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Writing Advice


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#81 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 17 2011 - 11:24 PM

:kaukau:Childish movies...Beauty and the Beast, okay. The Lion King, Toy Story. But those Disney films are still awesome nevertheless and for all ages. I wouldn't call them childish, especially in a demeaning way. Star Trek, Star Wars, Julius Caesar, and Lord of the Rings? Come now, those aren't childish. Some of them weren't even movies. And I go back to them because it's helpful to draw comparisons and examples. Yes, I did read the entirety of you post, although I also read your tone. Directing the words "laughable" and "juvenile" towards me tends to give a strong impression. Meanwhile, what I have been saying haven't been rules, per se, merely observations. These are elements of style that are often overlooked. Flaws are one aspect of creating a complex character, but I focused on them since the principles of black and white vs. gray are prominent in this discussion. There are of course many other aspects to people. Regarding what you said about Beowulf and Hercules earlier, I did neglect to mention to value of epic heroes. What often defines epics, using the technical definition used in my literature class, is that the hero embodies the values of society. Hercules embodies the values of ancient Greece, Beowulf the values of old Britain, and Superman is a more contemporary symbol for the values of America. In fact he was once introduced as standing for "Truth, Justice, and the American way", although that last part has been opted out, which I am in support of because I feel he still stands for the Western values anyway without the need for an introduction to spell it out. But that's merely an observation. To further this dialogue into other area, I feel that a protagonist should be likable. Obviously. Otherwise we wouldn't like them. In my writing, a lot of what I feel makes my characters likable are traits that are good and wish that I have myself. Yes, they are flawed, but that helps draw me in and make it seem more plausible that I can be like like the heroes that I admire. It gives me a little more hope. It makes me feel a little better. Perhaps it makes the story a little more powerful. Then there are characters who are likable because they are awesome. Mewtwo. He's awesome. How nice is it to have an anti-hero who allows me to escape from some of my own inhibitions and pretend that I can be powerful and intimidating and charismatic all at the same time like him? That sure is likable. I have examples of almost all the different styles of writing within my own saga, and I do break a few rules from time to time, although I have a established a few since I want some consistency in the style of the series. Ultimately, I do feel that what is at the heart of the story, whether it's obvious or not, is the struggle between good and evil, from which sprouts everything else. This is my fantasy, so it might as well be that way. Jedi Knight Krazy has summed up a bit of my sentiments:

Though it may not be realistic, I tend to enjoy stories with clearly defined sides of good and evil, for many reasons. It's a relaxing departure from our world of grey and it gives a reason to connect with the hero. At the same time, heroes can't be perfectly good; they must suffer and even succumb to temptation of evil in order to relate to the reader.What I'm starting to wonder, though, is if an absolutely evil villain is actually something to be avoided. Some of the best stories I've read featured a villain who had no possibly justifiable motivation for their actions. Isn't it more important for your readers to relate to the hero than the villain? The only thing a villain really needs to be is a powerful force that opposes the hero. The fact that they use their powers for their own interests may well be sufficiently realistic motivation; after all, there's selfishness in all of us.

I think that he also brought a point that I forgot: it is more important to relate to the hero than the villain in most cases. There are exceptions, of course. I always related more to Javert than Jean Valjean, which is a bit telling. Otherwise, I do also like villains who have no justifiable reason to commit evil. What that does for me is remind me that evil in general results in corruption. One of the morals of Beowulf was that Grendel was a monster because of his hatred, because he embraced the evils that we all have in us. In these cases, the story serves as an allegory depicting the severity of all sin, which I find to be just as important a moral as any. Your Honor,Emperor Kraggh

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#82 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 17 2011 - 11:39 PM

:kaukau:Childish movies...Beauty and the Beast, okay. The Lion King, Toy Story. But those Disney films are still awesome nevertheless and for all ages. I wouldn't call them childish, especially in a demeaning way. Star Trek, Star Wars, Julius Caesar, and Lord of the Rings? Come now, those aren't childish. Some of them weren't even movies. And I go back to them because it's helpful to draw comparisons and examples. Yes, I did read the entirety of you post, although I also read your tone. Directing the words "laughable" and "juvenile" towards me tends to give a strong impression. Meanwhile, what I have been saying haven't been rules, per se, merely observations. These are elements of style that are often overlooked. Flaws are one aspect of creating a complex character, but I focused on them since the principles of black and white vs. gray are prominent in this discussion. There are of course many other aspects to people. Regarding what you said about Beowulf and Hercules earlier, I did neglect to mention to value of epic heroes. What often defines epics, using the technical definition used in my literature class, is that the hero embodies the values of society. Hercules embodies the values of ancient Greece, Beowulf the values of old Britain, and Superman is a more contemporary symbol for the values of America. In fact he was once introduced as standing for "Truth, Justice, and the American way", although that last part has been opted out, which I am in support of because I feel he still stands for the Western values anyway without the need for an introduction to spell it out. But that's merely an observation. To further this dialogue into other area, I feel that a protagonist should be likable. Obviously. Otherwise we wouldn't like them. In my writing, a lot of what I feel makes my characters likable are traits that are good and wish that I have myself. Yes, they are flawed, but that helps draw me in and make it seem more plausible that I can be like like the heroes that I admire. It gives me a little more hope. It makes me feel a little better. Perhaps it makes the story a little more powerful. Then there are characters who are likable because they are awesome. Mewtwo. He's awesome. How nice is it to have an anti-hero who allows me to escape from some of my own inhibitions and pretend that I can be powerful and intimidating and charismatic all at the same time like him? That sure is likable. I have examples of almost all the different styles of writing within my own saga, and I do break a few rules from time to time, although I have a established a few since I want some consistency in the style of the series. Ultimately, I do feel that what is at the heart of the story, whether it's obvious or not, is the struggle between good and evil, from which sprouts everything else. This is my fantasy, so it might as well be that way. Jedi Knight Krazy has summed up a bit of my sentiments:

Though it may not be realistic, I tend to enjoy stories with clearly defined sides of good and evil, for many reasons. It's a relaxing departure from our world of grey and it gives a reason to connect with the hero. At the same time, heroes can't be perfectly good; they must suffer and even succumb to temptation of evil in order to relate to the reader. What I'm starting to wonder, though, is if an absolutely evil villain is actually something to be avoided. Some of the best stories I've read featured a villain who had no possibly justifiable motivation for their actions. Isn't it more important for your readers to relate to the hero than the villain? The only thing a villain really needs to be is a powerful force that opposes the hero. The fact that they use their powers for their own interests may well be sufficiently realistic motivation; after all, there's selfishness in all of us.

I think that he also brought a point that I forgot: it is more important to relate to the hero than the villain in most cases. There are exceptions, of course. I always related more to Javert than Jean Valjean, which is a bit telling. Otherwise, I do also like villains who have no justifiable reason to commit evil. What that does for me is remind me that evil in general results in corruption. One of the morals of Beowulf was that Grendel was a monster because of his hatred, because he embraced the evils that we all have in us. In these cases, the story serves as an allegory depicting the severity of all sin, which I find to be just as important a moral as any. Your Honor,Emperor Kraggh

again tl;dr. Everything with the exclusion of Julius Cesar is childish and Mewtwo is from a card game. If you can't see whats wrong with this then I give up. You keep forgetting to mention how and why Beowulf died.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 12:03 AM.

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#83 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 17 2011 - 11:51 PM

But those Disney films are still awesome nevertheless and for all ages. I wouldn't call them childish, especially in a demeaning way.

Those films are indeed childish, as they are FOR CHILDREN. Just putting that out there.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Julius Caesar, and Lord of the Rings? Come now, those aren't childish. Some of them weren't even movies.

Arguably, Star Wars is indeed child-oriented, considering the massive toyline tie-in. LOTR had one too, though that concerns the film adaptation not the original book.

These are elements of style that are often overlooked.

They're not though, they're over-used old-fashioned cliches.

Hercules

Hercules was an illegitimate son of a god who cheated on his wife, then even after the petty squabbling ends up killing his family he still accepts their offer of immortality in good graces, after pillaging, stealing and killing a bunch of things for arbitrary reasons. Some of that had the good effect of making the world safer, but he was still a very opportunistic scoundrel and ended his life killing an innocent man.

Beowulf

As a poem, Beowulf is believed by many scholars to be a Christian reinterpretation of an earlier story, it is very hard to pin down exact values to a character who is part of what could be considered generational, transitional propaganda. As to Beowulf himself from what we have to work with, He's simply another violent hero who ends up killing the last of the monsters of old. The overall theme is basically just kinship and service.

Superman

He's a mix of left-leaning liberal idealism due to the great depression and the New Deal, as well as the concept of immigrants wanting to fit in, and a bit of old Jewish golem legends thrown in. He has the personality of a brick or can be pretty cruel and awful...depending on the writer. A very boring character compared to the rest of DC really, but they've been making some good attempts to change him.

One of the morals of Beowulf was that Grendel was a monster because of his hatred, because he embraced the evils that we all have in us

No it isn't. Grendel never gets such characterization. He's just a fey monster.

Mewtwo. He's awesome.

You mean the guy from Pokemon...? Really?

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#84 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:02 AM

Thank god wrack to the rescue.I was starting to think I was alone here.I'm pretty sure there were no real morals in Beowulf, it's more along the lines of "holy ###### this guys so awesome he killed a goblin thing and a bog monster and fought a freaking dragon! This story is so gonna take my mind of starving, being sick, and living in a hovel with no air conditioning! Did I tell you he killed a bog monster?"

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 12:08 AM.

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#85 Offline Willy Brandt

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:24 AM

God, so many posts popped up all of a sudden. ... Anyway continuing my debate: ... Really, I'm chill with that. I'd much rather entertain than preach.-Dovydas
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So like three if you're me." - The Doc

"Despite nobody mentioning me specifically at all in their speechy thingy even though I'm a good friend of all three staff members (or so I thought </3), GoMN is still an objectively good game and should be voted for. Alongside Spirits of the Ice, because, well, y'know. #shamless plug" -Kal Grochi

 


#86 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:27 AM

What's with the heated debate all of a sudden? The one thing this topic has definitely shown is how different people's tastes can be, and how different writing can be from person to person. No one here is forcing anyone to write while adhering to strict rules or anything. And for the record, no, most of what he mentioned is not childish. I know grown men and women who still cry when Mufasa dies. The only people I know that play Pokémon are my age (21) and older. And don't even get me started on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, what with both containing bloodthirsty monsters and dismembered limbs and corpse-filled bogs and killing teddy bear-like Ewoks. Anyway, there's no need to get defensive on what's better or which styles of writing suck or what a story needs and doesn't need. Like I said, you can tell stories in a vast number of ways, there is no right or wrong way to go about it.
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#87 Offline Willy Brandt

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:29 AM

What's with the heated debate all of a sudden? The one thing this topic has definitely shown is how different people's tastes can be, and how different writing can be from person to person. No one here is forcing anyone to write while adhering to strict rules or anything. And for the record, no, most of what he mentioned is not childish. I know grown men and women who still cry when Mufasa dies. The only people I know that play Pokémon are my age (21) and older. And don't even get me started on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, what with both containing bloodthirsty monsters and dismembered limbs and corpse-filled bogs and killing teddy bear-like Ewoks. Anyway, there's no need to get defensive on what's better or which styles of writing suck or what a story needs and doesn't need. Like I said, you can tell stories in a vast number of ways, there is no right or wrong way to go about it.

Agreed. And Lord of the Rings was really not childish. Star Wars - maybe. Lord of the Rings - absolutely not. Children tend to not understand it to begin with.-Dovydas

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critical acclaim:

"All I know is I'll be playing it because it's awesome. And that's about all that really matters." - Toa Levacius Zehvor

"Without a doubt, worth every post.

So like three if you're me." - The Doc

"Despite nobody mentioning me specifically at all in their speechy thingy even though I'm a good friend of all three staff members (or so I thought </3), GoMN is still an objectively good game and should be voted for. Alongside Spirits of the Ice, because, well, y'know. #shamless plug" -Kal Grochi

 


#88 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:34 AM

They have serious emotional issues if they cry when an animated lion dies. A few people clinging to their youth does not make a card game and cartoon something acceptable for adults. Star wars had a massive amount of toys almost from the start.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 12:35 AM.

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#89 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:34 AM

no, most of what he mentioned is not childish

Yes, it is. Disney movies are made and marketed to children and families to get them all to the cinema together, buy a family pass and some popcorn, and have a good time with a simple story that even five-year-olds can grasp.

The only people I know that play Pokémon are my age (21) and older

Then you're a shut-in. Pokemon is marketed towards children. Kids play it all the time.

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#90 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:49 AM

Having a toy line does not make the source franchise childish. Halo has action figures. I've seen toys of Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees. BIONICLE is based around a toyline, and yet here we all are. No, they don't have serious emotional issues. I was considered weird at college for NOT crying when Little-foot's mom died in The Land Before Time. By pretty much everyone. In both those examples, they're watching a young child cope with a parent's death, regardless of species. It's not weird to have an emotional reaction to that. And people aren't clinging to their youth through Pokémon, they play the games because they find them fun. I have five cousins all between the ages of 4 and 16. Not a one plays those games. Loads of people I went to high school and college with do. I'm personally not one of them, but again, I'm pretty invested in a Lego toyline. I have no room to judge. Disney has always been marketed to families as a whole. That's the entire spectrum between young children and adults. That's why my theater was packed with teenagers and adults when it showed WALL-E, and Up, and Toy Story 3, and pretty much the same age group that was going to see Inception and The Dark Knight and Insidious. Because it is actually possible for teenagers and adults to enjoy more than one type of story. And I'd appreciate you losing the judgmental labels like shut-in. I'm on pretty good terms with people ranging from nerds to cheerleaders to alcoholics, so this is coming from my experiences with a number of different people. I repeat what I said before: There's no need to argue. It seems like you guys are going out of your way just to disagree with people, but there's no right or wrong way of going about writing and storytelling.

Edited by Takatu, Oct 18 2011 - 12:50 AM.

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#91 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:56 AM

Having a toy line does not make the source franchise childish. Halo has action figures. I've seen toys of Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees. BIONICLE is based around a toyline, and yet here we all are.

Halo is mostly played by 11-19 year old boys so yeah its pretty much for children. I hate to break it to you but bionicle is for children.

No, they don't have serious emotional issues. I was considered weird at college for NOT crying when Little-foot's mom died in The Land Before Time. By pretty much everyone. In both those examples, they're watching a young child cope with a parent's death, regardless of species. It's not weird to have an emotional reaction to that.

I've never met someone who cries at animated animal deaths. I think you're starting to take this personally but everything you mentioned is specifically marketed towards children.

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#92 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 01:08 AM

Not taking anything personally, I'm just confused. I watched Die Hard when I was 8, doesn't mean it's for children. I'm aware that BIONICLE is marketed to children, but that doesn't mean it's childish. It's basic messages and stuff can pretty much be applied to most ages (togetherness trumps selfishness, sacrifice, etc.). The same stuff can be found in Gladiator. Besides, just look around at all the My Little Pony stuff on here. The majority of the active members here at least pushing high school age, and the biggest interests I've seen here have been two Lego lines and Ponies. And again, these are the same people I've been discussing Marble Hornets, an amateur horror-thriller web series, with just the other day. My point is that people can have a wide taste in what they enjoy, and that there's no need to argue about it because of that variety.
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#93 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 01:11 AM

Something thats marketed towards children is intended for children is childish. Yes they majority of BZPers have childish taste, thats why they're still on here.
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#94 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 01:31 AM

Having a toy line does not make the source franchise childish. Halo has action figures.

The toyline was a spin off after the fact. It was originally marketed towards collectors and nerds, but since everyone and their dog plays halo it wound up on toy isles.

I've seen toys of Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees.

Again, collectors.

BIONICLE is based around a toyline

No, Bionicle IS a toyline.

And people aren't clinging to their youth through Pokémon, they play the games because they find them fun. I have five cousins all between the ages of 4 and 16. Not a one plays those games. Loads of people I went to high school and college with do. I'm personally not one of them, but again, I'm pretty invested in a Lego toyline. I have no room to judge.

That has nothing to do with them not being marketed at children.

Disney has always been marketed to families as a whole.

Which have children in them. Therefore they have to aim low enough to net the kids.

And I'd appreciate you losing the judgmental labels like shut-in. I'm on pretty good terms with people ranging from nerds to cheerleaders to alcoholics, so this is coming from my experiences with a number of different people.

And yet you seem to not be able to get a bead on the target audience.

I repeat what I said before: There's no need to argue. It seems like you guys are going out of your way just to disagree with people, but there's no right or wrong way of going about writing and storytelling.

Argument, discussion, same thing. We can debate stuff, this is a FORUM you know.

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#95 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 06:44 AM

:kaukau:Beowulf died because he was a glory seeker who felt honor bound to fight a dragon that represented greed, which as far as I could discern was an ideal of England back in the day. Meanwhile, he was constantly portrayed as being a man of God and ultimately being tankful to God for all of his success. Meanwhile, Grendel's hatred was mentioned several times throughout the story and his sentiments were described in high detail. He was described several times as being without God and did not dare to touch the throne of Hrothgar out of fear of God. Compare and contrast Beowulf with Grendel: there's a moral there. Regarding Superman, I liked his depiction in Smallville. Obviously, not all his portrayals are this good, but in that case he was rather interesting. Regarding Hercules, I didn't necessarily like the Greek legend, but apparently the Greek people back in the day did. By looking at tales like Hercules you can get an idea of what Greek people valued and what they didn't value as much. Personally, I really liked the Disney character better, though. Meanwhile, I also mentioned To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Miserables, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, all of which are considered to be great works in literature. If you're going to accuse me of generalizing, make sure that you don't do it yourself. That many of the media that I have mentioned are targeted to and open to children shouldn't be a bad thing. No, I don't see the problem with that, which you say there is. Why be so condescending? The crux of your argument is that there is no right or wrong way to write, and yet you tell me if I don't see what's wrong with childish movies, then you give up. I do feel that there is a difference between media that's specifically geared toward children and media that's geared toward family. Something that's geared toward children is Teletubbies. There are some things for children that older viewers and readers might have difficulty liking, whereas there are some stories that people never really outgrow. Yes, I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. That does not mean that I have serious emotional issues. It was the first time that I had cried at a movie in about the five years it had been since I saw Schindler's List. To make it clear, I don't cry at movies very often because of that film. Toy Story 3 was the only exception because there were so many parallels to my life in that film about growing up and moving on. You could make the argument that anyone who cries at movies over the deaths of fictional characters has serious emotional issues. I don't see the difference between the death of an animated lion versus the death of the innocent man in The Green Mile. They're both fictional. I do not judge people who cry at films. Well, except for my little sister who cries at things that aren't even sad. I don't know about her. Your Honor,Emperor Kraggh

Edited by Emperor Kraggh, Oct 18 2011 - 06:45 AM.

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#96 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 09:01 AM

Beowulf died because he was a glory seeker who felt honor bound to fight a dragon that represented greed, which as far as I could discern was an ideal of England back in the day. Meanwhile, he was constantly portrayed as being a man of God and ultimately being tankful to God for all of his success. Meanwhile, Grendel's hatred was mentioned several times throughout the story and his sentiments were described in high detail. He was described several times as being without God and did not dare to touch the throne of Hrothgar out of fear of God. Compare and contrast Beowulf with Grendel: there's a moral there.

No, that's garbage. Beowulf was entirely about kinship between lords and men and a farewell to the old cultural paradigms of the time, represented by the two-dimensional fey monsters. It's not the first story that represented transitions between eras in that culture, it's just the one that got dragged forward by early Christians, who scribbled out the more heathenous stuff and splattered in their own. It's very similar to how they adopted Winter Solstice as Christmas.

Regarding Superman, I liked his depiction in Smallville. Obviously, not all his portrayals are this good, but in that case he was rather interesting.

He works best when constrasted with a better character, like Batman, to portray their growth, not his own. You can only do so much with the Man Of Steel.

Regarding Hercules, I didn't necessarily like the Greek legend, but apparently the Greek people back in the day did. By looking at tales like Hercules you can get an idea of what Greek people valued and what they didn't value as much. Personally, I really liked the Disney character better, though.

Then refer to him as "Disney's Hercules".

Meanwhile, I also mentioned To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Miserables, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, all of which are considered to be great works in literature. If you're going to accuse me of generalizing, make sure that you don't do it yourself.

I'll give you To Kill A Mockingbird, which is a great book. I snored through Le Miserable Bleh, and the Hunchback? Creeped me out. Also Whatshisface was the one generalizing, I'm just joining in on the fun.

That many of the media that I have mentioned are targeted to and open to children shouldn't be a bad thing. No, I don't see the problem with that, which you say there is. Why be so condescending? The crux of your argument is that there is no right or wrong way to write, and yet you tell me if I don't see what's wrong with childish movies, then you give up.

The problem is that children's movies are SIMPLE. We know Mufasa is evil because he looks evil. We know Hercules is the hero because a six-year-old will tell you that heroes are pleasant and gentle people. We know these things because Disney movies, for example, are done to be taken at face value. Their set design is warm in the nice places and dark in the scary places, their musical numbers have different tempos for good and evil songs. There simply isn't much depth to your classic kid's goodies vs baddies story which is useful for writing anything lasting.

Something that's geared toward children is Teletubbies.

No, Teletubbies is geared towards toddlers who are easily amused with pastel colours and smiling faces.

Yes, I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

That's because Pixar's work on Toy Story 3 was exceptional, even by their standards. It doesn't apply to all of their films, for example Cars and Cars 2, Rattatoie, Monsters Inc., Bug's Life were all pretty much standard kidstuff, while Toy Story and Wall-E and Up were totally different.

Well, except for my little sister who cries at things that aren't even sad. I don't know about her.

She's not you?

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#97 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 09:26 AM

Beowulf died because he was a glory seeker who felt honor bound to fight a dragon that represented greed, which as far as I could discern was an ideal of England back in the day. Meanwhile, he was constantly portrayed as being a man of God and ultimately being tankful to God for all of his success. Meanwhile, Grendel's hatred was mentioned several times throughout the story and his sentiments were described in high detail. He was described several times as being without God and did not dare to touch the throne of Hrothgar out of fear of God. Compare and contrast Beowulf with Grendel: there's a moral there.

I don't think you've actually read the real beowulf. The only motivation even hinted for Grendel was greed and revenge if that makes him evil Beowulf is just as bad because glory seeking is a form of greed. The conflict between Beowulf and Grendel's mother is even less defendable because she was attempting to take revenge for the death of her only son. The conflict between the Dragon and Beowulf is unjustifiable. If the slave didn't steal the dragons favorite cup we can assume he would have left them alone forever considering Beowulf was able to rule for 50 years and not have a single issue with him. But instead of giving back the stupid cup they decide to try to kill it in its sleep. These are not good people, they're all shades of gray. Everyones acting out of revenge or glory seeking. Stop trying to inject morals into a "HOLY ###### THIS GUY IS AWESOME" story. Grendel was no more evil then a bear looking for food and the mother and dragons actions were justified

Regarding Superman, I liked his depiction in Smallville. Obviously, not all his portrayals are this good, but in that case he was rather interesting.

Who cares? He doesn't change that much between movies, comics, and TV shows. He's two dimensional at best.

Regarding Hercules, I didn't necessarily like the Greek legend, but apparently the Greek people back in the day did. By looking at tales like Hercules you can get an idea of what Greek people valued and what they didn't value as much. Personally, I really liked the Disney character better, though.

Then Hercules is not your hero, you like the whitewashed version thats childish, watered down, and acceptable for day time TV.

Meanwhile, I also mentioned To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Miserables, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, all of which are considered to be great works in literature. If you're going to accuse me of generalizing, make sure that you don't do it yourself.

Actually no you haven't this is the first time you mentioned To kill a mockingbird and Les miserables but thank you for showing me you have taste beyond cartoons created by cryogenically frozen crypto-facist. But anyway Les miserables is not meant for children and neither was to kill a mockingbird.

That many of the media that I have mentioned are targeted to and open to children shouldn't be a bad thing. No, I don't see the problem with that, which you say there is. Why be so condescending? The crux of your argument is that there is no right or wrong way to write, and yet you tell me if I don't see what's wrong with childish movies, then you give up.

No my problem is that you keep writing things in a matter of fact way "this is the only way to do it" kind of thing. So I argue with you over the benefit of writing in this style. Whats wrong with using these things as inspiration for your writing is that they only allow you to use childish themes and explore childish concepts in a manner appropriate for children. You can't have a book about drug use, gender issues, or poverty using such a simple outlook and frankly the only thing writing childishly is good for is writing for children.

I do feel that there is a difference between media that's specifically geared toward children and media that's geared toward family. Something that's geared toward children is Teletubbies. There are some things for children that older viewers and readers might have difficulty liking, whereas there are some stories that people never really outgrow.

I'll give you that there is all inclusive media, but love in the time of cholera is for adults and Pokemon is for children.

Yes, I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. That does not mean that I have serious emotional issues. It was the first time that I had cried at a movie in about the five years it had been since I sawSchindler's List. To make it clear, I don't cry at movies very often because of that film. Toy Story 3 was the only exception because there were so many parallels to my life in that film about growing up and moving on. You could make the argument that anyone who cries at movies over the deaths of fictional characters has serious emotional issues. I don't see the difference between the death of an animated lion versus the death of the innocent man in The Green Mile. They're both fictional. I do not judge people who cry at films.

I'm starting to think people who cry at movies don't have anything worth crying over. You do have some kind of problem if all it takes to set you over on edge is a well executed scene and you should be kept away from revolutionary media. I would appreciate if you stopped mentioning god, godliness, and sin. I feel like you're trying to bait me into breaking the religions rules.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 09:43 AM.

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#98 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 09:44 AM

Something thats marketed towards children is intended for children is childish. Yes they majority of BZPers have childish taste, thats why they're still on here.

That's a generalization. Something that's marketed for children isn't necessarily childish (though admittedly, it seems to work that way a lot -- take Hero Factory). Bionicle included plenty of fighting and dying, and in Dark Mirror, GregF threw in Tuyet's death, being cut in half by a closing portal, for the teens on BZPower.In addition, how do you know what would be considered "childish" and what wouldn't? Different people have different opinions on that sort of thing.And, guys, I'm no staff, but could we please get back to discussing writing? Here, a prompt: Do you think there are any cliches in horror (A.K.A. "paranormal", not "gruesome") stories that I should definitely attempt to avoid? I'm writing that sort of story for NaNoWriMo, but I don't have the plot figured out yet and would like some opinions before I move on.

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#99 Offline Willy Brandt

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:02 AM

Bionicle was actually pretty childish, IMO. Ninety nine out of a hundred deaths were reversed at some point in the future, and the deaths that remained permanent were at their very best undeservedly en masse portrayed as incredible. And the story was pretty mediocre overall too. The whole point was saving the world, not much more. Also sorry LL, but horror's never been my thing, can't really say.-Dovydas

Edited by Dovydas the Nerevarine, Oct 18 2011 - 10:03 AM.

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#100 Offline The Shouting God

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:03 AM

Meh, I personally don't really like the horror genre, but I do like it when the thing causing the paranormal stuff isn't actually seen much. Makes it much more effective.
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#101 Offline Paragon of Demacia

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:06 AM

These are not good people, they're all shades of gray. Everyones acting out of revenge or glory seeking. Stop trying to inject morals into a "HOLY ###### THIS GUY IS AWESOME" story. Grendel was no more evil then a bear looking for food and the mother and dragons actions were justified.

Either Grendelmom and the dragon, being cut from the same cloth as Grendel, are just savage bears and animals, or Grendel launched an unprovoked attack on Heorot because he was a dick who didn't know how to ask his neighbors to calm down. You can't have it both ways. Either way, Beowulf's actions are more like the hunter defending humans. from, you know. Monsters. This is a time before Disney and what not popularized the idea of the misunderstood monster like the Beauty and the Beast movie. Besides, I'm pretty sure that dragons, generally depicted as capricious and petty hoarders, wouldn't just take the cup with thanks, sip a cup of tea, and go on its own way. They're not like their Asian counterparts at all. Although it would be sort of funny... "Kind sir, would you please stop attacking our lands?""Why, certainly, young king. When I woke up and found that my cup was missing, I flew into a frightfully terrible rage. I am soooo sorry for that.""Thank you, good dragon. Perhaps afterwards, we could reconvene for a cuppa tea?""I would like that very much." But I do agree on the aspects that it's not necessarily wise to try to apply Christian morals to a semi-historical love song to other heroic tales.

He works best when constrasted with a better character, like Batman, to portray their growth, not his own. You can only do so much with the Man Of Steel.

Well, I'd say that Superman is quite capable of carrying his own story should the writer present an antagonist or a problem that couldn't be beaten down by sheer fists, like Alan Moore did often. Like "For the Man who has Everything."

I'm starting to think people who cry at movies don't have anything worth crying over. You do have some kind of problem if all it takes to set you over on edge is a well excited scene and you should be kept away from revolutionary media.

Confrontational much? You're the one who keep advocating that good writing should trigger and resonate with you on an emotional level. What's wrong with feeling the way you feel about well written pieces? @Paranormal stuff: Never really fell into that genre, though my best guesses would be to focus on its effect on the protagonist, rather than the creepy willies' source and what not. Probably should be a general progression of both plot lines - the effects on the person, and the person finding the source, until they meet up. Not necessarily halfway, though. Truth clashing with perception. Is the guy a bit off his rocker at that point, so the stuff the reader sees is part of his own assumptions and delusions?

Edited by Undying Light of the Lake, Oct 18 2011 - 10:45 AM.

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#102 Offline The Shouting God

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:14 AM

While I'm here:http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=1005C&C plox.
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#103 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:35 AM

Either Grendelmom and the dragon, being cut from the same cloth as Grendel, are just savage bears and animals, or Grendel launched an unprovoked attack on Heorot because he was a dick who didn't know how to ask his neighbors to calm down. You can't have it both ways. Either way, Beowulf's actions are more like the hunter defending humans. from, you know. Monsters. This is a time before Disney and what not popularized the idea of the misunderstood monster like the Beauty and the Beast movie. Besides, I'm pretty sure that dragons, generally depicted as capricious and petty hoarders, wouldn't just take the cup with thanks, sip a cup of tea, and go on its own way. They're not like their Asian counterparts at all. Although it would be sort of funny... "Kind sir, would you please stop attacking our lands?""Why, certainly, young king. When I woke up and found that my cup was missing, I flew into a frightfully terrible rage. I am soooo sorry for that.""Thank you, good dragon. Perhaps afterwards, we could reconvene for a cuppa tea?""I would like that very much." But I do agree on the aspects that it's not necessarily wise to try to apply Christian morals to a semi-historical love song to

Then we're thinking the exact same thing. I keep saying its a "Holy ###### this guys so awesome he goes off and fights monsters which act on animal instinct" story which it is. It's about a guy who goes off and kills a bunch of monsters it's not a christian parable with all the morals and character development that Kraggh is trying to inject into it. On horror stuff, Theres so many clichés and archetypes that it's almost impossible to avoid. I like horror, I enjoy reading it but it's a very formulated style now because theres only so many things that are scary. I'd suggest not worrying about it too much but constantly ask yourself "Have I read this before" and if it seems to similar consider re-writing it.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 10:38 AM.

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#104 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:40 AM

Horror can be very tricky, a lot of movies and games and such rely on jump scares, which require a sudden sight or sound jump out, neither of which are of use in writing. I know for me, the most effective thing is to just go with a creepy atmosphere. Utilize teasing the reader, don't reveal in detail what the scary thing is, their imagination will almost always make it worse than what it actually is.
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#105 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 11:23 AM

What's funny is that I was thinking of keeping the horror out-of-sight in the first place, as, in my opinion, unknowing is often scarier than knowing. My story was meant to be based off that idea: The main conflict would feature a woman who begins having scary, lifelike dreams, then starts hearing voices during her waking hours, and then starts seeing things in her peripheral vision -- but she doesn't know if she's being haunted or if she's just insane.The type of horror I'm going for is something less jump-out-of-your-seat-scary and more mysterious. I'm definitely going to take inspiration from the movie The Others and have the goings-on be hidden, though I'm still split on whether or not to reveal what actually happened.The idea I want to get across, though it's no Aesop-level moral, is Fear can make things seem worse than they really are.
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#106 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 12:31 PM

YES. In my opinion, that type of horror has always been far scarier than pretty much anything else. For the ending, I guess it depends on if you want to end it on a scary note or not. Not revealing lacks some kind of closure, I think, which I'm sure some people don't like, but on the other hand, it keeps things a little frightening, since your imagination fills in the gaps of "What happened?" I like to implement horror into some of the things I write, if it fits, but I don't think I could ever write a lengthy horror piece, simply because I know I'll have trouble dragging it out. It is possible though, I'm reading a William Peter Blatty book, Legion (kind of a sequel to The Exorcist), and so far he's managed to keep things creepy and tense without boring me.
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#107 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 04:32 PM

:kaukau:If I came off as saying these things in a matter-of-fact way that implied that this writing style should applied to all literature, then I'm sorry. I assumed that by concluding that you should know what type of style works for your story I was saying that it should't apply to all. What I wanted to do was to make a case for the culural significance of this stle of literature and why the argument against wholly evil characters regardless is circumstance is not entirely correct. It can work, so long as used in conjunction with my other writing philosophy "know what type of story you're writing". I also fully believe and adhree to more complex styles of writing and I do test with styles of romanticism, realism, and impressionism. But then, there is still some responsibility on your part to understand my argument. Regarding Beowulf, I apologize. My understanding of him isn't complete since in my literature class we only read excerpts. However, I do remember certain descriptions of Grendel, including that "his thoughts were as fast as his teeth or his claws" and that he "delighted in murder". He had enchanted the weapons of his enemies so that they were useless against him. That's more than just a hungry bear. Now, if I used terms that sound like they were attempts at baiting you, I'm sorry. I've been baited before and I don't like it, so I fully understand your argument. Your Honor,Emperor Kraggh
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#108 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 04:52 PM

What I wanted to do was to make a case for the culural significance of this stle of literature and why the argument against wholly evil characters regardless is circumstance is not entirely correct.

Generally speaking, the best way to use an evil character is as payoff. You want him to seem to have a chance to not be a villain, show his thoughts, develop his character... and then once the audience is emotionally invested with him, reveal that he will not rehabilitate himself and that he really is as horrible as he could be. Not just in that way, but the concept of using a more broad character to be the antagonist, someone you can build up, deepen, and even relate to is much better than the typecast evil guy. Don't start us out with a guy who wears lots of black and has a dour expression. Start us out with a wide-eyed youth or friendly older man, a beautiful if mysterious woman, or an inscrutably ancient creature. A great example of setting up a villain would be from One Piece. In it, the protagonists visit the Pirate hub of Jaya in search of riches based on an ancient map they found. Whilst at the bar, their captain Luffy meets a rather jolly fat man who he gets into a frenzied eating competition with. In this segment, you see that the two characters are both very agressive, high-spirited simpletons who enjoy friendly competition. While eating, the bar is interrupted by some rude pirates from another crew, and Luffy, not wanting to cause trouble, simply allows himself to be beaten up. After the scuffle, he and the fat man find themselves on the street. As he walks away, the man says to him some very profound words: "A man's dream will never die." And that's true. Because this man's name is Marshall D. Teach. Blackbeard. He will become one of the major antagonists in the story, even if he doesn't even meet Luffy again for a good hundred or so chapters. Instead, he gets his own cutaway in the story, following his machiavellian schemes which all fancifully build up towards the climax of the first part of the story where he gains great power from a tragically-slain protagonist. Blackbeard is a strong villain because while he has no morals, he is still a strong believer in himself and his comrades, in his own destiny, and in his dreams. Blackbeard is comical, stereotypically ugly, and seemingly overweight and unfit, yet he is still capable of switching to an incredibly threatening, intimidating form. An interesting villain is one you can get into.

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#109 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 04:53 PM

Regarding Beowulf, I apologize. My understanding of him isn't complete since in my literature class we only read excerpts. However, I do remember certain descriptions of Grendel, including that "his thoughts were as fast as his teeth or his claws" and that he "delighted in murder". He had enchanted the weapons of his enemies so that they were useless against him. That's more than just a hungry bear.

The first quote only implies that he was clever, if I was a hungry and I killed something I'd be pretty happy too, and preventing people from harming him is just as fair as people retaliating.I think you're taking the bear metaphor to literaly. How about Grendel is no more evil then a fox killing rabbits, it just happens that we're the rabbits and Grendel was th fox.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 04:55 PM.

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#110 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 06:35 PM

:kaukau:I go for interesting villains most of the time. But what if it just doesn't fit the story? Meanwhile, I believe that it's possible to have a wholly evil character be complex. Judging by the example that you gave me, it seems that we are on a similar track. I believe in archetypes but not in stereotypes. My pure evil villains, by the way, are all inscrutably ancient creatures, by the way, to draw a similarity to one of the examples you brought up. Lets see...Craytus is somewhere around 15,000 years...The same with Quarr...Death is as old as time...There are a couple of demons from the underworld that are also as old as time...Hetagon isn't ancient but he's still a monster...Master Legious is over 9,000... But really, Master Legious isn't pure evil. He's more of a face that I've given to specific evils that I've had to deal with in my life. Then there's a few dozen other villains who interest me as characters and happen to be on the wrong side of things. Perhaps I'll bring them up in my next post, when I'll be less occupied over this debate and ready to move on to other things. And Bartender, you should know that I did take the bear analogy literally. I do tend to do that. Meanwhile, I think that we simply have different interpretations of Grendel and neither is necessarily right. I have typically focused on elements in the wording of the poem that spoke particularly to me, though of course it doesn't necessarily define the story. Still, it all works for me. "Theres no right or wrong way in your writing as long as you make someone somewhere think." Guess who said that. :P By the way, regarding things you said in earlier posts, I do want to clear up some misconceptions before they haunt me: I did not intend to make stories such as Forrest Gump and It's a Wonderful Life to be simple. I merely found a few tangents within them that related to what I was talking about, and I used them as examples because they did have some of the elements which I was examining. I do not like Pokemon, although Mewtwo has still stuck with me. I was referring to the movies, by the way, not the card game. Similarly, I should mention that I brought up Super Saiyans as an example of an archetype that excites people but I really don't like them, nor Dragon Ball Z, although I have to admit that somehow the quote "It's over 9000" is still kind of fun. There are a lot of other early morning cartoons that I really got sick of. I did in fact bring up Les Miserables and To Kill A Mockingbird, not directly by name but through referencing the characters. By the way, if you want to have your last word, go ahead, but I'm no longer interested in pursuing this discussion. Cryogenically frozen neo-fascists? In my experience, arguments that use this kind of language gets unhealthy after some time. Please know that I'm not judging you, just trying my best to make decisions that will leave us all in a little better peace of mind. Actually, the same goes for Wrack'n'Ruin. I hope she was only joking in light humor when she acted incredulous that my crybaby sister and I aren't the same person. Your Honor,Emperor Kraggh
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#111 Offline Jonestown Bartender

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 06:39 PM

Cryogenically frozen neo-fascists? In my experience, arguments that use this kind of language gets unhealthy after some time.

That was a joke, you know Walt Disney and all. Btw I said crypto thats different then neo.

. I hope she was only joking in light humor when she acted incredulous that my crybaby sister and I aren't the same person.

I have no idea what you're trying to communicate there.

Edited by Jonestown Bartender, Oct 18 2011 - 06:43 PM.

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#112 Offline Jedi Knight Krazy

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 06:52 PM

Wow, I'm gone for a day and a full-on flame war breaks out. I'm not going to get too involved, but I'd like to make a few points... I think the fact that a children's story isn't necessarily childish has been sufficiently argued, but I'm still seeing "childish" thrown around a lot as an insult to simple stories. What, exactly, is wrong with a simple story? I've seen plenty of simple stories that have tons of emotional depth, and very complex stories that haven't moved me at all. Like I said, no story needs a villain or conflict. Maybe my head-banging painter analogy was a poor choice, but I don't care, it made me laugh. The point is, stories follow patterns because our brains follow patterns. As hard as you may try to break free of those patterns, you're never going to write a completely original story. I think for myself, it'd be better to use known, proven cliches in new, unique combinations than to try to write something totally unique and accidentally, subconsciously, slip into a cliche. Finally, let's tone down the personal attacks, guys. We're trying to decide what makes a good story for each individual, not who has the best taste in stories.

Edited by Jedi Knight Krazy, Oct 18 2011 - 06:53 PM.

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#113 Offline Lord Kaitan de Storms

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 07:07 PM

Quite frankly I've grown tired of the post-modernist brand of literature; while I'd be the first person to tell you that the world's mostly grey, the idea that anything that isn't pure grey is somehow childish or simple or otherwise "bad literature" is quite frankly a load of rubbish. You can have people who are evil, and that's what they are; they don't seem to have no capacity to actually, you know, care about anybody else, and basically act in service to their ego and greed. There are people like that in the world and there have been throughout history (the truly fascinating part is when they're later re-written into great heroes- something I explore in my stories). Yes, complex, multilayered characters are a good thing. But sometimes there's that one villain who's truly just a total [piraka] and it's nice to have something clearer cut for once, so long as the overall complexity of other characters is not compromised. Similarly, there are some people who are truly good people. That doesn't mean they're perfect or they're always right, but they always try to do the right thing and generally manage to actually treat pretty much everyone decently. Without these kinds of people present a work of literature is, in fact, failing to take into account the human condition, which is, I think, the point of the post-modernist glorification of grey people.
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#114 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 07:25 PM

I go for interesting villains most of the time. But what if it just doesn't fit the story?</span></div>

When does an interesting villain NOT fit a story?

Edited by Am I Poplar Yet?, Oct 18 2011 - 07:26 PM.

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#115 Offline Lord Kaitan de Storms

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 07:29 PM

Perhaps you see things differently, but Sithdious is not someone you's call an "interesting villain." But he works quite well for Star Wars (I'm talking about the original trilogy only).
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Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.
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#116 Offline Takatu

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 09:59 PM

I'll agree with that, Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious isn't a very thrilling villain. Despite the tragic backstory the prequels went into, I'm pretty sure most people still think of Darth Vader when they hear "the villain of Star Wars." I think it helps that Vader actually, you know, DID stuff on-screen.
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#117 Offline Wrack and Ruin

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:04 PM

Also Palpatine comes into his own in the prequels and gets lots of strong characterization there.
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#118 Offline ~JC~

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Posted Oct 18 2011 - 10:09 PM

Perhaps you see things differently, but Sithdious is not someone you's call an "interesting villain." But he works quite well for Star Wars (I'm talking about the original trilogy only).

:o he was super interesting for about ten minutes in revenge of the sith and then it got to be just lightning bolt lightning bolt lightning bolt why am i still a character. in the original trilogy (and by that i mean just jedi.), he was less of a character and more of a scary monster.

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#119 Online Tekulo in the Green

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Posted Oct 19 2011 - 10:48 AM

On the subject of childish things, how awesome are Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm? Though, I'd have to say I prefer Hans Christian Andersen mainly because of his descriptive style. He does describe things down to little details, but he does it in a way that just grasps your imagination and lets your mind just flow and picture the setting. Ugh, it's beautiful ("The Old House" and "In A Thousand Years" are some of my favorites from him. ^^). Though, The Brothers Grimm does leave a lot of things open. You pretty much have to just roll with what they throw at you, but then again you could always fill in the gaps on your own and customize the story to your liking. I do like both styles, but Andersen just seems to have far more of an impact on me personally (Though, I gotta say, those fairy tales do indeed have chilling and dark scenes to them. It's wonderful. ^^). Anyway, I do have a bit of a dilema, and I don't think it was really answered the first time I mentioned it a few pages back.I'm curious: How do you guys get different parts of your story to flow together? Like, if you want to introduce a new character or a new setting? I have a ton I want to add to the story, but I don't want to just jolt back and forth and confuse the reader (Well, I do that a bit with reason, but I don't want to do that with everything). I'd love to hear any advice for this as well as where anyone might suggest I look for inspiration or an example.(Not looking at this as a right or wrong way to write my story, I just want my story to be properly presented to my liking. I'll decide what I do, obviously, but I'd like to see other systems before I make up my mind -as I'm kinda lost right now XD-) (And Jedi Knight Krazy: Thanks for the examples. I think I see where you're coming from now. ^^).

Edited by Tekulo: Toa of Wind, Oct 19 2011 - 10:53 AM.

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#120 Offline Lord Kaitan de Storms

Lord Kaitan de Storms
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Posted Oct 19 2011 - 11:07 AM

I tend to give different chapters to different people, similar to George R. R. Martin, when I want to do that; or, if that's not viable, add appendices for extra exposition.
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