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Differences in writing styles for the four Skwalker women

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by DarthSabe, Oct 31, 2004.

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  1. DarthSabe

    DarthSabe Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2004
    I'm thinking of writing four vignettes from the POVs of the four Skywalker women - Shmi, Padmé, Leia and Mara Jade. They'll probably be internal monologues, refelcting on a defining moment in their lives.

    Obviously, I don't want each vignette to seem like it's written by the same person - even though, of course, it is. ;)

    I was wondering what differences people think there would be between their writing styles; affected by their education, work, associates etc.

    Initial thoughts are that I'll have to study Shmi's speech patterns. We can hear her distinctive accent, so I'll have to say if there are any dialect features in her speech. In formal situations, Padmé seems very articulate, but her speech is different somehow - I can't remember how. I'll have to refresh my memory, obviously. ;) Leia seems to be very proud, and often quite cutting. As the vignette will be her thoughts, though, it'll be different. Mara now . . . Mara I don't have much experience with.

    Getting off track, I also need moments for the vignettes to be based around . . . I was thinking when she meets Qui-Gon and co for Shmi, and the moment the doors clang shut on Echo Base for Leia.

    As you can see, I really do need help . . .
     
  2. Jaina_Solo_59

    Jaina_Solo_59 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Shmi would be Kid of sad, the others well I'd have to know when they take place.
     
  3. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Well, all four women carry a lot of responsibilities, but each one deals with them slightly differently because of their circumstances.

    Shmi would be resigned, sad at times but strong too. She seemed determined to make the best of the life she had. I think she was very wise in her own way.

    Padme was on the career track from childhood so she has an amazing amount of confidence in herself, which might be why she doesn't always notice when she's making bad choices. Yet, she must also long to have some of what her sister has. Somehow I don't see her as ever being truly happy even before she met Anakin.

    Leia, like her mother, has that career mentality going; she also has the same sort of reckless spirit. Most wouldn't take up with a smuggler without some reservations, but she plunged right in. I see Leia as even more responsibility driven than her mother when circumstances dictate, but in her personal life she's more relaxed and fun. Leia has a wit to match her husband.

    Mara is one to put on a very different face to the world around her as a sort of protective shield, except with those she's very close to, and sometimes even with them. She's tough, smart but I refuse to acknowledge the NJO characterization of her. I thought they didn't get her, and made her way too arrogant and witchy. Mara doesn't know how to express emotion well because she wasn't given love as a child, yet she longs for it and knows that Luke can help her become a whole person. She's a product of her background though, so thinking she's right about a lot of things comes naturally. You can't totally take the Imperial out of her personality even though she knows it's a failed system, so she won't tolerate incompetence as well as others might. She has deep feelings that she keeps inside because she doesn't know how to share, but yet I've always thought Leia could see right through her.


     
  4. VadersMistress

    VadersMistress Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Shmi is more willing to give. She wants what is best for her child and carrys heavy burdens because she wants more for Anakin. She also has had a hard life and it shows in her manner. She had no one to help her raise Anakin, and she was confused by the strange pregnancy with no father. She was stuck in this cruel world where her life, and the life of her son, went to the highest bidder.

    Leia is quite sassy and willing to do almost anything to get what she wants. But she also knows when the battle is lost. Not saying that she would give up, she is smart enough not to ignore the situation. She wants a family but she also wants to make the galaxy better, and she struggles at some points to balance those things out.

    Padme is well... A Senator. She is not cutthroat but she is not the type to sit idly while her work is being destroyed. Like Mariah said, she was probably not truly happy before Anakin came along. I don't believe it was her "destiny" to be truly happy at any time. She was always pushing herself to be better and to do better, but she was sort of empty. She had to watch her husband become a monster, her son being taken away, and then she died when she was so young. She was not the beautiful princess that you would find in story books that end in "and they lived happily ever after."

    Mara- She lived a very hard life in which she learned that she had to do things on her own or else she wouldn't make it. She really didn't have much of a childhood. In her life she was sent from one place to the next, searching for something she didn't know she was looking for. (I know that probably doesn't make sense, but bear with me.) Palaptine offered her stability and provided a rather twisted place of comfort. When Vader killed him, Mara blamed Luke. The life as she had come to know it was destroyed and she blamed herself for not saving him. When Mara finally married Luke she was happy because then she had a source of comfort that wouldn't let her down. She had to get used to relying on other people and trusting them. For someone like Mara, that was hard for her to do.

    Okay, I am tired and I doubt that made any sense whatsoever, but I hope it helped a little.
     
  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I like to see Mara and Leia together because they both have strong minds, but moreover, a lot of tongue-in-cheek mentality. They can be very serious or very sarcastic in their own right, but have a lot of potential in terms of devotion.

    My counsel for Leia is to not make her too grounded in the past. Sure, she has issues, but she has the strong sense of self that makes her press on with life because she knows her duty and her priorities. My challenge has always been to see a mix of Anakin and Padme in her. Seeing influences of the man who became darth vader is something you can really play off of, especially when you're dealing with her in the classic trilogy eras or after she has found out her lineage. A great undeveloped section is Leia/Padme stuff.

    For Mara, it depends heavily on what time frame it is, because we know her cynicism, aloofness, and even hostility towards the mainstream characters in the early days of the EU. We see that she has that mixed with a strong inner conflict over where her duties lie when we get to the time of Hand of Thrawn duology and there's still somehthing of hostility, but it's not heartfelt, but a keep-from-getting-hurt tactic that she finally abandons. NJO, PLEASE don't make her a weakling. That was my major objection to some of the NJO writers, where she was completely unrecognizable because she had no inner fire, which we know is not true of her.

    For Padme, take the suggestions of people gone before.

    Shmi, same thing.
     
  6. MistiWhitesun

    MistiWhitesun Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2004
    I agree with those who've posted before.

    You know how to sound different for each vignette? Check out some books from the library with those characters, and read the sections with a woman a few times before writing her vignette. That's how I catch my "voices". I've been told I do that well.

    Congrats on your membership! :)

    Write lots! :)
     
  7. DarthSabe

    DarthSabe Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Write lots, Misti? I will . . . ;)

    [Shmi] seemed determined to make the best of the life she had.
    [Padme] is not the type to sit idly while her work is being destroyed . . . I don't believe it was her "destiny" to be truly happy at any time.
    Sure, [Leia] has issues, but she has the strong sense of self that makes her press on with life because she knows her duty and her priorities. My challenge has always been to see a mix of Anakin and Padme in her
    Mara is one to put on a very different face to the world around her as a sort of protective shield, except with those she's very close to, and sometimes even with them . . . she won't tolerate incompetence as well as others might
    [Mara] learned that she had to do things on her own or else she wouldn't make it.


    . . . Yeah. Thanks guys. :)

    Shmi seems so serene, and at peace. I think "they've" done all they can to her, and she's dealt with it. The exception to this is her concern for Anakin; I'll try to incorporate that. I had a look through the script for TPM, and her sentences seem mostly fairly simple; except when she's saying goodbye to Anakin. Why? Maybe she thought out what she was going to say beforehand.

    Padmé and Leia are politically trained, so they're more comfortable with complex and elaborate vocabulary and grammar than the others. I presume Mara had a good education, but not to their standards.

    Urgh. I don't think I like Padmé very much. I want to but . . . somehow I can't. Maybe it's because she's hardly been played with emotion so far.

    As far as scenes to base the vignettes go, here are some ideas. I'll probably try to stick to scenes from the films, or well known EU for Mara. *Has brainwave*. Ooh! I could use the scene in Jabba's palace. Does anyone have any references for that? I know Lando mentioned it early in Dark Apprentice. *Refocuses* Ahem.

    Shmi
    When she meets Qui-Gon and co.
    Her discussion with Q-G about Anakin.
    The pod race.
    When she realises Anakin's leaving

    Padmé
    When she meets Anakin.
    Her speech in the Senate. (TPM)
    The parade, reflecting on the battle, or TPM in general.
    Thoughts after either assassination attempt.
    Meeting Anakin again.
    Multitude of romantic-y bits (sick)@
    Battle of Geonosis.
    Wedding.

    Leia
    Her capture at the beginning of ANH.
    The destruction of Alderaan.
    When she meets Luke.
    Battle of Yavin.
    Medal ceremony.
    Hearing the doors clang shut on Hoth.
    Escaping Hoth.
    Her reaction to their capture in Cloud City.
    The carbon freezing.
    (ROTJ . . . and I more or less lose interest (face)@)

    Mara
    Jabba's palace
    After she kills Luke's clone

    I seriously need to read some EU . . .

    (Feel free to adopt any of these plot bunnies. They need homes!)
     
  8. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade VIP star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    As far as scenes to base the vignettes go, here are some ideas. I'll probably try to stick to scenes from the films, or well known EU for Mara. *Has brainwave*. Ooh! I could use the scene in Jabba's palace. Does anyone have any references for that? I know Lando mentioned it early in Dark Apprentice. *Refocuses* Ahem.

    If you can find the book Tales from Jabba's Palace, I believe it contains a short story by Timothy Zahn about Mara's time there posing as Arica, from Mara's own POV. You might find it helpful. :)

    When reading the EU in general to pick up Mara's 'voice', I would strongly suggest sticking to Zahn. Other authors have come close to getting her characterization right, but no one ever writes her quite as well as Zahn. :)
     
  9. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 1999
    I could use the scene in Jabba's palace. Does anyone have any references for that?

    Like Gabri mentioned, there's a short story called Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade by Zahn in Tales from Jabba's Palace. There's also a brief scene with Mara in Jabba's palace in the Dark Horse comic, Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand. I wrote an AU version of the Mara/Jabba's palace story once and both of those references were very helpful.

    Zahn is the master, but I also thought Tyers, Allston, and Luceno wrote Mara very well in the NJO.

    Good luck! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)
     
  10. DarthSabe

    DarthSabe Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Thank you!
     
  11. MistiWhitesun

    MistiWhitesun Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Go Tyers!

    I second that comment about Kathy Tyers' job with Mara in Balance Point. She's my favorite author? Did you know she does Christian sci-fi, too? The editor who refused her first novel with a helpful rejection letter asked her to do a Star Wars one.

    Sorry if this is off-topic. Even while reading Balance Point I remember thinking "Wahoo!" from how she handled Mara. She has a summary in the book's beginning of what's happened previously in the NJO series, so it's not that hard to jump in to.

    (If I'm going overboard, do scold me.)

    ---"Misti"
     
  12. Myri_Antilles

    Myri_Antilles Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Mara
    Jabba's palace
    After she kills Luke's clone


    What about when she and Luke finally admitted that they loved each other?
     
  13. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    Urgh. I don't think I like Padmé very much. I want to but . . . somehow I can't. Maybe it's because she's hardly been played with emotion so far.

    Padme can be very hard to "get" unless you read A LOT of her. A good source of Padme is the AOTC novelization, which did her character much more good than the way Burtt butchered AOTC's scenes from Naboo.

    One thing to remember about Padme is that she, like Leia and Mara, has a "shield" up. Hers is more of "duty" than Leia's. When I say that, I mean hers is a more rigid sense of duty because of her position and the timeframe that she was in politics. She was dealing with much more crafty people than Leia. Palpatine pretty much didn't hide his agenda in the OT.

    In the old Republic, beaurocracy was so bad and the the intrigue in the Senate was so immense, you get the feeling one didn't know whom to trust. Then you look at how young she was when she had the title of Queen thrust upon her and you have to wonder, when did Naboo allow their children to be children? If you step back and take a look at her role in Palpatine's ascendency, you see a little (lost) girl, who didn't know who she could trust, went with the person she felt she could most, and then went back to save her people the only way she could come up with.

    Like others said before, she really only seems to let her hair down with Anakin. From what we've seen of ROTS, she is willing to finally give up that duty to be with her husband and child. In pictures, she's emotional and has to be worried about her husband and Palpatine's influence (along with the fact he's on the front lines every day). Her world literally falls apart.

    When it is all said and done, her story - like Anakin's - is the saddest. Hers even more so than Anakin's. It seems as if neither she nor her husband were ever destined to be happy. I'm specualting they never get to hold their children, or see them grow up, their lives are manipulated by Palpatine and both die tragically unfulfilled.
     
  14. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    I would also recommend Stackpole and Allston for Mara EU, especially I, Jedi - there are some good scenes between Mara and Corran about trust and friendship. And even if you end up not agreeing with their characterisations, at least the books are funny. :p

    edit: Oops, I meant the NJO books by those authors, not the X-wing series.
     
  15. Hananiah

    Hananiah Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2003
    If I had to group them I would put Shmi and Padme together for their gentle spirit and practical manner. I love the aotc novel which describes Shmi as having not power over Cliegg but he could not lie to her. I think Leia and Mara are more hardened, while they all love their husbands Padme and Shmi in my own opinion don't have the fire that Leia and Han and Mara and Luke have, their circumstances are extreme. Shmi is sort of sad wisdom, Padme is morality and dignity and Mara and Leia are fierly and passionate but still have the same moral code at the same time. I don't know if that makes sense
     
  16. Benjor45

    Benjor45 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Gabri_Jade, Jedi Trace, (or anyone who has this story)

    Could you give a summary of 'Sleight of Hand'? Her actions, thoughts?

    Since DarthSabe will write about Jabba's palace, I thought it could be usefull.

    (Copied form Lit. forum)

    Mara's loyalty to the emperor?

    I've thought about this after reading for the Nth time about how Mara only abandoned the emperor after his death, even thought she was raised from childhood to believe in him.

    This is in chapter 21 of HttE. Karde tells Mara to transfer Luke to another room. She arrives at his room and has this thought:

    'He was standing by the window, using the same tunic, pants and boots as he'd used that day, at Jabba's palace. The day when she remained in silence, watching while he destroyed her life.' ***

    I know that in MJ:BTEH Nr.1 there's a scene that more or less retcons this. She takes the blaster from one of Jabba's guards, but is treatened by other guard. However, there's no indication of the time it took for her to be discovered, so she could have 'stood in silence' with the blaster in her hand.

    There's also some other story by Zahn about her stay at Jabba's, I wonder if it retcons this completely.

    Allright, if this has been retconned... then what does it mean? Should I just ignore it when I reread the book? I might as well take a marker and delete it all? Or maybe it doesn't necessarily mean she didn't want to kill Luke at Jabba's? ... How?

    ***This is from a portuguese version of HttE. I'd like to see her original english thoughts, if someone could help here. I have an english copy of TLC and there are differences in the translation. I wonder if the translator completely changed Mara's thought and I'm making even more a fool of myself, if that's possible.


    There are some things that could sustain the theory that she didn't want to kill Luke:

    *She saw Luke talking to Jabba and knew that Jabba was immune to the force. However, she tried it anyway. Maybe she thought she was stronger than Luke, or maybe she was self-sabotaging, giving herself an excuse to tell Palpatine. She saw Luke talking to Jabba, the emperor probably told her about the Hutts, but she tried anyway, giving Jabba, in her own words, a hint of who she might be.

    *Lando managed to infiltrate the palace, and he's no spec-ops material. Luke's entrance scene show's that Jabba's security was pathetic. Mara is a super spy. She should have been able to easily infiltrate the chaos that was Jabba's sail barge without needing his permission.

    *This was the decisive moment for her to kill Luke. She didn't need her cover anymore. From some bits of panels I've seen of BTEH - fighting multiple tugs - Mara was a one woman army. Just like Luke fought many tugs + Fett, Mara should have been able to easily cut her way through Jabba and his minions on her way to kill Luke and Co.

    *Another panel of BTEH 1 shows her driving a speeder away. After Jabba was gone with the barge, she could easily have forced one of his minions who stood behind to give her a speeder so she could follow them from a distance.

    In summary, with her abilities and skills, the excuse of Jabba's refusal to let her in the barge seems very weak. There were N ways for her to complete her task.


    Was there any reason for her to hesitate in killing Luke? Zahn says she was neither dark nor light. I used to have that animated comic which shows her sparing the life of a real human soldier amongst droids and the emperor didn't like it. He was having his power/control games with a 'pseudo-jedi' as C'baoth called her, probably missing the good times when the entire jedi order did his bidding. So, she was raised and trained to believe she was doing the good and moral thing. By keeping her on the edge he maybe even expected and anticipated doubts to form on her mind, all for his own twisted pleasure. Something, maybe Alderaan's destruction, for example, could have began to get some tiny part of her mind to doubt.

    When she gets all incensed because of Thrawn's back-stabing in DFR. It's i
     
  17. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 1999
    Benjor45:

    RE: Could you give a summary of 'Sleight of Hand'? Her actions, thoughts?

    I?ll try to stick to the Sleight of Hand (SoH) topic, since the rest of your questions are probably more suited to the Lit forum (as I see you've posted them there) or the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/EU_Community/b10194/9981964/?4843]MJSFC.[/link]

    The story in SoH is basically as you?ve noted it: [blockquote]Mara infiltrates Jabba?s palace as a dancer. She is in the main audience chamber when Luke arrives, but she is unarmed and reaches for one of the guards? blasters only to have a blaster jammed into her back by a hidden security guard named Melina Carniss who leads her away and accuses her of infiltrating the palace for the purpose of killing Jabba. Mara is embarrassed at having been captured and realizes that ?she?d been sloppy.?

    Mara breaks away from Melina and fights her way through a half-dozen Gamorrean guards, but Luke has already been taken to the Sail Barge when she returns to the main chamber. She begs Jabba to allow her to accompany him, but he refuses, offers her a landspeeder and tells her never to be seen there again. She didn?t pursue Luke because, to quote page 137, ?She couldn?t catch Skywalker?s skiff with a landspeeder, and she couldn?t fight all of them.?

    Again, she was humiliated because it was ?her first true failure since the Emperor had designated her his Hand,? and she vowed silently to find Luke in the future and kill him.[/blockquote]
    I think clarifying Mara?s motivation in SoH will help answer some of your questions. She had not yet received the ?last command? and had been sent to kill Luke because the Emperor found out that Vader had betrayed him on Bespin by proposing that Luke should join him to form an alliance against the Emperor.

    Mara communicated with the Emperor when she arrived in Jabba?s palace and promised him, ?I remember Bespin. Skywalker will die here.? That she believed Luke survived Bespin because Vader was weak proves just how deluded she was by old Palpy.

    As to why she didn?t know that Luke was Vader?s son, it was a plot point for Zahn in The Last Command: "Suddenly, finally, after all these years, the last elusive piece had fallen into place. The Emperor didn't want her to kill Skywalker for his own sake. It was, instead, one final act of vengeance against his father." It was a devastating realization for Mara and the catalyst that prompted her to start questioning her former beliefs.

    HTH!


    MistiWhitesun: I meant to mention this earlier, but I loved the Firebird Trilogy. :) And KT posted quite frequently in an older Mara Jade fan club thread while she was writing BP. ;)


     
  18. Benjor45

    Benjor45 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Thanks, Jedi Trace!

    Woah! My theory has been completely retconned! :_|

    Gahhhhh! [face_beatup]

    One small thing is that I think Mara should have been able to learn about Carniss' hidden security scheme and be ready for it. In her own words, "she?d been sloppy".

    What does HTH mean?

    Sorry for spamming, DarthSabe
     
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