Concern: Writing for other people's characters

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Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Dulset Tarn on Thu May 17, 2012 1:53 pm

How do you guys feel about other members of the team writing for your character? Do you think it's okay? Maybe only if you're unavailable?

Personally, I'm against it entirely. Despite us having seen all our characters in action and the existence of resources like the character bible, no one will be able to write for a character as well as the one who created them. I wouldn't want anyone writing lines for Dulset other than myself, and I wouldn't want any other character to be written by someone other than their creator either.

But what do you guys think?
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Prince Bluelolz III on Fri May 18, 2012 8:39 am

I don't know, I'm an artist, but I write a lot too, and I know how it feels when other people write about something yours, because you feel you can do it better, different etc.

Problem is, you don't know when someone is writing better than you, Some people have their ideas already formed for their characters, but what if the audience thinks the other versions portrays the character better, then what?

In my experience, it's good if only one person is writing one character, but if there is too much work and more writers are needed, I found it excellent to make this person an editor, that way, he/she can steer the character in the desired direction.

Anyway, I don't see any problem with that here, as I assume every writer is available to write their characters, and if they're not, It's not that urgent (unless there are months of inactivity), and I think we can wait anyway.

On a completely different manner, I always feel somewhat uncomfortable when drawing the whinnypeg crew, as I'm not sure my rendition is exactly as some people expect it to be...

Just my Opinion anyway
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Mellowbloom on Fri May 18, 2012 8:50 am

The show is written by a myriad of writers, none of whom the mane characters belong to. In fact, the mare responsible for them hasn't been involved with them for months now, and they're still pretty spot on.
So I see no issue why someone can't write lines for a character they've known for months.

Cave Johnson, we're done here.
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Dulset Tarn on Sat May 19, 2012 4:40 pm

Mellow, that's an important point. The show's characters don't belong to anyone (except hasbro I guess). However, the characters of Whinnypeg do in fact belong to specific people. And I'm referring to actual Whinnypeg canon. Maybe not the episodes themselves, but tangential things like character intros, etc. Isn't the owner of a character, pretty much by definition, the only one who can make canon decisions for that character?
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Mellowbloom on Sat May 26, 2012 5:56 am

Which is exactly why major things like episodes are not something that should come to this. However, especially on your part, there's been times in the past where someone has held us up from progress, for weeks or months at a time. We need to be able to move forward as a team, and many of us understand the characters of Whinnypeg enough to write for them in the event the writer isn't there.
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Lord CoffeeSpanker on Tue May 29, 2012 8:35 am

I agree with Mellow here, but I see what you're getting at. It's always gonna be better if the original creator of the character writes for said character, but if the creator is there, someone who has been around the creator as they write their character could do a pretty decent job with the use of the bible and references of other situations and stuff. See, if I had to write for Earbud (that'd never happen, but what the heck,) I know that Earbud is loud, calls things that he likes, LOUD, and other things, un-LOUD, he rarely listens to other people (especially not Mellow,) he is often quite disruptive, doing what he pleases, but he can be good to people and his friends when he realises when something has gone wrong, and he'll stick up for them, like in the episode where Snow Globe manages to convince the town where Prom beat someone.
So yeah, I probably couldn't do it as well as [color=#228B22]Canyum[/color] himself, but I guess I could do it alright. I mean, I wrote for Prom for the first couple of posts of the one where he gets that newfangled cleaning device. Those posts were kept, so I guess I did a good job.
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Re: Concern: Writing for other people's characters

Post  Amona on Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:33 pm

I'm not one of the mane cast, so I don't have a personal input on this in relation to Whinnypeg. That being said, I have an opinion! And I'm going to share it because why not. :D

Writing for a character you haven't designed is not so common in a project styled as this, but seeing as fanfiction is a huge thing people obviously enjoy reading it and writing it. Some of these stories are so accurate to the character that creators have applauded the fics, and these fanwriters don't even have a character bible! (Some writers absolutely forbid it as well, but they're much more rare.)

However, a project like this, where the creator of the character is within "easy" reach, is a slightly different issue (obviously). On one hand, if the creator can give approval quickly there should be no harm, but on the other hand it can feel like an invasion to the creator's rights.

I'm not involved in personal issues, but looks like a big concern here is the time frame. If a creator can't be reached in a reasonable amount of time, it seems unreasonable for a writer to have to wait for the creator to come back, especially without knowing in advance when they can reach the person. This kind of project relies on active contributions, and as understandable as it is for creators to have to leave for periods of time I'd imagine it could be very frustrating to have progress halted when all that's required is a "yes" or a "no, change this" or even "please don't publish this".

Personally I'm all for it. If I've written a character well anybody should be able to step in and write for them, if required. If I've written a character that somebody else can step in and mimic well enough to please readers I've done a good job and should feel good, and if the opposite I've not done good and shouldn't feel good.

From what little I've heard, this topic came up because somebody wrote for somebody else's character in a comic and it was frowned on by the character's creator. If it's not in a main issue, I don't see the problem; easy solution is to declare the chapters as canon and everything else as not-canon. If it's in a chapter, you probably should mention something before the work's done rather than after; it's not exactly as if people keep secrets about what they're working on (and if they do they definitely shouldn't).

Did have a bit of a gripe with this line though:
"However, the characters of Whinnypeg do in fact belong to specific people."
Fan characters are a complicated bit of legal issues. Derivative characters have previously been argued to not be able to be owned by the designer because they rely on a previous base legally owned by another entity. Your character may not actually belong to you. Dulset may be original enough to not have to be worried about this way, but Snow Globe may legally not belong to Snowy because Asperi are trademarked by not-Snowy. I don't know the details of this sort of thing (I'm not a lawyer OR American), but it is a potential issue that isn't as simple as this comment makes it out to be.

Disclaimer: I will probably read this tomorrow and question what in the world I meant, so if you don't get anything I've written just ask! I probably make no sense at all right now.
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