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Apr. 4th, 2007

Nola riding (hustle & flow)
SIGH. I'm unable to focus on my political science reading because people keep making interesting and awesome posts on race.

(Posts in question: http://witchqueen.livejournal.com/390111.html, http://thete1.livejournal.com/616790.html, and http://moxie-brown.livejournal.com/149834.html)

(Okay, I also can't focus on my reading because I'm watching this clip over and over. I wish that Youtube had a 'repeat' option.)

edit: Okay, actually, I have some ideas about this that I want to write out.

One of the reasons that I see held up to why characters of color get written less than white characters is that, because of the racist nature of TV, movies, comics, etc, the characters of color we get in canon are less fleshed out and simply given less to *do* than their white counterparts--if they're there at all. And this is sadly true, but--come on. Are you telling me that *every* fannish darling that gets tons of porn written about them is an incredibly well-written, fleshed-out character in the canon? Hi, Jim and Blair, how ya doin'?</strike> liviapenn pointed out that I shouldn't take potshots when I'm not that familiar with Sentinel, so uh, just ignore that. *g*

But okay, since I really don't know much about The Sentinel beyond the questionable quality of the canon, I'll use an example closer to home. Bright Abbott from Everwood, let's say. I adored Bright, was interested in his character, found him slashy, and wrote some fic about him.

Everwood has its own charm, but it was not a brilliant show and for the most part, the Bright-in-the-show is not the three-dimensional wonderful character he is in my head. In canon, at first he's the stereotypical Dumb Jock, then later the Dumb Jock With A Heart Of Gold and the Best Friend. While the show's script occasionally gives him great moments, for the most part the character's charm comes from Chris Pratt's warmth and charisma and chemistry with Gregory Smith.

When I decided to write Bright, I fleshed his character out far beyond what I saw in the canon. I often wrote him as bisexual, something that definitely wasn't explored in the canon, first of all. I gave him character quirks and details in his life that weren't in the show, and a past that extrapolated and went beyond what canon gave me. I used canon as my basis, but because I was trying to tell interesting stories rather than write an episode of Everwood (zing), I didn't feel compelled to stick *only* to exactly what I saw in the show.

Now, recently I wrote slash about Storm from the X-men movies. I think everyone can agree that neither Halle Berry now the script for the movies bring a great amount of verve to poor Storm. If I just looked at what I saw in the movies, she barely *had* a character.

So when writing her, I used the information I gleaned from the movies as a starting point, but didn't feel restricted to using *only* the information from the movies. I wrote her as bisexual, I gave her a past that wasn't explicitly stated in the movies, I gave her character quirks and details in her life that I also didn't take from the canon. I used essentially the same process that I used to write Bright.

And yeah, writing Bright was a *lot* easier and more intuitive for me. I come from a similar background to his, am comfortable in his culture, and identify with him a lot. I'm not an Egyptian mutant who emigrated to the United States when she was a teenager, so it was more difficult for me to go through this process with Ororo, but it wasn't that hard. I just had to think a little bit more.

If you read this and are now thinking 'well, that's all well and good, but I'm in fandom for *fun* and what's fun for me is writing my OTP, which happens to be white', hey, I totally get that. Fandom *should* be fun. Trying to police everyone who doesn't write characters of color all the time (which, uh, *I* don't write characters of color all the time) would not be fun for *me.* But just, please, do not tell me that you're not writing CoCs because you want to stick to the canon and the canon sucks, because unless you're writing for a canon that is perfect in every way, where very detail you put into your characterization (including a character's sexuality) is backed up by canon, you've probably gotten around that to write characters before.

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Comments

fianna_fialena
Apr. 5th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Oh man! I have the same thing now!

I'm studying to be a teacher and I had to teach in a highschool and a first year (that's, er, grade 7 for you, I think.) and there was a PANIC! POSTER ON THE WALL!

I was all! But but but but! :o

But then the teenie magazine said that Brendon and Ryan were going to get married in 2007, and that made me laugh SO MUCH!
natilathehun
Apr. 5th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
*laughs helplessly* Like how I felt the other day to have someone look at my shirt and say "Gym Class Heroes. Hmm. A lot of people seem to be talking about them lately. I should check them out." I was like "Whatever I was into them a year ago!"

Haha oh man.
fianna_fialena
Apr. 5th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
*g* I have the same thing here, only with bands that are already pretty big in the US.

Like, suddenly everybody's into Fall Out Boy and MCR and Panic! And I'm like "whatever, have you heard of Anberlin? Gym Class Heroes? Paramore? The Academy Is...?" and they're like "*blink*". It's a little hilarious, but a lot annoying when the teenies go "OmGz fReD LeErO iS sEw hAWt!!!!111!1!one!"

Also, gosh, this thread is getting nigh unreadable and so very thin, and Zee will probably be overwhelmed with comment emails. XD Oops! Sorry Zee!

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Nola riding (hustle &amp; flow)
ficbyzee
most amazing damaged cupcake ever

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