This is about Grace Fonseca's Humiliation, a Buffy/Oz (the show, not the character) crossover. Click on the link to open a new window containing the story.

Grace is going to start thinking she's the target of every badfic site on the planet. She's going to say that we should promote peace and harmony by not ripping on her fan fiction.

Grace is an English major, according to her web site. For that reason, while I was initially hesitant to talk about one of her stories here because she seems so sensitive, I'm doing it anyway. I've had Grace rants on my hard drive for about six months and have never done anything with them. It's her most recent story, Humiliation, that drove me over the edge.

Grace writes what I heard someone refer to recently as "skeleton fic." (The fanfic community puts a "fic" ending on everything, don't they? Slash fic, het fic, skeleton fic, badfic, goodfic, angst fic, pregnancy fic.) There are 101 ideas circulating through it that could be expanded on but Grace just kind of skims over it, like she has so many ideas that she just wants to get each story finished as quickly as possible so she can move on to the next one. I've never read a Grace Fonseca story, with the exception of archive fics like "Don't Touch My Stuff" where she gets Buffy characters like Spike to hate her roommates, that didn't leave me feeling a little ripped off.

What we have here is an Oz/Buffy crossover about Xander being raped by Vern Schillinger, Oz's bastard skinhead. It's Vern without an e, as far as I know, although Grace spells it two different ways in her header. Xander has found himself in Oz after picking up a package from an airport, although why he picks up a package or drugs and who told him to is explained neither in the prequel or the main story, and he's getting support from Tobias Beecher, a lawyer turned psycho prisoner who was also raped by Vern but has learned to live with it. Next to feedback in the header, Grace wrote "Hell yes." Ok, then, here's some feedback.

While the story is about the loveable Xander getting anally raped at the hands of a Nazi, it's about a page long. To show shame, she has Xander putting his hands over his face and covering his eyes. There is very little internal monologue. You hear nothing from Xander about how upset he is except for short sentences like "He wanted to curl up and die." I've said it before, and I can't say it enough. SHOW DON'T TELL! SHOW DON'T TELL! SHOW DON'T TELL!

Whew, sorry about that. Sometimes I get carried away.

To pull off a really great story, you need detail. What did the cell look like? What was the rape like, other than just saying straight out that it was awful? What was the clincher that really drove Xander over the edge? Why is he confiding in Beecher? What does the air smell like? How is Xander feeling? Is he panicking enough to go straight over the edge like Beecher did? You need to paint a picture for us, and the prime reason I'm getting into this is because I feel like Grace should know this. There are also grammatical and spelling errors aplenty. How can this be? The spelling errors, like "trafficing," could easily have been caught with a spell checker. The grammatical errors, like putting a period between a line of dialogue and "he said" rather than a comma like you're supposed to, could easily have been caught by Grace opening one of her high school text books, or a beta reader. But Grace seems to be in so much of a rush that she either doesn't realize it or can't be bothered. Not only that, but the story switches from third to first person without any sort of preparation.

An excerpt:

"Well Schillinger is a sick fuck. He likes to fuck people over. I've had a lot of problems with that sick mother fucker. He gave me this tattoo." Tobias told him hoping that Xander wouldn't let Schillinger win.

"Why did he rape me? I got in here for drug trafficing. I went to the airport to pick up a package. God, this place is horrible. How do you stand it?" He felt humiliated and ashamed of himself.

"Harris, don't let that sick Nazi fuck to win. Revenge is what keeps me going, and I have a family to go back to." Tobias smiled with his caring brown eyes.

As usual, I'm not saying that Grace sucks. I'm just saying that she needs to dig deeper and use a beta reader. This story could have been great.

CABS grade: D (or lower, but I'm feeling generous)