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In a crossover with fantastic hair colours, how far do you go?

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Download, May 25, 2020.

  1. Download

    Download Fifth Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I asked in story search a few days ago about a Sailor Moon/HP crossover. Didn't get any responses, but I started to rewatch Sailor Moon having only seen it a a kid (though given it's Crystal I'm watching, rewatch isn't the right word) with the intention of writing a Sailor Moon/HP crossover.

    Sailor Moon has fantastic hair colours. We've got green, blue, an almost unnatural shade of ginger, purple (both almost black and lighter variants), pink, maroon etc, and these are not limited to the magical main cast. So, if they exist in Japan, these fantastic hair colours should also exist in Britain in a world merging crossover setting.

    So my question is should it even be mentioned? I'm worried that mentioning funny hair colours might be too immersion breaking for many HP fans, but it's hard to ignore a character's hair colour when they're described by someone. It's also hard to avoid someone going "Oi, you with the blue hair!" when they don't know their name or any of the other million reasons hair might be mentioned.

    It also means that some people at Hogwarts will have hair like this too. These colours are common enough that many students will have them and some main characters will as well. It's just implausible for some to not.

    The other option is to make the SM characters a bit more boring, which will cause the same issues HP fans might feel reading about characters with hair colour changes. Confusion to, given the colour coding is pretty distinct. recolouring Mercury black for example instead of blue would be jarring as her colour is perhaps the most distinct second only to those with pink hair.

    I'm hoping that HP characters aren't as defined by their hair colour (redheads not withstanding), changing some of theirs won't be too jarring.

    Obviously, always mentioning it like "please notice the characters have wacky hair colours" is not the right way to go about it.

    What sort of balance should I be going for here?
     
  2. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Well even if you decide that fantastic hair colours are necessary, you shouldn't spend any more time writing about them than you would about normal hair.

    Try writing the scene as if you had no outlandish hair colours and when it's done replace "brunette" with "purple" or whatever.

    Just because their hair is pink doesn't mean you should wax lyrical about it.
     
  3. Download

    Download Fifth Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I did mention that:

     
  4. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I think you should slot it in as one of those really minor things, but show that it has an impact on the world.

    People still dye their hair and try to match their outfits to it (with varying success). The more minor details you put in that shows you've considered how it impacts the world, the less out of place and "thrown in" it will feel.

    Show background characters squabbling about it or bemoaning having a "boring" hair colour.

    Still, I'd personally avoid changing the hair colours of the main characters - unless you have a good reason.
     
  5. Otters

    Otters Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Be as matter of fact and succinct as you can. If you act like it's ordinary and just say blue as you would brown, the readers will just skim over it and accept it because of their understanding of the source material.

    Avoid the twee fanfic-coined terms like "bluenette" and so on. They're a bit silly and forced, so they break the flow of the text. Really, you shouldn't be describing somebody's hair colour unless introducing the character or the PoV character is deliberately taking in their appearance, so it's not going to affect much of the text.

    There's a temptation to write things like "Fuck Donald Trump," said the brunette, or "the blonde put his fist through the glass window and howled out the name of Odin Olfactor" but just stick to names or pronouns for actions and dialogue tags and you'll be fine. Keep mentions of appearance to character descriptions and not as the subject of action sentences, and it'll all flow smoothly.

    Good syntax is a literary sleight of hand. Things can be hidden by just making sure they don't interrupt the passage.

    Edit: to expand on what Drome has advised, don't change canon hair colour without reason. Don't make a big deal of it, but making the change will absolutely attract reader attention and make them question why. Unless it's a deliberate plot point, i. e. an AU version of the character trying to slide undercover, you don't want that.
     
  6. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

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    Having read a bunch of anime crossovers, if the known characters with purple hair have purple hair or whatever and no one else does, it doesn't break immersion. Unless its a real sticking point for you I'd just gloss over the hair stuff. Readers will naturally accept it as it comes with the crossover/fusion package.
     
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