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When Your Sith Lord Acts Like A Sith Lord: Learning Not So Great Things About Your OCs

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Daughter_Of_TheForce, Jan 4, 2004.

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  1. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    I'm working on background for a character in an upcoming story, trying to flesh out who he was in the past and how it contributes to who he is now. Nothing is really set in concrete, but things...come up, you know? He did something in his past that, to put it simply, was pretty reprehensible. Instead of trashing this detail, I rolled along with it to see where it would take me. And it got worse. Once I spun out the details, I stood back and look at it and said, "that's exactly something he would do." It didn't feel odd. It felt right, even though it's still a bit chilling to me. But, most likely, this event won't even be mentioned in the story.

    He is a villian in this story, and you'd expect something like this from a villain. It's like he's saying to me: "You wanted to know, so there you are. Don't pretent to be shocked by this."

    Has anyone else found out things about your OCs you didn't like, and have you been tempted to drop them or change them?
     
  2. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    See it goes like this.... I don't actually write my stories. My characters come to me and tell me them, so that I can tell you. And then they go about telling me what their past is like. And let me tell you, that there's somethings that an author just doesn't need to know about her characters.

    Characters who don't tell you until the last minute that, oh, by the way, they're going to die are terribly frustrating. I really wish mine would stop doing things like that to me. It's hard on the nerves, and in all honesty, my readers don't like it much either.

    *sigh* My current baddy is so bad that he's starting to creep me out in a major way. Sometimes I think he's crossing the line of fictional good taste, but I don't really know what to do about him if he is. One of my betas simply suggests that he get 'extra messy squished' at the end of the story. Hopefully this will work out.
     
  3. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Actually, I was pleasently surprised by one of my OC's in particular...
    Schurke Canaille (Liturally, Scounderel Scounderel) was ment to be a sleezy bad boy filler companion... I never expected him not only to grow up, but to actually fall in love with another OC...

    I love it when the characters dictate the story, even when it scares me...
     
  4. anakin_girl

    anakin_girl Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2000
    The best way to write is to allow the characters to dictate the story. In fact, since I've learned to write that way, I can't imagine doing it any other way. Hating an OC, especially a villian, is no reason to drop him/her--in fact, it's a reason to keep the OC. Whatever you feel for your OC, if he/she is well-written and you allow your OC to guide you, is what your reader will feel for your OC. You hate your OC? Your reader will too. And if the OC is a villian, this is a good thing.
     
  5. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    My characters have a really annoying tendency - not necessarily to have events from their past unfold, but to tie together... through geneaology, Master-padawan relations, or other such things. My characters will develop long family trees just because that's who they are.

    Actually, I have two fics going right now. The main character in one is (as provable if you do a little digging in my stuff) a descendant of a minor character in the other, in which the main character is an ancestor of a very minor character.

    Beyond that, I have had things happen among my characters that I don't particularly like... between several of my characters, dialogue seems to write itself.

    And my villains have started swearing at me.

    Most of it is toned down, though I've left in one instance of "Bloody hell" and will probably include a few swear words (on the tamer end of the spectrum, of course), later on.

    I'm kind of a goody-two-shoes (CasperKnightshade actually based a character on me, and Tygon Jinnus was called the "Aw-shucks Kid of Corellia" for his reluctance to use strong language) that way. ;)
     
  6. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Now my villain wants a bigger part in the story. :p But it's not about him, it's about his apprentice.

    You know what he told me? "She can have the spotlight after I'm dead."

    I'm working on that... [face_devil]
     
  7. PadawanRoo

    PadawanRoo Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2003
    well see, there you go. You start by planning to tell one person's story, and discover a different person who's story is more interesting.

    And that is the essence of letting stories write themselves-- which I agree is the best way to write. If the characters are telling you that one of them is more interesting, listen, and see where they take you.

    ~Roo
     
  8. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    But he wasn't supposed to be interesting. He was supposed to be a musty old Sith Lord who sat on his throne scheming away while his apprentice did all the work.

    Man, I can hear him laughing right now. :p
     
  9. Lonewolf89

    Lonewolf89 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2001
    The OCs in my last two fic really came to life, more by their own doings then by mine. They already knew how they wanted to be written, and they pretty much took over.

    Up until then I had a real problem molding OCs without making then Mary Sues. Recently, though, the characters have become more rounded and flawed. I'll start writing something, and then think: "This isn't at all how they would react or feel about this situation." They have their own voices, and they let their opinions be known. To my own annoyance at times.
     
  10. Lorax

    Lorax Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2003
    I pretty much just started writing longish fiction in the last two months, so I'm pretty new with the OC business.

    I started out telling the story of a temple kid who wanted to become a Padawan, and I was going to send him off to AgriCorps and tell his story there. Turns out the Council thought his fate was important to a situation on Lorrd and he was ended up going there with a Jedi Knight. Now I'm starting to find out stuff about him and the Knight that I had no idea of before.

    I haven't really found out that much disturbing stuff about him yet, but some of my other OC's...
     
  11. Dantana Skywalker

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

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    What sucks is when your sweet, little, innocent OC turns to you one day and says, "Oh, by the way . . . I refounded the Sith and I'm gonna kill everyone now, okay?"

    Yeah, my characters write themselves. I usually have very little say in anything that goes on.

    Dana
     
  12. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Hmm...

    It looks like I might have to go into that disturbing act in his past because I think he's keeping something important from me. I'm not looking forward to that.

    I don't like my characters jerking me around like this. I guess I should be glad I have created somebody so dynamic and vocal. You don't know how badly I want his apprentice to be so dynamic. But she's not old enough or experienced enough to possess such deviousness and be so skillful with it yet.

     
  13. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    DantanaSkywalker -- Yeah, that kind of thing stinks, doesn't it?

    One day, a little bit player of mine with a disposable existence and not much actual substance said to me, "Oh, by the way, I'm the actual bad guy here, and I'm going to outlive the villain you started with. Did I mention that I am a Sith, by blood, and I have demonic forces at my disposal? I am KING OF THE FRICKIN' UNIVERSE."
     
  14. Livi-Wan

    Livi-Wan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002
    My OC (as yet unintroduced to TF.N) was orginally a Sith Lord, but he's just so easygoing he doesn't have in him to kill people! And then his master wandered through my head...and worlds died.. [face_devil]
     
  15. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    You sound kind of happy about it. [face_mischief]
     
  16. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    A little more progress, if you want to call it that...

    I went back into that event in his past. When I discovered one of his dirty little secrets, my Sith Lord got very quiet. He hasn't said much since then. I finally gave a name to one of his victims, so he's probably off savoring the name and what he did to them. I'm marvelling at how disarmingly charming he is. He's content with letting me see only his public face, and I want to know how he is when he puts on those black robes.
     
  17. tatooinewizard

    tatooinewizard Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 13, 2003
    Hey Daughter_of_TheForce let me know when you post this story. I'm already interested in reading it.
     
  18. Schurke_Canaille

    Schurke_Canaille Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 17, 2003
    You writers need to listen to your OC's more, and I speak from experiance, being an OC myself.

    When Breezy started writing her story, she needed a 'side kick' or two. Not content to being regulated to this role, my companion and I stepped up. I for one made the CC (Anakin) question a few things about himself, and helped cement others. I was never ment to fall in love but low and behold I did- shocked the hell out of both me and my author, and helped take the story into here-to unknown regions, and (IMHO) rounded out the story, bringing it full circle to a nice conclusion.

    In short, authors don't bemoan the idea when we OC's decide to take the reigns of our fate. You have a window on our world, let *us* tell our story, and see where you end up.


    Love,

    Schurke Canaille

    OC and Jedi Knight turned politician.
     
  19. anakin_girl

    anakin_girl Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2000
    You tell 'em how it is, Schurke. ;)
     
  20. emimar

    emimar Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2003
    My villians always tend to have something really bad happen to them in the past. Hell that even happens to my good guys. Even my good guys do bad things. None of them are perfect. If there is one thing I've learnt about people who seem to be villianous is that they always have some deep horrible thing that they just can't seem to deal with and they lash out at the people around them. When something happens to you that is devestating, there are three things you can do: let the thing destroy you, lash out at the big bad world or learn to rise above it. My "good guys" always tend to be the people that learn to rise above it, even though at times they do some horrendous things that even I don't agree with. The bad guys are the ones that don't. They just wonder through life causing as much greviacne and pain as they can until they end up destroying themselves. Hey sometimes my villians turn out to be decent at the last minute when they give their lives so that the good guys can survive. You never know how they're going to turn out until the end of the story...
     
  21. anakin_girl

    anakin_girl Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2000
    A quote I think is important here:

    "Just don't pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don't. Stay open to them. It's teatime and the dolls are at the table. Listen. It's that simple."

    --Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
     
  22. Spike2002

    Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2002
    If anyone needs anymore advice about their villains, the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Fiction_Writers_Resource/b10304/11631334/?184]Villain Writing Support Thread[/link] is still up and running. :D
     
  23. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    New lesson: Sith Lords lie. :p

    I asked him a question and he answered it. Then he laughed and said "I didn't mean that." He almost got away with it, but I was already so suspicious of him that I watch everything he says. If I wasn't suspicious, I could have lost a potentially powerful plot point in the story.
     
  24. Laine_Snowtrekker

    Laine_Snowtrekker Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Yes, we should let OCs speak for themselves--but what do I do if my good guys start cussing like I never do? It really gets on my nerves.

    Oh, and to concede with the point that sometimes you find people who the story is REALLY about, I've done that. I started a non-SW story where one character turned out to be the main character who has the scary past.
     
  25. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2001
    I decided to let him have the story. His apprentice is being the good little Sith and defering to him, so I won't get anything interesting there. I'll have to do a separate story for her, a sequel. He did say she could have the spotlight after he's dead, right? [face_devil]
     
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