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Keeping your canon character in character


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We've had a topic like this before I think, but we all (hopefully) grow and change and find new ways of doing things.

 

So if you're writing a canonical character (or have in the past), how do you ensure you remain faithful to the original iteration (whilst obviously keeping forum events and those character repercussions in mind)?

 

Do you find it easy? Difficult?

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Honestly I find it very difficult to play a character I didn't come up with myself. I have tried my hand at playing Canons before and I find it extremely difficult to reign in that impulse to have them do something the way I feel their character should do it. Even if experience has shown me that the Canon does things differently. This is one reason I'm extremely slow to take on canon characters and want ads. I admire the people with the attention to detail and self-control to keep a canon on the straight and narrow no matter what curve balls the forum setting throws at them. It's strength I don't have. 

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Okay so mine might be different since I do personified sites, where you adapt a character for the site's theme. But honestly my favorite thing is little tidbits that are callbacks to the canon - plotlines, quotes, etc. I feel like they become their own character but always have this connection, you feel? I don't know if this helps you at all but!! That's my feelings on the matter!

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NOW ACCEPTING CHARACTERS FROM NON-ANIMATED FANDOMS

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20190122_130656.thumb.jpg.2f5797def95f21021e524de6743cf66c.jpgMy process is to scour the original material for different tidbits, make notes and in the case of books, leave markers so I can return to it. See Exhibit A. Then I consistently return to it whenever I feel like I need to recapture their 'voice' or ground their reactions and thoughts with past events.

 

For canon characters from video games I listen to the character's voice a lot and read any supporting material. For video game characters (and movie/tv shows!) in particular, I feel it's helpful to pull apart the cadence of their voice until I can imitate it in writing. Seeing their mannerisms and how they express themselves (or not) emotionally is also helpful.

 

I enjoy the challenge of writing canon characters. I think it's easy to slip into, this is how I want this character to react, rather than, this is how this character would react. Guarding against that is fun. It also gives me the same enjoyment I get from researching, just recognising that my understanding of that person is deepening or evolving based on things I hadn't previously noticed is satisfying.

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PSI: an Occult Investigations RP

Roleplay Architects: Grab a friend (or many friends!) and just write.

You can also find me at:

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That's why I like playing the  characters at the end of the series/movie/game etc...because then it makes sense they would change. 

 

Ex: Drop House in a  panfandom game with magic, powers, etc...at first he's going to think everyone's been drugged or poisoned. 

 

Some healer comes along and fixes his leg....and it stays fixed? He might have to reconsider a few things. 

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One of the best parts about being able to play a canon character for me is the challenge of trying to develop them as they would if the original writer was behind the story.  That said, I struggle a lot with canon sites for ongoing series that expect for the canon to grow parallel to the character in the series regardless of the site events. That is when I stop having fun because I feel as though there is no point in playing with the characters on the site if our interactions are basically meaningless because of a plot twist in the series. I like a strong canon start with a canonical development that isn't too strict. It is easy if I am just playing the character as the character is and my development focuses on my character's growth within the site alone.

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  • 1 month later...

My process involves absorbing everything about the character that I possibly can in excess and repeatedly. I not only watch movies multiple times (in a row, probably), I will read all of their wiki entries. I will read interviews with the people who played/wrote those characters. If there is a live-action portrayal, I will probably watch video upon video and gifset upon gifset of the person who portrayed that character to pick up on little ticks or behaviors in addition to all the ones I picked up from the source material, giving me some more options. After that, I'm pretty good to go. I don't usually hold onto any of it for reference material because I tend to remember it fine on my own, but if I feel I need a refresher I will probably just do it all again ugh.

 

It used to really bother me when I felt like canons weren't kept in canon, but over the years I've stopped caring about that very much. I won't stop doing my process, but it doesn't bother me if other people aren't as stringent.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I play an OC with a canon's name, tbh. I pick a canon and an OC that have the same starting points, but I basically do what I think that canon SHOULD be, or just something entirely different that has that canon's relationships and position. Everyone apparently thinks its great and faithful. Of course, I also tend to play canons that have had a number of interpretations.

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This is difficult. Some time ago I played a canon on LJ and some thought I had the character spot on and others thought it was a huge deviation. I was confused, but continued onward and tried my best, but I don't think its possible to be 100% in character with a character that is not one's own... close maybe, but...

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” - Dr. Seuss


 

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  • 2 months later...

I don't usually pick up a canon character unless I am highly knowledgeable on their story to begin with. The canons that I've enjoyed playing are usually ones that I identify with in someway and feel I can add more depth to their character -- more in the vein of playing through the "why" they are a particular way. Often in exploring that, new situations and stories come up and the canon character is able to organically change and shift, even in keeping to their "original" personality. The main thing I utilize to my advantage with this is time. The more time that passes on the forum and in real life, the more intimately familiar you become with how a canon character would interpret a particular set of circumstances, and the easier it is for you to call the shots regarding their reactions without having to rely on the source material.

 

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I love playing canon characters, because after a while you can develop little quirks that make them more fleshed out, nothing that would divert from their intended personality, but enough to make them more human-- things like small pet peeves, or maybe they are ticklish somewhere. I tend to only actively play one canon character at a time, so it gives me the opportunity to kind of sit and think 'How would this character react about the situation I am in right now?', when I'm out and about in real life. 

Something once lost can never be returned.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I actually think it's really helpful to watch interviews of actors talk about character with a similar motivation/personality as the character I am trying to emulate.  Actors and writers try to embody a certain kind of person so hearing how someone who is paid to do so- how they think and analyze a character they are playing- it's very helpful!

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For me, it's easier on original roleplays than those based off a show or movie, especially if I haven't seen it. With real life butting in every so often, I haven't really taken canons for such a long time. I understand the importance of being active if one was to take a canon.

I have been on a few, and my own forum is included in this, where they put down the basics for a canon character and they let the player take it from there. I think that's probably the smartest way to go about it. However, there are people who wants canons to go a certain way, even when they try to leave it up to the players. I think that's why original characters are more fun for most of us. With them, we practically have free reign.

Courirnu // original small-town rp

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