I don't have anything written out for this yet, but I wanted some advice before starting, please.
Title: The Omue Chronicles (Blade of the Moon, Fist of Vengeance, The Last Great Legion [possibly working title])
Fandom (If appropriate): Original fic (slightly steampunkish anime-inspired fantasy with a setting loosely based on the golden age of piracy, which I swear actually makes more sense than you’d think. O.0;; )
Link: None... none of the stories are finished. (That'll teach me to work on all three parts of a trilogy at once.) If you need any extracts I may be able to upload relevant bits to my LJ, but like I said, I need guidance with this bit before I write anything more. Also, since this only concerns two characters, rather than the entire story...
Age Rating: I'm not 100% familiar with the American rating system, but for violence, I'd probably give the fic itself R. Since I’m not posting the fic at this stage, though… probably PG-13.
Explanation: I don't know if either the character or the scenario are badly clichéd or 'Sueish in any way, and since I've been striving to avoid 'Sueishness if at all possible, I wanted to find out at this stage.
I’m skipping over quite a lot of the story, because it doesn’t concern the character I’m asking about. You’ll have to let me know if I’ve skipped too much and it no longer makes sense, though!)
A rather naïve 16-year-old girl called Lorena Firenzé leaves home to go on an adventure. What she hasn’t bargained on is the fact that people no longer go on adventures (quite probably due, in part, to the war that’s been going on for the last several hundred years*).
* Lorena comes from a small outlying province that’s been pretty much left alone by the war, hence her almost complete lack of knowledge of the ‘big wide world’.
She’s soon conscripted into the army by a new friend (the army are really desperate for troops, so nobody asks any questions), where it soon becomes apparent that she has no talent whatsoever. Luckily she’s not alone; the army’s rabid recruitment drive means that the once-elite Aquila Division is now home to such pillars of society as a weapons-obsessed barmaid (Lorena’s newfound friend), a pair of itinerant necromancers, and a former samurai with a fear of puddings. (Don’t ask. Really.) And understandably, their commanding officer is not best pleased. Worst of all, there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting rid of them: the army’s too desperate for troops to discharge them, and having them executed would attract unnecessary attention. However, a rather unconventional solution presents itself: put all the ‘unwanted elements’ together in a unit of their own, give them the most incompetent leader possible, send them off to some obscure part of the front line, and wait for their inevitable deaths. And the perfect choice of leader would be... Lorena Firenzé.
When they resolutely fail to get themselves killed, their rather corrupt (like you hadn’t guessed) commander hires an assassin, who happens to come from the country they’re fighting against, to get rid of Lorena. And this is the part I need ‘Sue-checking. (Not Lorena, but the assassin.)
It’s to be assumed from the start that the assassin (a woman called Cassandra Marconia) is a bit mentally unstable, but she is still a professional. Well, initially. When Lorena (who doesn’t have a clue that someone’s trying to kill her) accidentally wounds her in self-defense, it suddenly becomes personal between them.
Cassandra declares herself Lorena’s ‘personal nemesis’, and follows her across the world, coming up with increasingly elaborate and sadistic plans for revenge, eventually killing Lorena’s best friend. (It’s not all bad though... remember the necromancers? Yes, I have a shameless loophole.) She also develops an unnerving semi-sexual obsession with Lorena...
And then... the war ends. Well, there’s more to it than that, but it’s not important to the Cassandra sub-plot. However, Lorena and her soldiers can’t keep out of trouble for long, and they soon find themselves at war with another country. (They have an alliance by this time, in case you were wondering how a little group of renegade soldiers could fight a war by themselves.) And, because- let’s face it- they’re still not very good at their job, Lorena manages to get captured after the first couple of days. To everyone’s surprise, before the rest of her soldiers can mount a rescue attempt, Cassandra turns up and saves her.
It transpires that Cassandra has started taking the ‘personal nemesis’ thing even more seriously than before, and is more unhinged than ever. Because now, not only is she planning to kill Lorena, but she won’t allow anyone else to try...
That’s about the point I’ve got up to with the Cassandra sub-plot. I’d also be grateful if you could tell me if this next bit is unredeemably bad/’Sueish/clichéd/whatever:
After saving Lorena, Cassandra sticks around. She never officially joins Lorena’s squad, but killing her gradually becomes less and less important in the face of staying alive herself, and she gradually develops a grudging respect for her former target/enemy.
In some bizarre way, she’s going to end up as a sort of Vegeta character- not a ‘good guy’ per se, and in it purely for themselves, but definitely no longer siding with the ‘villains’.
So… yes. Sorry this was so long. If you’d like part of the story/ies in question, I can upload them to my LJ or something, but right now they’re sitting on my hard-drive in lots of little pieces...