I'm not sure how many creators do it, but I often place my original characters in different settings, writing out stories about them very much like I'd write fanfiction about some established franchise.
It's even more fun when I do it mixing them up with characters from other creators! Pit-Face and I for example have written bookshelves' worth of stories with characters from all our webcomics, spanning all possible ages, dimensions and genres.
It's deliciously addictive, and amazing fun.
But apart from that, what else does it offer to our writing and story telling, if anything?
In my opinion, it's tremendous help and practice, not only of creative writing and story telling in general (all great authors advise to write even a little bit every day to enhance one's craft) but also in terms of fleshing out and perfecting the original characters themselves.
By placing our OC's in different settings or different situations not supported by the canon story we're creating, we're effectively getting to know them more as personalities. All those lists for character sheets that we're urged to fill out with our OC's data (always a good start) when doing the character design now get put to practice, are allowed to manifest and be experienced by us as the OC's creator.
The character thus is getting naturally fleshed out by the sheer practice we get writing them. Often, we are surprised by the choices they make, and learn something new about them that the canon story itself wouldn't be able to reveal- but by knowing it we are then able to add more flavor to that canon story, despite the fact that we will never get to directly show the elements we now know from our spinoff writings.
Sometimes, we may even get new ideas, or our characters may get new ideas, and they react unexpectedly in canon, and then the story takes a different turn than what we'd meticulously pre-crafted, and things spin into chaos!
But it's a lovely chaos, and and engaging chaos- because the more we know our characters intimately as real people, the more their story begins to feel like real life.
What do you think? Have you ever done it and if so, did it help with your canon writing?
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Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Jan. 5, 2019
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