[Opinion] Character Bashing

View previous topic View next topic Go down

[Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by sasahara17 on Sat 4 Jul 2009 - 8:31

Me responding to something major again.

As some of you may know, I read a lot of fiction, and a lot of what I read is fanfiction. Still, one thing that I keep running across when I read fanfics is character bashing in a fanfic. Recently I read one that had bashing so extreme of a character I didn’t even LIKE, I felt sick to my stomach. Watching it unfold was akin to a train wreck. You just couldn't take your eyes off.

That author may write better than me, but if that talent comes at the cost of destroying your characters they can keep those thousand reviews. I'll leave that author unnamed, but damn...

To the uninitiated, character bashing in fanfics is when a part of the fandom openly criticizes one or more characters in an artistic work. For example, the negative aspects of a character are exaggerated, or the character is portrayed as 'unlikeable' or, in the worst case, the character's entire personality is warped into something wicked.

(Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashing_(pejorative)#Bashing_within_fandom )

Personally I find it deplorable and try to avoid it in my own writings as much as possible, especially when the story is serious. As once told to me by a good beta reader (who dissected a draft of my FSN humor fic draft to the point where every paragraph had a word of constructive criticism), every character has three dimensions. They are never completely evil (Character bashed beyond recognition), nor are they complete super skilled saints either (Mary Sue, I am guilty of this).

While sometimes characters have to be portrayed as unlikable, most well rounded characters have a reason to be that way, and sometimes that unliability is just the launching pad for their development. But not with these. Cruelty, nastiness, pettiness, selfishness, etc..., etc... are their raison d'etre. Utterly irredeamable.

But unfortunately as I have noticed, Character Bashing is an unconscious phenomenon. Most authors don’t even realize what they are doing to the character, or they don’t even care. Some even believe they are portraying the character more accurately, and that all the skeptics and critics are just flamers out to cause trouble. These ‘discussions’ can get pretty heated.

The closest thing I can find in our fandom of this are some portrayals of Allesandro Ricci. Our track record’s been pretty good so far, since ‘Sandro’s just been played for laughs (as in 'flanderisation' rather than outright 'bashing') and he is more of a pervert than an outright evil bastard. However, I fear one day I’ll way up and discover a story that has the evil manipulative ‘Sandro planning to off the other handlers so he can turn the SWA into his own brothel, with Lorenzo as his footstool. And it’s not even played for laughs; this is the real deal and the author is being so nasty about it people (like me) feel sick.

Anyway back on point. I propose some sort of watch to alert fanfic authors such as myself as to when they’re bashing a character. I expect some heated arguments given some of us can be opinionated, but I thought this could be of quality control over our section. Then again some people actually LIKE character bashing, and maybe I’m just the minority who feels that Rossiu was Right.

Does anyone like the idea, or should I just delete the thread?

EDIT - Just looked at the length of my reply. Wow that was some knee jerk reaction...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who is that hot glasses wearing babe I wonder...
avatar
sasahara17

Male

Forum Posts : 1001

Fan of : GSGs? Claes-sama and Elsa-chan. Outside that? Bloodhound Jr. and Saber

Original Characters : Wilfred Sheppard, I-CARE agent.

Comments : A walking idea powerhouse.

Registration date : 2007-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 4 Jul 2009 - 11:03

I can't say that I've seen it as actual "bashing".

I have seen some characters played, IMO, well out of character and given a more, IMO, mean-spirited persona than what they had in the manga or the anime.

Sandro and Petra are touchy issues with a portion of the US fanbase so I'm not surprised if they're being subjected to "enhanced characterization techniques". Smile

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
avatar
Kiskaloo
A Cat of Many Talents

Male

Forum Posts : 10901

Location : Seattle / Tokyo / Milan

Fan of : Angelica's Smile

Original Characters : Kara Michelle

Comments : The community's international man of mystery.

Registration date : 2008-09-11

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 4 Jul 2009 - 13:06

"Without conflict, there is no story.", as stated in so many advanced College English writing classes everywhere.

With that said, I am guilty of Character Bashing (Fernando vs Jean), because the two characters are so alike in many ways that they repel each if they would be magnets. But I prefer this to be Personality Conflicts between characters and not bashing of one character with another. But there is a thin line between the two, it is crossed without knowing.

IF its with OC's, I would not mind it at all. If its with Canon Characters, I would have to draw the line where I draw my at.

The other issue, Villains. How can one write up a villain without bashing him? One has to be immoral with his character to make him bad. He can be twisted to make him look good to the eye of the public, but he is still a villain. That part I dont understand- a nice villain. Evil is as evil does.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If Fernando had Super Powers, He would be God!
avatar
ElfenMagix

Male

Forum Posts : 5682

Location : NYC NY, USA

Fan of : Pia, Elsa, Cleas, Triela...

Original Characters : Fernando & Rachel, Felix & Francesca

Comments : He has super powers. He is God.

Registration date : 2007-09-21

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by sasahara17 on Sat 4 Jul 2009 - 19:01

@Kiskaloo wrote:Sandro and Petra are touchy issues with a portion of
the US fanbase so I'm not surprised if they're being subjected to
"enhanced characterization techniques". Smile
Yeah, what I've seen mostly is flanderisation, or just making fun of the two in a humorous way. Thus far, I haven't seen an instance of 'Sandro cross that fine line between 'that pervert we all love to make fun off' to 'that evil rapist'. Besides, I've armed up to him as of late.

@ElfenMagix wrote:"Without conflict, there is no story.", as stated in so many advanced College English writing classes everywhere.
I'm not saying not to remove conflict. Conflict can be executed without completely demonising one character to give another the moral high ground. Maybe in a plain Good v Evil story this would be acceptable, but GSG is a world of greys and I feel it sould be protrayed as such.

@ElfenMagix wrote:I prefer this to be Personality Conflicts between characters and not bashing of one character with another. But there is a thin line between the two, it is crossed without knowing.
I totally agree with you here. My favourite stoies are where two grounds of likable people start fighting over their ideals over something that just fell into that moral grey zone. Both have reasons to be there, but compromise cannot be found and thus they have to conflict.

@ElfenMagix wrote:IF its with OC's, I would not mind it at all. If its with Canon Characters, I would have to draw the line where I draw my at.
I totally agree with you here too... althougth I have yet to meet anyone who is willing to bash their own OC, seeing as how most people love their Mary Sues and Gary Stus.

@ElfenMagix wrote:The other issue, Villains. How can one write up a villain without bashing him? One has to be immoral with his character to make him bad. That part I dont understand- a nice villain. Evil is as evil does.
Oh I can understand where you are coming from. Portraying Voldermort or Sauron as someone who is a nice fluffy man who loves kids and choclate is prabably another form of character rape. Villians are not nice people.
But sometimes villians have some redeeming qualities, like perhaps Severus Snape with his courage or Uchiha Sasuke, who is if nothing else completely driven. Both are not pleastant people to be around (and indeed, I hate Sasuke's guts), but ignoring these character qualities can seriously damage the character andby extension the writing (Snape, a spineless coward. Sasuke, a lazy bum). If done tastefully maybe I can forgive, but more often than not I am left with just shaking my head.

Besides most of the problems I have with Character bashing occur when one of the protagonists is given this treatment. The auto portrays a character they do not like as nasy, and don't even make even the slightest attempt to redeem or develop that character. X is and always be a bastard, no compromisies on this point.

Damn it, sometimes even the BBEG who only has ten minutes of screen time get more development than these guys who send 75% of the fic been asses. It's that kind of feeling you get at having watched the end of Chrno Crusade anime after having read the end of the manga. WTF happened to Rosette?! (Admittedly it was chickification here, but damn is her character wasn't completely ruined).

Arg, ranting again. How the heck did one fic get this level of resonse from me?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who is that hot glasses wearing babe I wonder...
avatar
sasahara17

Male

Forum Posts : 1001

Fan of : GSGs? Claes-sama and Elsa-chan. Outside that? Bloodhound Jr. and Saber

Original Characters : Wilfred Sheppard, I-CARE agent.

Comments : A walking idea powerhouse.

Registration date : 2007-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Danjo3 on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 2:48

@sasahara17 wrote:... althougth I have yet to meet anyone who is willing to bash their own OC...
*ahem* just whistlin'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“I don’t hate him specifically, it’s the rest of you selfish adults I hold a grudge against.”
avatar
Danjo3
The Voice of Reason

Male

Forum Posts : 2609

Fan of : Hillshire/Triela

Original Characters : Biff & Little Britney

Comments : OC hater par excellence.

Registration date : 2007-09-14

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Guest on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 16:21


sasahara17 wrote:... althougth I have yet to meet anyone who is willing to bash their own OC...
Danjo3 wrote: *ahem*

We have a winner

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by boomer_gonz on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 17:08

@sasahara17 wrote:... althougth I have yet to meet anyone who is willing to bash their own OC...

Does creating likable OC's only to kill them off count as bashing your own OC's?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Power of Claes Compels You!!!
avatar
boomer_gonz

Male

Forum Posts : 2561

Location : California Republic

Fan of : Crystal Palace!!!

Original Characters : Alpha/Omega Fratello & Dr. Giacomo Gianncomo

Registration date : 2007-09-14

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by sasahara17 on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 17:59

@Danjo3 wrote:
@sasahara17 wrote:... although I have yet to meet anyone who is willing to bash their own OC...
*ahem* just whistlin'
Ah, you must be referring to the SWA 'boys'. I'd completely forgotten they existed (poor wretched things). I stand corrected. Danjo needs a medal right about now.

@boomer_gonz wrote:Does creating likable OC's only to kill them off count as bashing your own OC's?
I don't think so. Bashing normally involves degrading them in the eyes of the reader for no good reason whatsoever. 'Killing off' characters doesn't have to involve making them look bad, and infact more often than not (with heroic sacrifices and whatnot) can propel them into popularity.

Opinion?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who is that hot glasses wearing babe I wonder...
avatar
sasahara17

Male

Forum Posts : 1001

Fan of : GSGs? Claes-sama and Elsa-chan. Outside that? Bloodhound Jr. and Saber

Original Characters : Wilfred Sheppard, I-CARE agent.

Comments : A walking idea powerhouse.

Registration date : 2007-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 18:08

@sasahara17 wrote:
@boomer_gonz wrote:Does creating likable OC's only to kill them off count as bashing your own OC's?
I don't think so. Bashing normally involves degrading them in the eyes of the reader for no good reason whatsoever. 'Killing off' characters doesn't have to involve making them look bad, and infact more often than not (with heroic sacrifices and whatnot) can propel them into popularity.

Opinion?
You're right on that there.
In fact, there are a couple of major religions based on that meme alone!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If Fernando had Super Powers, He would be God!
avatar
ElfenMagix

Male

Forum Posts : 5682

Location : NYC NY, USA

Fan of : Pia, Elsa, Cleas, Triela...

Original Characters : Fernando & Rachel, Felix & Francesca

Comments : He has super powers. He is God.

Registration date : 2007-09-21

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Danjo3 on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 21:10

@sasahara17 wrote:Ah, you must be referring to the SWA 'boys'. I'd completely forgotten they existed (poor wretched things). I stand corrected. Danjo needs a medal right about now.
Actually, it’s SWA 'Girl-boys'.

I hate to admit it, but while I do bash the hell out of my Gb's, I also try to elicit sympathy from the reader. I’m afraid I’m just not capable of writing some of the sick and twisted shit certain other authors are. (I won’t mention any names either)


Last edited by Danjo3 on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 23:43; edited 2 times in total

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“I don’t hate him specifically, it’s the rest of you selfish adults I hold a grudge against.”
avatar
Danjo3
The Voice of Reason

Male

Forum Posts : 2609

Fan of : Hillshire/Triela

Original Characters : Biff & Little Britney

Comments : OC hater par excellence.

Registration date : 2007-09-14

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Nachtsider on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 21:23

Having had an OC of mine bashed before, my condemning stance on character bashing ought to be pretty clear.

As for 'degrading' canon characters, I will be the first to admit that I have interpreted them in ways that are... somewhat unorthodox. However, I think it's fair to say that such parodic depictions were hardly in poor taste - none were needlessly violent, sexual or all that jazz. Said interpretations were also done with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and purely for entertainment value. When I'm doing a humorous parody, I make it clear that a humorous parody is the product I'm crafting. My serious works, as others have mentioned, are pretty solid proof that I'm perfectly capable of coming up with reverent, true-to-source character studies.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------





There may be no peace for the wicked, but the righteous can damn well get a piece whenever they feel like it.
avatar
Nachtsider
KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Male

Forum Posts : 5718

Location : Inside your closet. In your head.

Fan of : Gunslinger Girl, Transformers: Animated

Original Characters : Liesel/Altheus, Meir/Kathryn, Aharon/Nadia, Cosette/Janus

Comments : The Living Legend. Master of Darkness. Trailblazer par excellence. Fear him.

Registration date : 2007-09-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by sasahara17 on Sun 12 Jul 2009 - 3:48

@Danjo3 wrote:Actually, it’s SWA 'Girl-boys'.
Actually I DID mean to refer to them as Danjo's GSG 'boys'. Gotta give them a little dignity, seeing as how nobody in the agency gives them none.

Except for that one kid tho'. Poor guy needs some counseling. Maybe one day I'll write a fic where he finally decides on a female gender identity and goes for broke. Man will his mates freak out after that...

@Danjo3 wrote:I
hate to admit it, but while I do bash the hell out of my Gb's, I also
try to elicit sympathy from the reader.
Hence why I call them boys. I think you succeeded too well, that you did. I was so teary about their predicament, I cried. Seriously.

Just joking.

It did feel a bit sad you created those boys just to make them look stupid. But given how you did portray the, as being victims of circumstance more than anything else, I think it was more tragedy than all out character lynching.

@Nachtsider wrote:Having had an OC of mine bashed before, my condemning stance on character bashing ought to be pretty clear.
Err... I can't remember such an incident. Was this in your GSG fics, or somewhere else?

@Nachtsider wrote:As for 'degrading' canon characters, I will be the first to admit that I have interpreted them in ways that are... somewhat unorthodox... I think it's fair to say that such parodic depictions were hardly in poor taste... Said interpretations were also done with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and purely for entertainment value... I make it clear that a humorous parody is the product I'm crafting.
Like I noted, characters acting like fools parodies or comedies are perfectly fine, at least to an extent. It's when the narrative gets serious and the character is portrayed without their redeeming qualities that makes me sick.

I lean more to the 'idealism side' of the 'idealism v cynicism' scale as you can probably tell, so even my most vile antagonists have at least a good justification for being like that (Alice-->Brainwashed completely, no free will of her own). So when I see some poor sap being portrayed like an evil, petty bastard simply because he 'is one and will always be one', I find that hard to accept.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who is that hot glasses wearing babe I wonder...
avatar
sasahara17

Male

Forum Posts : 1001

Fan of : GSGs? Claes-sama and Elsa-chan. Outside that? Bloodhound Jr. and Saber

Original Characters : Wilfred Sheppard, I-CARE agent.

Comments : A walking idea powerhouse.

Registration date : 2007-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Nachtsider on Sun 12 Jul 2009 - 4:39

@sasahara17 wrote:Err... I can't remember such an incident. Was this in your GSG fics, or somewhere else?
Maybe I wasn't being clear enough - what happened was that two other authors saw it fit to bash my OC in THEIR fanfics. To this day, I wonder what the hell I might have done to offend them and warrant this treatment. This happened ages ago, and the miscreants have since left the fandom; I don't know if I want to link to said stories and feed the long-dormant trolls.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------





There may be no peace for the wicked, but the righteous can damn well get a piece whenever they feel like it.
avatar
Nachtsider
KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Male

Forum Posts : 5718

Location : Inside your closet. In your head.

Fan of : Gunslinger Girl, Transformers: Animated

Original Characters : Liesel/Altheus, Meir/Kathryn, Aharon/Nadia, Cosette/Janus

Comments : The Living Legend. Master of Darkness. Trailblazer par excellence. Fear him.

Registration date : 2007-09-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Danjo3 on Sun 12 Jul 2009 - 13:58

@sasahara17 wrote:Actually I DID mean to refer to them as Danjo's GSG 'boys'. Gotta give them a little dignity, seeing as how nobody in the agency gives them none.
I understand what you’re saying sasahara, but we authors like to have our creations referred to by name. My boys are Girl-boys, and as a rule we authors… wait a minute… what’s happening to me! AAAH!

taking myself… too seriously…

…thinking my fan fic is… important… must resist…

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“I don’t hate him specifically, it’s the rest of you selfish adults I hold a grudge against.”
avatar
Danjo3
The Voice of Reason

Male

Forum Posts : 2609

Fan of : Hillshire/Triela

Original Characters : Biff & Little Britney

Comments : OC hater par excellence.

Registration date : 2007-09-14

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by sasahara17 on Sun 12 Jul 2009 - 17:24

@Nachtsider wrote:Maybe I wasn't being clear enough - what happened
was that two other authors saw it fit to bash my OC in THEIR fanfics.
Oh, you must mean THAT incident. Say no more, I understand.

@Danjo3 wrote:I understand what you’re saying sasahara, but we authors like to have our creations referred to by name. My boys are Girl-boys, and as a rule we authors… wait a minute… what’s happening to me! AAAH!

taking myself… too seriously…

…thinking my fan fic is… important… must resist…
It looks like you ARE warming up to your fics after all! I hope your girl-boys aren't growing on you. Razz

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who is that hot glasses wearing babe I wonder...
avatar
sasahara17

Male

Forum Posts : 1001

Fan of : GSGs? Claes-sama and Elsa-chan. Outside that? Bloodhound Jr. and Saber

Original Characters : Wilfred Sheppard, I-CARE agent.

Comments : A walking idea powerhouse.

Registration date : 2007-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Danjo3 on Wed 15 Jul 2009 - 3:07

@sasahara17 wrote:It looks like you ARE warming up to your fics after all! I hope your girl-boys aren't growing on you. Razz
Don’t worry, there won’t be any silver linings in any of those little bastards clouds. They just wouldn’t be Girl-boys if they were happy, now would they?

BTW, I’m just finishing my next B&B installment, and it’s a dozzy. Think of it as a very special Biff & Britney.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“I don’t hate him specifically, it’s the rest of you selfish adults I hold a grudge against.”
avatar
Danjo3
The Voice of Reason

Male

Forum Posts : 2609

Fan of : Hillshire/Triela

Original Characters : Biff & Little Britney

Comments : OC hater par excellence.

Registration date : 2007-09-14

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 15 Jul 2009 - 9:34

YAY!!! FINALLY!!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If Fernando had Super Powers, He would be God!
avatar
ElfenMagix

Male

Forum Posts : 5682

Location : NYC NY, USA

Fan of : Pia, Elsa, Cleas, Triela...

Original Characters : Fernando & Rachel, Felix & Francesca

Comments : He has super powers. He is God.

Registration date : 2007-09-21

Back to top Go down

Re: [Opinion] Character Bashing

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum