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I'm not exactly sure why there appears to be such a warzone where characters are concerned.  Maybe it's just because I don't swim in the soup of fandom or fanfiction (and in a roleplay sense, have only returned recently), but I guess I just find the whole thing entirely baffling.  Roleplay and fanfiction become these massive tiers of Serious Business that are destructive to the creative process. They stagnate and shame while simultaneously churning out high emotion, all the while distracting anyone who wants to learn from shit that will actually be useful to them if they want to write.

I feel the need to give a disclaimer that A) I think fandoms can be incredibly stupid even at their best, B) fanfiction that is "not horribly written" is usually being labeled as such by people who don't and can't know better because their point of reference and experiences are so lacking, and C) even as a writer, I don't understand how character becomes such Serious Business.

I suspect in part it's due to so many youngsters on this site searching for a sense of identity, and things like roleplay and fanfiction allow exploration of other identities. In a sense, we can see what it's like to be someone else and if we like it or not. But I think the big disconnect, especially when it comes to being a good writer, comes from when there are no repercussions in the world the character inhabits. If the rule becomes "My character, in character, right or wrong", this threatens everything and eclipses a fundamental element in character: growth.

I role-played a lot when I was younger, and found it to be one of the best things a young writer can do to explore character.  But roleplay taught me how to have characters that deferred to power (which translates to deferring to plot) and deferred to other characters (which translates to character arc or growth), two things that you absolutely have to understand and grasp in order to write a good story. If you have characters that never suffer setbacks, disappointments, challenges to their worldviews and preconceptions, or what have you, you're on a one way track to disappointing your reader. I was very lucky as a teen to have a roleplay group made up of people who wanted to be actors, and understood that the first rule of improv is the first rule of the creative process "Say yes."

Say yes to tension, say yes to your character being pushed around, being in the wrong, being unfair, humiliated, defied, and denied. Say yes to struggle, to difficulty, to being cruel, to being sorry, to bad ideas, stupid mistakes, and apologies. Say yes to the character hurting and being hurt, say yes to growth, to driving your character beyond their capacities. If you can't say yes to these things happening in roleplay or in fanfiction: you are wasting your time. You will never write convincing, sympathetic characters.

And maybe that's another point of disconnect: the reader is all that matters in writing.  In fanfiction, that should be the rule, but it rarely is. And most writing suffers for it, either because the "My character, in character, right or wrong" terrifies anyone who might want to write that character (how many flame wars in fanfic communities start because Sonic was OOC?) In roleplay, too often social rules get in the way, and it becomes a contest of whose character can posture the most  Ultimately,  "getting a character right" means that you check off the requisite boxes to make sure you get the character's so-called details right. Which is not as important as "characterizing": making sure your reader gives a shit. Your OC and your ego do not matter in writing. I always approach things from the point of "How can this character win over a reader? How can they still be sympathetic even though he/she is doing bad, selfish things? How can they be hurt and learn from that hurt?"  I have to wonder what the thought process for others is. It must be like "How can I look the most awesome? How can my character come across as the coolest guy ever? How can I posture better than my roleplaying partners or that idiot who wrote that fanfiction that portrayed Link so bad?"

I mean, for starters, for all the screaming about not stealing characters, no one blinks at stealing a copywritten character. I think I saw a stamp that was like "All fan characters are original characters!" and it was like "You poor, deluded bastard." I take issue with the standing-on-the-shoulders-of-giants problem inherent to fanfiction, but I've already ranted about that. I will say that fanfiction tends to cripple character as an element, either because it offers a colorful candy shell for the less confident to convince themselves that their ideas don't suck, or because the fandom as a whole wants more of what was in the video game, movie, TV show, or book and doesn't want to see any originality outside of that. (Or an extremely limited amount of originality, hence my use of the term 'crippling'.) This comes back to "My character, in character, right or wrong", which falsely expostulates that it is more important that a character be "true" or "pure' rather than make a journey.

Playing around in someone else's world is sort of a grey area, but that brings me to what I cannot understand. If you're writing in someone else's literary world to learn how to write: stop it. Make your own world and learn how to convey its rules; stop leaning on the collective consciousness of a fandom. You're better off, just trust me on that, and better you start early.

If you're playing around to explore character, as any decent roleplayer should, than remember the golden rule of role-play: it's a freaking game. Awesome or idiotic, at the end of the day, you've got a roleplay post to show for it. Your roleplay character is no more important than a character in a book. They're simply efforts at expression and communication. If your character is bad at expression or communication, they should suffer the slings and arrows inherent to that. Don't real people suffer them in Real Life? Don't you think that makes them sympathetic to a reader who knows that selfsame suffering? Good roleplay drives a character to explore what will make them break and rebuild. (I also don't understand how it's okay to write about Harry Potter's eighth adventure or roleplay in Tolkien's world, but if people steal your theft, you're going to flip your lid.)

Maybe for some it's identity theft. I guess that's about the only way I can explain it. Most teenagers are searching for identities. People using character as a coping mechanism will shoot you in the face, and since most of them around here are angsty teens in the first place … they're probably coping. I guess I'm just astonished at the length people will go to assert their right to be unoriginal power-players, which serves as a direct counterpoint to the fervor with which they will go after someone else for being unoriginal or a power player.

Perhaps most of all, this definition distorts the purpose of good character so badly I'd be hard pressed to articulate it. (I'm kind of all over the place with this entry, in case you haven't noticed.) Character is not something you use to tell the world how great you are. When that happens, you get crappy story and probably accusations of either Mary Sueism or of soapboxing on an issue. Character is not gold to be hoarded by you, in order for you to say "I did it!  I made it!  It's all mine and you can't have it!" Character is something meant to be shared with others. Characters inhabit psychological and mythological archetypes in order to teach. Character is not something meant to be immovable or uncompromising. Character is more than the sum of its parts: not a collection of idiosyncrasies like collecting toast and kittens, and god help you if the character isn't collecting toast and kittens every time they show up. At its heart character is story and struggle, and struggle is more important than whether the character says or does the "right" thing in the "My character, in character, right or wrong" rule.

And ultimately, character is unique. No amount of theft changes that. No one can write Harry Potter like Rowling did. He's hers, and he can never be taken from her. God knows there are enough fanfic writers out there who have tried. The person "stealing" your totally awesome character can't steal the experiences that you've breathed into them. Your STRUGGLE. Your viewpoint is (one hopes) entirely unique. The story you tell will be yours and yours alone, should you ever get around to writing it.

Whether it'll be any good, or a story worth the telling is something entirely different.
  • Mood: Confused
  • Listening to: Savior - Rise Against
  • Reading: Fear
  • Playing: `
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:iconchibimita:
Chibimita Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Student General Artist
So, fanfictions is tool, used wrong very often by immature beings who have no clue.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014
I'd say that's pretty accurate!
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, from the title I thought this was gonna be about people who can't stop making a million original characters.
...noone shares my pain.
:iconotlplz:
Back on topic, I just cannot understand people who think like this. It really seems to be part of the fanchar mindset, since I used to be pretty pissy and awkward back when I actually used to make them instead of my own stuff. Luckily I grew out of it by the time I was 13!
It's a total mess cos bad fancharacters always end up either so frighteningly unoriginal that its no wonder there's a million similar ones, or so offtopic that there wasn't any point even making them a fanchar. (I always seethe when I see someone with a good idea that entirely rewrites the rules of Naruto or whatever, and is going to waste because the creator can't be bothered to actually write thier OWN story. Someone who's Harry Potter's secret twin who somehow has a giant robot is just nonsensical and shows a disregard for the original universe- a new story about some giant robot guy would be much better.)
In any case no idea is completely original and whether people like them all depends on the quality of their personality and story rather than the concept itself. *sigh*
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:icondastenna:
DasTenna Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
" The story you tell will be yours and yours alone, should you ever get around to writing it. Whether it'll be any good, or a story worth the telling is something entirely different."

What a dramatic end of a furious and splendid speech.
Those phrases (or is sentences the better expression?) are applicable. And thatīs exactly my dilemma. I KNOW that my stories (once created in my own worlds and away from just being X-Men- or Elfquest-ripoffīs) are my own creations. But I DOUBT that they are worth being published. I fear that nobody wants to read them. Well, guess Iīll never know if I donīt try, right? "Say yes." may as well be translated into "Just try!"
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:icondastenna:
DasTenna Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
"Playing around in someone else's world is sort of a grey area, but that brings me to what I cannot understand. If you're writing in someone else's literary world to learn how to write: stop it. Make your own world and learn how to convey its rules; stop leaning on the collective consciousness of a fandom."

And thatīs exactly what most mainstream authors in the American comic book industry (I talk about Marvel and DC Comics, Disney, etc.) have to do: Writing stories about characters they didnīt invent, living and acting in worlds they didnīt construct. I would find it difficult, especially because there are so many story lines from decades ago a new author can never have an overview of. Nobody can know every detail unless they created that world themselves.
The reason why Watchmen worked out so great was because Alan Moore decided to create a own world for the story instead of using the Charlton Comics characters the story was meant for in first place.
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:iconblackinkbarbarian:
Blackinkbarbarian Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
"Playing around in someone else's world is sort of a grey area, but that brings me to what I cannot understand. If you're writing in someone else's literary world to learn how to write: stop it. Make your own world and learn how to convey its rules; stop leaning on the collective consciousness of a fandom. You're better off, just trust me on that, and better you start early. "

That is pretty much the reason why I stopped writing fanfiction and go for a novel of my own. I'm happy I make this decision and I haven't look back ever since. :-)
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:iconmazzy713:
mazzy713 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I've never been a fan of fan fiction in all honesty. To me, I never liked the idea of reading, say, a "Harry potter" fan-fiction. It just isn't the same as reading Harry Potter. Sure, I can try to see it as good writing practice maybe, but like you said, I agree that people should just go out there and create there own stories, rather than just keep regurgitating old characters and morph them into something unrecognisable.
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:iconarhasen:
Arhasen Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... I will need to read and muse upon this more. :)
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:icon3v1l73ddy:
3v1l73ddy Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Student General Artist
I can’t say exactly whether or not I agree or disagree with you on this entry. I have read very few fan fictions and if it has copious amounts of bad spelling, grammar or character interpretation I don’t read it. I don’t know that that third point is too set in stone though, if the character does out of character acts in a way that is believable to the interpretation presented in that fan fiction and is written well then certainly I will read it. Unfortunately I do not consider fan fiction reading to be a particularly good use of time; even so I have read John Marsden’s Hamlet and enjoyed it quite a lot. As well as this I have read and watched Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton, Linda Woolverton and T.T. Sutherland (Tim Burton directed, Linda wrote the screenplay and T.T. adapted the movie into novel form) and am currently reading Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Caroll and Nickolas Cook. These are all fan fictions (at least to my knowledge of the definition of the phrase fan fiction) and yet I enjoyed reading them and would probably read them again (although with Zombieland I feel like I have already read it as it is basically Lewis Caroll’s original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with blood and dead things in place of the more innocent characters the original had).
As for roleplaying I have done very little of this due to the fact that the time when most people roleplay is the time I am tucked up in bed and by the time I get back during the day no one is online. During the short period where my ex-girlfriend told me to roleplay on a forum I had a lot of trouble with finding roleplays I wanted to be a part of. One of the things I noticed was that not very many people actually put effort into creating a unique and attractive character; they either stole a character, pretending it was completely different because they gave it a different name or they didn’t know the original character or used the image of an already created character put a personality to them that didn’t suit but gave them similar if not same names to the original saying that it was their character. What pissed me off as an artist was that people who provided images never provided ones which they actually drew, they always provided images of actors or anime characters and stole from an artist who worked hard on their character and butchered it. They are on there as writers and character is important, if you can’t draw then describe the character in a detailed manner, if you can’t do this then you shouldn’t be on there, if you’re on to learn more about character development and writing, try your hand at doing what I believe all authors should be brilliant at doing; bringing a character to life within someone’s mind through the use of words. I never liked the idea of Kingdom Hearts roleplays or Warriors roleplays or Lord of the Rings roleplays etc. Because it meant you were taking the lazy route and using a character from someone else’s dreams and like before, butchering them. I have tried my hand at fanfiction before, but I never got much into it because it restricted me so much. I have had a lot of trouble with writing and this is mainly due to characters, so I can see the appeal of writing someone else’s character and letting your fanish mind find the light but I don’t believe that this is very proper. If you can’t write for your own characters how in the world are you meant to write for someone else’s? Again thank you for an inspiring journal entry, I should really start actually reading your works ^^’.
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:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Because I don't have the time to say much else: Amen!

With regards to character theft it seems that those doing it themselves appear to scream loudest about the content being all theirs.
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:iconsnurtz:
snurtz Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Student Writer
Oh man... I don't think I've ever agreed with one of your entries so completely. I just want to show this to every single person in the world. I stopped writing fanfiction when I was in my late teens because of everything you said in this journal... thank you for being brilliant. I hope you catch the attention of a few teens and make a few better writers in the world! :)
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012   Digital Artist
"I mean, for starters, for all the screaming about not stealing characters, no one blinks at stealing a copywritten character."

I've seen so many artists on here complain that someone or some company stole their fanart and sold it on some crappy merchandise in China. I never understand this. I understand the want for compensation of time I guess, but... come on. Fan art. And then they turn around and sell that art at a con. I just. I. Don't even.
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:iconmazzy713:
mazzy713 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I agree! if it's not your character you shouldn't sell them! I hear this all the time and just think "...Well...."
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012   Digital Artist
Yeah, I did a couple of WoW characters and a movie character or two for people before I really thought about what I was doing. Now I feel guilty about the whole thing.
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:iconmazzy713:
mazzy713 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:S Ah well, not much you can do now :P
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:iconbingles:
bingles Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reading this makes me want to make new ref sheets for my characters.
I find people tend to focus too much on what their character looks like or it's back story instead of making them a believable sentient being.
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:iconspiritsl:
spiritsl Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
While I'm probably amongst the angsty teens you spoke of in this post, I think I can say that I do try to keep my characters developed and my roleplays interesting. I do write fanfiction, but it's mostly for fun, hence why I probably wouldn't care too much if someone "stole" one of my OC's. I've got a plethora of original ideas that I tweek daily, and it never fails to amaze me just how fun it is to create difficult and trying worlds for my characters to inhabit. I've never understood the reluctance other writers have to write challenges to their characters, be they in fanfiction or original work. I'd much rather write a story full of painful growth, hard earned lessons and sacrifice than a sappy romance where nothing is learned or lost. (Though I'm not going to start writing seriously until I'm out of High School. I simply don't feel... prepared for the task of tackling a one hundred thousand word science fiction novel. Though to be fair I'm not sure when most authors start writing...)

Well, that was a jumbled comment... Still, thank you for this journal! It's quite rare than I see something online that actually makes me think a little about myself and where I'm going with my writing.
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:icondastenna:
DasTenna Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
That sounds as if youīre on a good path.
And donīt worry about not feeling "prepared" for writing whole novel yet; take your time, develop your style, put every piece in place and start writing the whole thing when the time is right. Until then, practise every single moment you can spare. The way you write sounds promising =)
Just keep in mind that this came from someone who never did and probably never will publish anything more than a few short comic strips in a local newspaper and one comic for an archeological parc. Iīm no expert.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
In a crazy stupid writing world, Droemar is sometimes the only sane voice.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
I like to imagine that said in the deep, gravelly voice in action trailers.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
That's actually how I imagined it to sound like XD
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:iconelreniagreenleaf:
ElreniaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
God, I wish MSN Groups were still online so I could show you the epic fail that was my friend and I's early attempts at RPing when we were about fourteen. We used to apologise for the 'novel' of each post (literally something like five sentences each) and the most memorable one I can remember was where two of our characters met for the first time and proceeded to have a massive emo faceoff for several pages before going off in a huff because they both had equally tragic pasts and neither could trump the other's!

I'm delighted to say we've both improved considerably since then. XD
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
I can plainly say that I did that. And it took me years to realize it wasn't deathless prose or good story-telling.
I was in the trenches of stupid. It's why I try to bring a message for others.
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:iconelreniagreenleaf:
ElreniaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's always amusing to look back on your youthful fails isn't it? XD
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:icondastenna:
DasTenna Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
Makes me want to hide in a closet sometimes, yes ;p
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:iconelreniagreenleaf:
ElreniaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Luckily for me, most of my reeeeally bad stuff died with MSN groups. XD
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:iconomniwitch:
OmniWitch Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Roleplaying is a pretty cool past time. I don't think I would have picked writing for my career without that little springboard. But while I agree that just like in individual prose, characters have to fulfill an arc in RP, it's hard to compare the two. Most sessions I've had don't have a real end to them, everyone involved just goes "I want this to happen now" and it does, though we never know the effect it'll have on the characters until it's there. Then there's random silliness and shenanigans that no one really plans at all. So, I guess there's an infinite amount of arcs per character, and 'end' only happens if interest wanes. If that happens, you can just take your character and plop them somewhere else.

That said though, there're more rules. Like, I'd pretty pretty pissed if some other player decided to rip Cade's face off without asking first, or prove how macho their impossible-to-beat-zombie is by killing him with one blow (never happened in Umbagog, but just an example). I love torturing my characters and usually say yes to violence, but it's still common courtesy to ask, you know? I've also had some people try to force my characters into actions that they'd never do. I guess most of those problems come down to shitty partners though.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
I think the lack of arcs and the like takes the pressure off, which is one of the greatest strengths RP offers.
Shitty partners make all the difference in whether you're ecstatic or utterly miserable. I guess my previous RP group spoiled me, but I will shut down anyone who pulls stuff like "I'm allowed to be more in character than j000000!" My rule is "When it's not fun anymore, I stop doing it." Good RP partners do ask, like you said, and articulate what they'd like to explore. Too many people start with "My character is a total badass!" and that's the only place the thread ever goes.
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh god, and this forever. Yes. This is why I gave up doing random rps with people in chats years ago. I've been rping almost exclusively with one person for 5 years. Some days it feels a little stagnant, but thats usually when I break out into more realism and give our chars and even tougher goal.
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:iconomniwitch:
OmniWitch Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Writer
That's a good rule. My theory is that the 'fake badassness' of any given character is in direct proportion to the number of dead NPCs in their history. Especially for animal rp.

Sort of related, but would you like to rp sometime? Kit's pretty cool. If not, no hard feelings.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
I'm kind of in high demand at the moment, and have some of my own writing things to attend to. But note me; I can probably do Tuesday or Wednesday.
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:iconbrightredrose:
brightredrose Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
No one can write Harry Potter like Rowling did. He's hers, and he can never be taken from her. God knows there are enough fanfic writers out there who have tried. The person "stealing" your totally awesome character can't steal the experiences that you've breathed into them. Thank you.

This is basically my response to every "call to arms" post. This can easily apply to art theft too. You make mention of very young (comparatively) users being attracted to written rpg out of a self-identity kick, and the "hoarder" type who get disturbingly possessive of their ideas. What I've seen, and you probably have to, is a generally-nasty interaction of the two. Younger users copy that which they admire; slightly-older-but-no-less-mature users on forums and DA "seek and destroy" anything that they perceive as an infringement of their rights regardless of how baseless the perceived threat is. "Defending my intellectual property" has, sadly, become a byline for "bullying." And there is never any excuse to bully a child, be it in real-life interaction or over the internet, and never for something so mind-bogglingly stupid. It's okay to love your ideas, but we should love the source of the idea--character worship leads to stagnation, as you said. But if you come to respect the amazing mind that each and every human being has, you exercise it more, and maybe even put more focus on inspiring others, rather than going on a bloody crusade because some fourteen-year-old in Holland used your image and wrote your character.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Yeah, I've really been astonished by people who, for example, draw ripoff fanart, then say "DO NOT STEAL MY CHARACTER UNDER PENALTY OF HELL ON EARTH."
I remember telling someone who drew Spirit fanart that they were yelling at other people for drawing Spirit fanart. Her response? "I don't draw in the Spirit style anymore!"
"Really? Because your eyebrow horses suggest otherwise."
It gets back to most ignorance is willful. And ignorance tends to do more harm than willful evil.
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:iconbrightredrose:
brightredrose Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, we also have to put some blame on internet anonymity. I like to think that these people might think twice if they were confronted by the copiers to whom they are talking. I once saw a journal where the author claimed to have found their thief on facebook and went so far as to call their cell asking to have the picture taken down.
I'm not a mom yet. But if some punk ever calls my kid like that, I'm going to jail. But they're eating concrete first. There is no reasonable excuse to bully a child like that over something that, as you rightfully pointed out, can't truly be stolen in the first place.
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:iconwhisperah:
Whisperah Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:applause:
This.
This is what everyone wanting to grow should read. Thank you so much for sharing.
I found it really touched my own personal experience with one of my more well known characters (well, back in the day when I roleplayed), as well. I remember first starting off as a 10 or so year old with a stallion horse character. And the changes he went through - from colour to shape and size, and eventually his 'own' mental type/mind (or however you could put it) took years. His design has ended up very simple, and I truly believe his fan base was only inspired by him because he was 'the strong and loyal leader that would protect his family and friends', but at the same time he was an asshole when it came to commitment and failed when too much was thrown at one character. He had dimensions, and he was alive. That is what I believe makes a character, and the way you have worded it is fantastic.
Do you mind if I post a link from my journal to this? I hope many young aspiring character developers and writers get a chance to read it.

So thank you so much for posting, it casts inspiration to see more unique and alive characters.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
No problem. Feel free to link; I loves the traffic.
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't begin to explain how perfect this one is. It isn't JUST inspiring and awesome and making a fair point. You've gone and read my goddamn mind.
I...
have been just about preaching this for YEARS now, while trying not to sound insane. I just...CANNOT...believe I've finally seen someone else say exactly my point.
AND THEY KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT!
kjsbdkajsbgkajbgkaljdf WORDS. So many words. All oozing my relief and joy. I could just cry. For years, any time I see someone, let's sayyyyy, someone that likes Final Fantasy...makes an OC...related to the hero, even vaguely. That person is generally a decent writer, but OH MY SHIT, they put EVERY SCRAP OF EFFORT...into a novel. For that fandom OC. In a world they don't own. For a video game.
Why? WHY DO YOU DO THIS, PERSON I THOUGHT WAS SMART? WHYYYY? Why must you take every shred of respect I had for your creativity and dump it out the window like a crazy medieval peasant dumping a bedpan out a window to the street below on all the poor people?!
I don't understand this either about fanfictions, or fandom rps. SURE, a little idle play and a few hours here and there is amusing, BY GO OVERBOARD? FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE! Of all the endless, VAST, AMAZING things you could imagine...WHY...would you waste your blood sweat and tears on something that isn't even yours, or based in your own concepts? How does anyone take any real pride in that in the long run?

I mean, I'll admit it. I rp constantly. Hours at time. For years now. A lot of the same characters and ongoing plots and spinoffs...but they are all original characters, in a world of my own design. I and my very close friend have spent 5 years, dedicated to the interactions going on between these characters. We are very guilty of spoiling and coddling them, using them as literary comfort food for our minds and emotions, goddamn, we put them through absolute HELL even more than we spoil them. We LOVE their evolving personalities, trials, errors, blunders, scarring, inner turmoil and disgusting horrors, as well as the passion, humor, stupidity and often awkward behavior. They're just about living people, and my god, I have learned so much about real life by experiencing different types of lives and new perspectives through them. For every different personality of theirs, I understand something tangible about real people.
I've had ups and downs in writing quality as well, learning where my weak points are between writing rp and writing real chapters of things. Luckily, my flaws were there even before I started rping, so I'm at least not any worse off than I was years ago, at the very least! XD

What I am also guilty of is fear of theft, be it art or writing. I have a great paranoia that some youngster or noob is going to frolic through my gallery and snatch up something they find pretty, and then just run off and mutilate it for whatever they want. And this relates to a a MAJOR reason I also can't stand fandoms and the like. The people that obsessively abuse what isn't theirs, and take a huge steaming dump on the original creator by twisting things around just to suit their own interests, whether it be cloning the character or writing up a slash fanfic, or anything along those lines. That isn't showing admiration, or love, or gratitude for something awesome that you LIKE or claim to LOVE. If you LOVE it so much...why wouldn't you accept it and cherish it for how it's creator intended? </rant>

And that is my added 2 cents. x_e;
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:iconpallanoph:
pallanoph Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh thank gravy there are still people with wits on this planet... This comment struck me so... solidly! I actually started clapping, and I'm sitting here alone, in my apartment. I can't count how many times I've thought these same thoughts, regarding otherwise talented energies wasted on the gems of others' imaginations. For what? The only people who will care are the Fan Derps, right? *throws kids about*

Oy, real life, the world outside, and REAL PEOPLE have influenced my characters more than most things I've ever read/watched/played whatever. It's reassuring to know that there are others who feel the same about starting fresh and making their own world! There's hope after all! :la:

Oof! Got a little carried away there, sorry!
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh no, no, no! Don't worry about it! I'm actually even happier to know you feel this way too! XD I really enjoy your work, and I love any moment when I get to find something in common with wonderful artists and people like yourself. ♥♥♥
I'm sorry I didn't reply faster, but I didn't want to say anything half-assed, and I had fun seeing this in my inbox.
Warm fuzzy feelings of camaraderie, and all that. lolol
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:iconpallanoph:
pallanoph Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Awww, you're too kind... :aww: I find myself worrying a little too often that most people are too heavily influenced by popular movies/shows/books, etc, but that may be because I find myself here on dA. :giggle:

Haha, my replies are always belated, often for the same reasons. But I'm pretty lame at responses most of the time! :D

Shared views, hurrah! :)
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I tend to end up disliking several shows even before I watch them myself, because they end up being run into the ground, abused and perverted by the fandoms. I had what I thought was a really sensible and intelligent friend get offended by the fact I don't like the same shows they watch, or most tv things these days, and they had the nerve to tell me that my life would be very empty without them. Excuse me? My life will be empty and meaningless without these tv shows? Clearly, you have some deeper issues that you don't want to face. I just couldn't believe she or anyone else could say that.

Unrelatedly, I saw this and thought of you. c: [link]
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:iconpallanoph:
pallanoph Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Holy crap, some people have some very skewed priorities. D: People just love to fandom things to death. After I stopped being a kid, I couldn't see why people still obsessed relentlessly over things.

I'm sure you've got plenty of other friends who really are sensible and intelligent. Though they can be hard to find sometimes, I know that much. :lol:

And eee! Thanks for the link! More pony related inspiration. :D
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I mean, at my worst with a fandom, I might yammer on with somebody forrrr...an hour? Maybe once every few days for a month. And then it gets tiresome and I get worn out from the subject. In fact, since I have watched other people go on and on about stuff for hours and days on end, unrelenting, it gets to a point that I actually get disgusted.^^; I REALLY don't want to be that way myself.

But yeah, I have a number of friends on here, but when I think about it, probably half of them, or more, have some sort of fandom they feel that they must spread to everyone to feel whole. And that's basically how it is for them. They love something, so they want to share it, except its usually more than that. They don't usually just suggest something and leave it at that. They want another member in their group with their enthusiasm to talk endlessly about the show with. I've actually discovered that these days, anything that anyone talks about constantly, becomes a thing I loose all enthusiasm for. It spoils everything for me. I miss the days where I would see a commercial for something, and the only thing anyone would say was "Oh yeah, I saw that. Cool movie. Are you going to see it?" And everything was left to my imagination and decisions. I miss seeing shows and movies with no more information than what was officially advertised.
I guess this is what I get for just being on the internet. Even if I'm not actually looking for spoilers and staying on my own turf, I still get constant spoilers anyhow. :stare:

Sorry for the rant. >>; It made me feel better. ♥
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
"Why? WHY DO YOU DO THIS, PERSON I THOUGHT WAS SMART?"
I loved this comment. Because that is exactly my line of thinking. I do find it rather pathetic when the only commentary someone is able to make is someone else's. Admittedly, I'm incredibly biased and don't understand the finer, more subtle nuances of DAH FANDUM, but man, at least I create my own stuff at the end of the day. I want people pay attention to my stuff because it is good, not because it's MLP or dressed up like a particular anime.
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:iconjerepasaurus:
Jerepasaurus Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Anime. Don't get me started! :noes:
I swear 95% of anime is filled with nothing but the most nonsensical, unrealistic reactions and bad acting that even the worst B movies can't live up to.
I know there's some cool stuff in there somewhere, but have you SEEN people attempt to write stories, decent stories, with some measure of creative merit...and suddenly, they utterly and completely defeat THEMSELVES with a single description (or two) that can't come from anything but anime?
I was in a writing class once, and this girl was reading a scene where a child was being yelled at by a stranger, and then, all I could see in the midst of everything else was this description dead in the middle of it;
"- and her large eyes welled, wibbley-..."
WHIBBLEY? ARE THEY SUDDENLY LIKE RUNNY EGGS BEING SHAKEN ON A PLATE, INCONSISTENTLY FITTING HER EYE SOCKETS? HAVE THEY BECOME JELLO, LEAKING FROM THE CHILD'S HEAD?! Needless to say, this ruined the entire effect of the emotions I might have had while listening to her read, just hitting the breaks on everything. I just get jarred easily sometimes.
Now, this was a very nice girl, and I was on very good terms with her, being upbeat all the time, and I did in fact suggest just taking out that word that clashed and distracted from the story.
Over all, it was a good class for being blunt, but, in an extremely helpful and informative way. It taught me how to really take critiques, and ENJOY how great suggestions are, even if they rip at my work. It's a great challenge, and gives that 'COME AT ME, BRO' excitement, because if I can find and work out all the glaring flaws, that just makes what I've done SO many times better.

And MLP? I was anti-brony for a long time, eventually watched the new shows, was very amused, and got hooked. How long did that last? 48 hours. And then I moved on with life and projects of my own. XD
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:iconpretty-angel:
Pretty-Angel Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I feel a little bit out of the loop here. What exactly is the "My character, in character, right or wrong" rule and where does it come from?
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Eh, it was kind of my attempt to summarize a wide range of attitudes I've encountered about how people behave about their characters. Basically:
"My character wouldn't do that. It'd be OOC for them."
"Okay, but the story/RP thread really needs this to happen."
"I don't care. My character wouldn't do that."
"Seriously, they've been behaving the exact same way for ages, completely unchanged by three wars and six deaths. They can't budge just a little bit?"
"Don't tell me how to play my character! They so totally wouldn't do that, it'd be OOC! My character is allowed to be more in-character in yours, so YOU compromise, I'm not!"
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:iconpretty-angel:
Pretty-Angel Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Alright, understood! Thanks for clearing that up for me.
And yes, that sounds really dreadful. Bonus points if the character has a tragic past that had a huge impact on them but they'll never ever change again - not even one bit. It's basically the time-loop of doom that, for example, every super hero has been caught up in wherein every change in character is subsequently erased with every new incarnation resulting in that kind of static character type that you described. With the prevalence of these iconic characters I can actually see people are consciously or subconsciously picking up on this trend and try to create a similar ever-lasting canon for their OCs.
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:iconj-rex1463:
J-Rex1463 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I think being in a fandom and role playing can be healthy. I know during my high school years it helped me out especially when I got stressed out. I guess my problem was that I when I did RP, I'd always take into account that the person I am RPing is different from me, and he/she has a different personality set, and he/she has his/her own unique weaknesses while others just went off the deep end.

I got tired of RPing fast with people especially when the Mary Sues came out, or when people who RP'd as an already existing character didn't stick with the characters true ideals and personality. A modest example of what I am talking about here is say one RP guy decides to role play as Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, the guy doesn't even act like him..in fact that said person who is RPing Ichigo is making the characters personality opposite and only to suit his/her needs. I personally call that character abuse. I think look, if you are going to RP an already preexisting character, try to make him/her as accurate to the real deal otherwise the RP ends up being a cheap gimmick or really just full of nonsense.

Sure, I can admit there are times when I broke this and where I portrayed a certain character completely opposite of his/her personality, but I did it for laughs and it wasn't my permanent choice when I RP'd with others. It became really hard to find people like me who tried to stay true to the characters and plot and what not.

Anyhow there is my two cents, but this was a fascinating read to me all in all :D
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:iconkickingrabbit:
kickingrabbit Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
"Say yes to tension, say yes to your character being pushed around, being in the wrong, being unfair, humiliated, defied, and denied. Say yes to struggle, to difficulty, to being cruel, to being sorry, to bad ideas, stupid mistakes, and apologies. Say yes to the character hurting and being hurt, say yes to growth, to driving your character beyond their capacities. If you can't say yes to these things happening in roleplay or in fanfiction..."

If folks can't say yes to those things in roleplay and fanfiction, they're gonna have a tough time with life in general. :p
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