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Who thinks my character has potential in a canon novel?

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Tonatiuh

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« on: (19:46:00/01-09-12) »
Check my latest post in Character Creation and Critique.
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #1 on: (20:24:44/01-09-12) »
No.  Incredibly bad fanfic, maybe, but canon?  No.

You're everywhere.  You're involved with everything, and not just 'involved' -- you're at the forefront.  This character reminds me of those people who play thieves that, if there's a chest, they say, 'Oh, I'm right there!!' but when the chest proves to have been trapped -- and it goes off -- they say, 'Oh, I'm over by the door!!'

Drop ... hell, everything.  You are involved, apparently, with every important elf of the last century.  Your dates are radically wrong.  Everyone apparently wants to be you, you're this fantastic and legendary 'social democrat' and 'social media' expert who apparently loves to babble a lot -- 'He enjoys explaining in a way that still leaves the listener confused whenever possible' ring a bell?  Seriously, you do that to a bunch of gangers of whatever stripe except Tir wannabes and they'd be picking bullets out of your corpse for a month.

Crap.  At least my characters have only been involved with one or two people or events -- and even then, only peripherally ...
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Tonatiuh

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« Reply #2 on: (20:43:58/01-09-12) »
Dude, no need to be ridiculous. He was only acquainted with those guys, and doesn't know Liam O'Connor at all. I said "thousands", not millions, or billions, were imitating him. He's been an energetic "twenty-something" for fifty years. How would he not be a go-getter?

As for the dates, I got them from the Shadowrun wiki, because I don't have access to the books most of the time. Sorry I'm new and lack resources.

And I'm trying to be a jack of all trades, master of nothing.

I never even used the phrase 'social media'.

I also never said that he was a hardened criminal. He doesn't interact much with gangers, so of course he would get shot down. Everyone has a weakness, but why would I highlight them in a character background story? He hasn't really done much, just said a lot. That's kind of my character's whole thing. The only jobs he's done are "odd jobs for odd people". He's nothing special.

So please stop extrapolating details to the fullest possible extent, and submit your criticisms respectfully. I would do the same.
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #3 on: (21:10:57/01-09-12) »
You're the one who wrote the background, then asked if it 'has potential in a canon novel'.  Go re-read your background.

  • You're a 16-year spike baby elf, who started schooling at age three.
  • You were the smartest kid in class in what I understand is an insanely competitive school, but somehow your 'dry humor and sarcastic wit' didn't get the crap kicked out of you every day at recess -- oh, until it comes to win the favor of your classmates.
  • You refused to go to college because they didn't offer 'education about the Elven people' -- a concept not even developed yet, because they're just now being born.
  • You joined Sean Laverty's Xavier Foundation in 2012 -- and I'm pretty sure it didn't get started then -- and became his protege'.
  • You 'became acquainted with' Dodger -- who I'm pretty sure isn't a spike baby at all, and thus not the same age as you.
  • AND you 'dug up the story' of Dodger, Deus, and Morgan/Megaera.

All this in the first paragraph.  Honestly, do I need to go on?
Pananagutan & End/Line

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Tonatiuh

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« Reply #4 on: (21:21:28/01-09-12) »
  • People start school early frequently.
  • It's one of 18 IB schools in Russia currently, not to mention what could have changed. I never said he was never bullied. In fact, I hinted at it.
  • I KNOW they hadn't developed the concept. That's why he couldn't do it.
  • I wasn't his protege, he was my mentor. There's a huge difference. I can have a mentor who has dozens of other people who refer to him/her as a mentor. In fact, I do personally.
  • Dodger was born in 1995. Acquaintance really doesn't mean much. They didn't continue contact, hence he didn't hear about him again until 2064.
  • Dug up as in found it, not exposed it. And even then, not by himself.

Yes, you do need to go on if you honestly think that my character is that big of a deal that he warrants such hostility.
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Tonatiuh

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« Reply #5 on: (21:30:06/01-09-12) »
By the way, the Xavier Foundation was started in the 1980s, according to the Shadowrun wiki. According to you, however, a single source, this is all wrong. So who knows?

Yes, I did ask if there was potential, and if the dates are wrong, I appreciate being told. But I don't understand how you can claim that I am at the forefront of everything, and know every important elf (a gross exaggeration).

Also keep in mind that important people can in fact exist (even though Stierlitz isn't very important at all). :P
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Slazarith

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« Reply #6 on: (21:52:35/01-09-12) »
I gotta admit, there are a few things I find a little implausible. Pretty much just the top of his class thing, but hey, he was an elf before elves really even were, so I'd say it opens up that possibility quite a bit.

The rest, well. It's honestly no more fantastical than any modern biography I've ever read. I've found much more implausible scenarios in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, or Karl Marx. These being two figures that although they seem no more likely to have been any bit more important than anyone else, were.

A suggestion I make for the future to you SimSensical, is not to post your creative ideas on the unofficial power gaming central of the world, and play it close to the vest for a bit before allowing the the 300 canon spartans to see your beautiful snowflake.

A suggestion to you, Ouroboros, is that no matter how much anyone may piss off, nobody likes the dick who beats the new guy into the ground, no matter how much he may know, how well he is known, or how polite he is in every other circumstance. Man is a mule. When he is guided with a gentle hand, he will follow the path. When pulled, pushed, or beaten, he will only stand resolutely where he is. Shaking hands with a closed fist and all that...

Tonatiuh

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« Reply #7 on: (22:00:24/01-09-12) »
I appreciate your feedback, Slazarith. Maybe I could do some editing to make it seem more plausible?

Good point about Lincoln and Marx.
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JustADude

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« Reply #8 on: (01:31:12/01-10-12) »
I appreciate your feedback, Slazarith. Maybe I could do some editing to make it seem more plausible?

Good point about Lincoln and Marx.

A small suggestion of my own, here, is to go with him being "among the top of his class" rather than being "THE top of his class". Tiny difference in canon for your story, but it shaves major points off the MSQ (Mary-Sue Quotient).

Keep in mind that the line between someone with a convoluted and amazing life and a Mary Sue is rather fine, and mostly relies on subtle little details that show the difference between an exceptional person and wish-fulfillment.

Take a look at a Mary-Sue Test to see what I mean:

Here's a general one that breaks the MSQ down by category: The Writer's Mary-Sue Test
And a more "general" test, which has a section for RPG characters: The Universal Mary-Sue Litmus Test[url]
« Last Edit: (02:40:21/01-10-12) by JustADude »
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Critias

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« Reply #9 on: (02:14:45/01-10-12) »
I'm not a mod, I'm just saying my piece.

Sim, you get really excited about new characters.  Really, really, excited.  You make a dude, and then you go nuts and make a bunch of threads and ask a bunch of questions and do a bunch of research and talk about that character all over the forum, a whole lot.  That's...really excited about new characters.  It's a big leap to go from having a cool new character you think is cool, and then posting on a fan-fiction forum about whether people think you should use that character in a canon novel.  I mean, that means being really excited.  And that's cool. 

But you need to understand that being that excited, and starting that many conversations, and asking for opinions in this many ways?  It opens you up for harsh responses.  Because the internet's the internet, and people are people, and the more people you randomly approach on the street and excitedly ask "HEY, WHAT TIME IS IT?" to, the more likely you are to eventually find someone who will answer with "It's go fuck yourself o'clock."  It's human nature.  Tone down the excitement and vocal enthusiasm a little, or accept that eventually you're gonna roll a critical glitch on your Etiquette test, or the person you're talking to will, and someone's gonna say something you think is unduly harsh.  If and when that happens, the best response isn't to argue with them and nitpick their complain and try to tell them that their opinion -- that opinion that you asked for -- is wrong.  Just read over the opinion they've shared with you, decide for yourself if there's anything in their criticism worth remembering, and then move on.  Write for yourself, first and foremost, not anyone else.  Ever.

Wyrm, don't be that guy that says "it's go fuck yourself o'clock."  A simple no would have sufficed, or even simply not answering, rather than opening with a salvo about "incredibly bad fanfic," and then tearing things apart line by line and going back and forth to argue with someone who's puppyish in their excitement about Shadowrun, a game we all love.

We fanfic writers get enough shit from people that don't have the balls to start threads in the fanfic areas of RPG forums.  We don't have to eat our young, too.
« Last Edit: (13:19:01/01-16-12) by Critias »

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #10 on: (02:45:47/01-10-12) »
Critias, you're right; I shouldn't've replied to his response accusing me of being ridiculous.  Guy asked a question I presumed was serious, whether or not Catalyst would publish a book with this guy; I replied.  I concede that the fanfic that might be written around him would not necessarily be bad; I presumed so, but it may not necessarily be so.  Fanfic is not a canon novel, though.
Pananagutan & End/Line

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"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
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Black

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« Reply #11 on: (04:38:47/01-10-12) »
Look, well done for giving it a go and posting it out there for all to see.  Keep in mind; even the freelancers who have published work get the occasional tough criticism.  Putting your personal work out there requires thick skin, but also an honest self awareness helps so that you can work out what feedback is useful, and what feedback is someone giving you are hard time because you didn’t tick their personal boxes.

So, that said...  ‘Who thinks my character has potential in a canon novel’... in the world of the internet where anything you say can be misinterpreted... this came across slightly arrogant (it’s like you’re asking for praise) and asking for tough criticism.  After all, a personal player character background, or just plan fanfic, they don’t need to meet as high a standard as what we would all hope from actual canon published works. 

Now, the actual fiction you wrote.  ‘he overcame by being by far the smartest child in his class’.  Without even looking at your profile, I would say (as a guess) you are from a non-English speaking background, which makes the general quality of your fiction quiet remarkable.  However, it does, in my opinion,  show in your writing with the occasional grammar errors and a statement about American celebrity. My guess is that you have spent some time in Europe, you write like my French and German friends.

The Dodger link seems unnecessary.  If ‘Stierlitz’ was connected with Sean Laverty, the connection is possible from there, but as written it does seem unnecessary and doesn’t add value.  Try to focus your character.  If it doesn’t give us a new insight into your character, it should be removed.
‘as no school yet offered him the education he so desired, which was about the Elven people’.  I have concerns with this statement as have others.  We are talking 2011, so the concept of an ‘Elven’ people does not exist except, perhaps, for the immortal elves, and they keep their cards close to their chest.  So, in its self, this statement makes no sense.  He cannot have desired something which did not exist.  It’s nice that he felt connected to 12 month and younger babies who just happened to have pointy ears....  Thank god he didn’t watch lots of Star Trek and then refuse to go to college because they didn’t offer a course on the Vulcan people... (joking... remember what I said about thick skin...)

Note:  Your tense changes frequently, from past tense to present tense.  It can be... disconcerting and distract people from being caught up in your fiction.

‘However, no government had yet given rights to metahumans, so he started his first stint of crime’... actually, this does not make sense.  In the period 2010-2020, most ‘elves’ are aged under 10 years and they all think is a genetic condition.  As an adult, it’s too soon for people to relies that your character is an elf and not a ‘human’.  So he has rights....  Goblinisation is when it gets nasty...  At least in my opinion.  Instead, I think you focus on the chaos in Europe at this time, with economic collapse, Vitas plagues, the Black Tide, and frackin Dragons fighting each other in the skies above the cities. 

‘   In 2029, moments after the first crash, he began his Matrix reporting,’... The Matrix doesn’t exist yet.  Echo Mirage need to defeat the Crash Virus, and the Matrix needs to be built.  Give yourself at least a year, maybe more.  No need to be cutting edge on everything.  Your character is already a spike baby, they don’t also need one of the first to use the Matrix.

‘yuppie’ is a dated word now.  In 2029, I would be surprised to hear its being used.  When writing fiction like this, it can be challenging to avoid writing in a way that becomes ‘dated’ quickly.

‘  In 2061, he stood strong with metahumanity, when goblinization started.’  Do you mean 2031?  Also, what does ‘stood strong’ mean?  He joined the orcs and trolls in the camps?  He protested?  Write harsh reviews on government policy in the Matrix chat rooms? Oh.. are you referring to Surge?

‘Although slightly cautionary, he and other Stierlitzes’  um... other Stierlitzes?  Have I missed something?  There appears no lead up to this statement, and when first read, makes no sense.

‘Several thousand people scattered all over the Russian- and English-speaking world (which is pretty much the whole world, is it not?) claim to be Stierlitz on a daily basis simply to try and up their social democrat street cred’... ahh that explains the previous statement.  But your ordering is not good here.  The first statement still reads wrong, even if it is explained several paragraphs later.  Also, a little bit surprised that the ‘social democrat street cred’ is worth that much.  Maybe in Europe, but not in the UCAS. At least not in the canon fiction I read.  But political spectrums have changed a fair bit in the world of Shadowrun.  Not sure if anyone has spent time analyses the new political parties that much to see where they fit in the old fifth world thinking.

Ok... now for my real criticism and answer to your question.  In my humble opinion, your character is not ‘canon’ worthy.  Why?  Because what you have written does not grab me and make me want to know more.  I’m surprised I’ve even written this response, but I felt your efforts deserved some feedback and it’s obvious (perhaps too obvious) that you have put a lot of yourself into this character.  But it’s so dry.  It’s not very interesting.  Where are the hooks, something that makes me want to know what happens next?  Your character is going nowhere, has no enemies, no major regrets, no need for redemption or retribution.  No grand crusade that drives him through the ages, no great purpose, nor is he petty, vindictive.  He's bland.

Try writing fiction, actual scenes where your character ‘does something’, talks, breathes, lives.  Currently, his well thought out, but very 2-dimensional. If you care, but your passion into giving him some life.  Oh, and don’t ask if his ‘canon-worthy’, let someone else tell you that.  ;)
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Tonatiuh

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« Reply #12 on: (06:38:25/01-10-12) »
Wow, thanks everyone, particularly MrBlack.
While I don'thave time to respond to everything, I will make adjustments for sure, especially concerning timeline.

And by the way, I'm from small town Michigan. What grammar errors are you addressing?
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baronspam

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« Reply #13 on: (23:58:42/01-10-12) »


A suggestion I make for the future to you SimSensical, is not to post your creative ideas on the unofficial power gaming central of the world, and play it close to the vest for a bit before allowing the the 300 canon spartans to see your beautiful snowflake.

 

That gave me a chuckle.  Visions of Leonidas- "SPARTANS!  KICK HIM IN THE WELL! HE IS OUT OF CANNON."  Spartans-"Dude, we are standing RIGHT behind you, you don't have to shout so much!"

JustADude

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« Reply #14 on: (00:04:02/01-11-12) »


A suggestion I make for the future to you SimSensical, is not to post your creative ideas on the unofficial power gaming central of the world, and play it close to the vest for a bit before allowing the the 300 canon spartans to see your beautiful snowflake.

 

That gave me a chuckle.  Visions of Leonidas- "SPARTANS!  KICK HIM IN THE WELL! HE IS OUT OF CANNON."  Spartans-"Dude, we are standing RIGHT behind you, you don't have to shout so much!"

No no no...

Messenger: "This is madness!"

Leonidas: "Madness?" *beat* "THIS! IS! CANON!" *Well-Kick*
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