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New? Arriving? (09 Aug 2021)

Required Reading:

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AMA - Ask Us Anything

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26 Aug 2022 14:23 #2196 by Wendy
Replied by Wendy on topic AMA - Ask Us Anything
What are the guidelines to the usage of characters in WhatIF stories? What happens if a person want to use another person's WhatIF character in their own WhatIF?

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26 Aug 2022 18:32 #2197 by Dan Formerly Domoviye

What are the guidelines to the usage of characters in WhatIF stories? What happens if a person want to use another person's WhatIF character in their own WhatIF?

If you're going to make a character a big part of your story, it would be polite to ask first.
Some canon writers don't want their characters used at all, others don't care.

I'm on the don't care side, but I know at least one person who wants to avoid it.

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26 Aug 2022 19:10 #2200 by null0trooper
Replied by null0trooper on topic AMA - Ask Us Anything

What are the guidelines to the usage of characters in WhatIF stories? What happens if a person want to use another person's WhatIF character in their own WhatIF?

If you're going to ignore their characterization, background, and abilities, own up to making your own original character. (Yet, one of the most common questions on writing subreddits is "How do I make a main character," or a variation on that theme) That's pretty much my opinion on using canon characters too. If you really need a specific WhatIF character, it doesn't hurt to ask the creator if you've got things right.

From a practical perspective, fanfic OCs are rarely if ever well enough known that readers are going to recognize them in someone else's work.

"One Knight of Sin", Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3

One Sinful Discussion
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26 Aug 2022 19:18 #2201 by Astrodragon
Replied by Astrodragon on topic AMA - Ask Us Anything
Its polite to do two things.
Ask the author if its OK, and give a very short precise of why you want to use them.
Its also nice to show the story to the author(s) first, if you are using the character much, and ask for comment.
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11 Sep 2022 06:12 #2379 by ShadowedSin
Replied by ShadowedSin on topic AMA - Ask Us Anything

This question is for any of the authors who care to answer - what is your favorite Whateley story arc?

My favorite arc outside my own which isn't even that far is anything dealing with Sara which has nothing to do with the open fact that Branwen is my delightful love.

What are the guidelines to the usage of characters in WhatIF stories? What happens if a person want to use another person's WhatIF character in their own WhatIF?

My guidelines is you can't right now, they're my creations, and I don't feel anyone but a few other authors can do them justice. It's everything from properly conveying Grainne's humor to how both she, Morgan and Maeve speak.

"It's never been a game to me. I'm after something bigger, and no one is gonna stop me."
-Catra

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11 Sep 2022 06:16 #2380 by Rosalie Redd
Replied by Rosalie Redd on topic AMA - Ask Us Anything
I am in the "I would rather people NOT use any of my characters" camp, as Inaba is very much a representation of myself... heck, she has my maiden name... and my other characters are off-limits because I'm overly protective of my creations and would get stabby if someone did something with them that was out of character.

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11 Sep 2022 22:49 #2381 by Kristin Darken
Here's my take on the 'use of characters' bit:

Most important part: it depends on the author and their plans for that character.

In some cases, the author doesn't care. Until they do. So the absolute wisest thing you can do before using a character that you didn't create in anything other than a cameo (or as seen by YOUR characters doing something that the author has already written and released publicly), is to check in with the author first. If they author says go for it, you're in the clear AND can probably talk the author into giving you some feedback on how you portray their character in given scenes. Some authors might even go a step further and RP a scene or two with you so you can 'hear' their character's voice.

Sometimes an author might need more info before agreeing. Other times, they might just flat out say no. In either case, you should respect their wishes. You don't know WHY this character exists the way it does for that author... and misrepresenting the character, concept, or putting them into undesired settings might be more painful / problematic than you realize. Please respect the wishes of authors who put constraints or limitations on their character use. Especially in a situation like the Whateley Universe where many of the characters are not just created entirely separate from the author... whether they are author avatars like the Lit Chix, or just very closely developed protagonists... doing random things with these characters can be hurtful and put the author in a position of not enjoying participating in the universe any longer. And no one wants that.

One of the biggest no-no's for me is picking up the existing plot line of any character or story in the Universe and running with it. Co-opting the work of more than one author is NOT a way to ingratiate yourself with the canon authors. No one should be telling Nikki or Ayla's story for Sophomore or Junior year outside of their original authors or someone approved by them as part of the canon team... because every choice you make for those characters or along the plot lines forces a canon author to either duplicate your ideas or develop entirely unique ones that still work within the over-arcing plot. That's not fan fic... it's IP theft. Someone else did the hard work of creating the character and backstory, and of laying out a logical enough path for the plot that you are able to 'see' where it is going well enough to write it... it's the absolute height of hubris to take that and claim it is YOUR work. So... ya... don't ever expect me to be happy to deal with authors who do this.

That said, I LOVE to work with WhatIF authors to help them achieve a solid understanding of the underlying stuff of the universe and write new stories within it. I'm happy to help them thread a new character or plotline into the big picture in such a way that the only thing keeping it from being canon is just 'calling it canon'. And authors who take the time and effort to work with the canon team to do this are the ones I'm happiest to help pursue becoming canon if they wish to.

But my recommendation to anyone working with characters or plotlines that they didn't personally create is to talk to the people who did FIRST. Before you pushing it public. Because if they see it before you talk to them, they might be fine... but if they are not, it's too late to fix it. This is NOT one of those cases where its better to ask for forgiveness than permission. And if you feel like getting permission is 'too much'... then you have no business using anyone else's material as the basis for your own. We MUST respect the work of other creators... because next time, it could be yours that is being co-opted.

Fate guard you, and may the Light brighten your Way.
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