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Any Author worth his Salt

 
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Keltor



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Any Author worth his Salt Reply with quote

So here's the thing, Alb. Your writing continues to improve, the story is becoming more cohesive, and overall I continue to enjoy the thing more and more. My question to you is if you have any underlying philosophy or point you are trying to make. I dunno if that would be a good or bad thing, but it would be interesting to hear from you. I've noticed that you have really added a lot of moral ambiguity to the story, which I applaud. Is this intentional and/or part of some grander plan in a message that you are trying to make, Though to be honest, if that is the case, I wonder if your use of the phrases "good guys" and "bad guys" are perhaps hurting the point you are trying to make. As a fellow writer (although admittedly a far less consistent one) this sorta stuff interests me almost as much as the story itself.
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Exodus



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 2262
Location: P-Town represent!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morale of the story: Curiosity only killed the cat in the minds of anybody who knew the cat, the cat really became an agent for a super-secret organization and was given invulnerability.
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Aidinthel



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 3145
Location: a series of lairs, each more secret than the last

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But where does the murloc fit in?
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Exodus



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 2262
Location: P-Town represent!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see the murloc as a gray area. Horse's world was pretty black and white before he met fang; good people and bad people. Fang is the ultimate gray, not defined as good, nor defined as bad, even though he's working for the greater good of everybody. Sometimes the good thing to do is not always the right thing to do.

I'm with Keltor though, I want to see Albatross's take on this Very Happy.
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Amaunator



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 2074
Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen the message of pacifism and unitism appear frequently and consequently throughout Albatros' story. A desire for people of different heritages, skin colours, beliefs and such to come together and slay a common foe.

The subject of morality you all immediately mentioned fits into this. Everyone is good but that common foe. However, now that the world is distraught and confused, producing marauders, cannibals and other malice, there is a certain blurring; I'm more than interested to see how that works out.

Apart from that most heroic and epic theme, I found the running away part very interesting to see develop: Horse running away from his life, his family, his teachings, his heritage, his debts, his problems, his guilt, his happiness, his friends, his homes, even though he never really had one.

What we now see as a pretty weak character with a great sense of self-insecurity might once turn around to face what's coming at him in bigger and greater triumph only to show that he is ten times stronger than he previously thought possible (as we have seen in the battle of Ironforge), so on a personal level, his story speaks to me of confronting life in all its aspects and doing something about your own future and destiny (in this case, the Law). Him having become an agent is one small step unto the road of self-deliverance, seeing how he has become an agent of destiny and therefore can partly make and not make decisions that will alter his own fate.
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to point out something perhaps only tenuously related, but which has distinct parallels to the issues of morality in TMiL.

Did you ever realize that, in the Star Wars trilogy, the Light Side is evil? Think about it. They rid themselves of all emotion, they follow orders without question, they refuse to hold any personal relationships for fear of being swayed by even the slightest bit of goodness. They kill in the name of intagible ideals like "Democracy," and "Freedom."

The Dark Side, now: They care about other people, and they want to do well by them. They try to use their powers to help whenever possible. They feel, they really sympathise with the common man, and they do what they have to to get him a good life and a fair chance.

Yes, it's a stretch. I think that what I am trying to point out is the distinct separation of good/evil and law/chaos. Fang in particular has no morals; morals come about from personal choices based on values. Fang is a direct agent of the law. He does as the Law commands, without question. There is no consideration, no choice, and values do not come into play. It is not so much that he is gray as that morality neveer even enters the equation.

I think that Horse has not yet come to this realization. He is still equating Law with Good. That is why, I speculate heavily, Albatros chooses phrases like "Good guy" and "Bad guy." These phrases reflect Horse's view of things, which is, though currently suffering a rapid expansion, still rather two-dimensional.

So...yeah.
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Exodus



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, actually, the dark side was definately evil. They did, in fact, blow up a whole planet full of innocent people. The light side only renounced the emotions like hate and love because they clouded judgement, and they're pretty selfish emotions for a person who's the defender of all that is good. The jedi (and fang) obey orders unswervingly because they trust their superiors totally.
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah...

Bad example.
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Alec



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 1342

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While reading your example I thought "dark side of the force = communists?"
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Albatros
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Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 2111

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Any Author worth his Salt Reply with quote

Laughing this thread has gone slightly off topic. Alec, I think you'll find that the dark side is much more facist than it is communist.

Keltor wrote:
So here's the thing, Alb. Your writing continues to improve, the story is becoming more cohesive, and overall I continue to enjoy the thing more and more. My question to you is if you have any underlying philosophy or point you are trying to make. I dunno if that would be a good or bad thing, but it would be interesting to hear from you. I've noticed that you have really added a lot of moral ambiguity to the story, which I applaud. Is this intentional and/or part of some grander plan in a message that you are trying to make, Though to be honest, if that is the case, I wonder if your use of the phrases "good guys" and "bad guys" are perhaps hurting the point you are trying to make. As a fellow writer (although admittedly a far less consistent one) this sorta stuff interests me almost as much as the story itself.

Keltor, I'm thrilled you feel that way - I feel like the story is much improved by the rewrite, and it's absolutely wonderful that you guys have all stuck around these four months while I do it.

The underlying philosophies of the story are, as you may have guessed, complex. From a philosophical standpoint, I'm using the story to explore my own beliefs about good and evil and human nature and blame and all sorts of things about which I am by no means settled. Since I'm exploring my understanding of the world through my writing, I suppose that the answer to your question about whether I've got an underlying philosophy or point I'm trying to make is, technically, no. Philosophically, the story is following my own journey more than it is trying to guide you guys along on one. You're welcome to join me, though.

I think the main point that I'm working with is the idea that right and wrong are often painfully difficult to distinguish, that they depend heavily on context, and that sometimes situations exist that turn everybody wrong and nobody right. Those that disagree with me call this "moral relativism", the idea that morality is relative. My response is, simply, "It's always more complicated than that." Always. (Well, almost always. And no, Amaunator, I'm not referring to Varimathras here. Shocked ) The struggle between different callings and philosophies, between different definitions of right and wrong, will continue to grow as the story progresses. Someone suggested that I'm using the terms "good guys" and "bad guys" from Horse's point of view and not my own - that's exactly right. Horse is using the terms crudely, and you can probably tell that he's already growing a little uncomfortable with them.

I also think that racism is a total waste of time. I figure you guys have probably caught on to that one, though. Wink

Amaunator, running is absolutely a theme, but it's less of a philosophical one and more of a character-development one. I like the increased emphasis I've put on it towards the end of Book One in the rewrite.

There are other questions and other philosophical twists on these questions that interest me even more. Some of you may remember when I delayed one of the upcoming chapters last year due to an unexpected philosophical conflict that I should have seen coming: that's going to rear its head again eventually too, although it's less terrifying to me now. The really interesting questions that you haven't seen yet, though, I can't get into now, because they constitute severe spoilers. Like, "here's the plot of Book Three" kind of spoilers.

Keltor, I hope this provides some grist for your mill. And if I've gotten everybody to think a little harder about the basic issues that we face in life, then this whole crazy exercise has been worth it.

What do you guys think?
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Gandelle



Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that that's awesome. Since I just woke up, I'll stick with that basic thought for now.
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