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illegitimate children: pointless or plot device?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Vongchild, Jul 27, 2004.

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  1. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2004
    I've been playing around with a few plot bunnies lately and I want to see if anyone else thinks that they can be used as major plot devices if the cards are played right. Of course, they could always end up like Random from Hitchhiker's Guide and be well... random, but...

    what do you all think?

    Oh, and I have a plot bunny somewhat related to this topic up for adoption, so PM me if you're interested
     
  2. Vampi_Digitalwytch

    Vampi_Digitalwytch Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 11, 2004
    If done well and plausibly, I say they can be a good plot device. However they are used so often rather poorly, some do cringe when they pop up.

    The best example I can think of comes from an Xmen literary group I'm in where I'm one of the moderators. It's rather common to have someone pop up as the child of Magneto, Mystique, Wolverine or Sabretooth, and once me and the owner sat down in IM and in a fit of boredom ended up calculating with ages from the current character submissions that essentially 15-20 years ago those four characters really weren't doing anything whatsoever other than bedhopping to rival Screamin' Jay Hawkins (for those who don't know, he was a musician from the 50s-60s who has been documented as having 75+kids all from one night stands during his touring days).

    As much as it's tempting to give a character a 'name' parent and explore the possibilities, I feel one should really sit and think about where they're going to go with it before they commit things to type.
     
  3. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Yeah, you have to do them right, I agree. I once did that with Harry Potter made-ups in an RP and determined that all the characters were somehow related and had to be twins, triplets, etc.

    The cards have to be played right.
     
  4. Katana_Geldar

    Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2003
    i always wondered if luke had an illegimate daughter with akanah, that would be possible i guess
     
  5. Kathryn

    Kathryn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 1, 2002
    *cautiously raises hand* I have an illegitmate child in my fic. I'm not sure, I guess that idea came from a few different things, really, mainly Anakin's death, in a way. If the NJO authors could killhim off, and Chewie, then maybe there were other boundaries that could be crossed. [face_devil]

    And most of all, I thought it was realistic, in a sense - not all relationships last, and not all children are planned for. In real life, the couple doesn't always get to ride of into the sunset, with a happy marriage first and a family second, and all that. Plus, I just thought it fit with my couple, their characters, their situations. And, it gives the child some interesting things to deal with as she gets older.

    I think it turned out OK, too. Or I hope so...

    *slinks away* ;)
     
  6. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Kathryn- which fic is that? maybe I'll read it.

    I think Lando could quite posibly have quite a few illegitimate children (mothers not important) running around.
     
  7. Kathryn

    Kathryn Jedi Padawan star 4

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    May 1, 2002

    Thanks! :D

    The "Full Circle" trilogy, part one is "Reflections" and part two is "One" ;)

    LOL, you know, if any of the characters had kids born out of wedlock, it would be Lando, I'm sure. :p

     
  8. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2000
    *raises hand* I have two illegitimate children, but in HP and LotR, not SW, stories. :p

    Like everyone else says, if played right, they can be good plot devices. However, if you get these annoying fan girl stories where, like, Legolas's illegitimate daughter named Kimberly pops up... [face_plain]
     
  9. NarundiJedi

    NarundiJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2001
    I've only had one illegitimate child in my stories, and she's the daughter of an OC. I don't see the point at which it becomes a plot device for a character to have a kid out of wedlock. Sure, like any unplanned pregancy, it adds a fair amount of shock and drama. If I got pregnant now, I'd be pretty shocked too! So how is that an exaggeration of reality?

    I think the problem might be canons having love children. If there are lots of Legobabies running around LotR, chances are a fangirl had a field day. ;) Score extra points if the fangirl's Mary Sue was the mother of all of them. :p

    But honestly, kids out of wedlock happen. Birth control isn't 100%, and the biggest cause of teen pregnancies is probably dumb kids who don't use protection. [face_plain] My cousin was one of those, and my OC was another. :p

    Jae O:)
     
  10. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Apr 5, 2000
    If there are lots of Legobabies running around LotR, chances are a fangirl had a field day. Score extra points if the fangirl's Mary Sue was the mother of all of them.

    LOL! Exactly. ;)
     
  11. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2004
    you get these annoying fangirl stories where Legolas's illegitimate daughter kimberly shows up

    LMAO!!!!! That would be like naming a star wars character Bob. Or Christopher. the second of which wouldn't exist in star wars because in star wars there's no jesus! *goes to live in star wars where the bible-toters won't try to convert her*

    and it's just plain annoying. *like those bible toters who try to convert me*
     
  12. Lady-Kenobi

    Lady-Kenobi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2003
    In "The End of It All?" Anakin has a illegitimate child with a woman that looks like Padme' (As everyone knows or doesn't, I'm a HUMONGOUS Obidala shipper.).

    In an untitled "Before the Saga" Siriwan, a teenage Siri and Obi-Wan fornicate to stay warm and she gets (As she says) "Knocked up".

    I will write a sequal to "TEoIA?" in which Aric Skywalker (now Lord Darth Vader) seeks revenge against Luke Kenobi.

    In "Untitled Siriwan" because of the children they fall in love.

    So in the world of Fan Fiction I say, illegitimate children are a plot device and not pointless.

    Thanks for letting an old woman rave.
     
  13. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    I'll raise my hand on this one. My story on the Beyond the Saga board features an illegitimate child. I think they have their uses if the writing is done properly.
     
  14. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Master star 5

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    Apr 2, 2004
    *loves obi-siri fics* what's the URL for "untitled Siriwan"?

    I'm debating with myself right now over whether or not a child born to parents who are together but not married because of the decline of society is illegitimate, as currently-unnamed-because-ficcy-has-not-been-continued-yet is in Towards Darkness.
     
  15. Lady-Kenobi

    Lady-Kenobi Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 5, 2003
    Haven't written it yet but when I do you'll get it!
     
  16. PadawanRoo

    PadawanRoo Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2003
    it depends-- are thety being written pointlessly or as a plot point?

    As people have said, there are illigitamte children in real life, and so it's plausible that they'd appear in the GFFA. Is it plausible that ten of them would appear in the GFFA as the child of the same celibate character? no, notsomuch. it's also implausible that they'd be the most powerful children in the universe with unusual eyecolors and perfect hair.

    But just because many Mary-Sues are illegitimate children doesn't mean that all illigitimate children are Mary-Sues.

    Done well, which is to say, done with a life and an internal monologue that contains more than just angst, a character's birth can add something to their characterization (good time to point out that parents being married can add something to one's characterization as well). It just sort of depends.

    I'd think a good guide would be: if the character is illigitimate because that's the only way to justify their existance, it's pointless. If the character is illigitimate because it's actually important to the story or because it developed out of their characterization, it's a plot device.
     
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