Hello all! Welcome once again to my blog! I apologize for not posting an article for so long but Rph duties do come first nowadays!
The subject of today's entry is about a trope that I am sure MOST of us have seen (and rolled our eyes at) in the Application Forum! I personally call it a symptom of Special SnowflakeItus (Note to self write blog about SnowFlakes later)
Yes you know them, you hate them! It's the Tragedy and ANGST characters! Walking a lonely isolated road paved with dead parents, bullying, and generally are "outcasts"
That's not to say that these traits can't be used in an app! But the problem comes when people use them as a substitute for the real character depth and development.
(Basically in the eyes of Rosie, Angst and Tragedy are like cake mix, a cheap and unequal substitute for a real homemade from scratch cake)
So I am going to list the most common angsty, depressing, and tragic tropes that plague the application forum and then talk more about depth and development.
[colour=#ff0000]MY PARENTS ARE DEAAAADDD![/colour]
Your Oc is /NOT/ Batman! It's perfectly okay to have a parent that has passed on, but more often than not a pony (or Griffon/Dragon/Seasnake) has it so that their parents were tragically killed in an accident. (Fire/dragon attack/ banishment to the moon) It's overdone, not clever, and honestly it's just plain lazy! Stop doing it srsly I mean it!
[colour=#ff0000]I AM AN OUTCAST AND AM BULLIED BECAUSE OF MY PHYSICAL APPEARANCE![/colour]
Shush! No you are not Silly Filly! We know for a fact that ponies do not act like this, having your character discarded, rejected, shunned or "Bullied" due to their appearance, talent, or species is not how reality works in Canterlot! You won't be chased out of town for being a unicorn with a single mother , for having strange coloured eyes (considering the variety in ponies eyecolour that's just silly sir) or for being a pegasus that can't quite fly yet!
I can already hear you now "BUT LIIIME DIAMOND TIARA AND SILVER SPOON ARE BULLIES! THERE ARE BULLIES IN EQUESTRIA!" Yes, yes they are! I will not deny that sometimes ponies are flat out not nice, but two fillies that make fun of a blank flank does NOT justify your character being bullied (and sometimes beat up) just for the sake of making us feel sorry for them! This is lazy writing, and it doesn't make your character appear tragic, misunderstood, or whatever other purple proise you want to use to justify it.
[colour=#ff0000]I AM A MISUNDERSTOOD SOCIAL OUTCAST THAT MUST WANDER EQUESTRIA IN SOLITUDE![/colour]
-Rubs temples with hooves- Ghn this trope is the biggest pain in the FLANK to interact with! "Outcast" characters are normally spurned and rejected, often times for something they have no control of and live like hermits in deep forests, dark caves, or high mountains away from ponies. But Roleplaying is a COLLABORATION! It takes more than one person to rp and when your character is so angst filled that they cannot talk to another character without feeling ungodly angst? Then we have a problem
[colour=#ff0000]I AM PHYSICALLY DISABLED THEREFORE I AM FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON MY DISABILITY![/colour]
No no no no no no! This is not only overdone to death but it's also REALLY REALLY insulting to people who/have/ this disability in real life when you portray a character that is blind as helpless, insecure, and rejected for their lack of sight (-glares bitterly at the Animated Fan Animation known as "SnowDrop". Blind characters are the most common, and it's pretty hard to pull one off well (Starswirl the Bearded does a great job of using blindness correctly in his Zebra Application)
A character with a disability is MORE than their disability, and it's insulting to make this issue the very center of their character, it doesn't make them deep, interesting, or even decently written, it's just a cop out to tug heartstrings and to gain sympathy.
Those are the most common overdone traits, and they really need to stop being used! I understand the desire to write a deep, meaningful character that has a piece of your soul, that moves others, and is popular! But Angst and Tragedy really do not make up for Depth and Development!
Think on it
Would you rather read an application about a feeble blind pony that struggled with her horrid blindness, bullies, and rejection only to be embraced for her super awesome blindness?
Or would you rather hear about a Zebra that while she was born blind never let it slow her down and learned to read and understand the world around her, whom is a valuable asset to her tribe, a playful and flirty soul, and compassionate and even a bit of a trickster if it serves her right?
Characters are more than the sum of their parts, they need real soul injected in them while you write, you need to be able to make a character interesting just as they are! If you spend too much time focusing on the bad in your characters life that we can't even grasp the first thing about them as a pony(or person) then that stuff needs to be taken /out/
Ask yourself this "Is what I'm writing relevant to this character? Or am I doing it because it sounds cool/angsty?"
"Is this characters disability a crutch, or a centerpiece focus for their entire life?"
If the answer is "Yes"
Go back to the drawing board and start again, because a shallow character with a tragic and dark past is nowhere near the same level as a happy character with maybe hints of sadness but tons of personality that lets us fully grasp who they are
This has been the Queen of Ravens
Until next time!