Characters Bring Back the OC Revolution -- Winter Challenge due Jan 20; Discussion: Snow Day

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by OCDatabaseSock, Sep 28, 2012.

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  1. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    I'm with you. Probably because I like to kill my antagonists off right away.

    This is a question I don't ask myself enough - Why should the protagonist have all the fun character development?

    In the story I've been working on lately I've been using Christopher Waltz's take on Hans Landa as inspiration. Landa was such a monster but there were also subtle touches of depth and character. In the first scene he said he loved the nickname Jew Hunter. Later in the movie he totally reversed himself after some years. He acted quite disgusted at the name even. It's moments like those that I hope to capture - a narrative arch. Hopefully my antagonist can grow and learn a little bit before he gets literally kicked out of a starship about to leave atmo.
    leiamoody and Jedi_Lover like this.
  2. MasterGhandalf Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2009
    star 2
    Okay, my fic I, Warrior (my only complete Star Wars fic) has three main antagonists, all OCs- the Master, Keenah, and Hassk. I really like all three of them, so let’s look at them for a moment:

    Who are they? Why are they in conflict with your protagonist?

    The Master is the Big Bad of my fic, a sickly darksider in filthy robes who leads a ship of Yuuzhan Vong renegades. He’s actually a clone of Anakin Solo, grown by a Yuuzhan Vong Shaper and possessed by a Sith spirit. Mostly, his immediate goal is just to get himself healthy so he isn’t in horrible pain all the time, though after that his goals are a bit vague (but certainly involve seeking power). He’s just taking things one step at a time. In his pursuit of Sith relics he thinks will help him out, he and his followers run afoul of the Jedi, particularly Tahiri.

    Keenah is the Master’s right hand, a young Yuuzhan Vong priestess who mysteriously can use the Force. She’s something of a crash-and-burned idealist (or at least, the Vong equivalent), and has latched on to the Master and his Sith teachings in the hopes that they can bring back the glory days of the Vong. She’s a particular enemy and foil for Tahiri, and the two follow parallel arcs.

    Hassk is a Trandoshan mercenary in Keenah’s employ. He’s the most visible antagonist for the early parts of the fic, and is the one actually doing most of the Sith relic-hunting. Smart, tough, professional, and no-nonsense, he’s not a guy to cross, though he doesn’t really have a personal enmity for Tahiri or her friends when they’re not in his way.

    Is the antagonist easier or harder for you to develop and characterize?


    Well, for I, Warrior, I was mostly working with Tahiri and Corran as main protagonists, so I was able to largely extrapolate from their canon characterizations circa The Unifying Force (where I, Warrior goes AU) and take it from there. My three antagonists above, though, were all OCs, and I needed to sink more development into them. The Master I had the basic idea for in mind for years before I started the fic, and he came fairly easily to me, though he remained enigmatic to the other characters for most of the fic. Keenah I sunk a lot of effort into- she’s part Nen Yim, part the character Wookieepedia calls “Vongerella”, part Tahiri seen through a mirror darkly, and honestly I feel that she’s the second most important character in the whole fic, apart from Tahiri herself. Hassk came last, mostly because I wanted an alien merc who’d do the dirty work for my ultimate masterminds, but I ended up liking the guy probably more than he deserves.

    How do you balance the antagonist's skills or resources against the protagonist's to make them a good match for each other?


    The Master has Anakin Solo’s Force potential and the knowledge of an ancient Sith warrior, so we’re talking a very formidable guy, but the fact that he’s so sick keeps him sidelined for much of the story. He’s got to work through others, which makes him a tad bit more manageable. And there just may be a bit of the real Anakin in there somewhere too…

    Keenah is a more specific foil for Tahiri, and matches her fairly evenly in terms of abilities. The challenge she poses is more of a mental and emotional one- after all, if the Shapers has their way, Tahiri’d probably be where Keenah is now, and if Keenah had been born in the GFFA, she could very easily have become a Jedi.

    Hassk is tough and smart, but he’s not a Force user, and probably wouldn’t last long against Tahiri, Corran, and Jaina in a pitched fight. Luckily for him, he’s smart enough to know that, and isn’t one to fight a battle he knows he’d lose. Rather than being a purely physical foe, the problem is rather reaching him before he unearths, on his employers’ behalf, something that probably should have stayed buried.


    How much do you develop your antagonist over the course of the story? How relatable do you try to make him/her for the reader? If it's a "villain", do you keep their characterization relatively simple compared to your protagonist, or do you take the "Wreck-It Ralph" approach of "Just because you a Bad Guy, it doesn't mean that you are a bad guy"?


    The Master is very much a villain, manipulating everyone else for his own personal gain and fully intending to betray the Vong once he’s gotten what he wants. Keenah is, at least in her own mind, the heroine of the piece, and her gradual realization that maybe she’s on the wrong side is one of the underlying thrusts of her character development. Hassk is really just a guy doing his job, albeit a totally amoral guy doing a highly illegal job; he’s in it for the credits (and so the Vong won’t flay his scaly hide off him), not for malice. Akhi Lian (Vong commander who is sufficiently one-note I didn’t bring him up here) is another straight-up villain, while secondary antagonist Jadek Hunner is ultimately a pathetic figure, a guy who found a powerful Sith device and was just Force-sensitive enough to make the thing work, but not enough to control what he unleashed. Really, I like a good variety in my villain cast, as the above- creepy mastermind, misguided would-be hero, mercenary, vicious brute, and Gollum-like wreck- probably attests.
    Rau_Fang likes this.
  3. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    I just realized hadn't commented above on the question - How do you balance the antagonist's skills or resources against the protagonist's to make them a good match for each other?

    Here is a common thread through my stories - I pit force-users vs. non-force users both in wits and brute. Not only does it make for interesting match-ups and scenarios but in their enmity I feel I'm able to capture my overall gffa worldview.
    I want characters (both antagonists and protagonists) to rise to the challenge of bringing balance opposite the Force.

    I have a bone to pick with the common meta-narrative of the Force in Star Wars Canon and swff.
  4. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I don't think I've ever bothered to answer any of the questions, so here goes...

    Who are they? Why are they in conflict with your protagonist?

    Most of my antagonists are nobodies. They usually avoid the public eye, or are withdrawn recluses. Sometimes, the antagonist isn't necessarily evil, just another character who is in conflict with the protagonist. As for why, the motives vary from character to character.

    Pepan Manja is mentally unhinged. He is a socially-withdrawn recluse whose culturally-ingrained insectivore eating habits have become an obsession, and the line between right and wrong became blurred, as he simply feels that insectoids are not sentient. He was apprehended by an insectoid (Zuckuss), so Pepan is not only ashamed of it, but he holds a massive grudge. He's not necessarily evil, he's just not of sound mind.

    Conflicts also arise from one character simply not agreeing with another character. The character themselves may not be a true antagonist, but that that point in the story where they enter into conflict with the protagonist, they become the enemy. Even characters on the right side of the law become antagonists to characters who would in other circumstances be the antagonist.

    Is the antagonist easier or harder for you to develop and characterize?

    I find it to be more fun. Though, with the amount of characters I have that have become antagonists, it is certainly easier. Step into the mindset that everyone is against you, and you have a whole slew of antagonists to play with.

    How do you balance the antagonist's skills or resources against the protagonist's to make them a good match for each other?

    Having the antagonist be the opposite of the protagonist works. Your protagonist is good with computers, but has terrible street smarts? Give him a foil--a character who was born and raised on the streets, but couldn't find YouTube if you beat him with a keyboard.

    How much do you develop your antagonist over the course of the story? How relatable do you try to make him/her for the reader? If it's a "villain", do you keep their characterization relatively simple compared to your protagonist, or do you take the "Wreck-It Ralph" approach of "Just because you a Bad Guy, it doesn't mean that you are a bad guy"?

    It depends mostly on what capacity that character is to be used. If the antagonist is taking a very large role in the story and I want to get into their head, I will take the time to flesh out their history and show how their mind works. If I need a shady character and I don't want to get into their head, I will describe the character's malice through the responses of those around him/her. Tragic villains are fun to write, and tragedy makes them easily-relatable. Though, if I need a one-note baddie who I plan to off within that chapter, I won't bother with developing them. I just need enough development to make their motives clear.
  5. OCDatabaseSock Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2004
    star 2
    Character flaws!

    Well-rounded characters, whether protagonists or antagonists, shouldn't be perfect. A character's flaws can help drive the story: it's the weakness s/he has to overcome, the cause of the problem s/he has to fix, something we want to see them rise above. Plus, for antagonists it's possible that their flaw(s) is what is causing them to oppose the protagonist.

    Pick an OC or three. Tell us about one or more of his/her biggest flaws. Why did you decide to give it to that character? How does it affect the character in your story? If the character is aware of the flaw, is he/she trying to correct it?
  6. MasterGhandalf Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2009
    star 2
    Pick an OC or three.

    How about three? Here's Keenah (who I've previously discussed at some length) and Ziil from my finished fic, and Aristocra Lirnan of the Chiss from my current fic. An anti-villain turned anti-hero, a supporting character, and a villain- a nice selection.

    Tell us about one or more of his/her biggest flaws.

    Keenah's biggest flaw is her belief that, because she's the only Yuuzhan Vong to be able to touch the Force (she doesn't know about Onimi), the gods have obviously chosen her for some special purpose. Ziil's is his combination of hero worship and naivety that can cause him to make some very poor decisions. Lirnan's is his overwhelming pride; he considers the Chiss a superior race, and himself the only one worthy to lead them.

    Why did you decide to give it to that character?

    Keenah's flaw was designed to play into the Blue and Orange Morality of the Vong; despite their being one of the most frightening and brutal factions in the EU, they unswaveringly believe that they're in the right, and I wanted Keenah to reflect that. I also wanted to make her a villain who could believably be redeemed. Ziil's flaws not only give him a tendency to get himself in trouble, but also provide a source of conflict for Tahiri, since she's extremely uncomfortable of her role in the Shamed Ones' mythology and Ziil is a walking reminder of that. Lirnan's pride fits in very closely with the kind of villain I wanted him to be, providing a basis for many of his actions.


    How does it affect the character in your story?

    Well, Keenah's flaw leaves her open to manipulation by the Master, resulting in her being lead to become a major villain in my fic and nearly become the first Yuuzhan Vong Sith ever. Ziil has a marked tendency to get himself and the people around him into bad situations despite meaning well; he also holds up a mirror to Tahiri of a part of her life that makes her extremely uncomfortable. Lirnan is willing to do whatever it takes- up to and including arranging the assassination of his predecessor- to make sure his vision for the future of the Chiss and the galaxy becomes reality.

    If the character is aware of the flaw, is he/she trying to correct it?

    Keenah is not initially aware of her flaw; after realizing that she's been had and that she's probably not a chosen one of the gods after all, she becomes determined to find a different path, which is why she's currently studying on Ossus, disguised with a masquer. Ziil is fairly aware of his flaws- low self-esteem being not uncommon for a Shamed One- and though he's more likely to beat himself up about it than actually take steps to overcome them, he genuinely does want to overcome them. Lirnan is largely blind to his own faults, which both keeps him on the path to villainy and leaves him open to manipulation by other forces...

    EDIT: FF.net links for my stories. Keenah and Ziil are from the completed I, Warrior, here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5172549/1/I-Warrior-A-Story-of-Tahiri-Veila

    Aristocra Nal'irna'nuruodo (Lirnan) is from the ongoing Acts of War, here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8456585/1/Star-Wars-Shadow-of-the-Ancients-I-Acts-of-War
    Note: Lirnan's not shown up in the flesh yet, but his fingerprints are all over the story already. Keenah also shows up in a brief scene in this one, but while I hope to revisit the character someday, she won't have a big role in this fic.
    Last edited by MasterGhandalf, Jul 7, 2013
    Rau_Fang likes this.
  7. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Pick an OC or three.
    My OC Talon Tantiss, teenage Jedi Apprentice.

    Tell us about one or more of his/her biggest flaws.
    He's a teenager who acts just as foolishly as Earth teenagers. He says things he shouldn't. He also finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time... all the time.

    Why did you decide to give it to that character?
    I have a really hard time believing having Force powers will make a child more...adult like. I cringe when I saw the younglings doing lightsaber practice in the PT. I mean they were only a few feet away from each other and you are having them swinging sabers? I wanted to see a teenage Jedi that is coping with young love, heartbreak, feeling inadequate, screwing up and all the normal teenage things I went through at that age.

    How does it affect the character in your story?
    He's in trouble a lot.

    If the character is aware of the flaw, is he/she trying to correct it?
    He wants to grow up and make his parents and his Master proud. He is trying his best.

  8. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks for setting up the format @MasterGhandalf! Also can ya'll link to the stories your characters are from? I'd like to read some! I'd link to my story with Dee and Crik, but I've got to post it yet :rolleyes: . Soon and very soon.
    Pick an OC or three.
    I'll pick two, Duce "Dee" Kannon and Inquisitor Solomon Crik!

    Tell us about one or more of his/her biggest flaws.


    Dee needlessly falls victim to his inner macho-impulsiveness. It's a muscle-headed cocktail - one part insecurities, one part fierce protectionism, one part smashball. Crik is a little less sophisticated. He enjoys the status of being a Jedi-hunter but acts as if he is the victim and not the Jedi. This makes him arrogant, lazy, long-winded and unpredictable.

    Why did you decide to give it to that character? How does it affect the character in your story?

    I wanted Dee to be the foil to Lars Kannon in almost every way imaginable. Lars wants to leave Nar Shaddaa, Dee wants to stay at all costs, Lars has a lot of irons in the fire (if you know what I mean), Dee is very focused and intentional so on and so forth. Where as Lars seems to be unaffected by the events in the story. Dee seems to be unraveling like a sweater with one too many snags. Of course some of those snags are self-inflicted in Dee's case. Crik is just more interesting when he's kinda whiny and lazy - much more fun to write than the ambitious type that seems to be common among the Dark Jedi type. Crik is effected - but I don't want to give too much away.

    If the character is aware of the flaw, is he/she trying to correct it?

    Both Dee and Crik probably wouldn't see it as a flaw - just a way of being. Still I would say that Crik is closer to trying to correct his flaws. Dee has to play with the sabacc hand he's dealt.
  9. OCDatabaseSock Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2004
    star 2
    Good thoughts on the character flaws, everyone!

    If there's a topic anyone would like to discuss, feel free to post it and get the discussion rolling, or you can PM the sock with ideas. I'd like to make sure we're talking about things you want to talk about. :)

    Your OC wakes up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep. What does he/she do to pass the time and why?
    Last edited by OCDatabaseSock, Jul 24, 2013
  10. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Pick an OC or three.
    Jesin Fialka survivor of order 66 and now under the wings of Halfir Majeski

    Tell us about one or more of his/her biggest flaws.
    He is very curious and displaying his emotions very easy

    Why did you decide to give it to that character?
    To show what the purge has done to him

    How does it affect the character in your story?
    He will come to meet different situations

    If the character is aware of the flaw, is he/she trying to correct it?
    He is aware and in growing up he will follow more of Halfir's teachings

    Your OC wakes up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep. What does he/she do to pass the time and why?
    When Jesin wakes up and can't fall back asleep he starts to study. He likes learning new languages and that will give him new possibilities
  11. leiamoody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2005
    star 4
    Your OC wakes up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep. What does he/she do to pass the time and why?
    Nalieza Fejier has quite a few sleepless nights, because she is a university student. When she wakes up/can't get to sleep, Nalieza will wander around the house paying attention to noises (she's very sound-sensitive). She'll head to the kitchen and go through the fridge looking for something to eat. Or she'll just stay awake and stare at the ceiling. Or she'll flip on the holo to watch something, anything, to pass the time. Or maybe she might actually tackle some homework.

    Links for stories about Nalieza and her sleepless nights/dream habits: Night and Nalieza/Sleeping and Dreaming
  12. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think if my OC, Talon Tantiss, woke up and couldn't get back to sleep he would call up his girlfriend for a booty call.
    Rau_Fang likes this.
  13. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    @leiamoody your sleep entries for Nalieza are entrancing. i love how you blend the vagueness of setting with the specificity of objects so that it reads dream-like.

    Lars Kannon would probably just need to do something inappropriate that I couldn't elaborate here. It'd be similar to what Talon would do, tho. He'd probs go to bed after that. Dee or Bruce Kannon would probably just go to work since they work so close to where they work.
  14. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    If Tuffass woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back to sleep, he'd meditate. Or, go for a walk. Or, exercise. Or, get any work done that he had put off.
  15. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    If Lilith woke in the middle of the night she wouldn't fight it, she'd just get up and work on her ship. The Scorpion is always in need of repairs or maintenance or upgrades.
  16. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Everyone,

    I apologize for neglecting this thread for so long. It's well past time for me to step aside and hand the reins to someone else. If you're interested in taking over the OCDatabaseSock, PM me (on my Thumper09 account) and I'll transition it over to you.

    Again, I'm sorry.
  17. Space_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2007
    star 3
    I hope someone does. I miss the stories folks used to write and the discussions. Now that we've got the Non-Star Wars fan fic board, that should be included too. We need to get these boards like they used to be. I would be interested if I had time for it, but sadly, I don't. Good luck in the search.
  18. Mando-Man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2008
    star 2
    I hope someone takes this over. It'll be cool to have it up and running again.
  19. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    Don't b sorry Thumper! You've done so much for the OC community. Thank you for all of it!
  20. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Thanks, Rau. :)

    Everyone, Earlybird has graciously offered to help with the Sock but would like a co-leader to help with things. Is anyone interested in being co-leader? PM me if so, and I'll get you both set up with Sock access.
  21. Space_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2007
    star 3
    That is good news. I hope you find someone willing to help. :)
  22. OCDatabaseSock Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2004
    star 2
    Everyone,

    Please give a warm welcome, thank you, congrats, and huzzah to your new OC Database leaders, Earlybird-obi-wan and Kahara! =D= =D=

    The Revolution is in very capable hands. Enjoy, and have fun! :D

    -Thumper09, signing off.
    Raissa Baiard, Rau_Fang and Kahara like this.
  23. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Welcome new Database Leaders! And thanks for all that you did Thumper09! =D=
    Kahara likes this.
  24. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    This looks like an awful lot of fun. I look forward to having something to contribute to it eventually...
    Kahara likes this.
  25. Rau_Fang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    Welcome Earlybird and Kahara! Huzzah!
    Kahara likes this.
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