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Contrapunto - The Lyorn's Den

Wed Feb. 4th, 2009

02:54 am - Contrapunto

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Over on fanficrants there's a debate going on about self-inserts.

I just got a call from flederkatz who was betaing my self-insert's origin story, where she said that this character is way more alien than my others, carefully constructed characters.

Have to go back to my space ship now and work on my disguise.

Current Mood: confusedconfused


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Date:February 4th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
One of the reasons I don't write self-inserts, and have never thought of doing so apart from, like, a one-sentence bubbly blonde mathematician cameo if the story allows, is that I realised a while back that writing my pov the way I actually experience the world would a) make me sound insane and b) be so private I would never let anyone look at it. (I started writing a me-pov once and gave up for this reason.) Similarly, the only things my OCs tend to have in common with me are very superficial things (e.g. addiction to tea) and not personality traits, and I do not look for characters to identify with in fiction.

Which isn't to say I've never come up with Mary Sues, but my Mary Sues are not self-inserts in any way, shape or form.

I really wish R&D would come up with better disguises, you know. These ones just don't stand up to prolonged scrutinity.

And I may have to go play in that post now - I'd not looked into it in a while :)
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Date:February 5th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
That particular self-insert (or better author avatar, because she did not bampf into a story, instead, the stories grew around her) is ancient -- she goes back to the times when I dreamt of having great adventures, she developed when I created models of conflicts I experienced or read about and had her deal with it, and finally got her own 'verse. Because she was rooted in "me dealing with stuff", she only got skills I could see myself reasonably develop, and usually acted the way I would if I were as clever, considerate, alert and courageous as I could ever hope to be. Accordingly, most of her mistakes are the ones I could see myself making.

Over time (especially since she got her own 'verse) she has grown into being her own character, but whenever I write her first-person, the second most common comment from my betas (after "This is a five-line run-on sentence. Periods are your friends!") is, "that is so you". Which is OK because my betas love me anyways. Anyone else, unless I specifically told them, would not know it was me -- her 'verse is different, her life is different, unless a reader knows me well there is just no place of connection. Which takes care of the privacy issues.

And with "insane", I think that a lot of this gets pared down by the needs of the story. To make it readable fiction, I have to cut out some of my stranger and less productive habits (like the tendency to hold long improptu lectures about obscure topics, overthink stuff for pages, or obsessive counting), so what remains is just the right degree of strange.

I really wish R&D would come up with better disguises, you know.

My AI explained that there are regulations against making the psychological masking stronger, because fitting in too well might cause the researchers to "go native".

Stupid regulations.
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