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FanFics: How do you come up with the basics!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Zedd-Vega, Jul 12, 2004.

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  1. Zedd-Vega

    Zedd-Vega Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2003
    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    -Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    -Do you make them young or old?

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    -Do you base the location off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    -Before the Saga? Like during the Exar Kun wars or the Old Republic?

    -During the Rise of the Empire? Starting with the Phantom Menace?

    -During the Rebellion? With Luke and the lack of Jedi?

    -Or during the New Jedi Order? Where the Yuuzhan Vong have started to invade?

    ------------------------------------------------------

    The reason for the questions is that I am going to be writing my very first FanFic and am curious on how other authors follow through with such ideas and questions that they may come across. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. :D
     
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Welcome aboard, Zedd! I'll first recommend reading the Writer's Guide and the FAQ... not only will it tell you the policies of these boards, it will also give you some writing tips. Also, read the "Forum Index" thread at the top of the page. It links to great discussions on plot/characterization/original characters vs. canon characters, etc., and may answer a lot of these questions.
     
  3. Zedd-Vega

    Zedd-Vega Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Thanks!

    I've read the writers guide and the FAQ. And I am aware of the policy about asking for help on these boards.

    I only made this thread to get an Authors point-of-view on these questions. I don't think thats against the Forum rules is it? If it is, I apologize for posting this thread.

    Thanks again, I will surely check around to see if I could find just a wee bit of inspiration for my FanFic. :D
     
  4. poor yorick

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

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Zedd-Vega wrote:

    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    My theory is that a character will be likeable to the extent that he or she struggles to overcome significant obstacles. The "obstacles" could be anything from trying to get to work on time to trying to win (or survive) a glactic civil war.

    Likeable characters can be any age, gender, species, or make and model (for droids), but they need to be courageous, ingenious, and persistent in working to solve their problems. It helps if they have integrity and truly believe in the object of their "quest," whatever that might be. This isn't to say that all characters have to be Richard the Lionheart; a character may have a very timid disposition but somehow work up the courage to tell her boss that she refuses to help conceal her company's accounting fraud.

    You can sometimes get around these requirements with minor characters, who can be comic relief or people the audience loves to hate. In general, however, people like characters who have a vision and who hustle.

    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    My characters are usually a combination of myself, people I know, and fictional characters, not necessarily in that order.

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    Well, since I'm a fanfic author, I can afford to borrow the real deal if I want to write a canon-like character. My OC's generally come from elsewhere--although I do sometimes write "made-to-order" original characters solely for the purpose of getting some kind of reaction out of a canon character.

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    In my case, the setting usually follows the plot--which I generally crib from somewhere else, because I'm really not a "plot author." ;) I've written two fanfic novels so far, and the first is based on Toni Morrison's "Beloved" and the second is based on Akira Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai."

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?

    I'm very fond of making up planets and cultures, but lots of good fanfic is written without doing these things.

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    I accept the movies as canon and ignore the EU . . . that may or may not make my fanfic universes "different," depending in your view of the matter. ;)

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    Generally during the saga, more specifically the prequel-era. I tried before the saga once, though.
     
  5. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    Do you mean OCs?

    -Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    No, but I have based a couple off of books.

    -Do you make them young or old?

    Young--the age of the Solo kids in the NJO

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    Most of the time, but with other OCs.

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    Mostly NJO AUs--stuff I would have done differntly, and I build on that.

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?

    No, I use already-made-up ones--like Mon Calamari, Coruscant and Corellia.

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    Sometimes I do stuff that is like that--NJO compliant, except Anakin Solo is alive. I'm also doing a really AU trilogy where Jaina gets kidnapped by bounty hunters when she's ten and gets her memory wiped.

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    NJO, or AU stuff that would be taking place during that time.

    I also found that the most-noticed OC I wrote was evil--she was Jaina Solo's long-lost cousin who was trying to steal her boyfriend.

    I have one recommendation if this is your first fic--use a beta. They can be helpful with grammar, spelling, and continuity as well as character developement. You can use the beta index or contact an author that you like and ask if he or she will beta. You might also want to ask the beta(s) that person uses, if they're mentioned.

    NYC
     
  6. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    You don't have to make original characters to write a good fanfic. You can use characters right out of the movies, or books. Whichever ones you like the best. Original characters and canon characters are both tricky to write. They each have their own merits.
     
  7. Zedd-Vega

    Zedd-Vega Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Well what about limit to characters? Do you have only a certain amount? Or do you add more main characters over time?

    Also, not to pry, but do you focus your characters more on the lightside or darkside of the force if they are force users?

    And do you make your characters Jedi? Or are they soldiers and explorers with no connection to the force?
     
  8. Jedi_Monk

    Jedi_Monk Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Most of my short stories, I wrote in Jedi Writers' Guild challenges, where the host would give a topic (such as 'write a story involving spies'), and then you were given an hour to write a story involving (though not always centered around) that topic. I have a store of possible character names (mostly typoes from chat-rooms, like where someone said 'cantian' instead of 'cantina'); I picked a name that I thought would fit the tone and mood of the subject, and then got to writing. I find this was an extremely good exersize--the ability to whip out a cohesive piece of writing in an hour has aided me immesurably since I started junior college :)

    The way I usually write... a jumping-off point comes first. Not necessarily an entire plot, but an idea of where my characters are--call it Act I. In choosing characters, be vague: I want a woman and a Jedi. In Act I, establish a short-range goal that will launch you in the right direction (Act I: A Jedi rescues a damsel in distress). Keep setting short-term goals... in this scene, I want a preliminary confrontation with the bad guy's number-one henchman; in this scene, I want my main character to reveal something about himself to this other character; in this scene, I want some trauma to bring these characters closer together... Act by act, build up your characters and move forward your plot.

    Remember: Character inform plot, and plot informs character. What I mean is: your character has to choose between two paths (will he save the girl and possibly die, or will he walk away?)--whichever path he chooses takes your plot off in another direction; in the same way, the events of the story will build layer upon layer onto the character (he's left the girl to die and saved himself--does this cut him up inside, or is he perfectly okay with it?).

    I usually have an end I want to get to, but I don't know how to get to it... sometimes, a delicious plot-twist offers itself that I can't resist, forcing me to reevaluate the direction of the piece. Sometimes characters take on a life of their own--hopefully, they will, as it will make your job a lot easier, because these type of characters have their own momentum that will keep you going, as well.

    Your enemy is writers' block--do anything to break through.
     
  9. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    If you have roleplay experience, try to look on fanfiction as a roleplay, in which you control everything and there are no other characters. You can do basically whatever you want in fanfiction. That's the entire point. You can have as many or as few characters as you want.

    But remember to stick to the rules. :)


    Dana
     
  10. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    In my case, I don't like to work with OCs all that much. I'm far too in love with Lukie to stray too far away from him. ;) But for you, remember that possibilities are limitless.

    There isn't a limit on how many characters to use, but you might want to remember that having too many is hard for both author and reader to keep up with.

    As for characters you create, the more layers the better. If your character is a Jedi, don't make him or her just a Jedi. Remember that he or she is a sentient being, and all sentient beings are complicated and layered. (Ogres are like onions, Donkey.) It's cool if we know that Alanna is a Jedi, but there are a lot of Jedi characters. Make her stand out from the crowd by telling us that she's a battle-hardened Rebel soldier who lost her family--and her eyesight-- to the Empire. Or maybe she's a battle-hardened Imperial soldier who was taught that Jedi powers are evil, and now has to cope with the fact that she has them herself.

    Or maybe she's not a soldier at all, but an innocent, with visions of the Jedi that are too perfect. When she learns that life isn't a fairy, tale, it'll be a lot more interesting because, like onions and ogres, your character has layers. ;)

    For any of you who didn't get the reference to onions, watch Shrek 2. ;)
     
  11. poor yorick

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

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Zedd-Vega wrote:

    Well what about limit to characters? Do you have only a certain amount? Or do you add more main characters over time?

    How many main characters I use depends on how long the fic is. For something under ten pages, I'd use one or two main characters. Something from ten to maybe fifty pages could comfortably support two, and a fic of over 50 pages could probably handle three.

    Usually I only have one or two main characters, although in the fic I'm working on now, there are four. 8-} It's long, though--it'll probably be over 250 pages when it's done.

    Also, not to pry, but do you focus your characters more on the lightside or darkside of the force if they are force users?

    I'm a lightsider. What can I say?

    And do you make your characters Jedi? Or are they soldiers and explorers with no connection to the force?

    My characters are generally Jedi, although currently I've got a Sith and a non-Jedi too.
     
  12. -Z-

    -Z- Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Hiya, Zedd!

    --Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    Not usually. If someone I know has a particular quirk or mannerism that I find amusing or endearing, however, that quirk might find its way into one of my characters.

    --Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    Never. Then they wouldn't be original.

    --Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    Again, in little bits. Usually it's after I've written a character that I re-read and notice that they remind me of a character from an old movie or show, and that's only occasionally. I once had a character named Lance Hendrikson and--imagine my surprise--saw the name Lance Henrikson in the credits after Aliens. Must have been a recessed memory that caused that name to pop in. (Hendrikson's still in some of my stories, only I just call him Hendrikson now)

    --Do you make them young or old?

    Usually young unless the situation calls for old. Some of my characters are middle-aged, but old age prohibits certain physical activities (unless someone is unusually spry), and I like action.

    --Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    Usually not. I have a lot of romantic tension in some of my stories, but there's almost no actual romance. I figure I'll save that genre for whenever it becomes applicable to my characters' development.

    --How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    This is a toughie. I toss around ideas in my brain. They all begin with "What if...?" and then I try to fill in the rest of the sentence with something totally random. If I have a funny thought or strike on something entertaining, I try to refine it and work with it.

    --Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?

    For some stories, where I need characters to have a lot of freedom (or where I need freedom to create unique situations) I'll make up a planet so no one can ever tell me "That planet couldn't have had that happen there, because..."

    --Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    My personal GFFA is surprisingly canon for someone who never uses canon characters in his stories. EDIT: I should say "almost never." Sometimes canons pop in for cameos. One-line shots here and there. I will on occasion create new ships, new weapons, or new gadgets for my characters to use, but I never take an aspect of the galaxy and change it.

    --Do you base the location off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    Not usually. Once in a while I'll take a plot from TV or the movies, twist it to my own ends, and use it.

    --What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    Original Trilogy. I'm old-school like that.

    --Before the Saga? Like during the Exar Kun wars or the Old Republic?

    I have a hankering to do a couple stories in this era, but I haven't yet.

    --During the Rise of the Empire? Starting with the Phantom Menace?

    Nah. If I did it would be about the untimely death of Jar-Jar Binks, though.

    --During the Rebellion? With Luke and the lack of Jedi?

    During the Rebellion, yes. My set of characters are Rebel to the core, and have been with the Alliance since near the very beginning. Not with Luke, though, and my stories are strangely Jedi-free. They may (and probably will) pop up in the future at some point.

    --Or during the New Jedi Order? Where the Yuuzhan Vong have started to invade?

    Not yet, and don't have any plans to at the moment.

    --Well what about limit to characters? Do you have only a certain amount? Or do you add more main characters over time?

    I have a core set of characters (six) that I use constantly. I'll switch the focus from story to story from one character to the next, and in the stories the six are paired in teams of two, so I could do a story with two of the pairs, or one of the pairs, or just one of the characters, or three of them, etc. Allows for a slightly different cast each time. I also add as many supporting characters as I can. It's a pet peeve of min
     
  13. kayladie97

    kayladie97 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Hi Zedd! I'm glad you're thinking about writing a fanfic. One thing I think we can all agree on is that you can never have too many SW stories. :)

    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    Well, as for me, I prefer to both read and write stories with canon characters, specifically Luke/Mara and Han/Leia. Although I also enjoy stories with Anakin/Padme, just not as much. So, no work in coming up with characters...GL did it for me! ;)

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    Well, if by setting, you mean location...again, I write canon stuff so I just use established SW locations. (Hoth, Yavin, Endor, Tatooine, etc.) But if you mean the story premise itself...well, I've written a couple of shorter stories (primarily romance-oriented) about the relationships between L/M and one about Luke/Vader.

    But my current story, Sleight of Hand is a multi-chaptered AU. I had been thinking about trying to write a SW story and began to wonder what would have happened if Palpatine had found Leia as a child and trained her as the Emperor's Hand instead of Mara, and it just grew from there.

    That story has action as well as romance in it, which is generally what I prefer to read also.

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    I write mostly in the Saga, especially the OT, but I read a lot of stuff in Beyond the Saga.

    Well what about limit to characters? Do you have only a certain amount? Or do you add more main characters over time?

    Also, not to pry, but do you focus your characters more on the lightside or darkside of the force if they are force users?

    And do you make your characters Jedi? Or are they soldiers and explorers with no connection to the force?


    This is all up to you! If you want your Force-user to be the baddest Sith in history, he can be. If you want your Force-user to be the noblest of Jedi, he can be! If you want him to be mostly Light, but somewhat conflicted, that's good, too. (I, for one, LOVE angsty stories.)

    As far as number of characters, it would probably be best to only have 2-4 main characters and some supporting characters, otherwise, it's too easy to confuse your readers.

    And there's no rule that a SW story has to have a Jedi in it...look at the many books about Han Solo, after all.

    In the end, you're only limited by your imagination (and the TOS, of course!) so get writing! :)



     
  14. Zedd-Vega

    Zedd-Vega Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Wow! Look at all this Masterly advice! I feel like a young padawan training in the ways of the force, and by the force I mean Authoring a FanFic! I greatly appreciate all of your comments and suggestions!

    What gender for a main character appeals to everyone? Male or Female?

    One last thing, how long does a FanFic have to be? Can it only be so long? Or can it continue on and on and still be appealing to readers?
     
  15. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    I don't think gender matters. We have enough of a diverse fanbase that either is fine. :)

    As for length, try not to make the story longer than you can handle and still be interested in the story. Also, you have to keep the readers' interest up. First and foremost, you have to keep them reading. I'd suggest starting out small and working your way up to a larger story.

    But there really isn't a set length on how long a story can be on here. It's however long you feel like making it. :)

    But I wouldn't suggest posting a story that consists of, "Once upon a time, the end." ;)


    Dana
     
  16. Vampi_Digitalwytch

    Vampi_Digitalwytch Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 11, 2004
    As far as the more general questions my answers are also what fits for me with other genre fanfic and original work.

    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    For me, they just happen. Many times a character'll just come across to me as only there to move the plot along and somehow they end up sparking with my readers.

    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    Not fully. I'll salt and pepper things from either those around me or from me with either bits of backhistory or in behaviour.

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    Only as far as the archetype of Jedi, Wookie, Smuggler..etc..

    -Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    I might see an image I like and bang off something just from the image alone without using anything from where that image came from.

    -Do you make them young or old?

    Mostly over 21 with some teens. I'm lousy at writing children characters.

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    If it happens as the story unfolds from my mind, great. If it doesn't, that's cool too. For some reason if I set out for one or the other, it just doesn't come across.

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?


    Sometimes. Depends on the story.

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    Once again, it depends on the story I'm trying to tell.

    -Do you base the location off of a television show or a movie you have seen?

    Depends. There's a few I'd love to use, but so far the right story for them's not come to mind.

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    -Before the Saga? Like during the Exar Kun wars or the Old Republic?


    So far I've got a few stories in progress during this era simply because not much is known and there's so much open space to run amok in.

    -During the Rise of the Empire? Starting with the Phantom Menace?

    This era's the most comfortable for me, why I don't know.

    -During the Rebellion? With Luke and the lack of Jedi?

    I've been tempted to try a fic during this era, but I keep getting the feeling I'm going to flub it miserably.

    -Or during the New Jedi Order? Where the Yuuzhan Vong have started to invade?

    I'm not all that familiar with this era, but from what I've read of other fics, I'm definitely intrigued.
     
  17. CrystalKenobi

    CrystalKenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2003
    For me lots of things influence what I want to write about.

    Sometimes its a book, an old movie, a television show, a song or just life in general and sometimes I its little things from a combination of these items. For example my songfic My Valentine, was one it was valentine's day, 2 the song called my valentine, and 3.life in general because the war going on.

    For my OC character in my stories, I used a little of me, some books, and several television shows to come up with her. There is a little of Scarecrow and Mrs King, a little Hart to Hart, eventually a little West Wing and Law and Order and the idea for her being a judge came from a couple of old romance novels I read years ago where a woman was a judge and fell in love with a man who was not one to show his emotions and really didn't belive in love very much mostly because he has been hurt by love so much and has seen how it hurts to love. This is just an example of how I come up with a character.


    For time period, I have always liked the old historical times of waltzes, old world charm etc and the Saga time reminds me a lot of the old world. So I guess thats whey I choose the Saga for my writing at this point.

    As for age, I like to write/and read characters at various stages of life. One of my stories in the works is Old Ben reflecting many years later on his life and his 3 wives. Sometimes I do find myself keeping my characters young however more than may be realismble. When I say young I don't mean like picking a age and staying with it, but more like I just don't want to see them get old and die. I think at some point we all might go thru that its just the human nature.

    RE: Canon Characters, I like to use canon characters in writing and I like to read them but I do like AU also.

    HOpe some of this helps.
     
  18. Mjsullivan

    Mjsullivan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2003
    So many things can influence a character.

    If you can draw, sketching your characters can really help to give you an idea of what they are like. In my own fics, the entire character of Eva Pah'ker came about from a single drawing of a red Twi'lek in an action pose. The mannerisms of Clip Argentsson came about from an initial description, and the subsequent finding of a photo of someone remarkably similar to that description. So, point one: Visualisations are great tools!

    I know it's goofy, but if you imagine that you are that character for a while, and imagine what they say, think, walk like, talk like, etc. then writing them can become second nature. Imagine you've been cast to play your own OC's part in a film adaption of your story. How would you do it? Hopefully, this can help you develop a realistic, consistent character.


    As for setting, I think this can only come about after you've decided on your plot. Decide what you want to happen, and then decide where it happens.


    And whatever you do, make sure your plot is well figured out before you start writing! know what is happening, what has happened, and what is going to happen - it's the only proper way to write!


    And finally, make sure you Do whatever seems right to you (which YES, does mean you can ignore most or all of this advice!). Have fun with your first fic - and the best of luck with the writing!
     
  19. spiritgurl

    spiritgurl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2003
    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    -Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen?



    I would say a bit of all of these are involved. I can't really say I lean more towards one or the other.

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    Romances are quite popular, and yes my story has aspects of a Romance story but the characters aren't based off of that alone and I certainly don't think that's what makes the characters or the story popular or memorable (if it is :p ) it's the way the characters are presented themselves. I think relatability is important. In other words, the reader should on some level be able to relate to the character in some way - either seeing some of him/herself in the character or someone they know. I think that helps make the reader feel a bit more invested in the story and really want to know how things turn out for that character.

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    A bit of both, if something in the regular universe isn't going to work for the story then I start making stuff up. ;)



    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    -During the Rise of the Empire? Starting with the Phantom Menace?

    that's the time period my fic is in currently. I'm hoping if I ever get to finish it, it will stretch from just prior to PM to just prior to ANH. I have ideas for a fic saga that would take place after ROTJ as well but I'm not sure if/when I'll ever get to that.


    sg



     
  20. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo

    CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 1, 2000
    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    [blockquote]Most of my characters come from the Role Playing Games I play in. They usually start out as cardboard cutouts in that and eventually develop into characters people like or dislike. Usually when they have been developed in the RPG world, I take them out and start writing them into stories.

    Other times I base them off of myself or other people I know. Rarely do I copy or base off of someone elses character.[/blockquote]

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    [blockquote]Occasionally I'll create my own location such as a whole new star system, but most of the time I just pick a known location and add my own little stuff (especially if there is very little knowledge on that location to begin with). Most of the time when I do create a whole new system its when I have created a whole new species and they need a home.[/blockquote]

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    [blockquote]I prefer to play in the time-line between the two trilogies and the Rebellion Era. I think its the only part of the Expanded Universe that has very little material written on it and thus a lot more freedom in what I can write. Plus I know there are a lot of people out there starving for Imperial fan fics. ;) The only other era I will occasionally dabble into is the New Republic Era, before NJO.

    I try to avoid writing anything that has to do with the Jedi or the Force mostly because there is a flash-flood of these fan fics already and I dont like to jump on the band wagon. Occasionally I'll write a fan fic that has my own characters deal with the Force but are not Jedi or Sith or even have the potential to become either one. The Force does make an excellent plot device every now and then but it can get boring. I prefer to come up with original stuff and avoid using the main characters as much as possible (again there is enough material on them to fill the Grand Canyon!).

    When I come up with my own plots they usually start out in my mind as a small scene, most of the time inspired by a book I've read or a movie I have seen. Other times it is just something that pops up out of nowhere and bites me really hard. The small scene eventually becomes fleshed out into a more broader plot line and once I have that I start detailing each point out on to paper or in WORDPAD as an outline. I find having an outline helps a great deal in writing a story. Sometimes I can write a story without an outline, especially if it is a simple plot. I dont always follow the outline to the letter though, mostly because I find something better to write than what I had original conceived.[/blockquote]
     
  21. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life? SOme of my OCs, yes. I have a recurring character named Ti Nan who's based largely off of my friend Angelique, but has a lot of me in there.

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe? All of my canon characters I try to do off of the movies, but if I have to write them in more unfamiliar situations, I base their characterizations off of people I know or ideas I have about what they would do when faced with this.

    -Do you base them off of a television show or a movie you have seen? Never

    -Do you make them young or old? Depends on the effect I need to have

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character? Usually yes. Love love changes everything, days are longer, words mean more, love love changes everything, pain is deeper than before!

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic? I decide on the plot, then work out the details.

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to? sometimes

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks? Yes

    -Do you base the location off of a television show or a movie you have seen? No

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic? The Saga or post-Endor.

    -Before the Saga? Like during the Exar Kun wars or the Old Republic? Um, I do before the saga but things more immediately before, not prehistoric.

    -During the Rise of the Empire? Starting with the Phantom Menace? Definitely do that.

    -During the Rebellion? With Luke and the lack of Jedi? What is my obsession? The Saga!

    -Or during the New Jedi Order? Where the Yuuzhan Vong have started to invade? NEVER
     
  22. DarkDroid

    DarkDroid Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2004
    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    My characters just pop up in my head. I have a healthy mix of normal, doesn't-take-much-to-imagine characters and a bizzare, what-the-hell-was-I-thinking characters (to further enforce this, check out my latest villian profile in the villian thread). Usually, they're all inspired by movies and books (noteably Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc..). Sometimes you have to be adventureous and use trial and error to see if your characters are well written or not.

    Also I peferably use aliens that had been under-developed and ill-used (in my opinion and for example, the Yevetha... who were brutally and quickly dealt with in the NJO in just a couple of pages. [face_frustrated]).

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    Where my characters go, I'll go, simply put. I put my characters in the most perilous or boring places (from a damp, dirty prison cell on N'zoth to a raging battle on New Coruscant).

    What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    I go for the time-frame that gives you limitless options; Far Future. I'm the adventureous type, so I guess that's why I mainly write in that era, because it's the most challenging. You have to introduce readers to a whole new Galaxy (or maybe not, if you decide to use the "character travels in time" cliche, which I have nothing against at all). In fact, I'm writing not only one story in the far future, but an entire series...

    Everyone is welcome to call me crazy now... :p
     
  23. jedi_keladry

    jedi_keladry Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2004
    -Do you go by people you meet or know in your life?

    With my OCs, it depends. I don't match the personality of my stubborn, charming cousin with the physical appearance of said cousin. Said cousin would clobber me. [face_beatup] I come up with personality traits that I think are important for the character to have, good and bad (no Mary Sues or Gary Stus). Then I choose an existing person (usually a celebrity - actors, musicians, even newscasters) who I shamelessly use as a physical model. (Though I've used myself a few times for the physical thing, so whenever you read about a kinda cute, curvy, blue-eyed brunette with a dimple on one cheek and a lopsided smile, c'est moi.)

    But there's also a lot of me in everyone, Canon and OC. I do my damnedest to make sure Luke says what Luke would say, but since I'm creating it in that particular story, it's me talking, too.

    (Gettin' a little existential here...)

    -Do you base them off of canon characters from the Star Wars universe?

    I write morely about established SW characters, but when I do write OCs, they are most definitely their own people. (Except when I used a fictional character - a lady knight in a fantasy world - as a model for a Jedi Master in one story...)

    -Do you make them fall in love with another character?

    Romances are my speciality, though I'm trying to branch out. [face_love]

    -How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    -Do you make up a planet for the main character to reside on or travel to?


    Depends on what I need. I rarely go to a planet or city or place that hasn't been already established by George or a professional EU author. No point, really, 'cause there's such a variety already.

    -Do you use the regular universe with maybe a few different quirks?

    As I was writing my first finished multi-chapter fic, I didn't know how the system at the Jedi Temple worked, with padawans being chosen by thirteen years of age or not at all, how it's the rejects that go off to be farmers and healers, that kind of thing. So I created a Jedi Master Healer who had a Padawan. Their Force talents were for healing, though the Master was poetry with a lightsaber in her hand.

    -What time-frame do you normally use for your FanFic?

    I know nothing about the KotOR or the Yuuzhan Vong, and very little even about the New Republic. I stick to the six movies, and the thirty-five-odd years they encompass. There's enough potential for adventure there. [face_dancing] Especially since I don't have a whole lot of time to write...

    Well what about limit to characters? Do you have only a certain amount? Or do you add more main characters over time?

    *Keladry counts on her fingers...and toes...and starts on her cats' paws...*

    Just kidding.

    For a vignette, two or three characters may be enough. For my twenty-seven chapter fic that I mentioned earlier, I had two principals, seven or eight supporters who had at least two scenes each, and about a half-dozen other people with walk-on parts.

    Also, do you focus your characters more on the lightside or darkside of the force if they are force users?

    Depends on the story. I root for the good guys, I write about the good guys, I am desperate for the body of one of the good guys =P~ , but if there's a Jedi in the story, even when it's a romance, there really needs to be an enemy to create some tension and fuel the movement in the story. Even if that enemy is just time.

    And do you make your characters Jedi? Or are they soldiers and explorers with no connection to the force?

    Not always. It depends on what the story needs. There's no point in making the Skywalker twins' nanny a Jedi when an ensign from the Alderaanian military works just fine, since she's a spy and a nanny. :p

    As always, when it comes to my opinions and techniques, they are just my opinions and techniques. Take 'em or leave 'em. [face_whistling]

    I dig your Jedi Philosophy, Dude. [face_thinking]
     
  24. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    I just...do. ;)
     
  25. Kartanym

    Kartanym Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    May 23, 2002
    I'll make this short and to the point:

    How do you come up with memorable or popular characters for a FanFic?

    I always try and make each original character different then the last. I might take a range of types from differnet areas, whether it be based on someone i know in real life, a character i've read in another story, or something completly different. But I always make sure that the characters I do create fit into the universe they were made for.

    Sometimes I might use a little of me in a character. My sense of humor for one.

    How do you come up with a setting for the FanFic?

    Whatever might come to mind at the time. At the moment I mainly work around the saga era, though that doesn't mean i won't branch out to other areas. I like being original, so as i mentioned with characters, i like each story i make to be different then the last, at least in some way. Maybe a different setting, different genre (action, humor, love story, etc.).
     
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