I am about to engage in my greatest challenge yet:
Rescue Diamond Tiara From the Scrappy Heap in a sequel to Getting Back On Your Hooves.
*Cue dramatic background music*
Can I craft a fic that manages to make one of the most universally despised characters in MLP (no offense to people who actually like her, I'm not bashing the character, just pointing out how much people dislike her) likable without altering her character to the point you she doesn't even seem like the same character?
Well...I have a good track record so I hope so.
I think the key to rescuing a character from the scrappy heap is simple: You need to keep them the same character, but turn the ANNOYING flaws with them into actual, meaningful character flaws while expanding on them to give them traits that make them likable, but not to the point that they're an entirely different character.
It's fine to have them EVOLVE into a new person. But it needs to make sense and be organic. Making Scrappy Doo a kickflank and likable character means nothing if he might as well not even be the same character and we don't see HOW they became that way. If you were to present a grownup version of the character who gradually learned from his mistakes as he grew older and realized organically where he fell short, then that's the character organically maturing and becoming better.
Lola from the Looney Tunes Show is a more likable character for some of the original characters detractors, yes, but is she still Lola? Did they make a better version of the character or make a new character with the same name?
On the other hoof, what makes Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars: Clone Wars a good example of being rescued from the scrappy heap is he's STILL Jar Jar, he's just better written, given character depth, and actually allowed to be a POSITIVE influence in the plots he's in instead of just being a joke.
A bad villain can become a good villain just as a bad hero can become a good hero. My friend
recently did a good job of this with King Sombra (though I liked King Sombra). It just is a matter of how you presented it.
No offense to anyone who liked Scrappy, Jar Jar, or Lola (as said, I like King Sombra). That's another point, changing a character TOO much will alienate the people who LIKED the original character, while keeping them similar but fleshing out, advancing, and making the character three dimensional will help make them likable to others without destroying what charm they had.
So, will I be able to do this for Diamond Tiara? You'll have to wait and see with Tarnished Diamonds...once I finish it.
Enjoy this cover art: fav.me/d76t9ok