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Hungry
Jul 14, 2006



Jade Mage posted:

Holy absolute poo poo Hungry, you could have this latest chapter of Katalepsis stretch for like the next dozen chapters and I would still be hanging off every word. The downtime just in the hallway house for monsters or attempting interdimensional conquest are both great.

Easily my favourite work of fiction I've read in a long time, regardless of form.

Hey, thank you very much! I'm always really happy whenever anybody's enjoying the story, glad you're having so much fun.

And it's nice to know that the current downtime parts are working well too. Ever since I mishandled the pacing back in the middle of arc 10, I've been very cautious about drawing any one section out for too long, but I suppose there's a big difference between fighting some random weirdo and resolving(?) the intersection between three of the main character arcs.

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90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



It's super good.

Josh Christ
Dec 23, 2020


LLSix posted:

First four books of Mage Errant are free.

Stumbled across the author's reddit post while looking for something new to read so no idea if they're any good.

Wish people wouldnt refer to kindle unlimited as "giving away", a term which implies you own the thing now.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Josh Christ posted:

Wish people wouldnt refer to kindle unlimited as "giving away", a term which implies you own the thing now.
Earlier they were free just on the regular Kindle store.

avoraciopoctules
Oct 22, 2012

What is this kid's DEAL?!



Cicero posted:

Earlier they were free just on the regular Kindle store.

That worked for me. I decided to buy the most recent book for four bucks after I realized the first four were free.

Plorkyeran
Mar 21, 2007

To Escape The Shackles Of The Old Forums, We Must Reject The Tribal Negativity He Endorsed


Hungry posted:

Hey, thank you very much! I'm always really happy whenever anybody's enjoying the story, glad you're having so much fun.

And it's nice to know that the current downtime parts are working well too. Ever since I mishandled the pacing back in the middle of arc 10, I've been very cautious about drawing any one section out for too long, but I suppose there's a big difference between fighting some random weirdo and resolving(?) the intersection between three of the main character arcs.

Yeah, this arc is "downtime" in the sense that they're going shopping rather than fighting stuff but there's been some significant developments in every chapter and one of the long-running arcs is clearly progressing.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

LLSix posted:

First four books of Mage Errant are free.

Stumbled across the author's reddit post while looking for something new to read so no idea if they're any good.

It doesn't look free to me, did I miss the window?

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006



Bremen posted:

It doesn't look free to me, did I miss the window?
Yeah. It's still on KU if you have that.

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005

0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin.

Larry Parrish posted:

I too started to hate Pith's helplessly naive cast but it appears that Anabelle has finally learned some stuff. It just seems like she really should have toughened up sooner. But what do I know? If I'm honest my world view largely hasnt changed like hers did. Maybe I would take a while to adapt too.

It always confuses me when people get upset at protagonists having actual flaws. Like some people just can't even consume media unless they personally identify with the protagonist and all PoV characters (that aren't explicitly villainous) are good/correct (or gradually become more good/correct by the end of the series)

I'm not referring to you there (like you sort of mention/imply, it's not really strange for Anabelle to have the sort of mindset she has, since her response to a terrible life was fantasize about the grass being greener elsewhere), but this attitude seems pretty endemic among most popular media (I was going to say YA stories and web serials, but honestly this applies to most major movies and TV shows as well).

vvv To me it heavily depends on the ideology of the work as a whole, which can sometimes be a subtle distinction, but there's definitely a tendency for nearly all PoV or otherwise "good-aligned (from the perspective of the plot)" characters to either be good or be bad in ways that are remedied within the scope of the story.

It's also one thing to say "I don't want to read this kind of story" (which is completely fine) and another to say that "the protagonist being bad/dumb is a reason this story isn't good and I don't recommend it because of this."

Ytlaya fucked around with this message at 22:51 on Apr 20, 2021

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Some people are mad at flawed protagonists, other times it's just that the particular flaw in question makes a story annoying or lovely to read to a reader.

To use an example probably everyone here can relate to: historically, people have had plenty of lovely ideas about race and sex (and still do, obviously). Having a protagonist who's a huge bigot is very realistic, but that doesn't mean I wanna read that story.

Or for an actual example: I don't think Ryoka being misanthropic in early TWI was necessarily bad writing, but it did make some of her parts rather painful to read. If you imagine a TWI that was just Ryoka all the time, it seems probable that such a version would've lost a lot of readers early.

Peachfart
Jan 21, 2017



Cicero posted:

Some people are mad at flawed protagonists, other times it's just that the particular flaw in question makes a story annoying or lovely to read to a reader.

To use an example probably everyone here can relate to: historically, people have had plenty of lovely ideas about race and sex (and still do, obviously). Having a protagonist who's a huge bigot is very realistic, but that doesn't mean I wanna read that story.

Or for an actual example: I don't think Ryoka being misanthropic in early TWI was necessarily bad writing, but it did make some of her parts rather painful to read. If you imagine a TWI that was just Ryoka all the time, it seems probable that such a version would've lost a lot of readers early.

Agreed. Also if I wanted to read about clueless people that relitigate the same dilemma hundreds of times without changing anything, D&D is just a few forums away.

Wittgen
Oct 13, 2012

We have decided to decline your offer of a butt kicking.


I only read book one of TWI, and I did find Ryokas sections somewhat grating. I did really enjoy the meta conceipt that Ryoka is the stereotypical wish fulfillment self insert isekai character (beautiful, brilliant, independent, yadda yadda) and the story is fully aware she is a buffoon.

The exchange where the main character talks about voting for bernie in the primary and Ryoka reflects on how her vote as an Ohio resident was for the libertarian candidate? Delicious.

nessin
Feb 7, 2010


Ytlaya posted:

It always confuses me when people get upset at protagonists having actual flaws. Like some people just can't even consume media unless they personally identify with the protagonist and all PoV characters (that aren't explicitly villainous) are good/correct (or gradually become more good/correct by the end of the series)

I'm not referring to you there (like you sort of mention/imply, it's not really strange for Anabelle to have the sort of mindset she has, since her response to a terrible life was fantasize about the grass being greener elsewhere), but this attitude seems pretty endemic among most popular media (I was going to say YA stories and web serials, but honestly this applies to most major movies and TV shows as well).

vvv To me it heavily depends on the ideology of the work as a whole, which can sometimes be a subtle distinction, but there's definitely a tendency for nearly all PoV or otherwise "good-aligned (from the perspective of the plot)" characters to either be good or be bad in ways that are remedied within the scope of the story.

It's also one thing to say "I don't want to read this kind of story" (which is completely fine) and another to say that "the protagonist being bad/dumb is a reason this story isn't good and I don't recommend it because of this."

My experience, and I haven't read Pith to comment on that in particular, is the author gives the reader information and situations that would suggest a character would be or grow into being "good" or "correct" but then intentionally doesn't on the basis of a flaw or no one being perfect. Writing a character into situations where they should know better or change but don't is bad writing not the reader having unrealistic expectations.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

Ytlaya posted:

It always confuses me when people get upset at protagonists having actual flaws. Like some people just can't even consume media unless they personally identify with the protagonist and all PoV characters (that aren't explicitly villainous) are good/correct (or gradually become more good/correct by the end of the series)

I'm not referring to you there (like you sort of mention/imply, it's not really strange for Anabelle to have the sort of mindset she has, since her response to a terrible life was fantasize about the grass being greener elsewhere), but this attitude seems pretty endemic among most popular media (I was going to say YA stories and web serials, but honestly this applies to most major movies and TV shows as well).

vvv To me it heavily depends on the ideology of the work as a whole, which can sometimes be a subtle distinction, but there's definitely a tendency for nearly all PoV or otherwise "good-aligned (from the perspective of the plot)" characters to either be good or be bad in ways that are remedied within the scope of the story.

It's also one thing to say "I don't want to read this kind of story" (which is completely fine) and another to say that "the protagonist being bad/dumb is a reason this story isn't good and I don't recommend it because of this."

I enjoy things better when protagonists are at the very least intelligent, rational, and make consistently good decisions based on the information they have. I'm not going to claim it's realistic or anything, but it's much more enjoyable for me, in the same way a game is more enjoyable if I can make reasonably easy progress and frustrating if I can't accomplish anything. I don't demand they be powerful, but I guess "smart" is sort of my preferred power fantasy?

And yes, this is the reason I bounced hard off TWI, which early on seemed to be the story of two characters who both consistently made poor choices but were rewarded anyways.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


there definitely is a thing where web serial readers claim they don't want perfect protagonists but then get pissed whenever one of them isn't perfect lol. Although it's kind of understandable considering how many crappy stories have characters who's decision making process is entirely plot-based, so it makes them seem dumb as hell and incapable of learning. which is even worse writing than having someone be an ubermensch who never makes mistakes. I can see how you could confuse ryoka etc for this

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



ryoka sucks at first because it seems like she's not going to face the consequences of acting the way she does, things go right for her. but the thing is, and i think i can say this without really spoiling anything - she does eat poo poo eventually and has to grow as a person. erin does, too, although not to the same extent because she's not as out of touch as ryoka.

this is probably the most frustrating thing about encouraging people to read TWI to me - volume 1 sets up a lot of cliche characters which drives people away, but part of the point of the story is to take an entire setting that is almost defined by its derivativeness and take it ten steps beyond its origin. that's why there are so many words

Kyoujin
Oct 7, 2009


I don't mind characters making mistakes as long as it is relevant to their character and not just blatant stupidity to make a plot event happen. I thought these were done well:

Zuko from avatar siding with his sister rather than his uncle then later regretting. Fits his character and motivations.

Lindon from cradle (bloodline spoiler) going to the wei clan himself as a savior with unsouled badge instead of delegating to someone else they might respect and listen to.

Peachfart
Jan 21, 2017



Mistakes by a viewpoint character are fine, and in fact good. A perfect character that is always correct is boring. But at the same time, growth is important in any story of length. If the person makes a mistake then makes the same mistake again and this repeats for the entire length of the story, it can get frustrating.

Plorkyeran
Mar 21, 2007

To Escape The Shackles Of The Old Forums, We Must Reject The Tribal Negativity He Endorsed


The worst is when the narrative tells us that the character has learned from their mistake and developed as a person and then that turns out to be a lie.

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



For Pith in particular, the weirdest thing to me is a strange but very setting-specific moral stance one character has. It's needed to make a lot of the plot go, but it's weird and other characters in the story specifically call it out as weird.

Plot details: The story has people's souls being movable between bodies (either natural or factory-made). Because of , Anabelle is in a falling apart body that's going to die from a stroke/heart attack at some point in the next few months. She's willing to kill people, including in active ways with plans like "break into this building, kill the guards, then search the place", but is unwilling to swap bodies with those same guards instead of/before killing them. Eventually it gets resolved by the plot maneuvering her into a situation where a swap more directly keeps one of her friends safe, then she's fine with it. (as opposed to before when she's just indirectly endangering them by doing stuff while semi-crippled and potentially dropping dead at any moment)

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


Yeah I never really got that one either. I just chalked it up to her giving up on herself, but not her friends.

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Peachfart
Jan 21, 2017



Foxfire_ posted:

For Pith in particular, the weirdest thing to me is a strange but very setting-specific moral stance one character has. It's needed to make a lot of the plot go, but it's weird and other characters in the story specifically call it out as weird.

Plot details: The story has people's souls being movable between bodies (either natural or factory-made). Because of , Anabelle is in a falling apart body that's going to die from a stroke/heart attack at some point in the next few months. She's willing to kill people, including in active ways with plans like "break into this building, kill the guards, then search the place", but is unwilling to swap bodies with those same guards instead of/before killing them. Eventually it gets resolved by the plot maneuvering her into a situation where a swap more directly keeps one of her friends safe, then she's fine with it. (as opposed to before when she's just indirectly endangering them by doing stuff while semi-crippled and potentially dropping dead at any moment)

Agreed, it felt artificial and plot driven.

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