Anonymous asked: Oh, and Miss Kitty, I was reading your posts and you sometimes seem a bit scared to write certain characters like you're not good enough. You write characters I feel ambivalent about better than professional authors so you should have more faith in yourself. Maybe ask for requests involving characters like that then fill out the one that gives you the best ideas maybe? I think Steph who has been portrayed in different ways would be harder to write than Kate, who has been very consistent.
I do get antsy about writing certain characters, but mostly because I haven’t read enough canon to feel like I have a hold on their voice. For me, writing a character means knowing what has been done with them before, identifying their speech patterns and idiosyncrasies, and isolating the elements that make them recognizable and compelling. Comic characters can be challenging to write, because many of them have publication histories that span decades—-and they’ve passed through many hands and many pens during that time.
Not every writer who has written a character has done a good job of it. Furthermore, not every writer who has done a poor job of handling a character lacked interesting points. Before I feel comfortable with writing MY take, I have to be able to decide for myself what is and isn’t crucial to their characterization. I try to read as much as I can, and I try to pick out the strengths and weaknesses between different iterations. I can’t ignore canon, but I can interpret the weak points so that they inform the strong ones. I always worry that if I have too limited a view of a character’s canon, I’ll be essentially writing a copy of one facet of them, not creating my own take of them.
So I guess that’s just a tl;dr way of saying that I like to sit down and get to know characters a little before I play with them. If I don’t have a clear voice in my head, there’s no way I’m going to have a clear voice on paper. It’s silly, and it’s a lot of work for FANFICTION, of ALL THINGS, but feeling like I can write a version of any given character that speaks to canon—-but is still definitely me-flavored—-is what satisfies me as a writer.
Another thing to remember is that I’ve only been reading DC comics for six months. Before I got to Jason’s appearance in NDND, all I really knew about Jason Todd was that he was a Robin trying to be Dean Winchester or something. I also had a vague notion that he might be a zombie.
You know that picture that’s been floating around for a while, with the “Pokémon names according to my Dad”? I’m like that, except with the DCU. I only have cursory knowledge of most of the universe, and my assumptions usually end up being very, very far off the mark. I was insanely disappointed when I realized that the Green Lantern comics weren’t Space Cops: SVU.