Useful Tips from Crocodile Joe...

On Mary Sue writing:

1.The characters are not you.If you think they are, um no, I'm sorry, they're not.No, they really aren't.You might share certain traits or characteristics or have similar taste in things as a certain character, but you will never be that character, no matter how much you try and write them. No, you can't.You can't.I'm sorry, but you just can't.Because it's not possible.††† Why?Well, because for now you live on planet Earth.Earth. Yes, Earth!Yes.Yes, it is a nice planet.Yes, the ozone and

deforestation things *are* kind of stressful.Can we please stick to the issue at hand?Now then, on with the character writing.Sometimes writers can develop a feeling that they relate to the characters, and that is fine.However, since you really aren't them, please don't have them reenact you.They are not speaking just like you, because you are not them.If you like,

create a character that emulates your thoughts.

2.If you do this, please, please, please for the love of God and everything you hold in the slightest bit sacred, refrain from writing a fic where the character based on you is simply loved by all the characters for no reason.It's pointless and annoying.And an ego trip.

3.If you're writing a character based on yourself and the character is the focus of attention, at least make it interesting.If you don't, people simply won't care.How can you make it interesting?Don't fill the fic with stuff about how wonderful the character based on you is.No, don't.Because that's boring and it usually comes off as looking somewhat pathetic.

4.If you write the character based upon yourself in, don't do it in an annoying way.Try to work the character in gradually at least, and not plop them simply in the middle of the show as if they have always been there.And if you do go ahead with doing that, at least have a *realistic* explanation.Give background that makes sense with what you know about the

characters.You don't know as much about the characters as me?Well, that's little surprise.Because Iím really into the show.Don't use that tone of voice with me, Iím trying to help you here.Perhaps you should see someone down the hall... No?You just need deep breaths?All right.I see this is trying upon your ego.No, you can't do a fic that's live action.Because that wouldn't work.Because it wouldn't.No, I have no idea why, let's just move on...(rolls eyes)

On Writing Kit:

1.Kit is not a whiny, bratty, self-hating, or self-loathing person.He is also not a Neanderthal/Bigfoot type creature.He is not reptilian.He is also not a giant hunk of cheese.If you are thinking of writing him as any of these things, please cease from doing so immediately if you want to keep him in character.No, Kit would never kick puppies and push old ladies in gutters.You're becoming nervous and agitated looking...would you like a cup of water?

2.Kit is not resentful of Baloo.Baloo is his friend and although they have what appears a parental relationship, it is actually more complicated.What we can tell you is that Kit looks up to Baloo, although he doesn't take to heart everything Baloo says because sometimes Baloo likes to take the short cut in life and/or his beliefs simply collide with Kit's.Kit is rather hooked on the idea that the easy way out isn't always the best.Furthermore, his relationship with Baloo is one based more on friendship than the role of a parent.That's not to say he doesn't love Baloo with the way he would a parent.They have a balanced relationship, and the only thing that stands out as unusual is the way in which they treat each other as equals.These components are to be considered when writing because:

a) Writing Kit as too dismissive in a way that implies he doesn't take Baloo seriously at all, or Kit as not really believing Baloo loves him are unbelievable story ideas.Because they are.You look red and a throw pillow over)Ö that should make things easier.

b) Writing Baloo thinking of Kit as just a friend or as someone who he hangs out with, and who he doesn't appreciate, or love like family, is also somewhat unlikely.Baloo has a track record of not noticing Kit enough on certain occasions, but itís never deliberate.

3.Kit is basically a peaceful person, but he would never hurt someone without just cause. Kit is good but not a goody-goody.

4.Kit's diction:I've noticed that sometimes people like to write him with a rather ignorant tone.Kit may have been through a lot, but he can still speak clearly.He is not from the Ozarks.Why am I certain of this?Because I'm psychic.Yes, that is amazing...let's move ahead, shall we?His narrative voice is a little kid's and he does have many intonations of one, in attitude, but his vocabulary is actually fairly clear.He doesn't speak with a 30's "Dick Tracy-ish" type of accent.He is not from New York.Why must you be so difficult??I know these things from studying the show with my oh so keen eye.This can only *benefit* you.Here, have some more water.

5.Kit is also intelligent but he isn't Superman, for crying out loud.He cannot operate the space shuttle or incinerate armies.

6.Kit is tough, but he's not tough in the way that he's only tough to make that a cover.He isn't, and I repeat and cannot stress how important this is, A THERAPY case.Not a bad one, at least.Leave your own emotional baggage at the door when you write him, because if you haul in your own miserable childhood experience where the clown laughed at you and shucked peanuts at your face, the audience will pretty much know what you're doing.This also falls into the Mary Sue zone.Kit comes across problems just like everyone else, but he is not a basket case who cries at the drop of a hat.Or..uh...pillow.

7.Whining:Said it before but Iíll say it again.He wants to fly but he's not annoying about it.Give him the benefit of not aggravating people.He isn't the sort of person who will ask and ask and ask and keep asking for something and not shut up about it.He's more the personality type to see a goal that he wants to accomplish and try to get there on his own.As far as flying goes, yes, he's eager, but even he has his limits.

8.This brings us to humility.I believe Kit has this quality, but that does NOT mean he's got no self-esteem.He feels GOOD about himself.Stop huffing.Drink your water.Would you like a cold washcloth?

9.MOST IMPORTANT:He has concern for others, but he isn't perfect.††† He has the good sense not to blame himself for everything and to recognize when other people are wrong about him.Don't have him beat up on himself.He has a conscience, and would most likely feel bad if he felt he hurt someone, but really, he isn't the type to hate himself.As for Kit's past, who knows, although you have to be realistic.Don't lay out the whole trauma train on us, please.Kit never committed murder.Why?Because I said so. Kit never saw acts of torture, S&M, or pig wrestling.Well, I don't know about that last one, but Iím hoping for his sake it's true.As for the category of "violent things that Kit saw", just think to yourself about how well-adjusted Kit is, and how much more messed up heíd be (and isn't) if he saw something really sadistically violent.He gives the indication that he's had it rough, but he doesn't lie awake at night thinking of how Mother tied him to his bed and screeched at him for using WIRE HANGERS!!!!



On Writing Baloo:

1.Baloo would never lay a hand on Kit, so that's out of the question.Just crumple that idea up and throw it out.Good!We're making so much progress.

2.Baloo is not a stupid hick, either.His diction is only slightly more informal in terms of slang than Kit's but don't go overboard.He doesn't speak half his words with ' at the end, okay? Don't clutter his speech with ain't in every sentence.Sometimes yes, but not every sentence.Because Iím an English major, and I can't bear to see it overused AND it doesn't suit the character.Why else?I have a trout in my hands...would you like to rephrase that?You would.I'm so glad you came to me...

3.Baloo can be goofy, warm-hearted, comedic, sometimes selfish, and sometimes manipulative, and sometimes sneaky.But don't overdo it, because you have to remember these attributes can often be used for good.Baloo has a pretty big conscience too. Don't write Baloo as say...a total jerk who's only out for his own personal gain.Or as someone just looking for a fight.

4.Baloo by nature can be forgetful, or just plain unobservant, and happily ignorant of how someone really feels, but he is NOT cruel.It is very important to remember that Baloo's character is summarily defined by his empathy for people.By nature he is compelled, even when Kit's not around, to do the right thing.

5.The way Baloo treats others.Don't write him as cold or steely or SO SELF-ABSORBED that he seems that way.That is a LARGE mistake.He *has* been self-absorbed before, but it never lasted, and he *learned* from those instances on how negative it is.Remember this.Also remember that his self-absorption never took the form of self-hate.He never let feeling sorry for himself destroy his relationships...he corrected the mistakes when he made them.Which brings me toÖ

6.Baloo does not give up, people!!!!He is not a quitter.And I repeat again, he is NOT so self-absorbed that he would say, let a woman cry without trying to comfort her.Or just blow up at someone that didn't deserve it.


7.Don't make him a hick.Said it before, but can't stress it enough.He may be kind of ignorant, but he's not totally stupid.Lazy sometimes, but there are people way cruder than him.

8.He can be moody, but that type of moodiness is more like grumbling.Itís not the intense, ďthe sun is never going to shine againĒ type of bad mood.

On Writing Becky:

1.She is not a little housemaid.She is not Betty Crocker.She can cook and clean; she is a versatile working mother.But she is not subservient.She doesn't come out with cookies to people unless she thinks it'll brighten their mood, and by that I mean, open their checkbooks.Kapiche?

2.She is not heartless, and she does care for everyone at H4H.She is busy and easily distracted but she doesn't get angry without reason.

3.Okay, so sometimes she goes overboard. But being rich is not the only important thing in the world to her, and she realizes that.She is a balance between wanting to be rich, and being happy with what she has, or going back and forth between the two.

4.Her relationship with Kit is definitely maternal, but their bond on the show was less portrayed so we have only a fragmentary view that she does care about him, but the extent is actually unclear.Just remember that she does care, and isn't totally indifferent about him.It doesn't mean she worships the ground he walks on, either.I think she expects a certain level of achievement from him because of what she thinks he's capable of, and has the potential for.

On Writing Molly:

1.She is Becky's daughter.Uh...go nuts.

2.Well, okay, a few guidelines.She wouldn't become a violent maniacal fanatic who wants to blow up the world.Apart from that...just go with your gut.


On Writing Wildcat:

1. Gentle nature, likes everyone, wouldn't hurt a fly.

2.His intelligence is the most important element.He sort of lives in a world of his own, and that's the most important thing to remember about him.Also, he changes in the levels of comprehension he shows to what others are saying.He understands emotions a lot better than plans.But he's not Forrest Gump. Gah!Forrest was a blockhead who I rooted die, that is.Wildcat is a lot more likeable.Smiles often, and actually has a broad emotional range; from hurt, to empathy, to fear, to humor, to shock, and finally to anger, but only if, it seems, someone is hurting someone else.

On Writing Karnage:

1.Sigh, no, he's not a serial killer.Apart from that I can't say much because I just don't really care for the character much.Don't go too crazy with the wordplay, he does have some English skills.Concentrate more on proper accent or having him make funny little remarks when he doesn't know it.

2.Oh, and if youíre writing a scene where he has a prisoner, just donít go to the land of make-believe.Yes, he can intimidate well, but he would never say, slice someoneís jugular open for sassing back at him.Unless they were an Olsen twin, or something.Just because.

On Writing Shere Khan:

Very businesslike.Has a lot of dignity.Don't portray him as mean, though.He really isn't.(looks pleadingly with big pleading anime eyes) He's just...misunderstood.His priorities are usually private, and concealed, which is a big talent of his, really.

Iím exhausted.I hope you've enjoyed our time together.Your tab is $215.65.You can give the receptionist a check on your way out.We also take Visa.Good bye!



Feb 2001



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