I’ve moved this over from FimFiction because, while having a blog there is nice, the “FAQ” took up almost the entire profile page. I decided it would be better to post it here, and simply link to my Tumblr. Hopefully the pagebreak works this time…
I’m going to be posting a new story soon, but it got me thinking that I should perhaps put up a little “FAQ” about my fic writing. If you’re interested in my why and wherefores, by all means, take a look. If it doesn’t really concern you that’s fine too. This is just for people’s general information if they want it.
Q: Why do you use OCs in some of your stories?
A: Well, I don’t necessarily have a problem with canon characters, as “Candied Apples” would attest, but overall, I feel much more comfortable creating a character for the role in a story than trying to make “someone else’s” character react to a certain situation. Characters that I design for a story feel much more familiar to me, and I believe that in turn helps me make them more identifiable to the reader. MLP to me is a great medium for story-telling, but I see no need nor reason to constrain myself to characters that were specifically written for the show. I would rather write a character that people can sympathize with than write one that’s necessarily “well-known.” So to me, writing with OCs is just playing to my strengths since I don’t feel as solid writing with canon characters.
Q: Do you consider your OCs to be “you” or parts of you?
A: I think it’s a well-known principle that any character a writer creates is ultimately some self-reflection in some fashion, but generally speaking, no. Some characters might be closer to me than others, but I don’t generally consider my OCs to be “me” any more than the writers of the show consider any of the main 6 cast to be reflections of themselves. Most often in my writing, I’m not so much trying to mold the characters to what I would think or do as I myself am trying to imagine what a character would do in any given situation.
Q: Your OCs “aren’t you” but, how much do you draw from your own life experiences in your stories?
A: Every writer will draw some amount from personal experience, no matter how fantastical or fictional the situation of his characters. We always build our thoughts on the foundation of things we have felt and observed. That being said, how much or how little a story draws from the writer’s own life is not as important as how well and how accurately the story pertains to the reader’s empathy. An author writes to share, and if a story doesn’t say anything to the person reading it, then it loses its life-spark and may as well not be read.
Q: Do you always write about shipping? Why do you write shipping?
A: You might be surprised to know this, but I didn’t even know that “shipping” meant anything other than a charge that mailing companies used for packages until I found the MLP fandom. Let me tell you, it put the phrase “Shipping and Handling” in an entirely different light when I did find out. I personally never had a problem with it; relationships, be they friendship or something more intimate, are a part of everyday life. The show itself isn’t afraid of discussing romantic relationships and I don’t believe we should be either. What I will say is I don’t think it should necessarily be our only focus, and thus obviously, no, I won’t always write about shipping.
Q: Uh… you write about sex too. Sometimes. Why is that?
A: For much the same reason that I’m not against shipping, except obviously a show for little kids won’t include it. I don’t believe there is anything “guilty” or “dirty” about sex or sexual situations in and of themselves. You can’t get more “a part of life” than the activity that creates life in the first place. It can be a wonderful thing that cements and epitomizes the love, trust and affection in relationships. Even that aside, it doesn’t have an innate biological reward because it’s a “bad thing.” There’s a reason it feels good. It can be downright fun and it’s supposed to be.
I think the greater crime is it’s treatment as a “filthy subject” for so long that people have forgotten how beautiful it is and how to celebrate it. To even mention it incites shame in a lot of places. It’s the secret everyone knows but no one talks about. There are a lot of stories that simply use it to be true to life, depictions and caricatures of our own lives and experiences, and I’m certainly not against it being used in a more playful, fun-loving fashion. That’s part of the joy that comes with it.
Some might feel MLP is an “inappropriate” medium for such things. For stories intended for kids, yes, I’d be in full agreement. However, most of fanfiction is geared toward adults, and if fanfiction is appropriate enough to handle “adult” topics like grimdark, complex drama, romance, marriage and the much more serious parts of friendship, then I believe it’s just as capable a medium for the “more mature” subjects of life, provided they tout themselves specifically to interested adults. It’s an aspect of life I belief equally worthy of examination and enjoyment for what it is: no more, no less.
Q: How do you feel about rape, torture, pedophilia, snuff or other such “elements”?
A: By principle, I am against all of that sort of thing. That being said, there is a difference between a story that deals with those subjects, and one that tries to use them as a form of entertainment, and I greatly disagree with the latter. If ever any of those elements makes it into a story of mine, it will never be presented as something acceptable or encouraged. At the very most, it would be a plot point presented as a crime, interwoven into a larger story and no more graphically described than necessary to communicate the situations and emotions for the story’s development.