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Differing Views on Characterization

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Jesina_Dreis, Feb 7, 2005.

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  1. Jesina_Dreis

    Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Because of a storyline I'm writing in one of my fics, and because of past storylines I've written, this has been on my mind....

    When you're reading a story and a character is written in a very different way than you picture that character to be, what do you do?
    When you're writing a story and someone voices strong disagreement with your characterization, what do you do?

    Examples:

    [ul] [li]The author writes a character into a relationship that you really disagree with/don't think is fitting[/li] [li]The author makes a character you think think is gentle and kind to be extremely cruel, hard-hearted, violent, etc.[/li] [li]The author turns a character who you see as virtuous into someone morally bankrupt[/li] [li]The author writes a character as dealing with depression/drinking/suicidal tendencies, etc, and you don't think it fits the character at all[/li] [li]Any other such situations[/li] [/ul]

    As Readers

    [ul] [li]Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?[/li] [li]Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?[/li] [li]Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?[/li] [li]Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?[/li] [li]Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?[/li] [/ul]

    As Writers

    [ul] [li]Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?[/li] [li]Would you defend your characterization?[/li] [li]Would you ignore criticisms?[/li] [li]Would you change/consider changing your characterization?[/li] [li]Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?[/li] [li]Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?[/li] [/ul]

    How many of you have found yourselves in this situation, as readers or as writers? I know that 'ships are a major point of contention, but what about the others? What types of characterization issues do you find yourself disagreeing on?

    Jes
     
  2. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Hummm, interesting questions.
    As Readers

    Would you stop reading? Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    If I disagree strongly with the characterizations, usually I stop reading it. Since characterization is probably the one thing that people feel most passionately about, why argue or even tell the author what you think they are missing? Arguing would do little good but only cause hard feelings. And it doesn't work anyway.
    However, before I stop reading entirely, I might ask questions about the character. I try and phrase them in such a way that it would not cause offence but might get the author to think about what they are doing. But if the author seems to be set on a certain course, I don't bother but just move on.

    As Writers
    Would you defend your characterization? Would you ignore criticisms?

    When I was less experienced and had fewer fics written, I argued about characterization - not because the readers thought I got it wrong but to get a more thorough understanding of why they disagreed. But it just caused hard feelings and it wasn't worth the problems.
    Now, if there were criticisms, I'd listen more closely to what the readers were saying and try not to be put off.

    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    As for changing the characterizations, I usually don't. That's because I think about them a great deal before I start the story and the characterizations are key to the plot. I do consider any criticisms, though, because I may have missed something.

    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?
    In some cases, my readers questions have led to certain scenes that would not have been in there otherwise but the characterizations remained the same. Other than that, I don't change things for my readers. Much as I love having readers, I am the one I must satisfy in plot, characterization and writing style. Hopefully, the readers would like them, too.

    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?
    It might make me pause if most of my readers disagreed with the characterization. In one case, the readers almost universally hated one of my characters, and initially I was quite unhappy about it, but then I realized that they didn't know the rest of the plot and all things would become clear in time. So I relaxed and stopped worrying about it.
     
  3. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Oy . . . the "canon" characterization wars . . . I think we've all been there.

    The author writes a character [in a manner that] that you really disagree with/don't think is fitting

    I'll generally stop reading, unless there's something else really compelling about the story. It makes a difference to me which character is "screwed up" and how prominent they are in the story. It annoys me when I read a story where Han is a hypersensitive wuss (where did *that* come from?) and I don't really get it when Padmé is written as a raging shrew, but, honestly, I don't read fanfic for characterizations of Han and Padmé. I'm a Jedi junkie. Do something bizarre with Obi-Wan when he's a central character, and I'm out of there--unless the story is a "What if they all took different paths?!" kind of AU.

    Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    No. I never offer negative feedback at all unless constructive criticism is requested. Who am I to tell someone else their perception of character X is "wrong," anyway? They obviously think my interpretation is wrong, otherwise they wouldn't write the way they do.

    Besides, whenever I start feeling defensive on the behalf of imaginary people, I tell myself I need to go outside and play or something. :p

    Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    Again, that depends on what else the story has to offer. I've read a lot of beautiful Ani/Padmé stories in which Obi-Wan is an idiotic jerk who seems too dumb to tell his left boot from his right, but so long as idiot!Obi-Wan doesn't show up often and doesn't have a major role, I'll just kind of mentally black him out and keep reading.

    (As a writer)

    Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?

    So long as the conversation remains civil and non-personal, yes.

    Would you defend your characterization?

    Well, I'd explain it. Sometimes I'm well aware that I'm pushing the limits of a canon characterization because the needs of the story require it, or just because I'm curious about what would happen if character X was in unfamiliar situation Y.

    Would you ignore criticisms?

    I've been known to do that too.

    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    It depends. If the other person convinced me that their version of the character had superior dramatic potential and would work with the story, then I might.

    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    Again, that depends. If my readers are all crying, "You're not going to spend an entire post describing every needle on a saguaro cactus *again,* are you?!" Then I might very well change my plan.

    If I've got one person who's screaming at me, "Hey, you can't have *him* fall in love with *her!*" even though my story is entitled, "The Story of How He Fell In Love With Her (A Romantic Story about Him and Her)," then no, I wouldn't change anything.

    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    In some cases, yes. I have been known to have dumb ideas. No, really! :eek: If my readers catch them and suggest something better, then well and good.
     
  4. Opal

    Opal Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Tricky question. If a character seems to be way off for no good reason, then I generally stop reading. I think you have to give AU's that explore different scenarios a bit of leeway in this department, however.

    Also, in the little bit that I've written I've noticed how some readers can interpret things in extremes. I used to walk on eggshells with everything that I wrote for fear that people would think this or that of the story, but I just wound up frustrated in the end.

    Now, I generally just try to have fun with it, and if people get the wrong impression just explain where it's going the best I can and not worry about it.
     
  5. CarrKicksDoor

    CarrKicksDoor Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 16, 2005
    As Readers

    * Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?


    I would stop reading in extreme cases. If a character I particularlly liked did something completely off the wall without a sufficiently believable explanation for that action, I probably would quit reading. Having a main character that is not normally evil be evil for no other sake then that you hate that character and wish they were evil...that I would not read. But if the character was doing something believable, and his actions were caused by something that's happened, I think that's good storytelling and I'd read it, as long as it didn't go completely overboard.

    * Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    Unless I was betaing, I probably wouldn't say anything. I have betaed fics before where I completely disagreed with what was going on and I said so--that's my job as a beta. As a reader however, I don't think I'd say anything.

    * Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?

    Again, probably not unless I was betaing. If it was something extremely disturbing, I might speak up, though.

    * Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?

    All in all, it's their story, not mine. I would expect them to listen and at least acknowledge my concerns, but it is their story and not mine, and they have a right to write their characters the way they see fit.

    * Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    Probably not. I'd just quit reading.


    As Writers

    * Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?


    No. Actually, the discussion in the thread allows others to build upon what the commenter has said, and that helps me to become a better writer.

    * Would you defend your characterization?

    If I thought I had a legitimate point, or if the reasons for the characterization were going to become clear later in the story, I probably would. If they're right, then I might reconsider.

    * Would you ignore criticisms?

    It would depend how the criticisms were phrased, probably. If it was really bothering someone, I would of course, try to change it.

    * Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    Unless I really thought I was going to sacrifice story integrity for it, I would.

    * Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    I might. I write as I go though, so nothing is set in stone when I post.

    * Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    Maybe. I'd like to think that I'd take even a single person's concerns into thought.
     
  6. AnakinsHeir

    AnakinsHeir Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    May 2, 2004
    As Readers


    Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?

    I'd stop reading in extreme cases where no explanation is given and it is not labeled an AU. If the AU is well written, then I'll believe their characters. A dark Obi-Wan? I can see that if I am also told how it came about.




    Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    We obviously have a difference of opinion. So why argue about that?


    Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?

    Nope, it's their story. If I don't like it I don't have to read it.


    Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?

    No.


    Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    I'd stop reading if I couldn't get past the character.


    As Writers


    Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?

    If they wrote to me and did it in a respectful manner, I am certainly open to discussion.


    Would you defend your characterization?

    I would try to explain my reasons, fully aware that they may still not agree with me. In which case they will stop reading.

    Would you ignore criticisms?

    It depends on how it is expressed.


    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    If I thought a valid argument had been made and I realized there was some dimension of the character I had not taken into account, then yes. I might.


    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    No.


    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    Obviously if most of my readers are like "What the heck is up with your Obi-Wan?" I might take a good hard look at it. If there's one reader who can't understand what I am trying to do, then no.


     
  7. Myri_Antilles

    Myri_Antilles Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2004
    As a reader...

    I'd probably only quit if the story was really, really bad... and the author probably wouldn't even realize I had been reading. I figure it's better to go with the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" rule. ;) Generally, though, I haven't found this problem around here. The vast majority of characters are written well. :)

    As a writer...

    If I had people complaining, I'd ask a good friend who was also reading what they thought. If they thought there's a problem, I'd work with it. But, if it's just one person complaining, then I'd probably just leave it alone. You can't please everyone. ;) You also have to look at why they're complaining. Is it just because they don't like the pairing? Or is it because Mara isn't likely to start wearing pink dresses and saying, "like, totally?" ;)
     
  8. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    Oy . . . the "canon" characterization wars . . . I think we've all been there. Ahh, ophelia is so right! LOL!

    As a reader:

    I would not continue to read the story. If it's a favorite character, it can be maddening when the world doesn't see them the same way and not worth the agrravation I can sometimes feel. I would not tell the author as it's amazing how people can see, hear, read the same thing and come away with different opinions... and everyone is entitled to their own and I wouldn't try to change someone elses mind any more then I'd expect someone to try and change mine. :D

    As a writer:


    For the same reason I wouldn't try and change someone from their characterization, I would not change for someone else. Simply express that I see them differently in as polite terms as I could, and that would be all the defending I think need be done.
     
  9. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    First off, I'll say that I will read just about anything, so long as it's well-written and engaging. Ships, weird characterisations - as long as it holds my attention, I'll try it.

    Then again, I'm easily distracted. :p


    As Readers

    Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?

    Hmmm. I'd say only in extreme cases. If something about it makes me feel uncomfortable or just completely disinterests me, then I'll stop.

    Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    I might ask few questions to the author in the thread about her/his characterisations, just to understand why the character is being portrayed in such a way. If it's someone I know, I'd probably say it right in the thread, just because I wouldn't be as worried about offending them. And if it sparked a debate, I'm sure they'd love the thread activity. :p

    Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?

    Probably not, unless I honestly felt that a particular change would bring about a better story, in which case I'd suggest it to the author.

    Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?

    Suggestions only go so far. It's that person's story in the end.

    Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    If I liked the actual plot, I'd keep reading, and maybe say a couple of things. If I didn't like that, I think I'd stop and not say anything.


    As Writers


    Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?

    Oh sure! Discussion is fun. But I'd also want to see discussion on the thread, because who knows what kind of ideas might come out of the things people say.

    Would you defend your characterization?

    Hell yeah. It's my interpretation, and I have a reason for making the character behave that way.

    Would you ignore criticisms?

    No. Unless I thought they were stupid ones. :p

    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    If someone offered me suggestions that would make the story better, I would at least think about it. But once you're well into a story, it's really hard to suddenly switch modes. If that person could also offer me a way to make that transition as smooth as possible, then I'd listen.

    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    If there was a request for a Leather Obi, I'm sure I could throw that in at random moments. :D I wouldn't write a certain way just to make readers happy, though. But I would try to keep them interested, even if they didn't entirely agree with my interpretations.

    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    Nope. :D

    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that people's interpretations of canon characters, be they EU-born or film-born, will be different. Some people see Luke as an utter Gary Stu, while others just adore him. And some do both. And then there are characters like Aalto [face_love] who get one line in the whole entire JA series (not that I'm annoyed or anything...). How would you characterise him off of that one line?

    I just try to be open, especially with ships. I personally don't see an Obidala working, but I'll read it if the author can convince me that there's something to explore. Same thing with K/J - I don't know that two such volatile personalities can co-exist like that, but I've read stories that have me completely convinced, and it's mostly due to character interpretation.

    Even interactions between non-ships, like Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. I don't think Qui-Gon would be completely distant from Obi-Wan, but I don't think he would be quite that affectionate. Still, if there's a good dynamic between them even with a cold or mushy Qui-Gon, I'll read it.

    The really interesting question is, would you argue over interpretation of an OC? 8-}
     
  10. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2002

    Interesting questions:

    Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?

    - I would stop reading pretty early on if I felt characterization was off.

    Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    - If it was a mild issue I might say that the character's actions surprised me, which I think is something that can be put in the thread. But in general, how an author wants to write a character is entirely up to him or her. Unless I'm the beta reader, I don't make suggestions.

    Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?

    - Nope, for the same reason above.

    Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?
    Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?


    - Again no and no for the above reasons.


    As Writers

    Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?


    - If a reader said s/he thought my characterisation was off, I might send a PM for clarification.

    Would you defend your characterization?

    - generally not, unless there was some strong criticism.

    Would you ignore criticisms?

    - Depends on what it is.

    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    - If only one person complained, no. If several people acted surprised by the characterization I would reconsider what I'd written.

    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    - Again, depends on the situation. I have adjusted story plots based on reader recommendations and suggestions.

    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    - Yes. One reader wouldn't hit my radar, but many readers (and also depends on who they are sometimes) would make me reassess what I was writing.

     
  11. Jedi_BMK

    Jedi_BMK Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2004
    As Readers

    Would you stop reading? Only in extreme cases?

    I've done it once or twice in the past. Generally, I can tell right away if the characterization is something I agree with. But every now and then, things shift dramatically, or something just plain bizarre tears me out of the story and I drop it.

    Would you tell the author that you disagree with what they're doing? In the thread? Via PM?

    Everyone is entitled to do what they want. It's their story and the readers' choice whether or not to read it.

    Would you try to convince the author to change what they're doing?

    No. The author has a right to see their vision through to the end. If they want to do something crazy with a character, no one is stopping them. I just don't want to hear complaints about losing readers afterward.

    Would you expect the author to change what they were doing?

    Absolutely not for the reasone already given.

    Would you continue to read and never voice your disagreement?

    I spend enough time on these boards without reading things I disagree with, so I'd just stop instead. I would probably check in from time to time to see if they changed directions, however.



    As Writers

    Would you discuss the point over PM/AIM/MSN/etc?

    If someone wanted to discuss a character with me, I'd be more than willing to do so as long as they're intelligent about it. I'll listen to their concerns, but the conversation will cease if they don't have a reasonable point or start sniping.

    Would you defend your characterization?

    To an extent, but at some point it boils down to a difference of opinion. I won't continue an argument that's going nowhere.

    Would you ignore criticisms?

    I would look at it and see if they had a point, but generally I'm just going to shrug it off as a difference of opinion.

    Would you change/consider changing your characterization?

    Highly doubtful. By the time my writing gets to the reader, I'm usually pretty locked in to a particular character arc. Any changes would require a pretty major rewrite. However, I may make a change in something else that I write later if someone brings up a valid point.

    Would you limit what you planned to do to tailor to your readers' wishes?

    I'd maybe tweak things here or there and maybe tack in a little extra scene, but the big picture isn't changing unless I realized a made a huge error in judgment. It's my story and no one is making them read it. At least I don't think it's required reading. :confused: :p

    Would the number of readers who agreed/disagreed make a difference to you?

    If I lost all my readers over it, then it would be a huge deal. If it's a minority, however, I'm not liable to back down. I'm stubborn like that.
     
  12. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    The really interesting question is, would you argue over interpretation of an OC?

    I noticed the silly face, JadeSolo, but I do think it is an interesting question. ;)

    If it's my OC, then yes. Well, "argue" is too strong a word, but I have had readers question an OC's action before based on their interpretation of the character. That usually leads to a rather interesting discussion where I'll explain my reasons for the character acting that way and the reader in turn tells me why they thought differently. The really cool thing is that I've learned things about my own OC's from my readers. Sometimes someone who isn't as immersed in the character as the creator is can see things more clearly (the forest for the trees).

    If it's someone else's OC, then it really depends on the author, how familiar I am with the OC, and what the OC does to make me question the characterization.

    After all, an OC is just an EU character who hasn't been published professionally and is not widely known by the SW community. In that way, they're not immune to different interpretations, no more so than someone like Corran Horn or Jacen Solo. The good part is that an OC's author is generally accessible for discussion while a profic EU author is not, and even that line blurs a little at times. One of the coolest things I ever got to do was privately talk to Aaron Allston at a convention for a few minutes about a characterization aspect of the Wraiths. At that point, it was just like talking to an author here about an OC (though admittedly more nerve-wracking on my part, in spite of Mr. Allston honestly being such a cool guy). :p The difference that makes his OC's "canon EU characters" is that he was paid by Lucasfilm to create them. Hopefully that made some amount of sense. :p

    As for characterization of canon characters, if it's a drastic shift from what I'm used to and I can't understand why, I'll stop reading, but I can't think of one story where that's happened. If it's minor or if I think I'm missing the reason for why the character is acting that way, I'll explain my confusion as politely as I can and see if the author can clear it up for me. I won't expect them to change because of my private interpretations--why should they?

    -Thumper
     
  13. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Well, "argue" is too strong a word, but I have had readers question an OC's action before based on their interpretation of the character. The really cool thing is that I've learned things about my own OC's from my readers. Sometimes someone who isn't as immersed in the character as the creator is can see things more clearly (the forest for the trees).

    Thumper, I've also found that to be true - that sometimes the reader sees something in an OC that I didn't pick up on and it's my character :p When that happens, I'm thrilled about it and try to incorporate it into the story.

    However, sometimes you can't explain a character's motivations too early in the fic because it may give away certain plot points down the road. That can prove to be quite frustrating because you can't really defend a character's actions at that point... All you can say to the reader is wait and see and that's not really a good answer.


    As an aside, I've also talked with Aaron Allston about his portrayals of Wes Janson and Wedge. It was really cool and he was very nice about all my questions. Mike Stackpole is also quite approachable and gave me some good tips about writing style and approaches.
     
  14. Jesina_Dreis

    Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    However, sometimes you can't explain a character's motivations too early in the fic because it may give away certain plot points down the road. That can prove to be quite frustrating because you can't really defend a character's actions at that point... All you can say to the reader is wait and see and that's not really a good answer.

    I've run into that, as well. Everyone hated my main OC in one of my stories, and I could NOT explain that she really wasn't evil, and that she had a reason for what she was doing, so I eventually gave up defending her.

    Problem now is people are starting to realize why she's doing what she's doing, and they still hate her. Not as much, though, which is good. ;)

    It's very interesting to me that most of you wouldn't change or limit what you were doing with a character. After a few people - granted, in my case I solicited their reactions to the direction I was headed in - expressed discomfort, I did limit the extent to which I was going to take it, though more out of respect for their views/comfort levels than out of a desire to keep my readers.

    Having done it, I don't recommend that course of action...it makes telling the story very difficult.


    Jes
     
  15. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Problem now is people are starting to realize why she's doing what she's doing, and they still hate her. Not as much, though, which is good.

    My readers finally accept my OC and actually like her - but it took a long time before they weren't all going to kill her. I had readers vying for the honor. :p So it may take a while...
     
  16. Jesina_Dreis

    Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Well, the fact that my OC wants to kill a canon character who is well-liked by most of my readers is probably not going to help her case.

    And the fact that that character is guilty of something that makes her want to kill him is going to be fun as far as characterization debates....

    I'm beginning to wonder if, subconsciously, I'm doing this to myself intentionally. ;)

    Jes
     
  17. Rowan_Jade

    Rowan_Jade Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Oh... *sigh* should I REALLY tackle this topic???

    You know I will :D

    As a reader:

    I read, a lot... most, of what's up here on the boards. There are two very important key words in the title of this board that a lot of people forget "FAN" and "FICTION", not professional , paid, licensed author... FAN, not truth, not reality, not cannon....FICTION. Yes, we all love our favorite characters. We all love Han's scruff, Leia's strength, Luke's 'farmboy' appeal. We also hate a bunch of the characters... (take note NJO authors). But isn't that the point? You can't have nothing but good guys in a story or it'd be pretty darn boring wouldn't it? There must be protagonists or there is no conflict, then how did the heros get to be heroes? To quote a certain favorite movie of mine "There is no light with out dark, no day with out night, no good with out evil."

    Would I ever stop reading a story because I didn't like what the author was doing with a character? HECK NO!!! There's probably a darn good reason that author is creating a conflict with cannon. Plot bunnies are vicious creatures and they make you bend to their will, no matter how painful it is.

    Come on people.... these authors are blessing us with something that Flannel Dude is no longer going to give us...more stories! Revel in the rush of knowing that there is always going to be someone else out there that loves this GFFA as much as you do! Take comfort in the fact that your characters are still going strong (except in Jes's stories) and their "history" is getting bigger by the minute. So flipping what if it's not cannon! Get over it or don't read the story, it's that simple.

    If a character is given a particular trait that is not what we all 'know' then why would that make the character any less than they were before? Do you really think that the paid authors don't get tired of making Luke so blasted squeeky clean? Don't you think that they would love to make him reach out and slap the heck out of Fey'Lya or sheesh, Mara? Wouldn't you LOVE to read that line? Don't you think that these characters are supposed to be people? Thay can't all be perfect. Look around you.... is anyone out there perfect? (no, I mean for real, silly, not just in your mind :D ) Sooner or later life has to give you the shaft so you deal with it. Some people make jokes, pull pranks and jump on their beds shouting "Yub Yub". Some people fall into chemical hazes. Some pick more drastic measures. Some people write fan fics....

    As an Author:

    Well.... I'd love to answer that, but I have no talent for writing.... so I read. I bask in the joy of knowing that there are other people that got all of the creative gifts I missed out on and they will be there to help me escape from reality for a little while, put a smile on my face, and make me think about the fact that my problems may not be THAT bad after all......

    So there ya go..... my opinion that no one wanted in the first place....

    Ro



     
  18. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    However, sometimes you can't explain a character's motivations too early in the fic because it may give away certain plot points down the road. That can prove to be quite frustrating because you can't really defend a character's actions at that point... All you can say to the reader is wait and see and that's not really a good answer. - Aha!! Now I'll always be watching authors for that wait&see. :D ;)
     
  19. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Rowan Of course we want your opinion! Readers are key! I liked what you had to say about reading the fics. Never apologize for being a reader. We need people like you to read our stuff. :D

    Besides, the authors are also readers but have much less time to read with all that writing going on.

    Leona LOL.
     
  20. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2002
    As a reader I am pretty easy going. I can accept a wide range of characterization for canon characters because I think that the movies are written and filmed in such a way that there are multiple possible motivations for things. So I myself have multiple possible interpretations for canon characters. How could I possibly insist then that someone else adhere to mine even if I give perhaps a wider choice of interpretations that I would accept as canon than perhaps the average reader might.

    When a characterization gets too far away from anything I can accept (which has been known to happen), as long as the story still has something going for it, my brain just assumes it is a story about a different person who just happens to have the same name as the canon character. Works for me. I get to read a lot of good stories that way.

    Now, a characterization that is so extreme it seems off to me in a story whose plot I find problematical or with characters that are not fleshed out enough... those stories I would give up on eventually. Though I have been known to keep reading to the end of a novel with a near continuous murmur of 'It has to get better. It got published. It has to get better.' running through my head. And I don't give up on fanfic a whole lot easier than I do on normally published works.

    As an author, the character interpretation is the character's fault. They talk to me and tell me what to write. It's not me saying 'I want to explore what it would have been like if Obi-Wan were a woman' it is Obi-Wan saying, 'Maybe I would have understood Ani better if I had been a woman. Can we try that?'

    OK, that might have been an extreme example. And for the record I don't think it would have helped at all, Obi-Wan. So chill.

    The point being that I have written tales with my own varying interpretations of the characters.

    If I were challenged about a characterization I would be perfectly willing to discuss motivations and so on but if it were going to go on a long time I would probably prefer to take it to PM instead of in the thread to avoid boring others. And it takes a lot to make me change a story I have started posting on but I do take comments to heart and I have changed characters because of people commenting on my characters. Mostly beta readers but I'll think about things due to anyone's and everyone's comments.

    I do appreciate comments that address all aspects of a fic, including characterization. Because even if I don't make a change (and I often wouldn't) it might spark a fic of it's own.

    KD
     
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