I’ve been reading a wuxia novel called I Shall Seal the Heavens lately and it has been giving me a lot of inspiration for my future novel, as well as I finished Loki and watched Fast 9 so I have ingested quite a bit more media than I normally do these days.
I’ll start off with an idea I had while watching Fast 9 about a bait and switch/world building idea. The concept is based around creating a world without guns but is still in the modern age, and the macguffin of the story is a gun. Now a lot of stories where there is hand to hand combat have a constant problem of why aren’t they just getting shot always, this is one solution to this problem as well as a way to make it very clear what the macguffin is useful for. Now that’s an idea I’m sure has been done before in some capacity but I thought a funny moment would be that the macguffin that looks like a gun (I picture a glock in my mind) isn’t actually a gun but a flamethrower. That way it still functions in the same way trying to use it, but it would be much better at dealing with multiple foes, mainly though I think it would be a really funny build up to have organizations trying to get this gun so they can win a war or something, and in the moment that someone is finally using it the audience would be surprised to see it isn’t just a gun its a flamethrower which is objectively 1000% cooler than a normal gun. Anyways just something I thought of but after writing it out I’m not sure if it makes any sense at all.
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Moving on I thoroughly enjoyed watching Loki, and what really caught my attention was not the content of what was happening, but how myself as a viewer was so thoroughly aware of how monumental the impact the ending has on the MCU. For those of you who have not watched and don’t care about spoilers basically what happened was there was originally only 1 timeline but now there are an infinite number and they can cross over which essentially creates limitless possibilities on what could happen at any point. When I went to bed that night I thought about what it was that made it feel so impactful on the world in hopes of understanding and being able to create a world that can also have something like that happen. Now I am still not sure what makes that ending, is it just the fact that there are so many possibilities intrinsically? Is it the fact that the MCU has been built up for over 10 years with 20 movies in world building that allows something like this to happen. Is it some combination? In a vacuum I still think it would be quite apparent how fucked everything is now. Is it that there are comic books that have already done these stories before and give me an idea on what is to come?
Let’s look at a different story that does something similar but within the first installment. Game of Thrones. Ned Stark’s death happens in the first book/9th episode and that also has a similar effect on the story I think. I’m not really sure because I don’t remember how it felt because I knew going in that he was going to die but he was basically the main character and then he died which really messed everything up in sorta kinda the same way. Game of Thrones did not have as much buildup, nor did it have an infinite number of ways for it to resolve, but it still makes you feel like everything is completely fucked after it happens, which is how I feel about Loki. How can I make a story where that is going to happen, without forcing it? I don’t have any of the answer but it is food for thought and I hope my brain will subconsciously work on this problem while I do other stuff.
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I mentioned I was reading ISSTH and I’m only on chapter 626 but I feel like I could tell when it was interesting and I could tell when it wasn’t interesting. I have a bad habit of reading these wuxia novels even though they are terrible sometimes and that is because often times there are golden ideas surrounded by terrible ideas. I am very optimistic and like the good stuff and tend to just skip the bad stuff, so it generally works out but still there are some pretty just weird decisions made by the author. I was going to explain my biggest pet peeve with this story but it’s so indescribably incompetent because it turns an extremely serious issue and pushes it onto a comic relief avian and nobody fucking cares and its so so stupid. I’m sorry, the important thing is that there are a lot of other parts to the story that are quite good and interesting ideas/concepts. For example, there was a test set to the characters where they had to choose a path. You could take the test multiple times, and in fact the solution requires you to do so, as the correct path is whichever path you walked in your last attempt. Which is an interesting take on a relatively common concept that I have never seen before. It was a great character moment and it taught an important lesson to the MC, when he completely disregarded the test and made his own path. You can’t have everything.
Regardless I have enjoyed reading it and my biggest critique other than that one thing I already mentioned is that the MC is the biggest benefactor of things that are so out of his control. What I mean by that is that generally the way the story progresses is he gets into something that he CAN actually handle, an unexpected event occurs and now he is out of his depth, another unexpected event occurs which not only solves his original problem, it grants him some benefit, but also creates another problem which is about 1000x more difficult to deal with. And then the same thing happens again but his benefit is also increased by like 1000x but this time instead of a big problem everything gets solved by not him and he gets out with a medium sized inconvenience. Not small, but not world breaking and it kind of makes you feel like he doesn’t deserve stuff. Anyways, the power system is cool and the current arc is quite dope so I like it.
I think that's enough blabbering for one blog post, hopefully it wasn’t too incoherent to follow. Still trying to get 1 a month and this month is now complete. JULY COMPLETE