be intimidated! :platonic: This is meant to be a little chat--just like the main thread, except on a slightly different topic. Just imagine we're all sat around someone's livingroom with tea and scones :daddy: , or red wine and chocolate :wine: , or any snack Phil might serve :pancakes: .

There are loads of guides online for book club questions you can use for inspiration, e.g.:

https://www.readinggroupguides.com/revi ... tars/guide (The Fault in our Stars)
http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides ... ng?start=3 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

I found this one useful; it has general categories of questions to think about:

http://www.litlovers.com/run-a-book-clu ... or-fiction

I threw some fanfic-specific questions into my list because I find that angle fascinating and want to know more about what other people think, but everyone has their own angle they are interested in exploring. And if you ask the questions, you aren't obliged to have a ready answer yourself! :tu:
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by smartcookie » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Tad early to announce maybe, but @LtrllySusan and I will be co-hosting the discussion after Right Where We Are (1/2 - 15/2).

The fic we’ll be discussing during the second half of February is The_Blonde’s fic when i sing, you sing harmonies , brilliant au at 46k words!
We are very grateful for the opportunity to host the discussion centred around this amazing work! :love1:
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by autumnhearth » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:19 pm

I’m a bit late to the party, but I love this book club concept! I just read ‘Right Where We Are’ this morning and coincidentally had already started ‘when i sing, you sing harmonies’ over the holiday break. I actually started reading it to my son because it’s so delightful and I love reading the voice of a certain character out loud, and I can’t believe we didn’t finish it! I’ll be sure to get on that and look forward to the discussion. But back to the first story!

I generally gravitate more toward canon compliant fic in phandom, but this has been shifting recently with some of my favorite writers taking on AUs brilliantly and now find myself being sucked into those more easily. I think I am a bit more critical of canon as I read it, I definitely notice if writers have their facts off for 2009 fic. With this story however, I firstly know that quoa has done the research and second it is from a stretch of time that I am not as well versed in, so that actually helps. So all I am left questioning is the emotional and the unknowns: could Dan’s home life have been that bad? Because there has been a fair amount of discourse in the last year about how reliable Dan’s stories about his parents are and how they are all filtered through his feelings as a teenager. I think we have started to shape a clearer narrative recently (they weren’t planning on being parents when Dan was born, they didn’t really nurture his interests, but I think he also shielded them from the internet and his work for awhile), or as much as we can with knowing so little.

So reading the first two or three sections I was questioning fic!Dan and if he was making a bigger deal over everything, but by 2013 I could see just how hurt and distressed he was and remembered the possibility that Dan’s dad could possibily be a bit of dick (as Dan avoids talking about him anymore and has only been mentioning his mom). Their comments about the book and Dan being lazy really fucking hurt. There are tears in my eyes just thinking about it. Also Dan mentioning in his last ls that his therapist referred to him as a procrastinating workaholic instantly came to mind when fic!Phil said that he was one of the hardest working people he knew.And I just came to appreciate the story more as the metaphor became more clear.

I love the title, and am glad it ends where it ends. While I think things have probably gotten better irl, it’s okay not to have a completely happy ending and for Dan to instead come to a place of acceptance and for us to have the knowledge as current/future readers that it did get better. His parents went to TATINOF, they were impressed when their book was featured in mainstream media, Dan and his mum baked a cake together and he seems to have gone home a bit more frequently, or at least felt comfortable mentioning it. (Therapy has probably helped a lot and his advice of spending more or less time with family members or friends, depending on the healthiness of your relationship with them, has stuck with me.)

I did I find myself wondering at the end at how different this story would be if Dan’s gran had been included. I think it probably works better not having her, as Dan feels more isolated this way, with Phil and the Internet being his only source of comfort.

The only nagging thought at the back of my head is that the literal wifi might not have been that bad at his parents? But I have very little to base that on, and then the beautiful analogy wouldn’t work, so I just have to let it go.

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:34 pm

Popping in to thank everyone for a great discussion of "home is where the wifi connects automatically", and to say there's nothing to stop people from continuing to comment on it in future. :reading2:

And to say I'm excited for the upcoming fics scheduled for February! :reading1:
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by readingmama » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:44 am

Happy February Everyone! Welcome to the 2nd Fic of the IDB Book Club!

FIc: RIght Where We Are
Host: readingmama

Right Where We Are is a series of 5 works written in 2015 in the reality genre. It was written by thatmistertoyou who has several other works in the phandom on ao3. Each one-shot in the series covers the lives of Dan & Phil as they navigate through various situations involving their relationships with each other, their families and their fans in the years 2013-2015.

Please answer any questions you want to or skip any questions that you don’t. Please also feel free to ask any other questions or introduce topics you want to discuss

Questions for Discussion


1)What was your initial reaction to the fic? Did it draw you in or take some time to get into?

2)This fic is written as a series of one shots in the same universe- did you enjoy the style of the series? Do you think the series flows as a whole?

3)This fic covers a variety of different themes and topics- Is there a theme that you wish had been explored further? Which theme affected you most-negatively or positively?

4)Do you think the topics were dealt with realistically? Was there a point in which your opinion or perspective changed?

5)Do you have a favourite part? Or a scene or interaction?

6)Does the author’s characterization of Dan & Phil feel natural? How do Dan and Phil show character growth through the chapters?

7)How does the author highlight the difference in dynamic between the two families?

8)At times this fic seems ahead of its time but this fic was written in 2015- How do you think it might change if it were written today?

9)This series feels very open ended- how would you want to see it continued?

10)Finally, what snacks & or beverages would you recommend with this series? :pancakes: :ribena:

I look forward to hearing your opinions!

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:59 pm

Overall, I really liked this fic, and I thought it characterised Dan and Phil very well, and I found it to be quite realistic, considering the canon. I would have responded to all the questions (and done them earlier haha), but uni is killing me. Anyway, I'm glad to be finally discussing this!

2. I did really like the universe the series was in, especially because 2015 was the first full year where I was actively involved in the phandom, so it was intriguing and interesting to be thrown back into that canon, but behind closed doors. I do think the series flows well, as all of the pieces work well separately, but they also connect subtly in a really effective way.

5. I loved the bit in "Testing the Waters" where Dan decides to post the selfie of them on the beach, as it felt very 2017 Dan and Phil to me. It's been interesting to see them come out of their shells/"2012 shields" over the last few years, and that bit, especially seeing their thought processes, felt so relevant and fun.

8. I think that more details at certain points would be included, but I think the biggest change would be the chapter taking place in Florida, as Dan really went above and beyond to be able to stay in Florida with Phil's family in 2017.

9. While I think the series woks well where it ended, it would be interesting to see chapters taking place during the American leg of tatinof, in Singapore, or of them moving and deciding to do another tour.

10. This question is cute haha. I think this fic really warrants a hot drink, like tea or hot chocolate, paired with a cozy blanket.

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:26 am

I enjoyed rereading "Right Where We Are"!

2) I found the fic easy to get into. I like the format of a series of interconnected stories--sort of the best of both worlds with a coherence that draws your forward, but discrete stories that you can enjoy in manageable chunks.

4) I think it was all quite realistic and felt quite natural. I think the writing style is similar to oqua's--simple and straightforward yet compelling narrative.

5) My favorite story is "Co-Hosting". I liked the portrayal of Dan being nervous and Phil being supportive. I also liked Dan's parents and especially his brother. Obviously, there is quite a contrast to how Dan's parents are portrayed in "home is where the wifi connects automatically". Here, they might be a bit detached and a bit bemused, but they are clearly well-meaning and trying to connect with their son even if they don't quite know how. But there is hope that the Howells will grow together as a family. I also really enjoyed the depiciton of Adrian--he seemed quite the realistic little brother!

I also liked the coda in "When the Sun Came Up". The author comes up with a convincing scenario as to how a strong, loving relationship can nearly go off the rails: Dan's agressive attempts at "protecting" them are really hurtful to Phil; but Phil's suggestion that maybe they'd be better off if they break up is devastating to Dan. And it takes them a long time to heal the rift, especially since the root cause of it (fear of being exposed again) is still ever-present.

8) I think one difference if it were written today might be more of a reference to Dan's mental health. Dan doesn't seem to be particularly depressed in these stories, which seems just slightly odd (not in a bad way, just maybe slightly unrealistic) now that we know more.

10) Oh, one has to drink a nice cup of coffee while reading "Co-Hosting", since poor Phil never got his as he was so busy waiting on the Howells!
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by smartcookie » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:52 am

Finally gotten around to do this! :D

I’m not the biggest fan of family related fics for various reasons, so i was actually rather reluctant to first start reading. My reluctance was also only inflated by the sheer concept of five works as one, why I don’t know. Still after reading not the biggest fan of the concept of one-shots in the same universe so to say, but the flow of things were for the most part pretty okay so i wasn’t exactly suffering. But once I got into it I was happily surprised, it dealt with everything I was afraid of (most depicting Dan’s family as unreasonably evil, just doesn’t sit right with me.) in a very nice way and it was very refreshing seeing Dan’s family written in such a fair light and with such character growth at that! It was a week or two since I read it so my memory isn’t the freshest, but the part in which Dan’s family comes to visiting them (the first part then?) is a clear favourite of mine. It’s well written, well thought out and just a pleasant read with very realistically depicted characters especially Adrian. As for scene, I think my favourite is that between dan, phil and Adrian, in that same chapter after they’ve played Mario Kart( once again a question mark at that), that whole interaction just feels very natural and like a very realistic interaction between Dan and Adrian.

When reading I was really struck by on spot it was for a fic written in 2015, it was almost so I even considered if the author might be a bit psychic. But if this fic had been written more recently (and followed the same pattern) then I think it would consist of more details of their real life escapades. Like phil getting locked outside in Florida, or maybe writing in some of the mentions of his mum dan made on his twitter around Christmas.

I am a real party-pooper, i would truthfully not want to see this work continued. I hate fics being drawn out for too long for just the sake of it. It bores me to death and more then once have I stopped reading simply because it goes on for too long (as long as it isn’t slow-burn). I’d even go as far as saying I’d rather have seen it ending on the fourth chapter.
Considering tea works with about everything I’d say this a typical earl grey with milk and honey type of fic. Yum. :daddy: (why the FUCK is the tea emoji called “daddy”!?!)

Refreshing fic, and amazing questions as always :love1:
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by obsessivelymoody » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:24 pm

I was thinking that for March 1st we could do Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics (25k), and we could either do that fic on it's own or the rest of the self-made man series (32k). It's a really well done story where it's 2009 but Dan is transgender, and it's written by a transgender man, which is important for a) the subject matter of the fic, and b) diversity in general.

Let me know what you guys think, and if anyone wants to co-host that would be great too!

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:46 am

obsessivelymoody wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:24 pm
I was thinking that for March 1st we could do Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics (25k), and we could either do that fic on it's own or the rest of the self-made man series (32k). It's a really well done story where it's 2009 but Dan is transgender, and it's written by a transgender man, which is important for a) the subject matter of the fic, and b) diversity in general.

Let me know what you guys think, and if anyone wants to co-host that would be great too!
I think this is a great idea (and I'm sure I speak for many here :tu: ). Let's go for it!

And, I"m looking forward to discussing tomorrow's fic! It's so lovely!
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by LtrllySusan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:08 pm

:reading1: Third Fic for the IDB Book Club :reading2:

Fic: when i sing, you sing harmonies
Author: The_Blonde (AO3 | Tumblr)
Hosts: smartcookie & LtrllySusan

"When i sing, you sing harmonies" is an unchaptered AU fic published in November 2017 as part of the Phandom Reverse Bang. Phil, a witch with the ability to see people's auras, runs a cake shop in which he sells magical pastries to humans. He meets Dan, an insecure music student, whose music and aura fascinates Phil and intrigues him. The fic was received very well and subsequently won three awards in the Phanfic Awards of 2017: Second place in "Best of the Best" and first place in both the "Best of the Best AU" and the "Originality" category.

This is smartcookie's and my first time hosting a book/fic discussion, so if there's any questions that you would like to add, please go ahead! You also don't have to answer all questions to participate in the discussion.


Questions for discussion
1. If you could create one magical baked good for yourself, which emotion would you put in and why? What would it look and taste like?

2. What does a person's aura represent? What determines whether it is a coloured cloud or an animal and what colour or animal it is?

3. Why is Dan's aura a moth and what does it represent? In what ways is it different from other auras Phil sees?

4. How do you interpret Phil not having an aura?

5. How can the aura reading talent be useful for the council? How do you rate the council's efforts of trying to convince Phil to use the talent?

6. Why does Phil usually only making one emotion for a person? How does breaking this rule for Dan change how we perceive their relationship?

7. If you were put in Phil's place before the council meeting, what would your thoughts be? Would you rather give up your unique, once-in-a-century ability or love? What would hurt the least?

8. How do you rate Dan's initial reaction to Phil being a witch? If you were in his situation, how would you react/feel?

9. What part does the hamster Winston play in the story, and what kind of influence does he have on Phil?

Most speaking roles in this fic were filled by characters already known to the reader (Phil, Dan, Martyn, Dodie).
10. Which parallels between IRL characters (both in their personality and other references) did you notice?

11. What are the benefits and limitations of using familiar characters compared to original character creations?


:reading1: Next Fic :reading2:
Let The Salt Dry by hunterfics, as a part of the self-made man series.
Dan and Phil but Dan is trans.

Host: @obsessivelymoody
Date discussion begins: March 1

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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by lefthandedism » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:14 am

Thanks for hosting this! I had not read this fic--I usually don't do AUs--but it was so lovely.

These were fantastic questions--I hope other people have a chance to respond. I really want to hear what people think!

Questions for discussion
1. If you could create one magical baked good for yourself, which emotion would you put in and why? What would it look and taste like?

"Loyalty" springs to mind. It would be slightly gritty with a woodsy wintergreen taste, perfect for sanding on top of fudge.

2. What does a person's aura represent? What determines whether it is a coloured cloud or an animal and what colour or animal it is?

I wish I knew the answer to that. Some aura systems have colors, and some have animals (it made me think of the daemons in the Golden Compass). I didn't know what to make of both.

3. Why is Dan's aura a moth and what does it represent? In what ways is it different from other auras Phil sees?

Dan's aura is a moth because he owns a moth shirt irl :). Really, it's a great choice. Moths are considered a bit creepy but not really sinsiter. Also a bit sad and dull. Dan's moth is different because it interacts with Phil so much (though other auras seem to see him too) and because it changes size so dramatically to reflect Dan's feelings.

4. How do you interpret Phil not having an aura?

I find it a bit disturbing and again I wish I knew why. It kinda feels like a bad thing, or at least a problem, like not having a soul.

5. How can the aura reading talent be useful for the council? How do you rate the council's efforts of trying to convince Phil to use the talent?

I think they say they want him to help them look for/deal with bad actors. But there 's certainly also the implication they would use it to control people if they could get a window into their feelings.
Their efforts are pretty funny actually. They don't seem to know how to deal with Phil and don't understand why he just doesn't do what they say. They get pretty mean at the end--but you can almost interpret that as their knowing it was necessary to push Phil to do the right thing (be truthful).

6. Why does Phil usually only making one emotion for a person? How does breaking this rule for Dan change how we perceive their relationship?

Phil keeps saying he gets attached to people, especially the buskers. So I think the rule is a way to keep from too attached/involved in their lives. Obviously, with Dan, he wants to get atached/involved.

7. If you were put in Phil's place before the council meeting, what would your thoughts be? Would you rather give up your unique, once-in-a-century ability or love? What would hurt the least?

If I had a true love like that, I'd give up anything for it! I mean, this is often the way true love is depicted. There are plenty of fairly tales like that--for example the Little Mermaid (the original tale is pretty brutal). If i were actually in that meeting in Phil's place I'd be angry and terrified. I don't know if I'd ever be able to rationalize (as I suggest above) that it was for my own good.

8. How do you rate Dan's initial reaction to Phil being a witch? If you were in his situation, how would you react/feel?

I think the initial reaction is pretty believable. It's not nice to feel that someone's controlling your or sees your secrets or whatever you imagine a witch can do. And of course it makes you afraid your feelings are not authentic or their feeling are not authentic, and it would really suck. Since the fic is from Phil's point of view, we don't really get to see Dan manage to calm down and work through the hurt and decide his and Phil's love is worth it.

9. What part does the hamster Winston play in the story, and what kind of influence does he have on Phil?

Oh the hamster is perfect comic relief and a perfect foil for Phil. As Winston and Phil both say later in the story, Winston reminds Phil of what he really thinks and wants or needs to do. By definition, as his familiar, Winston is really part of Phil.

10. Most speaking roles in this fic were filled by characters already known to the reader (Phil, Dan, Martyn, Dodie).
Which parallels between IRL characters (both in their personality and other references) did you notice?

I don't see Dodie in phanfic much, but I think she was a great choice here. Obviously, the music connection makes sense, but I also thought her character seemed right, from the superficial impression I have of her.

11. What are the benefits and limitations of using familiar characters compared to original character creations?

Wow, this question requires an extensive discussion! Some of the benefits have to do with people liking familiarity in their stories (I'm trying to be inclusive here about "stories", to include myths, stories around the campfire, family lore, etc.). So it's comfortable to read about characters and a universe we already know (even AUs usually share a lot of details with canon, as this one does). From the writer's point of view, it can make it easier to get potential readers engaged in the story when they think they know what they're getting (even if you then surprise them). The limitations are that it's that much harder to write about what you really want to write--at least without bending canon a lot sometimes. Of course, for the good writers, like this one!, the limitation becomes a challenge, which they meet beautifully--managing to tell a story that's not particularly about the Dan and Phil we know, yet still contains a recognizable Dan and Phil.
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Re: IDB Book Club

Post by LtrllySusan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:45 pm

Thanks for your answers, Lefthandeism! :thumb:
I didn't wanna post my thoughts together with the questions, but I guess now is as good time as any. I am not going to answer all questions cause I don't have good answers to all of them either :D

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

1. If you could create one magical baked good for yourself, which emotion would you put in and why? What would it look and taste like?

Bravery: a light caramel brown, soft, perfect to use in fudge or brownies.

2. What does a person's aura represent? What determines whether it is a coloured cloud or an animal and what colour or animal it is?

I am not sure about what determines whether it's a cloud or an animal. I have an easier time interpreting the animals though. I feel like the animal represents the personality of the person, and also mirrors what kind of emotion they could benefit from. Someone in the tube who lives a hectic life had a screeching monkey (iirc), and Martyn has a loyal and friendly dog.

3. Why is Dan's aura a moth and what does it represent? In what ways is it different from other auras Phil sees?

Easy answer: Dan has a moth because IRL Dan hates moths. Long answer: Moths are drawn towards warmth (towards Phil) but are afraid to get too close and get hurt. Only few people would look beyond a moth being a yucky insect, and see its beauty (I personally hate moths but I know there are a few ones that actually look quite magical. It's just the common ones that are eww). And lastly, I see some kind of poetic interpretation in a moth being a sort of dark butterfly - sometimes the author mentions that it almost looks like Dan has wings.

4. How do you interpret Phil not having an aura?

If an aura represents what emotion a character needs, it would only be logical that Phil doesn't have an aura because he doesn't need an added emotion. The one time he made a cake for himself, he didn't eat it after all. Similarly, Dan's (problematic) aura disappearing in the end would also hint towards that he is "complete" and doesn't need the influence of the emotion cakes.

5. How can the aura reading talent be useful for the council? How do you rate the council's efforts of trying to convince Phil to use the talent?
I was thinking that the aura reading might be useful to determine if a person is lying, for example in a courtroom. However, we only get extensive descriptions of Dan's aura changing, and I am not sure if all auras are this expressive.
I found the council's efforts mediocre at most, which made it even more surprising when Phil broke the law and was forced to tell Dan about his powers.

6. Why does Phil usually only making one emotion for a person? How does breaking this rule for Dan change how we perceive their relationship?

Lefthandeism's answer was pretty great, so I got nothing to add!

8. How do you rate Dan's initial reaction to Phil being a witch? If you were in his situation, how would you react/feel?

Dan's reaction is very justified and also gave me a new angle on what had been happening. Phil's involvement with everyone's emotions was romanticised through cute cupcakes and trumpeting hamsters, but it's actually a pretty serious deal. On the other hand, I also feel Phil didn't do the best job explaining this situation - which might be a bit of plot device used by the author to give the story a final twist instead of an instant happy ending.

9. What part does the hamster Winston play in the story, and what kind of influence does he have on Phil?

Winston says that he is a part of Phil, and therefore tells us out loud what Phil is thinking inside. This gives the story much more of a dynamic than long internal monologues, especially when Phil is having conflicting thoughts. He can have a converrsation with Winston instead of thinking it all.

Most speaking roles in this fic were filled by characters already known to the reader (Phil, Dan, Martyn, Dodie).
11. What are the benefits and limitations of using familiar characters compared to original character creations?

To me, AUs need to hit a fine line between "This is basically original fiction" and "Every character is a YouTuber but they are so OOC that I can't imagine this scenario".
Familiar characters are "pre-built" with a personality and relationships and likes/dislikes. If a highschool AU needs some extras, dropping familiar characters in there can give the reader a more vivid image because we know what these characters look & act like. Creating a rich original side character without boring the reader can be a lot more difficult for the author.

Using familiar characters is great if they work in the context of the story, but sometimes I feel like they are out of place (my pet peeve - Louise as the bff "talk to me about your emotions" plot fairy. Doesn't work for me at all).
Another problem with non-original characters is that the reader might not be familiar with them (as regularily evidenced by AMAAF readers on tumblr: "Omg Jimmy is a real person?"), and the author is assuming that the reader has knowledge which they do not. That makes a story difficult to get into. This story works without knowing Dodie or Martyn (and AMAAF works without knowing Jimmy).

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I would love to read some more opinions! Remember that you don't have to answer all questions. If you have thoughts about just one, you are still very welcome to post it. :platonic:

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