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Messages - Yora

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Dragons are often seen as a generic and default feature of fantasy, like swords, magic, and kings. But I think they actually are really not. Lots of fantasy worlds have dragons somewhere, but very few fantasy stories seem to actually do anything relevant with them.

Dragons have been one of the things I've been very much undecided about for a long time when it comes to including them myself or not. And I am now very strongly leaning towards not doing it. I don't feel my stories need dragons, and including something generic in a fantasy for the reason that it's generic and expected seems like a really bad idea to me. It just detracts from the actually relevant fantastic elements a world has.

Monthly Writing Contest / Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« on: February 03, 2020, 08:31:42 PM »
There is another Fantasy Faction on Facebook?

The reason I don't participate is because of the constraints inherent to the format. 1,500 words is a length that is suitable for exercising wordcraft, but not the kind of storytelling that I am interested in. 10,000 words over 3 months for example would be more attractive to me personally.

Writers' Corner / Re: Emotional connection to writing content
« on: January 31, 2020, 11:53:09 PM »
In fantasy we write about magic and killing heaps of people with sword, which are competely removed from anyone's experiences. Nobody knows what that would be like.
Fiction as a whole isn't anywhere close to realistic. And fantasy in particular is all make belief that nobody could know what it's really like.

You don't need to understand the deeper truths of the universe to write a mystic, and you don't have to feel an urge to kill to write a villain in a fight scene.

Of course the big one I missed from last year is terminator dark fate. An all female lead action movie in a an established series. A very woke script ignoring the last 3 films and $120,000,000 loss have likely killed the franchise.
Well, it's been dead since 1991.

The Rocketeer is being gender swapped for an animated series.
That actually sounds like a cool idea. A 1930s lady of adventure with a jetpack is something we have not had before, and it could be meaningfully different from a man if they actually work with that setting.

Just bad writing and over reliance on CGI.
Not coincidentally, both are almost universally the result of the creators not caring about quality. It has brand name recognition and spectacle, what else could it possibly need?

Fury Road is the one exception I can think of. I heard the new Blade Runner is pretty well made, but I thought it was unnecessary and have not watched it.

But even then: How many percent of big movie releases of the past 20 years are those? 2%? 3%?
It's true: It's not that they can't do it. They just almost never seem to bother trying it.


I saw this one at a construction site near my house. It says "Well Built"  ;D

Just trying to think of movie series which have gender swaps recently.

MiB International had a women lead.
Oceans Eight had a ensemble cast of women.
Ghostbusters went to a all women cast too.

Fact is despite the gender issues, none of above can be considered as well-made or even comparable to their respective originals.
That's the thing with all of these. They are all remakes/reboots/too late sequels. Which never make for good movies. They were basically doomed even before the characters were made women.

General Discussion / Re: Art vs Artist
« on: January 30, 2020, 03:16:50 PM »
I see the work and the creator as separate entities. You can judge the work on its own merits and completely ignore any information about the creator. If you want to. Anything about the creator does not change what the work is.

However, there is a difference between being critics, an audience, and customers.

As a critic, the identity of the creator is irrelevant. This is all about the work.

But as audience for a work, we are almost always also customers of the creator. Even when a work is apparently free, then "you are not the customer, you are the product". The creator is probably getting paid by advertisers for drawing a crowd that will be exposed to ads.
Even in the case where you get the art without having paid for it, you're probably going to tell others what you've been thinking about the work and as such do advertising for it.

There are almost no circumstances in which you can consume art without it somehow putting money into the creator's pocket, even in a very indirect way. And that means you are supporting the creator. You're not just supporting him, you are actually encouraging him to keep behaving in the way he does and give him confirmation that there  won't be any bad consequences for him doing so. The money keeps flowing and you help making it happen.

And this is why, as a consumer, I do not engage with the works of creators I regard as objectionable. When I talk about their work in a positive way, I am promoting their work and encourage others to give them money that signals them their behavior is okay.

The one exception that I can think of is that I still quite enjoy Lovecraft. But I did think long and hard about it, and did do some serious research that made me conclude that his xenophobia wasn't just regular racism, but resulted from severe psychological conditions. I judge him by the standards of being mentally disabled so I am giving him a pass in that regard. And I guess it helps that he's been dead for almost a century.
I'm also a big fan of Robert Howard, and when I saw people describing him as racist and misogynistic, I also did a good deal of research on him. And I found the opposite being the case, so I have no problem with actively promoting his work. But I still felt the need that I had to check, rather than just ignore the accusation.

I'd assume that movie industry isn't that bereft of imagination to not come up with a good movie featuring a women secret agent or a women adventurer. Lara Croft and Wonder Women come readily to mind without resorting to compulsory swapping of characters.
Have you seen movies in the last 20 years? The industry is completely incapable of creating any new content. It's all sequels, remakes, and adaptations.

I finally finished it. And looking back at my notes of how much I played, it still took me about 80 hours to complete. I was surprised at how long the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion is. The first small dungeon took me 30 minutes, the journey to the hidden island 2 hours. But the big dungeon of Durlag's Tower took me 13 hours. Today that is the length of a medium sized game in itself. I had to return to the surface to sell all the treasure I found seven times. Which at this point was rather pointless, since I already had over 150.000 gold and the gear you find in the dungeon is better than anything you can buy. But I wanted to complete the game as much as possible.
The final demon fight took me 90 minutes and probably 20 tries with my completely maxed out party. Unfortunately, the expansion did not update the actual final boss of the game, so with 15 additional hours of high level fights, the final fight was over in 3 minutes on the first try. Though I have to admit that having completed the game several times in the past, I knew all the cheap tricks and saved all the best potions for this moment. Even the biggest, meanest guy with a sword can't hit you if you keep using your magic items to summon an endless horde of monsters to block his path. :P

I'm now continuing with Baldur's Gate 2, and to my big surprise, I managed to install this almost 20 year old windows game on my Linux computer on the first try and it works!  8) Getting the first game to run took me hours.
I was also surprised how much this game really took me back... I think I actually played the first one a lot more, and played it for a while every couple of years. But the second I have not played for ages, and I don't think I actually finished it since 2001 or 2002. Now this will be really fun.

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: The Witcher ( tv series)
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:33:49 PM »
I got a question about the adaptation of the early story of Geralt and Ciri. From what I've read about the show, it does compress that part quite a lot.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Did Geralt and Ciri have any scenes together before he finds her on the farm in the final episode?

I The Sword of Destiny, he comes to Cintra when she is six or so, Calanthe tries to give him some orphan girl, but Geralt sees the deception and offers her to not take Ciri yet and let her grow up more with her family. (Is that in the show?)

Then later Ciri is lost in the dryad forest, Geralt rescues her, and brings her back to Cintra.

Finally Cintra is conquered, Calanthe killed, and Ciri goes missing. And then Geralt sees her on the farm completely at random. Or rather, in such an improbable coincidence that destiny is obvious at work.

After a full year long break, I have continued my current playthrough of Baldur's Gate. Somehow the final areas always drag, and I had several playthroughs end at the 2/3 mark over the years decades.

And on what might be my 10th playthrough over 21 years, I finally found a use for a stupid joke item that had been a an infamous joke for ages. Golden pants that you can not use, can not sell, and seemingly not give to anyone. But today I finally found the one guy in the whole game who will react when you have the pants in your inventory when you speak with him. If you don't have them with you, he doesn't mention that he wants them.
That was a tough one to crack. (But of course, today this detail can be looked up online. I'm not the first one who found it.)

Writers' Corner / Re: Episodic Explorations of the Supernatural
« on: January 23, 2020, 08:01:03 AM »
One thing that came to my mind was X-Files.  :D

Very big influence is Indiana Jones, and perhaps even more so Marion from from the first movie. And I guess perhaps Garret from Thief.

Writers' Corner / Re: Episodic Explorations of the Supernatural
« on: January 22, 2020, 07:04:04 PM »
Because it's not easy, as I have discovered.  ;)

I think the problem is that it's something that would be quite difficult to communicate. In most story formats you have an initial problem or mystery, and at the end you have some sort of solution or answer. But you can't boil down meaningful wisdom in a few lines of words. If your character gains enlightenment at the end, you basically have to withhold it from the reader, with the protagonist telling the other characters that they wouldn't understand or something like that. Or you do try to give some amazing answer at the end, but it's almost certainly not going to feel as amazing to the readers as they expected it to be.

I've come to the conclusion that if you want to have stories about a character seeking for wisdom and enlightenment, achieving it can not be the big payoff at the end. The dramatic question of the story has to be something other than "will the hero become enlightened?", and the satisfying conclusion at the end has to be about something else.
That's why right now I am putting my money on episodic adventures instead of a big continuous storyline. Seeking wisdom can be the motivation for the protagonist to get involved with the events of the story, but the goal of each individual adventure is something more specific that can then end in a relatively straightforward conclusion.

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