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Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin , Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    #empiredidnothingwrong

    This actually reminds me of a really interesting video I watched on Passengers (minor language warning, but it isn't horrible - plus you don't need to have seen the movie to understand what he's talking about). Basically when you shift the POV from Chris Pratt's character to Jennifer Lawrence's, all of a sudden Pratt's funny, sympathetic protagonist becomes a really creepy antagonist and could have become an outright "villain".

    Not really an "unreliable narrator" (but in this situation Pratt's character becomes sort of an unreliable source for story information), but it does show how narration choices, even in movies where the narration is a bit different than in prose, can make a huge difference in how characters or events are viewed.

    Then there is the infamous "The Death Star was an Inside Job" as an example of how selective facts can dramatically change how a story is told.

    I personally haven't used any of these techniques - but it might make for a really fun challenge.
     
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  2. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    I utilise some asides from the West End Games' Imperial Sourcebook.

    First, that the Empire keeps the young fanatics of COMPNOR (Commission for the Preservation of the New Order) oblivious to the more questionable antics of the Empire, thus I was able to write my pair of Imperial Security Bureau agents as heroes, despite them working for the Empire.

    Also, this idea of "Imperial infalliibility" being pushed by one aspect of the Imperial infrastructure. I have only alluded slightly to this, but my female V-Wing pilot, framed as a Rebel terrorist by her peers; I have helped along her adoption by my Twi'lek, by having her natural parents buy into this infallibility business. If the Empire says their daughter is a traitor, they believe it wholeheartedly.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  3. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    I am troubled by this "atrocity" committing Empire. It's made out to be that Empire knows only to enslave, only to kill innocents, only to shoot badly. I refuse to believe all Imperials were like that. It's basically rebel propaganda at work. Does rebels tell you Empire did help its people in need? No because the rebel news only told bad things regarding Empire. Good things the Empire did were never broadcast by the rebels. Were things such as destroying Alderaan a mistake? Yes, in hindsight. Did all the Imperials on station deserved to die because they were trying to destroy rebel base? Debatable, but I'll try to give it to the rebels. Did every single person who served in the Empire simply because they were Imperials? NO!

    More fanfic related. I find myself writing evil Imperials and good NR because it's easier. HELP!
     
  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I like my Imperials evil myself, but I do try to think of most of them as simply blind, with an "end justifies the means" attitude, exaggerated by the non-humanist bias of the Emperor that has been instilled in them. It's like a bullying thing... the need to feel better and superior to everyone else, and to prove it. Serving in the Imperial forces automatically means you're superior to everyone else and everyone beneath you needs to treat you that way. And remember, too, the head of the Empire is a Sith Lord. Pain, fear, grief, anger, all of these things feed the power of the Dark Side and it is in his interest to foment these in the Galaxy. Chaos and disorder, ruthlessly crushed by his troops, reassures many that the troops are a good thing AND the fear generated should (theoretically) keep everyone else in line (Tarkin doctrine).

    You said you'd been influenced by Lost Stars, and Claudia Gray was trying to make Ciena Ree a sympathetic character, since she IS the heroine...a kinder, gentler character. But look at the other things the Empire does in the novel.
    The hijinks BY THE ACADEMY with the sabotage project to split up the friendship of Thane and Ciena. Their arrest of Ciena's mom. The way Nash Windrider is taught to blame his own people for their destruction by the Death Star. And frankly, Ciena is more upset by the destruction of the Death Star and her friends on it than she is by the destruction of Alderaan and the billions of innocents...babies, children. For all Claudia's argument that Ciena was taught to value loyalty above all else (like some other fanatical killer armies IRL), she never for one second questions the collateral damage.

    I know some people are apologists for the death star ("think of the civilian contractors!"), but frankly, it was a fairly top-secret and brand new weapon. I don't believe for a moment that they entrusted this to civilians. Even Galen Erson was pulled back into the military, against his will. As for the cafeteria workers and cleaners, that's what droids are for. So I don't have a problem with keeping the Empire evil...or at least willfully unaware.

    But, for your own exercise... why not write something short, and make your protagonist an Imperial? You can still make him/her evil if you want, but you'll be forced to examine the character's justifications for what they are doing and why they carry out these orders. Or make them more gray...they are carrying out orders to do terrible things, and starting to question why things have to be done that way.
     
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    On both topics -- content warnings. I appreciate these so that if it's something that will draw me in versus keep me out I'd like to know ahead of time instead of feeling blind-sided. As to unreliable narrators, never used them. Of course if the reader ealizes the narrator is prone to exaggerating but that's part of the character's personality it fits with the story in ieu of he/she is supposed to come across as honest but you can tell he/he isn't. :p
     
  6. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
    Content warnings: You mean you want them on the thread titles?
    Concern is Space, After writing the title, update schedule, latest chapter, latest update date, there are like 10 characters space you can write content warning.

    If we write content warnings in the story themselves, maybe near the info or the disclaimers, you already ciicked into the thread.

    I believe if one were to write in first person, then it's virtually impossible to figure out that the narrator I is a lying piece of unreliable narrator. Unless you write an Imperial who was doing all the good deed when you are biased and know that there are no "good" imperials. Same with "evil" rebel when you know rebels are "good".
     
  7. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    The Empire was led by a Sith Lord. Why WOULD it do anything good?
     
  8. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
    yeah huge minus for the Empire there. Not being sarcastic. It was a real minus.

    My hope is that after the Emperor was dead at Endor, the rebels should have negotiated a peace treaty immediately. Instead they went on fighting the what was honestly the Imperial remnant. If a new Emperor was proclaimed and the Tarkin doctrine kept going under official sanction things would be different but the Empeor was dead why keep fighting?
     
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Agree with Sith-I-5 -- even those Imperials whom you might think had a conscience and/or scruples squashed those or learned to hide them until the small voice that niggled was silent on "Blind obedience and loyalty"= genocide. [face_thinking] And MartyAvidianus raises a great point. And why was there even a few individuals that were in the government of the NR who were rabid Empire fans? :rolleyes: Talking about the blooming looney Centerists. :p I could understand glorifying the "good old bad days" a generation or two later, if then, but so soon?
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  10. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
    those were probably the original imperial defectors such as Thane Kyrell and Kendy Idele. They wanted to destroy the Empire because they thought the status quo government sucked. Only to realize later meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    edit that is to say maybe there are no more slavery, but other stuff were worse off. Maybe even reverse d against male and non aliens. maybe stuff like "hey these things would never happen under the Empire"

    edit: we are getting kind of out of topic for a scribble pad.

    So, did you ever go out of your way to make the NR good or the Empire bad?
     
  11. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Well you would 't go out of your way to make the Empire bad.

    Just as you wouldn't go out of your way to make ice cream cold.

    All things being equal, they just are.

    Besides, Imperials who were good, changed sides, such as General Madine.

    And didn't the Imperial Navy complain that all the Rebel Nebulon-Bs that they shot up, were Imperial ones that defected?
     
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  12. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
    And didn't the Imperial Navy complain that all the Rebel Nebulon-Bs that they shot up, were Imperial ones that defected?

    *face desk*

    oh no. sigh.

    this is tongue in cheek, but here you go



    maybe someone can write a fanfic (reverse AU?)
     
  13. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Not me.

    My reliance on logic would require the Death Star crew pulverised against the bulkheads during that evasion.

    Anti-concussion fields can only go so far. :p
     
  14. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
  15. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Some Imperials could have been too afraid to leave or only joined to pay the bills. My Mom gave three years of her life to the US Army to help pay for college who's to say that some of those stormtroopers or lower ranked officers weren't trying to get an education, work for a couple years and then get a job someplace else? Others could have turned a blind eye to the evils of the Empire by looking at the good the Empire had done (real and perceived) and viewed the Rebels as either terrorists or blind idealists that worshiped a corrupt government that stopped caring about a majority of its citizens long ago.

    And if you go by Canon they have said that Saw Gerrera is more or less a terrorist and, IMO, at times the Ghost Crew acted more like terrorists than freedom fighters, fire fights in the streets, speeder chases, flying a TIE Fighter through a street and hijacking a AT-DP in such a way citizens were fired upon.

    Yes there were plenty of glory hounds and people in the Imperial Military because they wanted power or something and there are bad apples everywhere.
     
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  16. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    okay in the fic I'm writing, there's an OC that is in a fight for her life, I don't know if she will survive. So I'm going to row a 21 faced dice.
    It end up even numbers, she survives. Odd she dies.
    Here goes

    :(
    TT
     
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  17. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    [face_skull]

    I've flipped coins to decide fates of characters.


    I'm currently bagging my head against a table for my Disney quote. I love the quote I got and it perfectly fits an OC of mine, but I don't know how to use the quote without basically re-writing her origin story (which I don't want to do, because I have two other epics to work on). So I might have to flip a coin to see if I should just abandon the idea and use the quote in a totally new context with other (probably established) characters, or if I should try something different (for a 4th time) with my OC.


    Edit: which might be an interesting topic. What do you do when you are just stuck - not really "writer's block stuck" because you have ideas - but stuck between to options (IE does this character live or die?) or stuck trying to figure out what idea to go with for a challenge.



    For me, if I am stuck between two choices (IE should this character live or die), I'll "write" both options out in my head and see which one is more entertaining to me. Or if I like both, I'll just flip a coin - that can make for some interesting writing exercises too.

    For challenges, I'll often get a number of ideas and write whatever one I like the best, but if I get stuck (like I am now), I will pick the idea that is the furthest away from my original attempt(s) and try that. For example, for the "50 titles" challenge we had last year, I had an idea for a Poe Dameron spy/mystery fic, which I started to write and really love, but I just didn't have the ability to write it as well as I wanted to (plot holes were galore) which really discouraged me (though I do intend to one day go back to try to fix it). I still wanted to participate in the challenge, so I brainstormed some other ideas and went with the one that I liked that was the farthest from what I had originally started.
     
  18. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    1)There was no one to negotiate with. They could have gotten the surrenders of the individual commanders, but only the head of the government can authorize a surrender/peace treaty, and it's not clear who the Emperor's successor was. Frankly, he doesn't seem the type to pick someone to take over in case something happened to him; he'd never admit to such fallibility and he likes playing people off against each other...keeping the Moffs jockeying for power is more his style.

    And 2)The Core was still very much in Imperial hands, and while there were heavy losses among the fleet, they still seemed to have a strong military capability. Also, while Luke could confirm to the Alliance that both Palpatine and Vader were dead, it's unclear how quickly that news spread through the Empire. And once it did, again, the confusion over the succession leads to a lot of power struggles and warlords (see: EU under Bantam) until one rises to the top and is able to claim authority. I don't see the Remnant rolling over when they still had the chance to fight back. If the enemy is still coming at you, you're sort of stuck fighting them. So, no surrender at Endor, although I'm sure Mon Motha and the rest would have been thrilled if it could have been done.

    I had an epiphany: MartyAvidianus, you need to read Death Star by Michael Reeves and Steve Perry (2007). I know some fans hate it, thinks it's boring, too much talking, not enough starship battles and lightsaber clashes. But it's actually a really interesting character study, a look at the day-to-day lives of the people serving on the Death Star. It takes place just before and during ANH, and the authors essentially looked at the guys walking around in the background of ANH and wondered what they did and how they felt about their jobs. There's a doctor, called on to treat Leia after she's been tortured, a TIE fighter pilot, a Stormtrooper sent to settle some sort of disturbance on the dentention levels, the gunnery sergeant who pulls the trigger to blow up Alderaan... none of them are red-eyed monsters who kick puppies. It might give you some ideas on how to portray Imperials.

    I'm having a problem with my quote, too... it's a great quote, so many possibilities, but I just can't decide who to give it to.

    Usually, when I'm stuck, I do two things: 1) I write up something and put it in a file, figuring I'll come back to it, or 2) I try to think through it logically. "If SuzyQ does THIS, what would be the logical outcome?"

    I sat in on a few writing panels at Celebration, and one was about plots. One of the questions was, "what if your plot isn't working?" The answer was that each event should logically flow as an outcome of a previous event. If the plot isn't working, you need to backtrack to the spot before it stopped working and try a different outcome. I found my notes, that's from Delilah Dawson's panel "Start with a Bang." Good panel.

    And Jason Fry, was asked about what to do if you're stuck. He said that not to think of your writing as "art," think of it as entertaining. In fact (tying in to the OC death theme) he said, specifically, "DON'T BE AFRAID TO KILL YOUR BABIES!" Which meant, if it isn't working, delete it, no matter how much you love it. If you absolutely can't bear to delete it, save a copy as Version 1, and delete what needs to be deleted and save the next copy as Version 2. I've got 3 copies of my Calrissian story, at the moment, because the first two weren't going in the right direction. That was a really good panel, too; he was very funny.

    I think, for me, the big thing is, put it on a page and in a save file, have several save files with different approaches, and one of them will eventually work. The rest, maybe, become fodder for something else. And if something is dead stalled, I just work on something else until I figure it out. I usually have 3-4 things on the stove at once...
     
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  19. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    This is one of my biggest problems in writing. If I have two ideas for one character and one doesn't jump out at me as a better way than the other, I usually freeze and this is where I get stuck. Once I get stuck, I get frustrated and then I procrastinate on it so that I don't feel frustrated.

    Come to think of it, this is what happens to just about all of my longer endeavors. I try to work it out in my head which may be the better way, but it usually doesn't work. Maybe I should actually write it out and see what happens. I don't know that I've ever tried that before.
     
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  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I'm glad I'm not the only one stuck with too many ideas :p

    With my current problem, it is not the plot, it is how can I do justice to this pretty impactful quote, without retelling the OC's origin story. I think I have to kill my baby (killing characters is one thing, but it is hard for me to kill an idea). But as my dad used to say,"Art is like a fart: don't force it or you'll just poo your pants". Which basically amounts to "if something just isn't working, move on, do something else", and I think that is important to do when it comes to writing challenges. If a challenge inspires an idea, but that idea isn't working with the challenge (or if you don't want to devote a 25,000 word fic to the idea anytime in the near future), save the idea, but try something else for the challenge. Sometimes it can be fun to do something that isn't the first thing your muse latched onto.
     
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  21. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    I am paralysed with all the challenges. OTP, Fanon Thread, two others.

    I tried rolling the dice on here, selected something, but have not started any of them.

    Continued with the drabbles instead.
     
  22. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Ha, that's how I got my Celtic Challenge! It was about the third idea I had...

    No, I agree. If it isn't working, I shelve it, but I try to at least write down a paragraph or something somewhere describing it, and save it, so I don't forget it. That way, when I'm REALLY stuck, I have a bunch of stuff to look at and pick over for new ideas.
     
  23. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2007
    I'm finished my quote but my sister hasn't beta'd it yet.

    II don't have a problem killing characters. I decide when I start/create them what their fate is and if they were created to die than they will die.
     
  24. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    And in the topic of killing OCs, I am not sure whether I should kill one of my OCs either. On the other hand, having him heroically go down in battle against the enemy to deveating whom he dedicated almost all of his life wraps his story up nicely.

    On the other hand, it just seems too simple and overused to me. I've observed that trope where the characters who are more traumatized, and would have had less ability to readjust themselves in a peaceful world( Darth Vader and Severus Snape come to mind) always sacrifice themselves or by whatever means go down so they don't have to experience a miserable life afterwards.

    But what if one such character actually survived? The purpose that he made a point of his life is fullfilled, but there's nothing to move on to or to live for. How do they cope with having nothing to live for after they've sacrificed all their life to fight evil? And how do they cope with all the psychological trauma they've had in the process? I think that might add more gloominess, giving less of a straight up happy ending and more of a bittersweet ending.

    What should I do? Just kill him of and wrap up his story like that, or let him live and make a less cliche ending? That I am not sure.

    Ugh, I this OC is giving me too much trouble. I wonder if I should have scrapped him after all.
     
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    FireKeeper - I definitely like the second option. There's a lot of potential depth to it. :cool: You could have him find a measure of peace and contentment after actual therapy going to the SW version of a therapist :p or making a difference on a smaller scale. Also finding out that his sacrifice made things better on a personal level would be nice, for instance, meeting someone and becoming friends with an individual whose life was improved by what he did or did not do. [face_thinking] I read a diary about a main canon character who did actually undergo therapy after a traumatic incident and a major supplemental character in another story had a grievous loss and never stopped mourning it but eventually did become part of a warm circle of friends and started participating in "life and society" again. @};- Reading the journey to that end point can be incredibly interesting. =D=