[sticky entry] Sticky: Hi (version 2.0)!

Jan. 31st, 2014 06:24 pm
lookingforoctober: (Default)
Hello, and welcome to my blog! This is a public blog, please feel free to follow and/or comment in any way you wish.

If I have a fandom, it's probably writing, because I'm interested in techniques and details about writing far more than anything else...but the stuff I'm writing is mostly in the Avenger fandom at the moment (with a few forays back into Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I'm not sure I would say I'm in the Avengers fandom, though. I haven't finished any of those things I'm writing, and I'm generally more of a lurker at the edges of fandoms anyway.

I also post occasionally on random things I'm watching or reading.

If you want to know who I used to think I was and what I was doing, version 1.0 of this introduction can be found here. I think the biggest change is less Buffy and more serious about writing. Though it's still fun too!
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Thank you in advance for your writing! I'm excited about this exchange because I'm usually most interested in gen fic anyway, so if this letter is shorter than usual, it's because I expect that anything written for this exchange will be something in line with my preferences anyway. :) But in addition to gen, I prefer staying fairly true to canon in terms of level and depiction of violence and/or anything that might generally be warned for / potentially offensive / etc..

Also, sorry I didn't get the link to this letter into the sign-up, and I hope you find this, but if you don't...well, then you're not reading this, but also optional details are optional, right?

On to the fandoms:

MCU: I requested Peggy Carter and Natasha Romanoff because I'd like to see them interacting in basically any way. Peggy as mentor? Caught up in some sort of situation together? Natasha needs information about the past for some reason, and goes to Peggy? I'd also be open to time travel (or even fudging the timeline) if you want to write Peggy closer to her prime. I'd be especially interested in something with a little action/adventure here...although, actually, something about how SHIELD changed over the years due to HYDRA and how that affected both characters could also be cool.

Rivers of London: Since both Nightingale and Molly have been around a while, something historical would be lovely. Maybe back when there were more magicians, before the war?

Avatar: The Last Airbender: I picked Azula and Iroh because 1) I adore Iroh and 2) I find Azula interesting. I am not familiar with the comics, so if you want to contradict them, be my guest. Actually, if you want to write an AU, that's fine with me too. I'm especially interested in what Azula learned from her Uncle Iroh (even if it's a negative lesson), and/or Fire Nation politics.
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There are two evil characters in this episode...and in a way it's sort of funny how Lilah is like evil-lite. Selfish, wants her pretty things, but without Wolfram & Hart, not powerful. Unlike Angelus, she can be left to wander around because she can do no harm. And since Angelus is locked up, they both only have what they say.

Oh, and she's got that evil is the only one who tells the truth thing too, just like Angelus. (...and Spike, when Spike was evil and perceptive, and I'm convinced this really happens a lot in the Buffyverse, but I'm blanking on anyone else besides that psychologist vampire in Conversations with Dead People...)

Or maybe not exactly like Angelus. Angelus is trying to cause problems, and the truth is as damaging as anything else. Lilah is trying to get what she wants. But the arguments she makes are accepted as difficult truths and not lies. I.e. benefits of letting Angelus out are questionable at best, but Cordelia says "We'll find another way," not "You're an idiot, Angel couldn't do anything so why would Angelus be any different?"

Oh, but we find out at the end that Cordelia's evil, and the one who's been doing all the betraying that's been going on, so she can't be trusted? It's starting to feel like everyone is evil, but I guess most people are just...compromised in various ways? I wonder how all this was received when it was new, though. Did people come up with elaborate theories to explain all this, based on whether they really wanted Cordelia to be evil or not?

Still, my favorite character is officially Gunn, because I can tell exactly what's going on with him (he and Fred just broke up, and he's unhappy), and because his breakup and the way he gets contrasted with Wesley is also setting up Gunn the lawyer, isn't it? Which I could not remember how that happened and it totally baffled me in memory that that was coming up.

Oh, and Angelus and Angel being actual separate people has evidence, because Angelus remembered something that Angel didn't.

It's interesting that Wesley/Lilah was revealed to Fred via Angelus, at a time when she pretty much had to not react so as not to give Angelus the satisfaction. If Angel was holding them together (and look how easily and well Angel-but-really-Angelus was able to take control -- he makes a pretty good leader) then in a way, Angelus was doing exactly the same thing. Holding them together, if only to fight him.
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I started playing Fallen London over the weekend, and it's...sorta cool, but I keep running out of actions. I guess that's the point?

But the exciting thing is that they have an interface for creating games, and it looks really easy to use, and I want to create a game! It's perfect, because I've been thinking for ages that I need to do something to practice plot, but I couldn't figure out what, and that sort of game is all basic plot (choices, consequences) and worldbuilding.

Or at least, it could be. I don't know if that describes Fallen London exactly, because there's a lot of grind (I've got these rats I've been trying to get rid of forever...I mean, you know, since yesterday) and the fun part so far is mostly worldbuilding, not really plot exactly, but there are glimpses of plot...

But anyway... Plot! Worldbuilding! Very much fun to be had. Now I just need to figure out somewhere to host images...
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I like the intensity of this episode.

I also like Angelus as the catalyst who's forcing the other characters to make choices, and bringing out all the things that we, the viewers, know is there and forcing it on the characters. I also like that the characters are up to dealing with Angelus. They're not perfect with him, but they're good enough. They can deal with it, they can call it lies and get through. They can blow up at each other and then get over it...enough. They have the mission. (It is so much grimmer than earlier seasons now, but actually that's interesting too. Thinking about early Wesley vs. Angelus, for example...that so would have ended in tears.)

So Gunn hits Fred by accident while trying to hit Wesley. I find the whole men are violent women are shocked framing a bit annoying, but...Gunn hits Fred by accident is actually interesting. Because they're at outs originally over Gunn taking over her revenge, so it's like a continuation of the pattern of Gunn can't do the right thing by Fred, however much he wants to. Actually, the whole time where it's been a lot of 'nothing happens with Fred and Gunn' is really a Gunn can't do the right thing (and Fred may not want it) happening in silence.

I do not understand Connor and families. He threw up because of something to do with a dead family...I guess it's that things to do with happy families hit Connor harder because he never had anything like that, but I still feel like I'm missing something.
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I skipped talking about the previous episode because it's all zombies and I don't like zombies, so I'm pretty sure I missed the point.

This episode we have things starting to get totally epic, and I like that. Blotting out the sun! I like the rah-tet, I actually really like that these mythological beings all split up and are doing completely different things, but they're still family. It's a very Buffy-verse kind of thing (all the vampires and mythological beings fit into the modern world, and wearing a loud shirt means you're just a normal guy) but it's nicely done.

I like that Gwen Raiden comes back, and that she has a cool hideaway with a safe room.

The plot is getting really tangled, and...yeah, there might be too many characters. They seem to just sort of weirdly appear and disappear from one scene to the next with no obvious rhyme or reason to it except presumably they wanted to keep the individual scenes from having too many characters, or balance the scenes so each character gets a few, or something?

The character stuff is as tangled as the plot, and adding Gwen Raiden certainly didn't simplify anything. I laughed a bit when Lorne said "You're a champion, you don't get personal days." Because truthfully? The whole show is all about personal days. It's all personal. And yet...it's so tangled it's easy to get disconnected. Who's suspicious again? Oh yeah, everyone. Who's unhappy about their love life? Oh yeah, everyone. Except Lorne!

They're not really doing anything with the idea that an ongoing end of the world might have wider repercussions, are they? They mention it, but they don't show it. But I also feel like there's a storytelling lesson about focus in this: just ignore the things that aren't part of the story and focus on the things that are.

And yet. It wouldn't have hurt them any to say something about the traffic on the way to Death Valley, because everyone was fleeing LA. Or something. Our characters seem very disconnected from the world in this episode. The world is over there panicking, and our heroes are over here moping.

But I'm starting to get more into what happens next. The sun just quit lighting the world! Now what?
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This episode seems to exist solely in order to play games with the viewer's suspension of disbelief. The basic plot: Angel thought he fixed everything but really it was a pipe dream that he had as he was losing his soul.

Remember that episode where Buffy showed up on Angel, and it looked like everything was going become better than it had ever been and Angel and Buffy could be together...except that there was a demon, and Angel chose to kill the demon and go back to less-than-perfect world. This was just like that, except without the choice part. And with Cordelia instead of Buffy. And with things working out between Connor too...

I.e. this is one of those "How to fanfic your own tv show without messing up the actual continuity" episodes. The Wish on Buffy is another similar kind of thing...Or the one with Buffy, as I said. So really, this episode could have stood to be quite a bit weirder and far more out there, because none of it actually counts...as it was, I just believed it, pretty much, until it turned out to be a lie.

Well, actually I believed it except that I also spent the whole episode half convinced that Angel was Angelus pretending to be Angel, and I still think that would have been cool...except that Angelus isn't really the type to pretend, so it's probably just as well.

There is quite a bit of stuff here about family that...doesn't work. Angel makes speeches about family and then acts like the loneliest of lone heroes, giving the lie to his speeches, which is pretty telling. Even in his pipe dreams, Angel doesn't actually believe that the Angel team is a family.

If I get to season 5, I'm going to have to remember this episode because I think there's one just like it except with Spike in the role of Connor, and more competition.

Unfortunately, this episode ends with the exact same "and then what happens?" question as the last episode, which is still an interesting question, but there's something to be said for momentum.
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This episode accomplished a lot in terms of character stuff (and the plot advanced too). Things are moving!

I'm not sure if Fred/Gunn is exactly meant to hold up a mirror to Angel/Cordy or vice versa...but there are definitely some similarities in that the guy did something and the woman can't deal with it. Gunn did something that he thought was noble but which took away Fred's ability to make her own choices about her revenge, Angel has a terrible past... I feel for Gunn a lot, while at the same time not having much sympathy with him because on the one hand, he tried to take a burden away from Fred, and on the other hand, she didn't want it and he keeps telling her who she is when that doesn't appear to be who she is after all. Angel/Cordy, meanwhile...just generically doomed, I'd say. She looked at something she shouldn't have looked at...huh. So she's like Psyche? That's a stretch... But you know, the narrative is sort of treating her like she's in that kind of myth, and is a woman alone with limited options for who to turn to. And also like this is a flat kind of thing, she loves Angel so she has two choices, either be with him or abandon him, like being in love with Angel is the only thing that matters.

Even putting aside that Cordy and Angel were friends, that being in love was not the only thing between them, because maybe she can't deal with being friends with a guy who has Angel's history...she's also friends with the rest of the team, and she really shouldn't be alone, and I'm sort of shocked that the narrative managed to lead me into thinking that this was reasonable until I started thinking about it...that's a neat trick.

So because she's established as living with Connor when she was memory-loss Cordy, and that was reasonable because they had a lot in common...it transfers to memory-regained but still sort of damaged by being a higher being Cordy.

(There is probably a lot to be said about the similarities between Cordy's characterization as empty and devoid of purpose because she was a higher being and Buffy's visit to heaven...

But the only thing that's popping out at me right now is that knowing why Buffy was back was a source of tension that was much stronger than not knowing why Cordy's back...or having a good explanation for why she was a higher being in the first place. Knowledge is much stronger than mystery, generally?)

I really don't know what I think about Cordy/Connor. It's pretty weird, because she held him when he was a baby, but technically they're not all that far apart in age, which is pointed out a couple of times in this episode alone... I don't think Cordy's habit of comparing Connor to his father does anything to make this any less weird, though. And personally, I don't see any of the resemblances that she points out.

Let's see...in other news, Connor said "Dad" of his own free will (in order to get a favor).

I enjoyed Angel's win-win proposition to Lilah: quite astute in terms of how to deal with Lilah (give me what you know and either I solve your problem for you or I die and solve a different problem for you). But Angel is something of a contradiction, in terms of wanting to be/thinking that he is a champion, which seems to be linked to idealism somehow, and then having a good grasp of the best way to deal with Wolfram and Hart employees. I'm ready to abandon what he said about a champion acting as if the world were a better place, because clearly if the world were a better place, it wouldn't include Wolfram and Hart, so acting that way would involving ignoring Wolfram and Hart.

I like that Connor appears to be linked to this apocalypse. Connor needed a better connection to the plot, because he has no connection (that he generally wants to acknowledge) to anything else (except Cordelia).

On the other hand, I'm completely baffled by Sunnydale veteran Cordelia Chase saying "if this is the end" as if she's never seen an apocalypse before.

And finally, the most important thing I have to say about this episode: oh no, they're breaking the statute of secrecy! This is the point where they just completely throw aside the conceit that this could happen in our world but it's all a secret and we just don't know about it. Fire is falling from the sky in Los Angeles. It's one thing when crazy things happen in Sunnydale because Sunnydale is some town that no one has ever heard of in real life, so you can pretend like all the people there just kept their mouth shut. Los Angeles, not so much.

This was quite a shock to me the first time I watched Angel. It's not that I'm super-fond of secret magic as a plot point (I'm really not), it's just that once you've established that that's what you're doing, suddenly not doing that any more is 1) shocking and 2) really hard to get right because of abandoning all the conventions you've set up. I don't remember exactly how this works out (I really did a very bad job of remembering Angel, apparently), but this is another thing I'll be watching for.
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There are two main problems with this episode:

1) We just did a ton of I-don't-know-what's-going-on type plottage with Cordelia and her lost memory, so some of the fun of this tpye of thing is more 'just did this'.

2) There is no real plot, just characters sort of randomly permutating and basically making up enemies until Lorne wakes up and provides a deus ex machina solution. (The Buffy memory loss episode was a bit stronger, as I recall, despite the random method of spell ending, because there were real enemies coming after them...or after Spike, at least. The Buffy adults-become-teenagers episode is one of my favorites, but isn't as good a parallel with this one, IMO, since the main Buffy characters weren't adults at the time.)

Other than that, it's fun to see younger versions of characters (especially Wesley) and once Conner shows up there's Angel and Connor parallels, both over father issues, and also...well, Connor is so lost, but so was Liam. It's funny than Liam wins the fight -- I would have suspected that without Angel's experience it would go the other way, but I think the basic message here is that Connor still has a lot to learn, even more than Liam.

We still don't know what's going on with Cordelia, but she has her memory back. It's really too bad that Cordelia and Angel were never actually a couple, but they sure are teasing about it a lot.
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I love Fred being a physicist so much. At the beginning of the episode, I was wishing they wouldn't tell us so often that Fred is awesome but mostly show her falling apart, and then she didn't fall apart at the end, so that was nice.

The way the revenge plot played out, and the way Gunn and Wesley were contrasted in how they treated Fred was very neatly done, though I'm not really excited about...I mean, how many up in the air relationships does one show need? Are they really setting up both an Angel vs. Connor triangle with Cordelia and a repeat of Wesley vs. Gunn with Fred at the same time? They are, aren't they? Why don't I remember this clearly, since I have seen it before? Is it because when it's always up in the air, nothing really matters? Although it's no wonder I watched this way too fast the first time (on DVD). They've got so much up in the air that there's no room for resolutions, so 'now what's going to happen?' is a constant question.

But yeah, I was shocked by Gunn, and actually think that whole issue of revenge and what it does to people turned out really interesting in a way that I wasn't expecting, which was cool. At first it seemed like just another version of something that comes up a lot, in Buffy as well. But when it wasn't Fred who took the revenge, though she certainly tried...Fred and Gunn may both have been operating under illusions about each other, which is interesting.

I think we saw the weakness of the whole champion idea here. Angel says "We've got to do something about this guy" but treating the situation like he can show the world how to be a better place doesn't actually solve anything. The world isn't a better place, this guy is doing something truly criminal, and there's no law that covers it to deal with him.
lookingforoctober: (Default)
I love the poem that the episode title comes from.

Well, this episode was very much filled with foreboding. Something is coming...I suppose if you were watching Buffy and Angel at the same time when they aired, you'd have gotten both "From beneath you it devours" and "Something's coming to get Cordelia" at about the same time. Something is always coming no matter where in the Buffyverse you are.

I have to admit, I think the amnesiac Cordelia as outsider perspective...only sort of worked. It was funny when she thought she was Connor's mother because she saw a picture of herself holding the baby, the comments in her yearbook were great, but even when they skipped the big explanation, there was a lot of explanations and Cordelia reaction which mostly served to show that amnesiac Cordelia does not have nearly as much character as she used to, which is a real shame. On the other hand, the old Cordelia showed through a couple of times (and I don't just mean that she could fight...or maybe I do: mentally, she's still got that fighting spirit at times).

Lilah playing Wesley...nice plot there. I'm not sure I believe her when she says that if Wesley'd ever trust her, she wouldn't have played him, but it did seem to throw Wesley for a loop. Way to imply that she could be more human if only he'd believe she could be more human. Admittedly, I have a hard time taking Wolfram and Hart and any of the characters there seriously as human beings, because they self-describe as evil too often. I don't think most evil people think they're evil. Just doing my job, on the other hand...yeah.

It's interesting to compare Lilah and Wesley with Angel and Connor. Because Angel does believe. Angel basically keeps on saying, "He's my son, so I'm going to trust him and I'm going to be proud of him." Connor, meanwhile, is still going around being conflicted about the idea of family.

It's interesting that Cordelia ends up trusting Connor because he doesn't lie. I actually like the dynamic between them, the two lost souls together (though really, I like the dynamic between her and Angel too, he might not jump in with the whole truth instantly but he does give her plenty of space and support even though he's obviously confused and hurting that she's not really her). And I can see why she might not want to go back to the hotel where all the scary things keep happening and everyone treats her weirdly, but I don't really get why there's not more persuading that something needs to be different. "I trust Connor not to lie to me" doesn't address the fact that she and Connor weren't winning that fight on their own, and the guys who were attacking ran off and so are probably still around and could come back...and yet Angel, Fred, and Gunn just leave Cordelia and Connor alone again.
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Connor sits in the same place in the story as Mordred in a lot of ways. (I've seen as many sympathetic versions of Mordred as I have unsympathetic, just to note.) I'd never quite made that connection before, but he was born from a union that should never have been, raised by someone unsympathetic to his father, goes on to betray his father...except it didn't turn out to be permanent, so that's where S4 is right now (I am still planning on watching the rest, I've just been busy).

Holtz, on the other hand, sits in the same place in the story as Sterling in Leverage (I'm still is S3 of Leverage, no spoilers please). Sterling is the antagonist, but he's also, if you look at it from outside the story, sitting in a place that's not wrong. Sterling tries to catch thieves. Just because we're rooting for the thieves in Leverage doesn't make Sterling wrong. Holtz, the same thing. If the story was a little different, Holtz would be the hero, which makes him a terrific antagonist/villain. He's not entirely evil (though treating Connor like an object to be manipulated is), he just wants revenge.

Sterling is also selfish and not really an admirable person. Holtz is inflexible and goes too far. Do you have to do that -- make them unattractive/unheroic in some fairly obvious way -- in order to have a satisfactory antagonist who's not wrong?
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The premise of this episode is pretty good, showing the darker side of Lorne's gift without implicating him in that darkness...too much. I liked that Lorne was the one to destroy the glowy ball and end the destiny theft as well.

On the other hand, the idea that destiny is transferable only makes sense when it's something like becoming a chef and opening five star restaurants. Being a vampire with a soul and prophesied to have a major role in one of the apocalypses...losing that destiny obviously didn't make Angel not a vampire, so gaining it presumably wouldn't make someone into a vampire, so could it only be transferred to someone who was already a vampire? With a soul? Or would someone who wasn't a vampire with a soul suddenly have the destiny to do the things that a vampire with a soul should do...what, in fact, would it be like to have a destiny that isn't your own, especially if you weren't physically equipped for it?

(And what if the vampire with the soul in the prophecies was actually Spike? Is this a sign that whatever they suggest later about that possibility, it's definitely Angel who is the destined one?)

Overall, I'd have to say that the amount of shades of gray in this episode is pretty low. Evil is obvious and defeated, Lorne is rescued, and then suddenly Cordelia is back as well. You could blame Lorne for contributing to the evil, even if it was because he was being blackmailed with random deaths if he refused, but I don't think you're supposed to. I think it's supposed to be a pretty uncomplicated episode.

I am still really confused by this Cordelia plot. What is it supposed to be accomplishing?

Oh, but Cordelia thinks that Connor is very much like his father, so there's another point on the family matters side of things. And Fred and Gunn go on a semi-random road trip with Angel because they're worried about him, which probably counts as another, because they're not really held together by the mission at this point, but by concern for each other.

And there was some very obvious irony around the concept of family/friends, with Lorne saying that no one can take away the people you love, and then Cordelia showing up with no recognition of anyone.
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Gwen Raiden is a very cool character. I really like the idea of the electricity-controlling thief.

The scene where she breezes in and then Angel and Fred and Gunn barge in behind her is great.

This episode made me remember when this show was about helping the helpless, though...and wonder if it still is at all. We get a glimpse of Wesley saving someone, running his own detective agency, and Angel sort of accidentally helps Gwen out of a tough situation where she was about to be betrayed...

It's not really clear how beneficial overall saving the thief from the greedy robber baron guy is, of course, even if Gwen is a cool character. It was a bit clearer cut in earlier seasons, wasn't it?

And then there's the scene with Lilah, in which she wonders why Angel's dealing with her, and he makes a threat...maybe what I really should be looking at is degree of shades of grey in each episode?

Because in terms of championing...Angel stopped Gwen from killing the greedy robber baron guy, should I give him credit for that? Is that acting as if the world were a better place than it really is? Yeah, actually I guess it is, so I'll give him credit there. But other than that, the whole episode is a slow and very indeterminate step on the Cordelia plot, since the characters find a resolution (which is a really weird resolution and doesn't make any sense and even Cordelia pointing out that it doesn't make any sense doesn't help it make any more sense...)

So yeah, the Cordelia plot is definitely the weakest part of this season so far, and I'm not majorly fond of Fred having a nervous breakdown either.

And in terms of family...this was not really an episode that advances anything on the family front, except that if these people are Cordelia's chosen team/family, they don't seem to know her very well, but like I said, whatever the Cordelia plot is (it drove me crazier last time, this time I'm just bemused), it's just so weird and badly fitting that I don't like drawing any conclusions from it.
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Wow, I'd forgotten how depressing Angel can be. Fred and Gunn were the only points of not completely depressing, and they were pretty beleaguered here.

This episode was mostly exposition, so...in terms of exposition, it did a fairly good job of reminding me of what was going on, which I needed because it's been a while since I watched Season 3.

I thought the hallucination stuff was overdone, but I always do think that about dreams, etc. Dreams are pure emotion (and symbolism, is that generally the same thing?), and I like a little more grounding in some kind of reality with my doses of emotion. But it does pretty much work with the context of what's going on here.

In terms of plot, there were a few little turn-arounds, most notably Lilah killing her boss. Surprise! Now Lilah is a direct enemy with underlings. Wesley going after Angel was framed as a very minor surprise -- he said (to Lilah) that he didn't know anything, he didn't care, and then immediately proved otherwise. But really finding Angel, Angel confronting Connor, those were the only real plotty elements, the only movement forward. Everything else was establishing where we are and where we came from. (Even if it hadn't been a while for me, this would have been useful narratively, because there was a whole summer's worth of time to cover.)

If the theme of Buffy Season 7 was power (was it? or did I just want it to be?), then I feel like I need something to analyze what's going on with Angel, and so far the only things that have stood out are:

1) family. Is Connor like Angel? Is Angel like Connor? What does family mean? Connor didn't even want to pretend that he was like his father, even when he was pretending that he was okay with Angel being his father...

Also, would it be fair to call Angel Investigations at some point or another a surrogate family for many of the characters, as good teams often are? Granted, there have always been tensions, this was never really an easy or unquestioned team that I can remember, even before the whole Wesley kidnapped Connor debacle, but I feel like there must have been a point or two where they all got along for a while (and Angel's meal hallucination at the very beginning supports that, meals are a very family-like thing, right?). And Fred and Gunn's loyalty to Connor has something of that kind of family loyalty to it too, perhaps? There's definitely a mom and dad and kid vibe to some of their interactions with Connor in this episode.

And Angel uses "Daddy" more than once, invoking the strict father...

And the structure of the episode is more coming together than pushing apart (but it would have to be, since everything starts out pretty separated), and ends on a "must find Cordelia" note, which if it doesn't say something about family at least says something about them as a team? Fred and Gunn have already been looking for Cordelia, and now we have Angel as the core of the team reiterating the importance of that...team and family look out for each other...

Which Wesley has also done, despite his current status as outsider...

2) the role of a champion. This is mostly out of hope, because I find the subject interesting. I liked Angel's little speech about a champion acting as if the world were better, to show it what it could be. I'm not sure this is really going to be a theme, but maybe?

This could also, possibly, be called the role of emotion vs. the role of ideals? In which Fred, who just wants to hurt Connor for what he did, pretty much fails in this episode...assuming of course that ideals are better to act upon than emotions...

Yeah, that's a really unfair framing. I'll have to work on that.
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Please don't change the user interface. Don't move the buttons. Don't get rid of the toolbars that I use. It drives me crazy. I don't care if it makes more sense to put the back and forward button right next to the web address, I liked it the way it was with the home button there. I liked having the add-on bar at the bottom. I liked that when I wanted to do something I just automatically moved my mouse to the right place, and now the right place is gone.

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1. I really wish I could write and finish things without a deadline. And more than that, apparently it takes a real deadline involving someone else who both wants the thing I'm writing and is contributing something, thus giving me a sense of obligation. But I've got too much stuff I want to be writing to actually sign up for an exchange right now...

Would anyone like to trade anything at all for a character study of Bruce Banner with lots of AU plot and reflections on power?

(It would be cool if there was somewhere you could go to give the thing you really want to write to someone else exchange style...but probably most people can manage to actually write the thing they want to write...)

2. I've been thinking about this a lot, and I would like to take back what I said about fanfic being a worthwhile thing and original fic being a worthwhile thing, but the place in between them being an undefined mystery on the map where monsters clearly reside. Or whatever it was that I actually said.

There's a lot more defined in there than I originally thought of, for example, on the fanfic side, AUs...I mean, what's the difference between a coffeeshop AU and an AU in which you've changed the worldbuilding of the canon? I mean, besides that I've never actually read a coffeeshop AU because I like more complicated worldbuilding, but still. In principle. And on the original fiction side, there are original things that are clearly inspired by other original things...

3. Converting my somewhat unwritten Avengers fanfic to original is not as hard as I thought it would be. It would probably be harder if more of it was written, yeah? And gosh, how much more streamlined...that's the bit that's making me a bit nervous, like I'm eliminating something important by removing all the bits and bobs that are there and don't necessarily fit together that Marvel has. Bits and bobs make it real and more like the world is large and full of things, right? I mean, it's like when I (theoretically) wanted to combine Maya Hansen and Aldrich Killian into one character in Iron Man 3 and just make Maya the villain, because I thought it would be stronger not have to quite so many layers of villain and sorta villain...but you streamline, yes, and then it's a less complex story too...

Also, the Buffy comics, season 8, where the world started seeming incredibly small because of how wherever they went there was someone we already knew...

Of course, streamlining to bring out the original elements of the plot...as a process, this is going to make it far more original than filing off the serial numbers would, or even, you know, adding curlicues to obscure the serial numbers and make them look like something else...

4. On a completely different note, I think I'm going to rewatch Angel Season 4 in May, and write about it here. So be warned!
lookingforoctober: (Default)
I feel like I have a slight problem with explaining things in my writing. Mostly because I often think of things, make a gesture toward putting them in somewhere, and then move on. Usually these are character notes, things that explain motivation, perhaps, or maybe not even motivation, just something about the character.

For example, in The Prince and the Pirate (my Princess Bride story), I had an idea about water. I noticed that being a pirate's apprentice, scheduled to die in the morning, involved death on the sea, or in other words death and water. And I noticed that the Rugen's machine used water for power and caused pain and death: so again, death and water. And I put in a few paragraphs about water, but I don't think I explained anything.

...and I'm not sure there's anything to explain, even if I'd used the water thing more, it would have been a thematic element, which...do you explain those? Or just put them in for people to notice or not notice or maybe notice unconsciously? But all the same, I could have used it a bit more, made the connection more strongly...

Would the story have been better with a consistent use of water on the thematic level? I'm actually not sure.

And I guess I wonder if things that I "explain" by putting certain events next to each other are actually explanations. I don't really like to outright say "character did this because of this reason" because I have a horror of being obvious and telling readers how to interpret things, but maybe I should lean that way more often. When you put things next to each other, it's an implied explanation only if the implication is strong enough.

Sometimes I wonder if my characters are too opaque when they've made their way out of my head and onto the page, but overexplaining is a flaw too... And since a lot of my writing has come from roleplaying, I may overvalue character, especially the itty bitty nuances of character, too.

Other thoughts are welcome.
lookingforoctober: (Default)
Short version: I don't think they've established one yet.

So I watched the two episodes they aired this week, and...Spoilers )
lookingforoctober: (Default)
Does anyone happen to know of any good essays / writing meta / I'm not sure what this is usually called... Writing advice? (except it doesn't have to be advice, it could be detailed analysis of something that exists and how it does one of these things) ...about the following topics?

1) antagonists and their role in a story (besides the stuff at arghink.com, which I already know about)
2) structures that aren't linear

I'm looking for real nuts and bolts kind of stuff, especially about the structures. Because whenever I see people talking about structures that aren't linear, they usually just sort of list them... Spiral structures or alternating structures, etc.

But what I want is how to write a spiral structure, what the pitfalls are, what makes a good or bad spiral structure, etc.


lookingforoctober: (Default)

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