devoid

Questions about OOC

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So this is something I noticed in many of those fanfic "pet peeve" threads, and complaints about characterization OOC-ness (particularly if it involves character bashing) is one of the most prevalent complaints.

But sometimes, the premise or setting of the fic does require the character to be somewhat OOC (e.g. a character is demonized to justify a pairing or angst, another is dumbed down for the sake of comedy, etc). What I want to ask is, how far can one stretch the characterization and justification before the character becomes completely alien this OOC-ness become unbearable?

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i have seen many stories where a character is way ooc but its never explained and i think thats the real issue.

if you just start to write a fanfic on anything and don't explain the changes in the universe that would effect the character, then most would think that its going to be based on canon data, but as a writer you have no obligation to do that and it could be too much useless information that means nothing.

example:

canon version

Bob is an elite knight from ..... some mystical kingdom and holds a strong standing of honor and loyalty to his king.

fanfic version

Bob found his king in bed with his wife/girlfriend and became enraged, turning his back on the kingdom forever, he became dark and twisted into a black knight.

in that little quick thing i made we have an explanation of the change in story.

but really like many will tell you, its your story and you can do anything you like.

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Just keep in mind that no matter what, if you dare to write a character even slightly OOC then you're pretty much guaranteed to get at least one insanely rabid fan wanting to jump down your throat and rip out your spleen, regardless of how well you justify your actions. Now ask me why I write original stories and not fanfic.

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Personally, I think I expect most fanfiction to take the characters I'm familiar with and put them in new situations, especially situations that could not be done in the source material (crossovers, sex, etc.). If the character changes drastically, even with fully logical reasons, it's not really still that same character. It's essentially creating a branch universe in which the character(s) are totally different. I'm sure there are a lot of good and well-loved stories that do this, but it's definitely going to seem out of the norm compared to a fanfic where the characters behave as we expect them to.

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I posted this in a different thread on a similar topic, but I think it applies here: I would counsel some degree of caution with the amount of liberty you take with the characters. You don't want them to be so OOC they're unrecognizable - at least, not right from the word "go," instead building the changes slowly. I find readers more willing to go along with that approach. Even there, though, you want to be careful not to cross into the realm of writing what are functionally original characters but with that fandom's names slapped on.

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I'm of the opinion that, as long as the differences are logical under the circumstances, and hopefully I see the character as IC at least once in the story, then it's fine. Not all readers share my opinion.

Still, I think the furthest OoC I've ever been able to stand reading (and it still makes me uneasy at times) is Clara Barton's OoC Heero Yuy in her Gundam Wing AU, "Deviant" (on fanfiction.net).... She made him a prostitute. *wince* But I trust her sense of his character and she intends to turn him into the Perfect Soldier that he is in canon. It's just that she's not there yet. *sigh*

Edited by Cuzosu

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