AvatarSpirit.Net
Nov 17, 2019 01:35 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
ASN Mainsite: AvatarSpirit.net
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: New Novel -The Rise of Kyoshi - June 2019  (Read 6407 times)
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #75 on: Sep 10, 2019 09:54 pm »

Well, then, I guess our world is the darkest one of all. Cheesy
Logged

Colonel_Brian
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 4071



« Reply #76 on: Sep 10, 2019 09:56 pm »

You’re not wrong.
Logged
AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #77 on: Sep 11, 2019 12:28 am »

As I was told this is a YA thing.
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #78 on: Sep 11, 2019 06:51 pm »

Well, I mean, so was Hunger Games. Now that was dark.

YA just means "the protagonist is a teenager, there aren't any six-syllable words, and all the sex is fade-to-black style." It can still be R-rated.
Logged

AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #79 on: Sep 12, 2019 12:21 pm »

"the protagonist is a teenager, there aren't any six-syllable words, and all the sex is fade-to-black style." It can still be R-rated.

Apparently, YA is more like "the young poor clumsy female protagonist is the Chosen One or maybe not, the test she undertakes is really unclear, and there is an old authority man who is not-too-ambiguously evil but has a point and there is the male Fake Chosen One and the female protagonist has a crush on him and it is ironic because she is the real Chosen One, and the female protagonist has a friendly mentor guy with a dark secret he gained while working with the old authority man, and everything is pretty bleak and there is an early conflict where the female protagonist reveals her true power level and it all goes downhill from there until the female protagonist seeks out a rag-tag band of misfits she not-very-willingly joins but she warms up to them and they become besties and beat the old authority man after he becomes not-at-all-ambiguously evil"
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #80 on: Sep 12, 2019 07:41 pm »

Yeah, pretty much. I still think your "everything is pretty bleak" is wildly exaggerated, but that's all typical YA. Every one of those elements have appeared in at least one YA book before, just not necessarily assembled that way.
Logged

AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #81 on: Sep 13, 2019 09:25 am »

Yeah, pretty much. I still think your "everything is pretty bleak" is wildly exaggerated, but that's all typical YA. Every one of those elements have appeared in at least one YA book before, just not necessarily assembled that way.

Good to know Cheesy. I did not read any YA novels before The Rise of Kyoshi, so this is all new for me!
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #82 on: Sep 14, 2019 03:27 am »


I think the book absolutely couldn't do that, because that would make the ending completely hollow given what we know Kyoshi does with Chin and advocates for Aang and Ozai. There would be no triumph, no satisfaction. Instead we would see the culmination of a Kyoshi who will be destroyed in future years and be remade into something darker and perhaps more like Jianzhu. It would position her fate as making compromise after compromise until either dying or going straight off the slippery slope- or both.

It would be like the ending of Star Wars: Phantom Menace, a celebration of a child who defeated some petty evil, who we know will one day become Darth Vader and slaughter all that is good in the universe. And the prequel trilogy is meant to be a tragedy, which I'm hoping Kyoshi's life won't be.

If this were the end of Kyoshi's entire story I might agree, but it isn't the end, just the end of the begining.  This is a series.  No one book needs to act as the fulfillment of a character's entire arc, it need only be a fulfillment of the promise of the book itself.  We don't yet know the details of Kyoshi's dealings with Chin outside of generalities either.  We know that there was a standoff, that Kyoshi said 'stop', that Chin said 'no' so she cut the land in half and he fell to his death.  Kyoshi accepting her responsibility in his death as essentially the same as killing him doesn't necessarily invoke intent or a choice to do so, merely that she takes responsibility for the outcome.  Without further information we may only speculate (at this juncture) as to the degree of intent she held for Chin's death.

Yun sort of shows up at the end of the book out of absolutely nowhere, without any lead up or foreshadowing, to drive the story and take it away from Kyoshi a little bit.  If we want to keep to analogies of bad Star Wars movies, its like when Darth Vader appears in Rogue One for only the second time at the very end to steal the climax of the movie from the people it was supposed to be about.

Quote
I definitely prefer that Kyoshi was left unfulfilled and without answers. Happy endings that affirm life-honoring ideals are nice, but Kyoshi's story could never be that. Leave those to Aang.

But I'm not even advocating for a happy ending here, nor that I'm at all dissatisfied with the book even, just that my own innate sense of narrative structure nitpicked that the ending was a tad anticlimactic for throwing in a 9th inning swerve instead of paying off the books primary narrative thread... I mean I'm not saying my idea above was the ONLY way.  I'd have also preferred Kyoshi straight killed Jianshu herself over what we got, just so long as it was KYOSHI driving the ending of the story rather than a twist that had no foreshadowing.

Fair to note we don't know what this is all leading to either, its full well this could better inform sequels and provide a better overall 'series arc'... I simply think that the novel taken as it is, on its own, to be its best self Kyoshi should have been the driving force of the climax.
« Last Edit: Sep 14, 2019 03:33 am by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #83 on: Sep 14, 2019 05:04 am »

Yun sort of shows up at the end of the book out of absolutely nowhere, without any lead up or foreshadowing

Ah, the book does set up Yun it is just very subtle because it is woven into another arc: Kyoshi's training with Lao Ge. When they talk about how killing a person has consequences they in fact foreshadow the consequence for the only murder of real importance in the book so far: Jianzhu killing Yun. Yun showing up at the end was a great way to drive the point through in my opinion without undermining the consistency talk between Kyoshi and Lao Ge earlier.

Really, the true victorious ending for Kyoshi is saving the governor kid. The rest of the book is just a very-very long conclusion.
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #84 on: Sep 14, 2019 01:06 pm »


Ah, the book does set up Yun it is just very subtle because it is woven into another arc: Kyoshi's training with Lao Ge. When they talk about how killing a person has consequences they in fact foreshadow the consequence for the only murder of real importance in the book so far: Jianzhu killing Yun. Yun showing up at the end was a great way to drive the point through in my opinion without undermining the consistency talk between Kyoshi and Lao Ge earlier.

Really, the true victorious ending for Kyoshi is saving the governor kid. The rest of the book is just a very-very long conclusion.

Not to be TOO dismissive of Lao Ge's philosophies, but I believe that the thing Lao Ge most foreshadows is why Kyoshi is going to eventually live to be 230 instead of dying at a natural age more than a hundred years earlier than that xD...

Anyway I don't take that as foreshadowing.  It might retroactively serve as an explanation IF that's in fact what Lao Ge's function is supposed to be... but I hold that since we are never provided any sort of indicator that ANYTHING like Yun's miraculous ability to turn up alive and evil is even possible it's an anti-climax.  Even a simple scene of Kyoshi or Jianshu noticing a hooded man who seemed to be watching them half a book earlier and then moving on would have been enough to indicate SOMEONE was there... (A little lazy of course, but ANY foreshadowing is better than NO foreshadowing).

When it comes to plot twists I have a very simple barometer as to how successful I feel it is.  If nobody can figure it out before it happens it is a failure.  A plot twist hast to be something woven into the tapestry of your work, and must be something that could theoretically be deduced WITHOUT taking a wild guess by those of keen observation.  A twist should be protected by misdirection and careful writing NOT by omitting it entirely until the moment of the reveal.  The Yun twist can't be worked out beyond a wild guess because nothing in the rest of the book even indicates that he (or anything else of plot significance for that matter) is there.
« Last Edit: Sep 14, 2019 01:30 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #85 on: Sep 14, 2019 01:23 pm »

but I hold that since we are never provided any sort of indicator that ANYTHING like Yun's miraculous ability to turn up alive and evil is even possible it's an anti-climax.

It is supposed to be a massive "WTF?" moment to underline Lao Ge's point. Obviously, any direct foreshadowing would have cheapened it in my opinion. You can piece it together if you watch very closely because the correlations are pretty straightforward. 
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #86 on: Sep 14, 2019 01:50 pm »

It is supposed to be a massive "WTF?" moment to underline Lao Ge's point. Obviously, any direct foreshadowing would have cheapened it in my opinion. You can piece it together if you watch very closely because the correlations are pretty straightforward.  

Preceding this post again with the fact that I really like this book overall so that nobody thinks my nitpick here is more impactful than it is since I'm writing so much about it here in conversation.  I LOVED this book, Kyoshi's done well.  I think we're in good overall hands as to the future of the series.

But a Twist is a slippery slope of a narrative tool.  There HAS to be foreshadowing to make a twist impactful.  Anyone can write a WTF twist with their hands tied behind their backs if that isn't true.  Its the difference between 'Bruce Willis was dead the whole time!' and 'IT WAS GLOBAL WARMING SURPRISE!!!' (to use two examples from the same director)

Partially this is my 'old school' narrative design philosophy I admit, I don't like MOST stories being put out this day and age because IMO most 'stories' being put out today AREN'T STORIES.  A Story needs a defined structure and some kind of message or purpose.  TWISTS are dangerous tools in the narrative toolbox because they are one of the things that can most easily reduce a STORY into just 'A-Bunch-of-Events-that-Occur-in-Sequence-for-Spectacle-but-don't-Actually-Mean-or-Say-Anything' and can rob a tale of its underlying throughline.  Stories need a REASON, especially FICTION, because unless the idea is to satirize the eleven o'clock news, random events happening without a rhyme or reason aren't worth putting the effort into writing about.  There's a reason 'trilogies' and 'the heroes journey' keep being retold over and over in different ways, it's because they are structured and they say something that resonates with the human psyche.  While on the other hand there's a reason all this 'subverting your expectations' stuff is so dogmatically argued about and disappoints so many people, it's because human beings don't appreciate when stories FAIL to be structured or when they appear to be meaningless.  We don't like having our time wasted.

Betrayal of narrative structure is pretty common this day and age under that guise of 'subverting expectations'.  Its a BAD habit that is super popular in writers right now most primarily because writing a good story is actually very hard and most people writing today are doing it for a paycheck and not necessarily because they actually have anything they mean to express in the work.  THIS book in particular spends a lot of time being a straight out revenge quest in spirit, not saying revenge had to play out for that underlying through-line to be adequately paid off, just that a surprise monster turning up to do the deed at the end acts mildly to cheapen the structure of THIS book more than it helps it ESPECIALLY since Kyoshi doesn't appear to be more or less averse to doing it herself... she's not conflicted or desiring a means to escape having to do it, nor does she seem anylonger intent that he should die... and so there isn't even something for her to contemplate by being angry or relieved to have her revenge stolen... it just sort of comes out of left field and provides nothing more than a 'to be continued' to stamp at the end, which we already could easily take care of with the Kurick reveal anyway.  It could very well be this bit was necessary for the series AS A WHOLE and that Yun's appearance here will retroactively seem right for 'the Kyoshi saga'... but it still mildly hurts this book as a standalone experience because it doesn't feel like Kyoshi was driving the conclusion of her own story...... and of course, all in my own very humble opinion.
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2019 12:35 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #87 on: Sep 15, 2019 07:59 pm »

If this were the end of Kyoshi's entire story I might agree, but it isn't the end, just the end of the begining.  This is a series.  No one book needs to act as the fulfillment of a character's entire arc, it need only be a fulfillment of the promise of the book itself.

Um, no. It doesn't matter if this is a series. A book that has no full arc isn't a book; it's the first N chapters of a story that for some reason was sold separately. Even television episodes try to give their characters a complete journey.

Thankfully, F.C. Yee wrote a book.


We don't yet know the details of Kyoshi's dealings with Chin outside of generalities either.  We know that there was a standoff, that Kyoshi said 'stop', that Chin said 'no' so she cut the land in half and he fell to his death.  Kyoshi accepting her responsibility in his death as essentially the same as killing him doesn't necessarily invoke intent or a choice to do so, merely that she takes responsibility for the outcome.  Without further information we may only speculate (at this juncture) as to the degree of intent she held for Chin's death.

We have Kyoshi's own words of what happened. You're kind of reaching, here. We totally know what went down.


If we want to keep to analogies of bad Star Wars movies, its like when Darth Vader appears in Rogue One for only the second time at the very end to steal the climax of the movie from the people it was supposed to be about.

Cheesy That's a pretty wild misreading of the movie. Rogue One could have ended with Jyn and Cassian's deaths; that's the end of the story. The climax is when they shoot Krennic and press the Win button on the satellite.

Vader's scene is an epilogue that connects the movie more fully to the main story that we all already know, and provides a little illustration of the themes of the story in a single scene.


Not to be TOO dismissive of Lao Ge's philosophies, but I believe that the thing Lao Ge most foreshadows is why Kyoshi is going to eventually live to be 230 instead of dying at a natural age more than a hundred years earlier than that xD...

BWAH?!?!?!?!?!?

Um, yeah, it's obviously alluding to Kyoshi's long life (although whether it ends up being the explanation is up in the air), but Lao Ge's discussions with Kyoshi are the thematic backbone of her character arc.


When it comes to plot twists I have a very simple barometer as to how successful I feel it is.  If nobody can figure it out before it happens it is a failure.

So the entire Sherlock Holmes canon is a series of unrelenting failures? Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

I never cease to be amazed how differently people experience stories.


There's a reason 'trilogies' and 'the heroes journey' keep being retold over and over in different ways, it's because they are structured and they say something that resonates with the human psyche.

Meh. The "hero's journey" is, amongst modern academic circles, considered to be racist garbage. The reason it keeps getting reused is because George Lucas used it to give some literary legitimacy to his big successful Pop Art movie, and Hollywood executives who have no idea what storytelling is demanded that all their blockbusters at least give lip-service to it so that they can believe success can be engineered independently of vision. If you look at the number of failed movies and stories that slavishly adhere to the Hero's Journey, but yet completely fail as a story, you'll see that the journey itself doesn't really resonate in any way. It's garbage that doesn't even speak to the narrow set of experiences it claims to represent, never mind something fundamental to humanity.

As for trilogies, they're popular because Lord of the Rings and Star Wars were both hugely popular, even though LotR is actually six books that were simply published as three and Star Wars was going to be 12 episodes before George Lucas burnt out and decided to cash out while there was still some public goodwill. Again, people ape those things without examining what they're aping or why it was used in the original work.


THIS book in particular spends a lot of time being a straight out revenge quest in spirit, not saying revenge had to play out for that underlying through-line to be adequately paid off

It totally doesn't. All the time Kyoshi spends planning her revenge, she's given reasons to question whether that's the right path, and then there's the whole thing with the corrupt governor she spares that shows that Death as a solution/punishment isn't always the correct choice, another bit of foreshadowing that you seemed to have glossed over.

I think you need to do a deeper examination of the events of the book. A lot of what you probably dismissed as filler has great significance to the story being told, and yes, a full complete story was being told (even if there are sequel hooks).
Logged

ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #88 on: Sep 15, 2019 09:07 pm »

Um, no. It doesn't matter if this is a series. A book that has no full arc isn't a book; it's the first N chapters of a story that for some reason was sold separately. Even television episodes try to give their characters a complete journey.

Thankfully, F.C. Yee wrote a book.

I've acknowledged this in several places already but I think it came after the post you're quoting from.  I don't disagree with you as to the nature of a single book.  Part of the reason for my nitpick here afterall is EXACTLY because the twist seems to come to me at the expense of the book itself... just as part of the reason its JUST a nitpick is because its ALSO a series.  Stories within a series need to be mindful of BOTH individual arcs and the serials arc concurrently... so not every 'serial' story thread needs to be wrapped up within the contents of one of the books within the series, but occasionally sacrifices get made from one to benefit the other.


Quote

We have Kyoshi's own words of what happened. You're kind of reaching, here. We totally know what went down.

I disagree.  We have it in Kyoshi's own words that she does not consider his death any different than if she'd killed him herself, NOT that she necessarily intended to kill him.  To be VERY clear I don't think she is incapable of intending to kill him or something?  I'm not reaching for a defense of her character or anything if that's what you're inferring from me, I simply don't like to make to many inferences about internal motivations of external consequences of a story that may yet be further elaborated on to keep them from acting as an 'expectation' that can be disappointed... and can only offer what I BELIEVE may have been the intentions... but that usually requires more knowledge of a characters personality than we have of that iteration of Kyoshi.  She's not even really the Kyoshi we've been reading about quite yet so I as yet wouldn't feel comfortable trying to guess at what I  believe she actually intended to happen in that moment vs what did happen.


Quote
Cheesy That's a pretty wild misreading of the movie. Rogue One could have ended with Jyn and Cassian's deaths; that's the end of the story. The climax is when they shoot Krennic and press the Win button on the satellite.

Vader's scene is an epilogue that connects the movie more fully to the main story that we all already know, and provides a little illustration of the themes of the story in a single scene.

We don't NEED an epilogue that connects the movie more fully to the main story because we ALREADY know it.  AS an epilogue it's not only unnecessary, but also injects A New Hope's opening with a fresh paint of chuckleworthy wonkyness when a man Vader chokes to death tries to convince Vader that they are a diplomatic vessel when he knows full well that Vader has DIRECTLY chased the plans to their ship from from the site of a battle... SO here we are, our 'story' has ended and the heroes have all sacrificed themselves... so sad, moment of silence.... Now everybody cheer cause here's your favorite child murdering psychopath killing more people and isn't it AWESOME!?  We didn't need it, its only there because it was more profitable to the mouse for the old DV to have his due.  If we HAD to have it, it should have come BEFORE the primary characters fade to black.  Nothing was stopping Vader from chasing Leah from the battle a sequence or two ahead of the death star's attack.... would of been a great sequence though if all the characters had survived to that point and THEY were the rebels dying to hold Vader back one inch at a time passing the plans forward... but even that wouldn't have saved the fact that the characters themselves were about as interesting as watching cardboard dry so... eh?  Don't let me hold you back from liking the film though if you do.  I actually prefer SOLO to it and acknowledge that Solo isn't really any GOOD.  What can you really do with Star Wars these days?  I'm actually more excited to see FROZEN 2 this winter... and I didn't even like the first one that much xD.
 
Quote
BWAH?!?!?!?!?!?

Um, yeah, it's obviously alluding to Kyoshi's long life (although whether it ends up being the explanation is up in the air), but Lao Ge's discussions with Kyoshi are the thematic backbone of her character arc.

I DID say 'not to be to dismissive' xD but I'll acknowledge that this is about as 'clearly' relatable to Kyoshi's long life as her actions in Chins death are clearly relatable to intent and therefore by my own expressed philosophies on narrative I'll do my best not to just assume its absolute validity or anything especially as this almost certainly will be elaborated on in future stories. Lao Ge's philosophical importance in pertaining to Kyoshi's revenge quest I suppose is another conversation.  If that counts as foreshadowing for Yun for somebody, I envy your interpretation, to me it doesn't count.  Philosophy is a many headed hydra, easy to make inferences of that can be valid or invalid from different perspectives, sometimes you can decently foreshadow a physical result with philosophic foreshadowing, but I certainly don't consider anything Ge said to be strong enough anything to account for Yun's presence at the end of the story, but if YOU can, more power to you.


Quote
So the entire Sherlock Holmes canon is a series of unrelenting failures? Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

I never cease to be amazed how differently people experience stories.

Wouldn't know, haven't read any of the Holmes books, but if attempts at capturing them in other medium are anything to go by, aren't they generally twists built on by Sherlock's keen observation of the elements of the story that are already there?  If he's just inventing solutions out of thin air though, than yes that's definitively in the 'deus ex machina' category and IMO bad twist design.

Quote
Meh. The "hero's journey" is, amongst modern academic circles, considered to be racist garbage. The reason it keeps getting reused is because George Lucas used it to give some literary legitimacy to his big successful Pop Art movie, and Hollywood executives who have no idea what storytelling is demanded that all their blockbusters at least give lip-service to it so that they can believe success can be engineered independently of vision. If you look at the number of failed movies and stories that slavishly adhere to the Hero's Journey, but yet completely fail as a story, you'll see that the journey itself doesn't really resonate in any way. It's garbage that doesn't even speak to the narrow set of experiences it claims to represent, never mind something fundamental to humanity.

Uh wow... I mean I'm not saying anybody has to love The Hero's Journey or anything, and it was only an example of one popular storytelling archetype as a standing for ALL archetypes but... that's a pretty bleakly specific opinion on an archetype that is pretty wide ranging... I don't see how ANY story archtype can be 'racist' as a concept unless one specifically writes it to be... not all hero's journey's have to be about the white man rescuing slaves, thats a whoooole other issue and one that has little to do with the heroes journey as a narrative outline.  Our happy Avatar TLA itself is a pretty egregious example of the Hero's journey afterall is it not?

Quote
As for trilogies, they're popular because Lord of the Rings and Star Wars were both hugely popular, even though LotR is actually six books that were simply published as three and Star Wars was going to be 12 episodes before George Lucas burnt out and decided to cash out while there was still some public goodwill. Again, people ape those things without examining what they're aping or why it was used in the original work.

These things didn't invent trilogies they just used them... and LotR was six books that got reformatted into three because trilogies are more popular than... what would it even be called... sextologies?  Certain patterns mesh with the human condition, I'm not saying the number of works in a series are as imporant as story archtypes of course... but long standing patterns tend to be as much a product of psychology as they are sociology... (not discounting the latter at all)


Quote
It totally doesn't. All the time Kyoshi spends planning her revenge, she's given reasons to question whether that's the right path, and then there's the whole thing with the corrupt governor she spares that shows that Death as a solution/punishment isn't always the correct choice, another bit of foreshadowing that you seemed to have glossed over.

I think you need to do a deeper examination of the events of the book. A lot of what you probably dismissed as filler has great significance to the story being told, and yes, a full complete story was being told (even if there are sequel hooks).

I fail to see why this changes it from being a revenge story for a decent portion of its running time?  Revenge stories aren't normally Tarantino's straight line... if anything they are normally about how nearly impossible it is for one to undertake a revenge quest and have it be at the end what it was in the beginning.  Lots of revenge stories end with people giving up their revenges?  In fact revenge stories where the protagonist is continually confronted with the enormity, irony, and/or folly of their quest and how that changes their path are fairly bog standard?  I'm not saying I think Kyoshi absolutely should have killed him, I'm not saying Kyoshi absolutely should have spared him.  In the case of THIS book in particular I'm not even saying the story should have stringently adhered to a single story archetype even (accepting that its easy to conflate my arguments above about narrative structure in general with my thoughts about this book itself of which my ONLY quibble is the Yun twist) I'm simply saying that I think the story should have been being driven more by Kyoshi in the conclusion than by a Spirit Zombie Yun card with 'Flash'.  She recaptures the driving force of the story after when she manages to keep the house altogether with what she'd learned from Lao Ge... but it doesn't change that in the pivotal moment of the climax of Kyoshi's novel Yun is the driving force OUT OF THE BLUE and it doesn't even really amount to much in the confines of THIS book.  I personally consider that a mistake (acknowledging that as the rest of the SERIES is yet to be written, I may feel differently about the placement of this for the series arc as a whole.)  A minor personal quibble in an otherwise great book.

I think you're being vaguely condescending here though so I'll leave it at that without questioning your own ability to examine narrative... but respectfully ask you do the same.

Edit: Jesus this is really long... sorry.
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2019 10:21 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #89 on: Sep 16, 2019 01:23 pm »

I disagree.  We have it in Kyoshi's own words that she does not consider his death any different than if she'd killed him herself, NOT that she necessarily intended to kill him.  To be VERY clear I don't think she is incapable of intending to kill him or something?  I'm not reaching for a defense of her character or anything if that's what you're inferring from me, I simply don't like to make to many inferences about internal motivations of external consequences of a story that may yet be further elaborated on to keep them from acting as an 'expectation' that can be disappointed... and can only offer what I BELIEVE may have been the intentions... but that usually requires more knowledge of a characters personality than we have of that iteration of Kyoshi.  She's not even really the Kyoshi we've been reading about quite yet so I as yet wouldn't feel comfortable trying to guess at what I  believe she actually intended to happen in that moment vs what did happen.

Except internal motivations can, and often are, communicated to the audiences without dialogue or thought bubbles or anything. We've seen Chin's death, as narrated by Kyoshi, with the implication that the whole flashback is her point of view. The way she behaves, stands, acts, etc are all clues to her mental state and motivations.

And it's clear that the book wants us to keep that whole scene in mind as we read. It's directly engaging with the questions that Aang was asking when he spoke to Kyoshi on the matter. Trying to pretend we don't know what's going on during the Chin confrontation is a fairly silly way to approach a prequel; prequels should be crafted with the expectation that the audience is aware of the previously-published stories.


We don't NEED an epilogue that connects the movie more fully to the main story because we ALREADY know it.  AS an epilogue it's not only unnecessary, but also injects A New Hope's opening with a fresh paint of chuckleworthy wonkyness when a man Vader chokes to death tries to convince Vader that they are a diplomatic vessel when he knows full well that Vader has DIRECTLY chased the plans to their ship from from the site of a battle... SO here we are, our 'story' has ended and the heroes have all sacrificed themselves... so sad, moment of silence.... Now everybody cheer cause here's your favorite child murdering psychopath killing more people and isn't it AWESOME!?  We didn't need it, its only there because it was more profitable to the mouse for the old DV to have his due.  If we HAD to have it, it should have come BEFORE the primary characters fade to black.  Nothing was stopping Vader from chasing Leah from the battle a sequence or two ahead of the death star's attack.... would of been a great sequence though if all the characters had survived to that point and THEY were the rebels dying to hold Vader back one inch at a time passing the plans forward... but even that wouldn't have saved the fact that the characters themselves were about as interesting as watching cardboard dry so... eh?  Don't let me hold you back from liking the film though if you do.  I actually prefer SOLO to it and acknowledge that Solo isn't really any GOOD.  What can you really do with Star Wars these days?  I'm actually more excited to see FROZEN 2 this winter... and I didn't even like the first one that much xD.

I honestly think Rogue One is a pretty shaggy story that doesn't even start to come together until the final act. I just take issue with criticisms that don't make any sense.

Like how yours was based on mistakenly considering the wrong scene the climax, before you changed it to the laundry list above.

 
I DID say 'not to be to dismissive' xD but I'll acknowledge that this is about as 'clearly' relatable to Kyoshi's long life as her actions in Chins death are clearly relatable to intent and therefore by my own expressed philosophies on narrative I'll do my best not to just assume its absolute validity or anything especially as this almost certainly will be elaborated on in future stories. Lao Ge's philosophical importance in pertaining to Kyoshi's revenge quest I suppose is another conversation.  If that counts as foreshadowing for Yun for somebody, I envy your interpretation, to me it doesn't count.  Philosophy is a many headed hydra, easy to make inferences of that can be valid or invalid from different perspectives, sometimes you can decently foreshadow a physical result with philosophic foreshadowing, but I certainly don't consider anything Ge said to be strong enough anything to account for Yun's presence at the end of the story, but if YOU can, more power to you.

I'm not talking about Yun. I'm talking about Kyoshi not being the one to kill Jianzhu; Yun being the one to do the dead, and/or being an undead monstrosity, is incidental to the point. Kyoshi being the one to kill Jianzhu would have made for a non-story. Especially considering her admission that she only wants to kill him because she fears him; successfully revenge-killing Jianzhau would have made this the story of how Kyoshi let her fear defeat her at the start of her career as Avatar.

Or did you dismiss that conversation as well?

When characters are discussing their motivations, it's generally a good idea to pay close attention. Cheesy



Uh wow... I mean I'm not saying anybody has to love The Hero's Journey or anything, and it was only an example of one popular storytelling archetype as a standing for ALL archetypes but... that's a pretty bleakly specific opinion on an archetype that is pretty wide ranging... I don't see how ANY story archtype can be 'racist' as a concept unless one specifically writes it to be... not all hero's journey's have to be about the white man rescuing slaves, thats a whoooole other issue and one that has little to do with the heroes journey as a narrative outline.  Our happy Avatar TLA itself is a pretty egregious example of the Hero's journey afterall is it not?

If you're interested, just Google 'hero's journey criticism' or somesuch. The basic gist is that the supposed 'monomyth' that Campbell promoted isn't very mono at all, and has to exclude a bunch of long-lived cultures whose stories and mythological figures don't conform the hero's journey- cultures that, as a trend, are non-Western.

And sure, Avatar can be beaten into the shape of the Hero's Journey if you really want; any story long enough can be made to do it, especially if you're okay only half-hitting some of the Journey points and mixing up the order a bit, which to me shows just how bunk the formula is. But I think AtLA succeeds so well not because of any mythological patterns supposedly within, but rather charming characters, a visionary sense of character exploration melded with setting, and successfully completed character arcs. In other words: good writing.


These things didn't invent trilogies they just used them... and LotR was six books that got reformatted into three because trilogies are more popular than... what would it even be called... sextologies?  Certain patterns mesh with the human condition, I'm not saying the number of works in a series are as imporant as story archtypes of course... but long standing patterns tend to be as much a product of psychology as they are sociology... (not discounting the latter at all)

LotR was reformatted because the publisher probably thought that not having any news of Frodo in a single book was pushing the audience's tolerance. Cheesy It was most likely a marketing decision.

That's not to say I'm completely discounting the idea of archetypes or their value in storytelling, but I think you're putting far too much weight on the idea of a formula. You bashed Rogue One, and I'll even agree with some of your criticisms and I have a bucket-load more of my own, but it was an immensely popular movie and really resonated with a lot of people. That says, to me, that your idea of formula and how audiences respond to them doesn't really add up.

My own opinion is that audiences respond to characters, even thinly sketched characters, that have just the right hooks with which to identify and create empathy. It could be something as simple as how the characters looks, but it can also be something completely esoteric, something that doesn't look like anything in an audience member's life except from one very odd angle.


I fail to see why this changes it from being a revenge story for a decent portion of its running time?  Revenge stories aren't normally Tarantino's straight line... if anything they are normally about how nearly impossible it is for one to undertake a revenge quest and have it be at the end what it was in the beginning.  Lots of revenge stories end with people giving up their revenges?  In fact revenge stories where the protagonist is continually confronted with the enormity, irony, and/or folly of their quest and how that changes their path are fairly bog standard?  I'm not saying I think Kyoshi absolutely should have killed him, I'm not saying Kyoshi absolutely should have spared him.  In the case of THIS book in particular I'm not even saying the story should have stringently adhered to a single story archetype even (accepting that its easy to conflate my arguments above about narrative structure in general with my thoughts about this book itself of which my ONLY quibble is the Yun twist) I'm simply saying that I think the story should have been being driven more by Kyoshi in the conclusion than by a Spirit Zombie Yun card with 'Flash'.  She recaptures the driving force of the story after when she manages to keep the house altogether with what she'd learned from Lao Ge... but it doesn't change that in the pivotal moment of the climax of Kyoshi's novel Yun is the driving force OUT OF THE BLUE and it doesn't even really amount to much in the confines of THIS book.  I personally consider that a mistake (acknowledging that as the rest of the SERIES is yet to be written, I may feel differently about the placement of this for the series arc as a whole.)  A minor personal quibble in an otherwise great book.

I say it's not a Revenge story, although Revenge is discussed a bit, because it's a Coming Of Age story.

Now, yes, genre itself a very artificial construct and lines blur enough that it's almost useless as a tool of analysis. Someone could probably make the argument that this book is both a Revenge and a Coming Of Age story.

But because the climax doesn't conform to your idea of a Revenge story's proper climax - where the character chooses whether or not to do the dead, and/or accomplishes the revenge - you're criticizing it and focusing on Yun taking away from Kyoshi's moment. However, this disconnect comes from there being no need for the kind of moment you keep describing. When Kyoshi confronts Jianzhu and protects people from him, showing that she's grown beyond his expectations for her and has cultivated the confidence to look him in the eyes and make herself vulnerable to him in order to protect others, that's her climax. That shows her Coming Of Age. Jianzhu could have run away at that point, never to be heard from again (perhaps with an epilogue about how he lands on a deserted island or something and never gets off or is found) and it still would have been a satisfying conclusion for Kyoshi's quest. When a story seems good up until an ending, which seems to be wildly and suspiciously non-functional, I think it's worth examining whether the writer had something completely different in mind and whether the bones of that story are present.

And you could certainly hold the opinion that the book is a pretty weak Coming Of Age story that gets distracted by a lot of things that look like a Revenge story. But then your criticism would be of the bulk of the story, instead of your repeated criticisms that it was all good up until a weird ending.

(FYI, I'm not sure whether I agree fully with Atomaki about how he categorizes the foreshadowing of Yun's return. I do think Jianzhu is a tragic deuteragonist in the book, and so his defeat coming from what is essentially an embodiment of his sins given form is appropriate, but whether there is 'sufficient' foreshadowing to that specific form is something I'm not sure of yet. I have to admit, it's not something I'm really interested in coming to a conclusion on, either, as I'm skeptical that there's any way to determine whether a certain amount or nature of foreshadowing is adequate.)

And this is the danger of formulas. Deciding to box a story into one too quickly can lead to a kind of meta-gaming, where rather than experiencing the story and getting to know it for what it is, a reader is waiting for events of the plot to tick certain checkmarks. The ending of the story is usually where it fully reveals itself and conveys its message.


I think you're being vaguely condescending here though so I'll leave it at that without questioning your own ability to examine narrative... but respectfully ask you do the same.

Apologies, but I'd rather outright say that I'm questioning your approach to narrative dissection rather than imply it. I think the latter is more insulting because it doesn't give you a fair chance to respond and question mine in turn. And, frankly, I don't think this conversation can be had without at least implying such a thing. It's fair to people to like or not like a certain story, or find that it worked for them or didn't, but I do think there is a way to be objectively wrong in an analysis of a story's functionings. It's one thing to say, "I got this out of the story," but it's quite another to say, "I wanted this out of the story, but I didn't get it, so therefore a part of the story is broken." It's like criticizing a web-browser for not being a word-processor.
Logged

ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #90 on: Sep 16, 2019 06:41 pm »

Except internal motivations can, and often are, communicated to the audiences without dialogue or thought bubbles or anything. We've seen Chin's death, as narrated by Kyoshi, with the implication that the whole flashback is her point of view. The way she behaves, stands, acts, etc are all clues to her mental state and motivations.

And it's clear that the book wants us to keep that whole scene in mind as we read. It's directly engaging with the questions that Aang was asking when he spoke to Kyoshi on the matter. Trying to pretend we don't know what's going on during the Chin confrontation is a fairly silly way to approach a prequel; prequels should be crafted with the expectation that the audience is aware of the previously-published stories.

That's a fair enough point about narrative in general, I still don't personally agree that what we got in TLA concerning Kyoshi was anywhere near enough information to make any kind of definitive assertions about motivations.  All Kyoshi's posture says to me is 'I'm serious' nothing about the sequence makes me thing she necessarily was SET upon killing anyone, just maybe that she was willing to.  I always felt like the fandom was probably inferring to much into it and the 'BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD!!!' Kyoshi meme was more a product of US (the fandom) than the actual material (add to that the inference by fans that Kyoshi hadn't ever opposed Chin up to that point, for all we know that was their tenth battle?).  It may well be that the fandoms read of it becomes by proxy the whole truth, I just personally think we have very little actual evidence .

Quote
Like how yours was based on mistakenly considering the wrong scene the climax, before you changed it to the laundry list above.

It's harder for your audience to mistake where the climax is if you don't implement auxiliary action sequences the film doesn't need after its already supposed to be over no?  Ask around some star wars forums and you'll find more than a few people who are like 'Aw yeah!  That Vader ending!'
 
Quote
I'm not talking about Yun. I'm talking about Kyoshi not being the one to kill Jianzhu; Yun being the one to do the dead, and/or being an undead monstrosity, is incidental to the point. Kyoshi being the one to kill Jianzhu would have made for a non-story. Especially considering her admission that she only wants to kill him because she fears him; successfully revenge-killing Jianzhau would have made this the story of how Kyoshi let her fear defeat her at the start of her career as Avatar.

But see, I AM talking about Yun? xD  I don't see any fault in your interpretation of an ending with Kyoshi killing him 'as is' but then I've never had a problem with the fact that Kyoshi doesn't kill him?  My only nitpick is that Kyoshi isn't driving the narrative at the conclusion, Yun is the center of my focus on that nitpick because he's the plot device that arrives with no foreshadowing whatsoever to take those reins?  No amount of questioning my interpretation about revenge tales or not-revenge-tales is actually going to change that because the conclusion of the revenge tale itself isn't the grievance I actually have with the book!

Quote
If you're interested, just Google 'hero's journey criticism' or somesuch. The basic gist is that the supposed 'monomyth' that Campbell promoted isn't very mono at all, and has to exclude a bunch of long-lived cultures whose stories and mythological figures don't conform the hero's journey- cultures that, as a trend, are non-Western.

Well that's, putting it mildly, a short sighted and unimaginative opinion on a storytelling archetype.  I Don't expect google to act as the end all and be all of academia.  There are plenty of examples of the Hero's journey before Campbell ever put his stamp on it just in ancient cultures mythologies alone...  I re-assert that an archetype can only be as racist as the author using it chooses to construct it.  A story oughtn't be considered racist JUST because it has western ideals either.  By that metric every culturally identifiable pattern becomes definable by racism, however I do get what you're saying here.  The storied tropes of the stereotypical hero saving some 'lesser creatures' is pretty bog standard.  I suppose if we're going by an exact outline of Campbell's picture perfect hero's journey you've got a leg to stand on.  I just don't personally think that because a man gave the archetype a name his is the final word on what it is and how its used since he was really only giving a name and his own spin on something that had already existed basically since we could put ink to parchment.

I'm not expressing that adhering to the Hero's Journey dogmatically as a scripture of archetypal design is what reaches the reader.  As stated above, I don't consider Campbell the inventor of the Hero's Journey.  I'm saying that human beings have been using something 'like' it since they started writing words down because something in those types of stories speaks to them...  but Avatar absolutely is a Hero's Journey, it even hits a good many of Campbell's bullet points, it's also got a lot more going for it as well, but lets not stand around and pretend like it doesn't use a lot of the Hero's journey at its core just because that doesn't jive with the idea that the Hero's Journey is somehow systemically racist as a point of argument.

Quote
LotR was reformatted because the publisher probably thought that not having any news of Frodo in a single book was pushing the audience's tolerance. Cheesy It was most likely a marketing decision.

You're splitting hairs on me here.  The book got reworked into a trilogy and it paid off because it worked.  Marketing  decisions try to do what they hope people are going to want the majority of the time.  The only time you want to market specifically against type is to push some kind of agenda, otherwise its best to try to sell people what you think they WANT or else try to use what you know about them to make them want something you feel they otherwise will not.

Quote
My own opinion is that audiences respond to characters, even thinly sketched characters, that have just the right hooks with which to identify and create empathy. It could be something as simple as how the characters looks, but it can also be something completely esoteric, something that doesn't look like anything in an audience member's life except from one very odd angle.

If I haven't made it clear enough that I'm speaking my own opinion, even based upon my experiences in reading stories and how those stories have been recieved in general, by now that's not really my fault?  I've blatantly stated it several times.  I don't begrudge anyone who likes Rogue One?  I don't begrudge anyone who doesn't appreciate a particular archetype or genre.  If I've at all come across as expressing that I think YOU ought to be experiencing these things exactly like I do, than I apologize for the misunderstanding... and frankly there are PLENTY of people who share my opinion that Rogue One's characters are paper thin and hurt the film... it's a much less divisive film than Episode 8, but its not as unanimously beloved as some people think it is.

Quote
I say it's not a Revenge story, although Revenge is discussed a bit, because it's a Coming Of Age story.

Now, yes, genre itself a very artificial construct and lines blur enough that it's almost useless as a tool of analysis. Someone could probably make the argument that this book is both a Revenge and a Coming Of Age story.

But because the climax doesn't conform to your idea of a Revenge story's proper climax - where the character chooses whether or not to do the dead, and/or accomplishes the revenge - you're criticizing it and focusing on Yun taking away from Kyoshi's moment. However, this disconnect comes from there being no need for the kind of moment you keep describing. When Kyoshi confronts Jianzhu and protects people from him, showing that she's grown beyond his expectations for her and has cultivated the confidence to look him in the eyes and make herself vulnerable to him in order to protect others, that's her climax. That shows her Coming Of Age. Jianzhu could have run away at that point, never to be heard from again (perhaps with an epilogue about how he lands on a deserted island or something and never gets off or is found) and it still would have been a satisfying conclusion for Kyoshi's quest. When a story seems good up until an ending, which seems to be wildly and suspiciously non-functional, I think it's worth examining whether the writer had something completely different in mind and whether the bones of that story are present.

This can be argued about for hours and hours but frankly it isn't worth it.  I assert that it could have been pulled off a little better, not that it was THE DEVIL!  I see what you're saying, I see where you're coming from.  I'd not have argued the book wasn't ALSO a coming of age story if you'd broached it earlier, only that as a whole, I loved the book and would only change one single thing about it and STILL WOULD if Id been in the writers chair (I wasn't, so its a moot point, but this is a forum where we are discussing our reactions to it, and it wouldn't be fair of me to give less than my full opinion on the subject for anyone who came here to inform their own purchase?)  All and all I'd say the book is pretty good, but since I DO see where you're coming from and I STILL think Yun should have been left out for another time I feel like we can distinctly lay this down as 'agree to disagree' don't you?

Quote
And you could certainly hold the opinion that the book is a pretty weak Coming Of Age story that gets distracted by a lot of things that look like a Revenge story. But then your criticism would be of the bulk of the story, instead of your repeated criticisms that it was all good up until a weird ending.

I don't think we need that to confuse things here.  Am I not allowed to have that criticism?  I repeat it because I've been confronted about it, what else am I supposed to do?  Invent NEW criticisms that I don't have for the entertainment of fellow forum goers?  To me it is all good up until a slightly wonky twist at the ending?  That's it.  That's my criticism?  I don't have a problem with it as a coming of age story that gets distracted by a lot of things, if I did I'd have said that?

Quote
(FYI, I'm not sure whether I agree fully with Atomaki about how he categorizes the foreshadowing of Yun's return. I do think Jianzhu is a tragic deuteragonist in the book, and so his defeat coming from what is essentially an embodiment of his sins given form is appropriate, but whether there is 'sufficient' foreshadowing to that specific form is something I'm not sure of yet. I have to admit, it's not something I'm really interested in coming to a conclusion on, either, as I'm skeptical that there's any way to determine whether a certain amount or nature of foreshadowing is adequate.)
 

That's fair and I expressed earlier that I actually thought if anyone DESERVED to kill Jianzhu it was definitely Yun... his torments of Yun stretch back much further than we are even privy to, so my problem isn't really that Yun is the one who killed him, just where it occurs in the nature of things.  This goes back to you making more out of my words than I intend.  I still do feel theres a lot of 'revenge story' here, more than enough to illustrate it as one of the books more central themes, but it isn't my nitpick.  Yun's sudden arrival is my nitpick.  For reasons well documented now.

Quote
And this is the danger of formulas. Deciding to box a story into one too quickly can lead to a kind of meta-gaming, where rather than experiencing the story and getting to know it for what it is, a reader is waiting for events of the plot to tick certain checkmarks. The ending of the story is usually where it fully reveals itself and conveys its message.

And that's the real trick isn't it?  I agree that you don't ever really want to stick so closely to anything that it becomes predictable enough the outline may as well be questing alongside the protagonists... I guess what I've been seeing in modern day storytelling is an EXTREME backlash by observers exhausted over current trends that they've gone to far the other route.  Without some kind of structure one has to question whether there is even a point to telling the story.  Nobody needs to be bothered with the thrilling tale about how Steve went down to the shoe store, subverted expectations by purchasing a pair of high heels, goes home, never wears the heels, watches some TV, goes to bed, wakes up, gets drafted into war, and finally dies of a heart attack on the drive to boot camp (It'd probably star Will Ferril though).  Obviously that's an extreme example but I've noticed a trend in modern movie making in particular towards bucking formulas so hard there isn't really much point to the whole endeavor outside just making the statement 'I BUCK THE TREND!!!!' which is fine I guess if its the movie they wanted to make... I just don't have any interest in it personally and don't really consider them much in the way of real 'stories' in comparison to the stories I've come to love.

Quote
Apologies, but I'd rather outright say that I'm questioning your approach to narrative dissection rather than imply it. I think the latter is more insulting because it doesn't give you a fair chance to respond and question mine in turn. And, frankly, I don't think this conversation can be had without at least implying such a thing. It's fair to people to like or not like a certain story, or find that it worked for them or didn't, but I do think there is a way to be objectively wrong in an analysis of a story's functionings. It's one thing to say, "I got this out of the story," but it's quite another to say, "I wanted this out of the story, but I didn't get it, so therefore a part of the story is broken." It's like criticizing a web-browser for not being a word-processor.

You know what they say about everything that comes before 'but'?

'I wanted this out of a portion of the story, but I didn't get it, so therefore a part of the story is broken' isnt at all an unrealistic sentiment by my perception though I'd amend it more to "I expected this out of a portion of the story due to my experience of how these stories are usually told, I didn't get it and what I got instead was of questionable merit and quality, so therefore a part of the story is broken from my point of view."  I see imperfect things all the time.  Just because I find a flaw in something doesn't necessarily mean I don't like it or that nobody else should like it... but pretending like I don't think that this thing is a flaw as a stance is of no value.  I could say 'I loved the book and found it flawless!' and it might make a few people who read over my post smile with excitement, but if even ONE of them got to the part of the book I took issue with and it ruined the book for them because of whatever preconceptions they'd gotten out of something I'd said, than my LIE is at least partially at fault.  

I agree there's ways to be objectively wrong in analysis, I don't think that in THIS instance I am.  I've read a lot of books.  I've watched a lot of movies, tv series, and played many a video game in my lifetime, taken English and literature classes and was never at the bottom of my class.  I paid attention to all of them, I've paid attention to the receptions of many of them, those I've loved that others have loved, those I've hated that others have loved, and those I've loved that others have hated, it gives me a strong pillar by which to gauge when I notice something that just feels a little bit off and where to analyze why I felt it was off.  This was one of those moments, for all the reasons I've already written... and if the primary difference of our perceiving it at odds is even as simple as our own stances the importance of proper foreshadowing in narrative than so be it?  Read what I wrote, and if what I found wrong with it is something you can live with or find no fault with from your own perspective and experience then congratulations, you're a human being with different thoughts, feelings, and opinions than me, I don't begrudge you them.
« Last Edit: Sep 16, 2019 06:51 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
AtoMaki
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 5376


ENTP


« Reply #91 on: Sep 17, 2019 11:33 am »

By the way did anyone notice how Kyoshi had exactly one actual fight scene in the entire book? Her every other fight was unusual in some way or form, only her battling the pirates had a standard action sequence. She also either flees the battle scene or knocks herself out in each fight, she never stands victorious over her defeated enemies. Just something I noticed while thinking about how the book actively tries to kill the BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD meme.
Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #92 on: Sep 17, 2019 11:55 am »

By the way did anyone notice how Kyoshi had exactly one actual fight scene in the entire book? Her every other fight was unusual in some way or form, only her battling the pirates had a standard action sequence. She also either flees the battle scene or knocks herself out in each fight, she never stands victorious over her defeated enemies. Just something I noticed while thinking about how the book actively tries to kill the BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD meme.

IDK I think she's pretty uniformly victorious over the Yellow's... only her own people saw her pass out after and since this is pre-korra lightning that's nothing to scoff at... and it depends on what you consider a 'fight' I suppose?  There's also that awesome cheer inducing moment where she shatters that guys hand, prevents his intentions, and gets away with it Scott free... IMO that amounts to total victory as well... outside that she's still pretty young so I wouldn't expect her to be taking names in all her encounters just yet.
Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #93 on: Sep 17, 2019 05:36 pm »

That's a fair enough point about narrative in general, I still don't personally agree that what we got in TLA concerning Kyoshi was anywhere near enough information to make any kind of definitive assertions about motivations.  All Kyoshi's posture says to me is 'I'm serious' nothing about the sequence makes me thing she necessarily was SET upon killing anyone, just maybe that she was willing to.  I always felt like the fandom was probably inferring to much into it and the 'BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD!!!' Kyoshi meme was more a product of US (the fandom) than the actual material (add to that the inference by fans that Kyoshi hadn't ever opposed Chin up to that point, for all we know that was their tenth battle?).  It may well be that the fandoms read of it becomes by proxy the whole truth, I just personally think we have very little actual evidence.

Well, I'm not arguing that she was set on killing Chin- simply that she is prepared for it. Avatar goes out of its way to make sure that character thoughts are not obscure, even to the point of having its most undemonstrative character, Mai, giving Azula a threatening side-eye and exchanging a glance with Ty Lee when Azula was talking about unexpected traitors. If Kyoshi was surprised or unnerved by the death of Chin, we would have seen evidence of that. The fact that she was serious the whole time tells me that nothing that happened was outside of what she was prepared to deal with.


It's harder for your audience to mistake where the climax is if you don't implement auxiliary action sequences the film doesn't need after its already supposed to be over no?  Ask around some star wars forums and you'll find more than a few people who are like 'Aw yeah!  That Vader ending!'

You might want to look up the definition of an 'epilogue' some time. Cheesy The fact that some people don't get them doesn't make them any less a legitimate tool.

 
But see, I AM talking about Yun? xD  I don't see any fault in your interpretation of an ending with Kyoshi killing him 'as is' but then I've never had a problem with the fact that Kyoshi doesn't kill him?  My only nitpick is that Kyoshi isn't driving the narrative at the conclusion, Yun is the center of my focus on that nitpick because he's the plot device that arrives with no foreshadowing whatsoever to take those reins?  No amount of questioning my interpretation about revenge tales or not-revenge-tales is actually going to change that because the conclusion of the revenge tale itself isn't the grievance I actually have with the book!

But you weren't talking about Yun! I was specifically taking issue with your assertions that all of Lao Ge's dialogue was worthless except as backstory for Kyoshi's longevity and that Kyoshi didn't have a complete character arc in this book. Perhaps I shouldn't have muddied the issue by connecting it to how weird you found Yun's role?

Or if you're retreating from those other positions, then I'm fine with you continuing to find Yun's return weird.


Well that's, putting it mildly, a short sighted and unimaginative opinion on a storytelling archetype.  I Don't expect google to act as the end all and be all of academia.

I never said it was? I just said it's a tool you can use to look up the criticisms if you want more detail on them. Which I guess you don't?


There are plenty of examples of the Hero's journey before Campbell ever put his stamp on it just in ancient cultures mythologies alone...  I re-assert that an archetype can only be as racist as the author using it chooses to construct it.  A story oughtn't be considered racist JUST because it has western ideals either.  By that metric every culturally identifiable pattern becomes definable by racism, however I do get what you're saying here.  The storied tropes of the stereotypical hero saving some 'lesser creatures' is pretty bog standard.  I suppose if we're going by an exact outline of Campbell's picture perfect hero's journey you've got a leg to stand on.  I just don't personally think that because a man gave the archetype a name his is the final word on what it is and how its used since he was really only giving a name and his own spin on something that had already existed basically since we could put ink to parchment.

I don't think you've actually read what I wrote. I made no mention of White Savior stories. And I'm thinking you don't really understand Campbell's thesis, aside from knowing that he outlined the Hero's Journey. The core of Campbell's whole thing is the concept of the "monomyth," which is to say that the Hero's Journey is present in all stories. Like, according to him, no one even has to try to include it; it just naturally emerges in any tale of any hero that anyone makes up in any time because it's that fundamental.

It gets racist when people pointed out that no, there are a bunch of stories of heroes out there that don't conform to the Hero's Journey. And Campbell's position is that obviously those stories don't matter, which gets icky when one realizes that the stories that don't matter to him all come from non-white civilizations.

If he just said, "Hey, a bunch of stories use my Hero's Journey and it seems popular!" then I don't think anyone would care much. (I don't think he would care much either, because it's not much of a statement.) It's the whole 'monomyth' part that is being strongly discredited.

The link with Star Wars comes from the movie supposedly being a distillation of the Hero's Journey that makes it akin to humanity's most ancient and foundational myths, and Hollywood's misunderstanding of that comes from them thinking that a writer has to choose to put the Hero's Journey formula into a story rather than it emerging naturally.



You're splitting hairs on me here.  The book got reworked into a trilogy and it paid off because it worked.  Marketing  decisions try to do what they hope people are going to want the majority of the time.  The only time you want to market specifically against type is to push some kind of agenda, otherwise its best to try to sell people what you think they WANT or else try to use what you know about them to make them want something you feel they otherwise will not.

It's not splitting hairs. It's saying that Tolkien didn't plan his story to be a trilogy, and it probably had little to do with its success; it might have been parsed up into four books, with Fellowship being left split into two since both books feature all the main characters, and still be successful.


This can be argued about for hours and hours but frankly it isn't worth it.  I assert that it could have been pulled off a little better, not that it was THE DEVIL!  I see what you're saying, I see where you're coming from.  I'd not have argued the book wasn't ALSO a coming of age story if you'd broached it earlier, only that as a whole, I loved the book and would only change one single thing about it and STILL WOULD if Id been in the writers chair (I wasn't, so its a moot point, but this is a forum where we are discussing our reactions to it, and it wouldn't be fair of me to give less than my full opinion on the subject for anyone who came here to inform their own purchase?)  All and all I'd say the book is pretty good, but since I DO see where you're coming from and I STILL think Yun should have been left out for another time I feel like we can distinctly lay this down as 'agree to disagree' don't you?

So do you think Kyoshi did come of age by the end of the book? Because that's a complete character arc, which you earlier said the book didn't have for her as a result of the fate of Jianzhu being taken away from her.


And that's the real trick isn't it?  I agree that you don't ever really want to stick so closely to anything that it becomes predictable enough the outline may as well be questing alongside the protagonists... I guess what I've been seeing in modern day storytelling is an EXTREME backlash by observers exhausted over current trends that they've gone to far the other route.  Without some kind of structure one has to question whether there is even a point to telling the story.  Nobody needs to be bothered with the thrilling tale about how Steve went down to the shoe store, subverted expectations by purchasing a pair of high heels, goes home, never wears the heels, watches some TV, goes to bed, wakes up, gets drafted into war, and finally dies of a heart attack on the drive to boot camp (It'd probably star Will Ferril though).  Obviously that's an extreme example but I've noticed a trend in modern movie making in particular towards bucking formulas so hard there isn't really much point to the whole endeavor outside just making the statement 'I BUCK THE TREND!!!!' which is fine I guess if its the movie they wanted to make... I just don't have any interest in it personally and don't really consider them much in the way of real 'stories' in comparison to the stories I've come to love.

In theory, I agree with you. In practice, however, I find that a significant portion of the complaints of this nature come from audiences who simply didn't have their pre-formed demands catered to, and who think themselves literary critics because they've read a bunch of reviews and meta-commentary.


'I wanted this out of a portion of the story, but I didn't get it, so therefore a part of the story is broken' isnt at all an unrealistic sentiment by my perception though I'd amend it more to "I expected this out of a portion of the story due to my experience of how these stories are usually told, I didn't get it and what I got instead was of questionable merit and quality, so therefore a part of the story is broken from my point of view."  I see imperfect things all the time.  Just because I find a flaw in something doesn't necessarily mean I don't like it or that nobody else should like it... but pretending like I don't think that this thing is a flaw as a stance is of no value.  I could say 'I loved the book and found it flawless!' and it might make a few people who read over my post smile with excitement, but if even ONE of them got to the part of the book I took issue with and it ruined the book for them because of whatever preconceptions they'd gotten out of something I'd said, than my LIE is at least partially at fault.

So don't lie. Say, "I found this part weird." But calling it a "flaw" might not be accurate, and there's a huge difference between the two.

There's a reason I didn't pursue your comments about Yun on previous pages, but I came back to the argument when more detail emerged in your conversations with AtoMaki.
Logged

ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #94 on: Oct 01, 2019 07:27 pm »

Quote
Well, I'm not arguing that she was set on killing Chin- simply that she is prepared for it. Avatar goes out of its way to make sure that character thoughts are not obscure, even to the point of having its most undemonstrative character, Mai, giving Azula a threatening side-eye and exchanging a glance with Ty Lee when Azula was talking about unexpected traitors. If Kyoshi was surprised or unnerved by the death of Chin, we would have seen evidence of that. The fact that she was serious the whole time tells me that nothing that happened was outside of what she was prepared to deal with.

Well that's my stance as well and always has been?  That's cleared up, guess we don't need to talk about this anymore.

Quote
You might want to look up the definition of an 'epilogue' some time. Cheesy The fact that some people don't get them doesn't make them any less a legitimate tool.

The existence of the epilogue as a concept does not give it cart blanche to be considered necessary or excellent in its execution.  It should probably also have more to do with the story it's ending than the one that is coming after it but hey that's definitely more of an opinion.  I feel like epilogues work best at the end of a SERIES, hough I'll admit to be a sucker for the Marvel end credits scenes... those usually come after the credits though to better illustrate they don't HAVE to be watched for the story to be completely told.  Vader being there indicates it's IMPORTANT that we witness him chase the plans to where we already know he's going.  As an epilogue its ALL fan service, that's great if someone enjoys that sort of thing, I found it unnecessary and of questionable merit to the script.  I guess that isn't so surprising considering the rest of the script often fails to make much of an impact anyway.

Quote
But you weren't talking about Yun! I was specifically taking issue with your assertions that all of Lao Ge's dialogue was worthless except as backstory for Kyoshi's longevity and that Kyoshi didn't have a complete character arc in this book. Perhaps I shouldn't have muddied the issue by connecting it to how weird you found Yun's role?

Might wanna read through our whole conversation up to this point if think this, you've been talking about my issue with Yun so I responded to it as part of the overall discussion.  We've been talking a bout a LOT of things.  I also never once discussed Lao Ge's dialogue as 'worthless.'  You're  putting words in my mouth to make it an argument.  We've ALSO talked about Lao Ge... whom I spoke about AS RESPONSE to his being proposed as potential foreshadowing concerning Yun's miraculous arrival, which I considered and disagreed with (So you see I HAVE been talking about Yun).

Quote
I don't think you've actually read what I wrote. I made no mention of White Savior stories. And I'm thinking you don't really understand Campbell's thesis, aside from knowing that he outlined the Hero's Journey. The core of Campbell's whole thing is the concept of the "monomyth," which is to say that the Hero's Journey is present in all stories. Like, according to him, no one even has to try to include it; it just naturally emerges in any tale of any hero that anyone makes up in any time because it's that fundamental.

It gets racist when people pointed out that no, there are a bunch of stories of heroes out there that don't conform to the Hero's Journey. And Campbell's position is that obviously those stories don't matter, which gets icky when one realizes that the stories that don't matter to him all come from non-white civilizations.

If he just said, "Hey, a bunch of stories use my Hero's Journey and it seems popular!" then I don't think anyone would care much. (I don't think he would care much either, because it's not much of a statement.) It's the whole 'monomyth' part that is being strongly discredited.

The link with Star Wars comes from the movie supposedly being a distillation of the Hero's Journey that makes it akin to humanity's most ancient and foundational myths, and Hollywood's misunderstanding of that comes from them thinking that a writer has to choose to put the Hero's Journey formula into a story rather than it emerging naturally.

Okay, I'll freely admit to knowing none of that... I don't think it much changes anything about my opinion as stated above either.  I fail to see how this isn't just Campbell's problem?  The only reason we're talking about THJ at all is because you snapped at my bringing it up like the archetype was itself completely racist.  I feel that its a useful tool at times, and it works just fine when done well.  I was just saying that it sells, and that it probably sells because it speaks to people on some basic level.  I guess if you feel like that basic level is just the inherent racism of mankind I can't stop you feeling that way and hell I won't even argue its not a possibility?  Lots of people are pretty racist.  I don't actually mind it if you dislike the hero's journey... I just propose that its been reused countless times for reasons that probably go deeper than just that Lucas made star wars once and now this is just how it is.  That might have been the reason for a few years after Star Wars, but stuff doesn't last if its just a fad.

Quote
It's not splitting hairs. It's saying that Tolkien didn't plan his story to be a trilogy, and it probably had little to do with its success; it might have been parsed up into four books, with Fellowship being left split into two since both books feature all the main characters, and still be successful.

It doesn't really matter what it was planned as in my argument.  It DID get released as a trilogy... and the story is even set up narrative as a trilogy of arcs even if those arcs are split up into two 'books'.  I don't express to know that it being split up into more or less books could or could not have worked, only that somebody along the line decided to split it into three, so that's what happened.  Its a trilogy, is it the trilogy that made the trilogy itself a 'standard'?  I don't know, I don't claim to know, just that for whatever reason 'epic form' stories tend to come in trilogies and that, similar to my thoughts about the hero's journey above, there's probably more of a reason to that than just that something popular got sold as a trilogy once so that's just how it is!  Again, that sort of 'fad' mentality definitely exists... but I doubt that it commonly becomes a 'staple' unless that fad turns out to gel on a deeper than surface level.

Quote
So do you think Kyoshi did come of age by the end of the book? Because that's a complete character arc, which you earlier said the book didn't have for her as a result of the fate of Jianzhu being taken away from her.

Here's you putting words in my mouth again?  Kyoshi's coming of age story is irrelevant to my problem with the book.  Having one complete arc in your story doesn't mean you've crafted a perfect story.  You need to complete ALL of your arcs... it's fine if you don't see the book as having had a revenge arc and so don't find a problem with it.  I DID notice a revenge plot set up however, and so when the story didn't really do anything with that, I noticed.  This is nothing new to storytelling.  I've encountered lots of stories that don't follow through with all of their set ups, the first in Brandon Sanderson's 'Mistborn' series for example, reads for most of its length like a heist film with fantasy flavor, with all the planning and set up you'd expect from such a story... and then concludes instead like a chaotic fantasy rebellion epic instead.  That doesn't mean I think it was a bad book (It's sequels both suck, but 'Mistborn' on its own is actually really good even despite its 9th inning swerve... which was a LOT more problematic even than anything Kyoshi's book did).  I can't just pretend like it doesn't register to me when this happens though, and the fact the revenge arc fizzles out via a Deus Ex Machina that doesn't really feel like its earned is where that 'bug' itches in relation to Kyoshi's story.  The plot twist is far from a deal breaker, there was no rule in my head that said 'Kyoshi MUST have her revenge or anything... but I'd have liked for the thread to pay off in some meaningful way, because narrative threads should pay off.  Instead a Wild Yun appears and is Super Effective, which just on its own isn't even to much of a problem... but Jianshu's death at his hands and manner of death doesn't really seem to effect Kyoshi much one way or the other after all he's put her through.  She doesn't seem relieved, she doesn't seem cheated... heck she barely even reacts to the fact that it was Yun ALIVE that did it.  She becomes a fairly passive vehicle to plot contrivance.  THAT'S my problem, that Kyoshi is not driving the story at the conclusion of her own novel, and if we'd like to get more specific, what we got in its place was a plot device that I feel wasn't set up enough to have earned its inclusion as the big climax.  Nothing else!  Not that Kyoshi didn't kill somebody.  Not that 'Lao Ge's advice was 'Meh' None of that.  That's all crap that got brought up and misconstrued in conversation along the way or picked up into our discussion from discussions I was having with someone else (and then misappropriated to be my opinion wherever it filled as an argument)  

Quote
In theory, I agree with you. In practice, however, I find that a significant portion of the complaints of this nature come from audiences who simply didn't have their pre-formed demands catered to, and who think themselves literary critics because they've read a bunch of reviews and meta-commentary.

I agree with you fully on this.. Most 'critique' found on the internet isn't going to be coming from a college graduates and employed critics, need only glance at the youtubz to know that's true.

Quote
So don't lie. Say, "I found this part weird." But calling it a "flaw" might not be accurate, and there's a huge difference between the two.

I haven't said anything that's a lie?  I found there to have been a flaw in the ending of the book, if you disagree with me I'd say that's a pretty subjective disagreement.  Just because you didn't find there to be a flaw from your point of view doesn't necessarily mean somebody else couldn't find one... nor that they are lying liars for having a different experience.  I almost didn't respond to this at all because I certainly hope that's not what you are implying, but you seem pretty loose with the casual disrespect of any perspective that isn't your own so its hard to tell.

Quote
There's a reason I didn't pursue your comments about Yun on previous pages, but I came back to the argument when more detail emerged in your conversations with AtoMaki.

That's fine, but if you're going to be including responses to things I've said to other people you can't then turn around and say 'we aren't talking about Yun, we're talking about Lao Ge' just because we've maybe ALSO talked about Lao Ge, then call me a liar for getting turned around.  That's not cool.  
« Last Edit: Oct 04, 2019 11:05 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
FairladyZ2005
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 111


« Reply #95 on: Oct 03, 2019 05:09 pm »

Just finished the book. I really liked it. Easily the best tie-in material we've had for this franchise. Looking forward to more, and hopefully more books after Kyoshi too (prays for a novel about Iroh). I'm glad Yee is the main writer for the book. I read the first of DiMartino's Rebel Genius series a while ago and while I liked the worldbuilding and magic system the characters felt rather stock and forgettable.
Logged

Helping to bring balance to the fandom, one post at a time!
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #96 on: Oct 07, 2019 01:57 pm »

The existence of the epilogue as a concept does not give it cart blanche to be considered necessary or excellent in its execution.  It should probably also have more to do with the story it's ending than the one that is coming after it but hey that's definitely more of an opinion.  I feel like epilogues work best at the end of a SERIES, hough I'll admit to be a sucker for the Marvel end credits scenes... those usually come after the credits though to better illustrate they don't HAVE to be watched for the story to be completely told.  Vader being there indicates it's IMPORTANT that we witness him chase the plans to where we already know he's going.  As an epilogue its ALL fan service, that's great if someone enjoys that sort of thing, I found it unnecessary and of questionable merit to the script.  I guess that isn't so surprising considering the rest of the script often fails to make much of an impact anyway.

No, as an epilogue, it's thematically important to the story. It puts a nice little bow on the overall message of the movie, which is a big help because as you noted the script was pretty shaky; the real theme and message only becomes apparent in the final act, and the epilogue clarifies it.

There's a lot more to stories than just the plot. (Hopefully.)


Might wanna read through our whole conversation up to this point if think this, you've been talking about my issue with Yun so I responded to it as part of the overall discussion.  We've been talking a bout a LOT of things.  I also never once discussed Lao Ge's dialogue as 'worthless.'  You're  putting words in my mouth to make it an argument.  We've ALSO talked about Lao Ge... whom I spoke about AS RESPONSE to his being proposed as potential foreshadowing concerning Yun's miraculous arrival, which I considered and disagreed with (So you see I HAVE been talking about Yun).

You said, "I believe that the thing Lao Ge most foreshadows is why Kyoshi is going to eventually live to be 230 instead of dying at a natural age more than a hundred years earlier than that xD..."

I don't have an opinion on whether Lao Ge's stuff foreshadows Yun's arrival. The way you said "most foreshadows" indicates to me that you consider explaining Kyoshi's long life to be Lao Ge's primary purpose in the story. I'm saying that Lao Ge's dialogue is explicit foreshadowing that, whatever the method (Yun's return or even Jianzhu tripping down a flight of stairs and dying), Kyoshi is not going to get a satisfactory revenge moment (whether it's taking or forsaking revenge), thus making her arc not about revenge at all.

She already made that choice with the corrupt child governor. Doing it again with Jianzhu would have no thematic purpose.


I was just saying that it sells, and that it probably sells because it speaks to people on some basic level.  I guess if you feel like that basic level is just the inherent racism of mankind I can't stop you feeling that way and hell I won't even argue its not a possibility?  Lots of people are pretty racist.  I don't actually mind it if you dislike the hero's journey... I just propose that its been reused countless times for reasons that probably go deeper than just that Lucas made star wars once and now this is just how it is.  That might have been the reason for a few years after Star Wars, but stuff doesn't last if its just a fad.

Now you're the one putting words in my mouth. I'm not making any kind of statement about the inherent racism of mankind. I'm saying that, academically, The Monomyth has been discredited. It's wrong; there are myths that don't use. I'm also saying that there are successful movies with The Hero's Journey in it, and lots of unsuccessful movies with The Hero's Journey in it, so your assertion that it's somehow special is also discredited; it's just another way of structuring a plot, no better or worse than others.


It doesn't really matter what it was planned as in my argument.  It DID get released as a trilogy... and the story is even set up narrative as a trilogy of arcs even if those arcs are split up into two 'books'.  I don't express to know that it being split up into more or less books could or could not have worked, only that somebody along the line decided to split it into three, so that's what happened.  Its a trilogy, is it the trilogy that made the trilogy itself a 'standard'?  I don't know, I don't claim to know, just that for whatever reason 'epic form' stories tend to come in trilogies and that, similar to my thoughts about the hero's journey above, there's probably more of a reason to that than just that something popular got sold as a trilogy once so that's just how it is!  Again, that sort of 'fad' mentality definitely exists... but I doubt that it commonly becomes a 'staple' unless that fad turns out to gel on a deeper than surface level.

Honestly, I'd argue that it isn't constructed narratively to be split up into a trilogy. The awkward transitions of the movie versions of The Two Towers and Return of the King show just how poorly things integrate, with Saruman's death getting left on the cutting room floor of the theatrical edition because it's a climax that doesn't fit anywhere in traditional storytelling structure. Not to mention how Shelob gets stuffed into the middle of RotK, and a different climax had to be invented for Frodo's journey in TTT.

So no, LotR is a really bad trilogy, but a great set of six books. It's such a great set of six books that people are able to tolerate how horrible a trilogy it is. Grin


Here's you putting words in my mouth again?  Kyoshi's coming of age story is irrelevant to my problem with the book.  Having one complete arc in your story doesn't mean you've crafted a perfect story.  You need to complete ALL of your arcs... it's fine if you don't see the book as having had a revenge arc and so don't find a problem with it.  I DID notice a revenge plot set up however, and so when the story didn't really do anything with that, I noticed.  This is nothing new to storytelling.  I've encountered lots of stories that don't follow through with all of their set ups, the first in Brandon Sanderson's 'Mistborn' series for example, reads for most of its length like a heist film with fantasy flavor, with all the planning and set up you'd expect from such a story... and then concludes instead like a chaotic fantasy rebellion epic instead.  That doesn't mean I think it was a bad book (It's sequels both suck, but 'Mistborn' on its own is actually really good even despite its 9th inning swerve... which was a LOT more problematic even than anything Kyoshi's book did).

Huh. I read Mistborn because it had been sold to me as a 'heist' story, but when I actually read it, I found that it wasn't one at all. I enjoyed the book (and the whole series) despite that, but it barely makes any motion towards being a heist story and utilizes almost none of the elements of the genre. It's very much a Standard Fantasy Thing. Just about the only 'heist' thing about it is that Kelsiar is a professional thief and behaves according to the archetype, but just having him in the story doesn't make it a Heist Story.


I can't just pretend like it doesn't register to me when this happens though, and the fact the revenge arc fizzles out via a Deus Ex Machina that doesn't really feel like its earned is where that 'bug' itches in relation to Kyoshi's story.  The plot twist is far from a deal breaker, there was no rule in my head that said 'Kyoshi MUST have her revenge or anything... but I'd have liked for the thread to pay off in some meaningful way, because narrative threads should pay off.  Instead a Wild Yun appears and is Super Effective, which just on its own isn't even to much of a problem... but Jianshu's death at his hands and manner of death doesn't really seem to effect Kyoshi much one way or the other after all he's put her through.  She doesn't seem relieved, she doesn't seem cheated... heck she barely even reacts to the fact that it was Yun ALIVE that did it.  She becomes a fairly passive vehicle to plot contrivance.  THAT'S my problem, that Kyoshi is not driving the story at the conclusion of her own novel, and if we'd like to get more specific, what we got in its place was a plot device that I feel wasn't set up enough to have earned its inclusion as the big climax.  Nothing else!  Not that Kyoshi didn't kill somebody.  Not that 'Lao Ge's advice was 'Meh' None of that.  That's all crap that got brought up and misconstrued in conversation along the way or picked up into our discussion from discussions I was having with someone else (and then misappropriated to be my opinion wherever it filled as an argument) 

And this is where I point out once again that Kyoshi did complete all her arcs, because she admits long before confronting Jianzhu that it really isn't about revenge to her, it's about fear, and she overcomes her fear in the end. Jianzhu is a Deuteragonist with his own storyline, and his death is the culmination of his arc.


I haven't said anything that's a lie?  I found there to have been a flaw in the ending of the book, if you disagree with me I'd say that's a pretty subjective disagreement.  Just because you didn't find there to be a flaw from your point of view doesn't necessarily mean somebody else couldn't find one... nor that they are lying liars for having a different experience.  I almost didn't respond to this at all because I certainly hope that's not what you are implying, but you seem pretty loose with the casual disrespect of any perspective that isn't your own so its hard to tell.

This has nothing to do with my point of view. You started by saying that the story had a flaw (which, I agree, is subjective) but then you went on to say that what you really meant was that it didn't meet your expectations because it didn't match the most commonly-used story formula. Those are two completely different things, which is why I got the sense that you were purposefully misrepresenting things. Not adhering to the classic canned formula isn't a flaw, not if the story itself works (which, again, is subjective, but your clarification said you weren't evaluating it based on that).
Logged

ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #97 on: Oct 08, 2019 01:07 am »

No, as an epilogue, it's thematically important to the story. It puts a nice little bow on the overall message of the movie, which is a big help because as you noted the script was pretty shaky; the real theme and message only becomes apparent in the final act, and the epilogue clarifies it.

I disagree that the sequence is thematically IMPORTANT to the story.  It's fan service with enough thematic ties to be thematically resonant, but nevertheless, the entire film would essentially work exactly the same without it and the screen time could have been better spent trying to get us to care about even one of the protagonists.


You said, "I believe that the thing Lao Ge most foreshadows is why Kyoshi is going to eventually live to be 230 instead of dying at a natural age more than a hundred years earlier than that xD..."

Which is, arguably, still probable.  I also said 'not to be too dismissive of Lao Ge's prophesies' a qualifier I wouldn't put on a plot thread I considered 'worthless'.


Quote
Now you're the one putting words in my mouth. I'm not making any kind of statement about the inherent racism of mankind. I'm saying that, academically, The Monomyth has been discredited. It's wrong; there are myths that don't use. I'm also saying that there are successful movies with The Hero's Journey in it, and lots of unsuccessful movies with The Hero's Journey in it, so your assertion that it's somehow special is also discredited; it's just another way of structuring a plot, no better or worse than others.

I never said anything about using the Monomyth though and haven't done anything to credit it?  Just that 'the heroes journey' without any knowledge of or agreement with (as I'm sure is the norm with most people who will be consuming these sorts of stories) anything to do with mono mythology, turns up a lot.  The heroes journey isn't mono-mythology, no matter how much some guy wanted it to be, and was just my EXAMPLE story archetype in the first place to act as quick frame stand in for the discussion intended to represent (but not supercede) all relevant archetypes one tends to see repeated again and again, many of which I'm sure are entirely devoid of a racist monomythic agenda pushing aficionado.  One man's solitary opinion does not an archetype make, I'm sure subjectively many students and Academia experts have found racist examples of basically every genre in existence, and its probable as well that certain archtypes probably have different commonalities and it'd be worth reading up on those to better come to my own opinion on those singular works and then what to watch out for as potential pitfalls WITHIN a genre... but to label an entire genre as blanket racist (or blanket anything) seems to me to be more academic fart smelling than anything worth putting to much thought into.  The bigger a subject the less likely it is to fall into any one stereotype.  The more someone tries to tell me that something broad is 'specifically this' the more likely I am to side-eye them.  Or in other words, unless I'm working with a singular 'true' sequitur, I don't subscribe in absolutes, and the Heroes Journey has been used by to many to often to qualify as a sequitur that can be ascribed any sort of blanket criticism outside of how it works out within specific works.

That said, I acknowledged that while its probably impossible (from my perspective) for an archtype to simply BE one frame of criticism, it's certainly not impossible that it could encourage a mode of behavior that lead to that particular criticism.  I'll go ahead and give the Heroes Journey the olde look over and see how I feel coming out the other side... but have 'experienced' enough stories utilizing it at this juncture that I'm expecting to find the argument baseless.

Quote
Honestly, I'd argue that it isn't constructed narratively to be split up into a trilogy. The awkward transitions of the movie versions of The Two Towers and Return of the King show just how poorly things integrate, with Saruman's death getting left on the cutting room floor of the theatrical edition because it's a climax that doesn't fit anywhere in traditional storytelling structure. Not to mention how Shelob gets stuffed into the middle of RotK, and a different climax had to be invented for Frodo's journey in TTT.

So no, LotR is a really bad trilogy, but a great set of six books. It's such a great set of six books that people are able to tolerate how horrible a trilogy it is. Grin

Fair enough... though how Jackson meshed it together for the films isn't exactly how I'd personally quantify the series together (the books are the foremost authority on that and Shelob is pretty solidly in the 9th inning of TTT in that playbook).  My point was never about the inherent worth of individual sets of trilogies or how well specific trilogies work.  Just that trilogies keep happening more often than serials of other variant lengths... that said I think the trilogy of arcs in LotR is more there than you're letting on or noticing, but also admit that as it IS structured strangely for a trilogy... it probably only exists that way at all due to publisher pressure to alter it INTO a trilogy from what originally was not... but that doesn't really challenge my theory that people particularly like trilogies for some reason.  


Quote
Huh. I read Mistborn because it had been sold to me as a 'heist' story, but when I actually read it, I found that it wasn't one at all. I enjoyed the book (and the whole series) despite that, but it barely makes any motion towards being a heist story and utilizes almost none of the elements of the genre. It's very much a Standard Fantasy Thing. Just about the only 'heist' thing about it is that Kelsiar is a professional thief and behaves according to the archetype, but just having him in the story doesn't make it a Heist Story.

OMG... We are NOT about to start this whole discussion over again just about Mistborn this time!  There's a heist story set up there that doesn't pay off.  I saw it, whoever sold it to you apparently saw it as well(and maybe even felt like it was paid off if they sold it to you AS a Heist book... it doesn't though) so this is not in a vacuum, that you apparently don't see it just seems to mirror this whooooooooole darn conversation doesn't it?

Quote

And this is where I point out once again that Kyoshi did complete all her arcs, because she admits long before confronting Jianzhu that it really isn't about revenge to her, it's about fear, and she overcomes her fear in the end. Jianzhu is a Deuteragonist with his own storyline, and his death is the culmination of his arc.

He's got crap screen time for a Deuteragonist... he's really the only other point of view character out of necessity more than I'd personally name him 'deuteragonist'... nevertheless this may just be the first argument about this that I find myself mulling over more favorably.  I still think I'd have preferred it play out with something outside of an entirely left field plot device so - that bit of weirdness remains so far as I'm concerned, but if I consider that finale bit more as Jianshu's climax than Kyoshi's (Which does feel more at home in the sequence of events leading from her sparing the Governor on through her dealing with the Yellownecks) I admit that I like it better that way.  Do I think that makes it a 'perfect' sequence without oddness... F'k no, but it is more appealing to me.  Thanks for that.  


Quote
This has nothing to do with my point of view. You started by saying that the story had a flaw (which, I agree, is subjective) but then you went on to say that what you really meant was that it didn't meet your expectations because it didn't match the most commonly-used story formula. Those are two completely different things, which is why I got the sense that you were purposefully misrepresenting things. Not adhering to the classic canned formula isn't a flaw, not if the story itself works (which, again, is subjective, but your clarification said you weren't evaluating it based on that).

Alright, so I think you're maybe making onions out of potatoes but at least I see where your coming from.  I did call it a flaw in that way you write out about something 'If I think it had one flaw its this..." which isn't terribly clear... probably not worth two pages of forum argument over unclear but its unclear enough I wasn't writing a full review or anything, just my first 'reactionary take'.  I also didn't take any issue with it not 'matching' the most commonly-used formula, just that I didn't feel like it was paying off a story thread (that the story thread had an archetype association is itself NOT IMPORTANT, nor did I ever mean to indicate that it was.  One last time, I didn't care that Kyoshi's 'revenge plot' wasn't following a 'revenge plot schematic' just that I felt that particular story thread (which is being identified as a revenge plot simply because that's what it most felt like not because I have a rulebook of archtypes and how they are objectively expected to payoff) was a plot thread I felt didn't have a satisfying payoff PERIOD due to the inclusion of a plot device.  You're comment above about it being Jianshu's conclusion is something I'll have to mull over a bit more, I like it better than what I was getting from the scene from my own mental outline of the book... but that's still not going to fix the only narrative hiccup that ever actively BOTHERED ME in the first place...

Which is and ever has been that YUN is an unnecessary Deus Ex Machina without any foreshadowing that should have been better set up or else held off for the next book.  So if you'd like to talk about THAT than please lets (but totally don't if you don't want to) but for the time being I think I'm done talking about Lao Ge's philosophies, Monomythology, revenge arcs etc.  Feel free to respond to my own final posts on those subjects here if you feel like you have more to say or a last word but I probably wont be responding to them (unless maybe I see something like the Jianshu remark that actually makes me consider it differently)
« Last Edit: Oct 08, 2019 01:54 am by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 32209


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #98 on: Oct 09, 2019 09:28 pm »

I disagree that the sequence is thematically IMPORTANT to the story.  It's fan service with enough thematic ties to be thematically resonant, but nevertheless, the entire film would essentially work exactly the same without it and the screen time could have been better spent trying to get us to care about even one of the protagonists.

Could it? Would another two-and-a-half minutes have been enough to bring you from Zero to Caring for a bunch of stock characters? Tongue I think that two minutes was much better spent clarifying the theme of the story. And it's not like the movie couldn't have had both an epilogue and an extra 2.5 minutes.


Which is, arguably, still probable.  I also said 'not to be too dismissive of Lao Ge's prophesies' a qualifier I wouldn't put on a plot thread I considered 'worthless'.

The qualifier was a nice attempt, but you could have just avoided being too dismissive by actually discussing it's relevance to the story being told if you thought it had one. Grin


I never said anything about using the Monomyth though and haven't done anything to credit it?  Just that 'the heroes journey' without any knowledge of or agreement with (as I'm sure is the norm with most people who will be consuming these sorts of stories) anything to do with mono mythology, turns up a lot.  The heroes journey isn't mono-mythology, no matter how much some guy wanted it to be, and was just my EXAMPLE story archetype in the first place to act as quick frame stand in for the discussion intended to represent (but not supercede) all relevant archetypes one tends to see repeated again and again, many of which I'm sure are entirely devoid of a racist monomythic agenda pushing aficionado.  One man's solitary opinion does not an archetype make, I'm sure subjectively many students and Academia experts have found racist examples of basically every genre in existence, and its probable as well that certain archtypes probably have different commonalities and it'd be worth reading up on those to better come to my own opinion on those singular works and then what to watch out for as potential pitfalls WITHIN a genre... but to label an entire genre as blanket racist (or blanket anything) seems to me to be more academic fart smelling than anything worth putting to much thought into.  The bigger a subject the less likely it is to fall into any one stereotype.  The more someone tries to tell me that something broad is 'specifically this' the more likely I am to side-eye them.  Or in other words, unless I'm working with a singular 'true' sequitur, I don't subscribe in absolutes, and the Heroes Journey has been used by to many to often to qualify as a sequitur that can be ascribed any sort of blanket criticism outside of how it works out within specific works.

That said, I acknowledged that while its probably impossible (from my perspective) for an archtype to simply BE one frame of criticism, it's certainly not impossible that it could encourage a mode of behavior that lead to that particular criticism.  I'll go ahead and give the Heroes Journey the olde look over and see how I feel coming out the other side... but have 'experienced' enough stories utilizing it at this juncture that I'm expecting to find the argument baseless.

...I honestly have no idea what you're saying here. What "genre" are we talking about? What do you think a genre is? And why are you still going on about racism?


Fair enough... though how Jackson meshed it together for the films isn't exactly how I'd personally quantify the series together (the books are the foremost authority on that and Shelob is pretty solidly in the 9th inning of TTT in that playbook).  My point was never about the inherent worth of individual sets of trilogies or how well specific trilogies work.  Just that trilogies keep happening more often than serials of other variant lengths... that said I think the trilogy of arcs in LotR is more there than you're letting on or noticing, but also admit that as it IS structured strangely for a trilogy... it probably only exists that way at all due to publisher pressure to alter it INTO a trilogy from what originally was not... but that doesn't really challenge my theory that people particularly like trilogies for some reason.

On the other hand, you haven't provided any actual evidence that people do like trilogies. Certainly, there have been stories structured as trilogies that have proven to be so unpopular that the trilogy is never even finished.


OMG... We are NOT about to start this whole discussion over again just about Mistborn this time!  There's a heist story set up there that doesn't pay off.  I saw it, whoever sold it to you apparently saw it as well(and maybe even felt like it was paid off if they sold it to you AS a Heist book... it doesn't though) so this is not in a vacuum, that you apparently don't see it just seems to mirror this whooooooooole darn conversation doesn't it?

Oh no, I definitely saw the parallels to the rest of the conversation. It actually nicely reinforces my thesis that you try to slot stories into genres and formula that they don't actually attempt to invoke. And, I'm sure, the inverse is true for you regarding my analytical skills as well.

And, honestly, I don't consider the person who recommended it to me to be an expert on genre and story formula, as much as I like and respect him.


He's got crap screen time for a Deuteragonist... he's really the only other point of view character out of necessity more than I'd personally name him 'deuteragonist'... nevertheless this may just be the first argument about this that I find myself mulling over more favorably.

Thanks, but I really disagree that he got little 'screentime.' He even has his own antagonist he gets to overcome at the end of his arc!

Alright, so I think you're maybe making onions out of potatoes but at least I see where your coming from.  I did call it a flaw in that way you write out about something 'If I think it had one flaw its this..." which isn't terribly clear... probably not worth two pages of forum argument over unclear but its unclear enough I wasn't writing a full review or anything, just my first 'reactionary take'.  I also didn't take any issue with it not 'matching' the most commonly-used formula, just that I didn't feel like it was paying off a story thread (that the story thread had an archetype association is itself NOT IMPORTANT, nor did I ever mean to indicate that it was.  One last time, I didn't care that Kyoshi's 'revenge plot' wasn't following a 'revenge plot schematic' just that I felt that particular story thread (which is being identified as a revenge plot simply because that's what it most felt like not because I have a rulebook of archtypes and how they are objectively expected to payoff) was a plot thread I felt didn't have a satisfying payoff PERIOD due to the inclusion of a plot device.  You're comment above about it being Jianshu's conclusion is something I'll have to mull over a bit more, I like it better than what I was getting from the scene from my own mental outline of the book... but that's still not going to fix the only narrative hiccup that ever actively BOTHERED ME in the first place...

Which is and ever has been that YUN is an unnecessary Deus Ex Machina without any foreshadowing that should have been better set up or else held off for the next book.  So if you'd like to talk about THAT than please lets (but totally don't if you don't want to) but for the time being I think I'm done talking about Lao Ge's philosophies, Monomythology, revenge arcs etc.  Feel free to respond to my own final posts on those subjects here if you feel like you have more to say or a last word but I probably wont be responding to them (unless maybe I see something like the Jianshu remark that actually makes me consider it differently)

Fair enough, but I'm honestly more confused about your stance than when we started. It sounds to me like you're making contradictory statements.
Logged

ViridianIV
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1214



« Reply #99 on: Oct 16, 2019 10:09 pm »

Quote
The qualifier was a nice attempt, but you could have just avoided being too dismissive by actually discussing it's relevance to the story being told if you thought it had one. Grin

More candy coated condensation.  

I didn't NEED to discuss the relevance of Lao Ge's philosophy to the story story in that instance because that wasn't what Atomaki and I were even discussing (though I guess if I've GOT to include a point from my own addendum observation for you to be happy, than sure.  You ready?  A guy who claims he's immortal provides Kyoshi, the Avatar who lives impossibly long, some of his secret techniques... doesn't take a genius to connect those dots... gee that was necessary)  I wasn't disagreeing with Atomaki's ideas about Lao Ge, only that I personally couldn't quantify it as foreshadowing for YUNS APPEARANCE.  Because once more, that's what Atomaki was discussing with me, that's the conversation I was in.

(though in going back over it, the comment does feel more dismissive of his ideas about Lao Ge 'in general' than is warranted or intended.  So if you want it Atomaki, you've got my apology for that)

So seriously, in the most respectful manner I feel I can possibly respond to you on this one in particular, how about you hop right off my back with stuff like this?  If all you've got to offer is a sentence of condescending nonsense espousing the topic you'd rather I have been discussing with somebody who ISN'T EVEN YOU, just say nothing instead.

Quote
On the other hand, you haven't provided any actual evidence that people do like trilogies. Certainly, there have been stories structured as trilogies that have proven to be so unpopular that the trilogy is never even finished.

My initiating statement on the matter, I feel, was pretty clear I was speaking opinion borne of observation.  I provided no evidence because I've not done any sort of intensive research into it nor do I intend to, haven't got time for it.  Do you?  I don't know a single human being who has the time to do that sort of thing for a spat on a forum either.  You want peer reviewed evidence for or against you'll have to do it yourself.  But if it makes you feel better, for anybody who might casually pass over this, I acknowledge I've provided no specific evidence beyond idle theorizing on my part based on what I personally have noticed as trends.  Idle theory was all it was ever meant to be.  Satisfied?

Quote
Oh no, I definitely saw the parallels to the rest of the conversation. It actually nicely reinforces my thesis that you try to slot stories into genres and formula that they don't actually attempt to invoke. And, I'm sure, the inverse is true for you regarding my analytical skills as well.

And, honestly, I don't consider the person who recommended it to me to be an expert on genre and story formula, as much as I like and respect him.

I've not anywhere indicated that I don't.  I sort arcs into genres and formulas when they appear to be leaning into a genre or formula?  Don't like that?  Sue me, I'll warm up the shredder.  

Since genre's and formulas EXIST they are a perfectly valid and useful categorical toolset to use in quick form conversation.
« Last Edit: Oct 16, 2019 10:19 pm by ViridianIV » Logged

"In the time before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves."
                  -Lion Turtle dropping the mic
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines LLC
MySQL | PHP | XHTML | CSS