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#1 - character profiles

 

So, I am now starting in on the character page for the House of Night round robin, where we pretend that House of Night is a fanfic for a book much better written and that the Casts are Suethors who took the original work and butchered it for their own self fulfillment.


 

Zoey Redbird – The question comes, was Zoey simply an OC that the Casts stuck into their 'fanfic', or is she still going to be a 'canon character'. If she is a 'canon character', then she needs to have something that draws a reader to wish fulfill with her. The other question is, do we keep her ethnicity, since that is part of the wish full fulfillment on the Casts part, where Zoey shares the ethnicity of the daughter. How about having her simply have dark skin.


 

Aphrodite LaFont – She is to be the true protagonist. Should she have some mean girl spunk to her, or should she actually be like Arwen from Lord of the Rings, Ginny from Harry Potter or any of the other really nice girls who are turned into bitches simply because someone wants their way with the fanfic.


 

Damien Maslin – He is the gay guy in the real series. Should he actually still be gay, and pushed into gay stereotypes in the fanfic despite having a masculine personality, or should he not be gay and pushed into being labeled as gay simply because he is different.


 

Erik Night – He should be the class hottie. Should he be like Draco Malfoy, where the girls mistake him for being really nice, or should he be like Legolas, a nice guy simply objectified.


 

Stevie Rae Johnson – She is the stereotypical cowgirl. How to break this one up... have her have an accent, but know nothing about western culture and such?


 

Neferet - ???


 

Elliot – A Nevile Longbottom type character? Or some other character that gets misunderstood, like Peter Petigrew.


 

Definatly open to discussion.


Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
palomalee
Apr. 29th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)
On the subject of Zoey: if we look at House of Night as if it's a fanfiction of another work, I think Zoey would be a canon character. Just not a very important one; someone name-dropped in the background who didn't get much screentime, so that the Suethor could easily mold the personality while claiming that it could work in canon. An OC Stand-In, and I apologize ahead of time for the TV Tropes link. The best example I can think of is Blaise Zabini of Harry Potter. His characterization in pre-HBP fanfics was usually an Italian girl who showed a more sympathetic side of Slytherin.

If you'll forgive my comparisons to other fandoms, Elliot's treatment in House of Night feels similar to the treatment of Ron Weasely or Mai from ATLA by those who can't stand them. The sentiment tends to be "why is the creator spending so much time on this worthless ugly character? best kill him/her off in a horrible way and have my characters laugh about it". When I read the books, I read being fairly interested in Elliot. He very clearly wasn't buying into all of the "vampyres are so superior to humans" bullshit, which was a refreshing change of pace. Perhaps he would work as an outcast, what with his disdain for the the society in it's arrogance, hatred of humanity, and blatant misandry. Of course, if we're changing up how vampire/vampyre society is in this fic, then that characterization is moot.

I think that Damien would work well as a straight guy with both feminine traits. Everyone else I don't have much of a crystallized opinion of at the moment.
parrinoyed
Apr. 29th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
Oooh, brilliant point about Elliot, I hadn't picked up on that, but now that you point it out, I can definitely see it. But those are both casualties of the shipping wars: who would you say Elliot was shipped with? The author hates Aphrodite, but loves Zoey. So I would think it would be E/Z or a healthy, good A&E, with Z crushing on E.

And good point about Blaise, too; I don't know my initial idea is that far off even :) Although you have evidence! lol
yemi_hikari
Apr. 29th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC)
I liked that point too. :D

You mean Elliot/Zoey, and Aphrodite/Eric with Zoey crushing on Eric? (Careful on the shortening of names, 'cause we have two male characters with E's in their names.) If we add to that, you know how some ships happen to have certain ships that believe that there are signs of the ship crushing on each other when there are none. Harry/Hermione from HP and Toshiro/Momo from Bleach. What if Eric and Zoey's relationship is like that.
parrinoyed
Apr. 29th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
I meant Elliot both times...I was talking about him and forgot all about Erik! However, your way would work too. Sorry about the confusion :P
yemi_hikari
Apr. 29th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
I was thinking that too. I also know the whole fiasco about Blaize Zabini, so it would be nice to work that into this. And don't worry about bringing comparisions from other fandoms in, as I think that is going to help flesh this out.

I like your suggest for Elliot, but something you brought up about other fandoms made me think of something else. What if Elliot WAS a Ron Weasly or Mai, where in there is the question of why the supposidly useless character breaks up their OTP.

While I am not fond of either of their canon pairings, I hate the character bashing and other problems that go on and love fanics that deal with breaking up the canon pairing with respect.

If we go with the idea that Elliot is victum of "outcasting" and an OTP ship war, then would he not have likely have been paired with Zoey? So then, by that standard, the Cast ladies turned him into supposidly a worthless character simply because he was in the way of their OTP Zoey/Eric. Cause their new OTP wouldn't come until later on.

I was thinking that about Damien too.
parrinoyed
Apr. 29th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
It's hard for me to judge because I've only read Zelda's sporks, but I think Zoey leans *strongly* to an OC, but may have been a proto-Aphrodite toadie & antagonist.

Damien: either his "different" traits showed up first, or he was a regular character already in a relationship. The casts didn't want to deal with an actual relationship yet, and so just focused on the "gay, gay, gay" schtick instead of character development.

I don't know about Erik, because without reading it, I don't know what you want to do about the, uh, initial scene with him and Aphrodite. I'm not sure there's anyway to make that make sense for actual characters, especially with Aphrodite: unless she does try to overpower him as part of her image, because that's what her parents taught her, powers gone to her head, etc, and it will be part of her ultimate redemption arc.

In which case the story would start well before Zoey would/did show up, showing the level of power Aphrodite has and how she handles it.

Speaking of which, that could tie into both interpretations (initially) of Neferet and Stevie Rae. For instance, Aphrodite could still have the canon bullying of Stevie Rae, in the beginning, and then have to deal with the consequences of making that enemy (who joined her arch-nemesis' camp?) and Neferet would have fostered that behavior and, when Aphrodite received terrifying visions, Neferet would encourage her to focus on the suffering and emphasize the vamps wouldn't do anything about it: psychological torture.

and Elliot could be mostly the same, only with the causes of his behavior properly attributed and Aphrodite horrified by his death, as she is secretly horrified by the deaths of all the fledglings and Neferet's response, which is as careless as canon. And Aphrodite has started to learn how damaging she is.

Uhh...is that what you were asking? I think I got a bit wordy.
yemi_hikari
Apr. 29th, 2011 06:51 am (UTC)
I don't know how much you know of LotR, but here is an example of how a fanfic author can twist the original canon to be something else. http://yemi-hikari.livejournal.com/39206.html

Basically it works this way. LotR canon is point A, where Arwen is a decent character. The fanfic is point B where Arwen is turned into a complete monster of her original sourse.

Something simular is going on with this spite fic, except House of Night isn't point A, it is point B. We're working backwards to try to establish point B, or what kind of character the canon characters in House of Night would be if they were in fact twisted versions of really good characters from original stories. It is basically using critical analysis to determine what kind of character they would have been like before the Suethors got to them. Hope this helps.
yemi_hikari
Apr. 29th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC)
So, do all of us agree that Damien is to be the straight male character with feminine traits? Artist, highly intelligent? Feminine features.
mogseltof
May. 2nd, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
I think keep Damien gay, just really demolish the stereotyping by the Casts. I do think the highly intelligent thing should stick along with the artist :)
yemi_hikari
May. 2nd, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe. Thing is though, from my experience of the characters who are outwardly gay in fandom, they tend not to be sterotyped by the fanfic writers. I am more of used to characters who aren't declared being steroptyped. Even Sirius and Remus fall under that catagory from HP, simply because they weren't declared. It isn't to say these pairings can't happen. Sterotypes are simply insults to everyone that falls under them and the standard isn't true. So basically, someone whose sexuallity is unstated, more then anything.

This is why discussion for this is good.
overlordmikey
May. 9th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I know I'm not actually involve in this round robin, but Damion; to me, read like the smart guy written by someone who doesn't get how to be the smart guy.

In the real book (aka Spitefic) he's a fairly normal and level headed gay guy; the "Twins" where disliked by the author so they where made dumber well his gratuitous "big words" where increased due to the fact that the original had Damion sometimes use words one or both of the "twins" didn't get.

The fanfic writer didn't like how Damion wasn't "gay enough" so exaggerated his love of things that the writer saw a feminine and constantly reminded everyone that he was oh so gay (a fact that was only mentioned a few times when it was relevant).

The fanfic writer also created fake drama with his parents who in the book where accepting of his homosexuality (if not confused or uncertain of how to take it). The writer just assumed that was unrealistic for them to accept their son and blew their uncertainty into their major trait to make them seem worse.

A lot of times the "make a character evil" thing is done by taking a "bad" character trait or action out of context and then making it their only personality trait.
That way they can use that one scene to justify their actions.
yemi_hikari
May. 10th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Thank you for weighing in. I really like the thing with the words and how the twins don't get a few. Still not sure whether to make him gay or not, or simply unsaid. I am kind of hoping that a few people who know more about the subject will weigh in.
cecamire
May. 11th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
I don't think Damien should be gay. The overemphasis of the gayness feels to me like the author decided zie just wanted to slash him. Wikipedia says that he's in a relationship with "Jack Twist", so I was thinking that they could be really close friends with maybe a little subtext and the author read a lot into it.
yemi_hikari
May. 11th, 2011 07:18 am (UTC)
That is kind of why I didn't want to make him gay for this. I've seen way too much of this phenomonum. On top of Jack and him being close friends, I think there is a lot of other stuff that would have been read into.
cecamire
May. 11th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
!!!
Where did my comments go? :(
I should have checked back sooner, dammit. *tries to remember what she wrote*

With Stevie Ray Johnson, I was thinking she should have been a mentor-y girl who was genuinely nice and "Okie-ish", but not to the point of stereotyping.

Aphrodite as the protagonist could be a bit tricky. I think that when she enters the academy she should sort of be treated like Zoey was, but with a lot more looking down on and whispers of "she's just faking it". The power goes to her head and she starts thinking that she can do anything she wants, so she bullies Stevie Ray Johnson.
Oh dear, the bj with Erik. Maybe he should have been a really good friend/lover before but when she got all corrupted-by-powery he disliked her and wanted to leave? So she thinks that she can rape him and convince him.
At heart is her insecurity with her parents, who've always told her that she wasn't good enough and would never please them. Almost everyone else only sucks up to her because she's Neferet's little pet and she really, really liked Erik.

Erik, on the other hand, could be either good or bad--he could be a genuine friend or he could have been just using her for protection. Rape may be a common thing in their society and he may have reasoned that as Aphrodite's boyfriend he'd be protected from all the other vampyres.
I like the idea that the only reason he came onto Zoey was because he thought she was more powerful, but I also agree with palomalee she was just a background character like Blaise Zabini.

Neferet: probably evil. The way that Zoey hammers us over the head with hints really looks like Read-Ahead syndrome (where the main character "somehow knows" that it was Quirrell rather than Snape). Wikipedia mentions something about Tsi Sigili, but I have no idea what that is. :/

Elliot sounds nice. I don't think he should have been a friend of Aphrodite's and the bullying probably happened. However, the cause of his paleness and laziness etc. weren't specifically pointed out in the book and the author completely missed the point of it. Aphrodite may not have thought that drinking his blood would have such bad effects on him, not seeing him very often, as he's not in her classes. (I think.)

Anyway, I've gotten hold of a few of the actual books, and I think we should wait until we're up to date with canon to write this so we don't contradict it by accident.

*hopes this posts*
yemi_hikari
May. 11th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
One of the things that works with deconstructing a peice to write something like this though, is you don't have to stick to the original as being completly accurate. I've written badfic for Bleach, where I pretend to be different bad fanfic writers and then omake the responses to their fanfics at the end.

You can choose to decide that one character was turned OoC by the fanfic writer, or that there was some bases for the characterization that got exagerated. The difference between what I did, and what we are doing here though is, instead of having the well written material and trying to write the bad, we have the bad material and are trying to get the good.

With the first, you ask what will this fanfic writer do in order to write a badfic. With this, it needs to be asked what the "fanfic" writer did to write the badfanfic.
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