sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (zombie joe and paul gross)
[personal profile] sage
Several people seconded an off-handed mention of doing a post on writing villains -- and LOTS of us are doing either Due South Seekrit Santa and/or Yuletide this holiday season, so this is hopefully a very timely and relevant post. Feel free to pimp this far and wide because I'd love to get a good range of discussion going in the comments.

First I'm going to share my meandering thoughts, and then I've got a bunch of questions for us to consider.

wherein I think about bad guys )

So let's talk about how to present well-drawn bad guys. What awesome bad guys have you read or seen onscreen? Name some -- from fic, novels, movies, television, comics, pop culture, whatever. What makes them effective villains?

What characters still creep you out, months or years later? Why?

What different sorts of villains are there? How can a writer use different sorts of villains in the same story?

Do you like villains better when we understand their motivation all along (and can maybe empathize) or when they're faceless blanks to be revealed at the end? What kind of story is served by each format?

What experience have you had writing bad guys in your own fic, and what pitfalls did you have to deal with? What do you know now that you wish you'd known then?

Obviously, no one has to answer everything, but I'd love for this to be a round table discussion. Please jump in with whatever grabs you, whether your examples are Due South-related or not.

Thanks! :D
[identity profile] texasbek.livejournal.com
In "Seeing is Believing", when Ray K reveals that he wanted to be a father, I saw him in a whole new light. I certainly know a lot of men who want to be fathers, but probably not any who would end a marriage over it. So this strong desire of his to have children says interesting things about his personality. At the very least it gives you a canon lead in to writing him as a father. For the most part I read F/K and there is certainly something appealing about a post-COTW happily-ever-after that includes fatherhood. Kidfic, due South style )
ext_3190: Red icon with logo "I drink Nozz-a-la- Cola" in cursive. (dS: fraser hallelujah)
[identity profile] primroseburrows.livejournal.com
Hello, all. First time here, hi!

I'm a little late posting, mostly because my uploads were on the slow side and Windows Movie Maker kept crapping out on me. Also, a caveat: I'm really wordy. I'm trying to cut down. Please forgive me if I ramble or go on too long.

When I volunteered to talk about writing Fraser I had no idea what I was going to write and for a while there I thought I'd never come up with anything. I know Fraser is really hard to write for some authors but I wasn't sure how to try to make it less frustrating because Fraser comes really easy to me. It's like he lives in my head or something. I'm not as articulate in speaking as he is, but my writing style is a lot like Fraser's spoken conversation. It's actually the inverse with me: sometimes I have to really work at making my other characters NOT sound like Fraser. We also have similar issues around politeness and hurting people's feelings, and I get the part about a lonely childhood (although I'll argue that huge parts of Fraser's childhood weren't lonely at all).

So anyway, here goes:

First thing, and I do mean FIRST THING: Don't forget about canon. )

With a good base in canon, it's not only fine to read fic for inspiration, it's encouraged. There are some amazing authors out there who get Fraser so well it's like reading an episode of the show. I don't have room or time to rec them all here. You all know what your favourite Frasercentric fics are (or even other-centric; Fraser's voice and personality can be shown off really well by another character).

So. We have canon and fic to inspire and inform us. Now it's time to make a list (mental or written; written works better for me because I'm good at forgetting things): What makes Fraser, well. Fraser? )
[identity profile] brynnmck.livejournal.com
Hi! This is my first time, so please forgive any lack of expertise/finesse. ;)

I'm here to blather at you regarding the following question: "How do you manage to keep the guys in character when they keep wanting to develop personalities of their own?" (I'm going to focus primarily on the characters' behavior here, since the lovely [livejournal.com profile] sageness already covered the character voice side of things quite well.)

This is kind of a difficult question to answer, since there is no real concrete "This Is Character X" checklist out there; the unique beast of fic means we're all writing in the same world, but none of us created it, and therefore we all see it a little bit differently. (I mean, think about this: effectively, we're writing a massive, ever-changing collaboration with hundreds of different authors. It's a miracle we manage to get to the same place at all! GO US. \o/) So there's a fair amount of room for interpretation going on before we even sit down at the computer or the notebook. Which can be a good thing; there are many times when I've read a fic where I think the voices or off or the characters aren't quite how I see them, but there is a line or a moment or an overall feeling that's just so dead-on perfect it goes right to my heart and makes me willing to be flexible about the rest. Finding an author who portrays the characters exactly as I see them, note for note, reaction for reaction, is pretty rare (though awesome for me when it happens), so we've all got a little bit of wiggle room.

That said, though, if I'm reading along and I get to a passage that involves Fraser, say, kicking a puppy, it's probably going to make me scratch my head. Or laugh and close the tab. Or both. So there are some basic objective characteristics that make these characters who they are, and sometimes it's easy to lose those in the ebb and flow of the writing process, so here are a few things I use to keep myself honest when it comes to characterization.

A short characterization checklist )


So those are my thoughts.* What works for you? How do you tell when your characters are wandering away from you? How have you fixed it? What signs do you keep an eye out for? What do you do when the canon isn't consistent (besides cry a little on the inside)? Please school me in the comments!




*I would also like to congratulate myself on getting through this entire essay without ONCE exhorting anyone to "check yourself before you wreck yourself." I assure you, this has not been easy, but I have DONE IT for the benefit of EVERYONE. You're welcome!

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