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[personal profile] jebbypal
7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?
Oh, definitely. Especially since the way this question is worded it doesn’t even need to be a fic I’ve written. So yes – other writers have definitely changed my opinion on certain characters. In fact I’d say it was some of those fics that probably influence my opinions on Jayne. At the same time, I like to push myself to reexamine the characters in a different light too as an exercise. Which is where the WIP Camouflage came from. I may have pushed a little too hard there, but still

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.
Yes, I write OCs. Depending on the universe, you almost need to at some point. Not every fic can be a “episode in a bottle” and for some of our short lived gems, it’s not like we have a huge universe of characters to borrow from.

And Mary Sues…yeah, that’s a fraught question right? I mean, I imagine every teen gets it beaten into their head that Mary Sues are bad. And then we get into fandom discourse and realize that, really, what story ever written didn’t likely have a Mary Sue in it? (And if so, which character in King Lear was Shakespeare? Ha! If you are going down the rabbit hole, go all the way down, I say).
So tru fax time? In my head, like most of us, I’ve done self insert stories since I was probably 6. I always had rules on how much older I could make myself etc, but that was what I would do to put myself to sleep, pass road trips, and for when school was extra boring. And I still do it.

Now for a fanfic, what differentiates a Mary Sue from a full fledged OC? Simple – have you built out the OC character into a full character rather than just importing your OWN background onto it. I told someone once that the way I knew if it was too much a Mary Sue is that at some point the Mary Sue is in every single scene and the scenes don’t work without them. Because really, when we do self insert fic we want ourselves to be involved in the plot and we want to interact with all the important characters and the bad guys will know who we are.

But at the same time, I’ve take a lot of what were self insert scenarios and built from them decent (IMO) stories that are now OCs. (and wow, now that I go looking, I realize there’s a lot of fics from the Blue Sun Room I didn’t import over to AO3). One of my first stories, and a relatively decent one that I wrote started this way – various scenes in Preacher’s Prayer came from a “Mary Sue” start, but gradually I feel I fleshed things out into more of an OC.

So yeah, if you want to write a Mary Sue, IMO, go ahead. If you write well enough, and do your world building right, no one will care in the end. It’s the quality of the writing and story telling we all want to see.


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