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A thread on storytelling...

#441

Epics…

I just saw a movie and an episode of a great war that was epic in their scope. They have their own thread so I will talk about epics. I feel they should be a finale in storytelling as another followup would be anti climactic. Where do you go from there?

Also some movies and shows given their plot and subject matter may take themselves way too seriously. Some storytellers may write in way to much overwhelming the reader.

#442

I always remember Whedon’s quote after finishing the first Avengers movie:

I wish it had actually turned out like that.

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#443

Long before Game of Thrones, Joss Whedon did his best to make things a bit less predictable. Tara (in Buffy), Fred (in Angel) and Wash (in Firefly/Serenity) were all major characters that were killed in completely unexpected moments.

Back then, this one caught me really off-guard. It was a bit of a shock:

Game of Thrones (novel and first season of the show) really excelled in this by killing the protagonist, which Ned pretty much was at this point. It was quite something.

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#444

To what end, though?

Imagine any story. Then take the protagonists and kill them halfway through. Hamlet, Indiana Jones, The Lobe Ranger…

Aside from the novelty, what does it achieve? It’s not “too predictable” that Orestes survives the Orestaia or that Macbeth dies at the end of his tragedy. It’s a reduction to sensation to value the surprise of a sensation to the dramatic effect of any reversal or complication in the plot.

#445

Yeah, if breaking the rules remains an end to itself, it’s not productive. But it can sometimes generate something new and great. As is always the case in storytelling, it depends on the execution.

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#446

Well, killing Hamlet halfway through is basically what GoT did next, with the Red Wedding.

Killing The Lone Ranger halfway through - it feels like comic books have used that at times to some effect? Star Man started a bit like that.

Indiana Jones - I don’t think that sort of story is fit for this particular idea. Action adventure comedy has to be predictable to some extent.

#447

The creation of multiple protagonists. It’s a neat trick, you effectly balance a story with a few hundred side characters by giving the reader the ability to pick who they feel is the protagonist and all character a share more of the limelight in general. And the reader is in the position where death could come to their favourite characters so are more on edge.

It has to be done early in the story though, and really, it’s not you protagonist in the true sense as you need other POV characters to tell the story, but it does need to be the most important character or one of them.

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#448

This just shows you that the audience getting smarter and more critical, the storyteller has to bring his A game or else hear it from the audience and social media…

What that A game is or means is debatable as some want gimmicks, others want more story substance, etc.

#449

Old movies used to have a woman in a damsel in distress role screaming, scared and waiting to be rescued by the male character.

How times have changed…

#450

Fan investment

Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Sopranos, etc… these are storylines to name just three that have had a huge following and fan investment for years.

Unfortunately there have been bumps as GoT has a lackluster season as did the Sopranos and a few bad movies with Star Wars leaving the fans disappointed.

Lucas got so much abuse for the prequels, as did David Chase for the last season of the Sopranos, and D&D for GoT so far.

Come to think of it, in comics DC once made Hal Jordan go crazy and the fans were angry.

Doesn’t the storyteller owe the audience more or is it just the storyteller’s world, they do what they want, and we just live in it?

#451

I’m sure they all try their best to put out the highest quality product but we all sometimes fail.

You enter an area here as well where you risk art by popular opinion, we poll the fans to see if character A should do scenario B or not. It would likely result in very bland and predictable output.

I think there’s an onus on the fans to just let go if they aren’t enjoying something any more. They were never owners of the direction of the work.

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#452

This is the most important lesson I have learned in 45 years of writing fiction:

Don’t use time travel.

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#453

You can the same about sports and fans. Fans have an emotional investment in their team but it is up to the owners who run the team to bring the product.

#454

Yes essentially, we get worked up about but I can’t finance or buy certain players etc. You just have to sit back and hope for the best.