General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

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Rob DS Zeta
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:10 am

I will... Just as soon as I get done mowing the grass.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:46 pm

Here's the first episode, spoiler boxed to keep from clogging the thread.

I plan on posting the episodes in pairs of 3, seeing as they'll be short and, more likely than not, unplanned.
SpoilerShow
Episode One: Kamille Wants Toast

Kamille Bidan stared at the toaster, as he had been doing for hours. He was waiting, agonizingly waiting, for something to come out and treat his taste buds to sweet buttery goodness. He could feel it coming, but it was taking forever! How long would this torture last? Would the young Newtype ever get his toast?

Eventually, the Zeta Gundam pilot became so infuriated that he looked into the toaster slots to see what was taking so long.

Then it hit him like a Jet Stream Attack on a warm summer’s day.

“There’s no toast in here,” he said flatly at the sight of the empty slots.

Without hesitation, Kamille whirled around to make sure that there was not anybody around that could have ninja’d his toast while he wasn’t looking. All he found, however, was the sight of Shinn Asuka and Lunamaria Hawke staring at him with a distribution of shock, joy, and anger.

“Ha! I told you he’d turn around before five hours!” Luna claimed loudly, glad at the turn of events.

“Dammit!” Shinn swore, pulling some cash out of his pocket and giving it to his teammate.

“Where the hell is my toast?” Kamille asked of the two Minerva pilots, not noticing their exchange of money in regard of what he had just been doing.

“Dude, there wasn’t any toast in there to begin with,” Shinn shook his head at the blue haired nutcase. “We haven’t had bread in months.”

“Well… Why the hell not?” Kamille moved for another answer. He needed to know why there was no toast, lest it start eating him up inside.

“None of us have any money, and our welfare doesn’t cover foods classified as grains… or jello,” Luna stated, though she was inwardly contemplating whether or not Kamille was in the right mind. “Are you feeling alright, Kamille?”

“What?” Kamille jerked up, having lost interest. “Who are you?”

“He’s lost it… again,” Luna sighed.

“Listen, ‘cause I’m tired of explaining this,” Shinn growled before putting a hand on his chest. “For the hundredth time, I’m Shinn. This is Luna. We’re your roommates, along with Judau and Leina.”

“Who?” Kamille scratched his head.

“I give up,” Shinn threw his hands up and walked out of the kitchen.

“Someone mention me?”

Luna turned around to find Judau easing into the room from a different way than where Shinn went.

“Hey, Kamille! Your toast ever pop?” the younger pilot of the ZZ Gundam asked, giving the other boy a confident look.

“No…” Kamille frowned. “Someone stole it when I wasn’t paying attention.”

“People don’t just steal toast, Kamille!” Luna yelled, unable to conceive what could possibly make the boy think such a thing. “You’d burn your hands, or worse!”

“Not to mention that we didn’t have any toast in the first place!” Shinn shouted in from wherever he had gone.

“They’ve got points, Kamille,” Judau shrugged.

“Maybe you should just eat some cheese instead,” decided to goad the boy into eating something that they actually had.

Kamille and Judau both cringed.

“Oh, come on,” Luna scowled, putting her hands on her hips. “It’s not that bad. Besides, it’s one of the three things that the welfare gets us for free.”

“The welfare sucks,” Judau proclaimed at the mention of the thing that was sustaining him and the others trapped in this dingy shack that somebody out there had at one point called a house. “I can’t even get started back with my junk collecting because of those stupid welfare agents.”

“Surely there’s something else you’re good at,” Luna suggested as Kamille went back to gazing longingly at the toaster. “Are you good at fixing stuff? You could become a mechanic.”

“Nah, that’s not really my thing,” Judau shook his head, giving the girl a sideways look. “I sell junk.”

“You don’t have to get all snippy about it, sheesh,” Luna put her hands up in defense. Before the conversation could go any farther, however, Shinn emerged from the hallway. There were only two noticeable differences between him now and him when he had gone, and those were the jacket he was wearing and the shoes on his feet.

“Goin’ out?” Judau inquired.

“I’m gonna go get a job,” Shinn declared firmly, at which Judau’s eyes widened and Luna gasped in horror.

“But Shinn, if you get a job, then our welfare will go out the window!” Luna raged at her boyfriend. “You don’t honestly think that any job you can get will be enough to support all of us!”

“Which is why you guys should try to get jobs too, before we all die of constipation!” Shinn matched her tone as he made for the door, not feeling like arguing over the topic. “I’ll be back before dinner.”

“Shinn!” Luna called, dazed and pissed off. “Get back here!”

Shinn made a break for the door, reaching out for the hand in hopes of evading Luna. As he grasped it, however, the wooden slab suddenly came at him.

thunk!

The door pushed open into Shinn’s face, efficiently knocking the boy out and putting him on the floor.

“Whoops,” a man’s voice came from the other side of the door. “Sorry about that.”

The door opened all the way, pushing Shinn’s limp figure aside to reveal a young man in a suit. He had dark blue hair and green eyes, and Luna couldn’t help but think him as the hottest man she’d seen since moving to this horrible little burg.

“Oh, nevermind him,” Luna suddenly snapped into some odd sort of unconscious admiring mode. She moved in slightly too close to the new arrival and gazed up at him appreciatively. “Whatever brings you into our home, handsome?”

“Uh…” the man found himself at a sudden loss for words as Luna all but rubbed up against him. He was tempted to leave, but then the job he was supposed to do came to mind. “I’m Alex Dino, your new welfare agent.”

Another new welfare agent?” Judau asked as he entered the living room to see what was going on. “That’s the third this month.”

Alex was not enthused by this, cue the sweat on his forehead. He had suspected as much. Word around the water cooler said that this group he had been assigned to was an absolute terror to manage. One of them was supposedly some sort of invalid, another was manic depressive, and there was also one that was believed some form of advanced kleptomania due to his numerous attempts at selling junked cars he claimed to have ‘found on the street’. By some miracle, however, they were still alive, still out of jail, and still on welfare.

“Er… Right,” the welfare agent tried his best not to look like he wanted to run for his life. “Okay, well, let’s get this started. I need all of you in here so that we can talk about your finances for next month.”

“Sure thing,” Luna smiled before turning to Shinn’s still floored form. She bent down, took him by the arm, and then proceeded to haul him onto the old sofa that had come with the place. Meanwhile, Judau went and pried Kamille away from the toaster and sat him down on the other side of Luna from Shinn.

“Alright, then,” Judau nodded once everybody was in place. “Let’s talk money.”

Alex was about to agree when he noticed that something was missing. He looked down at the clipboard he had brought with him and looked at his list of residents.

“Uh… Isn’t there supposed to be five of you?” he wondered.

“Oh, right!” Judau suddenly remembered that Leina wasn’t there. “Leina! The new welfare guy’s here!”

About five seconds later, the youngest member of the household came stomping into the room.

“Right now? But I’m watching my…” she whined, only to stop at the sight of Alex. She immediately marched right up to him and looked him square in the eye, although she stood no higher than his waist. It took everything in the agent’s will to keep from flinching horribly. “This is the new one? He’s so much younger and cuter than all the other ones!”

Right then and there, Alex literally feared for his safety.

“I-If you’d please go over and sit with your brother,” Alex pointed over to Judau, whom had taken a seat in the only other chair in the room. This left Alex standing once Leina had hopped into the boy’s lap. “Okay… Where do we start?”
I know it's a little slow. It's the first episode. It's supposed to be slow.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by tehprognoob » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:56 pm

>Toast
>TOAST
>TOAST!!!!1one

Genius (?)

Kamille went full retard I guess...
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:39 pm

Someone had to be.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:28 pm

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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Deathzealot » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:14 am

Yeah just noticed that. Only one story so far and it doesn't look all that great. Though the Gundam 00 and AGE crossover looks interesting. Though I only have a few choice words for the FFN admin guys: ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME!

EDIT: I just thought of something. Why the heck didn't I use MT for posting some of my earlier AGE story ideas. Duh!

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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:49 pm

I'm pretty sure that FFN only adds a section when somebody submits a request for that section to be created.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Vent Noir » Wed May 23, 2012 4:15 am

I've just finished reading Chicks Dig Comics, and one of the most interesting parts of the book was an interview with Greg Rucka where he mentions that, even though he's a straight male with no intention of changing his sex, as a writer he identifies as female.

I found that surprisingly similar to my own experience as a writer and viewer. As I've mentioned before, Gundam Storm was essentially inspired by what I view as the mishandling of the character of Soma in 00. When I roleplay, I almost always play female characters. All else being equal, I'd prefer to watch/read a show/book with a female lead than a male one, and I generally find it much harder to like male characters than female ones (although there are certainly male characters who I've come to like).

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon of identifying differently in creative work than what you do in normal life?
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 pm

You've blown my mind, man. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Elaborate, though. I'm interested.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Antares » Thu May 24, 2012 4:30 am

In my experience, men especially in RP (the kind with the dice, you perv! :mrgreen: ) play lousy women. They are either oversexed succubi (I'm fairly sure that's the correct plural form), or they play them as guys. I am sure there can be exception to that, but mostly just women play women plausibly.

But writing as a chick when you're a dude, huh, that's actually quite interesting. I've written a few stories with a female protagonist and I find it hard to believe I've done the characters justice. That is, as a guy, I feel like I'm somehow bound to get it wrong anyhow, and that it shows. If you tell a female beta-reader that you're not sure you got the female character right, they will specifically read the piece very critically from a female perspective and sometimes find problems that are not necessarily there (i.e. when you let other women read it and don't tell them about your uneasiness, they don't find issues with the presentation).

Then again, I find that most women don't have this problem when they write guys as their protagonists (the abundance of female writers of gay slash fanfic as exhibit A). I guess we're just that simple to get. :D

Long story short, I can't do what Vent Noir does, because I am too self-aware. But I see this as a strength on the part of him, and as a weakness on my part as a writer. If you have confidence in your story and your narration , it radiates from the text.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Vent Noir » Thu May 24, 2012 5:36 am

Rob DS Zeta wrote:You've blown my mind, man. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Elaborate, though. I'm interested.
Well, what Greg Rucka said was:

Q: You are known for creating or developing a number of iconic female characters - Tara Chase in Queen & Country, Carrie Stetko in Whiteout, the Kate Kane Batwoman, etc. Is there any particular reason why you tend to write so many series with women in the lead role?

A: I wish I had an easy, simple answer for that, and I'm not sure that I do. It's true that I was raised in a feminist household - I never grew up in an environment where it was permissible to apply a gender standard to what men could do or what women could do.

Second, I like women. I genuinely like them. I say this as an ostensibly straight guy, who can say that I
like women and don't necessarily want to sleep with every one I meet. So, there's that.

But I think, in all honesty? In all sincerity? I female-identify. I like writing about female characters. I can even go back through my writing - and here I'm talking about stuff I wrote when I was in my teens, stuff that should never, ever in a million years see print - and those stories almost universally have female leads. Now that I think about it, the very first thing I wrote of merit - and I say "merit" only in that it won a short story contest and got me out of school for a day - had Mrs. Claus as the lead character.

I can cite these various reasons, but I honestly can't tell you
exactly why I've gravitated towards female leads. There are, certainly, points where my writing evolved and I've gained what, for me, were pretty crucial understandings of how to write women as point-of-view characters. But I wish I could say, you know, "Well, I nearly drowned and I was saved by a busload of nuns." It's nothing like that. It's just that I like women and I like writing female leads.

Another relevant passage:

Not to be glib about it, but if I female-identify and I'm in a heterosexual relationship, what does that make me? I've always been comfortable in my own body, and I'm pretty content being biologically male. But certainly intellectually, and emotionally, I'd say I've always identified far more as female to male.


I'm not really clear on the "why" behind it either, although I think it started in my early teens, around the same time as I was first getting into anime and manga - I still remember the first anime/manga I watched/read (not counting TV stuff like Voltron and the 80s Astro Boy): Battle Angel Alita, Dirty Pair, Bubblegum Crisis, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. At the same time, I was watching the X-Men cartoon on TV, and liked Rogue and Storm far more than, say, Wolverine.
Last edited by Vent Noir on Thu May 24, 2012 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Vent Noir » Thu May 24, 2012 5:45 am

Antares wrote:In my experience, men especially in RP (the kind with the dice, you perv! :mrgreen: ) play lousy women. They are either oversexed succubi (I'm fairly sure that's the correct plural form), or they play them as guys. I am sure there can be exception to that, but mostly just women play women plausibly.
I've heard that complaint, too, and I remember once walking away from a game where the (male) GM wouldn't allow me to play a female character because "men can't play women properly". Honestly, I think part of it is just finding well-written female characters and working from there.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by ShadowCell » Thu May 24, 2012 12:00 pm

writing a girl while being a dude is basically all of "SEED TWILIGHT" and "SEED ETERNITY" for me, and as it turned out, it was completely irrelevant that Emily was a girl.

this sort of has two consequences. one: at the very least, i should hope that no one will evaluate her character based on her being a girl. and that's sort of what i was shooting for. nobody evaluates male characters based on their being a male. to paraphrase MLK, judged not by the content of their pants but by the content of their character.

and yet two: it doesn't actually matter that she's a girl, so i might as well have not made her one in the first place. which is sort of what i have to wonder whenever people stand up and demand a female Gundam protagonist, but on the other hand the other likely outcome is that such a protagonist would pretty much wind up like Natola from Gundam AGE, nice and gimped so we can't take her too seriously and she doesn't threaten the male viewer's fragile psyche.

so i guess in that sense it's sort of a catch-22.

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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Rob DS Zeta » Thu May 24, 2012 2:09 pm

Okay, I think I understand now.

The only time I've ever actually written a female character in the lead was my half-baked attempt at a Gundam Seed rewrite starring a cheap OC (the aforementioned female character). That was back in '08, so I can't really remember what was going through my mind at the time, but I will say that I didn't really take any different approach. I simply wrote, and the character fleshed itself out. Nobody really complained (that I can remember), so I can only assume that I did well.

These days, I don't even bother to try. Like Antares said (I think), I'm far too aware of my lack of understanding with females to write them properly. However, I also like what ShadowCell said. I'd honestly prefer the character be judged by their traits, personality, and actions than by their gender.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Vent Noir » Thu May 24, 2012 6:29 pm

ShadowCell wrote:writing a girl while being a dude is basically all of "SEED TWILIGHT" and "SEED ETERNITY" for me, and as it turned out, it was completely irrelevant that Emily was a girl.

this sort of has two consequences. one: at the very least, i should hope that no one will evaluate her character based on her being a girl. and that's sort of what i was shooting for. nobody evaluates male characters based on their being a male. to paraphrase MLK, judged not by the content of their pants but by the content of their character.

and yet two: it doesn't actually matter that she's a girl, so i might as well have not made her one in the first place. which is sort of what i have to wonder whenever people stand up and demand a female Gundam protagonist, but on the other hand the other likely outcome is that such a protagonist would pretty much wind up like Natola from Gundam AGE, nice and gimped so we can't take her too seriously and she doesn't threaten the male viewer's fragile psyche.

so i guess in that sense it's sort of a catch-22.
Avoiding gender-based perceptions of what people "are like" or can/can't do is definitely something I feel we should aspire to, and I admit that my desire for a female Gundam protagonist is as much due to personal preference as a desire to redress the imbalance we've seen.

As for official Gundam works, we do have Asuna from Ecole du Ciel, who pretty much follows the Noriko Takaya model of being hopeless when she starts out, but improving with effort (and the emergence of her Newtype powers).

For my own work, I've tried to show that sex and gender equality is seen as a given in Gundam Storm. For all the harshness of their upbringing, my supersoldiers see no difference between males and females (even the harsh stuff - there is something I'm planning to have done to Athene in an upcoming chapter, but the person would have done exactly the same thing if she had been male)

At the same time, if you've read the story, you may recall that the supersoldiers in question are asexual and in fact have had their sexual capabilities removed. In-story, that's one of the things done to dehumanise them, but on a metatextual level, it's also my attempt at commentary on how society seems to believe that, in order to be "strong", women must be bereft of sexual desires - it's something that was done to them, rather than something they chose. I'm not sure how well it works on that level.

EDIT: One other piece of advice I've heard...

"Instead of asking 'Is there any reason this person should be female/black/gay/etc?', ask 'Is there any reason this person should NOT be female/black/gay/etc?'"

Oftentimes, the answer is "no". Especially when dealing with bit-part grunts and officers, I try and change around their sex and ethnicity as much as I can. It still applies to characters with larger roles, although there are often reasons for making such choices. For example, Athene is based on Soma Peiris, but to avoid her being simply a clone, I needed to create contrasts, and the easiest contrast to make is a physical one. Therefore, since Soma is pale with long, white hair, I made Athene black with a shaved head.
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by ShadowCell » Fri May 25, 2012 12:07 am

well, if you're out to make some point specifically in regard to sexuality, then you sort of have to pick characters based on their sex. major characters, at least. like, if your intention is to look at the traditional notions of femininity and masculinity in wartime and see what they entail, how they change, what they mean, how they react to the horrors and exigencies of war, then you have to carefully consider what character is what sex.

picking a character for whom being a male or female is important isn't necessarily a bad thing. it depends on what you're doing with your story. the problem that comes with female characters is that often, being "the girl" is the only thing they're there for.

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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Seraphic » Fri May 25, 2012 1:24 am

Can someone point out or give an example of a poor way to write from the perspective of the opposite sex?
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by ShadowCell » Fri May 25, 2012 11:10 am

well, pick a roleplaying game and you'll probably find a guy who roleplays as a girl and by "roleplays as a girl" i mean she's a crazed nymphomaniac who will get busy with literally anything possessing something that could possibly pass for a phallus

that's an example of a poor way of writing from the opposite sex, i suppose

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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Vent Noir » Fri May 25, 2012 5:29 pm

ShadowCell wrote:well, pick a roleplaying game and you'll probably find a guy who roleplays as a girl and by "roleplays as a girl" i mean she's a crazed nymphomaniac who will get busy with literally anything possessing something that could possibly pass for a phallus

that's an example of a poor way of writing from the opposite sex, i suppose
Also roleplaying-related, the infamous Lesbian Stripper Ninja
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Re: General Fanfiction Discussion 2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Antares » Tue May 29, 2012 8:33 am

Yes, and I know because I stand guilty of that. Even more disturbingly, her becoming undead did not reduce her sluttiness in the least. :mrgreen:

I didn't know RPG-wiki, thanks for bringing it to my attention! Especially here
Kill Them and Take Their Stuff
A humorous description of the method which winds up being used by most RPG characters to solve problems they are having with other individuals or groups. It is the essence of the hack and slash style. Sometimes abbreviated to simply KTATTS on message boards, such as RPG.net
was something apt, because that is the most common (and lowest) denominator our quests can STILL deteriorate to when we're bored, tired, or hungry. :D
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