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Brandon Sanderson / 10 flaws
« on: March 28, 2007, 04:52:17 AM »
1 way to foreshadow is give a common ground and figure where people will be.  In some shows it's kinda forced like a hospital show where they are never in surgery when they need a line -- Sometimes REally forced Lois lane manages to get herself kidnapped again.  But because we know that they'll be in the hospital (or in Lois's case at the interview of the most whatever possible) it's not totally unbelievable. 

This can also be used positively -- such as in Daredevil when Matt Murdock always walks in on Karen and Foggy at the right time.  It's a cliche' but we love Daredevil for it.

Meetings need not be with pre-established characters.  I hate [prepare your stones] J.R.R tolkien because everybody that they meet either is enamored or hates the characters.  There aren't any towns in which they stop and have a beer and discuss plans and leave -- no, they find the super-hero-elf-who-you-must-love or the villianous whatnot.  Sometimes a path has to be a path.  It is also a problem with RPG's.

On the other hand, if the time frame is assumed to be somewhat longer than what you'd think, the characters in generally the same area, the reader can assume that he (gender neutral) will miss sections.  In one movie there is a scene which neglects communication lag -- I claim that there is a communication lag and those scenes of finger thrumming and scowling at each other are merely on the cutting-room floor.  [Maybe we'll see them in the DVD cut scenes part!].  Similarly we cut out the 15 reports the character in the hospital signed the 23rd sprained ankle and go straight to the slap in the face, which the viewer cared about.

Brandon Sanderson / Amphigory of Star Wars
« on: March 21, 2007, 06:53:47 PM »
What's next:

 Hans the Limbo-champ?

Princess health food nut?

3-PO the pirate?

the wookie food taster?

A Muslim war hero?

A clone son who makes gala balls?

A War hero used items store?

names in yellow so that you won't see who these are without a chance to guess.
Han So-low
Princess Organica
Sea 3-po
Chewing (then rating the food)
Admiral Allah-hu-akbar
Baba Fete
Grand admiral Pawn (shop) (found in the Darth Mall)

Brandon Sanderson / Ham's corner -- points to ponder
« on: February 26, 2007, 09:48:47 PM »
If we support Brandon, then he will get all sorts of fan mail and fame and the effect could be quite negative.  He won't have time to spend with us.  It will inevitably effect his family by taking away his time from them.  And the temptation to give in to the new fame might get to his head. 
Perhaps we shouldn't support him.  (3... 2... 1... Breeze's head explodes) 


Given the works I have seen so far in B. Sanderson, I have found that only in Elantris was I affected by character's deaths. 

Let us first look at the deaths in Elantris.   Saolin was the first to die, we were just getting to know him and see that he was probably going to be severely injured, but I thought "hey he'd be brought back by the end -- every Elantris citizen would come back -- just you watch!."  So, when he died and they led him to the lake, and Rao mourned over him so bitterly, I was touched. 
The head of the military and Raoil died, but for some reason I didn't feel much connection to them.  Maybe I felt some for Raoil, but I did not sense anything especially noteworthy about him.
Katara was killed next (as far as I recall, maybe there were some minor characters I don't recall), but for her the death was really quite quick -- in the self proclaimed Brandon Avalanche, if I recall, and I did not mourn her. 
Hrathren, while I didn't feel any grief over his death, per se, was the character I best knew of the set of dead characters, but he was a villain -- shockingly his death touched me the most of all.  Having turned from logic and obedience to faith and morality, from a villain to a hero and being Eulogized for it in his own words -- well even now writing about it -- I am moved.

In Warbreaker the princess's sidekick is killed by the three mercs, but the shocking realization that the mercs were possibly the only villians per se in the whole book and the whole speed of the scene kept me from feeling his death there.  Furthermore, the death occurred off screen.  Finally the side-kick was just beginning to maybe become a character in my mind with his bitterness about being taken for granted, but I don't think that he had become "real" in my eyes.

As for Mistborn, I felt that Kelsier would die from very early on in the book -- there were two Mistborn, one we got the whole view of, and one we didn't, Kelsier was obsessed about "powerful religions" -- which told me of his martyr streak and finally, I knew there was a sequel forthcoming and Kelsier had no place in that sequel because as Vin wonders, "Would any man be able to relinquish that kind of power?"  Furthermore Kelsier's death was in the middle of the action with little time given to mourning.

So, given B. Sanderson's books as a model for understanding my emotions in the place of literature, a death of a character to have an affect on a reader ought to take into account these things:
  • The reader must be famillar with and like the character
  • The death should happen on screen enough for it to fully register
  • The death should be mourned by the other characters or at least be given its own time for mourning
  • Forshadowing can be used to heighten or detract from the power of the death

Given thought on those principles an author can more able to decide how to make the deaths that they want to be mourned more potent.

Brandon Sanderson / EUOLogy #17 (Tolkien)
« on: February 20, 2007, 06:28:19 PM »
Though the point about copying Tolkien is quite apt, I think that it is not Tolkien's fault at all.  Any forerunner is copied extensively until it can expand (then the expantions are also extensively copied etc.).  The only quesiton is does it have enough to carry itself and it's clones into an actual genre instead of disappearing in the night?
Tolkien was essentially the third tier of his craft -- first tier: proto-fantasy, Second tier: George MacDonald's generation and then Tolkien's generation.  It is a small wonder that Tolkien became the main foundation for the craft as perhaps the first book set in a wholy fantastic setting.  (mythology had fantastic and human together.)

The only thing that Tolkien may have done to increase the cloning is to put different well known aspects of mythology into a coherant whole instead of C.S. Lewis who merely hodge-podged together Narnia.  This allowed for a commonality which Narnia did not. 

Similarly Star Trek has the odd looking humans with a few cultural differences, but fundamentally just your next door Russian plague which bled over to Star wars and countless other Sci Fi series -- until somebody got the idea -- what if aliens actually acted alien (harder than you might think). 
Until Murder she wrote (not a technical term) and Hard Boiled mysteries most every mystery seemed to be the English variety -- the author seemed more interested in making the detective seem smart than give any real insight into what the detective was doing until the Crime lab shows the genre had only these three.

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