Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lindsey's got a gun: your thoughts?

Upon rewriting this chapter (in which, SPOILERS, the train Lindsey is on is derailed and he meets legendary Finch and his gang) I'm contemplating giving Linds a gun to defend himself. Originally all he has is a incision knife from his suitcase full of medical instruments--he's a med. student, afterall. But perhaps his sister shoved a gun into his hands before he ran away... Or perhaps he pilfers it from a dead body on the train after the derail. No, he doesn't know how to use it, but at the very least it could be amusing for Finch or a moment of "OH SHIT" as Finch swats it out of his hands or something, keeps it, and the gang later teaches Linds how to use it properly throughout the story. Something along those lines. Or is that too cliche?

Feel free to weigh in on this! I'd like to know opinions. Would it be more effective for Linds to be with only an incision knife? Or should he try to take matters into his own hands with something he's inexperienced with? Is a knife and a gun too much?

TL; DR: GUN OR NO GUN?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chapter Two, first two-hundred words

Without further ado, here are the (rough) first two-hundred words of chapter two, and the first words from our main protagonist, Lindsey Madoc.

The Doctor
2nd Year of the Wren, 577

If I’m alive by the end of the day it’ll be by someone’s graces not my own. Despite all the lies I’ve been telling myself lately, I know it’s the truth—and honestly, the truth scares the shit out of me.

It’s intolerably hot in this rickety shambles of a train car, but the heat isn’t why I’m sweating. I can’t stop trembling. My bounty might as well be scrawled on my forehead; some no-good do-gooder must be waiting for the right moment to reap his reward. Any minute now.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I ran away this morning, but I do know cowardice played a part. It always does. Valdove may have had something to do with it too. I imagine her rotting in some prison cell beneath the Capital or being tortured for information of my whereabouts, and I hate her for what she’s done—for taking my place when I never asked her to. She has burdened me with guilt I can hardly bear. Dammit Val. God dammit.

If I can somehow live through this day, I swear to any living gods left I will do everything I can to get my sister back.

But for now—first things first—I run.

***

Thoughts? Opinions?  What do you think of Lindsey's voice? Any and all comments would be absolutely wonderful. :)

If you are interested in reading chapter one of Boot Hill in its entirety, feel free to do so here.

Guess who is officially writing again?

As of 4:30 PM on June 23, 2012, Boot Hill is officially in the process of being re-written.

I wrote a little over 800 words of totally new content today, which is the most I've done in god knows how long. Baby steps!

ALSO. TARRLOK AND NOATAK. Best ever. That is all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My thoughts on Avatar: The Legend of Korra thus far


Warning: TL;DR, spoilers and super nerdy rant.

Note: What I have written below is all personal opinion, and you're welcome to discuss/argue with me. Try to change my mind if you'd like. I'm open to other interpretations and justifications, because the way I'm seeing Korra isn't how I wanted to see it after I saw the first episode in April. :( I'm also not trying to make anyone feel bad who happens to love this show! I love(d) it too, and I'm trying to see past its flaws myself.

Let me preface this post by saying that I have really enjoyed most of Avatar: The Legend of Korra thus far. I still consider it one of the best animated shows being aired right now, even despite my criticisms. The world in which the story takes place is well-designed, gorgeous, and believable in an Earth-paralleled fantasy setting. I adore the steampunk vibe, and the technological achievements between the original series and Korra are awesome. The Avatar franchise as a whole sets the bar for intelligent, family-oriented, animated series, and I hope other studios look to it for future inspiration.

With that said and having just watched episode ten, I have to say that I'm starting to feel like the show simply isn't holding my interest like the original series did. Here is why.

1. Lack of satisfactory development from almost every character--Tarrlok, Tenzin, and Lin aside. After discussing this troubling realization with concurrent friends and fans, the only explanation we could come up with (barring poor writing, which I refuse to consider) is the pacing and comparatively short series length to the original. While the original Avatar series had plenty of "filler" material (especially in season one, yeesh), the series overall felt more complete. The occasional downtime allowed viewers to delve into the desires, needs, and fears of the characters--uninhibited by the shadow of a plot ready to swallow them up at any given moment. With Korra, the plot is constantly being shoved in our faces every second of each 23-minute installation, with little to no time for viewers to develop a bond with the characters. In this case, because of the two-season cap on this series, it would appear as though the writers had to make a choice: sacrifice the plot for character, or sacrifice the characters for plot--in which they clearly chose the latter. And it frustrates me like you wouldn't believe.

I'm especially disappointed with Bolin and Mako's lack of development. Ten episodes in and I still have no idea what Bolin or Mako want (other than to be pro-bending champions, which is fairly shallow and now totally irrelevant considering where the plot has taken them). This past episode had only a couple uninspired lines by Bolin. Hell, even the loathed Meelo had more screen time than Bolin, which is just plain enraging. More on my hatred for Meelo later.

2. Korra just isn't very engaging as a main character. To be fair, I didn't find Aang to be very engaging until well into season two, but there were other characters (such as Zuko, arguably the second main character of the series) who easily made it up for Aang's slow development. Don't get me wrong; I like Korra. I love her design and her tomboyish personality. Again, after ten episodes she hasn't made much progress. Next to none, really. She's weak, easily defeated, caught up in a laughable love triangle I couldn't give two shits about, and constantly causing more problems than solving them by her presence alone. In fact, at this point there is no reason she should even be in Republic City--she's currently not even being trained by Tenzin which was why she moved there in the first place. Realistically, she would have been sent away to a safe place as soon as her first interaction with Amon went awry, and surely after being kidnapped by Tarrlok. As an Avatar-in-training, the danger and risks are way too high for her to stay there. She can't defeat Amon; she has tried to stand up against him but has failed multiple times. She can't access the spirit world or the Avatar state yet. What can she do? She may as well be considered three regular benders in the body of one person as opposed to the Avatar, master of all four elements. Which makes her about as useless as a team of pro-benders in the face of extremely overpowered adversaries.

And as an obligatory side-note, I'll come out and say that Lin is way more interesting than all of the characters in Korra combined, excluding maybe Tarrlok or Amon. Though impossible for what the writers wanted with this series, I would have much rather seen a series with Lin as the main character. Alas.

3. The love triangle in this show is being dealt with poorly. I'll preface this statement by saying that I absolutely loathe love triangles for many reasons, the most relevant reason being that, more often than not, they are executed poorly. I can't really think of a true love triangle that left me satisfied. The Mako/Korra/Asami triangle is yet another unsatisfying love triangle. Because believe it or not, I actually really like Asami as a character, and I feel like she's been given way more development in comparison to even a main side-character like Bolin. Simply put, Mako deserves neither Korra nor Asami. Mako is so underwhelming as a character that I honestly couldn't care less about him. His personality is flat and derivative. And as the icing on the cake, the neglectful way Mako has been treating Asami in these more recent episodes has been cringe-worthy at best, lowering my already dwindling respect for him.

I guess I should admit here that I found Bolin and Korra as a much cuter couple with a lot more chemistry. But it seems as though the writers are bent on making Bolin fade into the background and forcing chemistry on two characters who I personally don't think have any. Ah well.

4. Meelo. The fact that a character so obnoxious and un-charming exists in any Avatar world makes me clench my fists and desperately wonder what went wrong. It's really not just the fact that he is hideously designed or that almost everything that comes out of his mouth is unfunny, plain stupid, and/or playing to the lowest common denominator of humor; I'm more concerned with the fact that he's inexplicably in the show way too much. In this past episode, he had more screen time than Bolin. And I have no idea why. If I hear or see one more air-bending/fart joke I fear the series will be beyond saving as far as I'm concerned. Do even children find this funny? Every time Meelo comes on screen, I regret telling people how great this show is, and I mean it.