On Tolkien and elves and why they sometimes bug me. Me personally, I mean.

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icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Fantomas)
( Feb. 18th, 2016 07:06 pm)
My sister and I tend to have interesting conversations. The book I bought today to reward myself for surviving an interview is "Ghost: 100 Stories to Read with the Lights On", editted by Louise Welsh. It's basically 100 ghost stories arranged in chronological order from Pliny's "The Haunted House" ca. 113 AD and runs up to recent publications. (I have read a surprising amount of the classics before, despite horror having never been my main go-to genre). On the back of this, we ended up talking about what types of horror scare us more. I tend to favour ghost stories, stories of madness, and cosmic horror stories, while she tends more towards serial killers, zombies and the evils that men do.

I think it comes down to, I am more afraid of unknowns and things that affect the mind, while she's more afraid of physical dangers and things that affect life and limb. I've never been overly disturbed by vampires or serial killers, anything you can potentially stab with a stake or brain with a rock to take care of the problem (however successfully the attempt might go), and zombie stories tend more to either bore, disgust or depress me. But ghosts, intangible things that inspire dread and that are much more difficult to disperse, and absolutely anything at all regarding madness, mental deterioration, gaslighting, psychological abuse, external control and extrusions of unknown factors that simply cannot be dealt with rationally, those scare the pants off me. I don't mind adrenal, action-based fear, but seeping, paralysing dread and a loss of control or comprehension do it for (or rather to) me every time.

I suppose it really is what you're most basely afraid of that defines what sort of horror works best for you. Heh.
Given that there's a new Star Wars movie now (which I haven't seen yet, but plan to once I can get DVDs), and because of it the old Star Wars movies are now being discussed again everywhere ... I was wondering, is there any meta anywhere about Leia and Lando and their choices as leaders in the OT? Because I don't exactly have focused thoughts about it, but it's a compare-and-contrast that keeps niggling at me lately.

I'm talking about Leia as a Princess of Alderaan and Lando as the Admistrator of Cloud City, and their reactions to the Imperial threat to their people, and the circumstances of their joining the Rebellion. That choice.

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Conflict)
( Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:24 pm)
Now that I've read it. Some very random and unscientific thoughts on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The book, I mean. Because I saw the show first, a lot of this will be compare-contrast, probably. Also, liable to feature a lot of Stephen Black. I have thoughts about Stephen Black.

Things I'd forgotten watching the TOS episode "Mirror Mirror" again:

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Heartstruck)
( Jul. 16th, 2015 06:14 pm)
I am beginning to realise how much I really, really, really love the darker kinds of passion in fic. (Shush, yes, I know I should probably have figured that out well before now). Looking back over my fic, it's kind of obvious that I really do like the more savage side of love.

I'm rewatching Star Trek TOS again (as people have probably noticed), and I was rewatching "The Immunity Syndrome" last night. And something struck me about the conversation between Spock and McCoy before Spock heads out in the shuttle.

Wow, I'm slow. Penny Dreadful, despite the crazy monster mash they're rolling with, actually did keep the same basic roles as the original Dracula team, and I missed it. *facepalm* I should have noticed that as soon as Ethan walked on screen, since he's basically Quincey. The show just transposed new/different characters into the role slots of the original team.

Random thoughts on Steve vs Tony (vs Loki) on the Helicarrier, two years late and very obsolete -_-;

Just for the record, I've seen neither Thor 2, IM3 nor CA:TWS yet. I should probably fix that, but howandever.

I was just rewatching Avengers recently, though, and there's been a crap tonne of Steve meta floating around lately in the run-up and wake of CA:TWS, which was making me think about it in a new light.

Okay. This is some musing, partially based on fiction and partially on personal experience, about how we fundamentally view the world and how that affects how we then interact with it. It's sort of a meta, but probably too personal to really qualify. It's been a long time coming, because I've been trying to figure out how to SAY it for ... well, approximately three or four years? *shrugs sheepishly*

I apologise in advance if it makes exactly zero sense.

Just for a bit of randomness on a slow day, I thought I'd Sort the cast of Once Upon A Time into Hogwarts Houses? Because that seems like a good idea?

Well. Some of the OUAT cast, anyway. And we're going by the stated values of each of the Hogwarts Houses, not by the track record of sorting in Harry Potter itself, because consistent, it wasn't. Um. At all. House values below:

Gryffindor: Courage, bravery, nerve and chivalry
Hufflepuff: Hard work, patience, justice and loyalty
Ravenclaw: Intelligence, creativity, learning and wit
Slytherin: Ambition, cunning, leadership and resourcefulness

I've randomly been reading Sentinel fusions in various fandoms recently (triggered by Stringfellow Hawke's hyper-acute hearing on Airwolf and idly considering that if they'd been concurrent, there would probably have been a lot of crossovers). Well, skimming them. You know, the ones where such-a-character from Show A is really a Sentinel and such-a-character is their Guide?

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Fantomas)
( Jun. 9th, 2013 10:22 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] upupa_epops is doing a Free-For-All Meta Comment-A-Thon at their LJ, and there were a couple of interesting prompts. So ... random meta on the portrayal of Death in Discworld?

Not really meta, as such. Just an interesting series of observations I blundered through while considering the following:

Holmes/Watson vs John/Mary (Downey filmes)
Vimes/Vetinari vs Sam/Sybil (Discworld)

The names, I mean, not the pairings themselves.

I was just thinking about this in terms of my having written Sybil/Sam/Havelock and Sherlock/John/Mary. Just noticing the choice of names used for each pairing tag. I noticed it even at the time, when I was putting the threesomes in the headers for the fics and noticed the odd ... stickiness of the names? Just taking those two. The Discworld set, do you say Vimes/Vetinari/Sybil? Vimes/Vetinari/Ramkin? Sam/Sybil/Havelock? With the Holmes set, is it Holmes/Watson/Mary, or Holmes/Watson/Morstan, or Sherlock/John/Mary?

None of them really look right, laid out. And there are a couple of reasons for that, and also a couple of implications, and right now I'm sort of randomly finding this fascinating. Heh. So. Bear with me while I unpick it a little?

Um. This is a direct result of my basically failing to successfully post meta earlier. So, as the natural solution, I post a meta about posting meta (and making safe spaces and commenting on other people's fic and being baffled by the social end of fandom and this whole 'fandom, how do you do it' thing). Because that'll work, obviously. Extremely personally biased/based, to warn you.

Ah. For reasons that will be perfectly obvious from the post itself, I may have trouble keeping this up/responding to comments on it -_-;

I'm in the mood for meta, apparently. This is sort of a follow-on from the Spock/McCoy meta last night, prompted along similar lines of thought. This one though is more honour/expediency than emotion/logic.

I'm picking Thor vs Tony as the angle of attack on this, but it actually spreads out across the movieverse, so I'll be taking the whole team as we move on. They actually divide relatively neatly into opposing pairs by cast-herd: Thor vs Loki, Steve vs Tony, Clint vs Natasha, Bruce vs Hulk, but Thor vs Tony has the advantage of an almost carbon-copy narrative to highlight the contrast, so it makes a good starting point.

And, um. I mostly started thinking about this because I was trying to figure out why I can get into Tony's head all damn day, but I haven't written a single piece from Thor's POV, alone among the entire Avengers cast (seriously, Maria gets more POV time from me and she was only barely in the movie). So. Thor vs Tony is pertinent, yes?

Or. Um. My interpretation, specificially as an Aspie, of same. I'm not sure I want to post this, and may take it down later? But for now:

I recently found a link to a meta by Saucery about OTP pairings, and how they're based on a fundamental dichotomy between the two characters that the viewer finds appealing. Like Arthur/Eames (solidity/fluidity) or Steve/Tony (responsibility/irreverence). Like that. And I was looking at my own pairings, and the only one that immediately pinged for that was Spock/McCoy (logic/emotion), except it was more complicated than that (mind you, I suspect it always is).

So I ended up thinking about that. About that binary and the way I interact with it as presented in media. Logic vs emotion, the perpetual war that people seem to think exists between the two. The old romanticism vs enlightenment debate, which seems to run in cycles through most of modern history (and thus a lot of media). And about Spock/McCoy, and why that pairing pinged so visceral a response because of that.

icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Aurin)
( Mar. 9th, 2013 11:21 pm)
One thing I've noticed gets commented on a lot in my stories is characterisation. So I was just wondering ... what do people consider good or bad characterisation?

Given how much of characterisation is down to interpretation, in some media more than others, about the only objective measure I can think of is that you need to make sure the plot is character-derived, rather than the characters plot-derived. I mean, you need to make sure that characters are reacting to and causing situation because that's how that character acts/reacts, not because that's the action you need them to take for the sake of the plot. (For example, Thorin from the Hobbit is a proud, possessive, honourable, courageous git, which is why the plot of the book makes sense, because a proud, possessive, honourable, courageous git is exactly the kind of person who will try to take back his family's mountain from a dragon with only thirteen guys to help him, and exactly the kind of guy who will then massively screw things up because the worse aspects of his nature, with a bit of outside help, got the better of him).

Just ... making sure that things are happening because those characters would probably do those things in that situation, rather than because the Plot Demands, and the characters can lump it. Like that? You set up your basic situation and your characters first, and then get the plot. Or, if you really need the plot first, you start by asking "What situation would there have to be to make such-a-character consider this action?". (If you're doing original fiction, rather than fanfic, you can probably go "This is my situation, this is my plot, now what kind of character would make that happen?" I've never managed that, because I find that characters, of all aspects of the story, take on lives of their own really quickly, which makes plots difficult to keep on track for me -_-;).

Every story is basically a combination of Set-Up, Characters and Action/Plot. If any of those has to be set in stone, you need to work the other two to match. In fanfic, Characters tend to more set in stone than the other two, being outside-derived, so they should probably be the shaping force. Most fanfic works on the principle of getting Characters to do Plot, which either means jigging the Set-Up around, or ... well, bad characterisation, usually.

As far as I can tell, then, good characterisation is keeping a clear and solid enough idea of the characters that they can hold their own with the Set-Up and Plot you've given them. Ideally, you do this by deriving the plot from them, but in circumstances where the Plot is as important, you do it by tailoring the Set-Up more carefully around them.

Would that ... generally line up with what other people think on the issue?
This has been noodling around my head for a while, and I just wanted to examine it a little bit. There are ... quite a lot of things you can learn by examining the weapons of choice in the movieverse Company. In fact, and all credit to the costuming team for the movies, I think the weapons used by the dwarves essentially give a portrait of class and clan divides in the Company, and also a degree of the history of the line of Durin post-Smaug. Ah. Allow me to demonstrate?

(WARNINGS: Firstly, I'm not by any means an expert on weapons. This is just going on what impressions I've cobbled together from some study of history and some knowledge of the background of the Company. Bear in mind, I only barely know the major classes of weapons apart, that's the level of knowledge you're dealing with here).

For [livejournal.com profile] ciaranbochna, who asked the following:

When you watch a film, or read a story, on how many levels are you processing it (meta, themes, future writing, characterization, etc)?

Which, oh, is complicated. Primarily because it varies on a case by case basis, depending on the day I'm having, the medium involved, how recently I'd been having discussion with people, how much sleep I've had recently ... *grins sheepishly* It varies, is my point. But ... okay, maybe we can get high and lows, and a mean from that?

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