For one, you weren't afraid to have him do new things. Drastically new, so he became dynamic and interesting. Believable as well; people change when their world is turned upside down. You gave him great strengths, but just as great weaknesses, both physical--inability to control his powers and how they drained him-- and emotional-- his gullibility, attachments, and eventual mistrust of many people. And you've done what Tam wants, not what you the author or we the audience want. So well done
I do have to admit to seeing to one of my own wants, at least in recent years. I've always tried to maintain a "Star Wars" flavor with Tam's story, because I think it's become easy to stray from the basic formula. Not that I'm saying deviation is bad, only that if it becomes too extreme it stops being Star Wars and starts to become something else. I've read a lot of the Fate of the Jedi books, and while I feel like it still has its Star Wars moments, there are other times where I feel like it's strayed from its milieu. And I'm not just talking about plot points. It's a big universe, and just about anything can happen, but it seemed to me like the tone of the stories seem to contradict some of the themes I appreciate in Star Wars.
Okay, rant off.
if it becomes too extreme it stops being Star Wars and starts to become something else
Yeah . . . I tend to do that.
You have a good point. There is a certain aesthetic and tone which unites much of the material and makes it recognizable. And while that is essential, in a continuous story, I personally feel that many authors and writers have stuck to it far too rigidly. There is so much that was NOT done because it had to be within the basic formula. And I think that is a shame.
I commented back at the holonet not too long ago something I noticed about Star Wars vs. other sci-fi adventures: Star Wars deals with timeless themes and motiffs, struggles between good and evil, freedom and repression, fear and courage. Empires and invaders come and go, but the galaxy mostly remains the same for thousands upon thousands of years, and we see people battling through the same archetypal struggles again and again. It's about the individual and his or her journey.
Brandon Sanderson, who teaches at my university, brought up a point in one of his lectures which really made me ponder on the pieces I have tried to work: the setting you choose should be the best setting for your story and characters to exist in. It is as much of a plot device and the actual events which take place. And I've realized that I don't do that; I tend to choose setting and worlds first--they are what interest me the most--and then try to fit stories into them. I think that's why I've struggled quite a bit with this game, to be honest. Luis could have existed just as well in many other settings, and probably would have done better in them (poor guy, I haven't been kind to him).
To be fair, a sizable amount of Luis' misfortune has been dictated by real world events, such as when Luis had to suddenly isolate himself from all his friends and go into hiding so the rest of us weren't dragging him around like luggage while you went on your mission.
I've only read Elantris, but I really liked Sanderson's style in that book, not to mention his world building skills. That was one of the few times I've picked up a Fantasy novel and didn't feel like it was a Tolkien rehash.
And I think you have a good point about adhering slavishly to a basic formula, Fingon. It's all about balance really. The pendulum can swing too far in either direction. With the example of Tam, I've tried to branch out into other concepts but maintain an inherently "Star Wars" nature for him. It's impossible for me to evaluate how I've done with that myself, so you all can be the judges of my success.
And sometimes there are characters that can fit easily in any setting. You could plop Tarkin into the role of any draconian despot and he'd thrive; Han Solo is quintessential, and can often be spotted in other stories (I'm looking at you, Malcolm Reynolds). Luis has always been one of those flexible characters, IMO, and given what you said about your creative process, that makes sense. Because you craft the world first then find the characters within it, it stands to reason that you may prefer generalist characters over more specialized versions. I don't see anything wrong with that process.
Good points, Dawncaller and Ice. I've gone through quite a few life-changing events and was gone for two years of this. I also started this in high school, and it's the only creative writing story I've stuck with for more than a few pages. The person writing Luis has changed quite a bit over the last several years. And interestingly enough, writing him has been a very reflective and enlightening process.
Reading the story from the beginning again, I'm struck by just how far we've all come. And like Luis for you, Fingon, I can see certain things Fi has done/said that make me recall exactly the real-life occurrences that sent me spinning in those directions. Sometimes it almost feels like reading my own diary, but with somebody else as me. Not necessarily the events, but the moods, if that makes any sense. Tapestry never became the 'massively-multiplayer' game I'd initially been hoping for, but I'm actually kind of glad of that - because if it had, we'd all have been too busy battling to get into all this great character stuff!
On another note - I need to switch Chat Night from Friday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 4 (same time). How is that for people? Please sound off!
On Wednesday I may not be able to get on to chat until 8:30 or 9:00, but I missed last month so I don't want to miss this month.
I'll definitely try for it. I'm sorry to have flaked the past few times.
And very much so, I.J.. Luis's outlook on life has, until recently, very closely reflected mine. And while I would like to see more people with us, I agree that part of the beauty of what we have here is that we were given so much time and space to just explore. (It reminds me more of a MUD than an MMORPG )
Is that Central Time, DC?