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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


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?

Chapter-length haikus.

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Srice
Sep 11, 2011



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?

There are plenty of great books like that so heck, I'd keep reading.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Srice posted:

There are plenty of great books like that so heck, I'd keep reading.

I'm not really sure I'm good enough to handle that kind of character in a way that makes him interesting to follow. It's a lot easier to make someone who's severely flawed but still inherently a decent person than it is to make a basement-dwelling stalker who can't figure out trans people make himself into a decent person.

Clipperton
Dec 20, 2011



Grimey Drawer

chitoryu12 posted:

I'm not really sure I'm good enough to handle that kind of character in a way that makes him interesting to follow. It's a lot easier to make someone who's severely flawed but still inherently a decent person than it is to make a basement-dwelling stalker who can't figure out trans people make himself into a decent person.

I think you have more wiggle room here than you think; if you're going first-person you have access to Wade's inner life so you can show he's fundamentally well-meaning instead of just a vacuous goon (Cline also could have done this but either didn't realize it or didn't bother). In the plot outline as written, she breaks up with him more because of her own issues (body dysmorphia and insecurity) than his, so giving him a bit more of an uphill struggle wouldn't hurt.

Either way you still need a reason she's insecure about her real-life looks, and I just don't think a physical imperfection cuts it as an explanation; it's a world where pretty much everyone would be overweight, and if atom bombs are regularly going off in populated areas then even quite severe birth defects might go unremarked.


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

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.

@ captain bourgie over here

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



What a bourgie, unlike me, who wants to seize the means of fanfiction

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Clipperton posted:

I think you have more wiggle room here than you think; if you're going first-person you have access to Wade's inner life so you can show he's fundamentally well-meaning instead of just a vacuous goon (Cline also could have done this but either didn't realize it or didn't bother). In the plot outline as written, she breaks up with him more because of her own issues (body dysmorphia and insecurity) than his, so giving him a bit more of an uphill struggle wouldn't hurt.

Either way you still need a reason she's insecure about her real-life looks, and I just don't think a physical imperfection cuts it as an explanation; it's a world where pretty much everyone would be overweight, and if atom bombs are regularly going off in populated areas then even quite severe birth defects might go unremarked.

I think we should scrap the thing about nukes. One of the things that doesn't really make sense about the original setting is that OASIS is able to stay running perfectly and billions of people can afford to keep playing despite microtransactions charging for even just getting off the starting planet (and OASIS public schools can send out thousands or millions of free VR rigs to virtual school students), while America has collapsed so bad that the countryside is a wasteland of highwaymen and cities are getting nuked so often that it's not even surprising on the news. A big, long recession works fine enough for having Wade be dirt poor and living in a trailer park, using his technological prowess to jury rig a cheap OASIS setup running on junkyard solar panels.

What would you propose for him and Art3mis having their relationship initially fail? The movie introduces a shaky "resistance" subplot that only appears for two scenes before IOI goes , and Art3mis suggests that she doesn't want to get attached when she has a personal drive to gently caress up IOI. It was a crappy plot point, but it might work in modified form for Art3mis. As our current outline goes, Wade is the outsider to Egg hunting while Aech and Art3mis are longtime hunters. Maybe she starts having second thoughts about her relationship because of her drive to win the competition, while Wade ends up getting pushy?

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


chitoryu12 posted:

I think we should scrap the thing about nukes. One of the things that doesn't really make sense about the original setting is that OASIS is able to stay running perfectly and billions of people can afford to keep playing despite microtransactions charging for even just getting off the starting planet (and OASIS public schools can send out thousands or millions of free VR rigs to virtual school students), while America has collapsed so bad that the countryside is a wasteland of highwaymen and cities are getting nuked so often that it's not even surprising on the news. A big, long recession works fine enough for having Wade be dirt poor and living in a trailer park, using his technological prowess to jury rig a cheap OASIS setup running on junkyard solar panels.

What would you propose for him and Art3mis having their relationship initially fail? The movie introduces a shaky "resistance" subplot that only appears for two scenes before IOI goes , and Art3mis suggests that she doesn't want to get attached when she has a personal drive to gently caress up IOI. It was a crappy plot point, but it might work in modified form for Art3mis. As our current outline goes, Wade is the outsider to Egg hunting while Aech and Art3mis are longtime hunters. Maybe she starts having second thoughts about her relationship because of her drive to win the competition, while Wade ends up getting pushy?

There’s an easy explanation - IOI counting coup causes Wade to run away, turtle up, and isolate himself from the rest of the world out of fear that they’ll come for his friends and family. Art3mis assumes he’s done some digging on her and cut and run, possibly like other boyfriends have in the past, so she just goes ‘eh, gently caress it’ and moves on. Obviously, Wade can’t exactly correct her on this, because she’s a big OASIS celebrity and if he gets anywhere near her, IOI will know.

Clipperton
Dec 20, 2011



Grimey Drawer

chitoryu12 posted:

What would you propose for him and Art3mis having their relationship initially fail? The movie introduces a shaky "resistance" subplot that only appears for two scenes before IOI goes , and Art3mis suggests that she doesn't want to get attached when she has a personal drive to gently caress up IOI. It was a crappy plot point, but it might work in modified form for Art3mis. As our current outline goes, Wade is the outsider to Egg hunting while Aech and Art3mis are longtime hunters. Maybe she starts having second thoughts about her relationship because of her drive to win the competition, while Wade ends up getting pushy?

I like the progression you have in the outline, I'd just add another speedbump to their relationship. Their first crisis is Art3mis breaking off the relationship because of her issues - she doesn't think Wade will accept her IRL body (para 22). That's "resolved" when they meet and embrace (para 38). The second crisis would be in the before the final showdown (between 38 and 39, say) where it turns out that Wade DOES have issues with her that he's having trouble resolving. (Injecting uncertainty into their relationship like that might add to the drama of the final battle because Wade and Art3mis are both off-balance and off their game.) Then during the final battle Wade has some revelation that helps him get over his issues and strengthens his and Art3mis's relationship.

I kind of like my she's-a-knockout idea (which I promise I will shut up about after this post) for this. Art3mis cuts him off in para 22 because she's seen countless guys in the OASIS objectifying women who look like her IRL. Maybe at the GSS party a starfucking partygoer with a porny avatar is all over Wade because he's a celebrity, which he clearly enjoys, which gets Art3mis defensive so when he asks to see what she really looks like IRL she blows up at him.

In para 38 Wade sees her IRL, convinces her (and himself) that it's not going to be an issue, they embrace, hooray.

Then, in the calm before the storm (between 38 and 39) they have another crisis where Wade finds out he can't overcome his issues with her appearance after all. Before the final battle they have an IRL makeout session and he gets weird about it because he's been objectifying women who look like her for years thanks to OASIS porn. In the final battle (maybe thanks to something Sorrento says when he's ranting about his sister, para 44) Wade realizes he needs to get over himself.

Basically, both the book and Cline himself have terrible issues with objectification which they don't even see as objectification (cf his horrible "Nerd Porn" poem) so I'd really like to see a response to the novel that addresses that.

All just off the top of my head, take it or leave it


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

What a bourgie, unlike me, who wants to seize the means of fanfiction

unironically yes

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Again, the problem here is that you're spending too much time on plot outlines instead of the prose.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

Again, the problem here is that you're spending too much time on plot outlines instead of the prose.

I don’t believe anyone’s stopping you from offering advice on prose-styles that might be used to enhance the story.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Darth Walrus posted:

I don’t believe anyone’s stopping you from offering advice on prose-styles that might be used to enhance the story.

You first need to have a prose style before I can offer advice on it.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

Again, the problem here is that you're spending too much time on plot outlines instead of the prose.

I laid out in the very first post that we were going to start by figuring out how the plot and characters would actually progress as a whole and then start on prose once we had decided on the basic skeleton. I even said that we'd be ready to start on the first chapter in the middle of the week.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Clipperton posted:

I like the progression you have in the outline, I'd just add another speedbump to their relationship. Their first crisis is Art3mis breaking off the relationship because of her issues - she doesn't think Wade will accept her IRL body (para 22). That's "resolved" when they meet and embrace (para 38). The second crisis would be in the before the final showdown (between 38 and 39, say) where it turns out that Wade DOES have issues with her that he's having trouble resolving. (Injecting uncertainty into their relationship like that might add to the drama of the final battle because Wade and Art3mis are both off-balance and off their game.) Then during the final battle Wade has some revelation that helps him get over his issues and strengthens his and Art3mis's relationship.

I kind of like my she's-a-knockout idea (which I promise I will shut up about after this post) for this. Art3mis cuts him off in para 22 because she's seen countless guys in the OASIS objectifying women who look like her IRL. Maybe at the GSS party a starfucking partygoer with a porny avatar is all over Wade because he's a celebrity, which he clearly enjoys, which gets Art3mis defensive so when he asks to see what she really looks like IRL she blows up at him.

In para 38 Wade sees her IRL, convinces her (and himself) that it's not going to be an issue, they embrace, hooray.

Then, in the calm before the storm (between 38 and 39) they have another crisis where Wade finds out he can't overcome his issues with her appearance after all. Before the final battle they have an IRL makeout session and he gets weird about it because he's been objectifying women who look like her for years thanks to OASIS porn. In the final battle (maybe thanks to something Sorrento says when he's ranting about his sister, para 44) Wade realizes he needs to get over himself.

Basically, both the book and Cline himself have terrible issues with objectification which they don't even see as objectification (cf his horrible "Nerd Porn" poem) so I'd really like to see a response to the novel that addresses that.

All just off the top of my head, take it or leave it

This is actually an idea that I kinda like. Maybe it really is the right direction to move away from Art3mis having some kind of physical flaw because we can't really agree on what it should be or how bad it should be. That doesn't bode well for looking at it after the fact, since some people will inevitably see "Art3mis has a physical flaw that Wade looks past" as ridiculous or accidentally offensive no matter what we choose.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

I laid out in the very first post that we were going to start by figuring out how the plot and characters would actually progress as a whole and then start on prose once we had decided on the basic skeleton. I even said that we'd be ready to start on the first chapter in the middle of the week.

That's like saying you'll draw up blueprints for your new home, and then figuring out afterwards if you know architecture, can build a house, and have the money to do it.

If you merely think of prose as a way to deliver a plot, you've already failed.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

That's like saying you'll draw up blueprints for your new home, and then figuring out afterwards if you know architecture, can build a house, and have the money to do it.

If you merely think of prose as a way to deliver a plot, you've already failed.

The entire point of this thread is a collaborative effort. I'm acting as a sort of moderator and doing the actual prose to ensure a consistent voice, but it's still one in which anyone can contribute their own ideas. Writing by the seat of your pants and creating the plot as you go is fine if you're an individual whose work is completely unseen until it's finished and can go back to rewrite whatever you want, but doing that with collaborative fiction is more liable to look like Twitch Plays Pokemon because everyone has a different direction that they want to take the project in.

If you have a problem with the entire premise of how this is being written, this probably isn't the thread for you.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

The entire point of this thread is a collaborative effort. I'm acting as a sort of moderator and doing the actual prose to ensure a consistent voice, but it's still one in which anyone can contribute their own ideas.

You are treating prose merely as a vessel for the ideas, which is a recipe for bad genre fiction. The truth is that prose is the ideas - the medium is the message. Merely treating the medium as a receptacle for other people's ideas degrades art.

e: Moreover, what do you think about my suggestions for ONANSIS?

BravestOfTheLamps fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2018 around 16:41

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

You are treating prose merely as a vessel for the ideas, which is a recipe for bad genre fiction. The truth is that prose is the ideas - the medium is the message. Merely treating the medium as a receptacle of other people's ideas degrades art.

When you become the curator of all art, let me know.

Setting BravestOfTheLamps aside, I think tomorrow we can start work on the first chapter. This is our outline:

1. We're introduced to Wade Watts, a normal teenager. In quasi-flashback, he recounts when he watched Anorak's Invitation several years ago upon Halliday's death. Rather than joining the ranks of the egg hunters, he decided that he'd never figure out such an obscure first clue and forgot about it.

This is going to include the very first page, which means it needs to be the page that makes you want to actually keep reading when you pick up the book. For a reminder, this is how Cline writes it:

quote:

Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night.

I’d heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the videogame designer responsible for creating the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis. The unprecedented success of the OASIS had made Halliday one of the wealthiest people in the world.

At first, I couldn’t understand why the media was making such a big deal of the billionaire’s death. After all, the people of Planet Earth had other concerns. The ongoing energy crisis. Catastrophic climate change. Widespread famine, poverty, and disease. Half a dozen wars. You know: “dogs and cats living together … mass hysteria!” Normally, the newsfeeds didn’t interrupt everyone’s interactive sitcoms and soap operas unless something really major had happened. Like the outbreak of some new killer virus, or another major city vanishing in a mushroom cloud. Big stuff like that. As famous as he was, Halliday’s death should have warranted only a brief segment on the evening news, so the unwashed masses could shake their heads in envy when the newscasters announced the obscenely large amount of money that would be doled out to the rich man’s heirs.

But that was the rub. James Halliday had no heirs.

It's an infodump that simply tells us the setting and that the rich billionaire who created OASIS has died. We don't learn anything about Wade Watts until the next chapter, other than that he was watching cartoons. The opening of the book spends almost all of its time telling us about a posthumous character who kicks off the plot, and we have to wait until the next chapter to learn about who our narrator is and why he cares about anything.

We're still going to learn about Anorak's Invitation, but we learn about it through the perspective of our protagonist. The first chapter establishes who Wade Watts is as a person. We're going to be spending the whole book in his head, so we need to know whose perspective everything will be filtered through; while Cline treats Wade's perspective as a simple vessel for his cool stuff and everything from Wade is objective truth (even cutting in to mention things that occur outside of the plot that he "later found out"), he's a human being. He's going to have his own view of things.

In this version, as we have it, Wade isn't an egg hunter. He views Anorak's Invitation and gets a complex clue that he can't even figure out the start of. Rather than becoming obsessed with solving it, his first reaction is "This is way too goddamn hard for me" and he goes back to his life for the next few years.

The video itself can be mostly left as is if there's no great ideas for it, but we can probably come up with a better way to express Wade watching it. It's a sort of flashback, where Wade is telling us about an event from years in his past.

As I said at the start, you can contribute as much or as little as you want. You can provide ideas, or if you fancy yourself a writer you can actually type up some prose and submit it. How long do you think it'll take for a good discussion and idea submission to last? A week?

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



I think we need know about the setting's sexual alt lifestyles. What's the BDSM scene like in a world of immersive virtual reality?

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

You first need to have a prose style before I can offer advice on it.

This work is a derivative of Ready Player One. If, as you say, the medium is the message, then what is good about how RPO employs its medium, and what medium might suit it better? If RPO contains interesting ideas, how might the prose, as opposed to the plot, best convey them?

Darth Walrus fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2018 around 17:32

burial
Sep 13, 2002

Instant Murloc, just add JUSTICE.


At some point, either in this thread or the original let’s read, someone suggested supplementary between-chapters material in the form of blogs, chats, internal IOI/GSS memos, press releases etc. that offer additional perspectives. I still think that’s potentially a great way to show how characters within this world interact with and view it.

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


chitoryu12 posted:

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.

I know, I was just having some fun with the whole goonWade thing.

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.

A main character HAS to be able to be identified with by the audience. There HAS to be some reason for the reader to give two fucks about what happens to the protagonist. Otherwise, there's no point to the book.

EDIT: That's at least half the problems with RPO. At almost no points does Wade do anything any of us really identify with (outside of the "Hurrrr hurrrr GUNES!" joke crowd). So, at least in my case, I gave zero fucks about what happened to Wade and just followed along to see what happened next.

Samizdata fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2018 around 20:35

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Samizdata posted:

A main character HAS to be able to be identified with by the audience. There HAS to be some reason for the reader to give two fucks about what happens to the protagonist. Otherwise, there's no point to the book.

EDIT: That's at least half the problems with RPO. At almost no points does Wade do anything any of us really identify with (outside of the "Hurrrr hurrrr GUNES!" joke crowd). So, at least in my case, I gave zero fucks about what happened to Wade and just followed along to see what happened next.

It's also a problem that 372 Pages mentions when talking about not only Wade, but Halliday. After going on about how Wade is a fat loser with no friends, it dedicates a whole chapter to long descriptions of how Halliday was an antisocial rear end in a top hat with bizarre behavior who drove everyone away. Their general feeling was "Yes, I get it, he sucks! Move on!", but it also conflicts with the book's treatment of Halliday as a glorious Willy Wonka trickster who's meant to be admired.

We're taking sort of the opposite solution that the movie had. The film adaptation keeps Halliday as an awkward autistic man, but removes the worst parts of it (like flying into a rage and firing people for not getting obscure 80s references or walking out of interviews at random). Mark Rylance delivers a legitimately great performance as a sad, lonely guy with high-functioning autism who uses the persona of Anorak as a confidence booster and died full of regret at his mistakes, to the extent of making part of his Hunt learning from his mistakes. By contrast, ours keeps the negative aspects from the book but treats them realistically as a way for Wade to recognize his flaws and overcome them when Halliday could not.

I've adjusted the outline to use Clipperton's idea for the fight between Wade and Art3mis, eliminating the "minor flaw that only Wade can look past" problem.

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

When you become the curator of all art, let me know.

Setting BravestOfTheLamps aside, I think tomorrow we can start work on the first chapter. This is our outline:

It's cool how you absolutely refuse to engage with the basic point that prose is more important than anything else in a work of prose.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Testekill
Nov 1, 2012

no get out of here trix rabbit



A human heart posted:

It's cool how you absolutely refuse to engage with the basic point that prose is more important than anything else in a work of prose.

I think it is more refusing to engage with someone that exists only to argue in bad faith.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Yeah just ignore the two of them. Heart’s trolled my book threads before.

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Having a different opinion is trolling.

hooked on Fauxnics
Dec 23, 2013


Samizdata posted:


A main character HAS to be able to be identified with by the audience. There HAS to be some reason for the reader to give two fucks about what happens to the protagonist. Otherwise, there's no point to the book.


I don't agree with this, and I find it a very limiting approach, to books in particular, but storytelling in general.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Samizdata posted:

A main character HAS to be able to be identified with by the audience. There HAS to be some reason for the reader to give two fucks about what happens to the protagonist. Otherwise, there's no point to the book.

The problem here is that you imagine the audience as some narrow-minded dullards who only care about characters they identify with and apparently in whom they can "self-insert".

e:

Testekill posted:

I think it is more refusing to engage with someone that exists only to argue in bad faith.

Pointing out that prose is vitally important in a long-form prose work is apparently arguing in "bad faith".

BravestOfTheLamps fucked around with this message at Apr 11, 2018 around 04:47

Crimpolioni
Mar 9, 2014



Samizdata posted:

A main character HAS to be able to be identified with by the audience. There HAS to be some reason for the reader to give two fucks about what happens to the protagonist. Otherwise, there's no point to the book.

hey op consider that since you apparently nod along with this dumb crap then turn around and dismiss advocacy of good prose as a boring troll, maybe you're absolutely not qualified for this and heck, just as bad as cline or worse imo

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Crimpolioni posted:

hey op consider that since you apparently nod along with this dumb crap then turn around and dismiss advocacy of good prose as a boring troll, maybe you're absolutely not qualified for this and heck, just as bad as cline or worse imo

It's amazing how it doesn't make sense on a artistic, escapist, nor a commercial level. There's no need in art for audiences to find protagonists "likable". If you want to just entertain people, there's no obligation for audiences to root for the protagonist. And the runaway success of Ready Player One shows that audiences don't actually care if a protagonist is "likable" or not, and that identification probably has very little to do with "likability".

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


hooked on Fauxnics posted:

I don't agree with this, and I find it a very limiting approach, to books in particular, but storytelling in general.

I'm going to bite since I am exhausted. If I don't/can't identify with the main character (of course, barring non-fiction about assholes), then why SHOULD I read said hypothetical book?

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

It's amazing how it doesn't make sense on a artistic, escapist, nor a commercial level. There's no need in art for audiences to find protagonists "likable". If you want to just entertain people, there's no obligation for audiences to root for the protagonist. And the runaway success of Ready Player One shows that audiences don't actually care if a protagonist is "likable" or not, and that identification probably has very little to do with "likability".

How about you actually quote me correctly, asshat? Did I say I had to "like" the main character? Nope. But don't let your trolling be interfered with by reality. You just toddle on off to your dream world where you actually make sense, and I hope you feel better after your mom changes your diapers and burps you. I said "identify", BTW, which means understand why a character chooses what they choose. Which is impossible with a random monkey cheese chucklehead like yourself. Have a great life and welcome to ignore.

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


Crimpolioni posted:

hey op consider that since you apparently nod along with this dumb crap then turn around and dismiss advocacy of good prose as a boring troll, maybe you're absolutely not qualified for this and heck, just as bad as cline or worse imo

Might I ask why you quoted me, yet spoke to the OP?

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Samizdata posted:

How about you actually quote me correctly, asshat? Did I say I had to "like" the main character? Nope. But don't let your trolling be interfered with by reality. You just toddle on off to your dream world where you actually make sense, and I hope you feel better after your mom changes your diapers and burps you. I said "identify", BTW, which means understand why a character chooses what they choose. Which is impossible with a random monkey cheese chucklehead like yourself. Have a great life and welcome to ignore.

This is a very normal response.

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



chitoryu12 posted:

When you become the curator of all art, let me know.

Setting BravestOfTheLamps aside, I think tomorrow we can start work on the first chapter. This is our outline:

1. We're introduced to Wade Watts, a normal teenager. In quasi-flashback, he recounts when he watched Anorak's Invitation several years ago upon Halliday's death. Rather than joining the ranks of the egg hunters, he decided that he'd never figure out such an obscure first clue and forgot about it.

This is going to include the very first page, which means it needs to be the page that makes you want to actually keep reading when you pick up the book. For a reminder, this is how Cline writes it:


It's an infodump that simply tells us the setting and that the rich billionaire who created OASIS has died. We don't learn anything about Wade Watts until the next chapter, other than that he was watching cartoons. The opening of the book spends almost all of its time telling us about a posthumous character who kicks off the plot, and we have to wait until the next chapter to learn about who our narrator is and why he cares about anything.

We're still going to learn about Anorak's Invitation, but we learn about it through the perspective of our protagonist. The first chapter establishes who Wade Watts is as a person. We're going to be spending the whole book in his head, so we need to know whose perspective everything will be filtered through; while Cline treats Wade's perspective as a simple vessel for his cool stuff and everything from Wade is objective truth (even cutting in to mention things that occur outside of the plot that he "later found out"), he's a human being. He's going to have his own view of things.

In this version, as we have it, Wade isn't an egg hunter. He views Anorak's Invitation and gets a complex clue that he can't even figure out the start of. Rather than becoming obsessed with solving it, his first reaction is "This is way too goddamn hard for me" and he goes back to his life for the next few years.

The video itself can be mostly left as is if there's no great ideas for it, but we can probably come up with a better way to express Wade watching it. It's a sort of flashback, where Wade is telling us about an event from years in his past.

As I said at the start, you can contribute as much or as little as you want. You can provide ideas, or if you fancy yourself a writer you can actually type up some prose and submit it. How long do you think it'll take for a good discussion and idea submission to last? A week?

I’d love to contribute but I’m not sure what style of prose we’re going to go for? Can you offer any kind of direction re: this?

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Samizdata posted:

I'm going to bite since I am exhausted. If I don't/can't identify with the main character (of course, barring non-fiction about assholes), then why SHOULD I read said hypothetical book?

Perhaps because of the language used, or the ideas expressed, or to learn something. Just spitballing here.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



That the opposite of an "identifiable" character is an "rear end in a top hat" just shows that it's a synonym for a likable character.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


CestMoi posted:

I’d love to contribute but I’m not sure what style of prose we’re going to go for? Can you offer any kind of direction re: this?

I'd say to contribute your own writing style and see how it works. The writing is a first person fictional narrative like the original book, but without the near-omniscience that Cline originally gave Wade. There's a fuckton of leeway with exactly how the narrative voice is going to be, though we're not doing any dumb stunts like writing a whole book without the letter E.

If you want an example of how it'll look, try something like Jim Butcher:

quote:

The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.

My boots squeaked and squealed on the tile floor as I sprinted around a corner and toward the exit doors to the abandoned school building on the southwest edge of Chicagoland. Distant streetlights provided the only light in the dusty hall, and left huge swaths of blackness crouching in the old classroom doors.

I carried an elaborately carved wooden box about the size of a laundry basket in my arms, and its weight made my shoulders burn with effort. I’d been shot in both of them at one time or another, and the muscle burn quickly started changing into deep, aching stabs. The damned box was heavy, not even considering its contents.

Inside the box, a bunch of flop-eared grey and black puppies whimpered and whined, jostled back and forth as I ran. One of the puppies, his ear already notched where some kind of doggie misadventure had marked him, was either more brave or more stupid than his litter mates. He scrambled around until he got his paws onto the lip of the box, and set up a painfully high-pitched barking full of squeaky snarls, big dark eyes focused behind me.

I ran faster, my knee length black leather duster swishing against my legs. I heard a rustling, hissing sound and juked left as best I could. A ball of some kind of noxious-smelling substance that looked like tar went zipping past me, engulfed in yellow-white flame. It hit the floor several yards beyond me, and promptly exploded into a little puddle of hungry fire.

I tried to avoid it, but my boots had evidently been made for walking, not sprinting on dusty tile. They slid out from under me and I fell. I controlled it as much as I could, and wound up sliding on my rear, my back to the fire. It got hot for a second, but the wards I’d woven over my duster kept it from burning me.

Another flaming glob crackled toward me, and I barely turned in time. The substance, whatever the hell it was, clung like napalm to what it hit. There were a row of metal lockers further back in the school that had been literally burned to slag.

The goop hit my left shoulder blade and slid off the protective spells on my mantled coat, spattering the wall beside me. I flinched nonetheless, lost my balance and fumbled the box. Fat little puppies tumbled onto the floor with a chorus of whimpers and cries for help.

Do you have a more specific definition of "style"?

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

If you want an example of how it'll look, try something like Jim Butcher

Oh dear.

Jim Butcher's prose is banal and inexpressive. The passage you quoted is garbage, and that you apparently think of it as an ideal to strive towards does not bode well for your "fix fic".

Just look at the puerile hook that opens it:

quote:

The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.

Or a device as idiotic as the hero apparently trying to save a bunch of puppies.

The whole thing is crippled by sensory overdescription that doesn't express anything interesting. It's the author rushing through a near-indecipherable scene in an attempt to simulate excitement, signifying nothing.

BravestOfTheLamps fucked around with this message at Apr 11, 2018 around 13:01

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

Oh dear.

Jim Butcher's prose is banal and inexpressive. The passage you quoted is garbage, and that you apparently think of it as an ideal to strive towards does not bode well for your "fix fic".

Just look at the puerile hook that opens it:


Or a device as idiotic as the hero apparently trying to save a bunch of puppies.

The whole thing is crippled by sensory overdescription that doesn't express anything interesting. It's the author rushing through a near-indecipherable scene in an attempt to simulate excitement, signifying nothing.

Do you have any sample of your writing to show us what it should look like?

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