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MacBeth lolmac wrote in bethinexile
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Looking for Daniel in all the right places
This is a very different call for help from my last one.  (Thank heavens.)

Like many Stargate fans, I came to the show with a focus on Jack.  I've branched out since then, and my fave flavour is now Teamy Goodness.  My partner and I have been doing a full rewatch, and I've been paying much more attention to the other characters.  But I'm still in catch-up mode.

I've been stalled on my current main project, and I've finally realized it's because I have a huge swath of plot where Daniel is the lead, and I'm not confident or comfortable with my grasp of the character, especially relative to the feel I have for the others.  He pretty much wrote his own part in the two Stargate fics I've done so far (X Marks the Spot and The Cat Came Back), but I'm not getting a free ride this time around.  I've bailed out on too many fics with an irritated "Damn it, Daniel does more than drink coffee and translate stuff!"  I really don't want to be guilty of irritating others in turn. 

So, here's an open call to Daniel-doters, Daniel-holics, and ardent Jacksonians.  Help me out.  Talk to me.  I have my own answers to these questions, especially the ones about annoyance and Fail, but I know I need more.

What is it about Daniel that you love?  What makes you squee?  What do you most love to see him do?

What are the elements of a Daniel story that you love the most?  What do you really like seeing him do in fic?  On the show?  Both?  What is the best of Daniel WIN?

What annoys and pisses you off when you see it in fic?  What are the stupid or shallow or careless misinterpretations that need to be avoided?  What's Daniel Fail?

Any other pointers, tips, thoughts are also welcome.  Added notes:  the story is gen, with neither ship nor slash subtext, and is written very tight to canon.  It's set in late S2.  Degree of potential whumpage is as yet undetermined.

Whaddya got?

ETAWonderful answers so far, and I'd still be happy to hear more!  Thank you all!

Lesse. I had a long period where Daniel was my favourite. It's passed since then, but I think I might still be able to answer your questions ;)

What I love most about Daniel is that he (together with Teal'c) are the most developing characters in the show. I mean, Daniel season 1 and Daniel season 10 (and even 5, 7...) - completely the same person, and yet very much a different person. So I squee when this character development is being addressed and accepted and that the author isn't stuck in season 1 characterisations even when they write season 3/5/7/10. I think it's true even for season 2 - by late s2 he was no longer acting like he did in early s1, most of the Daniel and Jack snark had developed at some point during season 2 for example.

I also squee about the usual stuff - the nerdiness, the sarcasm, the mythology and languages (\0/) - and mostly the friendship with the rest of the team. Obviously with Jack because that produces the most snarkiness (which is why I loved his interaction with Vala so much! Snarkiness even after Jack was gone!), but I do see him as a fierce and loyal friend and I love when that's acknowledged.

Daniel win - when he stands his ground. When he doesn't give up. To think about the show, anything on the range from Maternal Instinct when he goes all "But I'm right...", to episodes like Threads and The Pegasus Project where he stands his ground against beings which are sooo much more powerful than him.

What I DON'T like: WOOBIFICATION. Add some neon and exclamation marks to it. The problem is with fandom when they woobify Daniel is that he often becomes this completely dependent being whose resemblance to Daniel - and again, Daniel's tendency to stand up for what he believes in - is completely accidental. Also, I don't know what your fic is about so it might not be applicable, but another part of it is Daniel's reaction to the constant trauma the writers throw in his direction. He had to deal with a lot of traumatic events in 10 years of canon. We know how he behaves when he experiences trauma. One of the reasons I dislike h/c fics with a passion is that when I first started reading fanfic I ran into Daniel (and often Jack/Daniel) h/c fic a lot (I guess that's what people were writing at the time?), and they all had this Daniel that did not behave like Daniel at all in order to achieve those h/c tropes. Now, I'm all for "people react to trauma differently" and I'm a firm believer of that - but in the case of Daniel it doesn't apply because we know how he reacts from canon.

Daniel

I like where Daniel gets to show his genius. He originally *was* the genius, until TPTB decided to just ignore that and make Carter the genius. He has multiple PhDs. He can speak over 25 different languages (though why he had to look up "Locus" is beyond me...even *I* knew that one!). He has compassion, passion, and intelligence. He'd die for a stranger, and is loyal to the end & beyond. It's his loyalty & friendship (even when TPTB had Jack treating him like crap) that drew me to the character.

I don't like the effeminate, simpering Daniel. Daniel is ballsy and strong. Yes, he gets into situations, but he also in the end gets out of them himself (think of the first episode with Chaka). He doesn't always need to be rescued like a damsel in distress! I am not too fond of mutilating him for the sake of a story. That's just me.

I love your stuff. I think you will do just fine...and I look forward to reading!

MWA!
Pat/Kat

Re: Daniel

Well. I give him a pass on everything related to Ancient, because, really? MIDDLE LATIN?! THAT'S WHAT THE LANGUAGE MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD AND NOT DEVELOPED ON EARTH RESEMBLES? There is so many things wrong with that statement, so not figuring out "locus" (Not to mention that the "piece of our leg" joke doesn't work) is the least of their problems ;)

SG-1 writers were so hopelessly full of Linguistics!Fail, that I when I write fanfic where Daniel *does* get it right, I feel as though I'm violating canon. :/

LOLyes!!! It should be heaven for me, a show with a linguist, but I don't think I'll ever dare write anything linguistically related in SG1. There's no way to remain true to both canon and reality.

He originally *was* the genius, until TPTB decided to just ignore that and make Carter the genius.

Daniel was given PLENTY of opportunities to display his intellectual prowess throughout all the seasons (all that fast-talking expositionary dialog where he reels off research), but his intelligence is concentrated in the Liberal Arts, not in Astrophysics, which Sam must take precedence in because the show is, after all, science fiction. I can't in any way resent Sam for being such an awesome role model to girls who need to see a woman excel in math/science, and who's a dedicated soldier with solid leadership skills. Daniel's admiration for Sam's genius is testament to his own; he NEVER begrudges her superior intellect, and shows her a lot of respect while still maintaining a warm, sometimes sibling-like, sometimes flirty rapport with her that's adorable to watch.

Here's my fanonical hierarchy of Stargate IQs:
1. Rodney McKay: quantitative 150; emotional/social 50.
2. Samantha Carter: quantitative 148; emotional/social 120
3. Daniel Jackson: quantitative 142; emotional/social 150

In fiction terms, Daniel is the Ordinary Hero - basically the regular person's eyes into two Extraordinary Worlds, the first being the SGC and how the military works, secondly being everything that lies beyond the Stargate.

Once those worlds are established, Daniel's role becomes flipside to Jack's shoot-first morality. I don't think the writers "forgot" that he was intelligent. He was still the go-to man on Ancient technology and alien languages. Not more or less intelligent than Sam, just intelligent in a different way.

My two cents, for what they're worth.

It was my understanding that originally Sam was not a genius...that she had busted her butt to get where she was. In my mind, that was better than just saying she was born smart, so I liked that aspect better, especially as a role model.

Hmmm... I do love h/C fics, because there is way too little h/c on the show to go with the angst and the h/c is what always drives me to write because angst without h/c is like a onesided coin. They are supposed to be friends, family, a team - so they need h/c for it to be believable what makes SG-1 so special and TPTB neglected that part of the team dynamic way too often.
HOWEVER - and here's the thing - if the h/c is too onesided, if it's always Daniel who gets the hurt and the comfort, it grows old pretty quick. Daniel is NOT a simpering, whiny, needy, always-breaking-down-and-crying little boy. He's strong and while he's in ways more sensitive and more passionate or even more willing to let his emotions show than Jack or T, he is not simpering and he doesn't need coddling on a regular basis. He can take care of himself, but at the same time is constant tries to be so strong and to push away friends who WANT to help him and take care of him sometimes, makes it so nice to give him that care and to make him see his friends are his family and do care about him - without always having his patronizing thing going on.

What I love about Daniel is when he's allowed to do his job; being an archeologist, being the soul of the team, being the negoiator. When he's allowed to take the verbal lead off world, when Jack isn't cutting him off at every opportunity - or when Jack does it and Daniel bites back and stands his ground because he's right and Jack can go and suck on a lemmon (I'm a Jack girl through and through, but even I know Jack needs his butt kicked on a regular basis :)).

I love when Daniel gives as much of the comfort for his team as he gets. I love it when he's not made the 'translation and coffee addicted guy' but a real valid member of the unit - WITH the coffee addiction too :p . When he has to kill to survive - without having a mental breakdown about it afterwards.

But Daniel also has all these traumas and he does have issues with trust and with being dependent and with trying to always ward off helping hands and I like it when his flaws are shown as well as his strength. He's not always right. He's right a LOT, but not all the time - genius or not. And sometimes he needs the comfort and I love when he gets it instead of being pushed aside like they did so often in the show.

My pet peeve is Daniel-getting-sick-in-every-story. I can't read that anymore. Him getting sick or injured is okay, but not in every story I read. He can't have all these allergy issues for example because if he'd have a nosebleed, a wheezing sneezing attack, an asthma attack etc etc on every opportunity he wouldn't be able to go off world to so many different climates, floras and faunas. The way he is written in some stories it seems he can't even have a walk in the park without getting sick, snort. He's a healthy, strong guy nd even if he has these allergies, they can't bother him that much, imo.

Well, that's my two cents :) Not sure if it helps. Everyone has their different opinion on the characters and everyone 'sees' and 'hears' them different.



I should post a similar entry to my LJ about Sam. She's so subtle & complex that I can't resist writing her into fic, but getting a laser-edged handle on her internal voice is ZOMG harrrrrrrrrrrrrd for me.

What is it about Daniel that you love?
He's the nerd who gets the girl (or boy) at the end of the story. (1994 movie, SG-1 10x20 Unending, SGU 1x19 "Incursion") He's the geek who triumphs through the application of knowledge instead of brute force. He's the self-sacrificing hero who sees the larger picture even if his idealism kills him.

What makes you squee?
When Daniel speaks truth to power. His moral compass holds true 99% of the time.

What do you most love to see him do?
(I love to see him frustrated by his reluctant affection for Vala or Jack, hahahaha.) But Gen-wise, I love the rare moments when his linguistic powers abandon him and he stutters & stammers and is at a loss for words.

What are the elements of a Daniel story that you love the most?
When he confides parts of his past to someone; he's as tight-lipped as his teammates are about his private life. Telling Vala about Sha're in "Counterstrike". Confessing his feelings of loss to Jack in "Forever in a Day". Sharing the tragedy of his parents' deaths in "The Gamekeeper" to Sam.

Oh, and the way he's so compassionate to others. That scene in AU episode 6x19 "Changeling" where he counsels Teal'c... OMG. My heart. <3

What do you really like seeing him do in fic?
Love to see him break out of Pacifist Intellectual Mode when the situation calls for it, and KICK ASS.

On the show?
Ya know that scene in 2x17 "Serpent's Song" when he says to Apophis "If you don't tell me where she is, I'll kill you right here." FUCK YEAH DANIEL.

Both?
PEW PEW PEW
http://campylobacter.tumblr.com/post/4171994506/evrymeevryu-badgerling-i-miss-p-90s-and-zat

What is the best of Daniel WIN?
5x05 "Red Sky" when Daniel prays to the Asgard, but the Ancients hear him instead & save the planet.

What annoys and pisses you off when you see it in fic?
Woobie!Daniel who lets himself be passively carried along by events or the will of someone else. Daniel's pro-active (how else could he remain on the most elite SGC team?) and an iconoclast (as far back as the 1994 movie).

What are the stupid or shallow or careless misinterpretations that need to be avoided?
Daniel does not whine at Jack ALL THE TIME, just sometimes.
Daniel is not an unrelenting douchebag to Vala ALL THE TIME, just once in a while.

What's Daniel Fail?
In canon, when the writers give him only lines where he's Dr. Exposition. :P (They do this to Sam, too. *phhhbbbt*) In fanon, when he's whumped but denies that he's in pain by saying "I'm fine". Dammit, in canon, Daniel lets everyone know when he's in pain. He doesn't hesitate to complain when something's wrong.

Any other pointers, tips, thoughts are also welcome.
A LOT of Daniel/Vala authors forget that Daniel also holds an advanced degree in anthropology, and depict him as a stickler to protocol. He DOES respect & follow cultural protocols when negotiating diplomatic proceedings with aliens, but doesn't demand that wedding invitations be thermographically printed on Crane paper or that place settings in the mess hall have the silverware in the right order, like some crazed Martha Stewart. He'll only correct Vala's malapropisms ("chicks in a row" instead of "ducks" 10x17 "Talion") to avoid her embarrassing herself in the future.

He's OK with nudity, and doesn't have hangups over homosexuality. He's good with kids, but awkward around hormonal teens (10x16 "Bad Guys")

Whaddya got?
"Now don’t say ka until you’ve tried it!"
http://tmblr.co/ZBpM4yKbsOtD

Part 1

I am emphatically not a Danielite. He's a nice, admirable guy, but I'm afraid I've been soured by two factors. First of all, the show got Daniel's character right. It seems like that would be a good thing, and this should make me like him more, but the thing is, Daniel's basic character, his blind-spots and his obsessions remind me all too much of the guys who where archaeologists, or who were training to be archaeologists that I know. In a sense this little blindspot of mine means I watch a different show than all the rest of you, where SG-1 has 3 larger-than-life heroes, and a very regular guy. The other thing is that early in my entry to fandom, when I was reading everything because I had not yet learned what the danger signs were for badfic, and when I was giving everyone a chance because I'm an optimist by nature, I read too many fics where Saint Daniel, always kind, gentle, courteous, peace loving, friendly, and right fights the forces of ignorance, violence, callous indifference, and blind prejudice, and that was just from his team. He was always massively and unrealistically whumped, and Jack was always really, really sorry afterwards that he refused to listen. He would admit that he should have known, really, seeing as Daniel had been right the past 5,238 times. Daniel was the story, and the other members of the team were the window dressing. Geesh!

That said, you're right. This show is named for the team, and it really is all about the teamy goodness. Teamy goodness is where all the rabid Jack/Daniel, Sam/Jack, Jonas/Rush (etc., etc., etc.) shippers can get together and all still be delighted. It's impossible to write good teamy goodness without embracing and loving each member. Like loving your children, you have to love them as the way they are, not how you'd like them to be. I've grown to appreciate Daniel more and more as I've written him.


"My First #Stargate Story" by Halrloprillalar Jack/Daniel badfic

"Daniel was the story, and the other members of the team were the window dressing."
I never get tired of reccing this hilarious 2370-word parody of Jack/Daniel badfic. EVER.

My First Stargate Story by Halrloprillalar
Jack/Daniel. PG13.
Daniel's in trouble. Jack helps him out.
http://prillalar.com/fic/stories/000253.php

I wish there were a rule that every fanfic author WOULD follow: YOU MUST WRITE TEAMY GOODNESS FANFIC BEFORE WRITING YOUR OTP ROMANCE.

Re: "My First #Stargate Story" by Halrloprillalar Jack/Daniel badfic

I wish there were a rule that every fanfic author WOULD follow: YOU MUST WRITE TEAMY GOODNESS FANFIC BEFORE WRITING YOUR OTP ROMANCE.

ZOMG, THIS, THIS, THIS! And I'm speaking as a die-hard Sam/Jack shipper (who happens to be nice enough not to harsh the squee of others who see it differently or not at all). First base pieces on canon that we can all agree on, and then move out.

[scampers off to read and be amused]

Re: "My First #Stargate Story" by Halrloprillalar Jack/Daniel badfic

My the Internet, it is so small. I know Hal from another fandom. And frankly, this parody does not surprise me one bit. I could not stop laughing!

Re: "My First #Stargate Story" by Halrloprillalar Jack/Daniel badfic

I first encountered Hal in The X-Files fandom. Oh gosh, her parodies & porn were (and still are) such an inspiration to me.

Re: "My First #Stargate Story" by Halrloprillalar Jack/Daniel badfic

For me it is Prince of Tennis. An anime/manga about teenage Japanese boys who play tennis.

Hal is brilliant :-)

Part 2

Here are things that bug me:

1. Yes. Daniel is a geek. An egghead. A (soft) scientist. It doesn't make him clumsy, naïve, or cowardly. He does focus intently, so that he can be oblivious while he is in the zone, but not at other times. He's rather more brave than less. Teal'c, Jack, and Sam are trained for this, Daniel is not.

2. Daniel is not endlessly self-sacrificing. Look at that moment when Daniel, Sam, and the Marines are escaping Hathor's fake SGC, and Daniel has a gash on his leg. His rather acid comment about it makes it clear that he is not inclined to suffer quietly, thank you very much, although we all know that it also wouldn't have stopped him from going back after Jack, if he'd been Jack's only chance.

3. Daniel likes to see the good in people, but he's not an idiot. He wants Khallek (spelling?) killed, yesterday if possible. Now at the beginning of the show, he wouldn't have gone right to that solution, but he's grown. He's evolved. Even early on he's capable of shooting a vat of larval Goa'uld, with all the complicated stew of anger, revenge, remorse, and relief that comes with it. Daniel's no saint.

4. He likes nice girls and is just as capable of following his glands as the next guy, with all the blindness that goes with this. I'm looking at you Kira.

5. He's not always nice. He's sarcastic. I put my take on that into one of my fics where I pointed out that Daniel's sarcasm is a scalpel, weilded with care and precision. People probably seldom know they've been cut for a few moments, until the realization sets in. Jack's is a blunt instrument, he beats folks about the head with it, and the victim is all too aware of what is happening.

6. Yeah, Daniel can talk the hind leg off a donkey when he has to, but he can be just as closed off as Jack. They all can. There's that wonderful scene with both of them sitting on an infirmary bed and not talking after coming back from the planet of the ugly naked white guys. I think when it comes to "talking about it" Daniel is probably a classic case of do as I say, not as I do.

7. Still, Daniel can be sweet, in a way Jack just doesn't. Remember Daniel mugging cutely behind the teddy bear he has brought for little Janet Wells? Would Jack do that? Nope. Jack would bring the bear in dangling loosely from one hand, not mention it during the entire visit, and mysteriously forget it there when it was time to leave.

8. Daniel is not clumsy. He's inexperienced at first, and inclined to be very focused onfinding the truth, sometimes to the detriment of situational awareness. I don't think he has much of a sense of once you know the truth you can't unknow it, and that knowing the truth can be devastating. This is part of what rankles Jack. Jack knows from terrible experience that there are some things that nobody needs to know, and he doesn't want anybody to have to find that out, but sometimes Daniel won't listen to the warnings Jack sends.

Hope this helps.

These are the kind of questions I never have answers for.

I like Daniel because he's smart, compassionate, and has pretty eyes. It's canon that those eyes sometimes have tears in them, but it's annoying in fic when his eyes leak like a watering can.

There's a sort of goofy wide-eyed quality to early-seasons Daniel that carries over from James Spader in the movie, but after hanging around Jack for a few years, that more or less goes away. *g*

He's intuitive and makes leaps of logic. That's fun to read in stories. And of course J/D banter is always fun to read!

Well, we talked about this over lunch, but I might as well summarize because it might help to have it to go back and refer to (and I like the sound of my own typing anyway).

Each of the team has typical ways they react to new things, especially new people. (Mind you, this is a great oversimplification).

Jack: "This place is a threat until it is proved otherwise."

Teal'c: "I know nothing about this. I will quietly observe it until I have some understanding before I act. If there is a threat here, I will make it sorry."

Sam: "We are here for a specific reason. What steps do I need to take to ensure we can accomplish our task as efficiently as possible?"

Daniel: "Okay, what can I learn here? What is this culture like; how does it relate to what I already know; what makes it tick?"

Daniel is open, approachable, and friendly. He regards other cultures with open appreciation, is quick to step in and soothe the locals when one of his teammates makes a misstep, projects non-threatening interest in other viewpoints, keeps his body language relaxed and receptive, and genuinely enjoys conversation. He's most apt to solve problems by listening to others and becoming someone they'll confide in, because he has a naturally trustworthy aura about him.

Daniel likes people, likes finding out what makes a culture work. He respects other cultures, while having a solid moral/ethical base of his own that he can't be moved from but which he does not try to force on others. He has a love of knowledge for its own sake, and an equal love of beauty (many of the oddments in his quarters are gorgeous things), but he's tough when he needs to be.


Edited at 2012-06-23 23:42 (UTC)

Daniel is a pain in the ass to write. He never does what you want him to, so I definitely feel sympathy for Jack. He's basically a nice guy, but can be an arrogant prick at times.

That said, he's also my favorite to write! (What can I say... I love a challenge!)

Daniel is mostly oblivious to himself as anything but an archaeologist/linguist/anthropologist. He's not afraid to admit when something's out of his field of expertise, but he'll give it his best shot anyway if pressed. He's self-confident and even a little arrogant when in his academic element.

He has no trouble at all expressing empathy, but is slow to make his own feelings known unless someone else will benefit from their airing or be hurt by their withholding. In late season two, he's not afraid to rock the boat with the military establishment, but he might back down if given a satisfactory best-case solution. He doesn't pout, but his voice might take on a bit of a whine if he thinks someone is being completely unfair.

He can get a bit devious and underhanded if he thinks things aren't going to go his way. He won't disobey a direct order if the meaning is clear or he's given good reason, but that's not to say he won't look for wiggle-room. As a philologist, he's studied the history of how languages form, and he's not adverse to playing little linguistic games to twist an interpretation his way.

Daniel's sense of humor is subtle and/or biting. When he thinks someone's being a jerk, he's not adverse to baiting and/or snarking at them. He loves linguistic puns, gets a private kick out of pretending he doesn't "get" Jack (so do Sam and Teal'c), and enjoys spending time with his friends. He's great with children, too, and would be willing to play with them if Jack didn't always beat him to it first.

A few tropes to avoid:

- Saint!Daniel can never do wrong... While Daniel DOES tend to try to do the right thing, he's not perfect, and will, on occasion, screw up. Spectacularly, even. He's USUALLY right, but when he's wrong, he's VERY VERY wrong. But don't you worry: he'll beat himself up plenty for the screw-up while trying to (figure out how to) fix his mistake.

- Woobie!Daniel can't walk two feet without getting a concussion... Late Season Two Daniel hasn't yet blossomed physically, but he's no awkward colt, either. He can handle himself in a firefight, but would be fiercely outmatched in close-quarters. He's athletic enough to keep up with the team--and is probably their fastest runner, with those long legs--but hasn't started hitting the gym more than he is required.

- Dory!Daniel can't remember to eat, sleep, or breathe without his team babying him... Yeah, because he never learned how to take care of himself on a shoestring budget through any of his doctorates. His personal needs will take a backseat in a crisis--and he might go overboard with the coffee in such a situation--but he otherwise gets along just fine.

- Snobby!Daniel prefers his coffee hand-picked, his beer from a foreign microbrewery, and his dinner organic vegetarian haute cuisine... Okay, Daniel might LIKE to have some of these things, but he'll just as happily chug the swill from the commissary, drink any kind of beer (it's more of a male-bonding thing: he'd really rather have something else), and chow down on... just about anything.

So there ya have it... my twenty-eight cents! (It surpassed two cents a few hundred words ago XD)

I don't consider myself an expert in Daniel, but I'm no slouch, either. And I've been told I write him well, so...let's see.

What I love about Daniel: that entirely depends on the time frame. In the early seasons, I love his innocence. His passion for the work. (The work being archeology and the like, of course, not the military stuff.) In the later seasons, I love how he embraces his militant side and understands that both brains and brawn have their place. And that is the best part of Daniel Jackson period. Daniel grew, in my opinion, more than any other character on the show. Think "you stupid son of a bitch" when Jack kills Reese, then think of Daniel just walking in and blowing the Anubis clone away in "Prototype." Think of Daniel in "Evolution," withstanding torture. Then think of Daniel in "Children of the Gods" and his just calling out to Jack to help him. Yeah, Daniel changed. A lot.

Speaking of Jack, the banter and the relationship between he and Daniel is the entire point of the show for me. The changes. The Jack accepting Daniel's nerdy side and Daniel accepting Jack's militant side. Neither is as simple as they appear, and therein lies the greatness.

So, I guess I love seeing Daniel as a complicated character who is both able to kick ass when needed but still maintains his nerdy side. In late season two, you have to lean toward nerdy, but remember he has still twice sacrificed himself to save others.

Which brings me to what I hate to see Daniel do in fic. Daniel is not a thirteen-year-old girl. He does not wibble. He might be a little teary-eyed when facing his death on Apophis's ship, but he still does so with honor and bravery. He is not Jack's bitch. Far from it. He stands up to Jack and Hammond when he thinks they are wrong. He does not just go along with things. And when he argues with Jack, it's isn't some little princess bit. He usually has a valid argument.

(Deleted comment)

you said you wanted all those links, so...

Ah, Daniel. ::rubs hands together:: Remember, you asked for details... :)

What is it about Daniel that you love? What makes you squee?

I love that he's idealistic (NOT innocent, thanks) but has a core of ruthlessness. I love that he still has stars in his eyes, literally and figuratively, even if his wonder at the universe tends to be tinged with cynicsim in later seasons. I love his edges, his sharpness.

"I have no idea." He has more than his fair share of arrogance (back in the movie, he waltzed right in and casually erased other people's work to correct it without even asking first), but he never tries to bluff his way through his ignorance. He needs to know and he's not embarrassed to admit it when he needs help.

What do you most love to see him do? What are the elements of a Daniel story that you love the most?

Tie mythology into what happens out there. Intuitive leaps that need to be unpacked to make sense to anyone else. Think outside the box, and then Sam (his Wonder Twin) builds the box that will make his solution work. Talk his way through problems: either by thinking aloud or being all EARNEST to convince people. And, occasionally, fluttering his eyelashes. :)

Intelligence. Fieldwork. Languages. His easy (and complicated) friendships with the rest of the team. I fell in love first with Jack and Daniel's friendship, then with the Wonder Twins, but it's Daniel and Teal'c that are still the most powerful to me: that intense friendship, that closeness, despite (or because?) of the shared tragedy of their history.

What is the best of Daniel WIN?

Some of my favorite early Daniel moments: Daniel shooting the tank of baby symbiotes. Wanting to stay on Heliopolis. Sticking close to Jack in The Fifth Race. Threatening to kill Apophis in Serpent's Song, then being willing to ignore that hated face to give the host the last rites.

In fic, I love a Daniel who is sharp-witted and sharper-tongued, but with a strong sense of humor and a core of gentleness (we all remember how well Jack deals with kids, but Daniel is pretty awesome with kids too).

What are the stupid or shallow or careless misinterpretations that need to be avoided?  What's Daniel Fail?

Saint Daniel. Dannyboy. Coffee snob. Clumsy, sneezy geek. "I'm fine, even with six broken ribs" Daniel. "I need someone to make sure I sleep and eat" Daniel. Pacifist Daniel. Abused in his childhood Daniel.

I hate when authors refer to him as the "young archeologist." The guy is either 29 or 30 when he first walks through the Stargate in the movie, folks. He is NOT a kid, Dorian Grey portrait stuffed under his bed notwithstanding.

I hate whumping for whumping's sake, although I do enjoy whumping when it's Daniel who gets to fight back, rather than get cuddled by the rest of team (gags).

BTW, did you know that RDA was first approached to play Daniel, not Jack, and he turned it down because he thought it would too much like Mac?

And finally: gen S2 canon-compliant fic? SQUEE! If you need a beta, you know where to find me. :)

If you need a beta . . .

I'm truly delighted by the offer! But this is a novel (probably 60-80k), and a WIP, and I don't know if you want to let yourself in for that much of a time commitment.

Re: If you need a beta . . .

I've beta'd LONG fics before. No promises on how quick a turnaround, but it sounds great! :)

Re: If you need a beta . . .

Well, the first three chapters are not only finished but reasonably polished; chapter 4 is mostly done (small holes still require spackle), and I'm on chapter 5 right now. Once the bustle of Gen Fic Day is past, I can email you the first three chapters. I had been keeping the project under wraps, but I no longer need to do that, and I can actually start posting it soon.



What is it about Daniel that you love? What makes you squee? What do you most love to see him do?

I love Daniel--he's my favorite character on SG-1 but he's also the one that I've always found the hardest to write. I love Daniel's belief that things can be better--that not everyone is out to get us. I love that he goes into new things with an open mind. I love his compassion for others. I love seeing him be an archaeologist and linguist. I love that he asks the hard questions and can be argumentative.



What are the elements of a Daniel story that you love the most? What do you really like seeing him do in fic? On the show? Both? What is the best of Daniel WIN?

Well I am a hurt/comfort junkie, but I love in fic when Daniel is the one who figures out/saves the day. I love when he figures out some sort of puzzle or uses brains to get out of a situation. That being said? Daniel kicking ass always gets me and has me cheering. I kind of like Daniel as a bad ass when he needs to be. I love Daniel arguing with Jack--not because he's being annoying but because he and Jack are just seeing something in a different way. Some of the episode moments of Daniel I love: The First Ones (the whole thing actually), him shooting the tank of symbiotes, talking to Sam about Sha're in Forever in a Day (when he gets that little catch in his voice about the pen...melting time for me), his sticking by Jack in The Fifth Race, ack--brain burp here, the ep where they find the guy who went through the Stargate before them and he's old and the castle is falling down, Abyss where he is with Jack, Meridian, with his little speech with Jack where Jack is asking where he's going and he says he doesn't know with the tears in his eyes.



What annoys and pisses you off when you see it in fic? What are the stupid or shallow or careless misinterpretations that need to be avoided? What's Daniel Fail?

This is the hard one for me because although there are interpretations of Daniel I don't like, I know that others view him differently or write him differently (and heaven knows, I wrote plenty of Daniel that would be epic Daniel Fail when I was learning). But since you are sticking close to canon, I'd say, don't make Daniel a weakling, don't make him the kind of character who has to always be right and be a saint.

I don't really have serious ideas about Daniel's character. I write some team gen, but mostly Sam/Jack & a bit of Daniel/Vala. But some things I do think:

-Daniel changed a lot over the series. So writing Season 1-Daniel is much different than Season 10-Daniel. He grew up, he saw terrible things, he saw fantastic things. People change, that's life.

-Yes, he's the team civilian. Jack & Sam (& Mitchell) are trained military officers. Teal'c was the equivalent of a general. Vala was a conn artist for a good while. Daniel has a PhD and can speak several languages. But he learns! Early-seasons Daniel tries to talk to people who are clearly dangerous (or at least ones he should be wary of) but later-seasons Daniel knows enough to be cautious, and that some people can't be reasoned with. Plus, in ten years, he's gotten pretty good with a gun, even if he doesn't like to use one.

-I love when Daniel saves the day by being Daniel, by making friends with the aliens, or figuring out the ancient riddle, then kicking bad guy butt *g*

-I also see him as more socially unaware than naive. He just doesn't notice certain social clues that other people would, because he's a geek, and that's just not high on their list of important things.

I hope that helps!

Lots of Daniel meta squee!!! :) Bookmarking this so that I can come back and really read EVERYTHING on here when I get a decent internet connection. And maybe even wax poetic on my thoughts on this subject when I get the chance. lol

Thanks for this!

Daniel

Pretty much ditto to everything said, but the one thing I'd add is that Daniel is the one member on the team who is the most empathetic. It seems to be partly curiosity, but also a believe that folks ought to be able to feel what they feel. And he wants to help -- desperately. It's his driving need. (Sam points this out to him in Fallen.)

That said, he's also crap at dealing with his own worst feelings -- he tends to stuff them down most of the time. He and Jack are the same this way.

But the most appealing quality is his courage -- courage to act, to stand up, to argue, to face difficulties, to keep trying. This is where he's every bit Jack's equal and it's one of the qualities that I think ties him to Jack.

My favorite bits are always the Jack/Daniel show -- those two just "get" each other. I love it when they argue and talk without talking and go head-to-head -- it takes a lot of trust to abuse a relationship like that.

The fan fic that I don't like is the kind that shows Daniel too easily getting his feelings hurt, or backing down from Jack in ways and places where it's obvious Daniel would not back down. I also don't care for the opposite--the fic where Jack treats Daniel badly due to Jack being in love with Sam. Jack loved all his "kids".

The best Daniel WIN for me has to be in Scorched Earth where he ended up able to negotiate a win-win situation, saving the Enkarans (and did so by following orders...sort of). That, to me, was pure Daniel where he's being such a jerk to not tell Jack that where he is -- but he's also doing his job (and sweating over his choice to be on that ship when it's got a bomb on it).

Daniel's worst fail is his perhaps his failure to save Sha're -- that's a wound for him that never really healed. That's where his arrogance and pushing led him to overstep -- and that's his flaw. He never does know when to stop, and that can be a bad thing at times.

Late S2 Daniel, for me, is someone still trying to get with the program -- still not really military (the hair is still long, the slouch, the messy uniform). His main focus really still is Sha're -- that's got to be something he wakes up to every morning and falls asleep thinking about. He's caught in a tough spot, but he's bonding with his team, and getting good at things.

I've never seen Daniel as someone uncomfortable with guns, but he does tend to think about other tools (mouth included) first. And his reactions were more to popup to see what was going on instead of hitting the deck.

The great thing about writing Daniel is he is a complex person -- you have a lot of room to play with him and push him to find out what he will and won't do. Have fun -- and don't forget his sense of humor (it's very sly and underplayed).

Re: Daniel

Thank you so much! I'm so delighted by all the wonderful input this post has received.

his reactions were more to popup to see what was going on instead of hitting the deck

That is a really wonderful observation, and utterly true.

Re: Daniel

It always amuses me when he does this in Deadman's Switch -- with Jack and Sam hitting the deck right behind him (they know to duck).

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