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[ Stories: Witch-Girl (Read from the bottom of the list), The Canon ] [ Poetry: All Poetry; ( ♥ ) ( ⚔ ) ]
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[ red_a02 ] Shuzhen – The first episode was a lot of fun, cos it had an interesting cocktail of sexual tension and smooth fight choreography. This episode is like the awkward aftermath...
27 Aquarius 13 18:13
[ vermilion_2 ] YAPX – I understand that most of your stories are dialogue-based and heavy on retorts and counter-retorts. This one felt unnecessarily circular. It starts with a cool premise: a killer/villain/vigilante uses Lent to swear off something that should be second nature to him (I suppose), and then talks about a story. The link between the two (giving up killing & the story) isn’t a 100% fit. Maybe instead of “let me tell you a story”, it could be “hey, you see I even passed a guy up for death today!” or equivalent. Something to drag Lorelei into the banter and the premise. // That’s my only complaint. I’m not a big fan of dialogue-based stories, but I can make a exception for this.
14 Aquarius 13 08:03
[ 130204 ] YAPX – Good pace, good characters, great dialogue. The thing I like best is a combination of the three: how you build up their pseudo-relationship through all that back-and-forth exchange. Somehow, you craft a unique, strange relationship: from any one point in the story, both of them are manipulative, victimised and hypocrites - though not all at once. // On word choices, I felt you could change the word “janitor” (“cleaner” or “uncle” would’ve given a different, but more acute local flavour to it). Mostly because, it’s connotes an added level of difference through: class. Whether or not you intended it, by portraying the “janitor” and “student” you bring out the fact that he’s stuck there socially in all sense of the word. It made the part where he says he reads books during weekends completely out-of-context and weird. // Also, there’s too much “sliding” in and out of the room. Not sure if that’s intentional repetition, or just a lack of other words. // I thought that the girl’s own background is pretty compelling. Even after everything, I can’t tell if she’s speaking the truth. Because I’m all for unreliable narrators and characters, I can still find her well-thought out. But other readers might lose patience or wonder at her sudden change of heart at the final moment.
04 Aquarius 13 08:48
My sleep was short and bitter last night, and among the things that filled my thoughts were musings upon the Protagonist; brought upon, I suppose, by reading two of Dick’s books in a row, the slightly unpleasant aftertaste of two of Gibson’s, the fact that people have been asking me to write, and, strangest of all, that I am able to, upon demand.
My most used medium is the short story, but I think this applies to all modes of story. My thought is this;
It is vital, absolutely vital, to have a likable protagonist.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? I think people forget that the entertainment value of a story hinges almost entirely upon the likability of its protagonist. While people may like Ally McBeal for reasons other than Ally; if they don’t like Ally McBeal the reason usually is Ally.
Your protagonist should be as two-dimensional+ as possible. 2D as in archetypal, + as in depth. I grant it is entirely possible to write a 3D character, but really 3D characters are less likable. For example, take Superman and Batman. Hearts of Iron, BoS. I suppose an RP background helps, since RP character creation is essentially 2D+. A litmus is to see if you can summarise the character into one line. Nikita, as an example, is “Femme Fatale with a shadowed past”, West Wing’s Barlett is “like JFK, only different”, Pokemon’s Ash is the basic kid hero ((Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, ((I think Harry Potter will fit in there, though I haven’t read Harry Potter)))), the PPG has the smart leader, the cute one and the angry one, much like the TMNT has the smart leader, the mechnical dude, the party dude and the ehrm, other guy I can’t remember, ((probably the angry one)).
Working from that, as long as your character is 2D+, people will like him, because he is everything they expect from him. Your character has to make people say, “I want to be Superman” or, if your audience happens to be older, “if I were an international spy, I want to be exactly like James Bond.” Of course, this assumes your character is a likeable archetype, of which all of them are ((even the bad guys ((especially the bad guys, in a lot of cases – “do you know the muffin man?”)))), except for the wuss. Romeo is a wuss, Mercutio ((the jester)) or Tybalt ((the rogue)) steal the limelight from him whenever they appear. Women may say they like SNAGs, but they don’t like them in stories. I offer proof, name me a story with a likable wuss. I grant Woody Allen, but that’s it. All the other SNAGs in movies aren’t the wuss archetype. Forrest Gump ((idiot savant)), Jerry McGuire ((seen-the-light)). Try to name the Val Kilmer movie where he plays the blind guy who falls in love. And Final Fantasy VIII; lots of character growth, but the guy’s a wuss. In much the same way, guys may say they like damsels in distress, but they don’t like them in stories. Women have to be strong. They don’t have to go out and kill the dragon, sometimes all they do is stand by their man, but they have to be strong.
A point of illustration can be seen in the longer forms of story – the hero never fails unless it is in spite of his best effort, due to circumstances beyond his control.
I’m now going to muse about Heaven for a bit. People actually liked a Trick of the Light ((god knows why, as I certainly don’t)). As supporting cast, she functions as foil to the humanist teacher male protagonist. She highlights his humanity through her lack of it, or she gives him someone to talk to so he looks smart.
Both points are clearer defined when she appears as protagonist.
Heaven isn’t stupid; she’s disinterested ((in a Trick of the Light she appears as rather more erudite than previously protrayed)). She doesn’t seek out information, but she’s smart enough to store it when it comes, creative enough to problem-solve. She doesn’t process information in the way Idealists do, she doesn’t pattern. Data is just data, it only becomes relevant when it can be used to solve a problem at hand. She would not indulge in an intellectual exercise, would not do anything creative or artistic without a sensorial reward.
Heaven functions on an instinctive level, much the way an animal ((or a Sim)) will fulfill its most immediate need first. She doesn’t have long term plans, and she aborts her short term plans without a second thought, the moment something more immediately fulfilling comes along. Accordingly, she is truly amoral, not immoral, but indepentant of morality. An alien inhumanity.
Or, mayhaps, she is very much just a little girl.
As protagonist, Heaven is a Femme Fatale. Every label used to degrade women – slut, whore, bitch – applies to her. Obviously, she’s proud of it. She’s also fearless and has teenage infallibility. There is nothing that can make her feel bad about herself, only things that can make her feel good.
In a way, her invulnerability, both physical and emotional, make her unsuited to stories that really apply to women. She cannot be identified with. She will never end up in a deserted carpark as a victim of date-rape. She will never suffer the slings and arrows of sexual discrimination. While it is possible to put her in a position of weakness, the power levels involved would be so outlandish as to be unempathisable. Her only weakness is her inhumanity, and it would take a lot to actually break through to her.
The Heaven stories, in themselves, share certain strands unique to them in my Work. They revolve around sex and violence, because that’s what Heaven is all about, the feed-breed need. The pace is tighter, and there is less of the ideal as opposed to the sensorial ((difficult for me, which is why you have Heaven’s erudition in Trick and the dialogues in Money Sex Power)). Plot lines tend to appear, wiggle around, and disappear – something I think goes against all convention. The plot at the start is far removed from the plot at the end, which I’ve only ever seen in the Simpsons.
1033 words / 2554
“Can you move at all?”
“Move? You’re alive! If you are; I can fly.”
“I told you I’d always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?”
“Well… You were dead.”
“Death cannot stop true love. What it can do is delay it for a while.”
“I’ll never doubt again.”
“There will never be a need.”
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