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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by Fozzie Bear, Jul 13, 2005.
I explained it in my post.
It stands for Original Character.
Personally, I've never been a fan of Original Characters in fanfiction although I don't mind so much if they are relations of the main characters and somehow advance our understanding of the main characters (i.e. Maggie as Kermit's sister in some stories written by Lisa). I've never been keen on Original Characters as love-interests, or as the center of attention...but then again, my opinion matters little as I pretty much never read fanfiction these days! (And Walter is essentially a new character in Fanfiction...)
Even Muppet movies have OCs in them. Max, Ms. Bitterman, Gary, Mary and Walter are all OCs when we meet them. The difference is that they appear to serve a particular function in (mostly) well-plotted stories and they come into the lives of those characters, serve their function/role and then depart, leaving our core characters pretty much intact. We'll have to see what becomes of Walter, and whether or not his time with the muppets will "take." I would like to see that, because I think Walter's function extends beyond his movie role and could continue to be a vital part of the muppets.
I think the objection most folks have to OCs is that they usually end up receiving a disproportionate amount of attention in the story, which leaves less time for Kermit and Fozzie and Robin and Gonzo to do what we want to see them do. Also, many OCs are instantaneously (and often, inexplicably--to the audience) fallen in love with, or begged to perform a spotlight/solo act at a critical event or cure cancer...you get the drift. (Walter is actually a pretty good example of what usually doesn't work, but--somehow--he manages to pull it off and be lovable and endearing.)
OCs should be like side dishes, and the muppets should be like the main dish. (We will ignore, for the moment, that many of the muppets have often been threatened with being turned into a main dish!) Keep your stories well-balanced and you'll have a healthier audience. Keep in mind that--even in the "real" stories, movies, etc.--it will sometimes be necessary for an OC to take center stage (figuratively or literally) in order to move the plot along, but the focus always returns (or should return) to our lovable felt friends.
Also, and I'll say it here in the fan-fic board where it won't bother the majority of the fans here at MC--MOST fans don't read the fan-fic. Sorry. It's true. Most fans aren't really interested in anything that isn't commercially produced, and many fans don't come onto the fan-fic section at all. Even old-timers (like Beau) who used to write fan-fic here don't drop in and read unless something unusual happens. Some places make a point of not allowing anything "original," Those of us who write are pretty much the ones who read, with some exceptions. (There are always exceptions.)
Write the story that you want to write--that's the beginning of your creativity. Write a story your chosen readership wants to read--that's the other part. Good luck! And post happy!
Just chiming in with my two cents--you guys should really post this stuff on ff.net. I know it's not a perfect site, but when it comes to archives, it's the most comprehensive, organized, and easy to use site out there. Plus, it lets you search by pairings and gives the reader a synopsis before you open the link. I admit, when looking for muppet fic, I looked there first and found a dearth of muppety hijinks. We should fix that!
I'm batting around some ideas for a Muppet fic, and had a few character-specific questions I wanted to ask before I proceeded with the story. They are fairly obscure and random, but hey that's why we're on this board, right?
1). Does Sweetums, in any Muppet production of any kind, have an age, implied or otherwise?
2). What episode of The Muppet Show perhaps best shows off Beauregard's personality?
3). Has anybody on this board ever written a story that features Nigel as part of the cast of characters?
4). Did Sam the Eagle's family get mentioned anywhere else aside from the Andy Williams episode of The Muppet Show?
1. Hard to tell. Monsters seem to have, on average, a very reduced and halting way of speaking. However, everyone from Elmo to Thog can sound alike, so it's difficult to use speech mannerisms as a clue. Size also doesn't really help. I can imagine a toddling Junior Gorg might be around Sweetum's size. Unless you see what "kid Sweetums-like monster" and "senior citizen Sweetums-like monster", you can't really gauge off of that either. Just on his interactions alone, I would be hard-pressed to consider him much younger than what for humans would be late 20's-early 30's, and that is my bare minimum. His clothes don't just get that way overnight, too.
2. Personally, I liked the closet gag in the movie, myself, LOL. He just sorta assumes the basics. He's either really, really uneducated about even elementary-school stuff or the "actor" Beauregard is a genius who loves to play that kind of role.
3. I know I've seen him somewhere in fanfics.
Thanks! That's what I sort of thought, but it can be hard to tell with the nebulous category of monsters. I'm planning on writing a part in my story where Sweetums goes (back ?) to school, and I wanted to figure out the best level to stick him into. Guess he's off to college then!
A Muppet going back to college? What kind of goofburger writes a story like that?
Ha ha ha! Don't worry, I won't tread on your fic-writing toes too much. I don't think Sweetums and Scooter have the same major anyway!
I don't think Sam's family were mentioned anywhere else...in fact, I've always believed that whole interaction may have been Jim and Frank improving anyway! Its just so off the cuff and hilarious. "Boy or a girl?" "Yes..."
All right guys, I have a quick question. I'm in the middle of brainstorming for a piece with the cast of Glee as guest stars. Would wheelchair stunts seem too politically incorrect?
Wheelchairs can't be an insult in and of themselves. I mean, they can, but I don't like those kind of people, LOL. The Muppets are about celebrating diversity. Hiding what makes someone stand out (so to speak) in a group does not accomplish that.
I'm writing a fan-fiction about Clifford and some other muppet characters. Named "Cliff-NOTES".
I'm thinking of a main cast of something like this...
2. Johnny Fiama and Sal
But I get stuck on the third, fourth or so muppet.
Any ideas on some good muppets to star in this series about Clifford and Johnny trying to make it big again?
Well, you seem to be going with a "Muppets Tonight" theme, so why not some of the others who came into their own during that era -- Bobo, Pepe, etc?
Regarding OCs, I think another reason that they're not everyone's cup of tea is that they sometimes end up becoming Mary Sues (for those unfamiliar with that term, a quick Google search could explain it better than I could, though I think Ruahnna touched on it a bit).
At the moment, my fanfiction has three OCs: Sabrina (Zoot's cousin, who becomes engaged to Johnny), Ramona, and Ashley. With OCs, just like any other character, it's essential to keep them at least semi-realistic, believable, and imperfect.
Ok, I have no idea if you've discussed these questions I have, but along the lines of OC's, kind of reflecting on Ru's synopsis, would having the OC fall in love with a single character, and have the character love them back, OK?
And if the character realizes he needs the OC after she's gone... Is that too much?
I am lost when it comes to things like that.
Speaking for myself, I don't mind an OC coming in and giving somebody the snuggles. I also don't usually mind pair-ups between known characters, although some of those push the limits of credibility. But what I want to see, truly, at the heart of every story is some genuine emotion and intimacy. If your OC shows up, does one star turn in the show and is inexplicably mooned with protestations of undying love, then I sortof don't believe in it. What made the regular character fall in love? What about the OC was lovable, charming or endearing? How well/how long do we know the OC--or, more to the point, how long does the regular character know them before topping headlong into ush-gush?
But I don't want to be the OC police--really. (I want to be the "unrealistic angst" police! *sigh* But nobody asked me, so I'm trying to hush.) You should write what you want and let people decide to read it or not. Ultimately, that's how "real" writing works in the real world of publishing, and though it can be tough on the ol' ego, it's usually good for the ol' talent.
Everybody has a story to tell--or several. And didn't Jim tell us to write our own endings? Well--there you go!
And here I go!
I haven't gotten far into this, but I'm the kind of person who would want to do 'selective' aging. I mean, if you think about it, Scooter can't still be a 14 year old kid if he's capable of practically running backstage and (this is giving Scooter a lot of credit) working for Google and doing TED conferences.
Personally, (and I believe you said it well, Ru or Slackbot. Now I can't remember )it's just weird to me to think of Kermit as a 50+ year old frog, just like it would be weird to think that Statler and Waldorf are no longer here (having died, you know). It's the same reason why I can handle some R and NC17 rated fics, but not others; it's the kid in me that says "no. I will not go for that."
The ideas that I have in my head are telling me that Scooter's a bonafide adult and Robin's hitting pre-teen age, but everyone else is still middle aged if you will.
Well, I've just started, but I'm pretty much thinking of staying within Muppet universe, with the non-con of Muppet Babies and Muppets Tonight. That being said, I am looking for an excuse to use Pepe in something, I don't know what, but he will be used! While I loved MB, MT was kinda so-so and did kinda push me to the Muppet Show (which is good! So kudos!), but Skeeter always rubbed me the wrong way (kinda like Lola did for Looney Tunes) so I highly doubt that I'll be using her in anything.
I try to eat three times a day, making sure to have breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day.
Oh. Ha ha I knew that. Well, first and foremost, I always try making friends with my food and...oh wait. Wrong topic. Um...haven't gotten to it, but I always thought that the talking food were just Muppets and considering that Muppets have eaten other Muppets....*shrug* I always saw a difference, even as a kid - there's food and then there's Muppety food. You don't eat Muppety food.
On the topic of OCs, this one is tricky as 1. I'm almost loathe to read anything with an OC and 2. I have managed an OC in every fan fic series I've done. I know, kinda makes it a bit hypocritical, but hear me out. As someone pointed out, most OCs that people write are Mary Sues - a character that is better than any letter or Muppet in the world. They enter a room, everyone is falling over themselves to love them; they have super powers, they can heal the sick, raise the dead, make world peace, etc.
Those characters I hate with an absolute passion. Now, for me at least, any time that I introduce an alternate character, especially ones that are going to be featured primarily along side the cast (such as the twins from Get Smart, the seven added characters in my ReBoot series, etc), I try to make sure that the OC isn't taking screen time. Basically, if I can see the story as part of a movie or TV series set within the original show and if I can get the readers to see that too, then I've done my job.
It's not an easy job and I take great pains to explain why this person is here, why are they in this universe, and why you as the reader should care; I think this is what trips up people with OCs. They don't explain why an OC is in this universe, other than it's their character and because they love them, we should love them too. Believe me, my earlier stuff I can even tell that I could have done better; in fact, I rewrote one (am rewriting) story because the original was a near carbon copy of the movie I was basing it off of.
The only thing I can say is let people read it and if changes need to be done, be objective, look at what or where things fall short, and think it through. Before we were writers, we were readers; I think many writers forget to think about their stuff in the terms of the reader.
Separate names with a comma.