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megpie71: Tips of coloured pencils behind text: "Fandom: we colour outside the lines" (Fandom)
Sunday, February 11th, 2018 08:52 am
So, we've had two dislikes in this series, so I figured I break it up a bit by getting into something I like.

What I like is characters who are complicated and human. I like the Cloud Strife who has a working spine; the Zack Fair who is more than a meat-headed jock with a puppy-like personality; the Tifa Lockhart who isn't just a small-town spoiled princess; the Steve Rogers who is more than a perpetually innocent boy-scout; the Tony Stark who actually has a lot of compassion for others buried under the snark; the Squall Leonhart who does actually care about his friends; the Seifer Almasy who does give a damn; and so on.

Why? Well, for a start, people who live in this world are complicated. We aren't all able to be pinned down to single issues and ideas, and we aren't incapable of doing things which effectively cause cognitive dissonance in other people when we do them. Which means simple characters who are pretty stereotyped tend to bore me. There has to be more to them than that. Show me something below the surface.

For example, one of the characters in FF7 fans love to hate is Yuffie Kisaragi. She's the sixteen-year-old ninja who joins your crew if you go about things the right way, and nicks all your materia when you go to Wutai. She's loud, brash, a bit of a jerk, and convinced of her own ability to the exclusion of all else. On the surface, she's not very likeable, and she really does annoy people to the point where they wind up dropping her from the party or just not bothering to recruit her.

But then you go into her back-story - and once you realise she's effectively the royal heir to Wutai, there's a lot of back-story there to go into. She's the only other character in the story aside from Cloud and Tifa to have been harmed by Sephiroth (the rest of them have been harmed by Shinra, but not Sephiroth), although the harm he did to her was indirect. She's left home at a rather young age (and if you play Crisis Core, you realise she's been effectively out on her own since she was about eight or nine years old) and she's trying to do her best to find a way to rebuild her country, which argues she still feels some responsibility toward it. Yes, she steals your materia. But she gives it back (more or less in the order it was taken) and she apologises. She genuinely bonds with the other members of the group (if you have her in your party at the point where Aerith dies, she breaks down and cries on Cloud when it sinks in). So there's more to her than just the brat, even if it does take a while to discover it.

That complexity of character is what makes me interested in a character. I like the process of finding out how they came to be who they are now. It gives me something to get my teeth into as a writer, and it gives me something to play with as a story-teller. It also makes the characters a bit more human, a bit more real to me.
megpie71: Tips of coloured pencils behind text: "Fandom: we colour outside the lines" (Fandom)
Sunday, February 4th, 2018 08:13 am
This is another one I'm not fond of. Mostly because of the sheer level of biological ignorance the writers generally demonstrate.

I should give some background here. My mother was trained as a midwife, and by the time I was twelve, I was reading her old midwifery textbooks (for want of anything more interesting in the house). I also had a strong interest in human anatomy and physiology and how people worked from early childhood. So, I know a bit more about the ways that pregnancies can go right and wrong than the average punter. It leaves me with more than a few prejudices in the matter, and it means for me, mpreg requires a far greater degree of suspension of disbelief than usual.

Essay below fold )

The best mpreg fics I've seen are the ones which basically take the position it's a stupid premise to begin with, and run with the sheer crackfic comedy of the whole notion of conception in the first place. In Final Fantasy VII, there's tirsynni's Always Use Protection, which basically takes things a cracky step further and winds up with a cross-species pregnancy induced by tentacle sex (by which point it's clear the whole thing is not intended to make any sense whatsoever, and the author is just writing for the giggles); there's also mystiri1's The Family Way, which addresses the whole question of where the egg comes from, and how it gets into the male person in the first place (and is equally cracky by the end).

In conclusion, I should point out this is why I don't like mpreg, and generally won't read it unless it also comes with the "crackfic" tag attached. I'm not saying other people shouldn't write it, read it, or like it, but again, if you're sharing a fandom with me (Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Marvel Cinematic Universe), please, please tag and warn on this one - or failing that, do your research, do comprehensive research, and start your research by ignoring the romance of pregnancy as delivered via the advertising industry.
megpie71: Tips of coloured pencils behind text: "Fandom: we colour outside the lines" (colour outside the lines)
Sunday, January 28th, 2018 09:32 am
I'll come right out and say I'm not fond of this one unless it's done particularly well and with a lot of thought involved.

Essay below fold )

Now, all of the above are basically the reasons why I don't read A/B/O - I'm not trying to dictate to anyone else, and I'm not going to attempt to stop anyone else from either reading or writing A/B/O fic. If you do write it in any of the fandoms I'm reading in (Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Marvel Cinematic Universe) the most I'd ask is you label it clearly, perform your research, and do your world-building properly.

[EDIT 6.42pm WST (GMT+8) 28 JAN 2018: I was reminded of another A/B/O fic I can handle. See my comment below for details.]