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  • #61
    Originally posted by Irked View Post
    Worse than Chejop Kejak's Big Day, though? Because that sucker is bad
    Yeah, see my previous point about how I kinda didn't read a LOT of the fiction in the core on my first run. I admit when I get to the Chejop fiction in the book I might be comparing it to the 2E core closing comic, with Chejop talking to Nara-O about the return of the Solars.


    Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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    • #62
      I think that if you want to type out a critique on a person's art then you are fairly unavoidably going to make it personal despite any protestations to the contrary.

      "I want to make it clear that I don't want to upset anyone or make it personal when I say that the technical aspects of your work are a complete mess and make reading it dizzying" suffers all the pitfalls of 'author's intent to text disparity' that you're saying you're against.

      At some point you have to just accept that if you're going to critique a work you're going to ruffle feathers and you have to own that.

      I don't personally think there is anything wrong with a conversation regarding technical aspects of art or its position in a greater work and all that entails. But trying to preface it with "I don't want to insult anybody" is disingenuous at best.


      My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Elkovash View Post
        I don't personally think there is anything wrong with a conversation regarding technical aspects of art or its position in a greater work and all that entails. But trying to preface it with "I don't want to insult anybody" is disingenuous at best.
        To be disingenuous would require insincerity on Kyman's part in saying he wishes to avoid insult. I don't think that's an accurate description.


        A Green Sun Destrier

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        • #64
          Professional, adult writers should be able to handle criticism of their work without feeling personally insulted. Most of the time, the problem isn't the actual creators, but fans of the work being angry that someone said something bad about a thing they liked.


          Come and rock me Amadeus.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by kongurous View Post
            To be disingenuous would require insincerity on Kyman's part in saying he wishes to avoid insult. I don't think that's an accurate description.
            Sure, if you can find me a better word for "the thing which I said I don't want to do I'm going to go ahead and do anyway" I'll use that instead.

            Professional, adult writers should be able to handle criticism of their work without feeling personally insulted. Most of the time, the problem isn't the actual creators, but fans of the work being angry that someone said something bad about a thing they liked.
            I agree! Which is why I object to the attempt to curtail that with a gesture that contradicts the rest of the critique.


            My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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            • #66
              I shall echo Irked's point - I do really appreciate the effort that Kyman and almost everyone else is putting into keeping this as a discussion of literature, not a pile of attacks.

              Regarding the Novia section: hiding-in-pipe-smoke as an explanation for making Stealth checks in the open is a great way to not have that just parse like invisibility... and that's the only reaction I had to that story. So, I guess I mostly agree?

              Originally posted by marin View Post
              *cough* You're thinking of Prince Diamond there. Perfect Soul's the one he's helping.
              Quite right.

              What threw me off, I think, was the mention of this as a characer who can be expected to engage in straightforward heroics - what I love about Perfect Soul is how that doesn't quite apply to her.


              Here is a koan: what is Exalted without hate? What is life without suffering? What is philosophy without pretension?

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Irked View Post
                Worse than Chejop Kejak's Big Day, though? Because that sucker is bad.

                The Wu Jian picture is still really gorgeous and evocative, though.

                I think you've done a really good job making it clear that this is a lit-crit thing and not an attack on people, for whatever that's worth. Looking forward to your takes on the rest of 'em!
                what did you find so bad about kejaks uneventful morning tea? I mean apart from the fact that not a whole lot actually happened I guess? The only ones I didn't really like are the abyssal one, which I can't tell if I love it or hate it, and the DB one, which I think is a fantastic piece for the Dawn caste, but a horrible piece for DBs as either heroes or villains.

                Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
                Professional, adult writers should be able to handle criticism of their work without feeling personally insulted. Most of the time, the problem isn't the actual creators, but fans of the work being angry that someone said something bad about a thing they liked.
                Yeah personally I welcome it. Whenever I put forward some fiction and everyone is just like "yeah! Awesome!" It makes me happy for a bit, but also I have no idea how to improve so too much of that that kind of sucks in its own way.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                  what did you find so bad about kejaks uneventful morning tea? I mean apart from the fact that not a whole lot actually happened I guess?
                  It's just pointless. "Well," said Chejop, "there sure are a lot of things happening today. Ayup." And then he left.

                  It's one part Steam Grommet Factory Tour ("In lieu of plot, we're just going to describe a bunch of things") and one part navel-gaze. It doesn't really tell us anything interesting about Chejop or the world that we didn't already know; contrast his conversation with Nara'o in 2e, which does basically the same montage but uses it to make the point that Chejop has a flaw he isn't even aware of: given the choice between a better world and a more controllable world, he chooses the latter. That sets up him and, by extension, you; if your antagonist is choosing safety over a better life, then you're pushing for the alternative.

                  Plus this comes right after the Abyssal ficlet, which is also a dude standing around musing to himself, but clever. It suffers for the comparison.

                  (It's also just not written very well. That opening paragraph - well, here:

                  Chejop Kejak stood on a precipice, feeling all his years. He had lived so long and so many lives that he often wondered if he hadn’t lost himself somewhere along the way.
                  ...
                  Sometimes the Chosen of Secrets felt as if he were no more than fate’s creature. The “creature” that gazed down across the slopes of the Imperial Mountain was old indeed. So ancient, so burdened with memories. Thousands of years had passed before its eyes. Five thousand years? He tried not to mark the time—eventually he had concluded it was tedious and he was certain of his feelings, having examined them countless thousands of times.
                  That's... not great writing.)

                  Originally posted by Elkovash View Post
                  I think that if you want to type out a critique on a person's art then you are fairly unavoidably going to make it personal despite any protestations to the contrary.
                  I fundamentally reject that position - or, well, I think it uses a definition of "personal" that isn't really meaningfully useful. We are not the things we make; the artist is not the art, and arguing that a particular piece of art is bad is not the same as saying the creator is a bad artist, let alone a bad person.
                  Last edited by Irked; 02-21-2017, 06:10 PM.


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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Irked View Post
                    "Well," said Chejop, "there sure are a lot of things happening today. Ayup." And then he left.
                    ​That's... tremendously reductive.

                    Originally posted by Irked
                    It doesn't really tell us anything interesting about Chejop or the world that we didn't already know
                    Well, it doesn't tell me anything I don't already know, but the market doesn't start and stop with myself.

                    ​Still, knowing that Chejop is the oldest and most powerful Sidereal, and thus somebody who has responsibility for the future of the entire world, I think it rather effectively captures the morning routine of somebody who has responsibility for the entire world. I think that's a useful thing to introduce to new people.

                    ​It might not be the most tightly written thing in the Exalted canon, but "he had tomorrow to plan, and a strict deadline" is one of my favourite lines in anything.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                      What threw me off, I think, was the mention of this as a characer who can be expected to engage in straightforward heroics - what I love about Perfect Soul is how that doesn't quite apply to her.
                      Straightforward heroic narrative - slightly different, but similar in some ways.


                      ". ... for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material." -= Guillermo del Toro

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Irked View Post
                        I fundamentally reject that position - or, well, I think it uses a definition of "personal" that isn't really meaningfully useful. We are not the things we make; the artist is not the art, and arguing that a particular piece of art is bad is not the same as saying the creator is a bad artist, let alone a bad person.
                        To be clear on my position here, I find the notion of advising someone, anyone, who makes a living of performing certain activities as ubiquitously in error, especially concerning in the manner in which they approach those activities from a technical standpoint and then claiming you are not making some kind of judgement on how they have approached their profession as 'wrong' and therefore not a personal judgement on their choices to be itself... well, wrong.

                        I don't have issue with critique. I don't think the artist, were they to read such critique, to have cause to file suit for emotional damages. I do think that attempting to cloak critique in something other than what it is to be disingenuous. If not to the reader of the critique, then certainly to the author of the critique itself. I do think that pasting such a preface on a critique is not unlike stamping "caution: hot" on a cup of coffee - it is a statement of the creator's perception of how their work will be received and it is incredibly patronizing to the majority of recipients in favor of pandering to the perceived fragile egos of the minority; which is itself a judgement of a very personal nature cast wide against an entire group of people.

                        Does this mean I believe Kyman has specific or calculated ill intent? Well, no - but the preface is in contradiction to itself and I felt the need to address that. This is a critique on the technical form of the opening post of the thread, given that it reads in majority as a back-handed balm rather than anything else it espouses to be. If this causes personal offence to anyone, I'm not sorry because it don't feel there is cause to contradict myself and I will likely speak my mind of the subject again later. If it creates further conversation, great that's what a forum is for, I don't particularly feel that anyone has yet said anything especially out of place or all-together egregiously out of line with the exception of the disclaimer at the start of the thread, which is why I've chosen to speak about that in particular.


                        My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Irked View Post
                          It doesn't really tell us anything interesting about Chejop or the world that we didn't already know; contrast his conversation with Nara'o in 2e, which does basically the same montage but uses it to make the point that Chejop has a flaw he isn't even aware of: given the choice between a better world and a more controllable world, he chooses the latter. That sets up him and, by extension, you; if your antagonist is choosing safety over a better life, then you're pushing for the alternative.
                          My thoughts, exactly.

                          It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that the character of Chejop Kejak fascinates me. But I never lose sight of this: at the core, he is flawed and deeply deluded. 2E (the first rulebook that I read - I'd dabbled in 1E as a player) hammered this point home at the start, and established themes about Kejak, Sidereals, Creation itself, and (of course) the protagonist Solars right out the gate. The "Chejop has tea" scene doesn't establish those themes, and doesn't pain the picture of a complex-yet-flawed antagonist (or mentor, or whatever). It's just a dude saying he has stuff to do. The only thing I liked about it is his grudging respect for the Sun, but even then, we don't see any of his resolve to fight Solars for contrast, so it's still presented with no context to make it interesting. One of the most nuanced characters in Creation seems... bland.


                          Here is a koan: what is Exalted without hate? What is life without suffering? What is philosophy without pretension?

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                            It's just a dude saying he has stuff to do.
                            ​Allow me to present an alternative read on the chapter fiction for Chejop Kejak in the Third Edition corebook.

                            ​It is a sagely fellow who is:

                            ​* Standing at the precipice if the impossibly tall mountain in the middle of the world.

                            ​* Reflecting on how, in the so many thousands that he's lost count of years he's been alive, he has seen some serious shit.

                            ​* Takes a moment to meditate on the transition of fundamental energies that accompanies the start of a new day.

                            ​* Starts observing, possibly literally, the ten different dangerous forces at motion in just one quarter of the world, with varying degrees of detail, occasionally reflecting on the greater implications and history of those forces in the world at large.

                            ​* Reflects to himself his achievements in shaping the course of the world's history, and affirming to himself that it's his right and proper place to do so.

                            ​* Finishes off by taking a moment to reflect on how beautiful the world is, before removing himself to partake in the actual business of running it.

                            ​To my eyes, it has been one of the best things to depict Chejop, and a Sidereal in general, as a powerful, insightful figure who is tasked with juggling all of the competing forces and agendas at work in the world to ensure that it still exists next morning. It feels like getting the point of view of somebody with the height and the responsibilities of God, with a tenth of a percent of the budget.

                            ​Sure it doesn't depict the more usual "Chejop as hard man who makes hard decisions narrative", but I don't exactly think that the alternative of "Chejop as man with incredible scope and power who is tremendously weary but no less committed" exactly lacks for nuance.

                            ​I can get it not being to the taste of the individual, but to assert that it is banal and uninformative? I have to actually regard that as ludicrous.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Elkovash View Post
                              To be clear on my position here, I find the notion of advising someone, anyone, who makes a living of performing certain activities as ubiquitously in error, especially concerning in the manner in which they approach those activities from a technical standpoint and then claiming you are not making some kind of judgement on how they have approached their profession as 'wrong' and therefore not a personal judgement on their choices to be itself... well, wrong.

                              I don't have issue with critique. I don't think the artist, were they to read such critique, to have cause to file suit for emotional damages. I do think that attempting to cloak critique in something other than what it is to be disingenuous.
                              It seems like the argument would only be disingenuous if made by someone who believed as you do, though. Like, if I don't think critique of art is necessarily personal - and I don't! - then it's not deceptive for me to say, "Hey, I'm just critiquing the writing, here, not the person." If I don't share your premises, then that's just a clarification - and given the vagaries of the internet, more clarity almost always seems better than less.

                              Or putting that another way: I think it's one thing to say, "You're wrong when you claim this isn't about the person," and quite another to say, "You're being deliberately misleading when you claim this isn't about the person." The first is an objection on the merits of publicly available facts; the second requires interior knowledge.

                              More to the point, the forum distinguishes talking about the game (the thing we're here to do) from personal critique (which is strictly against the rules). It seems like a necessary consequence of your position would be that we can't actually do the former, which feels like a problem.
                              Last edited by Irked; 02-21-2017, 08:39 PM.


                              Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Irked View Post
                                It seems like the argument would only be disingenuous if made by someone who believed as you do, though. Like, if I don't think critique of art is necessarily personal - and I don't! - then it's not deceptive for me to say, "Hey, I'm just critiquing the writing, here, not the person." If I don't share your premises, then that's just a clarification - and given the vagaries of the internet, more clarity almost always seems better than less.

                                Or putting that another way: I think it's one thing to say, "You're wrong when you claim this isn't about the person," and quite another to say, "You're being deliberately misleading when you claim this isn't about the person." The first is an objection on the merits of publicly available facts; the second requires interior knowledge.

                                More to the point, the forum distinguishes talking about the game (the thing we're here to do) from personal critique (which is strictly against the rules). It seems like a necessary consequence of your position would be that we can't actually do the former, which feels like a problem.
                                If we're hung up on the word disingenuous I'm happy to change it, in long form "you're kidding yourself" is what I was aiming for and I feel is appropriately covered by my use of the word.

                                I personally prefer to trust that an audience is capable of discerning intent without needing to beat them over the head with a preface or disclaimer, and instead discuss afterwords for those whom it was not clear enough.

                                For a literary example, I loathe the use of prologues and epilogues. My personal opinion is that if your story doesn't cover the content you want to address well enough that you need a separate chapter to cover the bits you missed then you should address the source of the problem and not try to bandaid fix it.

                                That's what the disclaimer feels like; "I'm not able to properly address the concern of insult in my writing so I'll excuse myself beforehand just in case" which, in juxtaposition to the very issues raised in the critique that followed (being that the author clearly utilized devices that failed to involve the reader well enough for intention to be available and enjoyable), utterly undermines the work as a whole.

                                I think it's important to discuss the relevance of the intro fiction, not just as a piece of writing sitting in a void, but as THE intro fiction, it's position in the book, the art that accompanied it and the overall tone the developers were attempting to encapsulate in their completed work because "no page of the book should be taken in isolation from the rest". It is a complete work with an overhead guiding it and many hands putting it together.

                                As said before, I would trust professionals to understand critique and not react poorly to the thought of such critique, especially in a public forum where consideration has to be made for their public image. I trust that other readers of the critique would be equally understanding and polite and if they cannot, then the community would answer their concerns once raised.

                                Right now and in all circumstances, the disclaimer provides zero clarity. Who is it for? The person who would take offense anyway? We already know there is no stopping such offenses. The person who wouldn't have taken offense? Well, they weren't going to anyway so it achieves nothing there. Some neutral third party gazing down on our interactions and making solemn judgement of the way we comport ourselves?

                                Do I need to preface each of my posts with "the matter contained within is solely the province of the opinion of he individual expressing it and does not necessarily indicate or infer absolute fact"? Because I believe that goes without saying, and moreover - should. That's the whole purpose of the social contracts of communities, an acceptance and trust that we aren't all just gonna run around being crap to each other.


                                My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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