Firefly Fleet Announcements:
 
Welcome to Serenity Station!!
 
We now have a Tier three Starbase!!

Welcome to the Firefly Fleet!   Fleet and web updates will be found here!

 

Be sure to drop by our Allied forums and say hi!  Very Happy

Congratulations to new promotees!

Navigation

Index
Index
Calender
Photo Gallery
FAQ
Search The Forum
Firefly Fleet Protocols
Fleet Roster
Forum Memberlist
Usergroups
User Control Panel
Private Message Inbox

Team Speak

teamspeak server Hosting by TeamSpeak3.com

Latest topics

» TimeLine
Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:22 am by Lastline

» Fleet Station K-13 Returns!
Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:34 am by Pyriel32

» Fallout 4
Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:52 am by Lastline

» Second Chance Saloon
Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:11 pm by Pyriel32

» Of Hawks and Doves
Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:09 pm by Pyriel32

» This years Toronto FanExpo!
Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:43 am by Cpt Cannons

» Can some friends of mine keep an RP thread on the forum?
Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:42 am by HareBrained

» The parties over.
Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:31 pm by Pyriel32

» Agents of Yesterday
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:22 am by Lastline


    My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Share

    HareBrained
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
    Science Department Rank : SCI Captain
    Number of posts : 750
    Location : Lancashire, UK
    Ship Name : Magpie
    Ship Class : Aurora Class Science Vessel (Fleet Refit)
    Fleet Division : Science/Medical

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Ellen Hare

    My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by HareBrained on Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:04 am

    Writing question. I'm having trouble with Ellen Hare, my main character. She doesn't make sense, but I've kind of already committed myself. I've never written a free-standing story about her, but I've used her enough times on RPs it's been publicly established that she's 1) a captain, 2) a Lt Cmdr, 2) 26 years old. Which, from all I now know from talking to writers on the main STO forum, just doesn't realistically work. This is bothering me every time I make an RP posting, because I don't know who on Earth she is and how on Earth she got into this position, and it certainly stymies any attempt to write a free-standing story about her.

    I don't really have much idea what she's like at all, either, even though I've been using her for my main for several years. Basically, any ideas I do have can't be consistent with the few things that ARE established about her, because I can't see how to make those consistent even with each other.

    Any writers on here, I'd like your opinions. Should I:
    1) Kill her off;
    2) Openly retcon her to be older;
    3) Openly retcon her to not be the captain (if so, I'd need a new character for the captain);
    4) Try to come up with some justification (I've tried once already, but the more I went over it the less plausible it sounded that it would have ended up with her in command, rather than out on her ear)?


    __________________________________________________________

    Talaina Kazzur
    Done the Impossible

    Fleet Rank : Vice Admiral
    Number of posts : 704
    Location : Bonnie ol' England
    Ship Name : U.S.S. Viper
    Ship Registry Number : NX-204971-X
    Ship Class : Defiant
    Fleet Division : Command

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by Talaina Kazzur on Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:34 am

    Firstly, don't let other writers EVER affect your story ideas. Take them, listen to them, but feel free to reject them outright if you don't fancy them.


    Secondly, Ellen is in command of the Magpie, a Nova class ship that is more about responding to medical calls and disasters, if I remember what you told me. Captains of ships and missions like that are entitled to be a bit younger, as they are more about hanging around in Federation space and dealing with problems within the borders, or being a little cutter ship on border patrol. It's 'less stressful' than something like being in command of tactical assignments like Talaina and the Viper or deep space exploration missions. So that could be your justification.


    My FED Delta Recruit is a young scottish betazoid in command of a Nova class ship which is generally assigned to system patrols within the federation borders and science missions. She's probably about 26 herself, maybe 27, newly assigned to the Tesla and that's the justification I use. She's using her time on the Tesla to build up her experience of being a Captain before she'll get assigned to a larger ship with longer and further out missions. She's not a Captain officially, but she's on the Command track and has been assigned a vessel to see how she does, and in fact, some of her boffs are older than her, a point she intends to draw upon for their expertese. It works ebcause although Emony technically outranks Imzavia (Emony is a full Commander, Imzavia is probably a Lt Cmdr), Emony asked to be assigned a smaller ship posting and didn't want a Captain position. So she got first officer/science officer under someone who's younger/slightly less ranked. There's another boff, Peck, who's probably about 30ish but is the Tactical/Security officer and not in the Command line. He's a Lt Cmndr. But everyone calls Imzavia 'Captain' because she's the Captain of that ship. She's in charge. Case in point, I used her for the new mission Sunshine, because that was something that would fall under her assigned missions, given the brief.


    As for who she is, try to just generate a rough idea of her character and let the rest of her come as you write her. Something I picked up from the STO writers is to try and cast an actual actress for the role. For Kazzur, I cast Sharon Stone from the Total Recall era, and Imzavia is Karen Gillan (the whole reason she got a scottish backstory written in as matter of fact!). Ttorkkinn is played by Michael Ironside. It can help to visualise the character and how they would react to formulate an idea of who they are.


    Of course, of the 4 options you presented, retconning her age is the easiest.


    And thank you. Writing this helped me clarify Imazvia's position in this similar situation.

    HareBrained
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
    Science Department Rank : SCI Captain
    Number of posts : 750
    Location : Lancashire, UK
    Ship Name : Magpie
    Ship Class : Aurora Class Science Vessel (Fleet Refit)
    Fleet Division : Science/Medical

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Ellen Hare

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by HareBrained on Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:51 pm

    And thank you a lot Stunshock, things always seem harder to believe in the longer I turn them over in my head by myself, until finally I show them to somebody else and am told actually no, that works! Kind of the same thing as you being clearer about where Imzavia stands after writing her down.

    (Speaking of which, sounds fine to me and as if it could lead to interesting stuff. I was dubious at first about the idea of a captain commanding someone who outranks her, since I get the impression that the rank hierarchy is the One Rule That Cannot Be Overlooked in the forces. But thinking about it, this kind of situation probably comes up in real life occasionally, so there's presumably some mechanism for Emony being a Lieutenant-For-The-Purposes-Of-This-Posting. In any case I don't actually know.)

    You're quite right and thanks for the encouragement, worked wonders - I was feeling a bit on my own reading all the Literary Challenge stuff. (I liked yours by the way, with Talaina trying to explain to her counsellor and herself exactly where she stands after what's happened.) I get overawed by these people who seem to know everything about the US Navy and can write such vivid portrayals of it - forgetting that however much they know about the US Navy, that still doesn't prove that Starfleet is like the US Navy! Sure, in the series it looks a lot like it at first glance, in some ways, but not in all ways even from the vague hints that you see. My opinion is that it COULDN'T really be exactly like it anyway, it just wouldn't all work, in a civilisation as different as the Federation's - what with nobody needing to work for a living, and what with all these aliens involved who may have entirely different views of life. I'd love to be able to write such lifelike descriptions of military life, but mainly because I'd love to be able to write such lifelike descriptions of any kind of life, when I think about it - not because the military interests me that much because it doesn't.

    I was a bit misleading there with this talk of free-standing stories. Thinking about it, I don't want to write free-standing stories, if I can only break the habit of trying all the time when I don't even want to. I'm sick of the whole Star Trek setting; the more I try and write it, the more I feel I have absolutely nothing in common with any of it. All I really want is a working character I can use for the RPs and have fun with.
    ...Though that might still change in the future if I do manage to stop thinking "army stories" every time I think of Star Trek stories!

    As for character I'll try and do what you said - think of a rough cartoon outline and leave the details for when they arise. Then I'll decide whether or not to retcon her age as well based on what would fit that. And I'll WRITE DOWN the rough ideas so I can look at them properly, keep my mind from tossing them about until I've no idea whether they work or not!


    __________________________________________________________

    Talaina Kazzur
    Done the Impossible

    Fleet Rank : Vice Admiral
    Number of posts : 704
    Location : Bonnie ol' England
    Ship Name : U.S.S. Viper
    Ship Registry Number : NX-204971-X
    Ship Class : Defiant
    Fleet Division : Command

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by Talaina Kazzur on Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:32 pm

    I tend to ignore the whole US Military thing myself. Sure, it took inspiration, because Rodenberry was ex military. It's what he knew. I know nothing about military life and I don't want to write about that. I base it on what we see on screen, and my own slant. Every trek series showed this. A new ship with a new crew starts off regimental, with everyone just feeling each other out. But after a couple of years, it becomes less like a military vessel and more like a road trip with friends and family. You become comfortable with those you serve with. I'm sure a military troop, while also having similar feelings, doesn't let that family aspect show the way Trek ships do. So instantly, there's that. Also, Starfleet has different regulations to the military. Just ignore the actual specifics and make crap up to suit what you want to write about. It's what I do. And if you don't want to write painstaking detail about that style of life, don't. It'll be boring for you to write, and will come across in your writing so the reader will get bored reading it. You may notice I barely use my crew's doctors in the stories, or explain about how they're healing them. THat's because I don't like writing about medical procedures. I don't have much knowledge on it, and I find it detestably boring. Yes, it means Bob Juffra is severely underused, but it means I don't write things I don't want to. If someone writes a good procedure, I'll happily read it. But I will not write it.


    .Though that might still change in the future if I do manage to stop thinking "army stories" every time I think of Star Trek stories!


    This right here needs to change. Trek stories are not war stories. They were never war stories. They are stories about humanity. About pushing ourselves in the face of adversity, about looking into the future and seeing what's out there. Or sometimes it's just a crazy fun story about stopping thousands of balls of fluff that never stop breeding! Heck, even when they actually had a 2 year war, the stories were more about the characters and how things affected them rather than the actual war.



    I know people on the STO forums say write a bit every day, even if you don't want to. I would say don't. If you don't want to write a story today, don't. You'll just be wasting your time, as I find I write very flat pieces when I do that, and end up having to spend longer going over and reworking them at a later date. That first Transformers crossover I wrote, that was sitting on my hard drive for about 4 or 5 months getting smidges added to it here and there before it was completed. But I was very happy with the end result. If you don't want to write in the Trek continuity, don't. Take a break from it. There are plenty of other worlds you can try writing in. Put Ellen in Firefly's verse for a spell and see what adventures she comes up with there. Keep her the same character, but dropping her in a different verse could help you flesh out the character a little more, as she'll come across things she otherwise wouldn't. Afterall, Stunshock started life as a red shirt in the very first proper story I wrote, which was a Transformers story. It was literally introduce him, have his team get killed to show how powerful this big bad was. Then I decided to do a sequel set many years later where he had actually survived, and went on his first real adventure, giving him some actual characteristics. Which then came into play when I brought him into a TF RP on a board.

    And many of those aspects of his original character are still seen in his Star Trek incarnation. I waffled a bit there, but my point is, if you don't want to write trek stories, dont. Try Firefly. Or put her on Caprica when the Cylons attacked. Or have her at Hill Valley on November 12th, 1955 where she runs across someone running a weather experiment in the street. Or she's in the Old West where she comes across a town under seige. Does she try to help the townsfolk fight back, or does she try to make peace?


    Or do a story set entirely on an away team. You have your characters, but they're on an alien world. No trek setting needed. It could even be one of those parrallel Earths that Kirk was constantly running into. If you get ideas, and you want to write a story, just start writing it. Don't worry about how little sense it might make at the time, you may come up with a way to explain it by story's end. Or you mention it in story as being weird, the characters know it's weird, but no one questions it because.... well, it's weird. Or it turns out to be a dream. And we all know all rules are off in dreams.


    I view it more as 'Imzavia is a Captain for the purpose of this posting' rather than Emony going down a rank. Emony is the only full Commander on the ship, but she's accepted the posting knowing she's going to be under a Captain who is a rank lower. Imzavia will introduce herself when making ship to ship meetings and so on as 'Captain Imzavia', but at formal Starfleet functions/meeting the top brass, she will be introduced as 'Lt Cmndr Imzavia', as that is her official rank in the fleet. I've seen it on TV shows where someone of a lower rank can boss those of a higher rank around because they are the mission specialist. Heck, I seem to remember a TNG S1 episode where there was an Admiral on the ship, but Picard was still commanding the Enteprrise and made all decisions there. The Admiral only took charge once they got off the ship.

    And thank you. I do like knowing folks are reading my work. Very Happy

    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
    Intel Department Rank : INT Fleet Admiral
    Number of posts : 4632
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by Pyriel32 on Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:17 am

    I have read a-lot of your writing and I think you do a damn good job of it . You have to remember that we are the firefly fleet, we are the least military fleet there is lol. look at my new toon George he is very unmilitary like he's more like a pirate then anything else. Not every story has to be about war or battles most trek stories weren't. I presently know what it's like to not know where to go with a character or a story, i'm in the situation right now in a story i'm writing. Think about it this way add a little bit of yourself into the character, think of what it was like to be that age. Pyriel My main toon has gone though many transitions from being the intel agent that had to do what was needed quick to kill to more of a "well rounded" character just takes time. Ok I know I'm not the best writer in the world and probably never will be. If you remember in the new tutorial of the game, you character take command of the ship after the captain dies and was commanding others of higher rank so it could happen. Sorry I just wanted to drop in my two cents where it probably isn't needed. Anyway listen to Stun he's very good at this. Oh and i will get back to writing my response.

    HareBrained
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
    Science Department Rank : SCI Captain
    Number of posts : 750
    Location : Lancashire, UK
    Ship Name : Magpie
    Ship Class : Aurora Class Science Vessel (Fleet Refit)
    Fleet Division : Science/Medical

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Ellen Hare

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by HareBrained on Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:18 pm

    Stunshock, you're righter than you know there. I think what I'm really thinking of when I write Ellen is the character I used to imagine for "Colony Prime" - which is the sci-fi setting that was written for an open-source RPG I used to play, and works a lot like Firefly's universe - independent ships making a living at odd jobs, mega-corporations fighting over who runs the show, rich people, poor people, a few colonies doing nicely and a lot of colonies scraping by on asteroid mining or salvaging other people's rubbish. No wonder she doesn't seem to ring true in Star Trek. Next time I have an idea for a story, perhaps I'll try setting it in Firefly! Or maybe one of Andre Norton's settings - I've been getting rather into those books recently. (The two have a lot in common.) Maybe I'll be able to adapt her for Star Trek once I've actually seen her in action in the kind of setting she was originally designed for. If not, I may at least get a decent story out of it. Let's see what happens!

    I have read a-lot of your writing and I think you do a damn good job of it .
    Pyriel, thank you very much! And don't keep running your own writing down, you do well. You tell a good yarn and your character interactions are both believable and a total hoot. Maybe both of us are mainly just worrying too much. It's hard to see what you're doing from the inside.

    And you're quite right, if I can evade the military stuff anywhere it's at Serenity!

    Good luck with your story, I'm sure you'll come up with an idea soon. (If not, put it away for a few days and then re-read the bit you were up to and see if it suggests anything to you this time. It often works like magic for me when I've been staring at a piece of writing for so long that I no longer know what the heck I'm doing. In fact, it often helps with confidence, too. I'll come across something that I wrote ages ago and was almost too embarrassed to post at the time, and think "That's not bad at all actually, what was I thinking of?" ...And then I'll think, "Heck, I wish I could still write that well", because I'm convinced that what I'm writing NOW is no good Very Happy )


    __________________________________________________________

    HareBrained
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
    Science Department Rank : SCI Captain
    Number of posts : 750
    Location : Lancashire, UK
    Ship Name : Magpie
    Ship Class : Aurora Class Science Vessel (Fleet Refit)
    Fleet Division : Science/Medical

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Ellen Hare

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by HareBrained on Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:05 pm

    Random musings: one example of how things might be different because it's the future: people from United Earth or its colonies might be expected to be able to take independent responsibility at a younger age than people now, because people there don't have to work for a living; so they'd grow up used to spending most of their time doing things under their own direction, rather than going from a school with a teacher telling them what to do to a job with a boss telling them what to do. That sounds odd, but I've often heard it said that Harvard and Yale Universities pick out home-educated students for preference, because they'll get on with their assignments without having to be told, whereas (apparently) they find that students straight out of school are used to being spoon-fed and go off the rails as soon as they're left alone with no teacher breathing down their necks.


    __________________________________________________________

    Sponsored content

    Re: My character doesn't make sense. What would you do?

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 2:02 pm


      Current date/time is Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:02 pm