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Character bashing


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Before getting into this, A huge thanks to Aquila Tempestas to give me an opportunity here!

If you are an author from any website (such as FanFiction.net, Wattpad, MediaMiner, etc.) Has any reader bashed any character from your story so far?

How did you feel about it? 

(OR)

If you encounter any character bashing in any of your stories or fics, what's your initiative? Will you take any steps or just leave it?

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Welcome aboard! Glad to have you here :)

I haven't had anyone bash a character in my stories, but I do remember this author in the Beyblade fandom who would bash ocs in her stories. 

I have written a lot of parody back in the day when I had my stories up. But I made fun of all characters. If I don't like a character, I tend not to write about them much. 

I have seen character bashing in other stories where it was very obvious the author wanted to bash them. I remember the Tyson bashing days in the beyblade fandom. Ugh. Very annoying. 

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I haven’t had that happen, but I also don’t get A lot of reviews and other detailed feedback. I’ve had people not like my writing style and how a particular story flows, but not a certain character.
 

interestingly, I made a character that narrated completely unsympathetic on purpose, and I wasn’t sure how many people would like the story. Turns out to be one of my most popular ones, with people praising the character just because there’s not that many unsympathetic characters out there and most tend to be too perfect in that fandom (Pokémon). It was quite a surprise.

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/24/2020 at 12:05 AM, TwilightUniverse018 said:

Before getting into this, A huge thanks to Aquila Tempestas to give me an opportunity here!

If you are an author from any website (such as FanFiction.net, Wattpad, MediaMiner, etc.) Has any reader bashed any character from your story so far?

How did you feel about it? 

(OR)

If you encounter any character bashing in any of your stories or fics, what's your initiative? Will you take any steps or just leave it?

In fact, I myself bash characters hugely XD 

According to me, character bashing is not a big deal. Yeah, it's really not a big deal. As an author, you must know to have control on your hand and turn the characters in different directions according to your wishes. Besides, for bringing exceptional and unique flavor sometimes, you need to think beyond the general/common villains and try one of the protagonists to be an antagonist or vice versa. 

If character bashing didn’t exist, a mighty epic which is considered to be the very first and most famous epic of Bengali language based on another mighty epic- Ramayana could never be written. I've also planned to write such fics where our usually-considered heroes will be villains and vice-versa. I've also encountered such fics where my favorite characters were bashed but I enjoyed reading them. In fact, they grew my love for them more XD. 

So, you need to know more and have control on yourself. Different authors have different views and opinions. We should respect them.   :)          

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So in this context, what is your interpretation of character bashing? Is it writing a character as evil/bad for plot purposes or is it when someone who hates a character actively shows that dislike in how they treat them?

My understanding is that it's the second option. So for example: an author is creating a story and they want to pair their OC with Rei but he's usually with Mariah. So in the story the author would make Mariah completely unlikeable, no plot justification, she's just an outright bitch to the OC for no reason but to highlight how the OC is so much better, so much nicer than Mariah. And then all the canon characters immediately turn on Mariah, despite having friendships with her, in order to protect the OC. That's a form of character bashing that's prevalent with new writers to a fandom. They aren't sure how to make their OC likeable or how to break that canon relationship in a natural way, or even just not have it there, and instead destroy Mariah's character to promote their OC as the better person. Most of the time it doesn't work.

Alternatively and more commonly, when someone just hates a character; instead of ignoring them and just not including them or leaving them in the periphery of the story, they are openly hostile to them in their fanfiction. It's not for comedy, it's not a case of making them bad for plot reasons, it's just they don't like the character and they want to convert others to that thinking. Now people can absolutely do that, you don't have to like all the characters but at least acknowledge that's what you're doing. In Harry Potter Ron suffers this a lot from people who don't ship RonxHermione and it's not very nice for others, even non Ron fans, so see his character demolished for no good reason.

So personally, I'm not a fan of those above definitions of character bashing.

Now as for readers, I probably have had people bash my characters. I've been writing fanfiction for 17 years so I've experienced a lot of negativity but that's for the reader. if they don't like a character, that's okay. I can't force them to. And if they don't like the character, I'm also not forcing them to read the story. I'm sure people don't like my OC or that I write Kai/OC and in the same vein I know people don't like Hilary, a character I write a lot of particularly because I know people don't like her and I like her a lot. So I will actively find a way for her to have a starring role in my fanfics. People will either read it and maybe come to like her, or they just won't read my fanfic. That's their choice. So while I don't like character bashing, I guess I'm in favour of character gushing for plot purposes ^_^

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This all comes down to your interpretation of character bashing.

For me, character bashing is intentionally setting up a character in your story to be the victim (raped, abused, beaten up, mocked, bashed up etc etc) because you don't like them in the canon. For example, I'm not a big fan of Kenny in Beyblade, but I don't go out of my way to mock people who like him, argue with people online and offline my reasons and etc. I also don't go out of my way to intentionally make everyone in my story hate that character too. I remember this person a few years back who hated Tyson and thought Kai deserved to be the main character. He made a list of reasons as to why he hated Tyson and intentionally made him an idiot in his stories and such. Character bashing is simply hating on a character for usually superficial reasons (I don't like gay people, I don't like his voice, I don't like how he looks etc)

It's not character bashing if you write about a character you like, and you punish them in your story. I know this sounds a bit strange, but if you are punishing a character you like, typically you've got a story around it.. It's not just 'for the hell of it or because I thought it was funny'. Parody often gets mistaken for character bashing too, but the intention is different.

In summary, it's character bashing if you are intentionally making them unlikable/suffering because you hate that character. That's my understanding anyway.

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Agreed. Depicting a character you like as having horrible things done is generally done to inflict sympathy in your readers and is pretty typical of whump fics too.

If I don't like a character, they're probably not going to be in my fics because why would I dedicate time to them? How would I even try to get into their heads? Why would I want to? I don't. For those characters, they're off visiting someone, they're doing something different. I used to write for Winx Club, and I didn't like Bloom the main character. So I sent her off to save the world while the characters I did like actually did the stuff my plot called for.

Though I should emphasize that just because a character doesn't appear in my fic, doesn't mean I don't like them. I just probably didn't find enough of a plot line for them. Saving has loads of characters who didn't appear sadly because I can't work them in and I won't put them in just to tick a box.

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I think character bashing has a huge potential to turn a reader away from an otherwise potentially good fanfiction. I remember reading one fanfic, that was actually written quite well, and had a decent plot but repeatedly bashed Judy Tate, to the point I just couldn't stomach it and I stopped reading. I don't know how that fic turned out. 

I do feel that female characters cop it a bit more than males, given a lot of writers are female and will write self inserts and their fantasies are obviously threatened by the established canon. To me, this is a sign of an immature writer, who needs to spend some time growing up!

Honestly, other than Raj from BBT, I can't think of a character that's inspired enough irritation to warrant bashing =) 

 

@AquilaTempestas I think that person missed the key point of beyblade - it's about Tyson!! Lol

@TwilightUniverse018I see that you write O.Cs, have you personally experienced people bashing your OC's ? 

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:22 PM, darkened-storm said:

I think character bashing has a huge potential to turn a reader away from an otherwise potentially good fanfiction. I remember reading one fanfic, that was actually written quite well, and had a decent plot but repeatedly bashed Judy Tate, to the point I just couldn't stomach it and I stopped reading. I don't know how that fic turned out. 

I do feel that female characters cop it a bit more than males, given a lot of writers are female and will write self inserts and their fantasies are obviously threatened by the established canon. To me, this is a sign of an immature writer, who needs to spend some time growing up!

Honestly, other than Raj from BBT, I can't think of a character that's inspired enough irritation to warrant bashing =) 

 

@AquilaTempestas I think that person missed the key point of beyblade - it's about Tyson!! Lol

@TwilightUniverse018I see that you write O.Cs, have you personally experienced people bashing your OC's ? 

Yeah, I write for OCs as well. I pair them up with the guys whom I usually won't pair with any girl/boy from the series.

I have neither had any OCs nor characters bashed, except when they are antagonists. I had this one OC called Julian where he was bashed for ditching Hilary. I had written a TyHil fic called, "True love is never blind", where Hilary will lose her visions in an accident. Right after her surgery, this Julian left her for being blind. And, I created two more OCs and kept them as Boris's children. I had them being bashed at times, but I didn't worry because they are some of my major antagonists.

I'll literally won't care or worry if someone bashes my OCs, especially when they are antagonists. I just asked the opinions of others. :) 

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2 minutes ago, TwilightUniverse018 said:

I haven't neither had any OCs nor characters bashed, except when they are antagonists. I had this one OC called Julian where he was bashed for ditching Hilary. I had written a TyHil fic called, "True love is never blind", where Hilary will lose her visions in an accident. Right after her surgery, this Julian left her for being blind. And, I created two more OCs and kept them as Boris's children. I had them being bashed at times, but I didn't worry because they are some of my major antagonists.

Curious - were they bashed purely because they were Boris's children or were they actually vile little beasties as I imagine boris's children would be =) 

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  • 3 months later...

Till date I haven't encountered character bashing in any of my fics except if the character is evil. I know that Boris is bashed in many stories. They take him as an antagonist in many fics so he is bashed. I am really curious if there are any Boris lovers XD

But there can be two interpretations as Zadien said: Whether the character is an antagonist in the story or its just one who hates the character personally.

I usually have no problem with the first case because he/she is evil or bad, but I guess the second one should be handled a tad bit carefully. There are authors of different age groups. Some are below fifteen and some in their teens and a few adults. If a person shows a strong hatred towards a character and bashes them in the review section, and if another (maybe a younger person) sees it he or she might or may not have the chances to feel bad though there is nothing bad to feel bad about it. So I personally think that we'll have to review carefully because they are visible to everyone. I know most of them won't get upset but still I think this should be taken care of. because there are chances that some feel temporarily worried.

But I think that everybody have their own tastes. Some authors don't include a few characters just because they aren't interested with them. Say, if an author hates Hilary and uses her very less in his/her fics, he/she may or may not end up bashing Hilary in other fics. Indeed, Hilary has a lot of fans in these days. One more thing, I ship Ozuma with Mariam but there are so many who ship Max with Mariam, but it doesn't mean that I hate Max and Mariam together as a couple but I respect that when other authors use them as a couple instead of bashing them directly. Another character is Kane. Many think that Kane is really bad (actually not) because he was possessed by the cyber bit-beast and pushed Salima. Many interpreted that he never returned back Salima's feelings so they just presume he is really bad and they start to hate him and prefer to ship Salima with Ray because he was caring around her and she too cared for him. I don't blame them but according to my opinion, Kane didn't have time to love her back and that time was really hard for both Bladebreakers and Psykicks. So, I can't tell that Kane was indifferent to Salima's feelings. He was undergoing a hard time along with his friends. Even Salima, Goki and Jim went under the control though it was Kane who went absolutely insane. Who on this earth would have time to confess love during these times? :wacko:

Okay, now long story short I guess I went a little out of context. Many hate Kane for this reason, agreed but I think Kane is not at all bad. Initially, he was refusing the bit-beast and he was never harsh around Salima except for once but some haters of Kane or non-KaneSal shippers just presume he was evil. But he was evil just because he was under the cyber bit-beast's control. So, I agree that he has got more haters. But it doesn't mean that I'll have to stop writing for him and it doesn't mean that I'll have to feel bad when someone bashes him as I have huge crush on him. All which matters is whether I like him or not. 

I am not telling 'no' to this, I mean bashing but I think they can be done under the first condition. Personally I might feel bad for a very few times but nowadays I never mind it :) 

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1 hour ago, Autumn Witch said:

Till date I haven't encountered character bashing in any of my fics except if the character is evil. I know that Boris is bashed in many stories. They take him as an antagonist in many fics so he is bashed. I am really curious if there are any Boris lovers XD

But there can be two interpretations as Zadien said: Whether the character is an antagonist in the story or its just one who hates the character personally.

I usually have no problem with the first case because he/she is evil or bad, but I guess the second one should be handled a tad bit carefully. There are authors of different age groups. Some are below fifteen and some in their teens and a few adults. If a person shows a strong hatred towards a character and bashes them in the review section, and if another (maybe a younger person) sees it he or she might or may not have the chances to feel bad though there is nothing bad to feel bad about it. So I personally think that we'll have to review carefully because they are visible to everyone. I know most of them won't get upset but still I think this should be taken care of. because there are chances that some feel temporarily worried.

But I think that everybody have their own tastes. Some authors don't include a few characters just because they aren't interested with them. Say, if an author hates Hilary and uses her very less in his/her fics, he/she may or may not end up bashing Hilary in other fics. Indeed, Hilary has a lot of fans in these days. One more thing, I ship Ozuma with Mariam but there are so many who ship Max with Mariam, but it doesn't mean that I hate Max and Mariam together as a couple but I respect that when other authors use them as a couple instead of bashing them directly. Another character is Kane. Many think that Kane is really bad (actually not) because he was possessed by the cyber bit-beast and pushed Salima. Many interpreted that he never returned back Salima's feelings so they just presume he is really bad and they start to hate him and prefer to ship Salima with Ray because he was caring around her and she too cared for him. I don't blame them but according to my opinion, Kane didn't have time to love her back and that time was really hard for both Bladebreakers and Psykicks. So, I can't tell that Kane was indifferent to Salima's feelings. He was undergoing a hard time along with his friends. Even Salima, Goki and Jim went under the control though it was Kane who went absolutely insane. Who on this earth would have time to confess love during these times? :wacko:

Okay, now long story short I guess I went a little out of context. Many hate Kane for this reason, agreed but I think Kane is not at all bad. Initially, he was refusing the bit-beast and he was never harsh around Salima except for once but some haters of Kane or non-KaneSal shippers just presume he was evil. But he was evil just because he was under the cyber bit-beast's control. So, I agree that he has got more haters. But it doesn't mean that I'll have to stop writing for him and it doesn't mean that I'll have to feel bad when someone bashes him as I have huge crush on him. All which matters is whether I like him or not. 

I am not telling 'no' to this, I mean bashing but I think they can be done under the first condition. Personally I might feel bad for a very few times but nowadays I never mind it :) 

Hmm, good points to prove for the couple but apart from that, I think character bashing isn't bad. If someone bashes our favorite characters, we shouldn't mind them. We should be in the position to just ignore those and go ahead. Well we can't convince some users to stop bashing our favorite characters so I simply pretend that we should completely neglect them.

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