Through my observations of tumblr, I have determined that there are three types of ‘fan grief’.
They are as follows:
Johanna Mason. From District 7 Lumber and paper, thus the tree. She won by very convincingly portraying herself as weak and helpless so that she would be ignored. Then she demonstrated a wicked ability to murder.
I’m just going to leave this here…
So I finally watched The Dark Knight Rises movie..
And I did like it, it was nice. End made me giggle. It just, that one thing. That one kissing scene and pushed up romance stuff, that was pretty much the only thing I didn’t like about the movie. Plot wise, yes it makes sense blah blah blah but I’m just saying it could have worked without it too. Obviously.
I should go to bed. It’s midnight. Whoops.
I’m interested to see how many of us there are on Tumblr.
I reblog this everytime it’s on my dash. A lot of people think an anxiety attack is always hyperventilating and freaking out. I don’t know how it is for everybody but I can have anxiety attacks where I just feel like I’m not breathing enough even though I am and start getting sweaty, heart races and sudden urge to escape no matter what I’m doing. Most don’t think that’s an “attack” but until you’ve felt it you don’t know how claustrophobic it actually makes you feel.
Do you wanna come with me?
Cause if you do then I should warn you:
You’re gonna see all sorts of things.
Ghosts from the past.
Aliens from the future.
The day the Earth died in a ball of flame,
It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm.
But I tell you what it will be:
The trip of a lifetime.
Celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who with My Doctor: [x]
I want to know if I’m the only one.
It’s good that you sent it again, because I didn’t get the first message! Hi! And thank you <3
Okay. Advice. I’ll try! As always, take everything with a grain of salt.
First: practice. Honestly. Putting yourself out there, no matter what form that creation takes, is hard and scary and nerve-wracking and you only get better by practicing (and then? Yeah, it’s still hard, scary, and nerve-wracking). No one springs from the womb writing perfect novels. Everyone is certain they’re garbage and horrible and EVERYTHING SUCKS at some point. I promise you that. And you know what? You can only get better at something if you start in the first place, and even if there’s some latent talent, no one is perfect when they start. Or… ever. Especially with creative endeavors, one is always learning and growing and changing and adapting. It’s part of the joy of it. Every baby in the world falls down when they’re learning to walk. Why are we so hard on ourselves when we are, creatively-speaking, doing the exact same thing?
When I’m writing fanfiction, the wiki and YouTube videos (and replaying relevant bits as necessary) are my best friends. I live on the wiki. I fact-check constantly, even on brief mentions or points of lore people probably (let’s be honest) skim right over. Always edit. Always. Read things out loud, to see if it flows, if it sounds right, if it sounds like something that might’ve/could’ve/should’ve happened in the game. A good beta reader can help, especially if you’re really unsure or really nervous about staying in character, provided you and that beta reader have a similar idea about the character in question.
I am pretty ruthless about asking myself, “Can I hear this in the character’s voice?” If not, it has to go. When you have source material to work from, just keep asking, “Given what I know from canon, can I honestly see this character doing this? If not, do I have a good reason for them to be behaving this way?” Because the truth is, no one person acts the same way 100% of the time. Outside pressure, circumstances, even who else is in the room can change the way a person acts. People are not static. Letting them grow and change is what fiction is all about.
Personally, I try to be faithful to canon without being a slave to it. Canon leaves a lot of gaps, and those interstitial spaces are where a character can grow into your own. It’s really easy to pick up on the thing people talk about the most, the thing that becomes the character’s stereotype, without giving full weight to all the depth. Similarly, trust your own instincts. There are points of fanon characterization out there that are so ubiquitous a person might be tempted to think they’re canon, but they aren’t. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns. It’s okay to see things differently, especially if you can back it up with canon or lore or just really good psychologizing.
Bioware is good at creating people; even the NPCs you hear having ambient conversations have layers. Be a detective. Imagine why the characters act the way they do. How did they get there? Why do they behave this way with this character and that way with another? Fill in the gaps. Give them histories, childhoods, past loves, even if we never heard about them explicitly in the game, and even if you don’t necessarily need all the details for your own work. Shepard’s crew is made up of people who all existed before her and who can (and would, and might have to) exist without her. There’s a quote out there that goes something like, “Every character is the hero of their own story.” Let them have that. Even if you’re telling Shepard’s story, let yourself imagine the same scene from other points of view. You don’t have to use all those POVs, but it’s a really good tool to have in your pocket, being able to imagine the same events from different perspectives.
Which brings me to poor old Mary Sue. Okay. Here’s the deal: I… don’t believe in the term “Mary Sue.” Oh, I know the function it’s meant to fill, but, in my opinion, it gets thrown around far too often, and usually synonymously with, “I didn’t like this character, therefore Mary Sue.” It’s used primarily—and not always accurately—as a conversation-ending dismissal, and almost always about female characters, who have a hard enough time without help from derogatory concepts like Mary Sueism. So, my suggestion is to stop worrying about whether or not some amorphous reader might think your character’s a Mary Sue.
Characters are people. People are unfathomably complex. Writers can only hope to touch on some of that complexity. People have foibles and flaws. Some people do look perfect on the outside. Some people seem to have everything. Some people look like heroes. Shepard’s an interesting one precisely because she is the game’s hero. She gets to do a million things ‘normal’ folks would never get to do. But in fic, a writer can dig at what makes one Shepard different from another, and it’s these little details that’ll give the character a life all her own. Something as small as favorite color or choice of hairstyle or never eating breakfast or always eating breakfast or always leaving dirty socks on the floor even if the room is otherwise meticulously neat can seem like nothing, but they’re the flesh that pads the skeleton of a character Bioware so kindly provided. Don’t be afraid of padding that skeleton. Make her your own. Give her hopes, dreams, insecurities. Let her be wrong sometimes. Let her have to deal with the fallout of being wrong. Make her uncomfortable. Then, sometimes, let her be happy.
Write stories you want to read. Write them for yourself, and hope the audience comes later. You can’t please everyone. You really can’t. But hopefully you can please yourself. If you’re constantly worried about what other people will think, I believe that comes through in writing, and can put a reader off. But the more you love your characters yourself, the more I think it opens the door for other people to love them, too. There will always be people who don’t like or agree with your interpretation. That’s okay; the world’s a big place and has room for lots of opinions.
ANYWAY. Thank you so much for the questions! Uh, as the long-windedness probably attests, I really like talking about this stuff.
This is all really good advice. I kept wanting to add something to it, and then finding that tarysande had actually already said that.
I think I’m just going to reinforce the practice part. Try out different POVs (writing a different character every week has been a really useful exercise for me). Write dialogue plain. Write the most detailed sensory description you can. Write detailed action. You don’t have to post it anywhere unless you want to. Try things out. I wrote dozens and dozens of pages of rambling, unfinished, random scenes and dialogues before I posted anything at all.
Chance of a white Christmas for Europe.
If you don’t like a fic, stop reading it.
If you don’t like a show, stop watching it.
If you don’t like a meal, stop eating it.
If you don’t like the thing, don’t do the thing.