Persona (glossary term)

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Persona is a term used in the Valdemar fandom.

It is a created character that is based on a real life fan, an alter ego.

See a list of official personas.

Description

Are you interested in creating a persona who will be recognized in the QO newsletter? All it takes is your imagination and your time. Develop your persona by daydreaming yourself into the world of Velgarth. You can be the real you or as different as you please. Write at least three pages about yourself; what are your emotional characteristics? What do you look like? What makes you happy? What are you afraid of?

Now, create your family and friends. Describe their likes and dislikes, your relationship to them, their strongest character traits. Again, write at least three pages. (A page should be double-spaced, on one side of 8.5 by 11 inch paper or a similar size. If you have to handwrite or print your material, please be as neat as possible.)

Extra point requirements vary depending on what role you've chosen for yourself. Each category has requirements that will add to the growth of your character. All of us can be a volunteer and learn CPR, and many of us can be a regular blood donor.

Send a SASE to the QO address for specific handouts -- Herald, Healer, Bard, Mercenary, Shin'a'in. Tayledras, White Winds Sorcerer/ess -- with more information and a release form so you can write a story set in Misty's world. (Biographical information, even in the form of a story, does not need a release form.)

Come, enroll in the Collegium!

By the way, you may NOT create a Kestra'chern persona. Re-read the Gryphon books. [1]

A 1990 Description from a Fan

From Queen's Own (January 1990)

After finishing the previous four pages, dearest children, I had such a case of the galloping guilts (because many of you were already working on or finished writing your persona and I hadn't even started mine,) that I immediately set to work on developing mine, using the outline I'd just finished writing for you.

Very quickly I learned that it is definitely not easy to fill three whole pages, even double-spaced. But I preservered and I did it! It's only the first, very rough draft, (and there's no way I am going to let even Judith see it 'til I've reworked it,) but I've started! And the most fascinating part is that I've finally found out what some authors mean when they talk about the character "taking over".

My persona Margreth, called Reth, made it very clear what she liked and didn't like. And as I learned about her and the people she lives with I fairly quickly decided whom I was going to write about in order to fulfill the next of the mandatory requirements: Cathirn, the Hold's Healer and the person closest to Reth since her mother's death.

Before starting on my persona, I had worked on a map and some floor plans for the Hold and a Watch Tower, so I had some idea of where Margreth lived, (I've since noted which are her and Cathrin's rooms,) but I found out that, for me, it was also necessary to start a timeline in order to keep everyone's ages straight. So I've even got a start on my Extra Points. The only problem I've run into so far is that when I'm working on any part of this I lose track of time.

It appears that we've embarked on a do-it-yourself creative writing course! Let me hasten to assure you though, none of your efforts will be critiqued, corrected, or 'graded'! Whereas Misty established the requirements and guidelines for Heralds, my job is only to verify fulfillment of same and authorize your getting your Herald's certificate, (Suitable for framing, of course.) -- Sally Paduch

In 2002, the editor of Queen's Own added: "Things are a bit different these days. We work with you until you get a persona that really works with the rest of the approved personae. See the handouts at Personas.

Fan Comments

... [Lackey] does make it okay to publish fanfiction in the print zines, as long as it follows certain rules (it must take place in a certain time frame but with an alternate universe twist; it can't involve any of her major characters, only fan-derived characters, etc). The majority of the fandom is centered around "Personae," which are essentially Mary-Sue-ed-up versions of the fans translated into the fantasy universe. And since most of the fans start out wanting to create Mary-Sue characters anyway, they have no problem with this.

And when fans DO grow older and feel the desire to move into creating work which is more complex, they generally move into newer fandoms - partially because they've outgrown the books generally, but partially because there's no room for change within the fandom. [2]

References

  1. Queen's Own, December 1997 issue
  2. Anne Rice Ain't Got Nothing On You, Mercedes Lackey or How One Author Successfully Killed Her Fandom, Only Half Intentionally (2006)