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Conferences Symphony of the Sword / The Order of the Rose Topic #439
Reading Topic #439
JeanneHedge
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Jul-02-14, 00:27 AM (EST)
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"Avatar Storytime Comments"
 
   Trying to shift discussion from the teaser thread


>>This one just didn't seem to move
>>the plot, provide any depth to the story, or keep the aforementioned
>>momentum.
>
>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.

I don't agree with Bodhi on this, the story was full of depth - as you say, it's background material. But other than that.... I have to agree with a lot of what Bodhi wrote. If you write a story that's 95% background, it will contain a lot of filler material. That's the nature of the beast.

>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,

If it was cut from the original, and it wasn't a critical scene, why did you decide to expand and release it anyway? Couldn't you have fit that cut scene into another story?

The one background story that stands out in my mind (and you might not think of it as a background story) is 5 Bagatelles. Every character scene in that one advanced the plot in some way. Maybe that's what seems (to me) to be missing here? Or maybe it's something else.

And here's a new thread to maybe attract attention.

>>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. :)

Adventurer? Paladin? I obviously need to re-read, because I didn't get anything like that. To me it read pretty much at face value. Kid rides really big dog like a horse (who hasn't tried that, if you had a big dog when you were a kid?), and makes a break to get away from the adults.

>>It was just
>>akin to being psyched-up for a bowl of mint ice cream and getting
>>vanilla.

Bingo!

>Ideally, it would have come out closer to Goodbye and Hello -
>it's set before Fire Hazards, even, within that movement - but
>the way things ended up shaking down, maintaining that sequence would
>have meant delaying Familiar Spirits until, well,
>now-ish, and that didn't seem ideal.

That delay was a bit of a problem for me as a reader, I think. It took me a while to figure out where I was in the overall story arc. (Kate's back already? No wait she hasn't left yet) I don't think I was entirely comfortable with where this story was supposed to fit until almost the end when someone said the baby was 2 days old (or thereabouts). Not knowing where I was, if you will, bothered me. FWIW (And yes, I know there are date stamps. I find them useful in-story, sometimes, and for archiving purposes)

Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
1st Courier of the Heavenly Prophets for Tianxia
"Never give up, never surrender!"



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
Avatar Storytime Comments [View All] JeanneHedge Jul-02-14 TOP
  RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Gryphonadmin Jul-02-14 1
     RE: Avatar Storytime Comments JeanneHedge Jul-02-14 2
         RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Gryphonadmin Jul-02-14 3
             RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Offsides Jul-02-14 5
                 RE: Avatar Storytime Comments zojojojo Jul-02-14 7
             RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Terminus Est Jul-02-14 6
             RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Gryphonadmin Aug-03-14 12
                 Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut JeanneHedge Aug-03-14 14
                     RE: Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut JeanneHedge Aug-05-14 15
                         RE: Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut Gryphonadmin Aug-06-14 16
  RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Matrix Dragon Jul-02-14 4
     RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Acyl Jul-02-14 8
  RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Zemyla Jul-03-14 9
     RE: Avatar Storytime Comments BZArchermoderator Jul-03-14 10
  RE: Avatar Storytime Comments Dwaggy Jul-09-14 11

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Gryphonadmin
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Jul-02-14, 00:36 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #0
 
   >If it was cut from the original, and it wasn't a critical scene, why
>did you decide to expand and release it anyway?

Because I thought people would be interested in the background. Because I thought it was interesting and entertaining and deserved not to molder away on the cutting room floor just because we didn't want G&H to run that much longer. Because I thought it would be fun. Pick any one you like.

>Couldn't you have fit that cut scene into another story?

I'm not sure how you figure that would work chronologically, I mean, you already said you were lost (despite the clearly marked date) with it coming out as a separate piece. Being dropped into the middle of some other story that's happening (as the rest of the Suite now will be) weeks or months later would make no narrative sense at all.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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JeanneHedge
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Jul-02-14, 00:46 AM (EST)
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2. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #1
 
   Note to self: read a story until I reach the first date stamp. Stop reading, go find an index, search through the stories until I find the immediately preceeding date stamp. Determine where in the overall plot the 1st story falls. Resume reading the first story.

Jeez, you're touchy tonight. My point was that publishing that story out of order, instead of publishing in sequential order as is usual, led to unease in at least one reader because it didn't follow on from the last story published. That unease, even if not consciously recognized, *could* contribute to the apparently overall "meh" reaction the story appears, at this point, to be receiving.


Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
1st Courier of the Heavenly Prophets for Tianxia
"Never give up, never surrender!"



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Gryphonadmin
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Jul-02-14, 00:56 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON Jul-02-14 AT 03:50 AM (EDT)
 
>Note to self: read a story until I reach the first date stamp. Stop
>reading, go find an index, search through the stories until I find the
>immediately preceeding date stamp. Determine where in the overall plot
>the 1st story falls. Resume reading the first story.

Well, look, not only is this not as hard as you're dramatically portraying it here (the first date stamp in most of these pieces, including Storytime, is the first thing apart from the opening titles), the What's New item explicitly spells out where it fits! I'm not seeing how "readers, keep your bearings" is such a tyrannically unreasonable expectation on my part.

>Jeez, you're touchy tonight.

A bit, I suppose, sorry. Low morale generally, frustrated specifically, and the "well, excuse me, I wasn't expecting homework" attitude wasn't helpful either.

(Also, and this is not specifically directed at you, Jeanne, but this is where the discussion seems to have got to generally: When did we arrive at the place where a particular installment suddenly had to be Necessary? That's what most of the objections I'm seeing tonight appear to amount to: "It just didn't seem to be necessary." Are we seriously judging pieces now by whether you had to read them in order to advance to the next loading screen or something? If so, uh, dang. That's not gonna work out.)

>My point was that publishing that story
>out of order, instead of publishing in sequential order as is usual,
>led to unease in at least one reader because it didn't follow on from
>the last story published.

Well, fine (hard to avoid under the circumstances, without scrapping the thing entirely, and not doing that was the point of the exercise), but what was the thing about "couldn't you have put it in another story"? Of course I couldn't have put it in another story, they're all happening at some other time. I'm genuinely confused as to what you're driving at there, because the only way I can parse the question makes no sense.

I mean, I suppose could go back and assemble the extended Blu-Ray edition of Goodbye & Hello that has Storytime and Fire Hazards reintegrated into the narrative. Then I'd probably get other people going, "This one is soooo long. Why didn't you pull some of those scenes out into side stories? That scene where they're looking at pictures could have been its own thing, for example." :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Offsides
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Jul-02-14, 12:01 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #3
 
   >(Also, and this is not specifically directed at you, Jeanne, but this
>is where the discussion seems to have got to generally: When did we
>arrive at the place where a particular installment suddenly had to be
>Necessary? That's what most of the objections I'm seeing tonight
>appear to amount to: "It just didn't seem to be necessary." Are we
>seriously judging pieces now by whether you had to read them in
>order to advance to the next loading screen or something? If so, uh,
>dang. That's not gonna work out.)

I think that part of the problem is that there's so many plots and subplots and whatnot going on that we (the readers) want to see, that when something comes out that doesn't address those existing pieces that some people are disappointed. I personally enjoyed the piece, though it did take me a bit to sort out exactly how it fit into things (timestamps are one thing, actually wrapping my head around the temporal flow is another :)).

I'm not sure there's a good answer here, since you (the authors) are going to write what's on your mind at the moment, and it's almost never going to satisfy everyone. The best I can come up with is to use small words in big letters to indicate which stories are "main plot", which are "side plot" and which are "background color". (Note: tongue is planted mostly in cheek. I say mostly because it seems like some people (myself occasionally included) have trouble deciphering the implications the various musical terms you use in the titles, at least in advance. Movements are obvious, some of the others less so. Of course, now I also have to say that I like them, even if I occasionally don't get them right away...)

*shrug* You write, I read. It's all good in the end.

Offsides

[...] in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
-- David Ben Gurion
EPU RCW #π
#include <stdsig.h>


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zojojojo
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Jul-02-14, 11:31 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #5
 
   >>(Also, and this is not specifically directed at you, Jeanne, but this
>>is where the discussion seems to have got to generally: When did we
>>arrive at the place where a particular installment suddenly had to be
>>Necessary? That's what most of the objections I'm seeing tonight
>>appear to amount to: "It just didn't seem to be necessary." Are we
>>seriously judging pieces now by whether you had to read them in
>>order to advance to the next loading screen or something? If so, uh,
>>dang. That's not gonna work out.)

while it's certainly *nice* to have piece after piece of plot-advancing action, eventually, my adrenal gland is going to run dry :) it was a nice change of pace.

>I think that part of the problem is that there's so many plots and
>subplots and whatnot going on that we (the readers) want to see, that
>when something comes out that doesn't address those existing pieces
>that some people are disappointed. I personally enjoyed the piece,

once i figured out (see below) what was happening and when, it was a nice look into Korra's background and the history of the Sato family, and there did appear to be a couple of things that hinted at Things To Come.

>though it did take me a bit to sort out exactly how it fit into things
>(timestamps are one thing, actually wrapping my head around the
>temporal flow is another :)).

i have this problem, too... it's one thing to read it, it's another to insert it in the mental hash-map..

>tongue is planted mostly in cheek. I say mostly because it seems like
>some people (myself occasionally included) have trouble deciphering
>the implications the various musical terms you use in the titles, at
>least in advance. Movements are obvious, some of the others less so.
>Of course, now I also have to say that I like them, even if I
>occasionally don't get them right away...)

personally, while i find the musical-term titling cute (like the episodes title of Chuck or The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), aside from movements and entracts, they don't really inform me (nor would it make any difference... i'm going to read them all even if you decided to call them {forgive me, i have a 5yo boy} "vomit-poop 1", "vomit-poop 1.3", etc... {come to think of it, given the latest cast member, that wouldn't be terribly inaccurate... ;) } {these nested parens are purely gratuitous})

>*shrug* You write, I read. It's all good in the end.

hear, hear!


-Z


---
Remember kids: guns make you stupid, duct tape makes you smart.


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Terminus Est
Member since Nov-5-04
461 posts
Jul-02-14, 09:00 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #3
 
   Just to chime in with my two cents? You will never get an 'It's too long' complaint outta me.

I'm another of the 'No knowledge of the source material' crowd, and gotta say, the discussions I've seen here do not give me the 'must watch NOW' feeling. You convey the characters nicely, and that's all that matters to me. Unfortunately, as has also been stated, it does leave me at something of a loss in the department of appreciating the rebuilding you've done - BUT, I can say with some certainty that I do quite like them as a cold reader.

As far as this piece in particular goes... well, it has high points, and it has low points. As a background piece, it's beautiful - Korra's first ride in particular was a very enjoyable experience. I must say, however, that I am looking forward to some action in the next piece. Not because this one was slow - I understand that every writer has to do a piece like this every now and again, just to recharge the batteries and provide background for Things To Come - but because, well... -action-. You do action sequences really, REALLY damn well.

Fanboy note time: You and the others are, collectively, one of my three favorite authors. Period. Thank you for the amazing work to date, and I sincerely look forward to more.


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Gryphonadmin
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Aug-03-14, 02:29 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-03-14 AT 03:17 PM (EDT)
 
>I mean, I suppose could go back and assemble the extended Blu-Ray
>edition of Goodbye & Hello that has Storytime and
>Fire Hazards reintegrated into the narrative.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I just did this - built a "Director's Cut" version of Goodbye and Hello, As Always that has Avatar Storytime, Fire Hazards, and Someone to Talk To in the stream instead of broken out into separate stories. It's 399 Kb.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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JeanneHedge
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Aug-03-14, 04:37 PM (EST)
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14. "Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut"
In response to message #12
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-05-14 AT 11:59 PM (EDT)
 
Gryphon wrote:
>>I mean, I suppose could go back and assemble the extended Blu-Ray
>>edition of Goodbye & Hello that has Storytime and
>>Fire Hazards reintegrated into the narrative.
>
>Curiosity got the better of me, so I just did this - built a "Director's Cut" version of Goodbye and Hello,
>As Always
that has Avatar Storytime, Fire Hazards, and Someone to Talk To in the stream instead of broken
>out into separate stories. It's 399 Kb.

Wish I could sit down and read this *right now* but I'll settle for this evening. Looking forward to seeing how the flow feels (and everything else)

Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
1st Courier of the Heavenly Prophets for Tianxia
"Never give up, never surrender!"



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JeanneHedge
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Aug-05-14, 11:56 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut"
In response to message #14
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-05-14 AT 11:58 PM (EDT)
 
I've finished reading the Director's Cut of Goodbye and Hello, As Always, and I liked the changes. I liked having a continuous flow to (this part of) the story. No more going to a different story for the end of a scene (such as when Korra's photo album was brought to her, but you had to read Avatar Storytime to see the rest of the scene, while the main story went onto other things). Less necessary (IMO) but nice to see was having things referred to but not seen moved to this story as well (such as Fire Hazards). I thought it had more of a feel of Things Happening than some of the individual parts did as stand-alones. I thought the merge points were handled very cleanly, and it overall came together and flowed nicely. Well done sir!


I noticed that the What's New page is now tracking the various story moves in The Legacy of Korra rearrangement. Will you be doing something similar for Symphony when you get things a bit more set? I saw in another thread that you'd moved parts of stories to other stories back near the end of S4 / beginning of S5.

eta -
Dear Moderator, would you please move messages #14 and #15 (this message, and the one I was replying to, both by me) to a newly created thread using #14's subject? That was my original intent, but I screwed it up.


Jeanne


Jeanne Hedge
http://www.jhedge.com
1st Courier of the Heavenly Prophets for Tianxia
"Never give up, never surrender!"



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Gryphonadmin
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Aug-06-14, 00:17 AM (EST)
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16. "RE: Goodbye and Hello - Director's Cut"
In response to message #15
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-06-14 AT 00:18 AM (EDT)
 
>I've finished reading the Director's Cut of Goodbye and Hello, As
>Always
, and I liked the changes. (...) I thought the merge points were
>handled very cleanly, and it overall came together and flowed nicely.
>Well done sir!

Hmm, well, in that case, I'll probably add a link to it in the index, as an alternate source for that material. The main reason for the cuts was different depending on which one we're talking about. Fire Hazards originally got split into a separate story because it seemed not to flow very well with the scenes around it, and because the overall piece was already pretty long. Storytime had something of the feel of a digression that we figured we'd get called out for including (and instead we got drubbed for leaving it out, which shows you what we know about managing expectations :), and it would have delayed the movement, which didn't seem like a good call for what is, after all, primarily flavoring.

(As for "Someone to Talk To", that got cut partly for length, which was silly in retrospect, given that the story without Storytime or Fire Hazards in it ends up being 289K. So I've put it back even in the non-Director's Cut version, because it ends up being referenced in the part that I'm working on now, anyway.)

Anyway! Good to know it made more sense, and that the nearly 400K length it ended up at wasn't a problem. I'll keep that in mind as I work on the next bit, which is shaping up to involve what would ordinarily become a side branch or two as well.

>I noticed that the What's New page is now tracking the various story
>moves in The Legacy of Korra rearrangement. Will you be doing
>something similar for Symphony when you get things a bit more set? I
>saw in another thread that you'd moved parts of stories to other
>stories back near the end of S4 / beginning of S5.

Yes, if there is in fact a major reorg, there'll be a change log for it. (The S5 Prelude reorg is more in the manner of housekeeping - it's mainly aimed at smoothing things for any new readers that might chance to come along - though that's more the reason why I forgot to What's New it rather than a reason I deliberately didn't. :)

>Dear Moderator, would you please move messages #14 and #15 (this
>message, and the one I was replying to, both by me) to a newly created
>thread using #14's subject? That was my original intent, but I screwed
>it up.

Alas, DCF can't do that. All I could do is delete them, not make them reappear someplace else.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Matrix Dragon
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Jul-02-14, 01:18 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #0
 
   I'm a sucker for fun 'kid and her dog' stories anyway, so Korra and Nagas grand escape, and follow up polar bear dog 'attack', was easily my favourite part. Utena noticing Niris love of photo bombing was a close second.

It's the little things in life.

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


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Acyl
Member since Jul-3-14
1 posts
Jul-02-14, 11:35 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #4
 
   LAST EDITED ON Jul-02-14 AT 11:40 PM (EDT)
 
>It's the little things in life.

I agree, I enjoyed this quite a lot. To hijack an analogy made earlier in the thread, it's like getting vanilla ice cream when you were expecting mint. But I rather like vanilla. I prefer vanilla, actually.

This story was an anecdotal, slice-of-life piece. No grand action, no major developments, just personal moments and character insights. But to me, at least, that's good stuff. That's always been my favourite part of the Eyrie stories.

Aside from the character interactions, the Diqiu material also represents a significant amount of worldbuilding. And that's nice to see as well. I'm one of those people who's only vaguely familiar with the Avatar source material. But I don't really feel that's a huge barrier to entry. A lot of what's been depicted in the stories is original.

(I'm also vaguely embarrassed that I had to look up how to spell Diqiu - I'm Chinese, you'd think I'd know pinyin phonetics by now.)

Admittedly, I also had to re-register on the forums to make the post, because I lurk so successfully that my account's been vanished twice now for inactivity. I'd wager there's a number of readers like that, who do follow the stories here, but don't offer feedback.

Granted, that's also supremely unhelpful to the authors, hence why I crawled out of the deep, dark, abyss of lurking to post this.

- Acyl


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Zemyla
Member since Mar-26-08
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Jul-03-14, 04:57 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #0
 
   Honestly, my only complaint about this is that Korra teases us with stuff from Phoenix Flight, and then tells her friends, "You can look it up better in the book we have." However, we, the readers, don't have that luxury. That's something I'd really like to see, and probably a lot of people on this forum would, too.


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BZArchermoderator
Member since Nov-9-05
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Jul-03-14, 05:35 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #9
 
   I'm quietly hoping that (inspiration and the Great Pumpkin willing), the Phoenix Flight may show up in a mini-story Omnibus sometime down the road. Heck, I could see enough potential vignettes to make it into it's own little saga, like the Sterling sisters' stories, which would probably be a very good reason to loop back after one or two (or three or four) of the other massive irons in the fire has been worked, quenched, and placed on the rack.

---------------------------
Matt "BZArcher" Wagner
@BZArcher / bzarcher at gmail
"Here's an itemized list of 30
years of disagreements!"


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Dwaggy
Member since Oct-13-13
15 posts
Jul-09-14, 05:39 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: Avatar Storytime Comments"
In response to message #0
 
   Been a longtime lurker. Sometimes I ignore commentary due to getting miffed with the people who nitpick perfectly good stories.

I enjoyed it. It came out right around an emotional time for me- I put off reading it for a week. I just saw the sadness and wanted to say:
Gryphon, you guys do an awesome job. This story helped me a lot, I never heard of any of this before- and your writing makes me want to find the series, much like you did for me with Utena.

I will say- the first scene with Naga--> loved it, and I saw where it seemed to be going.


I look forward to writings, and keep checking 2-3 times a week. I'm really happy I can read them on my iPhone, I can't sit @ a computer white screen for hours like I used to 5 years ago, but lying in bed with an iPhone or iPad is perfect.

Music isn't always harmony.


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