One True Character

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Synonyms: OTC
See also: OTP, OT3, OT4, BSO, GSF, Pairing, Character Shrine, Character Bashing, The Ray Wars, The Luke and Han War, Spock Shock, Shipping, Monofan
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One True Character (OTC) is a riff of One True Pairing (or OTP), a fan's favorite pairing in a fandom. It refers to a person who has a character-based focus, primarily used in conjunction with ship fan fiction, but may also refer to gen fan fiction.

Generally, someone who declares themselves OTC means that they have a strong single character preference, either reading it or writing it. Purists could argue that declaring yourself OTC for a specific character precludes having or declaring an OTP or variation thereof in the same fandom. Extreme purists could argue that OTC refers to one's favorite character in all of fandom as a whole. This is not a common view, but it can be a fun and interesting way to start a very pedantic flamewar with an aca-fan. [1]

For the average fan, it is not incompatible with One True Pairing, OT3 (One True Threesome), OT4 (One True Foursome), or even GSF (a term typically used in popslash).

Example: You can be OTC about John Sheppard and One True Pairing about John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. You can even be simultaneously OT4 about John Sheppard/Rodney McKay/Teyla Emmagan/Ronon Dex.

Shows that replace a character with another also create opportunities for extreme alliance. Some examples: the two Robins in Robin of Sherwood and the two Rays in Due South, that latter which sparked The Ray Wars.

Self-Identification

Fans may use terms like these to both describe themselves and others: Spockie | Hanfan | Hanatic | Hutchbabe| Kirkie | Starskygirl| Blairbabe | Jimbabe | Doylie | Doyle Devotee.

While not fandom-specific, some fans create pseuds that imply some sort of personal, familial connection to a character or to the actor who plays that character. Some examples may include a fan who calls her or himself "Mrs. Hutchinson," "Mrs. Nimoy," "Jason Skywalker," or "Jennifer Winchester."

Some fans use similar terms to describe their admiration not of a character, but of an actor. Example: Duchovnik, Duchovnut, Duchovniac are all terms for a fan of David Duchovny.

Some Examples

Some examples of fans' self-descriptions

Characters

Actors

Anecdotes of Use

1974

I think that becoming a fan of any series must begin with one particular favourite. [2]
I find it hard to believe that there are readers who have to be reminded that there is more to Star Trek than Spock and Leonard Nimoy. We all have our favourites. Different characters are bound to attract separate followings, but it is all in good fun. The Spock build up was caused by the publicity media[3], not by the programme which never set out to make Spock more important than any of the others. This was the first thing which struck me when I first watched Star Trek. I expected him to be treated apart, but instead he was no more than a part of an efficient team. I am not directing this to the man in the street, but to the so-called Star Trek fans, who seem to think there is no more to Star Trek than their particular favourite. [4]

1977

... Even though I'm a Kirk fan above all, I love all the other characters dearly too, especially Spock, and I have absolutely no trouble admitting it. But I have yet to meet anyone who calls him/herself a Spock fan who will give Kirk credit for the brains of a snail. Why is that, please? Why does love for Spock seem to mean contempt for Kirk? If there are exceptions to this rule out there, please make yourselves known, and please try to explain why the majority of Spockfen are so rabid. Of course, now that Kirkfen are finally coining out of their closets the same attitude might be discovered among them about their favorite character, but I hope not. It's totally uncalled for, and I can't help but think that if it does exist, it's in reaction to what we've been hearing from the Spock forces for ten years. And some of it has been nothing short of incredible, folks. [5]

1980

A topic I'd like to see discussed in this zine is one that came up at Marian K.'s writers' workshop -- how come so many people write Starsky as a saint and Hutch as a neurotic mess? Granted, Hutch does have weaknesses, but he also has strengths -- and charming as Starsky is, he has a few quirks that make him far from perfect. Besides, if Starsky only kept Hutch around so he could prop up his ailing personality, the relationship probably wouldn't work very well for very long. [6]

1982

The first, and most obvious fandom which sprang up was the "Spockies" who really threw themselves into loving Mr. Spock. It was a wonderful case of unrequited love, and they loved even that! . . . Later, this unrequited "love" was to manifest itself in a peculiar underground movement of stories about Kirk-Spock relationships. [7]

1992

Being one of the Blonde One's devoted, I'm delighted by [fiction] that gives him the respect and sincerity he deserves. I'm fed up to the eyes with stories that paint him as less than Loxley. [8]

1999

Warning: If you're a staunch Scullyist you may not find this to your liking. [9]

2008

At one time, before Slash became the dividing point of Kirk-Spock, there was another strong divider among fen. Most weighed in with one of the two characters. You were either a "Kirkie" or a "Spockie". You loved either Leonard Nimoy or William Shatner. Personally, I always hated this, because I loved, and thought every K-S fan should love, both of them equally. I was clearly the oddball, though. And while "Spockies" also liked Kirk, and "Kirkies" also liked Spock (among relationship fans, that is), it was to a lesser degree and without the undying passion. We used to get stories submitted to Contact where it was clear the writer did not understand the Spock character, because they were totally a Kirk fan, or vice-versa (they didn't understand Kirk because they were a Spock fan). I can only report on what was prevalent mainly within the Kirk-Spock relationship fandom. For the rest of Star Trek fandom, you'll have to search elsewhere. [10]

Further Reading

See Also

References

  1. No, no actual people have seriously made this declaration. It's a theoretical construct based on the original and presumed meaning of OTP referring to one's favorite pairing, period, not favorite pairing per fandom.
  2. from STAG #9
  3. The publicity media initially played Spock down fearing religious viewers would react badly to his appearance. It was fan response that led to increased focus on Spock.
  4. from STAG #8
  5. from a letter of comment by Darlene Fouquet in Warped Space #23 (February 1977)
  6. from S and H #16
  7. from Bjo Trimble's book On the Good Ship Enterprise
  8. a fan comments in the Robin of Sherwood letterzine Herne's Son #5
  9. author's notes for the story Pass You By
  10. from Reminisce With Me/The Late '70s