The current arrangement, in brief, is as follows;
Initially, we will only be dealing with the ‘main characters’ of the show. I’m looking for one volunteer for each of these characters to write a segment on the character for the initial post. This is to formm the framework of the character sheet. Other people are then free to comment on/add to it. You volunteer by posting in this thread, saying which character(s) you are volunteering to start (questions/queries are also welcome in this thread).
That’s intentionally a very broad overview. Here’s a fuller explanation of things I’ve glossed over;
Who exactly counts as a main character?
This is currently defined as Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Fry, Leela and Bender. That’s right, Maggie and the rest of the planet express crew did not make the final cut of ‘Main Characters’. They will be dealt with later - promise! However, as the above represent the really essential ones, who unless you are familiar with them you really shouldn’t consider writing fanfic, they’re gonna get priority. Once they’re all at least started we’ll move onto other people, though may do so using a slightly different system.
Why a framework? What’s that mean anyway?
Let me explain why I want a specific person starting the thread.
- Firstly, I’m keen to ensure none of them end up sitting empty – if someone clicks on a thread wanting to hear someone else’s thoughts on a character, then they should at least find something.
- Secondly, it’s much easier for subsequent posters if there’s something there already for them to read – it lets them think things like ‘Hmm, there’s a couple of points missing here that I think are quite important. I’d better point it out.’, or ‘Wow, that’s a really good point. I’d better tell everyone to pay extra attention to it.’
You can think of the framework that exists inside a bridge. It keeps the whole thing standing up. Everything else, like safety rails, traffic lights, and the white line going down the middle, is basically embellishment, to help make the bridge more useful to us.
You could also think of the scaffolding framework that builders put up while making a house. It’s there just to give everyone something to stand on. At the end, even though it’s all taken down, it’ll have done its job.
Either interpretation, or anything in between, is perfectly acceptable. There’s no minimum/maximum length – as long as you feel you have something relevant to say you’re free to keep going (or stop). Basically, those of you who want to make this into a challenge and try and write the ultimate, exhaustive guide to a character are free to; but no-one’s being obliged to do that.
Once the framework’s up everyone else is free to comment on it. That includes;
- Expanding more on points that have already been made, adding your own personal spin on them.
- Applauding things you feel are insightful.
- Making new points.
- And saying pretty much anything else that you feel is relevant to the character.
But I’m too busy to write a segment…
Chances are, if you already have any sort of character sheet lurking somewhere on your hard drive, then you could probably do it right now. Just add some extra words into it to make it more readable, maybe write a line or two justifying any pieces of advice you make or observations you give, and you’re pretty much there.
Time wise we’re talking quite a lot of flexibility here. I don’t like the idea of starting all the threads at once – that would just swamp everyone with too much to take in – so if you feel it’ll take you ‘X’ amount of time, due to school, work, or whatever, to actually find space to get something done, then that’s almost certainly gonna be perfectly alright. Once you’re ready let me or any of the mods know, and a thread will be opened for you (or they may even ask you to wait a week or so, which would give you time to take one last look at it).
As an aside, if you haven’t got any fics posted on this board but want to be the one to start a thread, I’d really like to see something you have written involving the character first (as I rarely read fanfic outside here). If you’re serious enough to have already written fics, then you’re certainly serious enough to do this.
I wanna write Lisa too!
If we get multiple people volunteering to do the same character, it’ll be decided randomly who does it. So don’t feel that just because someone ahead of you has already said a character that you can’t do so too – it’ll just come down to chance who gets picked in the end.
Note also that there’s no reason why subsequent posters shouldn’t say just as much as (or even more than) the initial poster – so if you’re not picked but have loads you want to say, you’ll still get your chance. You’ll just have to wait till the thread starts.
Also, I’m not gonna make any decisions immediately on who starts threads, just to give everyone a chance to catch up with and think about all this. When exactly will depend on interest, but certainly not for the next week. I’ll endeavour to give any early warnings prior to decisions being made, but please don’t just rely on this.
And finally, just enjoy it!
I’ve already had a bash at writing a sheet for Marge, just to get my head round how such a thing might turn out. About half way through, I discovered I was enjoying it almost as much as writing a fic. That’s probably because Marge is one of my favourite characters. I’m half thinking of doing one for Bart as well, simply because for the first time he’s featuring quite heavily in one of my fics, and I’ve realised I should therefore make an effort to get more inside his head. Forcing myself to do this is actually proving quite a good exercise. I'm not askinig for an essay here - well, I kinda am, but it's on a fun topic .
Note also that, as a bonus, the initial poster effectively has a blank sheet to work with. That makes your job a little easier, as you’re able to spend time talking about some of the more obvious traits of a character. Someone needs to mention that Lisa likes books, and that Bender is secretly extremely fond of Fry. Chances are, you’re also going to have your own, slightly more personal and in depth view on some of these ‘obvious’ points too. This is going to be the easiest, most natural place to mention such things. You’re also getting a somewhat unique chance to really get on a soapbox and rant about what you think makes one of the characters in one of your favourite shows tick, while at the same time maybe helping people out who are struggling. That’s gotta be a good thing.
And that’s me about out. In closing, I’m gonna volunteer to start the Marge thread and, tentatively, also the Bart thread. But don’t let that put off the Marge/Bart-cessives out there.
And well done for putting up with all that
EDIT: You have no idea how frustrating it was getting rid of all the R M (Space)'s in that