||[Dec. 8th, 2005|08:56 am]
Outlining is teh Suck.
Of course, I suppose it's better that I'm working out all of these issues in my head, instead of realizing I have to scrap the first scenes of the book because they don't make any sense, but. Argh.
Creating characters is very frustrating, because they rarely survive first contact with the plot. (At least, for me they don't.) You hit something stressful and your mind goes 'but what if she was like this!' and you go 'Hey, that's a good idea!' and then you're screwed. Of course, my characters are in a state of flux right now, because they're hitting reams of plot. In my head. And such.
Must make farking decisions! Argh. I need a crossreferenced database in my head. Just set up the wire input here, sir, and I'll take it from there. I'll set meself up a SQL server of some sort, and then start dumping data. Though, I know it wouldn't really work. It's just a nice idea. ^^;;
I finished Stage 7 of SRWa2 last night, for I am slow and sad, and miraculously managed to get the Jukuren point (due to gratuitous application of 'but if I let any of the enemies go, they'll take my XP and money with them!'). Oops. Well, looks like the next stage is going to be Hard too, then, I guess. Main character can step up the kick-butt factor any time now.
Why does every boss have Sokoryoku? It's not quite as horribly bad for me as it was in a1 (when there were a couple of bosses that I accidentally got down too low on HP and could no longer kill), but it's still irritating. And I'm noticing a distinct lack of characters with Nekketsu on my side. There's one. Who I presume is part of a sentai of some sort (Gaiking?), but I don't appear to be able to transform yet. And who is in a team in the first battle you get him, but not as the leader, which means his ability is next to useless (in stage 7).
The next stage is going to be fun - going after a Gundam jacker who I have to get to next to no HP using a character who is, to put it mildly, not my best character right now. Without killing it. Bah. It was my Gundam in the first place too. Fushing feef! Give me my damn Gundam back! I put money into it!
SRWa -> turning your children into budgeting fanatics.
And upgrading mechs in SRWa2 is so expensive...
In those sorts of character vs. plot decisions, I usually sac the plot. I find it easier to make new plot than new characters. This is probably because I'm used to DMing, where you don't *get* to change the characters, and the plot tends not to survive very long with people like cnorgard
around. "Hmm, I have no ranks in Swim. I think I'll jump in the lake and punch the dragon to death." "Hmm, it's four sessions later and I still have no ranks in Swim. Or Jump. Or a parachute. I think I'll jump out of the aircraft onto the sea serpent miles from land."
I still think hooking your nervous system up to any kind of network is a terrible
Hmm... the Niven Telepathy Challenge is "create a form of telepathy that does not function like something from Ma Bell." Alfred Bester's approach was to model telepathy on concrete poetry. I like the idea of modeling it on hacking... but I still hate telepathy too much to write it. I offer the idea to anyone that wants it.
That's fine in a DnD campaign, but in a book I have control over both the characters and the plot, and the goal is to make them well matched. And anyways, I like the plot, while the characters aren't well developed enough yet to compete with a stick for my attention... well, okay, some of them aren't, yet. Part of the problem is that I'm trying to develop Ariel into a realistic character, who both fits the plot and is not painfully stereotypical.
I never said I was going to hook it up to a network. That's just crazy.
I'm not entirely sure what this means. In what sense not function like something from Ma Bell?
Hmm. I guess it's mostly a difference of approach. I consider plot to be "whatever the characters decide to do." I take a setting, put some characters in it, and see what happens. Usually it's something interesting. Sometimes there's external events happening, but usually it's just the characters doing things to each other that creates the plot. This pretty much always results in a plot that's well-matched to the characters.
By "Ma Bell" I mean all those cases where telepathy is basically like making a phone call -- sending and receiving clear messages exactly like speech, or "reading" a mind like a book. Bester's The Demolished Man, which is one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, imagines telepathy as being much more like concrete poetry. It's not linear, it doesn't form neat little sentences -- it's as much spatial as it is textual. In fact, there's a form of performance art that you have to be a telepath to witness, let alone create, that involves groups of people combining their efforts to create large, complex structures that combine elements of concrete poetry and acrostics.
FYI, the B5 character is named after the author. Most of the human B5 characters are named after real-world people, usually historical figures (the main human characters are all named after famous revolutionaries, and two, Ivanova and Sheridan, are actually supposed to be descended from their namesakes).
Ah. I didn't know that, and that was really puzzling me, actually. ^^
I know the feeling on the character vs. plot problem. Usually it's either because a) the character didn't turn out the way I wanted or b) the plot is messed up. If a) you can go back and adjust the character, but if b) you have to think things over.
That's the advantage of outlining, actually, when all's said and done. You can alter the plot significantly without the huge cost of changing tons of prose you've already written.
It also means that it's very easy not to actually make any decisions, though. You don't have an anchor of 'this will not change'. That is good in some ways, but bad in others.
Yeah, I can see that. Dunno. At some point you just nail something down and say okay, where does this leave me, I guess. (Kinda like computer programming. ^_^)
Ah but see, that's the beauty of bosses in SRW - it's all a balancing equation of getting them down to low enough HP to kill in a single blow without activating their special abilities or making them run away or whatever. That's why upgrading one of your super mecha's weapons a lot is crucial in early game.
Good luck with the characters, but I feel that worldbuilding is one of the more fun aspects of writing. Even if you wind up having to rip it out by the roots later.
^^ But then that one super robot unit gets over levelled.