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Social Club / Re: How Would you Handle Cringy Cliches?
« Last post by Singapore Sling on August 20, 2017, 10:59:02 PM »
I actually feel really bad about the "you're not a writer" crack. That was wrong of me and I don't want to discourage anyone.

Everything else applies, though. You seem...awful misguided and very willing to throw it around with gusto.

But I do take that one back. That went too far.
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Social Club / Re: How Would you Handle Cringy Cliches?
« Last post by DoNotDelete on August 20, 2017, 06:53:57 PM »
Not meaning to pile on the insults - and not to discourage you from trying - not at all, John, but... to be honest the thing you pitched to us as evidence of your writing ability was probably the most banal, uninspired, unremarkable fan comic story I could expect somebody to pitch to a Sonic board. It wasn't even structurally sound - if it were at least that, I could be a bit more forgiving of all your bluster and bluff in regard to being an authority on writing stories - but your general ability to describe events and engage the reader in what you were... attempting to communicate in that story was... very lacking. You couldn't even put together a concise premise - not on your own. This is a real basic thing a writer should be able to do - at the very least.

For someone arguing against the use of cliches and - presumably in favour of making stories/comics which are more 'avant garde' - the story you pitched to this forum was about as run-of-the-mill as you could get. It didn't demonstrate any inventiveness or unconventional thinking. It was about as linear as you could get. Also, you made assumptions about the reader of your story - that they would know offhand about all the B-list SatAM characters - who they were, what they were (in terms of physical appearance), what their backstories were - which is a pretty nasty mistake to make.

I mean - purely for example's sake - coming from someone who's only really starting out as a 'serious' writer - I myself spent an entire whole three gorram paragraphs (probably 70%-80% of one page) of a story introducing *one* of my monster characters. I worried at first that it would be too much detail to go into and would be boring for a reader to work their way through, but - my god - was it fun to write such an exhaustive description of a very complex character design in an entirely abstract form - and it's probably one of the most entertaining three paragraphs I've ever written. In your story pitch though - and I apologise in advance for not having given you a chance to post a revision to the site based on the things I pointed out to you in critique of that story pitch - but you... don't do anything near that; You just make the assumption the reader of your story is going to have offhand knowledge of some B-lister named 'Griff' because - I dunno - Sonic fans should know this kind of stuff offhand? I mean at least give us that he's a dog or something? He could be an anthropomorphic talking cheeseburger for all the description you gave us. That kind of faux pas is not a demonstration of someone who's an authority on a craft; Of somebody who claims to be an authority on writing stories. No. I wouldn't even give that an amateur grade. I'm not seeing evidence of any kind of passion for crafting the written word. Not in what you've chosen to share with us.

I mean, I was polite about it at the time, because - even with the role playing thing - really you seem like a genuinely nice guy, but... your story pitch... it was genuinely a pretty bad effort. It was very ordinary - almost like it was intentionally trying to be ordinary.

I realise I'm asking this of somebody role-playing as a cartoon skunk with a faux British accent - but, you're... you're not trying to troll us are you? Because I'm starting to wonder.

I mean, if you're not trolling - and you really are an aspiring writer - then please, keep trying, but from what we've seen on this forum thus far, you're not a writer. Not yet. I mean I myself am not personally at a point where I'm confident enough to call myself 'a writer' - but I can definitely see in your work - at least what you've chosen to show us - that you yourself have got a ways to go.

No disrespect meant to you as a person - or to your opinions about things such as the use of cliches - you can keep going on about that all you like - but I think maybe you need to stop trying to make out to everyone that you're some kind of genuine authority on writing.

Prove us wrong, please do.
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Social Club / Re: How Would you Handle Cringy Cliches?
« Last post by Singapore Sling on August 20, 2017, 05:01:56 PM »
A cornerstone of your argument here is that I'm not displaying what you refer to as a knowledge of authorial intent or context, but in truth, that's not really relevant here. This thread is about how to avoid or deal with clichés, not what their purpose for existing is.

And both of these are vitally, intrinsically linked. Your argument here is that you can successfully discuss avoiding or dealing with cliches without ever actually having to know their original context. So...what sense does that really make? What is your actual goal with trying to explain how to circumvent these trends if you have no interest in why they're there?

You get how damaging this is, right? Do you fully understand how completely broken this logic is? That the CONTEXT AND PURPOSE OF A CULTURAL CONCEPT is not relevant when discussing how to make your own out of that concept? You're using supposedly clever tools to argue from a distinctly pro-ignorance perspective. Nothing you say has any merit or meaning: it just exists as an amorphous goo, rendering writing methods to be less personal and distinct and more reactionary.

I'm going to break down what about your advice is so horrendous. Perhaps I should've this in the first place, but in my defense, someone throwing around long winded and very misguided (and now admitted to be pro-ignorance) writing advice while in character as a pompous, cartoon skunk is just begging to have their head given a swirly.

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But that's all very easy to say. Let's take one of the worst examples of a Gary Stu I think I've ever encountered: Sonic the Hedgehog! ...From Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

We all know that AoStH's writing is... flawed. It's intended for a much younger audience with simplistic (and borderline nonsensical) comedy, characters, and plots. And Sonic is just perfect. He's cool, funny, clever, and he always beats the bad guys. He's infallible... and that's why Sonic SatAM is so ingenious.

So here's your first mistake: AoStH Sonic isn't a Mary Sue.

Mary Sue was a character who originated in Star Trek fanfiction as a parody of author inserted, wish fulfillment characters who represented themselves. Mary Sue exaggerated these traits, but one fundamental thing about Mary Sues is that they exist firmly as a pinnacle of the establishment. They're meant to be the best and brightest possible aspect of their chosen canon; they were captains of Star Fleet, they're the most powerful Super Saiyan, etc. They're the zenith of whatever is the highest possible social status of their source material as a form of escapism and wish fulfillment.

AoStH Sonic, by contrast, is very clearly based around old Looney Tunes style of character...and many of those cartoon characters are very distinctly underdogs. Bugs Bunny was a wisecrackin' wabbit who defeated Elmer Fudd, his supposed biological superior who existed higher up in the food chain and at one point even admits he hunts for sport (rendering the validity of Bugs's very life into question in the context of what Elmer represents to him), through trickery and deception. Tweety Bird and Jerry the Mouse are constantly defeating their natural predators. Because the archetype Sonic is actually drawing from in Adventures isn't designed for author fulfillment: it's audience fulfillment. The plucky, more down to Earth and societally/biologically disadvantaged underdog capable of defeating his or her supposed betters out of nothing but street smarts and trickery is a cathartic audience wish fulfillment, within a story that frames itself very honestly as a joke at the expense of the social elite.

These character types are not the same. This distinction is very important. To conflate them as you have sends mixed messages to aspiring creative people and encourages an ignorance that comes coupled with an arbitrary standard: no where in your post do you even explain why you'd compare these two versions of Sonic ("Well cuz they're both Sanic and it's a Sanic board") is ignoring the wider point.

And I'm gonna put this in bold because your obnoxious skunk thing makes you needlessly bold so many words: CHARACTERS DO NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM. Characterization is filtered the prism of the genre, authorial intent, and thematic DNA of the work in question, not something that can be isolated and seen as inferior or superior when not allowed to exist for the reasons their author meant for them to exist. This is an intellectual fallacy. You are cheating. You are blatantly misconstruing things for the sake of proving a very flimsy point.

One more time.

CHARACTERS DO NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM.

By using both Sonics as an easy shorthand, you're, again, completely ignoring things like genre, tone, structure, authorial intent. By pointing to a character like AoStH Sonic, a character who follows a long tenured, century old tradition of being there to illustrate the wily creative street smarts of the lower class versus some character of social stature for the purpose of being a joke at the antagonist's expense, and saying "Look at how much more relatable this protagonist from a completely different genre is."...you get what you're doing, right? You're essentially (and I assume by accident) pointing out that when it comes to character writing, certain genres are inherently better at characters than others, even though at no point do you actually acknowledge differences between genres.

And I think that's off base. I've met plenty of people who vastly prefer the hijinks of Adventures Sonic to the melodrama of SatAM Sonic, so it's not like this is an inherently appealing rubric. There're plenty of people who DO find Adventures Sonic as the wry, sarcastic rebellious teen always getting one over on Robotnik an interesting story...so what purpose does your advice really serve in the end, because all it's really doing is telling people not to write in a specific style? You can't even tell the difference between a Mary Sue and a genre archetype from decades before the Mary Sue existed.

So in just the first few sentences of your first breakdown, you've conflated two entirely incompatible character archetypes into one, have dismissed entire genres and tones as invalid, and also have established that characterization is completely divorced from actual story content and thematic intent on behalf of the writer.

All because two characters share the same name. That's impressive. I'm not even mad.

BUT WE'RE NOT DONE WITH THIS PART YET.

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So what can be done with these characters? The simple answer is to defeat them. As all good writers know, the best way to create compelling stories is to put your characters through hell. Luke Skywalker is a hard-working (if slightly whiney), clever, and brave young man... then his family is brutally murdered. Sonic is the heroic, faster-than-sound, independent and strong fighter against the evil Robotnik (AoStH)... then Robotnik destroys his home, captures his family, and makes it impossible for Sonic to defeat him all alone (SatAM, Archie). Lara-Sue I mean Mary Sue is the perfect girl: tough; independent; brave; clever and sexy... then a wall gets built in front of her, and she can't climb. Expose your characters to a harsh change in their situation, a shift in their dynamics with other characters, and you instantly make the character more engaging.

So since we've established you're using the wrong, over-simplified and contextually beaten and bruised meaning of Mary Sue (perfect character), this is about the time I point out why your advice is still terrible even if we ignore everything I've written so far. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Mary Sue only means what you think it means, even though we've demonstrated it's (very dangerously) conflating several different writing trends and character types to the point where it completely removes the meaning of anything you're trying to comment on.

One of the most moving film memories from my adolescence was watching The Day the Earth Stood Still and seeing Klaatu's journey on this young, primitive, and flawed world was an incredibly moving story. And that was the key: seeing humanity FROM Klaatu's perspective, seeing those supposedly unsolvable math problems whisked away with ease, seeing this higher, perfect person and what humanity seemed like to him was a fascinating experience. Particularly moving when the ending came, since regardless of how Cold War-specific the movie's story was, it can't help but always feel relevant.

Klaatu was also very unsubtly based on Jesus Christ, and those two characters form the basis of my counterargument. And for anyone reading because I know the Sonic fandom dips really hard into that fundamentalist territory for various reasons, using Christ as literature for an example is neither a confirmation or denial of its status as divine truth, simply an acknowledgement of the Gospels as important literary works (because they are; they've influenced everything, even if you think they haven't). They're particularly important characters for this discussion, largely because they're in direct conflict with your statement. Plus, y'know.

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As all good writers know,

Ugh.

Part of what makes Jesus and Klaatu, among others, so compelling is the fact there ISN'T a wall to build over them. Even the things that impede them are not meant to expose their flaws, but rather the flaws of everyone else around them. That the world is just too imperfect when they arrive, but when they leave may just live up to their expectations yet. They are flawless, and their stories are interesting because we're seeing ourselves through the eyes of someone much more flawless than we are, yet still finds affection to hold for us. Seeing things through THEIR eyes, seeing how things that're so important to us are so petty, how simple our unsolvable problems truly are, is compelling in its own right. They're fascinating BECAUSE they lack any of our foibles, and seeing their reactions to things gives us a new perspective on ourselves.

Making them more like us could be interesting (see: The Last Temptation of Christ, which is a great novel) and isn't invalid, but it also isn't something that's really done with the intent of improving the source story or is inherently more interesting. Last Temptation isn't an IMPROVEMENT of the Gospels, it's an alternate interpretation. Just like various Gnostic texts. Just like Pier Pasolini's Gospel According to St. Matthew, despite keeping its script as close and exact to the source material as possible, used cinematography and visual language to make the Gospel story feel more like his previous films about life in the Italian ghetto ala Accatone. These are interpretations meant to complement and take advantage of what's really the incredible power of the original story and, most importantly, the incredible intrigue that draws us to that central character. It's not about trying to subvert or make something out of a cliche, it's just about having a clear theme in mind to communicate.

Any anti-Mary Sue garbage "advice" strives to remove the importance of thematic purpose from a work, and to conflate numerous, surface level writing trends in a way that has no regard for their origin points or actual intents. It's a pro-ignorance stance on communicating yourself, which may be fitting in our day and age, but isn't something I'd like to abide. Jesus and Klaatu easily over come, and prove to have never been in any real danger of, the supposed walls that risk to expose their flaws and they're still vastly compelling as characters in their own right because of how they're structured in line with the thematic intents of the work.

CHARACTERIZATION DOES NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM

So just in your first bit of advice you've disregarded the importance of so many different archetypes and genres that your actual post is insanely incoherent to anyone paying attention. It doesn't actually cohere, and is genuinely nonsensical. It's not actually SAYING anything.

REAL word of advice: if anyone, and I mean anyone, is giving you advice on "Mary Sues", run as far away from that person as you can. Their entire frame of reference is ignoring mountains upon mountains of literature and film that you could be learning from.

CONTEXT MATTERS


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As for Author's Pets, it's all on the writer, honestly. I have an unfinished SatAM fic I'm considering sharing at some point, and I fear that my treatment of Snively and mistreatment of Sonic might be a turn-off for some, haha. I felt that Snively has a lot of potential as a character, and that it wasn't fully explored in the limited series, and as a result spent a lot of words trying to convince people he's 3-dimensional. The crux of the issue is that if the readers aren't as engaged with the character as the author is, then the readers will naturally tune out a lot easier. A good writer, such as Ian Flynn, evenly spreads his attention so that every possible audience member can find and 'click' with that one character and have a decent amount of time dedicated to them. It becomes a careful balancing act between keeping the characters multi-dimensional, making sure the audience doesn't get bored of them, and still holding together entertaining plotlines. As a result, it's much more challenging to avoid this cliché, and therefore it's less egregious than some of the others on this list.

I don't really care about this one but I'm just gonna point out that plenty of TV shows have leaned into certain characters more than others for their benefit and actively improved the show, just like there're countless characters in literary and wider pop culture who began as minor, fringe additions and were bolstered in appearance and relevance purely because the writers or audience just liked them more.

Think long and hard on this one: how many people do you know who've ever used the phrase Jump the Shark actually hate that original moment where Fonzie jumps the sharks via jet ski?

Literally nobody.

Because Fonzie is awesome. Sometimes, characters get fixated on because they're awesome. Tommy got fixated on in Power Rangers because he was the cool as **** one with the baller golden shield, and that inertia allowed him to be used and just ACCEPTED, even if it wasn't justified, as a more nuanced character in later seasons purely because he was running on the inertia of how complex the audience REMEMBERED him being. Green Lantern: TAS was basically the Aya and Razor show despite neither of them being the central character, but it didn't matter that they got more focus than Hal Jordan or Kilowog despite not originating in the comics because...the show just told a good story with them. Jason Voorhees IS Friday the 13th (with many, many, many fans of this fact) moreso than Pamela because the creators just felt he was more fun to write and direct and because he was ultimately more sustainable. There're countless examples of "Author's Pets" or whatever who become popular because it turns out using them more lead to a new direction that people happened to like.

So just...I dunno, do it? Who cares?

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Considering how personal this 'cliché' is for me, it's suitable to say that I understand the ins and outs of it a little better than most. There's two versions of this cliché - the plot twist and the narrative arc. Revealing myself as a servant of Ixis and betraying Sonic, I feel, was given a degree of subtlety that helped make the cliché less 'cringey' and more effective as a plot twist.

Not as cringey as someone using that same character 20 years later to pretend to be a skunk during casual conversation.

God, stop it.

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Call it bias, but I think this is true - a plot twist is most powerful when there's time to let everything happen, from the smallest of hints to the big reveal to the reactions and revelations after. The times when this cliché is at its worst are when the liar is ousted, usually in public, when the true consequences have already been felt and the characters' reactions are ultimately hollow, often being the same recycled anger/disappointment/sadness as every other version of this twist. My betrayal had lasting impacts and more profound reactions all the way up to the Super Genesis Wave - that is an impactful twist. And the hints towards said twist could be extrapolated all the way back to my very first appearance, where acting suspicious is introduced as a bit of a forté of mine.

The other facet of the Liar Revealed cliché, instead of the plot twist version, is the narrative arc. It's everywhere in children's shows because it has a solid moral, has lots of comedic potential, and is easy to write. Essentially, it's a character who gets forced into an awkward situation wherein they lie through their teeth to save face. The lie spreads and the character gets pushed deeper and deeper into the lie until the breaking point where they are discovered, or admit their lie. This cliché is most problematic because of its ubiquity - to be honest, it's not a bad story arc. As I mentioned before, it's got a solid moral and has great potential for jokes. The issue is how similar these stories are, so the best solution to this cliché is to mix it up. The Netflix show All Hail King Julien (yes, I watch that... don't judge me) did a hilarious variation on this story in one episode, where the lie is never actually revealed. The lie was that an enormous gecko ate a child's birthday cake, when in fact it was the titular King Julien, and that he fended off the beast. To cover his lie, he gets a huge robotic gecko built for him and it goes on a rampage, leaving it up to him to save the day - but he can't. However, in a complete stroke of luck and with a simple plan, the King defeats the gecko and everybody is none the wiser to the King's lie. It's such an absurdist twist of your expectations that you can't help but laugh*. It's a change of the formula, like that, which makes this tired cliché fresh again.

I think the big issue I have with this entire shpiel is that at no point do you really discuss different types of lies. Again, it's just "liar revealed" as a stock plot, but I mean...people don't lie for the same reasons. A lie done out of love isn't the same as a lie done out of hate. It's purely trying to figure out how to make a stock plot work, not really discussing how to operate doing a story about liars. The most you dig into is, again, making no real differentiation in execution between genres, and how All Hail King Julien does a good variation on a stock plot. Which, fine, sure...but you don't really, again, explain how a Netflix comedy's usage of it really compares emotionally and thematically with your other usage. You just assume for the sake of argument a longform serial comic is somehow comparable to a comedic cartoon episode and man...it's...it's not.

And the most you can say makes the King Julien twist good is that it's "a change of the formula." Nothing else. Ignoring the fact that it's not even actually a unique twist on the premise (although Mitch Watson IS one of the better writers in TV animation by a long shot for various reasons), you don't really discuss why the show needed the twist to be that way. The "narrative arc" example is especially painful even on its own terms: your only real thing is "it happens a lot, so do a twist to make it fresher." But this advice doesn't work, even ignoring that you thought the most basic twist on it possible was "dadaist and counter-cultural" (you really come off like one of those nerds who knows just enough about things but also need to act smart about what you like so you throw words around about your babyshows). It doesn't dig into what the writer might want to actually convey with the lie; how do YOU know they just want to write a morality plot?

And on that note, what does showing how to subvert a basic morality plot actually...do? You get that suggesting this on its own is just a hollow gimmick, right? Subverting something JUST to subvert it is soulless, reactionary writing: it's why TV Tropes has never produced a single interesting writer, because so much about studying writing and craft has turned into how to react to cultural shorthands rather than have your own ideas. And that's what you're proposing: "This is how you, with no context, soullessly react to expectations for shock value and gimmick appeal." That's what you're REALLY saying. No discussion about the nature of lies and the different emotional contexts of lies. You don't really go into what about your chosen characters (King Julien and Geoffrey St. Fursona) made a lying plot add to their characters. I guess you did with Geoffrey a little bit, but I think has less to do with Geoffrey's potency as a great example and more god hold me closer skunk daddy

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*The show's running themes are often quite perpendicular to what most kid's shows go for. Rarely do the main characters ever learn from their mistakes, and there are times when the plot is resolved in completely unexpected ways. It's almost like a dadaist, counter-cultural byproduct of the crappy kid's shows on TV right now, and is refreshingly humourous. However, there's also an episode all about diapers as fashion accessories, so, er... watch at your own risk.

This also clues in hard to why your advice doesn't really work on even the most basic surface levels you're going for (contextless, pro-ignorance, purely reactionary encouragements to write purely on a shallow, surface level, gimmick based, almost-TV Tropian "cleverness")...none of this is different.

Teen Titans Go is the single most mainstream children's show in the US right this moment, to the point where it replayed and rerun to insane degrees only thought sensible by madmen. And it REGULARLY does plots completely contrary to most perceptions of kid's shows: Super Robin has Robin gaining superpowers, solving all crime, and dying on his deathbed having lived a meaningless existence that only drove him into ennui. There's an episode where the Titans all commit suicide purely to spite their much improved, better-living future selves. There's an entire mini-arc about how all the beloved holiday mascots who bring joy to children are, at best, unsettling and creepy and at their worst incredibly capitalistic, opportunistic, greedy monsters who just want to control all happiness for themselves.  And that's when they're NOT doing plots about reinstating the Gold Standard, the dangers of pyramid schemes, how student loans and college debt is just a horrible trap. Or basing the Powerpuff Girls crossover around the idea that Mojo Jojo goes to Titans Earth because it's the only universe "where evil wins." This all alongside the fact they regularly don't learn their lesson, that Starfire's characterization gradually reveals her to be a frantic happiness fetishist who tries to resist the sadistic urges beaten into her due to her abusive childhood, or Raven as someone who cherishes and longs to protect the morals in children's shows but is too broken a person to enact them in her daily life.

(I love Teen Titans Go so much, you guys.)

Not only is what you describe an incredibly tame and not particularly subversive version of what kid's shows have been doing for years now, the most mainstream show humanly possible is infinite times more eclectic and weird than the show you're claiming is the dada counter culture. I cannot get over that choice of words. Not realizing something as bog standard and simple as what you described has been the "cultural norm" in mainstream CHILDREN'S SHOWS, of all things, as being counter-cultural is the exact cultural status quo of many children's comedies is incredible to me. Even on it's OWN, the King Julien twist is about the FIRST place you'd go to subvert that idea. ADDED to the fact it's just one of many "counter cultural", jaded and cynical kid's comedies (Teen Titans Go, Sonic Boom, et al.) just makes this funnier.

See, kids? This is why the origin and contextual point for these tropes, cliches, and cultural shorthands is very important. You end up like this: coming up with "clever" attempts to reinvigorate plots that actually aren't that clever and have been the status quo for children's entertainment for years. You end up like this guy, calling a really tame Netflix cartoon a vibrant example of dadaist counter-culture because those are words you heard your college professor say once and you are super into Madagascar.

Also while pretending to be a skunk.

The melodrama only needs one real comment, but it's an important one.

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So if you ever think "ugh, this teenage melodrama is really dull", it's usually because it's badly written.

That's what you could say about ANY of these. Literally all of them. But you don't.

Because you're not giving advice about how to write better. You're just giving advice and deep analysis to lead others toward writing things that you like. Of course the guy who loves the Archie Sonic comic and SatAM so much he'd pretend to be a skunk in casual conversation wouldn't have a problem with teenage melodrama, teenage melodrama can't be the problem. Unironic teen dramas have to have purpose to work. But there's no purpose to Chosen Ones. There's no purpose to "Mary Sues". See, those, those have to be subverted. Those have to be tossed out.

Not because they're old hat, as your love of the tamest possible kid show irony shows, though. No no. Because those ones are just bad. But teen dramas, which're just as old and tenured if not moreso, are good.

Just cuz.

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F*** this cliché. If you need a Chosen One to Deus Ex Machina their way through the story, you're a s*** writer. Be creative. Put a twist on it, add some irony, those are the only ways to redeem this awful trope used by awful writers.



Also, this too, frankly:



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This is another cliché that particularly stings me when I encounter it. It's not quite as bad as the Chosen One crap, but it still sucks. However, there's a very simple way to avoid and handle this cliché and it has happened right in front of your face, probably without you realising it. The answer is to broaden the definition of 'love' to help tone the campiness down. So, not just that star-crossed lovers conquering evil rubbish, neither is it the Interstellar familial love reaching through space and time, but the goddamn My Little Pony love found in friendship.

This is why Robotnik was worse off when he had just Snively with him, and why A.D.A.M. and Mecha were such good additions to the villainous lineup - because in teamwork, Robotnik solved one of his fundamental flaws, and was able to play catch-up to the Freedom Fighters much easier. The Freedom Fighters are strong because of their teamwork which arises from their friendships. The Freedom Fighters are strong because, as gross as it is to say, love conquers all. And Robotnik is defeated because his 'love' for A.D.A.M. and Mecha was fake - a synthesised attempt at copying the Freedom Fighters' greatest strength.

The reason I singled this part out is largely because of what I assume is the dumb hyperbolic language that comes with coming into a social group and being like "Hey guys, I'm gonna exaggerate myself and not acknowledge that this is weird and stupid," but it's the bold goddamns, the big emphasis and passion, and it's like...

...again, like King Julien, this is the most bog standard stuff. Look at how these shows for small children subvert the unbearable cliche of love conquering all (which really just makes you sound like a cynical putz, but whatever) by making it about friendship. Which is something every show on the planet does. What about "avoiding" cliches involves sliding people into another one? Weren't you just praising All Hail King Julien for not learning any moral lessons and proving itself to be a counter cultural rejection of moral obligation? So why would My Little Pony's method, where you learn the values of friendship and report all of these lessons VIA NARRATION to your closest parental figure, somehow be advisable? Did you ever plan on addressing this contradiction, did you ever plan on maybe noting why certain insufferable cliches are better than others or more acceptable?

No. You just let these contradictions hang. You just let these assumptions hang. You have no interest in anything, at any point, beyond the surface level details. All Hail King Julien is a glorious counter cultural screw you to most of "today's bad kid's shows" (says the SatAM superfan), but your big example of a show with great and admirable writing is one that is as mainstream whitebread in its moral lessons as humanly possible?

I have no idea, based on this post, what you actually value in storytelling. When you're not contradicting yourself (or rather, underexplaining yourself so thoroughly, while simultaneously pimping up your advice with crap like "as all good writers now" or dropping the fact you think you know what dada is), you're just throwing shallow, contextless examples that over simplify every subject they're discussing. There is NOTHING here worth gleaming, and the fact is, you're one of the least qualified people I've seen on this board to give writing advice, clearly born of the subvert, bend, break fanfic generation of reactionary writers.

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I used My Little Pony as an example because it's a popular cartoon. Do you want me to pull some obscure independent film doing the same thing out of my ass just cause it illustrates the point slightly better?

Are you asking me if you should use an example that would illustrate your point better?

How is that even a question? Of course you should. If you want to benefit others, of course you use the best example you can. You're insulting everyone you're talking to by assuming My Little Pony is the best they could understand. By this question, you're not even giving someone the benefit of the doubt by assuming they could wrap their head around anything higher than preschool level. Do you understand what you're saying?

Especially since, based on this post, it's hard to tell if you value counter cultural rejections of traditional hacky morals or love stories about characters learning to be the ideal citizens for their authority figures. And while I want to believe you're using both of these highly disparate examples because you're open to ideas that aren't yours as being equally valid...

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In conclusion, it's really all about moderation with these clichés. Clichés are not inherently bad just because they've been used elsewhere, it's just harder to elicit the response you might want with them. So just be moderate, be creative, and most importantly DON'T USE THE CHOSEN ONE CRAP OR I'LL THROTTLE YOU MYSELF

The fact you seem to encourage people to be creative but you tell them there're only certain cliches they should be allowed to use leads me to believe this is purely an accident and you're a giant baby person. Even if you're "joking", the fact you don't actually give the cliches you hate any actual delving like you do the others...you clearly ACTUALLY mean this. You are simultaneously telling people to be creative and then tell them not to do things, regardless of whether or not they want to.

You actually tell people to be creative while restricting their creativity. "Add some irony" is the most you give. Just the most boring possible answer. You don't want people to be creative. You want them to write like you.

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Being esoteric is the opposite of my intent (funny that, calling me out for ignoring author intent then doing it yourself) which is to broadcast the message in a way that everyone can understand.

And by assuming nobody else can understand what I can surely assume is your vastly intelligent understanding, you ended up oversimplifying and dumbing down everything to the point where you come off as having no understanding of what you're talking about.

You're actively damaging to the creative people around you.

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So let's not get all upset about me having an opinion, k?

Then don't tell people they're crap for something you don't personally like. Don't get contradictory advice where you tell people to be creative and then say certain things are wrong, and then say that the only real way to make these "good" is the most surface level, uninspired crap possible.

I'm only railing you on this because I know for a fact you wouldn't have corrected yourself if someone didn't call you on it. You're NOT sorry that you outright said that certain types of passions or interests makes someone an inherently bad writing, you're sorry you got caught doing it. If no one said anything, you would've been perfectly content stomping styles and sensibilities that aren't your own. You'd've been perfectly fine parading your complete lack of inspiration and completely shallow writing philosophy as being the objective correctness. Your pro-ignorance, "we need to talk about how to subvert and bring light into cliches, but this doesn't actually require understanding their contextual purpose" stance. It's been a long time since I've seen someone THIS much anti-intellectual pride in such an attempt to sound like an expert who does not run for public office.

 And for someone throwing these things the way you are, "As all good writers know", trying to dissect shows using fancy collegiate terms --

-- and you know, this just occurred to me. If you used My Little Pony because you thought it'd be more acceptable and easier to understand, then why would you describe a show as being a subgenre of the avant garde while just assuming everyone knows what that subgenre is?

I'm gonna actually try and break this down and solve this. So you think a preschool level cartoon (in a conversation where everyone is an adult) is a more accessible frame of reference to use than some kind of indie film. Yet you also think everyone is well versed enough to know what you mean when you describe All Hail King Julien as a very specific, very loaded movement in the avant garde. So you simultaneously believe that My Little Pony is the best way for everyone to understand a certain cultural shorthand in writing, yet you ALSO believe they're all cultured enough to know and appreciate what dada is...but they could only handle My Little Pony's expression of friendship...



How do you insult people and give them too much credit at the exact same time? I might be a jerk on occasion and might come off elitist, but at least I still expect people to keep up with esoteric references if I make them. I'll do Pasolini rambles in the Discord chat because I know people can follow it. You don't even give people that much credit, while still trying to parade your own pseudo-intellectualism.

Your entire shpiel in this thread has been nothing but self-important, incredibly damaging advice that does nothing but encourage people to write shallowly, reactionary, and without any real artistic passion or desire to find themselves. Things are just right and wrong just because you like or dislike them. Your "creativity" amounts entirely to other cliches. You are not qualified to tell ANYBODY how to write, or advise anyone on how to improve, because the entirety of your contribution has been, by your own admission, about avoiding any actual contextual understandings of things. You are not a writer, you are a weary and cynical pop culture junkie, and I would please, please advise you to not give anyone any advice in the future.

You've done enough damage already by teaching people to actually think like this.
4
Social Club / Re: Posts of Randomness 2.0
« Last post by SBR on August 20, 2017, 11:45:57 AM »
Update: apparently he is looking for a new place and isn't just playing this by ear.
5
Social Club / Re: Posts of Randomness 2.0
« Last post by LargoDELLZ on August 20, 2017, 10:52:14 AM »
So I just learned that I'm moving at the end of the month. My garbage house is getting Foreclosed on and me and my brother only now found out because our drunken idiot dad didn't feel like that as maybe something we might possibly would need to know ahead of time and asked my brother to text our aunt to see if she had boxes.

I'm so blindingly mad right now.

That really sucks, sorry to hear about that, dude. Hopefully all turns out well for you and your bro.
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Social Club / Re: Posts of Randomness 2.0
« Last post by SBR on August 20, 2017, 10:12:53 AM »
So I just learned that I'm moving at the end of the month. My garbage house is getting Foreclosed on and me and my brother only now found out because our drunken idiot dad didn't feel like that as maybe something we might possibly would need to know ahead of time and asked my brother to text our aunt to see if she had boxes.

I'm so blindingly mad right now.
7
Social Club / Re: The Spiderman Thread
« Last post by SBR on August 20, 2017, 09:06:36 AM »
Well I enjoyed it. I like that for a change they're focusing on Peter as a scientist. The setup of the school does feel a tad Big Hero 6ish especially since all these characters are definitely going to become other Spider heroes. But that's my only real complaint.

I dig this version of Doc Ock as just a Short Grumpy Man with Scott Menvill's voice. Mostly because I'm also a short Grumpy Man with a nasily voice.

I also love the Easter Egg that Peter and Harry's favorite hang out is "Cup 'O Joe" with the same illustration used in "Cup 'O Joe" columns. that was cute even if I'm not a big fan of Mr. Quesada's.

All-in-all I enjoyed it. Maybe not quite as much as Ducktales but it's nice to see Disney XD's trying now.
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Introductions / Re: Hello everyone This is Rotalice2
« Last post by Dr. Z on August 19, 2017, 10:47:47 PM »
Welcome
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Social Club / Re: The Spiderman Thread
« Last post by Untitled on August 19, 2017, 10:33:51 PM »
I like that that's the big takeaway from that post.

Welp. I will say you have reminded me that there are actual people behind the product. And I agree that my posts have often been negative. And I will even admit that I should have tried more constructive criticism on the topic.
Yet true expression and meaning cannot be conveyed over a computer. We have a differing of opinions, that's fine. Yet I feel a little jabbed at. True that you could say your words are on par with mine. Yet I criticize cartoons, movies, comics, media. I wouldn't go as far as to bad mouth them to their faces. Or types up an angry letter or whatever.
But of course, you may not have been trying to insult me in the first place. And from the length of your post, it would seem you have more insight than I on the workings behind popular media. And have also been a target for baseless criticism. If I struck a nerve, then I apologize.

So. On that note I will post constructive criticism to perhaps provide insight on my point of view on the topic. And maybe give someone that reads this thread an idea or two on how they feel about it.


I felt that Ultimate Spiderman was 'okay'. The dialog didn't flow as properly as it could have, and it wasn't iconic enough, only doing so to doctor octopus at the last minute. The music wasn't memorable, the visuals pretty good as long as people were in costume. The animation was smooth, if under utilized but it isn't too bad. It doesn't hold up to previous cartoons from the nineties or eighties in some aspects, but does surpass them in others, if few they may be. Ultimate Spiderman is almost a modern take on 'Spiderman and his Amazing friends'. I never saw that one, and that's fine. Maybe an old school fan saw a lot of parallels and got a good feeling out of it.

I'll wait an episode or two before talking about 'Marvels Spiderman'.
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Social Club / Re: How Would you Handle Cringy Cliches?
« Last post by GeoffreyStJohn on August 19, 2017, 08:27:02 PM »
No, it wasn't.
Anyone who believes what you said is not qualified to give creative advice to anyone.

Anyone who feels the need to say this to anyone is not fit to give writing advice. Deus ex Machina was a tenured archetype in ancient theater for various cultural reasons. The Chosen One has endured for various cultural reasons. Anyone who thinks any given cliche or "trope" would only have value if they're given irony, subverted, or twisted without actually seeing how someone would use them is not someone who should be giving writing advice. Someone very well COULD write a great story about a Chosen One highly involving Deus Ex Machina with no irony whatsoever: many have! There are GREAT works of literature, film, and other art involving this, because art can be used to convey a number of different ideas and should be witnessed in the contexts they want to represent. So the idea that anyone could or would want to do this and this making them instantly bad, just inherently, infuriates me.

I'm not misreading you. It is based largely on this section. You come off like an overly pompous, weary pop culture junky than someone with any genuine interest in fostering a creative dialogue or environment. I mean, good god, you compare the characterization quality of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog to SatAM and never once note the fact that, y'know, maybe a Looney Tune and a dystopian protagonist may have some different rules or goals when it comes to how they're written.

Probably because it didn't occur to you. Probably because you're too busy explaining why things are terrible or can be improved through your brilliance despite the fact you have clear moments where you demonstrably have no real authentic interest in things like authorial intent, genre, tone, or anything else. You're like most pompous amateurs who're in over their head with their supposed literary knowledge (composed entirely of their taste and nothing else). I don't even care if you weren't entirely serious, as I suspected: in a thread about discussing writing advice or creativity, don't say that. It's obnoxious, ill fitting, and reeks of not really having an understanding of writing or literary development beyond what I can only assume is an arbitrary checklist of rules. Your post doesn't represent or show any indication you understand where cliches come from and why they exist...just that they show up a lot, and you find them boring (except the ones you like). Hardly anything to act so expertly or to make any statements so definitively, particularly someone who thinks My Little Pony of all things is a revolutionary approach to solving a cliche, which screams of a painfully small range of art exposure and if a I/E cartoon is the one thing in the universe that seems to resolve one of your most hated cliches, maybe you just haven't seen or read enough to talk authoritatively enough to say certain ideas are inherently bad without expecting repercussion.

Maybe someone who pretends to be a skunk shouldn't tell other people they stink like ****.

Now I get your point, and I don't disagree - I was too harsh when it came to talking about the 'chosen one' stuff. It wasn't the appropriate thing to say in this context. But the rest of this is just personal attacks based on your distaste for my tone in that one brief, hyperbolic statement. Tell me I went too far and that'd be more than enough to convince me but this is just deliberate provocation, and for what purpose? What more does telling me "you're dumb" add to your argument?

A cornerstone of your argument here is that I'm not displaying what you refer to as a knowledge of authorial intent or context, but in truth, that's not really relevant here. This thread is about how to avoid or deal with clichés, not what their purpose for existing is. Yes, because my statement targeted the broader use of the cliché, I can see why you brought this up. But when it came to me responding to the other post you made, I didn't see a need to talk about it because that's not what this thread is about. Would you like me to say that I'm a film student that's studied genre extensively and am perfectly aware as both a creator and analyst of the purpose of generic conventions? Or do you just want to put yourself on a pedestal by stating "I know where this originated so I know more than you"?

And for the smaller points:

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So the idea that anyone could or would want to do this and this making them instantly bad, just inherently, infuriates me

OK, you stated that you were mainly talking about the 'chosen one' statement. From that statement alone, yes, I understand this perspective. But then in my responose to your response I explicitly state (also in the original post, as I mention) that clichés aren't inherently bad, my exact words being "I do personally have a distaste for the cliché when it's used inappropriately or egregiously, but it's not enough that I'd immediately discredit a product for using it."

So while the original statement doesn't convey this, I quite clearly do here. So why continue to rail on me for that? Should I edit my original post?

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I mean, good god, you compare the characterization quality of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog to SatAM and never once note the fact that, y'know, maybe a Looney Tune and a dystopian protagonist may have some different rules or goals when it comes to how they're written.

A fair point, but my gripe was with character relatability as that ties in to the discussion about the cliché of Mary Sues. Of course, AoStH Sonic doesn't need to be anything more than what he is. The main purpose for bringing up AoStH was not to discuss the show (although I concede I do go on about it a tad too much, that's a bad habit of mine). Instead, I brought it up to discuss the relatability of AoStH Sonic in comparison to SatAM Sonic to make a point that vulnerabilities are a good way to deal with the Mary Sue issue. I suppose I could have picked any Mary Sue character instead of AoStH Sonic, but the comparison is much neater and fits well... this is a Sonic forum, after all.

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...particularly someone who thinks My Little Pony of all things is a revolutionary approach to solving a cliche, which screams of a painfully small range of art exposure

Not once did I state that My Little Pony is a 'revolutionary' approach to solving a cliché. I was pointing out that the 'Love Conquers All' cliché is used in My Little Pony (at least in the first two episodes, the only ones I watched), but in a more moderate form than Interstellar's very on-the-nose usage of the trope. In fact, my point was that My Little Pony wasn't revolutionary - the 'solution' to this cliché has been used around us all the time in a way that most people haven't noticed, therefore meaning it's no 'cringy' cliché but a successful one as it doesn't end up being questioned like other clichés.

As for that 'painfully small range of art exposure', yikes. You're the one calling me 'pompous', then saying stuff like that? I used My Little Pony as an example because it's a popular cartoon. Do you want me to pull some obscure independent film doing the same thing out of my ass just cause it illustrates the point slightly better? Being esoteric is the opposite of my intent (funny that, calling me out for ignoring author intent then doing it yourself) which is to broadcast the message in a way that everyone can understand.

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...and if a I/E cartoon is the one thing in the universe that seems to resolve one of your most hated cliches, maybe you just haven't seen or read enough to talk authoritatively enough to say certain ideas are inherently bad.

Another assumption that this is the ONLY thing I could think of, instead of the first/easiest/simplest to understand. And another assumption that this is one of 'my most hated clichés'. I said that "it sucks", which I stand by, cause it feels cheap - and that's personal preference, which didn't factor into my argument in this case. So let's not get all upset about me having an opinion, k? Besides, if I wanted to talk about my most hated clichés then hoo boy would I be so much harsher than I ever got in this thread.

The minor point I wanted to make here is to stop using assumptions as argument points. If you haven't got full evidence of something, using an assumption to insult someone is just gonna get a rebuttal like this and make you look the fool.

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Maybe someone who pretends to be a skunk shouldn't tell other people they stink like ****.

Ain't swearing banned on this forum? Either way, props for the joke.
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