tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
I've noticed that there are a few big things that I'm not terribly keen on in stories. These are both grey areas, but it seems like in general I don't care for the way that most authors use them.

One: Prophecy. It's rare that I find a book whose primary plot motivator is prophecy. I don't want to already know what's going to happen. I don't even really want to know what "should" happen, because then I spend all of my energy focusing on whether or not it does, and pretty much gloss over everything else. Even harder to do in a way that I like? A prophecy that makes it look like certain things have to happen, and then bringing the prophecy to pass without all of those things happening, or reversing their effects afterwards. Example: I've just spent the majority of the story bracing myself for this person's death and empathizing with them and their heroic lover (and or companions) who is helping them in their quest even though they both know it'll be the end of them because the prophecy says so, only to have them some how avoid actually dying, or whatever horrible fate was supposedly going to befall them. You'd better do a really bloody good job of explaining how they got around that doom, or I'm going to be grumpy.

Two: Serendipity. Just happening to fall into the ancient crypt that holds the only weapon that could possibly defeat the Dark Lord who will otherwise cover the land in everlasting accelerated entropy? Give me a break. The odds of Bilbo just happening to find that Ring while scrabbling around in the dark? Ridiculously small. (Though this is later explained reasonably well enough by way of it "wanting" to be found and containing enough power to influence the flailing of a wayward hobbit--at least, that's how I chose to interpret it so as to make the serendipity more palatable). Maybe if the character is searching through a cave because legend has it there is something important there and they accidentally stumble into a secret room, but there has to be something more than just the appearance of completely random chance.

So, fate's out and luck's out. What does that leave? Passion. Desire. Will. Perhaps more on these later...

Sharpening

Mar. 2nd, 2007 09:52 am
tcepsa: (iSquared)
Awhile back, [livejournal.com profile] 3ravensringo loaned me a knife-sharpening DVD. While I still haven't gotten all the way through it, I decided that I had gotten far enough (though the overview and demonstration of the whole sharpening process) that if I didn't actually try to sharpen something soon it risked falling into the category of things that I theoretically know how to do but haven't ever actually demonstrated that that's the case.

Reflections on the experience so far )
tcepsa: (Anarchy)
If I'm remembering correctly, one of the generally accepted concepts in mathematics is that two lines in a plane will never intersect if and only if they are parallel. They go on forever without crossing. However, if they are out of parallel by the tiniest amount then at some point they must cross.

What point is that?

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