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About Pagliacci

  • Birthday November 20

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  1. An Announcement:

    I will be leaving the 17th Shard. Thank you all for being such a wonderful, enthusiastic community. I wish all you writers out there the best.

    Journey before destination.

  2. Life's been pretty hectic as of late but I'll try to read the draft as soon as I can.
  3. That, my friend, is the real controversial opinion in this discussion. There's quite a lot of depth in the Cornetto Trilogy. @Elegy, @Eluvianii in regards to the topic of enjoying bad art I'd be curious to know what your thoughts are on 'escapist' fiction and whether that can be considered 'good' and/or enjoyable. I'd say there's a difference between being elitist and just having standards. Elitism would be dismissing comics as a medium (Which in my experience is only really done by people who have never actually read a comic). But I wouldn't consider it elitism to say I don't enjoy Liefeld's Youngblood series and would rather read something by Jeff Lemire instead. As Elegy touched upon the acceptance of mediocrity bequeaths greater mediocrity, such is the nature of the capitalist system under which we live. This whole discussion touches upon so many fascinating questions. Does art need to have value? What makes art good? What is bad art?
  4. The guy who got me into Sanderson has become a historical consultant for Stormlight 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Righto. Sorry for the late response. I'm continuing to enjoy the story. I question your choice to keep our protagonist's(?) name ambiguous. At points it was unclear whether the narrative was referring to the protagonist or the doctor. I'm a little confused as to the POV of the story. Is this an omniscient narrator, as would be suggested by the visual descriptors? A minor inconsistency was the protagonist claiming to sue the hospital 'for all it's worth' and yet also claims he doesn't have the money to pay for the hospital. Was this just a hollow threat on the part of the man? The prose mixes a lot of similes and metaphors which makes for some rather interesting results, though you should cut out some of those pesky adverbs. Have you ever read the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake? His prose is darkly poetic and it bears some similarity to what you're going for here. Perhaps you'd enjoy the books. The narrative is somewhat disorienting but I'm assuming this is intentional and all will (eventually) become clear.
  6. @Nathrangking I'll read and hopefully offer some critiques sometime in the next 48 hours.
  7. @Use the Falchion I feel my interpretation of the question and your interpretation of the question are tied together. Whether or not Clark should be Superman is tied to whether the world is ready or not. As all good antagonists should, Zod is forcing Supes to make difficult choices. Alas, Clark doesn't make any choices until Zod shows up, which in my opinion makes Clark something of a passive and (in this case) weak protagonist. That and about a bazillion other things. One of the main flaws of that film is it tries to juggle too many things at once. Yeah, that's true. Though keep in mind this was an accidental consequence of Clark's decision. He had no way of knowing that there would be any consequences. So he's still not really making any choices where he's conscious of the consequences. Eh, I have to disagree here. A film should be able to stand on its own and MoS utterly fails to even acknowledge the death and destruction caused by the battle at the end of the film. I'd argue it's more of a movie problem than an arc problem. I feel MoS handles it rather immaturely actually. Mere minutes after the destructive battle the film sprinkles in jokes and forces in levity. For a film that seems to wallow in angst, it picked the least appropriate time to be jovial. In regards to what Snyder 'knew' we can't say. (Unless he explicitly stated somewhere in an interview that were the case. Still, it's an issue unaddressed by the film). Then we also have to consider Death of the Author but that's a whole other can of worms. I reckon the reason that's less controversial is because the Rlain thing is related to a secondary character whereas the MoS issue relates to the climax of the story. If people felt the film was made poorly then yeah, they probably would've left the film not having much trust in him. If they'd disliked his previous work they may have been wary as well. I went into the film wary myself, considering how abysmal his Watchmen adaptation was. That would have been an interesting route to take but the problem is Supes doesn't seem interested in helping people during any of his massive battles. This is an absurdly late response and I'm sorry about that.
  8. Um... yes. I'd never given much thought to it really. Limited telepathy I guess? In regards to how to define magic, well it can be surprisingly difficult. If any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic then it could be also said that any sufficiently understood magic is indistinguishable from technology. I think each and every author and story has their own approach to how they define and approach magic really. The most broad definition I suppose is the impossible made possible, I suppose (But then that encapsulates fantasy as a whole, doesn't it?). One way you could look at it is as a spectrum of soft and hard. Dunsany and R.E. Howard utilise pretty soft magic whereas Brandon uses hard magic 'systems'. @Ixthos do you feel that because of Brandon's use of 'systems' that a certain sense of wonder is lost from his magic? I suppose what is viewed as 'magic' is relative compared to a person or people's level of technological advancement. Magic is really just what we don't yet understand. Of course with modern science it could be said we could potentially understand everything. So fantasy gives us a chance to witness something beyond our understanding and comprehension. This can leave us with a sense of awe (Dunsany) as we gaze with wonder at something so complex and beyond us or can drown us in fear (Lovecraft) at something that dwarfs us because of how impossibly immense it is. Oh dear, this has become a bit of a ramble.
  9. I approach magic the same way I approach just about any other aspect of a story I'm writing. I consider what themes, ideas, philosophies, subjects or concepts I'm exploring in a particular story and see how magic can be used to enhance and further develop those aspects. The role magic plays from book to book varies wildly for me. Sometimes it's an integral plot device and sometimes it's barely present. As I read and write more I'm beginning to move away from magic 'systems' and focus more on to magic that's unpredictable and unknowable. I write mostly fantasy so technology has never really been something I've developed to any significant degree beyond considering what technology levels my setting would have. In regards to my favourite magical ability... I'd have to go with telekinesis,
  10. I've been reconsidering my approach to worldbuilding and I've been struck by a question. What even is the function of worldbuilding?
  11. In the past week I've watched: Manhattan. It was pretty good. The dialogue was a lot of fun. My second Woody Allen film after Midnight in Paris. I'm 3/4s through the new Netflix She-Ra show which has been enjoyable to watch with my younger sibling. The first season of Final Space wasn't too bad. The animation was surprisingly fluid but I felt at times the writing and characters were lacking. Not as sharp or clever as Rick and Morty but also slightly less mean-spirited which was a nice change of pace. The Revenant which despite having a wonderful performance by Tom Hardy overall felt like an empty drag. The Death of Stalin which worked better as a drama than as a comedy. The performances were delightful. Simon Russell Beale as the Penguin, anyone? The Florida Project was an interesting film with a perfect cast. Though I felt the characterisation of the adults was a bit too peripheral and could have dived deeper into the characters. Robocop (1987) was a very interesting film for me. It's certainly raised my interest to finally watch Starship Troopers. Also I've never seen Neon Genesis Evangelion but it's now on Netflix. My understanding is the show itself is fantastic but is the dub any good?
  12. @Ixthos I do believe this, yes, most of the time at least. It seems to be the inevitable consequence in both the real world and in fiction. That is of course assuming one culture doesn't completely annihilate another cough colonialism cough. When two or more cultures converge it can create something truly beautiful. With speculative fiction we can look beyond what the world is and give a glimpse at what it could be.
  13. That'd work. Though perhaps make it so that the Adventurer is reluctant at first but is convinced by the MC? Just to give her some more agency.
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