The Birth of a Monster
I’ve always wanted to explain my reasoning behind my social monster OC from my big fanfiction, Hetalia. If you read my fanfic (plug) that’s the only way things will probably seem relevant. Even so, if you’re a reader of my fanfiction, a lot of what you’ll find below will probably be somehow related to a spoiler, at least in regard to the story’s plot (though I won’t be revealing anything that I haven’t published yet, haha). I suppose this might be useful for those studying character developing and authenticating (umm?)… but I’ll be really upset if I see a clone crop up. Especially if they get recognized. I’ve been writing (without recognition) for years, but I’d love to write for Bethesda. So, let’s get down to business…
- The most crucial point for understanding the dynamic of this character is literally just that. She’s a very dynamic character. Fundamentally, she begins her “Oblivion story” (because this is the time frame in which the fic begins) as a highly religious (The Nine), though rough and tumble girl from Bravil. By the end of it all, she’s a murdering schizophrenic bound to Sheogorath’s court.
- As far as her physical appearance goes (Tinypic reference plugg) I came upon it while playing with the character engine ingame and this mod. I loved the eyes, the hair color and style, and the general texture of the face. The name “Hetalia” came later. I actually grafted that name from another character in my save game repertoire (not from Axis Powers Hetalia– I had no idea this existed until several months after I began writing the fiction). As far as her race goes, thing of it is, when it comes to fanfiction, it’s completely unrealistic (to the game world) to have ONE random person be a special race (in this case, a Siren) without justification. I wasn’t even entertaining the idea of justifying it. However, I really liked the aesthetic, so I translated her into a Tamrielic race (Breton). I chose Breton more or less arbitrarily (because I wasn’t so fond of Imperials) and I thought “Hetalia” sounded French(ish) and since Bretons are sometimes likened to the French/have French names…
- When I first sat down at my University and decided that I was going to tell her story, it was for the sole reason that I wanted to write the ending. I had pictured the ending to the tune of some song I cannot remember from over a year ago, and I wanted nothing more than to write about the end and the dynamic between her character and Lucien Lachance’s. The thing was, there had to be a logical and lengthy sequence of events to produce the end product (the ending I wanted to write) as well to justify the disposition (Schizophrenic with a lust for blood) and aesthetic of the character (her otherworldly eyes, bruised and dark).
Conquering the Mary-Sue:
- Everybody loves to hate Mary. Part of this character’s creation was an exercise to obliterate the possibility of the argument that this character could be considered one. I say that loosely, though, because it’s only one tiny component in the whole works of this ticking time bomb. Actually, it’s more like a bragging point than an intentional thing.
- What kinds of steps did I take towards exemplary character development? Character flaws. You might say “Gee, but that’s the Tragic Sue, isn’t it?” Now, now. The trick is that these character flaws are not without consequence.
1.) First off, she absolutely cannot commit to anything. You’ll notice the fic spends several chapters on the OB MQ, then jumps to the SI MQ, and then suddenly centers around the DB faction quests. Whenever things seem to get too involved or things go sour, she feels the need to escape. This includes both duties and relationships. In fact, the end is another radical step in character development. The end is about a fleeting moment of clarity and committing. Inadvertently, committing to everything.
2.) Things that happen have a realistic effect on her character. She infers from information in the environment, from other characters, the brutal murder of her mother has an understandably violent effect on her. Her emotions are human, even in her insanity. Where her behavior might possibly seem strange to the reader, well, I’m nice enough to compensate for her (as the story is written in the first person).
3.) She doesn’t love everybody. She intensely loves her home town of Bravil, while she cannot stand its neighbor, Leyawiin. She has a terrible lust for death and disembowelment, but is completely disgusted by vampires. Furthermore, she’s also terribly racist against Argonians and Khajiits, though she has a few that she is fond of in Bravil. She’s also a Breton supremacist (this point I think comes through the easiest during reading). The thing is, no one likes racists and supremacists in our world, but it would be unrealistic to say that it’s not entertaining to read (and socially safer) when it’s totally removed from the real world. She’s full of contradictions that are relatable for the reader. They’re not confusingly inconsistent jerks in behavior, but a series of personality peculiarities. For instance, she’s religious and so longs to help the disadvantaged, so she traffics Skooma to the addicts’ den in her early days. Logical, though decidedly not a good choice.
- She’s authentically Bravilian. She has a rough-around-the-edges personality, consistent with the rest of the rabble from the south. She’s not afraid of raising an opinion, and definitely demands respect. She has knowledge consistent with what you would expect someone from the town to know. She’s recalls her friends (NPCs) from the town, and had knowledge about fences, drugs, highwaymen, her religion and other things that you would find in the area, yet is a fish out of water in Skingrad and in the Imperial City and when it comes to Daedra (initially).
- The lack of a father character in the story is an omission of both ease and device. It was just easier to not have a defined father figure (frankly, it was one less person to think about) and I kind of forgot about him, honestly. Also, because he is absent, it reinforces their position in society. Her mother is a tavern wench at a low class bar which makes it realistic that she could have become pregnant by any man. This is not to mention that it adds another variable, meaning that Hetalia’s personality is not easily predicted or justified because her father’s disposition, status, etc. is unknown. She may very well not be full Breton (a rude awakening for her) or somehow knowledge of who her father is might reveal a predisposition to her eventual… circumstances. Logically, finally, absence of a father figure most often is claimed to be related to inability to have meaningful relationships with men.
I could go on forever… but I’ll end it here. Maybe I’ll have more to say when As the Threads Come Loose is finished.
Psst…. I intend to write a Part II to the story…. one that I might not regard as canon to her character, because I’ll be godmodding a bit. It’ll just be for fun, but with the same vibe as the original.