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Author Topic: New Fanfic idea (Feedback please)  (Read 4261 times)
janx
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2020, 08:59:35 AM »

Mary Sue/Gary Stu is basically an over-powered character and often is really a self-insert for the author.

So having a character called Darth Regol might be considered a self-insert, but on a SW fanfic sight might be OK as you basically made a character for your account and that's pretty common.

Here is a decent quiz for testing your character (as it scores the most common examples):

https://springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm

I would point out that a bit of the author is always reflected in characters.  Logically, the protagonist IS going on the adventure the writer wanted to have.  But there are cringeworthy ways of doing it, and this test sheds light on that concern.

The author of the test has now got concerns about the name of the term "Mary Sue" which are valid, but for the sake of testing YOUR character, aren't relevant to the details of the test itself.
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DarthRegol
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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2020, 09:37:14 AM »

Mary Sue/Gary Stu is basically an over-powered character and often is really a self-insert for the author.

So having a character called Darth Regol might be considered a self-insert, but on a SW fanfic sight might be OK as you basically made a character for your account and that's pretty common.

Here is a decent quiz for testing your character (as it scores the most common examples):

https://springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm

I would point out that a bit of the author is always reflected in characters.  Logically, the protagonist IS going on the adventure the writer wanted to have.  But there are cringeworthy ways of doing it, and this test sheds light on that concern.

The author of the test has now got concerns about the name of the term "Mary Sue" which are valid, but for the sake of testing YOUR character, aren't relevant to the details of the test itself.

Thanks!  I took it and no Sai'le is not a "Mary Sue". He's powerful but his mistakes semi balance with his sucess and he loses a lot...something my partner and I worked hard to make sure happens becasue we don't like invincible heros...makes boring stories.  Plus, spoiler, in the end, Sai'le eventually is killed by Vader, his third time fighting him and second time losing, the only time he ever beat him was when they spared as padawans in a relatively unimportant 2 sentence memory 
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"Two there should be. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it" -Darth Bane

DarthRegol
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Balance Should be Key over control


« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2020, 11:54:28 AM »

So now I have more of a getting started question...I want to either jump into Sai'le as a youngling being assigned to a master as a prologue, or have the prologue be years in the future after vader kills Sai'le, with Naroh finding Sai'le's lightsabers that the council had kept in their collections after Sai'le went rouge.  The first Idea is a lot more straightforward, the second idea Naroh would take the sabers back to his hideout and give them to the young girl that him and Sai'le were training named Viviana.  If i don't do this as a segway to the start of the story, I'm going to have it be the epilogue of the last "book"

Any thoughts?
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"Two there should be. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it" -Darth Bane

Karmack
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« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2020, 12:27:05 PM »

Mary Sue/Gary Stu is basically an over-powered character and often is really a self-insert for the author.

So having a character called Darth Regol might be considered a self-insert, but on a SW fanfic sight might be OK as you basically made a character for your account and that's pretty common.

Here is a decent quiz for testing your character (as it scores the most common examples):

https://springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm

I would point out that a bit of the author is always reflected in characters.  Logically, the protagonist IS going on the adventure the writer wanted to have.  But there are cringeworthy ways of doing it, and this test sheds light on that concern.

The author of the test has now got concerns about the name of the term "Mary Sue" which are valid, but for the sake of testing YOUR character, aren't relevant to the details of the test itself.


Writing your own "character" into the story is probably my forte.  :-)   If you read through the forumverse, you're going to see Ka'a'Mack of the Mak'Tor showing up a lot I am afraid.  I do hope he hasn't become a Mary Sue.  He has become very powerful, but he's paid a price for it along the way.

And that's what Dutchman was talking about.  Usually a "Mary Sue" is an overpowered character, often the 'avatar' of the author in the story, who is just up-front more powerful, smarter, wiser, and virtually invincible.  From what I've seen of your plot notes I don't think you'll have an issue with it.  :-)

Janx, thanks for that explanation!  And the link!  If you haven't put that in the pinned Tips for Writing thread you should!   :-)
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DarthRegol
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« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2020, 01:02:38 PM »

Writing your own "character" into the story is probably my forte.  :-)   If you read through the forumverse, you're going to see Ka'a'Mack of the Mak'Tor showing up a lot I am afraid.  I do hope he hasn't become a Mary Sue.  He has become very powerful, but he's paid a price for it along the way.

And that's what Dutchman was talking about.  Usually a "Mary Sue" is an overpowered character, often the 'avatar' of the author in the story, who is just up-front more powerful, smarter, wiser, and virtually invincible.  From what I've seen of your plot notes I don't think you'll have an issue with it.  :-)

Janx, thanks for that explanation!  And the link!  If you haven't put that in the pinned Tips for Writing thread you should!   :-)
I guess if there is one thing I am guilty of is that these are the role playing characters my friend and I had when we were younger, I am Sai'le, he is Naroh. (made up names of course).  We just wanted to make a story for them as we are older now, and though we enjoy dueling, the role play would be for youtube only now.  And you're right, I think other than that, there is no mary sue here, because the two of us love to put our characters through really hard times, and we both like the drama of main characters getting killed, because thats how life works.  You could be strong, but if you are in a war, or if there is someone stronger (theres always a bigger fish) then you can die.
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"Two there should be. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it" -Darth Bane

TheDutchman
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« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2020, 05:01:40 PM »

So now I have more of a getting started question...I want to either jump into Sai'le as a youngling being assigned to a master as a prologue, or have the prologue be years in the future after vader kills Sai'le, with Naroh finding Sai'le's lightsabers that the council had kept in their collections after Sai'le went rouge.  The first Idea is a lot more straightforward, the second idea Naroh would take the sabers back to his hideout and give them to the young girl that him and Sai'le were training named Viviana.  If i don't do this as a segway to the start of the story, I'm going to have it be the epilogue of the last "book"

Any thoughts?

I actually like your secondvstoryboarding option: Prologue-Naroh find's Sai'le's sabers>Body-Main story (and with this you could really begin anywhere: Sai'le as a youngling/established knight/fallen Jedi)>Epilogue-Viviana receives sabers from Naroh.  But then again, I like stories that begin in medias res, you can set up the chapter (in this case: prologue) beginning with an action sequence, securing the reader's attention while simultaneously offering an easter egg or two for the reader further down the narrative  Smiley

Again, for examples, you need not look further than this very Forum (again, I canNOT recommend enough that you check out the stories written by Karmack, Lord_S_Gray, and Taegin Roan).  And--should you feel compelled--I've done a couple myself  Wink

Writing your own "character" into the story is probably my forte.  :-)   If you read through the forumverse, you're going to see Ka'a'Mack of the Mak'Tor showing up a lot I am afraid.  I do hope he hasn't become a Mary Sue.  He has become very powerful, but he's paid a price for it along the way.

And that's what Dutchman was talking about.  Usually a "Mary Sue" is an overpowered character, often the 'avatar' of the author in the story, who is just up-front more powerful, smarter, wiser, and virtually invincible.  From what I've seen of your plot notes I don't think you'll have an issue with it.  :-)

Janx, thanks for that explanation!  And the link!  If you haven't put that in the pinned Tips for Writing thread you should!   :-)

Karm brings up an EXCELLENT point: his character goes through some power levels in subsequent stories, growing stronger in each one, culminating in "What You Leave Behind."  HOWEVER, the very fact that he IS becoming more powerful #1 does NOT make him invincible, #2 is a key plot point within the narrative, and #3 is a source of epic drama in his character arc. 

Likewise, Darth Rowan in "Shadow of the Outcast" is another powerful character without being boring as throughout the story his development is an earned part of the narrative (which is similar Sai'le; nicely done  Smiley). 

The two above examples are how to do the "strong, powerful hero" type when applied to a single character.  Now, when applied to a group and culture, look at LSG's Aethans.  They are engineered to be powerful but their limited social understandings hamstring them, a poignant aspect that a clever opponent can (and has!) taken advantage of.

Then you can consider my own main character, Zearic.  He starts off as less than middling, knowing that he'll never be more powerful than that: mediocre.  Part of his motive comes from the inherent drive to protect his family, wishing to become stronger.  Well...remember the adage "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it"  Wink   So in Zearic's case, he's given what he'd always hoped for (stronger, both in body and the Force) but the price comes at an incredible cost, one that affects family and friends. 

"Strong" and "powerful" characters aren't automatically Mary Sues (special thanks to Janx for his helping to clarify such  Smiley).  The "test" that Janx provided is an excellent barometer for checking if a character is a Mary Sue.  Now, having said that, from what you've told us, Sai'le does NOT seem like a Mary Sue  Wink
Another point: having some author self-insertion in their characters is almost inevitable.  Case in point: Zearic has more than a few of my idiosyncrasies and D'Aylanna IS my wife  Grin.  The trick is to keep them interesting and relatable: they--like me--make mistakes.  A LOT of them (again: VERY much like me  Cheesy).  But as I continued writing more and more about them, they developed their own distinct personalities far removed from my original template.  This I can attribute to getting comfortable with the characters, responding to the feedback of my fellow authors, and becoming a better writer (or so I hope  Wink)

BUT the most IMPORTANT thing about writing your fanfiction:
HAVE FUN!!!
The authors (and artists: I HIGHLY suggest that you check out For Tyeth's saber renderings here http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=40017.msg670197#msg670197 and PsychoSith's saber drawings here http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=41788.msg717613#msg717613) have been absolutely inspirational to my own writing.  From the feedback that everyone posts to the drawings that I borrow (with permission  Wink), I cannot tell you how much this has helped my storytelling.  More than a few times someone would offer a suggestion/critique that truly improved what I'd intended to write, making the scene/chapter even better than I'd hoped.  Which leads me to my final point, one that you've already done: listen to and seek advice.  No one has a monopoly on good ideas (goodness knows I don't!  Grin) and often times someone will see or think of something that is superior to what you'd planned.  Or even better: you can then incorporate said great idea into your already good story.

Thankfully, this is the perfect venue to take a chance with your writing; everyone here is fantastic  Cool
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My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2020, 06:13:21 AM »

Dutch spelled it out well. But yeah there is always someone bigger as you said, that doesn't mean your character can't have badass moments.  Case in point as Dutch eluded my 'race' of Aethans are genetically engineered selectively bred force prodigies....yet at the start of their saga they live in log cabins, subsistence food, with no advanced technology following an ecological and population collapse, and get their butts kicked by 'mere' pirates/slavers the kind a Jedi master would consider cannon fodder...then they improve to the point of dealing devastating blows to the Jedi they come into conflict with largely because the Jedi are utterly unprepared for the way they fight....but then it turns again and they meet their match against far more prepared and capable Jedi and Sith. There is a see saw in effect that keeps the narrative realistic and avoids one sided conflict as the arms race builds.

But yeah just have fun in your writing and we're all here to offer tips and ideas, without question IMHO the best stuff in our little Forumverse is the result of collaborations, even if you just ask someone else to write one scene it can open your eyes to new ways of seeing your own character and story. Get creative and have fun as Dutch said!
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

janx
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« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2020, 08:08:45 AM »

So now I have more of a getting started question...I want to either jump into Sai'le as a youngling being assigned to a master as a prologue, or have the prologue be years in the future after vader kills Sai'le, with Naroh finding Sai'le's lightsabers that the council had kept in their collections after Sai'le went rouge.  The first Idea is a lot more straightforward, the second idea Naroh would take the sabers back to his hideout and give them to the young girl that him and Sai'le were training named Viviana.  If i don't do this as a segway to the start of the story, I'm going to have it be the epilogue of the last "book"

Any thoughts?

Here's some general thoughts on that from the test of writing world...

You got ten pages to hook a reader, do you want to spend it on a high level proloque telling me about your world?  Prologues waste that runway you need.  Yes, I know Star Wars has proloques (note I made a video for my story).

A pet peeve I have is the from-birth to present info dump that is largely telling and goes over all the tragic "special" moments the character had.  If your hero is 21 years old at the inciting incident through the climactic battle, then start when he is 21 years old and maybe a week, a day or moments before the climactic battle.

Instead, your first chapters should hint of the problem to come, show me your character's "normal" while demonstrating a slice of conflict.  Perhaps he's grading the current crop of padawans and dealing with a thorn in his side.  Maybe this is the moment where he switches from teaching a class of kids to getting stuck with a tag-along Avaini and a real assignment.  If it will make us empathize with the MC and see a bit of his world, that's the reason to start there.

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TheDutchman
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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2020, 12:01:54 PM »

Here's some general thoughts on that from the test of writing world...

You got ten pages to hook a reader, do you want to spend it on a high level proloque telling me about your world?  Prologues waste that runway you need.  Yes, I know Star Wars has proloques (note I made a video for my story).

A pet peeve I have is the from-birth to present info dump that is largely telling and goes over all the tragic "special" moments the character had.  If your hero is 21 years old at the inciting incident through the climactic battle, then start when he is 21 years old and maybe a week, a day or moments before the climactic battle.

Instead, your first chapters should hint of the problem to come, show me your character's "normal" while demonstrating a slice of conflict.  Perhaps he's grading the current crop of padawans and dealing with a thorn in his side.  Maybe this is the moment where he switches from teaching a class of kids to getting stuck with a tag-along Avaini and a real assignment.  If it will make us empathize with the MC and see a bit of his world, that's the reason to start there.


This is a perfect example of an alternate perspective that gives more options to an author.  Janx brings up some excellent points concerning storyboarding and plotting, all of which are superb.

For myself, I actually like prologues in that they can act as a microcosm for your story, introducing pertinent information/scenes/action that can immediately grab a reader's attention.  Is my way better than Janx?  Not by any means; it's just my own personal preference  Smiley  But I absolutely agree with him that a "from-birth to present info dump" (well put^^) is not only a waste but completely unnecessary.  You've got a story to tell; such banality would only bog it down.

But again, this underscores how two different writing styles can help one as a writer.  Ultimately, use what you enjoy most while simultaneously creating an interesting narrative for your readers  Smiley
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My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

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