Help with characterizing Mara for my first fic... and it making sense?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Chortles, Jun 8, 2011.

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  1. Chortles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2011
    I'm planning to write an "adaptation-type" crossover as a one-shot, possibly continued if anyone likes the idea and wants to see it continue from there, but all I have set in stone besides the physical actions (what happens) is that it's meant to be an AU from Mara's POV with Luke and Vader set between ANH and ROTJ (when exactly is undetermined), with the point of divergence being in the fic itself.

    In addition, while I've read many a fic involving these three characters, I'm not sure that I have them down pat, or at least not to an extent that I would be able to write them recognizably. Mara and Vader would both be publicly visible (the former in "official cover," i.e. as an Imperial Palace dancer, the latter in "Darth Vader cover" *cough*), but in terms of what they would say, or how they would word their thoughts in reacting to sensing something amiss, I don't know the words or language...

    I did just think of having Vader actually be silent throughout the fic, but then I'm left wondering how to write him reacting (from someone else's POV) to a disturbance in the Force in the same room... much less how Mara would do so.
  2. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Well, in published work, I've noticed that when Vader is acting less like Vader, it's usually when the author is actually in his head. While we've gotten inside Anakin's head, we've never really gotten inside Vader's head, and that distance from the audience helps to cloud his motives. Study his mannerisms in the movies, see when he speaks, why he says what he says, and study his nuances. We don't really need to know the thought process behind it. If you describe his presence, it will make up for a lack of internal monologue. Focus on others' reactions to him more than his own thoughts and that should help with keeping his characterization from going out of control.

    As for early Mara... I can't really pin down how she acts in a few words. I've seen numerous takes on her. She's hardened, speaks when necessary, sneaky, and an actress. If she needs to play up her femininity to woo some goons to her side, she will. But the minute their usefulness has come to an end, she'll slit their throats from behind. Her softer side is usually well-hidden. She's intelligent, articulate, and won't take any guff from anyone. She won't shy away from a fight, she'll slip into your maximum security estate, act as a single heiress to get you to let your guard down, drug your drink, steal your information, and kill all of your guards on her way out. Will she spend her time off schmoozing about some farm boy she saw on some backwater rock? Probably not. Though, if she is aware of his connections to the Rebel Alliance, she'll be sure to watch him very closely.

    Hope that helps. Established major characters are tricky to write without first researching and studying their mannerisms, prior to pinning them down in character studies. Even minor characters are tricky. Good luck with your fic!
  4. Chortles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Thank you very much with the idea of "Vader from third-person"! He's definitely not meant to be the main character, so that advice meshes quite nicely. I'm taking a similar perspective with Luke as well. If anything, I'm actually considering not giving Vader any dialogue at all... I intend to have Mara play her cover to the hilt, so it's more her internal thoughts that I'm concerned about.

    While the actual time of the fic isn't set, I'm pretty sure that by this point Mara would be aware of Luke Skywalker's identity as the pilot who destroyed the Death Star and his background, but possibly not that he's Force-sensitive, or the extent of his training, so she'd definitely be looking closely at him either way... in fact, thanks for the idea you just gave me! Hehehe...

    Admittedly the scene premise in my head is strongly based on that 'preview' (of what never came to be) for one of Tigellinus' scenes in GrandAdmiralJello's "The Twelve REDUX," with the Grand Admiral concerned of his status at the Court of Courts and contemptuous of Vader.

    EDIT: Since I can't PM yet: the scene idea you gave me was for her to play her cover with a junior officer just arriving to the room who happens to be fair-skinned and blond, then as she turns around to resume her role, she recalls that his eyes seemed to flash for a moment... then thinking about it harder, that subtle sensation she'd felt before turning around reminds her of a brush against her mind in the Force... then when she scans about, she notices that she can't pick him out in the "crowd" anymore, and that Vader is agitated from having felt the same... what do you think?
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