The term Cheer Lords refers to those Daria fan authors whose works are consistently or especially light, optimistic, or comedic (i.e., cheer). Some believe that Cheer Lords are chosen, but the reality is that certain writers are simply born cheerful and they are later recognized as such for their specific works, which need not necessarily be limited to the area of fan fiction.
The originator of the term "Cheer Lords" is shrouded deep in in mystery, lost to the antiquity of time and hidden deep within the . . . okay, so it was totally Jim North. Blame him. When the term first appeared in the Daria fandom, it was met with derision, fear, and disgust. It still holds some notoriety at present, but Jim has hopes that it will eventually catch on. Foolish, foolish hopes.
Currently Known Cheer Lords
- Cheer Archetype: The Family Therapist
- Cheer Style: CAP, also known as Caesar Augustus Plutarch on FanFiction.net, specializes in stories that feature characters facing their own personal demons and, often through the use of self-analysis, overcoming them by making intelligent choices to change their life's path. Family, friendship, and the strength of those bonds are prominent themes in his work.
- Jim North
- Cheer Archetype: The Irreverent Determinator
- Cheer Style: Jim's fics typically fall into two types. The first are action stories in which the characters eventually overcome the challenges set in their way through intelligence, skill, and perseverance. The second are romance stories in which love inevitably finds a way. In both types, witty dialogue can generally be found strewn throughout, even in the darkest and most serious parts.
- Kristen Bealer
- Cheer Archetype: The Stand-up Librarian
- Cheer Style: Though few in number, Kristen's fics tend to be lively, witty, and genuinely funny. Comedy is the primary mode of entertainment in her stories, based mostly on humorous situations and observations of the characters. Angst is generally absent from her works, and what little there is to be had is usually resolved by the end of the story.
- Cheer Archetype: The Cheer Twister
- Cheer Style: Many of LadieTAG's stories are split half and half between starting out cheerful or starting out angsty, but in the end there is almost always some clever little twist that makes things better or even better than before. This twist usually takes the form of the appearance of an unexpected character, but has also been known to be a startling revelation or surprising turn of events.
- Richard Lobinske
- Cheer Archetype: Mr. Feel Good
- Cheer Style: Most popularly known for the Falling into College series, in which things gradually but inevitably get better and better for our heroine, her friends, and her family. Recurring themes in FiC include optimism, building trust, helping folks, and keeping the lines of communication open.
The Style of the Cheer Lord
Cheer Lord-created fan fiction tends to be upbeat, giving the reader a sense that, when all is said and done, everything is going to be all right. As such, the tales woven by Cheer Lords will almost always have a happy ending, even if the characters involved have to face and overcome nearly insurmountable odds to get to that ending.
Several genres are common in Cheer Lord fare. Comedy is perhaps the most prevalent. Even if it is relegated to second or third place in a fic behind the action scenes or big puzzle that needs solving, the witty dialogue between the characters or the funny situations that they get themselves into will still play an important role in the fiction of a Cheer Lord. This means that dramatic comedy also works well for these masters of cheer, as do the various sub-genres of comedy, particularly parody. Love stories, though typically angsty throughout the middle, can end on a happy note with the starcrossed lovers finally getting together and living long, happy lives with one another. Even melodrama can fit the Cheer Lord motif as long as, for example, the bad guys reform at the end after learning their Very Important Lesson(tm).
It should be noted that while fluff stories are not exclusively the domain of the Cheer Lords, by their very existence such stories give Lords of Cheer strength, sustenance, and vigor, much like ambrosia does for the Olympian gods.
Cheer Lords vs. Angst Lords
As the Cheer Lords are a very new institution, there have been few - if any - clashes between them and the much older group known as the Angst Lords. It is, in fact, unknown if there truly is or ever will be any sort of animosity between the two clans. There is a prophecy, however, stating that one day there will come a great war between Cheer and Angst. This war will finally bring balance to the Force, and the Daria fandom will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another prophecy which states that this has already happened.
. . .
Wait, that's just a mashup of Star Wars and Hitchhiker's Guide references. Please disregard.
As the Angst Lords have their scarlet-colored lightsabers, so too do Cheer Lords have their own weapon of choice, the cheersaber. These devices can come in a variety of colors, though scarlet red is usually and quite naturally avoided. Those struck by a cheersaber have described the sensation as "ticklish, slightly euphoric, and a great way to start your AM with a smile" and "like a cattle prod, only it makes you happy instead of making you feel like you've had thousands of volts of electricity poured into your poor, unsuspecting nervous system".
Cheersaber attacks resulting in actual injury have yet to be recorded. Reports of heads exploding from sheer ecstatic joy are at this time unsubstantiated.
Cheer Lord Fiction
The following list contains examples of Cheer Lord fiction. Be warned . . . the stories contained herein may erode your cynicism just as surely as they might rot your teeth. Please use moderation when ingesting.
- Quinn and the Precious Puppies of Preciousness by Jim North - Perhaps the ultimate example of Cheer Lord fiction.
- Age Trade: Little Sister by CAP
- Bringing the Cheer by Jim North
- Card Games by Kristen Bealer
- Don't Sweat the Mall Stuff by Kristen Bealer
- Falling into College by Richard Lobinske
- Horrors at Bay by CAP
- ill by Jim North
- The Lane That Wasn't by LadieT
- Like a Circle in a Spiral by The Angst Guy - Please note that while the author is a known Angst Lord, it was crafted in the style of Cheer Lord Lobinske as part of a competition between the two writers.
- Undefeated by LadieT