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Forum Name: Symphony of the Sword/The Order of the Rose
Topic ID: 438
Message ID: 16
#16, RE: SOON: S5DSE02 Avatar Storytime
Posted by Bodhi on Jul-02-14 at 01:04 AM
In response to message #14
>Hmmmm. I'll grant you the first and possibly the third, but that
>second one? If that's what you think, that's troubling, because I
>thought this whole thing was largely an exercise in what we
>used to call "deep background" in the journo biz. There are lots of
>little details in there about Korra and the great span of time that
>has led her to this gathering, and about the people and places that
>have shaped her life and are no longer around for her present-day "big
>universe" friends to have experienced directly. (And more than one
>allusion to the fact that in some cases, Corwin has anyway, which is
>leading somewhere over in the main DS story arc.)

Well, you have some idea of where you're going with it. I don't. And you're right, the "deep background" is important. I'm just not privy to the unpublished parts that provide more of the context to make it important.

>Well, in that sense it is - it's an expanded version of a scene that
>wasn't, in itself, critical enough to leave in the main story. I
>therefore realize that it's not exactly one of the poles holding up
>the tent... but we've done stories like that before, collections of
>character moments and little background details, and I've never once
>seen nearly two whole days go by with no reaction at all. It
>was startling, and disheartening. And speaking of disheartening,

>>The sequence with Naga just didn't capture my
>>interest, it reads well but it gives little to care about.
>This breaks my heart, because to me there's so much in there.
>It's a glimpse into a part of Korra's life that even the canon has all
>but completely ignored. It's the first moment at which she and Naga
>go from "girl with awesome pet" to "adventurer and faithful steed",
>which is an important moment in any paladin's career. Heck, it's the
>first time Korra ever managed to break out of South Pole State
>Penitentiary, even if she didn't really mean to and only made it about
>a hundred yards. :)

See, that's what I didn't get. I didn't feel like she was in a constrained to stay put in any manner, a guest in a minimum security Avatar-retention-and-training facility or that this was the first time Korra and Naga became "adventurer and faithful steed". I mean, yes, it did indicate this was a new, untested idea, but it didn't feel like a step on the Hero's Journey.

So I read it as a cute scene between a girl and her companion/pet/sidekick. My failing for not glarking the nuances.

>There's a lot going on there, is what I'm once again getting at, and
>it makes me sad that I conveyed that so poorly that it was easily
>overlooked. If I had started with Korra already on the ground, the
>entire background of it having been her first test ride, and the
>transcendent moments when she a) got into sync with Naga and b)
>experienced her first taste of proper liberation would've been omitted
>altogether, and, wow, that I didn't bring across how important those
>are? That's a serious fail for me. They're the whole point of the
>scene, not the How to Train Your Dragon 2
>reference-slash-cuddly moment at the end (fond of that thought I am).

Maybe if that scene had been it's own Mini-story it would have tracked better for me. As a standalone, you could've given it more fleshing out. Perhaps entitled something like Avatar Jailbreak or Korra's Test Ride. As it is, it just read as slightly awkwardly placed, to me. But, a writer I am not, so what the hell do I know?

>>Conversely, the reaction to the last picture (Corwin and Len two days
>>old, Kate on Korra's lap, Nall being Nall) is just perfect. Korra
>>mussing Corwin's hair as his ladies (and Minami, who'd like to be one,
>>or vamps really well) tease him is great, as is his reaction.
>Well, thank you. That, too, is one of my favorite moments, albeit
>even I acknowledge that it's not too hugely significant. (Well,
>Minami might disagree. :)

You're welcome. No, it isn't hugely significant, but it does give a scope to the length of the association that has been referenced before. It was directly referenced by Corwin earlier that part of her likely still thinks of him as the Great Sky Bison Hijacker, but that picture of a scene with him and his new-born brothers (Len and Nall) also reinforces that she has known him his entire life. Which isn't news. The picture and the groups reaction to it clarifies that she is more to Corwin (Kate, Nall...) than a friend, that she is shared genetics or not, family. That distinction wasn't entirely clear to me prior to the ice-dodging trial and Kate giving her a Duelist's ring.

Additionally, I just found the sense of easy friendship the scene evoked to be well considered.

>For the record, we are also working on Chapter 2 of Book 6
>(The Great Ziggurat Zeppelin Raid of 2391) and the foundational
>materials for Taken by Storm - as well as another project that
>I'm not quite ready to tell you about yet, but which a number of
>people have been expressing an interest in. It's just that this is
>the order the bits happened to get finished in. It's a bit of a tying
>up of loose ends, and yes, in a sense it's extraneous, but at the same
>time, it's not complete fluff and even if it were, past
>precedent suggested that someone should have said something by

You're right again, effort was spent and reaction was lacking. I can only speak for myself, but I just wasn't sure where this was going, what loose ends needed seeing to. As stated before, it seemed to stop the momentum built in the last several pieces. Later pieces will no doubt give this more context and meaning.

I'm not a writer, and critique of your efforts feels cheap when I cannot do half as well myself. The "those that cannot do, bitch at those that can" syndrome.

Your fans are definitely still out there, trust me on that.