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Rank (Your Own) Characters!
Topic Started: Jan 3 2017, 01:23 AM (1,993 Views)
MurderWeasel
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Unless something has drastically changed for the worse since last I caught him in Pregame, I mean.

More thoughts when I'm back from my thing in a few hours.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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MurderWeasel
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Because I promised:

Here's why I rank Noah really highly for Laure, up near (though not quite at, but I've not really fully caught up yet) Asa. Basically, most of Laure's characters exist in a certain framework with certain similarities, and I feel that Noah is one of the best distillations of that framework from a craft level. Almost all of Laure's kids are artists of some strie, and not casual artists but pretty dedicated ones. Their different modes of artistic expression (Asa's column, Taylor's fashion, Claire's filmmaking, Rachael's literature, Sophie's dance, Nadia's fashion, Louisa's poetry) color what they do and how they see the world, while also reflecting their characters. The thing is, sometimes that has historically led to lopsided narratives--I'd actually pick Claire as an example of this, where everything about Claire's narrative comes around to film again and again, and sometimes that's not totally appropriate to the scene or is tonally disruptive.

Noah, on the other hand, has his drag thing and it exists in a way that relates to his life and lies parallel to it but also has a very clear on and off mode--sometimes he's in character but mostly he's not. This also flows into the narrative; there's a greater level of discipline as to when his stuff comes in, and its appearances feel more honed and calculated (though not necessarily less frequent). Perhaps because Noah's art is this whole other persona, it feels more a part of him and yet also less a summation of him than with many of Laure's other characters. It's a nicely struck balance, and one that impressed me a lot throughout pregame--really cool growth to see in Laure as a writer.

Noah also has a few other hings going for him. His medium is goofy, sometimes politically incorrect, and very much an acquired taste, and I think that translates better to actually being shown to the audience through the written medium. If a joke doesn't land, well, that's fine. Jokes often don't land, and Noah's a teenager doing this in his spare time. His narrative knows that, too. It welcomes us to think Noah's hilarious, but is also fine if we think he's somewhat obnoxious. He even gets called out on the potentially problematic implications of his act during pregame, and his narrative grapples with the issue rather than sidestepping it. Noah is also portrayed as successful in the story, but successful to a modest degree, not a tremendous one.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Noah, despite having one of the most off the wall hobbies of all of Laure's characters, at the same time manages to be quite grounded and relatable, human and never a caricature even as he and his narrative intentional delve into the realms of caricature. He stood out positively to me when I was tracking V6 Pregame, and really represented some cool and major artistic steps to me even in fairly nascent form, enough so that I wanna go to bat here for a spot near or at the top for him.

Also, the bits of his Meanwhile I've read rock, but I'm not really counting that into the equation.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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MurderWeasel
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Okay, so I agonized about this a bunch and decided I'm gonna do a post with only my original characters from Main on it, and only those who actually ended up in the game. Why? Adoptees I have mixed feelings about--frankly, I tend to not be wholly comfortable poking at them for a couple reasons some folks are familiar with (basically, I either really liked their pre-adoption versions and got wigged out by pressure or I was too high-horse about trying to make improvements). Pregame/Meanwhile-only characters are fun and actually a big part of what's unique about how Main operates, but they also have much less writing behind them and aren't put into the same pressure-filled situations that can make or break characters on the island; if I'd done a ton of Meanwhile junk with one of my pregame-only kids it might be a different story, but all I've got is the first post of a thread I ragequit when a hard drive failure ate the next three before I could put them up. Finally, I love Mini but have a hard time comparing cross-site and know a bunch of people don't follow it, so I'll probably do another post with my Mini kids in it.

Also also, if I put all those folks I excluded into the list, it'd be at almost 30 characters, most of whom nobody's ever heard of and I have little to say about. Pared down to seven, it's easier to actually analyze a bit and I do a bit less masochistic flogging of myself (but STAY TUNED for more of that come the potential Mini post).

1. Kimberly Nguyen (V4)
2. Jennifer Perez (V4)
3. Steven Salazar (V5)
4. Adam Morgan (V5)
5. Aaron Hughes (V4)
6. Lydia Robbins (V5)
7. Everett Taylor (V4)

Kimberly was a character I had little planned for and actually wrote mostly to be different from the others I was doing in V4; I was pretty sure she'd be Hero fodder for most of Pregame/early V4. That said, when I finally figured out who she was and what I wanted to do with her, she became a blast and I generally feel mostly okay about most of her stuff even in retrospect, which is kinda rare.

Jennifer was the V4 character I was most attached to during V4. There are a few things about her voice and character that don't quite come off/gel, for a mix of reasons, but she's also a character I was mostly writing to entertain myself and she occupies a niche markedly different from other characters I'v written, both at the time and since.

Steven I'm actually mostly chill with, though a bit sad still about certain lost posts forever eaten by the crash. He was an experiment with carrying certain philosophies to their logical conclusions in the context of the island, and I got to mull most of what I wanted to, though in retrospect wish I'd gotten to push things just a bit further with him. I greatly appreciated Rattle's assistance in the inevitable nature of his end, though, which is what really pokes him above so many of my other kids.

Adam was a character who was fun to work with but his voice swung around a bit for me and I was never totally comfortable with him; I often enjoyed him more in the context of his group than on his own. That said, he offered an interesting chance to explore a character in more of a narratively supporting role yet who was plot-wise often in the driver's seat.

We now enter the Regret Zone (tm) with Aaron. Aaron is a character who functions very well on a plot level but not so much on a character level. He was an experiment with villains and he had a great cast of support characters who made writing him worth it, and from an ideological standpoint he worked out pretty well, but I think what really gets me about Aaron is the amount of aimless spite that surrounds him. He doesn't have the sort of complicated core that I really, really need to feel happy with a character (he pretends to sometimes, but that's pretty much it), and that also led to me making compromises left and right with his arc as soon as his group (the main thing really attaching me to him) was gone. He's a lot of what I thought was super cool when I was about his age.

Lydia was a character I struggled with from a direction standpoint. I knew what I wanted to do with her, but what I wanted to do with her was framed negatively (not fall into certain traps). While that's a space I operate in often (see: Aaron plus a bunch of characters over on Mini) what Lydia lacked yet the others had was a core of what they also were. So Lydia felt really aimless to me at a lot of points which was frustrating because I was working with awesome people throughout and I had this idea of her character but I just didn't know at all what to do with her.

Everett... eh, Everett suffered from a mix of stuff that my others did. He was very different from me, but in the ways that made it incredibly hard for me to get into his head with the sympathy I expect of myself. This was coupled with a really aimless nature; all my other V4 kids were really doing something, but Everett had nothing to fill the void left by the removal of his original plan (a really poorly conceived player idea, just like all my V4 kids). What makes me harder on him than Lydia is that there was way more writing behind him due to V4's massive pregame yet at the same time i had less of an idea of what made him tick, less of a voice for him, and less of an idea who he was. He was just kinda there, though I guess that was vaguely lucky in that my dissatisfaction with him led to him getting jettisoned instead of the character I'd actually initially written to be more expendable (Kimberly).
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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