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A Princess And More: Leia Characterization Disussion Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by EmilieDarklighter, May 18, 2004.

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  1. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    My favorite character has always been, and probably always will be, Luke Skywalker. I write fics about him constantly, even if they don't get finished or posted. ;) I always run up on one problem, though. With Luke, comes Leia. And she confuses me! I detest EU Leia with a passion, and I'm very scared to write her. So I thought I'd post this thread so myself and others could learn from you people who do know how to write her. What are your comments/ideas/suggestions?
     
  2. The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    To write Leia, you need a good, solid character background.

    Consider her past, first of all. How was she raised? Was she spoiled and pampered? Was she raised in a barn? Sometimes, it helps to ask these questions about the character and answer them in a way typical to that character. Once you find a base on the character's past experiences, it's easier to build on how that character would react in which situation.

    A good example of finding out more about a character is their reaction in a particularly defining sequence/situation. Consider the scene with Leia's love for Han uncovered. Is she hostile or forthcoming? Does this tell you anything about her persona?

    By gathering information about her past and present, we can use her as a character to define the future. If you put your own spin on who she is and what she's been through, she'll come out right.

    ~*Ambyr-Rose*~

     
  3. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Sep 20, 2002
    Well, to be quite honest, I've never written Leia, but I'd love to do it. :) I think of Leia as the ultimate tough girl in movies. She came from a wealthy background, but that didn't interfere too much with her honesty and strength of character. She's an idealist to a degree - not as much as Luke, but not as little as Han. It's the reason she joined the Senate as such a young age. She believed, just like her mother, that she could make a difference as a political leader, and when she discovered just how corrupt the current arena of politics was, she must have been crushed.

    And then there's the way she handles a blaster. That's just too cool. :cool:
     
  4. Stormtrooper_Shrink

    Stormtrooper_Shrink Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2004
    A Leia thread! :D

    Leia is a character I enjoy writing. Unfortunately, since in most of my fics each character's personality is completely warped. I don't think I'm much of an authority on her. However, I do find her character quite fascinating.

    When writing Leia seriously, I try to think of her as Padme put into Leia's shoes. Since I find Padme a fairly easy character to define, it makes my homework a lot easier. There are some parts of Leia that aren't Padme, I admit - Leia's sharper and has a readier tongue - but when you write her passively, she is quite a lot like mum. ;)
     
  5. Kazzy

    Kazzy Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Leia, I've alwasy found to be one of the easiest characters to write. She just seems to leap up on to the page. She is also one of my favourites.

    She's such a strong female character, and tough. She's not one for letting anybody, even herself get beyond her exterior. Getting the job done is extremely important to Leia, as are her morals. She can also be single minded, and temperamental, losing her temper often. But Leia cares. She cares about so much, but she's aware of how much that caring can get her in trouble. That doesn't stop her, which is why she gets in so much trouble.

    She is a very strong person. She gets put through so much, and yet she survives and fights back.
     
  6. Hananiah

    Hananiah Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2003
    I think to look at Leia you have to consider her parents, both Anakin and Padme, maybe write down some of their traits and link them to how Leia reacts, is she more like Padme or Anakin?

    Leia always seemed to be the basis of every tough, assertive women in the media in some way her biting wit is hard for me to write but her compassion for her brother and Han is always a joy to write.

    I hope this has helped
     
  7. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2002
    Whoa, these are all great advice! Thanks, guys! Anyone else want to add? (I'll have more to say later.)
     
  8. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    She doesn't mind rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. Given a royal, wealthy, privileged background, that's pretty amazing! I'd love to know why. Did Bail Organa take her camping while the other girls were at fashion shows and garden parties?

    I think you need to factor in Bail. We didn't get to see much of him (Jimmy Smits! [face_love] such a waste!), but he clearly influenced her a lot, and he doesn't seem like a cream puff, either.

    I've never had to write Leia, but I grew up with that character, and loved her. The film version.
     
  9. JadeDjo

    JadeDjo Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2004
    I think Renata hit it right on the nose. Bail, IMO, is a much bigger influence then both Padma and Anakin combined. Leia might have some traits from her birth parents but it was Bail that helped shape her.
     
  10. Hananiah

    Hananiah Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 15, 2003
    That's a good point, it can be said we are a product of our upbrining and I can't see Bail spoiling her at all. IMO I would have thought that she would have wanted to become part of the rebellion at an early age and would be very driven. I think her ease with the other members of the rebellion shows that she is able to cross different social planes and still be true to herself.
     
  11. Sock_of_Darth_Vader

    Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Don't write EU!Leia ;)

    Go and watch the OT six times, and don't ff to the Luke scenes ;) And remember that Leia in the timeframe of the OT is a deeply wounded woman--girl really--and a look of her more unpleasant traits result from that.

    Also, her faults are the flip side of her strengths. That's an integral part of any character, and is something to bear in mind when creating an OC. Take our beloved Luke for example. He's compassionate and trusting, but (in his young days), can also be naive and cut people slack they don't deserve. Of course we [face_love] him all the more :-D

    Leia, now, is self-sufficient (good), but can push people away emotionally (bad). She's strong in the face of tragedy, but can appear unfeeling. She's a good leader, but in the extreme is bossy. She's witty, but can be mouthy. You see what I mean?

    As well, her character in later life should be projected from her RotJ character, not her ANH one. She's mellowed since then, she's started to recover from the loss of her hme and planet. She has a family now--Han and Luke.
     
  12. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2002
    I'd hoped you'd show up, Cat. *huggles*

    I have a couple of questions. It's always hard to portray Leia (for me, anyway) as a sister and as a mother. Han's wife--easy. Politician--not easy, but certainly not hard. But I have a hard time

    [ul][li]finding a balance between nosy busybody sister and distant stranger[/li][li]finding a balance between workaholic never-at-home and loving mother[/li][/ul]


    Any help there?
     
  13. Sock_of_Darth_Vader

    Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Hmm, I never have a problem with work-a-holic Leia. I think she might bring the kids with her to the office or whatever ;) Anything Leia does, she does with a whole heart, so I think she might try to be supermom and the high-flier in politics, until she almost cracks up and Han gets her to relax a bit :p

    She loves Luke a lot. She's also rather commandeering by nature. Which will lead to bossy-pbig-sister mode at times. Luke, bless him, has enough 'give' in his character to put up with it. Mara doesn't, though. I think she'd be more annoyed on his behalf than he would; he'd just say, 'It's only Leia.'

    Just my tuppence...
     
  14. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Tankees, Cat!
     
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