do you have any tips for writing good fanfiction? and making sure people don't act ooc?your writing is always so so incredible, its wonderful. im just v unsure w/characterization and i suppose i just do what feels right for the character, but i worry its all horribly ooc especially when i can't even describe the characters personality to myself idk? this is kinda long winded sorry, feel free to ignore it ! have a lovely day x
know your characters. think less in terms of personality (like the authentic Personhood is such a nebulous and frankly ridiculous concept and it’s hard for us to even quantify the Personalities of real people, so for fake people it’s even harder) and more in terms of “how does this character behave and interact?”
- what do they want? what have they learned, what do you want them to learn?
- what have they lost?
- what do they struggle with?
- what are they good at?
- what would they never say, how do they most commonly speak (ie writing a character in all caps and lots of exclamation points will make them sound childish).
- who are the most important people in their life?
- why do they want what they want?
- if they’re non-neurotypical or disabled, what are their symptoms and how does that affect them?
- what are they proud of?
- what are they ashamed of?
- how do they feel about themselves?
- how do they feel about the people around them?
- what do you like about the character, what do you dislike?
- what are their flaws?
- what might other characters dislike about them, why?
- go beyond likes and dislikes. that’s a very flat, two-dimensional view of a character, and it will show if all you know about a character is that she really likes architecture.
- in fic, when you answer these questions, you gotta determine what your reasons are for thinking that and where it is in canon, and that’s how you know if it’s ooc (for instance: how often does this character really say this catchphrase or use this nickname, how often does this character really do this).
- stop periodically when you’re writing and think about why the character is behaving the way they’re behaving, and question whether you’ve ever seen them act this way in canon. if the answer is no, then they’re ooc.
- some oocness is allowed because in aus the situations change and so they will lose some of what makes them who they are (crushing guilt over watching their loved ones die, etc)