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Samizdata
May 14, 2007


Darth Walrus posted:

One thing I was thinking about was motivation. If we want Wade to be egg-hunting as a job and slowly, reluctantly fall in love with the nostalgic nerdery he’s immersed in, then we should give him a compelling reason for diving into the hunt in the first place, and for forming his various relationships with the rest of the gang. Luckily, Cline already laid some of the groundwork for us, and I’ve got a few ideas.

When Wade was a child, his father told him stories of the man he’d been named after. Like him, he’d been born dirt-poor on an Oklahoma mountainside, dehumanised and belittled by the rich white folks who couldn’t be bothered to give him a real place in their world. He told little Wade about the time the original Wade Watts had gone round to a white friend’s house and been served a meal, only to discover he’d been eating out of the dog’s bowl. More often, though, he told him about what Wade Watts had become - a man who stared down the Klan, reintegrated public schools, and had audiences with presidents. They were nice stories, and Wade liked to remember them when things got bad.

Wade grew up in the stacks, the trailer-park labyrinths created after the first of the great economic crashes, along with thousands upon thousands of others who America didn’t have room for any more - or, at least, that was how the party in government put it at the time. The first white face he saw in person was when an IOI security team broke in a neighbour’s door for running an unlicensed haptic rig. He’d been raised by his aunt and uncle. His father had died during a food riot when he was ten, and he never knew his mother, only her photographs - a pretty white girl with dark, empty eyes. His father had told him that she went into the OASIS one day and never came back. His aunt and uncle were kind enough to him, but he wasn’t theirs, only another mouth to feed that they could barely afford, and they all knew it.

Like nearly all of his generation, Wade spent much of his life in the OASIS, when he wasn’t running errands for his family or playing football with the other kids from his neighbourhood. He’d been smart enough and lucky enough to get a scholarship to a good online school, and he applied himself well to his studies, but he never felt like there was much a place for him there - his fellow pupils weren’t terribly inclined to socialise with a kid from the stacks. His only real online friend was Aech, a boy in the same year who’d been the first to walk up and say hi when he transferred in. Aech was a cheerfully unabashed nerd, a disciple of the OASIS’s eccentric creator James Halliday with a sincere love of the ancient pop-culture the massive virtual universe was built on. He called himself a ‘gunter’, a quester for the holy grail Halliday had supposedly hidden somewhere within the OASIS’s depths. Wade didn’t honestly have much interest in all that quasi-mystical rubbish, only in getting the grades he needed to get one of the few decent jobs still going, but Aech’s sheer enthusiasm made him fun to be around.

Then the posters went up.

Stacks were questionably legal and definitely eyesores, which meant that when a company wanted to build over them, they didn’t have much difficulty. Wade’s neighbourhood was up in the hills, and IOI wanted to take advantage of the stunning views of the valley below for a new executive resort. The residents fought the impending demolition as hard as they could, even attracting the endorsement of the OASIS celebrity and social-justice campaigner Art3mis, but Wade knew that it would be only a matter of time until the megacorp got its way. Several of his neighbours had been relocated before, and he’d heard their stories. He knew that there were folks in his stacks who were too old or sick to survive it.

He obsessed over ways to save his neighbourhood, to get revenge on IOI, to stop this hellish system altogether, but kept coming back to one - the Easter egg, the prize left by a madman in a maze of children’s toys that was rumoured to have the power to upend the world. One day, he bottled up his courage placed a few orders on OASIS’s online marketplace, and sent a message to his best friend.

“Hey, Aech. What was all that you were telling me about the Tomb of Horrors?”

I have a bit of a problem with the "kid from the wrong side of the stacks" thing. From what I recall, the stacks were far from rare, and generally urbanized, not rural. Due to that, I doubt Wade would be so energetically marginalized as you suggest. Plus, frankly, it's sort of trite, having been used since the days of Horatio Alger, and we're fighting an uphull battle against that as it is the driving scheme of the original book.

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Ottermotive Insanity
Dec 30, 2006



Isn't making Artemis trans effectively making her another "Wade accept her regardless of her real world self?" Whether she's handicapped, overweight, had a birthmark, or is trans, it's all the same, plotwise. Artemis doesn't accept herself, doesn't think anyone will, but Wade falls for her regardless.

The reader needs to question if they themselves could look actually look past whatever issue Artemis has. Current readers ridicule that her issue is a birthmark, and probably would do the same with weight.

And maybe it's lovely of me, but I think having Artemis be trans, along with Aech being a lesbian or trans would make this rewrite be more of an LGBT niche story.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Ottermotive Insanity posted:

Isn't making Artemis trans effectively making her another "Wade accept her regardless of her real world self?" Whether she's handicapped, overweight, had a birthmark, or is trans, it's all the same, plotwise. Artemis doesn't accept herself, doesn't think anyone will, but Wade falls for her regardless.

The reader needs to question if they themselves could look actually look past whatever issue Artemis has. Current readers ridicule that her issue is a birthmark, and probably would do the same with weight.

And maybe it's lovely of me, but I think having Artemis be trans, along with Aech being a lesbian or trans would make this rewrite be more of an LGBT niche story.

I think that being trans is a bit different because it signals an aspiration she’s also working on in real life. It’s not a flaw she’s hiding, it’s a new life she’s embracing. It’s not uncommon for someone to practice living as the opposite sex by presenting as one online. It marks a striking contrast to Aech, who actually is hiding herself in an unhealthy way because she fears being ostracised and rejected. I like it because it covers a broader range of the online experience, rather than giving us two characters with pretty much the same problem. It also lets us pull away a little from the whole ‘Wade accepts her despite her flaws’ thing and turn it into another expression of her drive and ambition (and serves as an obvious point of tension with the folks who want to shut down the OASIS, because it’s been very positive and helpful for her and people like her in this regard).

Powered Descent
Jul 13, 2008

We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.

Yam Slacker

chitoryu12 posted:

Do we want to keep the stacks the stacks, or do we want a more traditional shantytown or trailer park sprawl?

I talked to a friend about this project and she suggested inspiration from shipping containers converted into vertical apartments in Europe if we wanted to stick with unusual vertical housing without having people just piling Airstream trailers and cars on top of each other.

I think the stacks should stay at least partially an ad-hoc engineering effort using whatever was around. Containers could certainly be a good chunk of it, but If they make up the whole thing, then that would imply that it was designed and built instead of just kind of grew as personal transport became more and more infeasible. The mix of trailers and prefabs from all eras literally crammed in on top of each other is one of the book's most striking visuals (there's a reason they put it on the movie poster with long-leg boy, after all) and I don't see any reason to throw that away.



That said, the feasibility can be improved by shortening the stacks a bit. Twenty-story skyscrapers made of trailers would blow over in the first good wind that came along, if they didn't collapse under their own weight first. Three or four high, with occasional "towers" or five or six, would be plenty.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012




Precarious ziggarats of trailers

Ottermotive Insanity
Dec 30, 2006



Darth Walrus posted:

I think that being trans is a bit different because it signals an aspiration she’s also working on in real life. It’s not a flaw she’s hiding, it’s a new life she’s embracing. It’s not uncommon for someone to practice living as the opposite sex by presenting as one online. It marks a striking contrast to Aech, who actually is hiding herself in an unhealthy way because she fears being ostracised and rejected. I like it because it covers a broader range of the online experience, rather than giving us two characters with pretty much the same problem. It also lets us pull away a little from the whole ‘Wade accepts her despite her flaws’ thing and turn it into another expression of her drive and ambition (and serves as an obvious point of tension with the folks who want to shut down the OASIS, because it’s been very positive and helpful for her and people like her in this regard).

This would make sense if Artemis was the main character of the novel. How Artemis relates to herself is secondary to how Wade relates to her, though, because this is a story about Wade Watts. The big reveal, the core of it is that Wade accepts Artemis for who she is in the end, even though it may be unconventional, and in the re-write probably should be uncomfortable for the reader. The core of it is: Artemis likes Wade, Wade likes Artemis, but Artemis is afraid Wade will reject her IRL, Wade's character evolves from a superficial whiny wiener boy into the character who cares for Artemis regardless of who she is outside of the OASIS.

Cline didn't have that arc though. Wade is pretty accepting of everyone from the beginning... and I think the book would have been better if Wade had been a mouth-breather when we met him, and he became more open as the book went on. Cline had the groundwork of this: Aech's reveal, Halliday being socially inept, and not really that cool IRL, and finally Artemis's skin condition. All of that would lead Wade to realize his preconceived notions about people he meets and sees everyday may not be who they really are.

The_White_Crane
May 10, 2008


Ottermotive Insanity posted:

Isn't making Artemis trans effectively making her another "Wade accept her regardless of her real world self?" Whether she's handicapped, overweight, had a birthmark, or is trans, it's all the same, plotwise. Artemis doesn't accept herself, doesn't think anyone will, but Wade falls for her regardless.

True, but:

Ottermotive Insanity posted:

The reader needs to question if they themselves could look actually look past whatever issue Artemis has. Current readers ridicule that her issue is a birthmark, and probably would do the same with weight.

I think readers would be less likely to ridicule the idea of Artemis worrying about Wade's reaction if she's trans, because that is a legit concern for someone to worry about how people are going to react.
So I vote yes on Artemis as trans, no on Aech.

Re the stacks, I think we should probably make them more of a classical shanty-town. The big issue I always had with the original version: how the gently caress did they get the trailers stacked up in the first place? Did someone just happen to have a handy crane lying around?

Edit: also ottermotive I do kinda see your point about making it an LGBT niche story, but A: it's a fanfic rewrite of a novel done by a bunch of internet goons, so no-one's going to read it anyway, B: the way these things get to not be niche stories is by people doing them more often, and C: Artemis being trans is going to show up in like the last chapter of the story anyway, so it's not going to be a focal thing.

The_White_Crane fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2018 around 19:14

Ottermotive Insanity
Dec 30, 2006



chitoryu12 posted:

I’m not sure on Aech as a trans woman with a masculine avatar. As someone who knows a ton of trans people (including my brother), the avatar would have been the first thing to change.

I guess maybe her family knows her Avatar name, so she keeps up appearances... It's flimsy, maybe it's better to just be a lesbian. My initial thought concerned how Wade relates to Aech in the beginning; their relationship is bro-ish. Aech is kind of who Wade wants to be. From a character growth perspective, the reveal should enlighten Wade in some way. Seeing Aech as a man, and then it's revealed he is a man (a trans man) isn't really going to change anything for Wade's character. But if Aech doesn't start out as masculine, is androgynous, or feminine, I don't think Wade would relate in the same way. They'd be friends, but I don't think he'd look up to Aech, or be surprised by the reveal. I see their relationship in the original book, and probably any rewrite as being something like Frodo and Samwise; deviating too much from their sameness is going to erode the buddy aspect of their relationship.

Ottermotive Insanity fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2018 around 19:27

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Powered Descent posted:

I think the stacks should stay at least partially an ad-hoc engineering effort using whatever was around. Containers could certainly be a good chunk of it, but If they make up the whole thing, then that would imply that it was designed and built instead of just kind of grew as personal transport became more and more infeasible. The mix of trailers and prefabs from all eras literally crammed in on top of each other is one of the book's most striking visuals (there's a reason they put it on the movie poster with long-leg boy, after all) and I don't see any reason to throw that away.



That said, the feasibility can be improved by shortening the stacks a bit. Twenty-story skyscrapers made of trailers would blow over in the first good wind that came along, if they didn't collapse under their own weight first. Three or four high, with occasional "towers" or five or six, would be plenty.

I'm really not a fan of it, because it's also reliant on the world that Cline created where the economy has gone so far down the shitter that America is a post-apocalyptic dystopia, with countrysides full of Fallout or Mad Max-style raiders, cities in foreign countries being destroyed by nukes so often that it's not a surprising occurrence on the news, and nobody even traveling to another city because of how expensive and dangerous it is. That world just doesn't mesh with almost the entire planet living their daily lives in a video game that must be incredibly expensive to operate.

Most of the world living and working in OASIS on a daily basis makes a lot more sense if you've got a global recession (so there's still more poverty than normal but you're not at the level of a cyberpunk wasteland) and lots of renewable energy to make up for the lack of oil and coal. This world isn't as lovely as Cline's, but it's still lovely without going so far that it makes you stop to wonder how anything is able to exist the way it does.

Ottermotive Insanity posted:

This would make sense if Artemis was the main character of the novel. How Artemis relates to herself is secondary to how Wade relates to her, though, because this is a story about Wade Watts. The big reveal, the core of it is that Wade accepts Artemis for who she is in the end, even though it may be unconventional, and in the re-write probably should be uncomfortable for the reader. The core of it is: Artemis likes Wade, Wade likes Artemis, but Artemis is afraid Wade will reject her IRL, Wade's character evolves from a superficial whiny wiener boy into the character who cares for Artemis regardless of who she is outside of the OASIS.

Cline didn't have that arc though. Wade is pretty accepting of everyone from the beginning... and I think the book would have been better if Wade had been a mouth-breather when we met him, and he became more open as the book went on. Cline had the groundwork of this: Aech's reveal, Halliday being socially inept, and not really that cool IRL, and finally Artemis's skin condition. All of that would lead Wade to realize his preconceived notions about people he meets and sees everyday may not be who they really are.

While the book is about Wade, I think there has to be caution with making other characters too reliant on him. The Bechdel Test is really imperfect, so the Mako Mori Test is a better example: even if you only have one major female character, is their story entirely about uplifting a man?

While Wade is the POV character, the general story of Ready Player One v2 feels like it'll be better if we still have meaningful individual development for the rest of the protagonists. Their flaws are ones that they can overcome to improve themselves, whether through Wade's assistance or entirely on their own. If Art3mis legitimately has a problem that can't be overcome and Wade says "I don't care, I love you", that runs the risk of Art3mis's development instead being about Wade showcasing that he's not like those other guys. Whereas if she's got a flaw that makes her imperfect but doesn't actually make her broken or ugly or anything like that, it can be less about Wade and more about her accepting herself for who she is.

Daito and Sorrento can be used as counterparts to this development. Sorrento never had the flaws or insecurities of the protagonists, making him awesome by comparison but still the villain because of his actions. Daito has the same flaws as Shoto, but goes in the opposite direction and falls deeper into his coping method until he finally dies before he can overcome it. Daito and Shoto both have a flawed coping method (hiding even their real personalities behind a badass mask), and Daito shows how bad Shoto could have gotten without help.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2018 around 19:43

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


chitoryu12 posted:

Do we want to keep the stacks the stacks, or do we want a more traditional shantytown or trailer park sprawl?

I talked to a friend about this project and she suggested inspiration from shipping containers converted into vertical apartments in Europe if we wanted to stick with unusual vertical housing without having people just piling Airstream trailers and cars on top of each other.

I am okay with the stacks. Shows a little environmental consciousness vis a vis recycling, which ties in with the crap environment.

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


chitoryu12 posted:

Also in the canon bible, I tried to work out some of the discrepancies Cline created and make the world a little less mind-blowingly awful. For one, multiple cities have not been destroyed by nuclear bombs.

The flight from rural to urban areas is already well documented, so it's not unreasonable to assume this trend continuing by 2095 if there's a recession for a long period of time that kills jobs in poor rural towns. Since we're expanding the timeline by 50 years, there's no longer a need for stacks to grow in such a haphazard way by having people pile up ridiculous junk towers over a 20 year period. Modern solutions like shantytowns, trailer parks, and vertical apartments made from converted shipping containers are a lot more understandable and not at risk of toppling over like dominoes.

Because so much of rural America has been left abandoned, the government and major agricultural corporations like Monsanto have tons of land to convert to automated farms. Self-driving trucks and farm equipment means agriculture requires a relative skeleton crew to keep operating, so you can still have cheap government-subsidized food while most of the world is loving around in OASIS.

Renewable energy can also be reasonably assumed to have advanced tremendously 80 years from now, so you've got huge solar farms, wind farms, and hydroelectric dams supplemented by individual solar panels on homes. Cars are mostly electric or hydrogen fuel cells, but people still don't get out as much as they used to because of the relative lack of wealth.

Maybe put in some free public kibble dispensers? You know "All the nutrition a body needs. Now with 100% less flavor and texture!"

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


Tunicate posted:

Consider that people are already suffering from body image insecurities due to photoshopped magazines.


Now assume that the baseline for the Oasis is inhumanly sculpted avatars

Heh. I used to use There.com. I had all kinds of people ask me why my avvie had grey hair, glasses, and a pot belly. And I wanted to say "Because all you cookie cutter beautiful people annoy the gently caress out of me!" but I never did.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


There's been some real experimentation with multi-level trailer structures, but they're not exactly stacks.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird


Gonna echo everyone else and say keep Aech and Art3mis just like their book counterparts. Maybe give Samantha a little something more to be self-conscious about other than “oh no I’ve got a cool looking birthmark under my eye”, but I think they were fine the way they were conceptually already. Wade finding out who Aech really is should be something that draws them closer as friends and increases his admiration of her like 10 fold because it just makes her seem like even more of a badass to him.

I do agree with the sentiment though that Aech should show up to the final battle with a re-specc’d avatar more attuned to her real life self: buff, black, badass and female (any additional flair is optional) and when Wade sees it for the first time, he just starts grinning like an idiot and is all about it. But not in Cline’s way of “I’m doing this to show I’m ostensibly pro-diversity” and more in a “I am legitimately happy for you being comfortable with yourself” way.

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2018 around 22:54

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Tunicate posted:

Consider that people are already suffering from body image insecurities due to photoshopped magazines.

Now assume that the baseline for the Oasis is inhumanly sculpted avatars

This is something I wanted to bring up. When Wade is travelling in Columbus (or another major city, Columbus still feels too bland for me), he should run into people who are looking more and more like avatars. Not that their avatars are based off them, but that their human selves are getting surgery to look more like their OASIS counterparts. There should be some hosed-up postmodernist "fantasy is becoming reality and vice versa" stuff going on when he's out from isolation in the Stacks.

I would also feel that Wade's reaction to Aech should be left in. I would want him to have internalized the latent and sometimes obvious homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism found in a lot of '80s media. I want him to be cringing to IRL Aech and mixing up his pronouns and poo poo, until Aech gives him the "look motherfucker" speech about how all this stuff is a relic of it's time; that, like her, he has to be aware of those deeper meanings and not take it at face value; and he can still find value and fun out of them but they're not something to be building a worldview on. It's 204X not 1985, Wade, get with the times.

Also, I still want Shoto to be a girl (Shoko) with an obvious yaoi avatar and she ends up hooking up with Aech after she's revealed in her re-specced avie.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

Wouldn't it just be easier to write the story instead of crowd-sourcing characterization? Art demands creative vision, not creative consensus. Just decide yourself.

Also, I am going to be That Guy and agree with this sentiment--TO AN EXTENT. Soliciting ideas and discussion from the thread is good, but putting major elements like this up to a committee vote is fraught with peril. There, I said it. You can all go back to ignoring him now until he says something worth listening to again.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Young Freud posted:

I would also feel that Wade's reaction to Aech should be left in. I would want him to have internalized the latent and sometimes obvious homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism found in a lot of '80s media. I want him to be cringing to IRL Aech and mixing up his pronouns and poo poo, until Aech gives him the "look motherfucker" speech about how all this stuff is a relic of it's time; that, like her, he has to be aware of those deeper meanings and not take it at face value; and he can still find value and fun out of them but they're not something to be building a worldview on. It's 204X not 1985, Wade, get with the times.

My problem with this is that it risks adding an unlikable element to Wade, especially toward the end of the book when he's supposed to be at the zenith of his character development. It's even worse in Cline's book because he never really improves at all so it just underscores Wade being an unlikable dick from start to finish, but I don't want his self-improvement to start taking steps backward.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Delicious and Nutritious



Fun Shoe

Darth Walrus posted:

I think I prefer Aech being a cis lesbian because I don’t like the assumption that having masculine hobbies and being into ladies necessarily means you’re trans. Seems a bit... uhh... Iranian. ‘Sides, I legit can’t remember the last time I saw a positively-portrayed butch lesbian in a story who made it to the end without dying unpleasantly.

Art3mis being trans is an interesting idea, but I’m not wedded to it if we wanna skip it.

This fits me as well. I like part of Aech's character arc being her finding her opportunity to say 'You know what? gently caress this poo poo, I'ma be me and anyone who doesn't like it can get shot in the face. Bitch, I am -famous-.'

I could go either way with Art3mis, depending on how well it's handled. It just being a complete non-issue for Wade would be nice.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at Apr 8, 2018 around 01:37

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*


I personally lean towards Art3mis being Trans, I like the opportunities to explore that side of the online experience, but I do fear we would find ourselves caught up in trying to do her story "right" and it overtaking the general narrative rewrite which could lead to story creep. If the group feels confident we could do it well then I'm all for it but we should be sure we're not biting off more than we can chew if we go that direction.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

chitoryu12 posted:

My problem with this is that it risks adding an unlikable element to Wade, especially toward the end of the book when he's supposed to be at the zenith of his character development. It's even worse in Cline's book because he never really improves at all so it just underscores Wade being an unlikable dick from start to finish, but I don't want his self-improvement to start taking steps backward.

Heroes are defined by their flaws and how they overcome them.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Proteus Jones posted:

Heroes are defined by their flaws and how they overcome them.

The past is littered with imperfections. What we learn from these imperfections, is important. There is no holy ground, only the potential for wisdom.

Oh, BTW, speaking of '80s being filled with latent and overt homophobia, racism, and sexism, this op-ed from '80s darling Molly Ringwald has some interesting observations about her looking back at the career of her director John Hughes.

Also, she reveals that Duckie's gay.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Proteus Jones posted:

Heroes are defined by their flaws and how they overcome them.

Yeah, but there's two problems with that:

1. It's a really big flaw, one that can easily turn people off from Wade. It certainly did for me.

2. It's a flaw that rears its head toward the end of the book, when Wade should be at his best from all the development prior. Having him suddenly turn out to be racist, homophobic, or transphobic at the eleventh hour is a good way to bring his development to a screeching halt.

I just saw the movie, and they actually don't have Wade express any surprise whatsoever except at meeting Aech in person so suddenly. Art3mis is the one who balks at Aech being a 33-year-old black lesbian.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Okay, I'm going to think on the Aech and Art3mis thing. I do think it's plausible to have one of them be transgender, but I think if we can't figure out a good way to move forward with that idea we should just stick with the book characterization and try to improve on that. Shoto being female is still up in the air, since only one person seems to really be advocating for that change.

Does anyone have any commentary or suggestions on the plot outline?

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


chitoryu12 posted:

Okay, I'm going to think on the Aech and Art3mis thing. I do think it's plausible to have one of them be transgender, but I think if we can't figure out a good way to move forward with that idea we should just stick with the book characterization and try to improve on that. Shoto being female is still up in the air, since only one person seems to really be advocating for that change.

Does anyone have any commentary or suggestions on the plot outline?

The outline seems fine. I am just here to argue endlessly over character rewrites.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


I'll wait a few days to see if people want to suggest any changes to the plot outline. If not, we'll probably start writing in the middle of the week.

Once chapter writing begins, instead of the general plot outline we'll focus on each upcoming chapter based on the given outline. Submit as much or as little as you want for writing ideas.

Clipperton
Dec 20, 2011


Grimey Drawer

nine-gear crow posted:

Also, I am going to be That Guy and agree with this sentiment--TO AN EXTENT. Soliciting ideas and discussion from the thread is good, but putting major elements like this up to a committee vote is fraught with peril. There, I said it. You can all go back to ignoring him now until he says something worth listening to again.

it's a rewrite of a novel that's a collection of references to pop-culture artifacts that themselves refer to other things, i think 'unique creative vision' went by the wayside a while ago. besides, if the goal is to show up a book about a tyrannical madman who dictates what everyone gets to read and see and hear, making your creative process explicitly antihierarchical and collaborative is a good way to go imo

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


While I'm maintaining the ability to just pick something and move on if there's no consensus, I do want to make something that people will like. Something like making a character trans is a pretty big, potentially controversial change that needs to be treated with caution.

Plus if there's no discussion and debate, all this thread will be is people watching some doofus write fanfic every week.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


chitoryu12 posted:

While I'm maintaining the ability to just pick something and move on if there's no consensus, I do want to make something that people will like. Something like making a character trans is a pretty big, potentially controversial change that needs to be treated with caution.

I very much doubt that you're going to stir the pot at all with your "fix fic" for Ready Player One, so why worry about adding a trans character?

Why don't you just change all the character names, remove the sci-fi element, and sell it as your own original fiction a la E.L. James? You could actually make money off that.

BravestOfTheLamps fucked around with this message at Apr 9, 2018 around 19:51

Clipperton
Dec 20, 2011


Grimey Drawer

Regarding Art3mis: I think that by 2044, when according to the book everyone is online all the time and 99% of all person-person interactions are mediated by the Oasis, people's reactions to meeing someone IRL they only know online (and vice versa) are going to evolve a bit. I mean pretty much every gunter out there would have been born after Catfish came out.

I don't think someone being of a different gender to their avatar is going to shock anyone anymore; I don't even think someone being ugly or overweight IRL is going to be seen as a "betrayal", even to someone as shallow as Wade in the novel. (Pretty much everyone must be obese IRL anyway, if they're just sitting around with their visors on and their diet is anything like Americans' today.)

Also, I think porn is going to be even slicker and less realistic. Airbrushing out pimples and love-handles in real time. Entirely virtual actors/actresses with bodies built by algorithm to light up the porn receptors in the average person's brain - big hips and boobs on women, symmetrical faces etc etc. As a teenage guy I would imagine Wade would be whacking it to this stuff constantly.

So here's an idea: Wade is perfectly fine with the idea of the IRL Art3mis being overweight, or birthmarked, or even masc-presenting. When he meets her, though: she's a knockout. She's won the genetic lottery of sexiness, she's a dead ringer for all the actresses in Wade's imaginary porn harem. Which is a problem, because Wade's utterly objectified all those real and virtual women to such an extent that he just can't relate to her naturally at all. He's awkward as gently caress, gets all self-loathing and body-dysmorphic, or he turns into a Cat Person-style creepo when they get together. That's his flaw, that's what he has to overcome to be in a relationship with her.

BravestOfTheLamps posted:

You could actually make money off that.

@ captain bourgie over here

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


Clipperton posted:

Regarding Art3mis: I think that by 2044, when according to the book everyone is online all the time and 99% of all person-person interactions are mediated by the Oasis, people's reactions to meeing someone IRL they only know online (and vice versa) are going to evolve a bit. I mean pretty much every gunter out there would have been born after Catfish came out.

I don't think someone being of a different gender to their avatar is going to shock anyone anymore; I don't even think someone being ugly or overweight IRL is going to be seen as a "betrayal", even to someone as shallow as Wade in the novel. (Pretty much everyone must be obese IRL anyway, if they're just sitting around with their visors on and their diet is anything like Americans' today.)

Also, I think porn is going to be even slicker and less realistic. Airbrushing out pimples and love-handles in real time. Entirely virtual actors/actresses with bodies built by algorithm to light up the porn receptors in the average person's brain - big hips and boobs on women, symmetrical faces etc etc. As a teenage guy I would imagine Wade would be whacking it to this stuff constantly.

So here's an idea: Wade is perfectly fine with the idea of the IRL Art3mis being overweight, or birthmarked, or even masc-presenting. When he meets her, though: she's a knockout. She's won the genetic lottery of sexiness, she's a dead ringer for all the actresses in Wade's imaginary porn harem. Which is a problem, because Wade's utterly objectified all those real and virtual women to such an extent that he just can't relate to her naturally at all. He's awkward as gently caress, gets all self-loathing and body-dysmorphic, or he turns into a Cat Person-style creepo when they get together. That's his flaw, that's what he has to overcome to be in a relationship with her.

And, due to his self-loathing, becomes a horribly jealous creeper that watches over her at all time.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


Clipperton posted:

@ captain bourgie over here

If you're going to write something as artistically and morally bankrupt as a Ready Player One "fix fic," you might as try to benefit yourself and your family.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird



Well then go make a thread that fixes all the problems you have with this thread and charge people money to post in it to feed your hungry family and gently caress off from this one.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


nine-gear crow posted:

Well then go make a thread that fixes all the problems you have with this thread and charge people money to post in it to feed your hungry family and gently caress off from this one.

The enormous fortune that has been passed down to me from my ancestors - slave-traders and robber barons to a man - makes such things unnecessary.

My ambitions are beyond the scope of fan-fiction. I will not attempt to fix Ready Player One. I intend to make it a reality.

I will build ONANSIS.

Crimpolioni
Mar 9, 2014



nine-gear crow posted:

Well then go make a thread that fixes all the problems you have with this thread and charge people money to post in it to feed your hungry family and gently caress off from this one.

lamps can be pretty annoying but lol that you're following him around, acting like one of those guys who used to walk in front of early automobiles to warn people of what's coming. he's right about this thread too and you know it

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Samizdata posted:

And, due to his self-loathing, becomes a horribly jealous creeper that watches over her at all time.

I'm going to try and be a little careful about Wade in this one. Wade's #1 problem in Cline's writing is that he's extremely unlikable. While you can make a protagonist with severe flaws (even bad enough to be an antagonist) that you still want to root for, it's difficult. A good example is Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He's a crazy serial liar who murders a guy and impersonates him due to an obsession with him, but Matt Damon's charisma in the performance made him engrossing to watch.

While Wade needs to make a journey from a socially awkward and self-conscious nerd, it's easy to fall into the trap of going too realistic with being an awkward nerd and making someone that just isn't pleasant to follow. That's why I was thinking that he responds to Art3mis dumping him by instead having it really shake him up and act as a turning point to trying to get his poo poo together, like going outside for the first time in a while.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


chitoryu12 posted:

Wade's #1 problem in Cline's writing is that he's extremely unlikable. While you can make a protagonist with severe flaws (even bad enough to be an antagonist) that you still want to root for, it's difficult.

A protagonist does not need to be a character you "want to root for".

Characters don't need to be anything. How a reader approaches them is completely up to them.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

A protagonist does not need to be a character you "want to root for".

Characters don't need to be anything. How a reader approaches them is completely up to them.

If you make your protagonist a goony rear end in a top hat that nobody likes, who's going to want to keep reading about their misadventures in stalking women?

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



*banging knife and fork on table* what style are you going to write the book in? what style are you going to write the book in?

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 12 days!


chitoryu12 posted:

If you make your protagonist a goony rear end in a top hat that nobody likes, who's going to want to keep reading about their misadventures in stalking women?

Someone interested in that kind of story. "Rooting for" a character is immaterial.


Also,

A human heart posted:

*banging knife and fork on table* what style are you going to write the book in? what style are you going to write the book in?

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Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


chitoryu12 posted:

If you make your protagonist a goony rear end in a top hat that nobody likes, who's going to want to keep reading about their misadventures in stalking women?

Hey, A Confederacy of Dunces was pretty fun.

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