BLUE SUN ROOM

Survey: Hardest Character to write?

POSTED BY: ARCADIA
UPDATED: Saturday, January 13, 2007 06:21
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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:38 AM

ARCADIA


For all the fanfic writers out there, which character do you find hardest to write?

For me, its Wash. I'm always afraid he won't be funny enough, or that his humor will be wrong, etc. Its sad, because I like Wash a great deal, but I just can't get my -- pen? -- around him.

*sigh*

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:42 AM

DEEPGIRL187


I've attempted (empahsis on attempted) to write fan fiction a couple of times, and for me, the biggest stumper is River. Her unique brand of speech is a challenge that I've seen only the most gifted writers pull off.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:45 AM

ARCADIA


Yeah, River's really hard, too. I would rank her as my second hardest character to write. *double sigh*

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:51 AM

SPACEANJL


Haven't tried writing Wash yet, since I started my fic post BDM. (Same thing for Book.) But I share your concern - he was so much the spark and snark that he's difficult to capture.

River can be awkward, unless you take the view that whatever she says does have an internal logic to it. Some people write her too young and too disassociated, I think. Very clever people can be obscure in conversation - too many quotes or metaphors.

For me, the most difficult was Inara. I can get her speech pattern, but the mindset is quite alien to me. More so than the li'l crazyboots, which is kinda worrisome.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 1:36 PM

LEIASKY


Definitely Wash for me. After that would be Zoe.


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Saturday, July 29, 2006 7:29 PM

ARCADIA


"...take the view that whatever she says does have an internal logic to it."

That's great advice for writing River! Everything she does makes sense -- to her. Well, 99% of it anyway, and if you think hard enough you can understand. She's still tricky, but that's a good way of looking at it.

Zoe used to be my second hardest character to write, but after a while I became more comfortable with her. She's a really cool character, somewhat of a rarity in the world of television. She's she's warm, she's funny, she's tough as nails, but above all she is sure of herself. She's got flaws, sure, but they don't scare her. I've grown to like her quite a bit.

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like the avatar? there are more. grab one here: http://snipurl.com/syt0. Happy Summer of Serenity!
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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:28 PM

SPACEANJL


Zoe was tricky, until I got her speech pattern down. Once I started writing it with an idea that there was a certain wry humour there, it fell into place. I think that line in the BDM sums her up perfectly - "She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true." You cannot break this woman. The 'verse has tried, and come damn close, but it ain't happenin'. She'll mourn, but she won't lay down and die. She always calls Mal 'sir', but sometimes with a significant pause. Behind every strong man, there's a strong woman, rolling her eyes, and hissing, 'no, you idiot, the other left' sort of thing.

Speech patterns were definitely the key for me. I think you could write a page of dialogue between the characters, and know exactly which one was talking, if it's done correctly.


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Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:39 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I just have to jump in on the speech pattern thing, because I think a lot of people are guilty of exagerating Kaylee's drawl. She isn't any more sloppy in her speech than Mal; certainly less so than Jayne, but i've read so many stories where she has the sloppiest accent and it really bothers me.
Hardest character for me to write would probably be Wash. I haven't even tried to write all of them yet, though, so I can't be sure on that. I seem to have a handle on River, Zoe, and Mal to some extent, but I don't know about all the others. Slow and steady; I'll get more written, I'll get it.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 11:33 PM

SPACEANJL


Have to ask, PR - the drawl thing, am I a guilty party? I read up on some of the sources Joss used for language origin (research geek) but I'm a Brit, and a little panicky that I might be pissing folk off. (Then, I've been using Chinese puns and no-one's screamed at those yet...)

Would welcome any suggestions if anything is a little OoC, linguistically.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 11:42 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I actually can't remember which stories it was, I just remember it annoying me a little. When I can't hear the character's voice in my head as I read, there is something wrong. Kaylee does use a bit of drawl and slang, but not constantly. For example; "I'm not speaking to you, captain." has no slang or drawl in it. The most drawly thing she says (off the top of my head) is "I never even been up in one before." She doesn't say "I ain't never even been up in one afore." which is similar to some of the things I've seen put in her mouth. She just... doesn't... talk... like that. In fact, none of them are that bad.
I'll see if I can dig up examples, but I don't promise anything. However, you, darling AnJL, seem to have common sense (I'd have to read and/or re-read your stuff to see how you do the accents) and I doubt you really overdo it.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 11:52 PM

SHINYYUKARI


I'm on the fence when it comes to writing River. Sometimes she can be easy to write, sometimes it can be hard. I'm a little worried on what people will think of the last fic I wrote with her in it because I went more for the 'bratty little sister' angle that Simon has described her as...

I'm always cautious with Inara because of her speech patterns. I think that's why my Mal/Inara fics are usually written from either Mal's or someone else's POV. I've only done Inara's side 3 times.

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"Okay! Everybody not talking about sex, in here. Everybody else, elsewhere."~Wash
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Sunday, July 30, 2006 12:57 AM

AGENTROUKA


Definitely Wash for me. He has a very unique way of phrasing his sentences that's harder to capture than most of the slang the others use.

Hell, everyone is a challenge. They each have a fairly distinct voice, I find that in particular Simon's dry wit is hard to copy, or Jayne's tendency to smuggle "big words" into his curse-ridden slang.

Not to mention, that their way of speaking is not always the same from one situation to another.

As a rule, though, I'd say the more you understand a particular character and their motivations, the easier it becomes to write them, quirks and all.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:18 PM

WISHUPONAWASH


*Pondors*

Not sure really. River can be hard, but it depends on what you want her to do/say. I've yet to write anything where she has said much.

Wash is difficult, and my own attempts are never quite right.

I generally try not to over use characters if I'm having trouble with them. You can say alot with silence as with words.

Here's how it might of been.... www.stillflying.net/


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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:00 PM

STINKINGROSE


Dialect's a...puppy, even if you have an ear for it.
Agreed on Kaylee's speech patterns. She does use some audible abbreviations and colloquialisms, but does not sound like a serious hick. "Cap'n" is about as sloppy as she gets, the rest of it is just local flavor.

"Ready to go Cap'n, won't be but a minute".
vs:
"Wahl shore thing Ca'n, it ain't a-gonna be no longer than a hound's holler". (Okay, severe exaggeration, but you get the point.)

If you've never really heard someone from a region speaking at length you can overdo it trying to get the accent across.
You ever hear someone from Long Island try to do a British accent, or vice versa? It can be painful.

Our BDHs definitely have a "countrified" flavor, but not one you can specifically pin down. It's just sort of generic Down Home.
The grammar's different and has its own internal structure. It isn't any one specific US or Canadian regional dialect that I can identify. (This does not mean that it isn't one, mind you..) It's kind of like trying to distill all of the UK into one general accent. "Glas/Liv/Lon/ster" or something.

You'd have to ask the writers what they decided to go with as a rule of thumb.

If you write it like they're from the back beyond in Appalachia you've gone too far. If you write like they're from deepest Dixie, you've definitely overshot. Sometimes it reminds me a little of the Midwest-West, but still isn't quite that. Hey, it's evolved over 500 years right? (;

At least folk are trying to get the feel of it when they write. If everyone sounded like Simon it just wouldn't be the same. Just keep listening and try to think "how would X say that?", it will be fine.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:00 PM

STINKINGROSE




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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:26 PM

STEAMER


I have the toughest time with Inara and Zoe. For one thing it's because in the fic that I've written so far (which is admittedly not much), I have a hard time finding a place for either of them. Apart from that, they're just hard for me to fathom. Inara's kind of a big deal; she has many leather-bound books, etc. There's so much to her - and so much more that we never got to see - and so I'm even finding it hard to write her and Mal bickering. With Zoe, it's not too hard to write her interaction with Wash, but her interaction with everyone else is a 'verse of difference. The hard-ass rep she has, it's tricksy to figure out how she'd say some things to some people.

~
Shiny. Is that how you're all feeling?
Then perhaps Mal Reynolds IS in your best interests as captain.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:34 PM

MILFORD


I'm going to vote for Mal, but for a different reason than most have mentioned. Yes Wash and Zoe's speech patterns and phrasing are difficult. But the content of Mal's dialogue is troubling, mostly because a lot of what I do sounds so trite or mimics what he's already said.

Mal, tough.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:05 AM

GOLDY


I'd say... definitely River. Not only do I find her speech patterns difficult, but it's also hard to grasp that balance between "crazy" and "lucid."

Most of what River says has a certain amount of sense to it - whether that's apparent right away or in hindsight. I feel like a lot of writers only use her when they want her to warn the crew of incoming danger, or when they want her to work as the means of getting two people together.

Finding a River that *sounds* right, and is also true to the character we saw in the series is hard. Especially post-BDM, when we don't really *know* if she's found some sort of internal peace or not.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:14 AM

ARCADIA


Quote:

Originally posted by Goldy:
I feel like a lot of writers only use her when they want her to warn the crew of incoming danger, or when they want her to work as the means of getting two people together.

Finding a River that *sounds* right, and is also true to the character we saw in the series is hard. Especially post-BDM, when we don't really *know* if she's found some sort of internal peace or not.



I completely agree about the "using River only to warn of danger/get people together" thing, and it is one of my biggest fanfic pet peeves. One of the coolest things about River is that she's a, you know, person. And like most people, she has her own wants and needs and...

I think its safe to say that after the BDM she's going to fine some sort of peace. She knows what her abilities are, she knows how to control them without triggers, and the secret that she's been hinting as so subtle throughout the series (its surprising how many times she uses that word when you rewatch), is finally out in the open, being shared. She carries it, but she no longer carries it alone. :-)

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like the avatar? there are more. grab one here: http://snipurl.com/syt0. Happy Summer of Serenity!
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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:31 AM

GOLDY


Quote:

One of the coolest things about River is that she's a, you know, person. And like most people, she has her own wants and needs and...


Exactly. One of the things I'd love to see addressed more is her feelings about Simon/Kaylee. She's had her brother's undivided attention for over a year, and that'll be hard to give up. Not because she's selish, but because I think it's very human to both be happy for someone, but jealous at the same time.

Quote:

I think its safe to say that after the BDM she's going to fine some sort of peace. She knows what her abilities are, she knows how to control them without triggers, and the secret that she's been hinting as so subtle throughout the series (its surprising how many times she uses that word when you rewatch), is finally out in the open, being shared.


Oh, absolutely! I think, what I meant was, she still has to deal with the fact that she was tortured for many, many years, and while getting out the Miranda secret might bring her *some* sort of mental balance, it's still hard to know how "normal" she is or will ever be. And you see a lot of people writing her like she was in the series, complete with talking in nonsense (and everyone ignoring said nonsense - which I find sort of hard to believe, given the BDM). So without more canon, it's hard to know what a more-sane-but-not-completely-normal-River sounds like.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:35 AM

SPACEANJL


Weirdly enough, I found River easy to write.

I haven't tried writing Book yet. And that is because I really don't understand Christians. I can suspend disbelief enough to write killers and criminals, but christians and courtesans give me trouble. Very odd.



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Monday, July 31, 2006 10:48 AM

22CLAWS

Entirely pointy.


I'm working on my first story, now. I find Kaylee to be the biggest challenge. Conversly, I find Mal to be supprisingly easy to write. The character writes itself. I hope to post the first chapter here soon.

22

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Monday, July 31, 2006 11:10 AM

HERA


I agree that Mal is the easiest to write. No small reason that he was the first (and only, so far) character I wrote a story for. And I cheated, in that it was only his voice, talking to himself. There was no dialogue with other characters. The words just fell out of my head. Talk about the words writing themselves!

Permaybehaps it's because he spoke the most in the series, and I'm most familiar with his use of language.

Thank you for this thread. Very thought-provoking.

-Hera


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Mark your calendars! Go to http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=19&t=22697 for more info!


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Monday, July 31, 2006 11:34 AM

ARCADIA


You are welcome!

I agree that Mal, despite being a pretty complex guy, it fairly straight forward to write. Probably because we know him best, you know? We know about the war, how he lost his faith... its basically all there. Plus, he's just a beautiful character, and captivating, that he just takes over... Gotta love it.

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Arcadia
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like the avatar? there are more. grab one here: http://snipurl.com/syt0. Happy Summer of Serenity!
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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 8:38 AM

WISHUPONAWASH


For me River isn't so bad. I mostly write her being pretty lucid, of a little werid, when she speaks to people, and leave the crazy stuff to internal thought descriptive bits.

Mal, again not so bad, though I tend to use similar speech patterns that appear in the scripts.

I don't find Zoe difficult to write either. She doesn't say alot or go on too much. So I tend to keep her contributions short and pretty direct. The most irritating thing I've found is when people either write as being too drill sergeanty or too relaxed particularly when she's with Kaylee.

In fact that's one of my pet peeves with Fan fiction, when the characters are written as being too relaxed and all shipy together. I remember reading one piece where Zoe and Kaylee were discussing their periods. Now maybe it's just because I'm not a "modern man" but I really don't really see them discussing this.


Here's how it might of been.... www.stillflying.net/


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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 5:22 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
I can suspend disbelief enough to write killers and criminals, but christians and courtesans give me trouble. Very odd.



Not so odd - I totally know what you mean, LOL!

I have a hard time with Book because he's actually pretty proper. He doesn't drop his g's, but I find myself doin' that for him anyway. I have to read his lines out loud sometimes, and still bad things get through.

For Inara, I try to get myself in a Jane Austin frame of mind. That generally works.

Kaylee easily becomes too hick, that's tricky. I totally do it! But she has this lilt and tone which is hard to catch without putting some hick in.

River is also hard - I write her lines and then go back over them several times, removing as many words as possible. She's proper, but very minimal. Often no subject to her sentences.

I agree about the foreseeing of danger pet-peeve, although I use that too. I don't think River actually sees into the future. Her "Fire" warning in OoG could be her sensing the explosion already started with a spark. I try to have explanations like that, but it doesn't always work.

Can I share a pet peeve, since we're going that way? Along the lines of wishuponawash - I can't handle it when these characters do really formulaic wedding/romance stuff. Big diamond rings and white wedding dresses and the whole deal. Joss would NEVER do that unless he was making fun of the whole thing (Something Blue on BtVS). We're 500 years in the future with the wild west and space ships - use that to do something new, please! No more champagne and big fancy hotel suites - I can't take it!!

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 6:06 PM

AGENTRUSCO


I'd say (as has been stated before) that Wash is the toughest in my brain. I try to write much Wash-ness, but I, also, have a hard time with his unique humor.

River is both one of the hardest and one of the easiest. Odd eh? I find that I can get her distinct randomness and voice... but not always.

I have not really written any Inara and very little Book, in that case they are probably avoided for their dificulty.

Quote:

Can I share a pet peeve, since we're going that way? Along the lines of wishuponawash - I can't handle it when these characters do really formulaic wedding/romance stuff. Big diamond rings and white wedding dresses and the whole deal. Joss would NEVER do that unless he was making fun of the whole thing (Something Blue on BtVS). We're 500 years in the future with the wild west and space ships - use that to do something new, please! No more champagne and big fancy hotel suites - I can't take it!!


Yeh, I agree heartily to that. In fact, it's possible that I have something like that on my profile. Something like that. Stuff too far from Joss' vison irks and bores me. I tend to skip it.



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Monday, September 11, 2006 3:22 AM

SHROUDED


I think I'm going for a first or second on this board; I've seen every character talked about here, except for the one I find the most difficulty writing - Simon (I might've missed it, though).

I don't know why, but I find it really hard to get inside the head of that man. What would he be thinking in this situation, what would he do in this, what would he say in retaliation... It surprises me a lot, because his speech pattern is probably the easiest for me to write, being used to all that "proper" mumbo-jumbo and all. It's just... wording his feelings, emotions in sentences, describing his actions...

But, I'll work at it - get better at him and the like.

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The only animals I'm not comfortable with are parrots, but I'm learning as I go. I'm getting better and better at 'em. I really am. - Steve Irwin, our Honorary BDH

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Monday, September 11, 2006 6:49 PM

JETFLAIR


Kaylee!!!!!!!!!!! I have the hardest time in the world making her sound and feel like Kaylee....I hate writing her because I love her character and I hate knowing it's a bit off when I write her (which isn't much).

I have a very easy time writing Wash and Mal; their actions, their motivations, their feelings. But dialog I still am not happy with a lot of the time....it's that speech patterns thing you guys are talking about, especially with Mal. The way he arranges his words and phrases things is very distinctive, hard to copy, but instantly recognizable when it's right. I find coming up with what Mal would say to be very easy; coming up with how he'd say it, not so much. Wash's blunt, understated humor is tough as well.

But Kaylee......grrr.....can't get anything about her right!



"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you when she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." .......We love you, captain.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:02 AM

HIPPIE


Well, i'm having a hard ass time writing River. I'm doing a River centric fic exploring her fragmented mind and i'v seem to run dry on getting her to sound right.

Anyone have any tips for her..?

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:29 AM

MANICGIRAFFE


I find the hardest time with Jayne. I have to remind my self at times that he's not illiterate and does know some words with more than two syllables, and making sure he's not just the dumb ox that can barely string a sentence together. He can be quite coherent and even provide a nice turn of phrase once in a while.

Kaylee speaks mostly like us (by "us" I mean the folks posting here), but usually messes up tenses ("knowed") and subject/verb agreement ("weren't" instead of "wasn't", for example). The suck part is that she doesn't do it all the time, so you gotta watch out that it's not too thick (I blow this on a regular basis).

Mal's easy for me, since I actually talk a lot like him is real life. Oddly, I think internally with sentences more like Simon (my mom was an English teacher, it happens), so I get them both chattering away quite easily.

And Wash is just easy. Make everything sarcastic and you got it!

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 6:36 PM

ARCADIA


Quote:

Originally posted by Hippie:
Well, i'm having a hard ass time writing River. I'm doing a River centric fic exploring her fragmented mind and i'v seem to run dry on getting her to sound right.

Anyone have any tips for her..?



There's lots of good analysis of River in this thread: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=12&t=23843

Personally, I always try to keep in mind that there is always internal logic to what River does, even if it isn't logical to everyone else. So make sure her actions make sense... somehow. Also, I try to keep in mind that she's just a kid. Its really easy to forget that River is only seventeen, and in some ways younger because her life was robbed of her at fourteen when she went to the academy. All the stuff people go through in high school, it hasn't happened to her yet. She longs for it in some ways. She can feel other people's lives, but there is a lot she hasn't experienced first hand. She's growing.

Arcadia (aka Greyfable and/or Katie)
www.stillflying.net -- picking up Firefly were Joss left off. We will hold 'til he gets back.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:26 AM

MISSKITTEN


Hmmm... hardest character. I think I'd rather go through the list and point out what's easy and what's hard with each character.

My favourite character to write is Kaylee, I agree with the dialect error many do. I hope I don't do it overly much, but I think I'm one of those who overdo it, even if it's just slightly. You people have to be the judge of that, really, cause as a writer I can either be too strict or too careless with this.

As I mainly write Simon/Kaylee, I think I got an okay handle on Simon. I don't think I do too much error in his speech, although I haven't tried giving him much medical jargon in my stories as I don't know that much... lol

I don't think I do overly many errors in Inara's speech pattern, but I might do some. Characterwise I feel that I portray her okay (again, that's for you to decide). I feel her to be gentle, but also stubborn and she has a temperament when it comes to Mal. I don't find portraying Inara as difficult, but writing Mal/Inara is a lot more tricky for me than writing Simon/Kaylee.

Mal I feel I've gotten down, at least to an okay extent, I don't think I differantiate much between his speech pattern and Kaylee's as I feel they talk a like a lot. Character like I don't think I make him too soft or harsh. If I make him harsh in one part of the fic, I have another part where he either is forced to apologise or in some other way make up for at least part of what he did.

River is very difficult to write. A lot of things she says are things others don't understand, reading her surroundings, the things she says are things not everybody understands. I sometimes find myself looking up definition of things, as she's a genious and sometimes she says the textbook definition of things. Other times I give her just short sentences since, as someone else here pointed out, she's minimalistic. It's a tricky balance to make her perfectly understandable and then have her do something that seems crazy for the people around her.

Wash, although I don't write him that often, is kinda fun to write. I won't call him easy to write and I generally use him little in my fics. Mostly I include him briefly, but I don't think Wash is the hardest character to write.

Zoe isn't a character I write much either. I think the few times I've used her that I've done okay.

Jayne is another character I don't include overly much. I love torturing him when I do, though... lol... If I have the character down or not, well I really don't know. I just do my best when I have to include him.

Book is definately the character I write the least. I can't remember if I've ever given him a line in any of my stories or not. He's been included a little, but mostly in narration.



...so hardest character. I think I have to go with River, because she's a different kind of complex than the rest. You have to write her do something that *looks* completely insane, but also be in her head and know *why* she does it (because there is logic behind most of it, just the logic of a broken, disturbed girl). You have to master the simplistic speach as well as have access to more advanced things as you have to consider her being a genious when you write her. River is definately the toughest character for me to write, but when writing Simon/Kaylee it comes with the territory... lol

*~*~*

"Joss, if you kill him now I'll stuff a compression coil up your ass sideways!"
~ Kaylee, "Serenity in 2000 words or less"

Kaylee's the perfect woman!

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 7:47 AM

WASHPILOT


I actually think Wash is easier to write for. I'm usually pretty funny most of the time, and I understand his logic as well.

The hardest to write for is Inara. I have to think of her as very, very well-educated in the British language, speaks well, and has a british accent before I can even attempt to write her lines.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 8:30 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Washpilot:
The hardest to write for is Inara. I have to think of her as very, very well-educated in the British language, speaks well, and has a british accent before I can even attempt to write her lines.



Inara has a British accent????

I tend to picture her in a Jane Austin novel, but sans accent!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 9:04 AM

LATTELADY6


I think they all be difficult at times, but Mal was the hardest for me. I still have problems and give him a bit too much Jayne in his speach pattern.

Most of my writing has been posts BDM. The few times I've written Wash, he has been talking in Zoe's head, so if he isn't quite himself that is okay.

I had never written Zoe before Wash died, but have found her interesting to write as she works things through.

River, is anyones guess, but I'm sure I write as older than she is, though her experiences make her that way.

See I'm going in circles...they all have their difficult times.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 9:39 AM

INEVERMARRIED


To be honest, I find them all challenging to write for 'cos at the the end of the day, they aren't my characters. Joss Whedon did a masterful job of giving the viewer a partial insight into these character's psyche so ultimately, we don't know everything about them. So, I have to really think real hard whilst writing dialogue to make sure I keep a level of realism.

Also, Whedon created relationships between his characters, so that has to be taken account when I write for a character. Like Simon would speak in a certain manner round Jayne and another round Kaylee...I suppose that's a testament to Joss's ability to create these realistic three-dimensional characters more then anything. Or it could be that I'm crap of course.

But, in answer to the question, I always find Inara hard to write for, especially in her interaction with Mal. It's very difficult to keep that artful sarcasm that she uses constant, sometimes I'll be too subtle, other times she comes across as scornful.

EDIT: The above was a poorly-concealed attempt to explain away my lack of fanfiction after promising so much. Worth a go, eh?

===================================================
~Do YOU know what the chain of command is?~

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 9:54 AM

HERA7


Something to keep in mind with accents is the changing accent.

When a person moves from one dialect area to another, either through physical moving or education, they will start to adapt to the accent around them. It will vary from person to person, some will completely adapt and sound like a native, most will partially adapt, over time sound like a native to non-natives, but not native to natives of that dialect. On the other end some will adapt very little due to the strength of their original native dialect.

Another thing about changing dialects, most people often revert to their native one to a degree when talking to someone from their native area, or when tired or under stress. Someone who is very conscious of their dialect being out of place will make great efforts to blend in to the current area dialect.

I went through this transformation twice, being born in New York State to Southern raised parents, then moving to their home region at 5 years old. People from the north said I had a southern accent, southerners told me I had a northern accent. When I left home and lived in the west (Colorado) I was very conscious of my accent and pretty much dropped it all together, to where people can not place where I am from when I speak. When I visit with my family back in the south, then a little of the southern accent creeps back in, but soon disappears when I go back home.

So when dealing with character accents, consider these things. Where are they from and how strong was their regional accent? Where are the currently and how much have they adapted? How long have they been away from their native region? Who are they currently speaking to that may affect their speech patterns? At what age(s) did the person change regions? Did the person attend some sort of educational facility which has its own recognizable accent? How does being under stress or tired affect the person's adopted accent?

Of course, if the person never leaves their home region for any significant amount of time, then they would keep their native regional accent at all times.

Hera7

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 10:01 AM

REGINAROADIE


River is easy and hard to write. River as in her character is so distinct that it's easy to write situations for her. But it's her way of talking, or as I like to call it, "River-speak", that's hard to do, because I can't come up with disjointed sentences and dialogue, so with my first story, I kept her to a minimum, and I used the guitar that was introduced in Blue Hand Blues as a way to have her speak normally, so that I don't have to spend hours coming up with River-speak. And I'm sure that if the show lasted years, that Joss himself would have gotten tired of "River-speak" and find a way for her to talk normally.

Book is slightly tough, in my opinion, since for the majority of the time in my stories, he's usually just a bystander observing things and has no direct impact. The only time I think where he has a direct influence is at the end of the second SHOTGUN TAM story where he gives forgiveness to Simon, which I relaize might be slightly anachronistic since it's a Catholic act, and the main religion in Firefly is Buddhism.

But the other characters, oddly enough, seem to come easily to me. Simon's my fave character to write, since I'm basically writing myself.

**************************************************
"I have no reason to believe you and every reason not to."
"Why's that?"
"You work in television."

STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP

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Friday, October 20, 2006 3:23 PM

BROWNCOATJIM


i don't have much of a hard time with River, i find you just have to abandon the societal need for small talk and let her ask the direct, tough questions. you just gotta remember to pepper that with simple observations, and smart-assed teeneage girl combacks here and there.

Kaylee, on the other hand, is thr toughest for me........it owuld be soooooo easy to let her become a mary-sue, the girl doesn't seem to have a speck of darkness withing her......

Simon: "Were there any Feds?"
mal: "No, no Feds, just an honest brawl between folk."

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 1:00 PM

GRYFFYD


I find that Book is the hardest. He's a unique guy. It's hard to make him wise and smart and funny and still keep him in charater. He's the kind of guy that doesn't give away anything unless he truly needs to and I have a big mouth. :) It's just not in my personality. I like someone who can shout their opinion. Like Wash or Mal or Jayne or Simon or River (how ever crazy you make her) or Kaylee or Inara. I have some trouble with Zoe too sometimes. She's supposed to be all stone cold and stoic and then she can be all... not stoic and hardcore. It's annoying!

Gryffyd

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 1:24 PM

BROWNCOATJIM


Just remember this with jayne: he IS undeducated, we all know this, but he is not stupid, not like everyone else (including himself at times) thinks. Just apply a whole lot of good old fashioned street smarts to jayne, and you can do all right with him.

Just a suggestion. We ae all trying to create something special out here in our own ways, I kinda feel we al have an obligation to try and help one another.




Simon: "Were there any Feds?"
mal: "No, no Feds, just an honest brawl between folk."

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:51 PM

DREADPIRATE


I agree on Wash as being a real obstacle to write, for the same reasons, but strangely I've also found Inara to be pretty difficult. I mean, I'm not the most refined speaker, and she uses a more sophisticate dialect than anyone else. I find it's hard to write dialog from her without sounding too corny or too low-brow. She's somewhere in the middle that's hard to figure out.

--"I know they tell ya: 'never hit a man with a closed fist,' but it is, on occasion, hilarious."--

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 1:10 AM

MRBLUESUN


I find that Mal and Jayne are the two hardest to write for.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 1:35 AM

GOMITHROUS


I don't write Wash or Book seeing as everything I've written is post BDM. I'm starting to get a grip on all the other characters but River is just so gorram hard! It's just so difficult to get the way she talks right. I also find that writing dialogue for all the characters when alot of them are involved in the conversation for example, Inara, Simon and River sound very different from Mal, Kaylee and Jayne, and Zoe has a whole different thing going on. River also has the crazy thing and I've noticed that even Mal, Kaylee and Jayne talk a little bit differently. But yeah, overall I'd say River.

Chriskwanzukkah is upon us!!!

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Friday, December 15, 2006 4:00 PM

STORMWIND


Hands down Zoe- I can't get a handle on her for some reason especially post-BDM I don't quite know how she deals with grief and Wash's death. ODes she get on with bussiness? Does she lose it? does it sit inside her slowly tearing her apart?

Part from her i find Inara a bit difficult as well as Book but i find the easiset to write for are Jayne, River, Simon and Mal.

Well my days of takin' you serouisly are certainly coming to middle.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006 9:18 AM

TAMSIBLING


Wash baffles me if only because he tells such awful jokes. Unless I've got him playing with dinosaurs, I just can't get into his head.

Zoe is next, she is so difficult to write - I think out of all the characters she's been the most neglected in the series and movie. One of the struggles I found with writing her post-BDM is that we were really never given any indication of how she would react to such a tragedy as losing her husband. We all can guess that she'd be stoic and strong, which she hints to with her line at the end of the movie, but I think the more telling part of that is the first - "She's tore up plenty-" What does "tore up plenty" look and feel like to Zoe?

I used to have a hard time writing Jayne, but I think I have a better understanding of him now. After the BDM, we can kind of mold him how we want. There are two schools of thought - one is that the Shepherd's death shook him up and brings out a bit of a lighter side - the other is that he's even more of mean, nasty hun dan than he was before. I tend to err towards the former.

I absolutely refuse to write Book. I know I cannot do him justice. But the other ones I love - especially River.

***
So ... explain to me your obsession with all things evil?

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:19 AM

SKAYLA


I find River to be the easiest to write. i could write pages and pages of her nonsense talk and it will all make sense with a little thinking.

im pretty bad with the speech patterns, i dont write many of the characters cos im a big mal/river fan, so i think all of them sans the other two are hard for me.. but i watch firefly and serenity on dvd all the time so im getting better.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 1:39 PM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


For me it's Mal. Mal is difficult to write because he's a mite unpredictable. I'll have him there and he's angry but all of a sudden he walks off and is completely different...I think I may just be retarded.

Wash definately is a bit hard, but I've never had trouble with River . Maybe because she's always been my favorite.

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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Monday, January 8, 2007 12:47 AM

TATHRASEVENTEEN


I find Jayne to be the hardest, mostly because I find it tough to make him so intimidating and so loveable at the same time. Everyone else is relatively easy in in comparison (though River does frustrate me from time to time). Mal is the easiest by far, mostly because I see a lot of myself in him.

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