Date: Mar 30, 2015 04:29 am Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
Number 11. By being sooooooo juicy
Hmm. Suddenly I'm a little concerned about how you are going to write a sex scene. Then again, as long as it's 'so juicy', Michael has a third arm, and he makes Gumby look stiff, we're good.
Date: Mar 28, 2015 06:03 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
Some of these I never really gave that much thought and so I end up developing the OG as I go along. Of course none of my OGs have my name or are practically me, although they do have a few of my traits/hobbies, likes, etc. I only put the picture of the main girl in the cover, not inside the chapter, although I occasionally put pics of the random OCs in the end notes. Also the original girl's maturity is important..it's a real turn off when the OG is so immature Michael feels as if he has to father/baby-sit her.
I'd argue that these are good to know before writing the OG, as it helps with keeping her in character from the beginning. It's just a lot of effort upfront.
Your last point: is it just me or are the people who tend to really enjoy immature OGs are the under-18 crowd? Though some claim to be over 18....
Date: Mar 04, 2015 11:29 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
I really enjoyed reading this chapter. It was so enlightening. I try to make it a duty to not fail in creating a good OG. Sometimes I wonder if the OG's in my stories are too perfect but I try to make them easy to relate to. As far as making yourself the OG,I agree with you. We all want to be that girl who ended up with Michael but you don't want to make your readers awkward. However, sometimes I'll give the OG a part of me like a characteristic or hobby I have. For instance, in one story I made the girl's favorite cake a strawberry one with chocolate frosting. This is also my favorite. Other than minor stuff like that, the OG is her own person. Once again, great advice.
I think the OG is a very fine line. I waffle back and forth on whether I should write a segment of "signs your OG is too perfect" or "ways to make your OG more (realistically) flawed".
Giving the OG a few of your characteristics is completely normal. I mean, who do you know better than yourself or your hobbies? My main argument is against making the OG 100% or even 95% you.
Thanks girl :)
Date: Jan 27, 2015 08:26 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
I tend to stray away from stories that cast the leading ladies that are way over used like Beyonce and Rhianna(which I personally don't care for.) as I have never been a fan of the uber popular things. I always go for the underdogs and the less popular. I personally love Brooke Shields and I've used her in two of my stories ( don't know if you've see her on the banner) but as a supporting character. She was Erin's sister. I've honestly never read a fanfiction where Brooke was the leading lady and the sole object of Michael's affection. I've read some where she's come very close but it all works out for the leading lady in the end which I find a bit unfair considering the fact that writers write stories where Michael is romantically involved with other ladies he encountered in his life time(e.g Diana, Princess Diana, Tatiana, Naomi, Ola etc.) but NEVER Brooke. Tatum too. She's always painted as the antagonist.
I for one cannot stand Taylor Swift but I only used her for the my story "Never" because she pretty much matched the description of the main girl to a tee and when I first came up with the idea for the story about four years ago, she was still pretty likable.
I don't care for Lisa Marie or Diana Ross in the least bit and I'm not partial to Tatiana either but I won't pass up a story all together just because their images are in the graphic. I might be a reader for a while but not a faithful one at least depending on how the story is going. I think it's a little unfair to the author to pass up on reading their story just because they've used a leading lady you don't necessarily like. It would actually be a good story. But then again, biases are kind of unfair and everyone has their turn offs when it comes to stories.
I totally know what you mean about creativity when it comes to making the MG different from you. It makes you step out of your comfort zone.
Even after my rant and a few other people mentioning things, people are still going on. It's sad.
I'm not the best person to talk about Brooke to. I'm very biased against her given what she's said about him in the past and the fact that she disappeared at a convenient time in his life. This is an example of how using someone who was actually in his life can work against an author. I similarly refuse to read stories featuring LiMP, DR, and Tatiana as leads. Again, that's a personal choice. I know that I'm not the only one. I very much prefer stories with an OG as the lead female.
Yes, I ranted in here and have gotten some comments about that stuff, but thus far, I've just read depressing justifications.
Side rant: I don't care what the culture is like in a person's home country. If the setting is in the US, then the cultural/legal/social norms should represent those of the area depicted. Legal age for consent to sex varies by state, drinking age is 21 nationally, and driving before 15 is illegal. Research 101.
Date: Jan 26, 2015 07:54 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
yeah I did..wanted to expand on it so you see my reflections on the original girls I use in my fics.
ah. cool. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't imagining things
Date: Jan 26, 2015 06:38 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
YAAAAS!!! This chapter was perfect!! You touched on everything!!!
1: When it comes to published novels, I thrive on using my imagination but with fanfiction I think it's okay as long as you don't go overboard. I also write on wattpad and on there you have the option to make a cast for your story. It almost makes it seem like a movie which is super cool!! I like at least one picture of the female lead and maybe one picture of some of the other main characters but not a picture for every chapter setting, and scene. I don't like using very well know celebrities and models for the main girl. It's really getting annoying seeing all these Adriana Lima's, Rhianna's and Beyonce's(Beyonce is waaay overused, like everyone uses her!) It's not like they're the only women on this planet. And I really can't stand it when the writers introduce the MG by giving a detailed description of her face, hair and body and let's not forget what she's wearing.
3:I honestly think the writers forget that their MG is human. They write her like a living doll or something. She always has perfect hair, it's neber nappy or frizzy, never gets a pimple, doesn't have braces or gaped teeth or glasses. Just perfect. I loved how you mentioned actual problems. Most writers make the mistake of having characters have these perfect lives, they've got the best well paying jobs, the best family and friends. Life is not like that for everyone. Now some readers go overboard and make the MG have a horrible life. She's constantly bullied at school, she's beaten and molested by her father, her mother died or hates her. Sadly this is reality for some people but not EVERYONE. This gets really quick and makes the main girl look like a damsel in distress that Michael has to save from her problems. It's rare he ever falls for an independent head strong woman.
4:I think many of the writers are so fixated on making their characters a boss, bad woman that they forget that even people who proclaim themselves be to so have moments where they can't find the right words to say or they have a moment of weakness.
7: When I first started writing, I did this a lot. I made my MG's have personalities very similar to mine or have aspirations of becoming a writer like me. But I've learned that becomes so boring. My favorite main girl of mine was Erin Shields from my stories "Something Borrowed" and "Something Great". I adored her. She was nothing like me. Spunky, independent and headstrong but wasn't afraid to cry sometimes. And her life style was one I necessarily wouldn't approve of like living with boyfriends and having a baby out of wedlock but she had the most heart and the most life out of all my MG'S. Perfect MG's are boring!! And when a person gives their MG their government name or uses their picture I automatically know not to even bother reading. That's a major turn off.
8: I think you've seen a rant of mine about this before....
1. The risk with that is that you may choose an image of someone who a reader has a reaction to. I for one am biased against a few of the females that writers have chosen as the image for their OG/leading lady (e.g. Swift, Shields, Rihanna, Spears), so I don't read stories with their images in the graphic. Agreed on the physical description. It's an art to be able to weave an image into a scene.
7. I like how you can rattle off ways in which she is different. I have nothing wrong with an author drawing from herself/himself. I just see the creativity/art coming in when the author makes that character distinctly and irrevocably different his or herself.
8. Yep. Your rant gave me some faith that it wasn't just me.
Date: Jan 26, 2015 05:08 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
Hey again. In regards to my suggestion I had popped before, I am all for creativity but a line must be drawn. when it comes to OOCness I let gangster/criminal slide if it's based on a short film as well as him being semi-antagonist if it is a supernatural themed fic..(I happen to LOVE him as Maestro) but other than that I steer away from fics that portray him as something he spoke out against..unless a good reason is given..which also prevents potential loopholes as well.And I'll read a fic where he is not famous but like a regular businessman or a highschool teacher
I am ok with AU fics (meaning read them) but to a point..the fics that stay true to Michael's character would be considered non-AU and I personally tend to prefer alternate reality when it comes to the normal Michael we all love. I mean it is possible to have fictional stuff happen in non-AU stories..I do it all the time..as well as write fics that explore an issue that wasn't fully touched on in his life..and not to worry, Michael isn't perfect in my fics either..he has the flaws I heard/know of him having (like the occasional insecurity, low-self esteem, stubbornness, goofy..which could be a good thing some times)..I am someone who likes writing fics that I imagine the family would be able to sit back and enjoy..
As far as Original Girl goes, I definitely don't want my characters to be MarySues. When it comes to #7, in my first fic (Unwavering Support) the lead OC is a lot like me in some ways but she isn't me..and that fic happens to be a family type of fic..she is of legal age but considering that she looks at Michael as like a father/older brother it would be awkward to have a romance between the two..for those who are too lazy to use their imagination I like to post visuals of how the OCs look..like an essence of them so if you see me use one that looks very beautiful just know it's an idea alone and they look pretty average in comparison..I am fairly new to romance and I definitely take age difference into account..like for instance, the OC that will eventually be paired up with Michael is 2 years younger..and in my Maestro fic Ghostly Attraction the lead girl for that one ages slowly but appears early thirties whereas Maestro looks 38 although he is immortal..and as far as flaws goes the potential love interest in my Betrayed Trust fic, she deals with eating disorders on and off..and she could have a nasty temper if provoked..and the lead OG in Ghostly Attraction is VERY dangerous if people test her patience..she is also selfconscious about her appearance like Michael was..and could be brash..
hope I didn't bore you with all this..
Did you delete a comment? I recall you having one that I wanted to come back to.
I'm more liberal on AU. I can see your point about wanting to stick with a Michael with similar values to his IRL.
You didn't bore me at all :)
Date: Jan 26, 2015 02:21 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
All points well covered!!!
1)GUILTY!!! Lol... I'm definitely guilty of using picture representations for my female leads. I also head each chapter with a pictures as well. I do this to give a feel for the tone of the chapter. They are never just straight on cut and paste pics. Sometimes the pictures represent objects or scenarios involved in each chapter. (This could be another topic too. "How to set the scene") Though very pretty, I usually try to find leads that are not very popular or well known.(Cradle To The Grave does have known people but they're very understated I think so it's the exception for me). My lead for my story Inked happens to be a tattoo artist in real life and that went into why I chose her for the part. I'm a very visual person and I like giving my readers a start on opening their imagination for other parts of the story I can't put into pictures so if I take away the added thought of picturing what the leads look like then the reader can then focus on the plot. (I hope that makes sense lol) I also do clothing descriptions as well, sometimes I do that because the clothing may play a part in how a follow up scene unfolds.
4)GUILTY. My characters are usually very sharp and witty because that's how I am. I do have moments of WTF and I don't always have comebacks or find them necessary, which I try to apply to my leads as well. I never make them agnsty and moody or overly atittudinal (they do have their momments tho) mostly because personally I can't identify with a character like that and writing chapter after chapter of a personality I could not be around on a regular basis in real life is hard (ie. my character Diana. I could only write so much of her lol.)
7)GUILTY Again. My leads almost always possesses my personality. Mpenzawe's personality is me with an added sense of outgoing-ness. She's also a graphic artist which I am as well as a tattoo apprentice in the making. Marley from Cradle To The Grave is a vegan which I happen to be as well. I find I develope a more well rounded characters when I infuse bits of myself into them.
I think 2,3,5,6,8 are pretty well covered with my characters.
Thanks for this!
1. Let me preface this by saying one of my favorite authors uses a lot of photos of the lead girl. I still love her stories, just not the pics. The more I think about it, the more I am concerned that I was too simplistic when I mentioned the pictures. I meant "in your face" pictures of the lead characters. Not more artsy photos like what you are describing.
7. I definitely see the benefits of infusing bits of you into the OG. I also think a writer grows when they stretch away from themself and start entertaining other character facets.
Thanks for your thorough feedback :)
Date: Jan 26, 2015 01:23 pm Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
Well if you're taking votes for the next topic, I vote a topic on building Michael's character. Some topics being: Giving him flaws, making him real. The damsel in distress & the perfect flawless savior Michael (who seems to have no problems of his own) kind of gets old. Unless you make it unique.
K. As per yours, Tinker's, and KerenOlivero's comments, I will definitely address the "Michael" character after I finish with the OG segments :) Thanks for the suggestion.
Date: Jan 26, 2015 09:25 am Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
Very good points but let me comment on these. You know I'm a debater lol
1. I'm the opposite on this. if there's no banner or picture I'm probably not going to read it, I don't like to use my imagination THAT much I mean I'm already using my imagination as far as the settings and surroundings go I at least want a solid idea of what the character looks like. I see my fics as my own little mini movies and I get to pick the casts. That being said, though if you're going to write a AU fic where the girk works at Mcdonalds don't use a pic of a model walking down a runway. Find a downplayed pic of the same model where she looks normal.
2. I agree with this completely but this needs to apply to Michael too. Give the man some flaws he was not a walking picture of perfection. Give him some manly habits or something does HE has gas, does he belch, snore, leave the toilet seat up, go without shaving for a while, have stinky feet? Something!! Though this doesn't really apply to fantasy fics where everything is supposed to be perfect.
3,4,5,and 6 I agree 100%
7 I put a lot of my real life experiences in my fics. Min Ae worked in my field. Chivonn's brother is exactly like my cousin whom I think of as a brother. Nina's situation with Marcus is my exact situation. My relationships struggle the exact way hers and Michael's does over keeping contact with him for my kids. It's easier to write about what you know and what you feel. I would never make an OG a brain surgeon because I don't know a damn thing about that field lol
and 8 agreed!!
Do it! I like a good discussion.
1. Oh, I'm not talking about the banner. I'm talking about w/in each chapter.Using celebrities (particularly well-known) is a topic I'll address in another segment.
2. 100% agreed. This chapter was about the lead female, though, so I was attempting to keep it on track.
7. Going back to what I said in my response to Brandy, KEEP DOING THAT! I see nothing wrong with putting a little of you into each character, or a little of your life into each story. You are the writer. My issue is when it is 80-100% the author.
I would never make an OG a brain surgeon because I don't know a damn thing about that field lol
Girl, I feel the same way when I see someone post a story where the lead girl (or a good portion of the story) is involved in my field. I cringe, because I've yet to see it done halfway decently. Mainly b/c the authors seem to be oblivious to the fact that the way they set the story up means making the OG break laws, toss away her occupation, and disrespect her occupation. Which goes back to the importance of research.
8. Phew! lol
Date: Jan 26, 2015 02:25 am Title: Developing a strong female lead character - UPDATED
At the same time the same could be said with building the charecter for Michael. I know a lot of people have issue in making him out of charecter orOC Personally I find it annoying to read the same chaceristics that we as fans perceived him to be like. Key word perceived. I find it very enjoyable to put charecter flaws in him or to put him in real life issues such as drug or alcohol abuse, insecurities, depression, etc. it gets pretty dan boring reading chapter after chapter of water ballon fights
i personally like to humanize him and think of what his life could have been if given the chance to be "normal".
The he truth though is none of us met the michael behind closed doors so it's hard to down others for making him OC. Also it's called fiction for a reason otherwise if the intent was to be truths it would be called mj fan non fiction. I know ppl don't like my stories because I've made him have drug or alcohol issues, once he got drunk and slept with another woman 1x,, has porn tapes hiddenin his closet etc but it made it good fodder. I can appreciate someone's opinion but it boils down to preference. Was michael gay, a wherewolf, a maestro, a gangster, a thug, etc? Not that I know of so to me it's ok to have him OC.
Agreed about Michael and being OC. I think it's fine to make him out of character; there is risk involved. It can be mitigated with a disclaimer. One also has to keep in mind that the author is still likely to rattle or upset a few readers. It's a personal decision. IMO some of MJ's best short films were the ones that made people uncomfortable. To each their own.
I would like to read a story without water balloon fights (that usually seem to include Janet >_>). I'd also like to see more stories that portray him as a Black man. By that I don't mean skin color, but his mannerisms, his dialect, his preferences (beyond just food smh).
I prefer stories that make him real (e.g. The Accused, A Dream Deferred/Dare to Dream, etc). At the same time, I've read stories that went TOO far, to the point where readers who are usually patient and understanding, essentially told the author they were going to split. Too many affairs, duplicitous behavior, etc, needs to be handled with care. Porn tapes, drug and alcohol issues, etc aren't even in my scope when I write about going too far. I feel like I struck a nerve.... :/