OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

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OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 18 Jul 2009 - 16:53

Since Panzer's Death Scenes thread discusses actual OC death scenes, I thought I’d open a new thread since my question does not to relate to the death scene (I have already decided), but instead on your feelings on killing an OC.

The current story I am working on (Harmony with Sorrow) will be the last one featuring Michele and Kara. It will also be the final installment of a trilogy that started with Past Forward and continued with Yoake.

Now when I say “last”, I mean that they won’t be part of the SWA (nor Section 2) at the end of it and not necessarily the last story I will ever write about them. Their tenure at Section 2 spans some 18 months, so there are plenty of opportunities for me to go back and write more adventures.

The original plan was for Michele’s love interest to die at the hands of Section 2, resulting in him deciding that the conflict is no longer to keep the Republic intact or to break it apart to save the people from a corrupt central government. Instead, he believes that the SWA and FRF (Five Republics Faction) are locked in a no-holds-barred war of extermination. The FRF learn the girls are not fully human and change their tactics and weapons appropriately – Venice wasn’t a fluke: Dante was prepared for an assault by “superhuman terminators”. As such, the SWA, after so long having the advantage and controlling the battlefield, now find themselves on their back feet, ill-prepared to respond to a new threat level and they start to pay a price (Beatrice, Silvia, etc.).

With Michele deciding to leave, he takes Kara with him, making a deal with Minister Petris to keep his mouth shut in exchange for continued access to the conditioning medication and medical treatment Kara needs to survive. He extends to Claes an offer to leave, as well. Claes declines, however, deciding to stay with her sisters, especially now that Triela and Henrietta are starting to show signs of the memory loss which Angelica did before her death.

Then two things happened. One, sasahara17 came up with his “adult Claes” concept and, two, Aoi Hana’s Fumi Manjoume showed what Claes would like when older. And that sparked in me an idea.

Because she looks like she’s 12, Claes’ only real cover is as Michele’s daughter. And that’s a pretty limiting cover. But if she looked, say, 22, then that opens up a plethora of new opportunities I could use her in within the story.

But it also brings a problem with it. What to do with Claes at the end? The surgeries and modifications to make her older are likely irreversible (I know in sasahara17’s story they will be, but I am not sure how in-depth the modifications he is planning – in my story, they are extensive), so Claes will end up being 15 and looking 22.

Does she stay an active agent with a new handler? This would be her third and what dynamics would that bring? And would she need to be re-written again, losing her regained memories of Mister Raballo?

Does she go back to being a guinea pig? How would she feel about that, having come to terms with her promise to Mister Raballo and returning to the function she was created to perform?

Or does she go with Michele and Kara? She doesn’t really share their interests and often feels like a “third wheel” when she’s with them on personal business.

So I thought, what if Kara was killed in the story?

Kara is what ties Michele to Section 2. With her gone, he has no reason to stay. So it would be reinforcement to his desire to leave. And with Kara gone, Section 2 has no real use for him. Claes was never meant to be a permanent assignment to him, and while they would likely consider offering her to him as a replacement for Kara, they might also decide that it’s better to let him go if he wants to leave and bring in someone who’s more…dedicated to the cause.

It would also offer a solution to the problem of what to do with Claes – she decides to go with him and leave the SWA under the same deal Michele had generated for Kara. Claes notes she’s become “comfortable” with having Michele around and after being “orphaned” first by her parents and then Mister Raballo, she doesn’t want it to happen again. She would still be able to see Triela and Henrietta and the other girls when she came back for treatments and examinations and they could come visit her and Michele on their vacations. And with Kara now dead, Michele’s taste for adventure and “high living” is strongly muted, so he and Claes can develop new mutual interests that they can then share together.


Clearly, part of me doesn’t want to kill Kara. She’s my first OC and I’ve invested a lot of time in her. But, while she’ll die at the end of this story, it was the last story in the timeline, anyway. So live or die, she’d likely not show up again. And there is still 18 months worth of time between her arrival and departure at the SWA if the urge to write about her again comes up.

Also, Michele and Kara have not really been a Gunslinger Girl fiction series, but more a fiction series set in the Gunslinger Girl universe and using it for a backdrop. I really should create a new OC fratello (like Serafina) firmly grounded in the Gunslinger Girl universe and characters if I decide to continue writing Gunslinger Girl fan fiction.

Obviously, pulling Claes out of the canon is a big step for someone who has tried to keep his writing within the canon universe, “hiding in the shadows” and “between the chapters” of the manga. But so is making her look 22 and some of the other plot points. In a way, this has to be the last story because it pulls my OC universe fully out of the canon completely and irrevocably. So why not just end that universe with the story and work on developing a new one?

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Re: OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 18 Jul 2009 - 19:21

Interesting concept there, Kisk.
In Solution's Resolution I fought with this 'age adjusted' cyborg thing and applied it to Francesca. In experimenting with the idea, I decided upon furthering the idea to the other cyborgs.

As the story goes, Francesca was one of a couple, if not several first Cyborgs before the Angie prototype, which I classify in the GsG OCWiki as Type 0 cyborgs. None of these cyborgs have anything in common with each other,except for Francesca who became the template for the Type One/First Gen cyborgs, which Angie was the first prototype of the final design. Francesca would disappear in her first major mission, where her handler Felix would be found dead. Because of their mission location (near the Italian/French border) Francesca would be found by the French, where their medical teams would discover that she was a cyborg. They steal what they can from her technology, but fail to build their own, and leave Francesca with public domain prostheses.

Long story short, she would manage to survive 10 or so years without the conditioning medication- due to something those French doctors did. She wound up in their Child Welfare system, and would leave when she was old enough. Since the SWA gave up looking for Francesca after a 6 month search, they declared her dead. Francesca managed to get to Rome on her own somehow, and lived the life of a homeless person. Fernando found her old computer files entries, hacking about the SWA computers, looking for weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It would come to chance that some homeless young girl in god awful shape would approach Fernando for a handout. Fernando is the type of person that would not give a handout but would try to find help for the person. He sat her down and talked with her, finding parallels between her story and the missing cyborg Francesca. He took a chance in taking her home to the SWA. After a complete round of medical diagnostics done to her, it was discovered that she was the missing Cyborg Francesca. When one opens a can of worms, one needs a bigger can to put them back in. Thus is the case with the finding of Francesca; for she contained 2 secrets; the first was the “End of Life” solution. The second was the age adjustment procedure; for at this time Francesca was 23 and not 13 when she first disappeared. A third secret that was found was what happened on her last mission.

Francesca was minimally reprogrammed, and given to Fernando, because it was he who responded to her when she asked for help and she responded to him when she saw him and asked for him when she woke up. This decision was based by chief Lorenzo himself, “...he found her, he should be responsible for her...” Her reconstruction process was based on Fernando's suggestion of making her appear her proper age. Duvalier would take her basic template and adjust it to an age appropriate appearance. The rest was rebuilding Francesca with what parts they had, thus she has become hybrid cyborg of First Gen and Second Gen construction. The results was stunning in the finished product, not even Francesca herself believed what had happened to her; like Rico has stated, “I was given a whole new body.” Not stated in the 2 current stories, but soon will be, Francesca does not have any of the ballistic resistance capability that the First Gen and some Second Gen have. She was never built with it, and she was never given it in her reconstruction. Fernando is not aware of this, and thus far she has been lucky not to have been hit- but as a precaution, Fernando did give her a bullet resistant t-shirt to wear on missions.

With the discovery of Francesca's ability to have outlived her “End of Life” cycle, and the reasons why it was so, most of the cyborgs that were nearing their end of life cycles were given a second chance, and were also age adjusted on their reconstruction. Thus as of 10/2011 in my OC Universe, all the first Gens are still in operation, and appear to be older but yet adjusted. Reason: you cant have a character stay young forever when their handler grows old and grey right next to them.

Now that things are more balanced in my OC Universe for it. this includes an age-adjusted and rebuilt Claes.

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Re: OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 18 Jul 2009 - 20:38

Well rusty-spring and I figured out a way to save her and make the story better.

Still, I'd be interested if anyone has any discussion about whether or not killing an OC might or might not be a good idea.

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Re: OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 18 Jul 2009 - 21:01

Killing an OC is only a good idea if it allows flow to the story line and content and development material for the other characters. Also the OC to be killed off would have to have lived out their usefulness as a character in the story. Both Marvel and DC comics have killed off characters when their respective comics fall out of favor with the crowd.

Though Felix was killed 10 years prior to Solution's Resolution, his story is just now being written (with Boomer's help on the SWA Early days). It is his death that allows Francesca to continue, though she does so subconsciously. As hinted in both current stories, deep in her subconscious she connects to Fernando because he was so much like Felix. Thus in her mind, everything falls into place for her when he is around. This is also the reason why she connects with Fernando when she first sees him in Rome. The rest is the story that continues.

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Re: OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jul 2009 - 17:42

Call me sick, but strangely I find strange pleasure in...killing OCs. Well, story related of course. Its quite a delicate matter, sometimes there's the 'do's and don'ts' and all that sort of stuff.

Well, I haven't finished the current chapter, but most of the time I feel killing OC gives good plot devices...such as Luke killing Claes or Triela killing Frederick bare-handedly. Oh wow...

...Colo-sen isn't reading this, isn't he? :p

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Re: OC to be Or Not to Be: I Present a Question

Post by sasahara17 on Mon 20 Jul 2009 - 3:27

Personally, for me the problems I face when deciding to kill an OC is akin to killing a Canon character. Basically, I see every character, whether mine or someone else's, as a living breathing entity in their own right. If I decided that character should die, all their experiences, memoriers, ambitions, etc... will be gone forever.

So my dilemma is whether the impact of killing this character is worth it. I will be effecively halting his/her possible future development forever in favor of creating a milestone that could influcence other characters, so when planning for a character's death I do have to carefully weigh a whole number of factors;

+ How fleashed out a character is X by that point in time?
+ How will X's death affect all his/her relationships?
+ Is it possible for X to play a further role in the story is I choose him/her to live?
+ Is the fate I've chosen fitting for character X? Is such a fate natural in that point in time?
+ Will the readers be angry with me for killing X?

...and so on.

More often than not, I also find a second opinion from someone whom I know ill not spoil the story. Seriously, I feel characters are worth more to me alive than dead. The long they are alive the more intertesting they can become.

Man this is like playing god. I'm kinda creeped out now.

EDIT - Speaking of Marvel and DC, how do you feel about the killing, and then revivival, of characters? I know the old joke is 'you aren't a real X-man unless you've died once', but I feel that Marvel and DC's take on death kinda makes character deaths cheap. But then again, I'm going to be pulling something like this, so...

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