Sep. 24th, 2009

templemarker: generation kill: two soldiers watching artie rain on a city (when the world ends)
So I wanted to talk for a minute about secondary and tertiary characters in the Generation Kill universe, specifically how I write them and why. This is meta! You have been informed.

The miniseries doesn't give us a lot of information about the people outside of the platoon who exist in our characters' lives; the book gives us more, but not significantly more. Nate Fick's book offers up small pieces of his life that it seems clear he'd rather not really talk about. And googling, I assume, will give you access to more information about the characters' real-life counterparts that can offer more potential "canon" for storytelling.

But I'm gonna tell you straight up, I'm ignoring about 90% of it.

This is on purpose, because I'm pretty damn uncomfortable with the line between RPS and fiction that's drawn in this fandom. That is to say--I'm writing about the fictional characters from the miniseries, and knowing too much about the real people who are portrayed on my screen is just--it's a line, and I can't deal with the other side of it.

I read Fick's book, and I had to stick my thumb over his image in the photo inserts. I couldn't even look at the photos in the GK book without kind of spazzing. And both were gripping books, well written and interesting on their own, but in order to keep writing in this fandom about these characters I've come to be fascinated by, I have to pretend that there are only the fictional people I see from the miniseries, otherwise my apparently intractable guilt complex will take over.

All this to say--I will make up new names for characters I introduce, parents, siblings, family members. I will not always respect the family trees of these guys; I will not go out of my way to have accurate information about how many kids they have, what their middle names are, etc. The more I learn about that the greater risk I run of not being able to write these characters at all, and I am willing to sacrifice my usual intense adherence to accuracy and canon for the writing.

So if you know Mike Wynn's wife's name, don't tell me. If you know people's wives names, don't correct me. If you wonder why I'm messing up the names of Nate Fick's sisters, wonder no more. It's purposeful. I'm aware of it. And I am totally not changing it to be more accurate. I'm not ashamed of writing about these dudes' fictional counterparts, and though I kind of blanch at the notion of any of this stuff I'm writing coming up in a Boolean search string for >insert name here<, that concerns me less, because they agreed to be portrayed. I'm much less comfortable with, say, Colbert's sister searching for her own name and finding this. I don't know why--I survived bandom with an appalling level of name accuracy--but I can't do it here.

Here endeth the meta. I apologise for making you witness my crazy.


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