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Characters Fleshed Out
Rather than character's flesh
Smarter Sookie 
24th-Mar-2012 05:27 am

So you want to rewrite canon from your starting point of choice and "improve" on the books and make them far more awesome. One of the ways you want to do that is give Sookie powers up the wazoo, give Sookie all the money in the world, or often times to make her smarter.

I keep seeing these claims that fics have a "Smarter Sookie" or reviewers claiming Sookie is smarter. It's rare that I agree - she's usually made way more stupid than Book Sookie, who, as I have discussed doesn't seem so stupid to me.

So here's a simple shortcut on how to write an actually "Smarter Sookie":

"Why, if we can produce proof of the crime, we'll turn the culprit
over to the police," he said smoothly.
Liar, liar, pants on fire. "I'll make a deal, Eric," I said, not bothering
to smile. Winsome did not count with Eric, and he was
far from any desire to jump my bones. At the moment.
He smiled, indulgently. "What would that be, Sookie?"
"If you really do turn the guilty person over to the police,
I'll do this for you again, whenever you want."
Eric cocked an eyebrow.
"Yeah, I know I'd probably have to anyway. But isn't it
better if I come willing, if we have good faith with
each other?" I broke into a sweat.
I could not believe I was bargaining with a vampire.

Dead Until Dark, p. 201

See how Sookie didn't believe Eric when he gave her his first line about how he would never ever ever do anything bad to humans? See how Sookie's underlying premise is that perhaps, vampires are not to be trusted, and Eric especially isn't all about the vagina and being kind to people? That's what makes her smarter than a whole heap of chump "Smarter Sookie"s who just believe any crap that comes out of Eric's mouth without ever wondering if he might have his own agenda as vampire politician. Jesus. Who trusts human politicians to be on the up-and-up? Let alone vampire ones.

Since I know that this will be taken as "She's always mean to the 1000 year old murderer" or "She gave Bill more of a chance than she did Eric!" or "Bill poisoned her mind against sweet Eric!" then here - trusting vampires to do right because you're helping, right after you meet them, is rather fucking stupid:

"Are you assuming that since you came to my rescue that you're
safe, that I harbor an ounce of sentimental feeling after all these
years? Vampires often turn on those who trust them.
We don't have human values, you know."
"A lot of humans turn on those who trust them," I pointed out.
I can be practical.
"I'm not a total fool." I held out my arm and turned my neck.
While he'd been recovering, I'd been wrapping the Rats'
chains around my neck and arms.

Dead Until Dark, pp. 12-13

See how Sookie didn't wander around dewy eyed and feel surprise at the fact that vampires hurt people? See how she armed herself, and didn't just assume that any vampire would be as sweet as pie? See how she didn't instantly trust Bill and tell him all about herself, while being so unfair to poor, poor Eric?

But since I know that almost anything said by Sookie is attributed to her being stupid, here - from Eric's own lips:

You trust me?" Eric sounded surprised.
"That's ...crazy, Sookie."

Living Dead in Dallas, p. 250

The minute Sookie trusts every word that comes out of Eric's mouth, that makes her more stupid than Book Sookie. That's what makes Show Sookie so damn stupid - she takes every word as truth - from Bill, from Eric, from the neighbourhood cat, and she's happy to turn her fate over to a couple of vampires.

Eric is not Claudine with a dick. Visual for those who find reading a terrible trial:

Note: This picture is not to be taken to mean vampires can rape with impunity, just because they're imprisoning girls, drugging them with blood and giving them no choice but to acquiesce to the inevitable. "I made her want it" is not a defence to rape charges, nor is imprisonment and bullying until you 'consent', nor is drugging her until she stops resisting (even if said drug is vampire blood) and nor is decree by higher powers. "He's a vampire" is not an excuse. Don't use this post to justify it. Sad I have to put this disclaimer, but true.

23rd-Mar-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
The odd one out... it's the one on the left! The angel as a halo!

You can't fool an Elbly! She haz da smartz!

Something prompted this mini grrrr? Or just grrrr?
23rd-Mar-2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Dammit. Foiled again.

Something always prompts them. I just wait a bit so as not to connect it to the guilty fic in an immediate fashion. :D
-Foiled- again? - Anonymous - Expand
23rd-Mar-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
I can`t believe you`ve read this many fanfics and still haven`t realized that book Sookie is stupid since she doesn`t

1, Tell Eric what happened during his stay with her in book 4. She should have told him during the first 10 pages of book 5.
2, Stop dating Quinn.
3, Tell Quinn to p*ss off when he`s picking her up for their date. ERIC WAS THERE, stupid Sookie.
4, Throw herself into Eric`s arms when he tells her about Bill`s betrayal when she`s at the hospital in Louisiana.
5, Throw herself into Eric`s arms after the take over. He was in her bedroom. He remembered everything. What the bliip are you waiting for, stupid Sookie?
6, Move in with Eric so the fairies would never get her (yeah, yeah, I know you have some weird theory about the fairies being able to take her when he is dead for the day but we all know Eric would find a way).
7, Move in with Eric when they are married. Only stupid doesn`t realize the wedding was very romantic.
8, Let Eric buy her a car.
9, Have sex with Eric in every book. Ten times, at least. Described in detail.
10, Somehow make sure she was a virgin when she had sex with Eric the very first time because it`s only stupid Sookie who doesn`t realize how important this is for Sookie.

*shakes head at PMR who hasn`t understood ANYthing of the SVM*

23rd-Mar-2012 11:02 pm (UTC)

I'm so pleased PMR has a friend like you to help her see the flaws in her thinking.
OMG - Anonymous - Expand
23rd-Mar-2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
Eric has eaten most of the small child whilst the others haven't started dinner yet?
Thyra - great list!
24th-Mar-2012 04:04 am (UTC)
That made me laugh! As did Thyra's list. It's a nice break from toilet training - the puddles, the puddles!

I don't think, though, that 'smart' as it's used in some of these stories really means 'smart' like we'd define it. And there's a whole bunch of underlying assumptions that you have to buy into to justify Sookie's 'smartness' like Bill is a mudering psycho and Eric is a prize. It never seems to be about being smart in a 'trying not to get raped or eaten' kind of way, but only smart in getting the guy.
- Anonymous - Expand
- Anonymous - Expand
24th-Mar-2012 04:30 am (UTC) - Hmmm
I've read a couple where she was more skeptical of Bill in the beginning, which feels smarter to me. It usually lasts about 12 paragraphs, until she gets to Fangtasia, and then she goes ahead and makes the same mistake, only it's implicitly trusting Eric for no compelling reason, instead.

This is only usually what happens. Sometimes she does hold out for a bit and he has to specifically tell her that he will not lie to her before she gives him her complete trust. This Sookie is kind of a bitch though, I don't know what her problem is.

More serious, there's really not a lot that I can think of off the top of my head where I can say that Sookie honestly screwed up. Even her poor choices seem totally justifiable to me given her circumstances. I've never had a moment where I'm sitting there going, "Oh come on Sookie, really?!" (Okay, maybe when she still had sex with Quinn right after he called her a buffet.)

The only things that stand out are possibly:
- Relying too much on her telepathy in general, which effects her in several ways... most of which she recognizes herself throughout the series and tries or at least resolves to self-correct. So I guess that doesn't really count either.
- The brave-to-the-point-of-stupidity stuff...but, again this is largely justified in the given situation, as well as her inherent sense of right. I wouldn't love her so much if she weren't so courageous and compassionate. And the series would be a real bummer if she just sat home all the time, occasionally going out to the odd funeral.

That could be a fun project... an AU where a truly Smart Sookie says, "No thanks vamps/weres, I don't want to be involved. If you need me, I'll be at home attending the University of Phoenix." It could be a crossover with Buffy and Evil Willow could show up and grind on Pam.
24th-Mar-2012 06:30 am (UTC) - Re: Hmmm
I don't think there's any reason as to why she trusts him, other than he looks nice, and he's hot. Because we should all implicitly trust hot men who sleep around. :P

Lol - yes - such a bitch that she doesn't look at the vampire who spent a thousand years evading detection and just *know* he'll be on the up-and-up.

Yeah, I can't see it either. All of her choices seem to the best of her ability, and her knowledge. Once you start dismantling all the stuff that makes her wary, you've got to change all the other things.

The brave-to-the-point-of-stupidity stuff...but, again this is largely justified in the given situation, as well as her inherent sense of right. I wouldn't love her so much if she weren't so courageous and compassionate. And the series would be a real bummer if she just sat home all the time, occasionally going out to the odd funeral.

Well, see, she'd be out of the house and going to more funerals if she didn't get involved. :D Rene would have kept killing, because clearly Eric and Bill weren't dying to know who the killer was; but on the bonus side, she'd have to get a heavy duty dustbuster to swoop up vampire remains.

I'd love to see an AU Sookie who's as cold and harsh to all of the supes - and just doesn't do anything for them. But she'd get slaughtered in reviews.
24th-Mar-2012 11:39 am (UTC) - "Smarter" Sookie
Yeah, Super Sookie is one of my peeves, since she tends to miss the point of all the smarts her character already has, as well as all of her interesting flaws. Might as well paint a big ol’ ‘S’ across her double Ds and give her a red cape. JanineMNM
24th-Mar-2012 03:02 pm (UTC) - Re: "Smarter" Sookie
Oh yes - she definitely misses out on her smarts, and if the characters were written better, she'd be a smear of blood on the floor. But for some inexplicable reason, the vampires get bossed around and laughed at by a Sookie sitting on a podium with a filthy mouth, and it never *occurs* to them to stop following her or trying to kill her. They just watch her with goo-goo eyes, sighs, and the sense that if you asked them for a foot rub, they may well oblige.
24th-Mar-2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
The irony of course is that book Eric would find fanfic Sookie to be just like any other fangbanger - boring. Oh I guess that is where the magical vajayjay comes into play. A vagina for the ages.
24th-Mar-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
I swear I was logged in when I posted the above :)
25th-Mar-2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
Rather than go the ranty-rant route about smarter Sookie,

I have made you a comic.


25th-Mar-2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
OMG! That is the most awesome thing ever. EVER. I LOVE YOU. :D
26th-Mar-2012 03:05 am (UTC) - Wait...who is smarter?
SVM Fanfiction "Smarter Sookie" or True Blood Sookie?
26th-Mar-2012 05:08 am (UTC) - Re: Wait...who is smarter?
Is there a difference? TB is just big-budget fanfic :D
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