I'm having a problem with writing. Sort of in general, in that words are not hitting the page at all at all, but also in specific. I'm having a problem with bad guys, because I can't think of any.
Bad guys seem like a lie.
I mean, Stargate sets up these galaxy spanning civilisations that exist for the sole purpose of being so evil we can cheer when they get blown up. Even if logically that was genocide. They're exterminated? Well they were evil! Cheer now!
And it's not even that I cannot cheer. It's that I cheer, and then feel really awful about it and obsess on it later. Because (in universe) that was a whole civilisation, a culture, a set of minds that couldn't have been made anywhere else. That was a whole lot of lives
. Easy to destroy, but impossible to bring back. (Yes, some of them are like yoyos, that too is part of the problem, it's morally bankrupt to erase ones consequences so damn often.)
Movies are the worst, because they're meant to resolve things in one easy step. Bad guy exists? Bad guy go boom.
Television has room to do more complex things, but, on the whole, doesn't.
Babylon 5 went there big time, spent years making things twisty complicated. Who were the bad guys on B5? The Shadows? Even they had their reasons, they were the careful what you wish for guys, they were trying so hard to help everyone be strong. Everyone that survived, obviously. The Shadows were a problem, but they weren't bad guys in the same sense, they were hanging around trying to help, just really really messed up about it.
So when I write, I want to make complex epics where everyone has their motives and together they have to find common ground and resolve things peacefully, because hitting things until they fall down never actually works.
The trouble is I only really know how to do plots
where there's a bad thing and then it gets killed.
I feel like I'm not a good enough writer to think things up I can agree with.
I have a bunch of bunnies for ghost stories. I like ghost stories, because blowing shit up is the start
of your problems, as it should be. They're all about how history never goes away, how memory shapes the survivors and their world.( Read more... )
I also have a pretty tight plot that is about vampires ( Read more... )
Basically I can see exactly how it goes, but it's too creepy in the mundane ways for me to spend that long in it to write it.
*shakes off that idea*
I have one whole episode idea for that Rhodri in space thing I'd fully intended to spend my summer doing before I spent my summer doing sod all. Maaaaaaybe two episodes. But not, unfortunately, three. Characters, yes, what happens to them in a general sense, sure, but a plot to take me through a bunch of scenes in a row and create drama? Apparently not.
The one with the possessing entity computer programs has three quest arcs, one to get into the city and get some anti agathics, one to realise they can never produce more of those drugs without micro gravity facilities so they have to get back into orbit, and one to reconnect with scattered humanity once they're in space with the drugs to survive the journey times again. I'm pretty sure I could write the city quest one. Except what I could write so far is look how shiny smart this guy is, as he conquers all before him. Not exactly a lot of complexity or, well, reasons to bother reading it. He wants to go, he goes, he wins, he goes home with the girl. As a movie it's still too shallow.
The bad guys in that one are easy though, because they're computer programs that decide that flesh is a lot more fun, so they wants to take it over and do all the things in it. Sensation without sticking around for the consequences. Sex tourism in suburban brains. They make perfect sense, and they're only doing to others what was done to them, since computers are used for all kinds of adventures now. Ethical subroutine fail due to no empathy and lack of understanding there's no backups, no save points, no reset. Completely different mode of being, makes difficulties for each other.
But only the humans can be actually killed.
And the computers are killing them.
So there we have a Bad Guy side. But the ways to be good guys can't include random large scale violence. For the same reason that the war against Skynet cannot be won even without time travel stuff, because you cannot eradicate the backups thoroughly enough that the other side will ever be dead.
The only way that 'verse can work is through enlightenment. You can never kill all the demons, so you have to turn them into angels.
The epic fantasy from the other day is hardest. I mean, if you really seriously ethically refuse to write Evil Orcs who are Evil because Evil, then you don't have anything that makes it funny when people have a killing competition. It's just grotesque. And then your epic heroes are killing people
and killing a lot
It makes it easier to write about assassins, because at least they're more targeted.
If there aren't any bad guys, if there's actually two kingdoms full of actual people, then 'heroics' is messy and brutal and nasty.
Making it a story about someone negotiating peace would be much better.
Also, you cannot Mount Doom anything real. People know how to make things again. And they were never just following the one evil mind in the first place, due to that free will thing where people just decide to be killers for reasons that seem good and sufficient at the time.
So I'm fed up with the 'and they were all blown up' ending.
And I don't think I know how to write the one where everyone gets enlightened instead.