What are some of the most done to death NGE fanfic ideas?

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:35 pm

Peggy sues are not bad: it's that many writers lose control of the topic. They use it for wish fulfillment...which, again, isn't bad, honestly, wish fulfillment can be fun to an extent. That being said, wish fulfillment more often than not tends to unravel a good plot very quickly.

I believe in following the natural, organic flow of a story, which means that any plot can lead to an interesting story, so long as the writer respects the plot and allows it to lead them, rather than force the plot in ways that are unnatural. Using a peggy sue basis can allow for fascinating character studies, but only if the writer allows the characters to behave as they would as actual 'humans'...not tools for the author to force their desires out.

In a way, writing a story should be like pulling the trigger of a gun...when the weapon fires, it should surprise the person firing the weapon. I tend to feel that, even with hefty planning in a story, events should still surprise the author as they come.
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Postby Kendrix » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:19 am

^This.

View Original PostChaddyManPrime wrote:Kensuke/Rei 4Eva!


Hm. It's not actually that implausible, at least not as much as Rei/Kaworu.
Kensuke might acually be suitable for reason's similar to Shinji (He's nice and pays attention), although there'd probably have to be an impetus to bring them together/make him look beyond the percepion as the "class weirdo".
Maybe just seeing Rei act in a 'military' fashion would be enough.

That said, I don't really see the appeal in crackparings and speculation of the sort; Ppl go read FF for more of the stuff they liked in the original, somehow poked and arranged to produce interesting reactions.

Besides gary stu/wish fulfillment, another common pitfal is to let the romance subplot eat the main plot instead of intertwining them to draw drama from each other. interactions tend to get too generic.

Previous poster was right that some ideas are done... because they work. Be it the peggy sue scenario or the kawoshin slice of life, things that turn out again and again do so because they provide catharsis for readers and writers of FF alike.

Maybe a better question would to as for interesting, relevant things that haven't been done to death.


How about these:

- Early series always had this drama/dilemma between Misato's ahabian tendencies/ wanting to wipe out the angels and her maternal concern for the pilots. So how about she bets to high and gets one, or all of the kids seriously injured? Guilt, panic and steadily advancing angel follow.
- Asuka's stepmom comes to visit
- Elaborate on that mysterious "three years ago" incident
- Rei's first day at school/the year between appearing in the school and Sachiel's attack
- Gendo's trial after Yui's unfortunate experiment
- As if all his other problems weren't enough, poor Shinji gets an artistic blocade.
- A detailed view on the romantic misadventures of Asuka's parents
- The story told from Sakura's perspective
- There can never be too much Shinji/Rei (Sorry...)
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Postby NemZ » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:35 am

I'd say the most annoying thing is when authors just rewrite a scene with little or no changes at all from the original. It's just the laziest, most time-wasting thing possible... and peggy-sue stories are the most likely to do this.
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Postby Squigsquasher » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:10 am

Asuka X Shinji fics- lemon or otherwise. It's the most overused pairing by far, and it's very rarely done well. Usually, Shinji, Asuka or both will be turned horribly OOC- Shinji will become some kind of motorcycle-riding badass, or Asuka will turn into a simpering moeblob. Coupled with my own dislike of this particular ship (the fact that it require major character bending to work at all shows it really isn't viable, except in exceptionally silly/deliberately OOC fics or non-romantic lemons), and the merest whiff of an AxS is enough to make my skin crawl.
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Postby Executive Washington » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:27 am

View Original PostSquigsquasher wrote:Asuka X Shinji fics- lemon or otherwise. It's the most overused pairing by far, and it's very rarely done well. Usually, Shinji, Asuka or both will be turned horribly OOC- Shinji will become some kind of motorcycle-riding badass, or Asuka will turn into a simpering moeblob.


I wonder if Evageeks should start providing "Fanfiction In-Character Guides" or something that will at least help fanfic writers write the characters in-character or not horribly too far off OOC.

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Postby Kendrix » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:33 am

View Original PostExecutive Washington wrote:I wonder if Evageeks should start providing "Fanfiction In-Character Guides" or something that will at least help fanfic writers write the characters in-character or not horribly too far off OOC.


That would just end in endless arguments over what IS ic for the characters, since some ppl have wildly differing interpretations about just about every character.

Even in the case of, say, Misato, where we don't have shipping wars involved (unless all the Hyuuga fans band together from nowhere?) it goes from "most heroic cast member" to "manipulative coldhearted rapist", and let's not even start about Gendo, or heaven forbid, the main pilots.


There WERE some "how not to screw up/ common pitfalls of" both LAS and LRS threads a while ago, and a more generic mistake aversion one even further back, but no kaworu-specific one yet, AFAIK. It would make more sense centered on individual characters, but, yeah, ppl disagree, an "official statement of this site" would end up getting presumptious if we don't implimnt it very carefully.
Last edited by Kendrix on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Executive Washington » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:38 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:That would just end in endless arguments over what IS ic for the characters, since some ppl have wildly differing interpretations about just about every character.


You're right, there's so many alternate character interpretations that it would not work.

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Postby Kendrix » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:41 am

View Original PostExecutive Washington wrote:You're right, there's so many alternate character interpretations that it would not work.


I guess we could put multiple interpretations in the article, but there's issues that are just a spectrum/pretty splintered, like the whole business on Rei's individuality.

In any case we should separate "general writing problems" from "character-specific" things, the former perhaps having more merit, but having the danger of becomming not EVA-specific enough.
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:23 pm

^

I think it's impossible to get the characters EXACTLY IC as we saw them on the show. That would require us being the actual writers to do that, because, in context of the original work, a character could become a complete reversal of their initial incarnation...but it makes sense. And is in character. It would be tough, but the point is, the only way a character can be in-character (the way I see it) is if the writer is the original writer.

We can get close to the characterization presented, but at the end of the day, it is still filtered through what we see, our biases, and how those characters affected us. Katie Tiedrich with Awkward Zombie addressed how her Marth was a prissy asshole compared to the original incarnation of Marth (much more a teamplayer), but really liked her Marth more. And who doesn't, he's hysterical that way. In a way, it's whatever works. Is your Asuka a sensitive individual who puts the needs of the many first? Rei is a gigglebox who likes to play pranks? Shinji is...a motorcycle riding hooligan that punches doctors in the mouth?

....Okay, you sell it well, I'll buy it. Not many fanfic writers can sell it, however. They don't give us the setup for why the characters are the way there are. A completely different incarnation of a character is not an automatic no-go for me (I mean...look at what I write. I got story where the adults actually care about the kids. I'd be hypocrite to throw stones), and can serve as an interesting analysis of why the canon characters are the way they are, by comparing them to an incarnation of them that is not them at all.

A lot of fanfic writers, however, just break basic rules of characterization and story-telling, and the sale never goes through. Again, I cite A State of Mercy. A good example of bad characterization and character-building.

....of course, that's the first one I happened to think of, but I bet there are better examples.
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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:06 pm

The only time I really liked Rei/Kensuke was in Walking in the Shadow of Dreams and The Swim of Things.

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Postby AngelNo13Bardiel » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:18 am

^ Yeah, it can work when attempted with a straight face (and, y'know, real effort), but more often than not it feels like "well, let's just pair up whoever's left".

I'd add in this one, and it applies to all fanfiction, not just Evangelion: the self-insert. Not really because it's overdone, more because it's a terrible idea almost 100% of the time.

Seriously, don't do it. Unless played for humor (as in I Was a Teenage Dummy Plug) or subverted/taken in unusual directions (New Perspective Evangelion or Polyphemus), it's best just left in your head. Most of the time, they're utter crap that only the authors themselves could even enjoy (and, given hindsight, I'm not even sure of that).

View Original PostSquigsquasher wrote:Asuka X Shinji fics- lemon or otherwise. It's the most overused pairing by far, and it's very rarely done well. Usually, Shinji, Asuka or both will be turned horribly OOC- Shinji will become some kind of motorcycle-riding badass, or Asuka will turn into a simpering moeblob. Coupled with my own dislike of this particular ship (the fact that it require major character bending to work at all shows it really isn't viable, except in exceptionally silly/deliberately OOC fics or non-romantic lemons), and the merest whiff of an AxS is enough to make my skin crawl.


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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:41 am

And I'm glad to hear you both. :lol: As I gear up for my yearly, seasonal attempt at finishing my fic, it's good to be reminded that there will always be lovers and haters of anything one's fic tries to do.
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Postby Kendrix » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:12 am

View Original PostAngelNo13Bardiel wrote:^ Yeah, it can work when attempted with a straight face (and, y'know, real effort), but more often than not it feels like "well, let's just pair up whoever's left".


Yeah. "Pair the spares", the most obvious way to show that you don't care about there characters and just want their fans not to complain at you.

They're just 14/15! Consider just not pairing them up at all and/or showing them with a generic spouse in the finale.

@what Gob Hoblin said


That's just an extension of, "a good enough writer can make anything plausible" (see Adam Kadmon... well, for those who don't hate him) but when you start your first FF of such a relatively demanding show, assuming you're one of these "good enough writer"s is not a good place to start.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:44 am

Though sometimes:

Rabid, frothing overconfidence+what are these rules you speak of?+banana = Sheer comedy of errors goldmine
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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Postby shelter » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:36 pm

View Original PostSquigsquasher wrote:Asuka X Shinji fics- lemon or otherwise. It's the most overused pairing by far, and it's very rarely done well.


This.

More specifically, fics where Asuka x Shinji is the main plot/ story have been done to death. Partly because they're so common, and partly because there are very few novel angles on their relationship that we haven't seen. (But with everything in life, there are exceptions).

I find fics that treat their relationship as a small, insignificant note in the background while other events unfold, as refreshing.

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Postby Vegeta 20XX » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:52 am

First rule of fanfic, period: Sue is hard to do. While I've played with subverting the Sue trope on my own time with the idea that even someone explicitly granted greater power than any NGE character can't escape the bindings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and can't "right what went wrong", even if towards the end they get their favorite Eva girl (or boy) in bed with them and fix everyone's neuroses, just as time travel leads to the Nazis winning WW2, so will the story rubberband and smash the new protagonist's changes into teeny, tiny bits, thrusting Shinji back into the lead role after the Sue is broken from ultimately failing to shape the story in their overpowered image.

Also, some pairings tend to support each other - one may pair Rei and Kaworu so Asuka and Shinji are, erm, "available" to each other, even if logic dictates that there are many potential mates they could find.

Finally, getting the characters to work OOC is similarly hard; unless proper buildup, explanation, and justification are provided, it just comes off as another character who resembles the original in name and appearance only - and in some cases (the "Replace Shinji" with an 80's/90's action hero" thread), not even the latter.
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:03 am

^
You know, some people think that it was Mari's purpose in 2.0 : a new character coming out of nowhere, without the other pilots' crippling psychological issues, who genuinely love to pilot and fight giant monsters, who knows much more about the mysteries than the average NERV members, with access to unseen weapons and special modes from the Evas (Thunder Spear, Beast Mode), who even get to steal the spotlight from a classical character (Asuka, she even stole her EVA-02!), and who on top of that has a very well endowed figure, and glasses!

She's like an official embodiment of all the Mari Sue cliché running around the Eva fandom, and yet :

- her perkiness in battle and crazy mannerism (hello boy that I just landed on parachute, let me sniff you!) comes off as disturbing and creepy, to the point of being reduced to an animalistic rage against Zeruel.

- she changed absolutely nothing of the final outcome : Zeruel completely curb-stomped her without breaking a sweat, and her helping Rei to kamikaze herself with the N2 missile was for naught. The only moment where her presence advanced the plot was when she tried to put Shinji in safety, which made him see the devastation in the Geofront and Rei being eaten by Big Z, which incited him to come back in NERV to fight Zeruel, in short her only really meaningful action was tied to a main character, and even then she only played what was Kaji's role in NGE.

Hell, even her (awesome by the way) fight against Tunniel didn't had much impact on the plot : Tunniel wasn't a menace for Tokyo-3 (he never even reached the city!), and Mari's EVA-05 was an half-finished piece of junk whose only usefulness was to guard Tunniel, and its destruction didn't affected at all NERV's operations. Mark.06's ten seconds long appearance had far more influences on the plot than EVA-05's entire presence!
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:53 am

Mari's role in 2.0 is like Biff the Understudy in an old Bioware game where you accidentally kill a plot-essential NPC and Biff pops out of nowhere to offer their dialogue. She basically fulfilled Asuka's role in the Zeruel battle because Asuka couldn't, though it is weird that she takes Kaji's role in giving Shinji a pep talk and then never interacts with him again.
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Postby Monk Ed » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:06 am

Better than I was able to say it Chuckman, and I made an attempt in here earlier before giving up and not posting it.

The irony of Mari is that she reads in 2.x like someone designed her with a "Things That Prove You're Not a Mary Sue (Honest!)" checklist nearby, and the end result winds up going so completely in the opposite direction that she becomes an utter nonentity to the plot -- while still managing to be obtrusive and feel very much out-of-place.

But obviously she was not created with anything like this mentality in mind, which makes it all the more hilarious that she wound up so easy to describe that way.
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:22 am

^
That's what I wanted to say in my now almost habitual loquaciousness : Mari superficially looks like a Mari Sue, but actually subvert it to the point that her incidence on the plot is almost null, her only moment of true influence on the plot being when she interacted a second time with Shinji during Zeruel's battle, as if the narrative forced her to be a part of the "old plot" to have a relevance.

It ties well with Anno commenting in the 2.0 CRC that trying to think of ways to make Rebuild 2.0 different from NGE made him realize of the original series' narrative was extremely rigid and difficult to change. He accepted Mari as part of the novelty explicitly to bring change to the setting. (which failed completely, everything happened more or less like in NGE, except for the Impact at the end)

Which is ironic since 3.0 is a nigh complete departure from the original series (at least in respect to the setting), yet Mari's role is even smaller than in 2.0!
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