Discussion Slippery Slope--how to keep your OCs from taking over the canon--Advice needed

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by DarthIshtar, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I need advice. To put this in perspective, I am the creator and part of an evil triumvirate of writers on a project called the Botosphere. It all started with blogging Autobots and now has over 30 stories. I had not introduced any original characters and then had a funny idea for one. I introduced a white station wagon with allergies to dust and a fear of humans, made her an intelligence agent, named her RaFly and wrote three chapters about her. I got a very surprisingly positive response to her. She has popped up in one or two scenes throughout the entire series.

    Well, all of a sudden, my cowriters are wanting to give her backstories with main characters, make her a lot more important than she has ever been. I'm thrilled on the one hand that someone wants to make something out of her, but I keep getting the feeling that having this random OC be friends with Optimus Prime would be like a rookie stormtrooper be Darth Vader's confidante.

    Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with characters that shouldn't become too self-important?
  2. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    Personally, I would absolutely would be celebrating if someone else wanted to borrow one of my characters and make him or her a main character.


  3. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    It just doesn't feel right. Partly because the character is anything but an action hero in an action series. Partly because it seems too much like a Mary Sue for her to start being equal to or upstaging the main characters.
  4. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    Ah, I see the problem. I guess I would not like it I created a character, and if I gave permission to someone to use that character, and they ended up changing the character to I never intended the character to be. If I gave someone permission to use a character, I know I would want them to treat the character with respect.
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Well, I trust her with the character in one regard. She wrote a short story taking place seven years into the character's future and I absolutely loved where that character ended up, but now have to figure out how she gets from Point A to Point B and I'm not sure that this course leads to that Point B.
  6. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    I would think you should be able to give your advise to her seing that you were the one who created the character.
  7. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    I like writing OCs, so I get that problem a lot. So I compiled a mixture of Sue Repellent to apply as needed.

    Ubersue's Sue Repellent:

    For excessive awesomeness:

    1. Decrease OC's talents/increase flaws/both.
    OR
    2. Reduce narration/dialogue concerning said awesomeness.

    For nauseating romantic pairing:

    1. Eliminate OC's romantic relationship with canon character.
    OR
    2. Make OC's romantic feelings for canon character unrequited.
    OR
    3. Reduce canon character's desirability as a romantic partner (ie: old Kenobi instead of young one, Porkins instead of Wedge).
    OR
    4. Make other canon characters call out canon character on their poor judgement/lack of professionalism in getting romantically involved with OC, and have them be proven correct.
    OR
    5. Ensure that OC and canon character have genuinely believable relationship.

    For excessive sassiness:

    1. Reduce OC's sarcastic quips.
    OR
    2. Have OC punched in the face as needed.

    For excessive hotness:

    1. Reduce hotness.
    OR
    2. Reduce narration/dialogue concerning said hotness.
    OR
    3. Decrease OC's mental stability/pleasantness of personality/maturity/judgement/talent/intelligence

    For excessive genius:

    1. Reduce genius.
    OR
    2. Reduce hotness.

    Oh man, I'm such a dork.

    That being said, I think your character sounds like a lot of fun, and that she isn't overshadowing the canon characters so much as providing a nice contrast to them. I also don't think there's anything wrong with a random Stormtrooper becoming Vader's confidante as long as there's a good reason for it.

    That's just my two cents. :)
  8. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    I do like your two cents, Ubersue. ;) Those are some excellent tactics.

    I haven't really written too many OCs that interact with the canon characters, but, like Ubersue said, I'd probably go for trying to provide a nice contrast between the OC and the canon characters. I think any situation (i.e. a random stormtrooper becoming Vader's confidante) can work without a character becoming a Mary Sue, as long as there's a good, explainable reason for what has been happening.
  9. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Good two cents. If only she were hot, sassy or genius. :p
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I really like that, ubersue!! :D
  11. Corellian_Ale Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2008
    star 4
    Ish, on matters like this I always say go with your gut. If your OC doesn't feel like being an old buddy of Prime makes sense, then don't allow it. It's your OC, and internally there is always the pull of making that character a greater figure in a fandom's mythos than you really intended, especially when the character gets such a positive reaction. I can only insist again that you should follow your instincts, and unlike anything else we write on these boards, we do have control over the characters we create - amongst ourselves anyway - and you should feel absolutely comfortable with limiting the evolution of the character with another author.
  12. Ceillean Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 5
    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh] Oh my goodness...[face_laugh]

    Awesome isn't even the word.
  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Sue! Your recommendations are hilarious!!!!

    Funny thing is profic has done that to the canon characters [face_laugh] As in. All of the above. [face_laugh]

    I've fallen for/become blown away by so many OCs in great fics around here to really mind when they take over LOL :D :D

    ~

    Ceil - love your siggy! Kyp is definitely a keper :* And glad to know daydreaming is allowed and mandatory [face_laugh] [face_mischief] I do it ALL THE TIME!
  14. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    If there's anything Luke Skywalker should never be, it's sassy. :D

    Oh, great. Plot bunny.
  15. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Ish,

    A possible solution, if it's still a problem after all this time, is to reduce her importance to the canon characters in the back story. Make her peripheral to those events. It's definitely Sue-ish for her to be buddies with Prime, but maybe she once brought him the equivalent of a cup of coffee and he said thanks. Or there's a minor problem and the big boys say, someone ought to look into this and it gets delegated down the line until 4th or 5th hand she finally gets the assignment. Then she'd be sort of connected to him in the way that normal people can be connected to the great and/or powerful.

    I was once in the same room with President Bush, and I'll admit that without my glasses he was just a dark-haired pale blob behind a dark lectern. That lumps me in with hundreds of thousands of other people, but is still more than a bit special to me. And it certainly doesn't allow me to claim any sort of special relationship with him. You can certainly allow something of the sort to happen to Rafly without venturing into Sue territory.
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