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Fanfic meme: 8. oc's - Me myself and I
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liliaeth
liliaeth
Fanfic meme: 8. oc's
1 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?
2 – Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?
4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?
5 –If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?
6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?
8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.
9 – Pairings – For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?
10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?
11 – Genre – do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?
12 – Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?
13 – Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?
14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?
15 – Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?
16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?
17 – Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?
18 – Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?
19 – When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?
20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?
21 – Sequels – Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?
22 – Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?
23 – When you post,ewhere do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?
24 – Betaing – How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?
25 – Music – Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?
26 – What is the oddest (or funniest) thing you've had to research for a fic?
27 – Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?
28 – Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?
29 – What is your current project or projects?
30 – Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link

8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

I used to, a lot more than I do now. Back when I first started writing fanfic, I'd write fanfics about my oc's as the main characters. And though I did try to keep them from being perfect, even the one I specifically wrote about myself, looking back, they probably were Mary Sues.

Nowadays, I do still use oc's, but I try to bring in new chars, the way the show I'm writing about would. Keeping the focus on the canon characters, and using the oc's to add to the story, instead of having them take it over.
Even with an outside pov fic, where the story, inherently is taken over by the oc, the point is not to write about this amazing oc, but to use them to give a view on the characters that the readers do already care about. And get the readers to identify with them, because of their observations on the canon characters and world, and not because they're the most amazing person to ever be amazing.
That doesn't mean the oc can't be the main character, just that you have to be careful in how to introduce them, and how they interact with the world already there.

Using my fic 'the Pet Whisperer" for example.
Despoine may be the main character and the pov character, but her point in the story is to reflect on the relationship between Cas and Dean, and the world she lives in. To explore what it's like to be a pagan god in the spn verse, without making it look better than it is. (in ergo, she does eat and/or enslave people, and the fic isn't shy about it. I don't try and make the pagan gods somethign they aren't in canon, or any less dark than they are in canon, which I think helped the fic in the long run.

Or in Tempering the Blades where half the story is told from my oc's pov, but the story is on how outsiders would see the Winchester family, rather than on CPS agent saves the day.

In both cases, the oc is a main character, but I tried to make sure that their presence, doesn't diminish the role of the canon character.

Joss Whedon once wrote an ep of btvs that showed exactly what a Mary Sue is and does, aka Superstar, and it's that that I'm trying to avoid. Whedon used Jonathan who wrote himself as the center of the narrative, taking away Buffy's role as competent leader and making her a bumbling sidekick to his own heroics. He becomes the center of their lives, their friendships, pushing away the people who actually play those roles in canon. In fact, one of the only Mary Sue tropes that Whedon didn't hit with that ep, was making Jonathan the surprise family member of someone in the cast ;-)

And by writing this ep, whedon shows us exactly what not to do when bringing an oc into a story. And what the difference is between a character who may be slightly too awesome, and a Mary Sue*g*

In short, there's nothing wrong with a well written oc's, and in a lot of ways, I actually do prefer them to seeing a canon char twisted in such a way that they're no longer recognizable. But...they need to be used with care and caution.
And for me personally, though I don't mind all 'secretly family' fics, it does tend to put up a red flag of caution. Especially when the char is written for a family where the family dynamics are a huge part of what the show's about.
Just saying, it's one thing to bring in a secret father for someone like say Xander, because his father is a minor char in btvs canon, but if you try and push a new sibling into the Winchester family, then you may well screw up the entire Winchester family dynamic that is the center of the story to begin with.
(same for giving Harry Potter a new set of parents, since so much of Harry's interactions with other chars like Sirius, Remus and Snape relies on the fact that he is James and Lilly's son.)

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