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a debate on OOC

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Harpy Prince, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Harpy Prince

    Harpy Prince Seventh Year

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    Post completion of canon I believe this is the weakest argument to present in validity of quality in a fanfic. Even in a one shot in between the bottom barrel creative liberty allowed creative liberty must be allowed for creatives sake. A persons creative work must not be denied for your own close minded filters. Tell me different.
     
  2. James

    James High Inquisitor

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    no
     
  3. TRH

    TRH Seventh Year

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    If you want to write a creative story about a bunch of original characters, just do that and leave Harry Potter alone.
     
  4. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    If a readers suspension of disbelief is broken by a characters portrayal that is sufficiently different from the canon disposition without sufficient justification, then the author is at fault. There are plenty of examples of widely enjoyed stories where the portray of Harry is sufficiently different from canon to raise eyebrows, but it's written well, which means the reader accepts it.

    As an aside,

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Alexandra Quick is HP fanfic comprised almost entirely of OCs... I think you meant OC not OOC?

    It’s very good. I think @Inverarity has had people tell him to polish off the HP bits and revise it into original fiction.

    I think it’s doable but it’s also a lot more work than people realize given how many little HP aspects are insidiously floating around the worldbuilding.

    OC protagonist can be done well. It very, very rarely is done well. When it is done well it will invariably get suggested it be original fic instead.

    I’m not sure if there’s an answer there beyond “unless it’s really damn good I don’t want to read it because I read HP fic to read HP.”

    An OC as part of a story featuring canon characters is more standard and can shine when handled well.

    OOC is a different complaint - out of character - and often is done intentionally to tell a certain story. Usually readers expect some kind of explanation for this but are willing to accept it when handled decently.

    Your original post is not well written and I’m unsure of your actual argument.
     
  6. kelkorkesis

    kelkorkesis Fifth Year

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    Different.
     
  7. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I absolutely loathe people criticising a fanfiction for characters being OOC. I think its the most ridiculous criticism you can levy. Its fanfiction, the point of it is to break from canon.

    The only addendum I'd put on that is that however you write a character, you should do it consistently. Its perfectly reasonable to criticise a fic for Harry acting differently from chapter to chapter.
     
  8. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    Not necessarily. To some, the point of fanfiction is to expand on canon, not break from it. A part of that is to put the same characters in different situations and see how they'd react and how they'd be changed by that. So when the story advertises "what would Harry do if XYZ happened?" and it gets you interested and you open the story and you realize that XYZ is happening only because Harry has been replaced by edgelord#1351, it can quickly get very disappointing.

    I don't mean OOCness has no place in fanfiction, of course not (hell in my own fic he's basically Harry-in-name-only), but I don't think it's ridiculous to criticize it at all. It just stems from different expectations of a story.
     
  9. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I don't know mate, I see that more as you coming into a story with certain expectations which aren't necessarily specified in the summary, and then criticising the fic for not meeting those expectations.

    I approach fanfics as I do any other novel, I don't expect a character to be anything in particular from the start unless the summary says that they are. If the summary says canon!Harry, then yes I'd expect canon characterisations. If the summary says depressed!Harry, then I'd go in expecting that. If the summary doesn't indicate what sort of character Harry will have, I go in with an open mind. Because its fanfiction, and no aspect of it is every going to be quite the same as canon, and thats ok by me. I'm reading fanfiction because I'm happy for canon to be changed.
     
  10. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Like with many things in writing, it depends.

    In general, people seem very accepting of large, abrupt character changes to Harry. Sometimes with justification, sometimes without. It's a huge criticism (somewhat rightly) that people seem to judge HP characters by a double standards---There's Harry, and then there's everyone else.

    However, people seem far less willing to extend this same suspension of disbelief to other characters, especially the closer one is to canon.

    I suppose we accept that the "protagonist" being a vehicle of agency (somewhat ironically) is allowed to be changed rather drastically without cause (thus diminishing their character agency).
     
  11. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    I mean... We generally read fanfiction because we read the original works and thought "Hey, I want more of that."

    If the fanfiction is unrelated to the original work, it fails as fanfiction if not as a story. If one wants Harry Potter to be more pragmatic, one has to give Harry Potter reasons to be more pragmatic. Otherwise it's quite jarring. That doesn't mean there aren't stories that work and still change Harry fairly radically, but I'd argue they work despite that, not because of it.
     
  12. darklordmike

    darklordmike Order Member

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    I agree with all of this. Fanfiction has to begin with canon as a reference point, or it's not really fanfiction. It's closer to original fiction. If you want Harry to be more motivated or cunning, you simply take a canon event (e.g., his sorting into Gryffindor or Cedric's death) and change things from there. The important part is that there have to be good reasons for whatever changes you make, and they can't go too far. If you give a character a full personality transplant, you're no longer writing about that character.

    You could argue that all fanfiction is inherently AU, and you'd be right. You're free to do whatever the hell you want. But all fanfiction overlaps with canon on a Venn diagram. Canon rehashes are almost a perfect circle, and that makes them boring. On the other end of things, radically AU stories create an almost totally separate circle that barely overlaps with the canon universe.

    There are good stories that do exactly that. Some of them are in the library. They're AUs where Harry is raised by Grindelwald or whoever; where magic is much darker than canon; where he's basically Harry Dresden; where he becomes a remorseless assassin who likes to fuck his twin sister, etc., etc. But let's be honest: those are barely Harry Potter stories. They're original fiction that's only loosely connected to the HP universe because the writer gave the characters familiar names.

    Again, that doesn't mean they're bad stories, and it's not really fair to criticize characters in radical AUs for being OOC. But the closer a story is to canon, the fairer it becomes to call out the writer for departing from canon personalities. In the latter case, it's just bad writing.
     
  13. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Surely in the situation where they change the character without providing a reason within the story the critique should bad characterisation rather than "he's OOC"?

    So true, I think I've seen this complaint more about Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore than any other characters.
     
  14. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    If you write a story and your Harry (or other character) acts differently then you must provide a reason why they are different.

    Example:

    Imagine if Ginny died in the Chamber of Secrets. Canon Harry would definitely, without a doubt blame himself. If you write him as not blaming himself, you must provide a reason, because if you don't then this isn't canon Harry.
     
  15. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    OOC = Out of character. That's poor characterisation. I'm not sure I get what you're saying, but as far as I understand, the two things are the same.
     
  16. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Not really. They're different things.

    Out of character is "this person isn't being written the way they should be/have been", bad characterisation is "this person is being written badly". Being out of character may be a symptom of bad characterisation, but there are lots of other potential symptoms as well such as being unable to understand the characters motivations or being unable to relate to the character.
     
  17. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I still think OP meant OC not OOC but their post is not clear.
     
  18. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    I mean, I think talking about OOC characters is a lot more interesting than explaining that you can't force people to endure your OC self inserts. It comes down to the same issues in the end, doesn't it? Everyone's SoD tolerance is different.
     
  19. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    In non-ridiculous contexts, "OOC" simply denotes a disparity between an action, thought or behaviour, and a previously established base. Consequently, the most useful application is within a story, when a current characterisation can't be reconciled with the same character two pages ago. And that's one of the most pertinent criticisms of any story, given that characters make or break a story.

    Which also answers the OP. Wrong definition, hence the confusion.
     
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