[livejournal.com profile] writers_muses 46.7 - Mun Prompt

Jul. 26th, 2008 06:36 am
nomanselizabth: (Default)
[personal profile] nomanselizabth
Talk about the pros and cons of tackling a canon muse versus an OC. Describe why you might favour one over the other. Also, if you choose a canon muse, how do you make yours stand out among all the others?

I have written both canon and OC muses. I don't mind doing canon muses except this constant niggling concern that I seem to get in the back of my head asking, 'Do I really have their voice?' Right now my chief muses are both. I have an OC, Fanny Fae, of course, whose voice never seems to leave me, because I hear that low, elegant timbre of hers in my my head constantly, it seems.

The other Muse, of course, is Elizabeth, which is not from a canon fandom per se, as much as she is an historical personage of some importance. I confess, when I do write for her, it is a combination of the portrayals by Cate Blanchett and Helen Miren. Of all of the performances that I have seen about this person whom I have always found fascinating, these two most modern renditions are probably the best - and I have seen a great many portrayals of Elizabeth I! In the process of writing her, I do think a great deal about not only the historical canon, but her motivations as to why she chose to do or not do certain things. I have an exhaustive collection of books on Elizabeth Tudor,her times and the politics that swirled around her and the Courts of Europe in her day. I think the way that I keep her from being dogmatic that she becomes stale is I never forget she is a woman with a sense of humour and just like any other woman, she had hopes, dreams, fears, lusts and she knew better than any of the people that surrounded her what it was to be literally married to her Country, Her People and the Throne. There could, in her mind I am certain, be no possible room for any other spouse, because those things were her spouse. But she had to play the game to keep not only other Potentates around the world at bay, but would be usurpers, and even those in her Council that she trusted the most. Add to that the fact that at three, when her mother, Ann Boleyn, was put to the block, something that traumatic, though just a vague shadow of a memory, she probably would have remembered because it was constantly being brought up as a means by which Elizabeth herself was punished or removed time and again from the Succession of her father's legacy. The struggles then were for life and death and it was a constant and it went on for her entire childhood and until she ascended the throne. I think those are some of the things that I try to keep in mind when writing her.

I do notice that in communities around Livejournal that there tends to be really a great deal of prejudice against Original Characters. There are tons of prompt communities where if you are writing an OC, you need not apply to join. If you write an OC, automatically people have this tendency to assume your character is a "Mary Sue", and you the writer are living vicariously through them. For myself, I certainly hope that isn't the case! I personally have to put up with Fanny doing all sorts of heinous things to others that I personally could never even dream of doing myself, and she is absolutely unrepentant about what she does or her motivations. It is very odd having two queens in my head on opposite sides of my cranium. They both are very strong female rulers, but they really do not agree on too much. I don't even know that they like each other, but there does seem to be a mutual respect and so there is a tenuous peace between them. I do know that each of them can be equally passionate about the people and things that they care about, and nothing will dissuade them from their course, once it is set in their minds.

But I digress.....

Writing an OC, you can pretty much decide what their canon is, vs. having it pre-determined for you by what is in a book or movie or through the work of someone else or the dictates of historical events. Fanny has revealed things to me that I thought that I had made up in my head, only to find out that in some obscure book somewhere, her adamant insistance that specific things in her history were the way things actually were and it was proven right. It is kind of interesting in a way and kind of spooky in other ways! Being Fae, there is even within those circles, a sort of canon. But I have noticed within those groups that they are largely reliant on sources that are either Irish-Celts-centric in origin or they are a bit slavish to the idea that the Fae were not so much historically an actual race of people that the Romans nearly completely obliterated from the face of the Earth, but rather they are so tied to the Victorian ideals of what Faeries are. She is pretty adamant that Celtic culture covered an insanely large area of the Ancient world and that they had a very large part to play in that world. She is also pretty forceful on the fact that the Fae, were not limited to the shores of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. They were in every single corner of the globe as the respective folklore of any given culture bears out.

I think the most frustrating part of writing a canon or original character is the lack of imagination by people who just cannot seem to break out of what they have either seen on the movie screen or in a book. Somehow if you go beyond those boundaries you are "not doing it right" and are completely deserving of vociferous reproach on the matter. Sometimes people forget that the bottom line in writing anything at all is the sheer sense of pleasure that you derive from doing it. If you are writing to please anyone other than yourself, then you are best off putting your fucking pen down and giving it up altogether. You have to become thick skinned and not give a damn what anyone says about what you are writing or you will inevitably get in your own way. And when this happens, it is absolutely tragic.

Muses: (plural) Elizabeth I & Fanny Fae
Fandom: Historical and OC
Word Count: 1101


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