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    Adventures

    • Main* Getting shot at, seeing people die, having near-death experiences, facing the possibility of mass destruction. Why on earth are these things called adventures?
      • Even considering the Winston Churchill quote about being shot at without effect, can we really claim that going through such trying times and surviving is satisfying? At the very least, shouldn't the "happy ending" include a healthy amount of happiness? Maybe, just maybe, it might be worth allowing these happy moments to actually happen, rather than fading to black as soon as the worst is over? And could this occasionally happen during the plot?
        • Because adventure is someone else having a very rough time of it somewhere very far away.
        • I, being an antisocial yet moral person, would also like it if more writers would use happy elements that aren't love or schadenfreude.
        • Like what, exactly? For most people, their idea of 'happiness' would be being successful (which usually means someone else being unsuccessful as a result, since despite what "Everyone Gets A Trophy Day" might have claimed not everyone can win), surrounded by loved ones and seeing justice done to those who they feel deserving of it (which is what I assume you mean by 'schadenfreude'). It seems hard to imagine a state of happiness which doesn't centre around at least one of these things for most people.
        • Adventures are about the journey, not the destination. We read and watch adventures to see characters triumph over adversity, and since the 'happy ending' is the character's reward for triumphing over adversity, the more difficult the adversity to overcome the sweeter the reward when it comes. Making the journey too easy robs the ending of this sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, while the adventure might be exotic and unique, most people's idea of a 'happy ending' is more-or-less the same -- living a successful, peaceful and stable life surrounded by loved ones and goodwill with only a very few relatively minor problems to overcome. Thus, we can all pretty much imagine what a happy ending would entail, so we don't need the author to spell it out for us, and it gets pretty boring if they do. The adventure's where all the interesting stuff is happening; there's a reason people read genres like 'thrillers' and 'mysteries' and not genres like 'calms' and 'peacefuls'.
      • Coming from someone who has had what might be considered a real-life adventure (more common than you might think, and complete with extreme fear and threat of death)... there are many reasons. First, if you can manage to get out of it alive, you come out much stronger. There's the chance of doing some kind of good; if you can do that, it's worth it. And, whether or not you're scared to death (and you will be), you will never feel more alive.
      • I think the problem is that some writers assume, for some reason, that their characters have the mentality of DnD characters, or nearly there. These autistic killing machines are acceptable in, say, DnD-inspired fiction, but elsewhere? It's just not plausible that everyone would have the same psychological problem, being unable to categorize risks to life and limb as a bad thing and thus avoiding them whenever possible.
      • Because they're not happening to you. It's all about living (or dying) vicariously.
      • Still, I think all narrative creators must either learn or cultivate a kind of Sadistic joy in creating characters out of nothing, giving them lives, ambitions and relationships, then torturing them for three acts. It's a wonder more characters don't realize that the true Big Bad is the author running them through this gauntlet of suffering. Of course, if that were the case, wouldn't that make our God evil? Perhaps it's this paradox that creates our desire to watch our creations in agony in the first place.
        • I do find it much more fun to write than read, and I'd much rather create a film than watch one (I can't, of course). So probably, yes. Creating stories and characters is fun, cathartic, and therapeutic.
          • Due to a combination of the above, I find it nearly impossible to end anything he writes with a downer ending.
        • Yes, I do tend to be rather sadistic towards my heroes. My wife teases me about it, saying, "What will you do to $HERO today, darling?"
      • Aristotle discusses this in his Poetics. Basically, it is a method of cleansing your fears from your subconscious for a brief time. The idea is that by bringing out and releasing one's stronger emotions by artificial means, one is more likely to act rationally when faced with an actual crisis.
      • Sheesh, people, look up "adventure" some time: an exciting or very unusual experience; a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome. They call those things adventures because they fit the definition of the word. Nobody ever said an adventure had to be "fun" or "happy".
      • The job of a fictional story is to entertain (or otherwise touch) the reader, not the protagonist. When we read about people going through those things, we don't go through the same pain and stress that they do. Days of slogging through a swamp can be condensed into a chapter, and most of that is the interesting details and not the boring, uncomfortable walking. We experience some minor stress through empathy with the character and still get the relief/achievement payoff at the end (or equivalent emotional payoff depending on the ending).
      • Simple, real life is boring (and much of a downer if you think about it). When you create a fictional world such as a story, why would you want to write about something that happens in every day life? Most people in real life have already accept that being underhanded and playing dirty gets you what you need quickly, while trying to be good is left up to chance if anyone even notices you, no one is destined for anything greater and most likely can never reach such a high goal, you can work hard and still get nothing, but you can be born lucky and never suffer any reprocussions for it, you're just like everyone else so don't expect to be treated special, etc. Life is really unfair, and can be cruel if you get the short end of the stick. However, in fiction you have people who are special, who work hard and get a happy ending after all their hard earned efforts. Evil always gets what's coming to them, and there's no feat too small for our protagonist to accomplish. Also recently, with characters being more flawed and easier to related to, you usually will get the typical "normal person who works hard and succeeds overcoming everything thrown at them" protagonist, that most people could admire or envy. This is why authors drag their character through the mud, because it's only more satisfying to see them overcome it.
      • To add to the above, Kurt Vonnegut, in his 'eight rules for writing fiction', made #6: "Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader might see what they are made of [my emphasis]." It's so that we can see who the hero actually is in a crisis and that the hero has a challenge worthy of earning them the title of 'hero'. Put it this way; if the biggest problem that Luke Skywalker ever faced was getting some droids for the farm, we wouldn't be very interested in what happens to him because that's not really a very challenging problem; solving it doesn't make him a hero, it makes him a guy who buys some farming supplies. Pit him against Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire, however, and you've got a bigger challenge, one that requires great reserves of strength, bravery and intelligence to solve -- and thus we get to see Luke Skywalker prove himself to have these qualities. The fact that the challenge is horrible means it's more satisfying to see him overcome it.


    External Retcon and Perspective Flip

    • Does anyone else feel like External Retcons and Perspective Flips are, in some ways, among the heights of artistic arrogance? It just galls me that people seem to think that Gregory Maguire's version of Wicked is the true version of Oz, and that L. Frank Baum's version is apparently the whitewashed and sugarcoated version. It's like saying that the true, original version is false, and that this is supposedly the "true" version, and that apparently Baum's themes are false, and that his version of events is "wrong". Same thing with Nicholas Meyer's The Seven Percent Solution, where Meyer basically craps all over half of Dr. Doyle's canon by calling it "fake", and saying that Holmes' archnemesis is apparently just his old math tutor?!? I mean, when it comes to Ultimate Universes or Ret Cons from official sources, at least you know that the original version stands by itself, or it's an actual, sanctioned change by the rightful owners of the property, such as with a superhero comic. But to come along and say that two of the greatest English authors of the early 20th century are wrong or false is just...where do Maguire and Meyer get off thinking they can do this? They probably get off right in front of the bank, but that's beside the point...
      • I see nothing wrong with it, as long as the original author is dead and the original works are in the public domain.
      • One could take it as a form of flattery, or even as a form of paid fanfiction. And I personally don't feel that Wicked is a ret-con, or a flip for that matter. the Wizard of Oz is seen through Dorothy's eyes, and the witch to her IS wicked. She never asks about the Witch's motivations, or what her backstory is. It's simply a different perspective on the same events. Naturally the Witch is as unlikely to view herself as truly wicked as a real world well intentioned extremist is.
        • Unless, you know, you actually read the other Oz books. The series didn't end with the first one.
      • Let's bear in mind that this isn't revisionist history... not all fictional works exist in the same continuity. In the world of The Seven Percent Solution, much of the Holmesian canon is, in fact, false. That doesn't mean that he's coming out and saying that Sir Arther Conan Doyle wrote is wrong... it's fiction. Of course it's not true. Neither is The Seven Percent Solution. And Wicked doesn't even change the events that took place; it just gives the Witch a backstory, instead of leaving her a Card-Carrying Villain. Now, her take on the events that happen in both The Wizard of Oz and Wicked is of course going to be different, but unless L. Frank Baum comes back from the dead and decides to flesh her out some more, there's nothing wrong with someone else giving her a reason to be who she is. To me, these are interesting explorations of a different way the events of the story might have happened... if you don't agree, don't read them.
        • What bothers me, on a fundamental level, is the Misaimed Fandom that has sprung up of those hardcore fans who as a result of Maguire's work have developed a hatred for Dorothy and the other protagonists, which comes along with making Elphaba a Draco in Leather Pants. What bothers me is that these versions are taken as canon, when they are patently not true. And Wicked does fairly evidently change some of the backstory to Baum's official canon: the Scarecrow in Baum's version is not the murdered remnants of Fiyero, but simply a scarecrow an enterprising Munchkin farmer made, Glinda is not the Good Witch of the North, but rather the Witch of the South, and the personalities and morals are some of the major characters, including Glinda and the Wizard himself, are drastically changed. Depicting the Wizard as a power-hungry villain, and Glinda as snotty and effete, along with the disturbing hatred of Dorothy by some Wicked fans, all strike me as being fundamentally wrong.
          • 'When they are patently not true'. This fiction. Not true. With regards to this other fiction. I can think that Dorothy was an alien from Pluto who was adopted. Guess who is more 'true' out of me and the original author? Unless you simply want people to never publish fan-fiction, or enjoy it, which seems to be the problem here, Stop-Having-Fun guy.
            • You don't understand-fans are taking Wicked as part of the actual, official Oz story, despite the fact that it clashes with Baum's own canon, and uses Baum's characters for its own Anvilicious moralizing. That is what bugs me, not writing fanfiction. I write plenty of my own fanfiction, but no one would ever mistake it for the real thing. Wicked is not part of the official storyline, and it bothers me when people consider it so, especially in light of the disturbing level of hate some of them direct at Dorothy and company.
        • IIRC, the only part of the Holmesian canon which The Seven-Per-Cent Solution actually invalidates are the story which Conan Doyle invented to kill off Sherlock Holmes, and the Retcon story which brought Holmes back. Meyer was pretty scrupulous about preserving the other puzzles and inconsistencies; for example, he didn't reveal where Watson had "really" been wounded. As for his other pastiches, The West End Horror fits in between the canonical Holmes stories without having to invalidate any of them, and The Canary Trainer is mostly set in the period when Holmes was supposedly dead. Except for a couple places where incidental remarks put it into the Seven-Per-Cent Solution continuity, it works pretty well within Conan Doyle's original retcon.
        • Speaking personally, I'd always had issues with the Wizard of Oz, what with Dorothy accidentally murdering two people, but they were the bad guys, so that's okay, and the Wizard was running a huge scam and had basically set himself up as a God on earth and had the entire country cowering before him, but he's not actually evil, so that's okay...
          • A tornado dropped Dorothy's house onto the Witch of the East. No way in hell can she be held liable for that. As for the Witch of the West, she had no means of knowing what water would do, and in the movie, she was also acting in self-defense (plus defense of the Scarecrow). And in the Wicked novel, she was actually trying to save Elphaba, who had accidentally set herself on fire, and the musical clearly lays the responsibility for Nessarose's death at Morrible's feet.
            • But those occur in Wicked. I thought that this was about how the alternate takes were bad. Plus, having no idea what the water would do is no defense. My point is that, if it were a good person who had been accidentally killed, Dorothy would have had a much harder time of it. "Girl accidentally kills woman; feels no guilt; is praised" was an unsettling concept.
              • In the movie at least Dorothy clearly felt bad about it, and was confused at being praised.
          • Why do those people make Elphie the hero and stab Dorothy with Hate Fic? You said it yourself: Draco in Leather Pants. These folks probably relate to Elphaba a whole lot more than they do to Dorothy, or get some kind of satisfaction in seeing the grimy, nasty underside of Oz "exposed", even if it isn't. They don't want to separate "Baum's Oz" from "Maguire's Oz," but just condemn the one as a shallow and sugarcoated version of the other - even though it's all fiction, and originally meant for babies. They probably never liked the movie very much, or maybe they're working through issues with their own lives. Allow them their sad little complications.
          • It's also likely that many of the fans of Wicked, in fact many of the fans of Wizard of Oz are solely familiar with the franchise through the movie. Most people probably have never read the original novel, and even fewer have probably read all the others, if they are aware of them at all. For better or worse, when most people think 'Wizard of Oz' they think 'Judy Garland' not "L. Frank Baum'. And the Movie-verse fits in fairly well with Wicked. And just as a personal question, can we tone down the venemous hatred of Wicked fans? like most fandoms, 90% of us are perfectly normal, non-insane people.
            • Interestingly enough, the Wicked novel fits in much better with the Book-verse. Ultimately, though, it doesn't really fit either, particularly noticeable if you examine Elphaba's confrontation with Dorothy at the end.
      • I'm not going to bother spoilering, because if one is reading this, then one is likely to have read the book/watched the musical. You had some decent points until you started bashing all Wicked lovers as lovers of the witch no matter what. I know some that are like that, and it's seriously yanking me out of the fandom, but I know many more who if asked their favorite book/musical character, they'd say one of the trio/Dorothy/Glinda. I have read the books, watched the movie of the original and... I don't care for the Witch. In fact, I find her unlikeable in the book, especially in the last two parts. However, I quite possibly would not have read the books and realized how interesting my personal favorite character is had I not read the book. (For the record, it's Scarecrow, and I find him far more interesting when I don't think of Baum!Crow or MGM!Crow as being a mole who knows damn well he doesn't need the brain, or at least believed by some to be so.) And the sequels seem to really split off from the main Baum!Oz canon, in the worst way. As for the external retcon factor you're griping against, I've been reading childrens' books with similar premises quite a few years before Maguire wrote Wicked. He's not the first, not the last, and is the only successful author of it in the adult fiction market. And to validate some of your opinion, the fans of Wicked (The ones I spend time with) really see him as slipping and putting all his books except for the first Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister into the discontinuity bin. So I guess the fad's slipping and you win. Your gripe has been solved.
        • I (the person who started this thread) never meant to tar all Wicked fans with the same brush; it just bugged me the hatred some of the more "out there" fans, the ones driving you out of the fandom, directed at Dorothy. That's what bothered me, not sympathizing with the Witch, or what have you. Looking back on it now, I really could have phrased it better.
      • I actually read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and all of its sequels (some of which can get pretty disturbing themselves...), and I actually think I prefer the Oz presented in Wicked, because in becoming darker it makes it more realistic and more gripping. "Antiheroine struggles against bias and parental issues to make a name for herself in a Crapsack World, but fails tragically" is far more interesting--In My Humble Opinion--than "girl gets transported to a fantasy land and must get home". Also, I happen to like Nessarose and Elphaba.
      • Speaking for the Holmes stories for a moment, it's worth noting that in-text it's established that they're Dr. Watson's perspectives on events - as such, whilst Watson seems like a reliable narrator, there's no guarantee that things happened exactly as he say they happened. Even if we assume (and we've no reason not to, to be fair) that Watson is a reliable and honest person and that we can trust that his account of what happened is what Watson experienced, that's no guarantee that it'll be the full story. Watson has his viewpoint on the story, but then so does the criminal, the victim - hell, even Holmes' recollection of events is not guaranteed to be exactly the same as Watson's. There's a great scene in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, for example, where Holmes criticises Watson's version of "The Red Headed League" and acidly comments that "I'm sure I'll learn all sorts of things I didn't know about the case beforehand," and then accuses Watson of over-romanticising things a bit. Even if we assume that Watson is an honest recorder of events, there's still room for interpretation from another viewpoint.
    • When the Status Quo Is God , it's bad enough that the characters will never experience any meaningful changes unless Real Life Writes the Plot in the form of departed cast members or impending cancellation, but on a more personal note, it's a bit disconcerting to have a character in an ongoing Long Runner be old enough to be one's peer then by remaining the same age to go to be young enough to be a younger sibling then a niece or nephew of an older sibling then finally, one's own child's peer group. Whatever happened to generational character sets? If they need for each new group to be a Generation Xerox, so be it. It's less off-putting that way.
    • Why read fiction anyways? I just don't see the point in reading about people who don't exist doing something that never happened.
      • Because we feel like it.
        • Rather, some people read fiction as to escape the borders of reality. Fantasy exists because some guy decided to write about things that would never happen in real life, and some of us thought that this concept was interesting. Fiction is the way it is because we like to read about stories that never happened, and might not ever happen in reality.
      • If you honestly feel that way, this is not the website for you. Go read The Other Wiki.
      • Because, if you want to get Freudian, it's a way of understanding ourselves, and others and humanity in general. Freud compared it to children playing with toy towns and stuff. We're enacting alternate choices, lifestyles and events through imaginary cyphers. And that's just one interpretation, though I'm sure there are many.
      • Fiction is essentially truth a few steps removed from reality. It can tell us about life, the universe, and everything often more effectively than life can talk about itself.
      • It's cathartic.
        • Because people who focus on stuff like movies, anime, etc. tend to be geeks. And being a geek usually means you're smart.
        • I disagree. In my opinion, being a geek means you're obsessive about things. Many geeks are obsessive about one or more academic subjects on top of their obsessions with one or more works or genres of fiction. Thus, smarter/more knowledgeable in their areas of obsession simply because they spend all of their thought, time, and energy in those areas. This is just my personal understanding of my own thought processes but it seems to apply to my geeky friends as well for the most part. In retrospect that's not so much a disagree as a "conditionally agree"
        • Wouldn't that make everyone a geek, to some degree? Otherwise "normal" people would just be people who have interests and obsessions spread equally over EVERYTHING.
      • Really? I'm the exact opposite. Why read non-fiction? Go check wikipedia for whatever it is you need to know. Anyway, I love fiction. There's something about universal truths and whatnot that are fun in fiction, but mostly, it entertains me; specifically fantasy and sci-fi. Why would I read a realistic fiction book? If I wanted something realistic, I'd turn on the news or just turn around and watch the people near me.
    • Why read anything, really? You know your own opinions about the world, I'm sure. So anything you read will either agree with you or not. If it agrees with you, it's superfluous, and if it doesn't, it's wrong. Why care about or pay attention to anything that must be either superfluous or wrong?
      • Because the mind is limited in both critical thinking and observation of the world. Reading helps people find ideas or learn facts that they never thought of before. Also, reading other people's opinions on something help us think about our own ideas in a new light.
      • Also, because when you read something that disagrees with your visions about the world, you might see it with other eyes and it may even change your opinion entirely. Unless if you're like the questioner, who apparently achieved a state of omniscience and believes opinions are static and immutable.
      • Because it allows me to pass the many hours of free time I have, as well as occasionally being hilarious and awesome.
      • Reading isn't about opinions or ideas; it's about entertainment. Many people seem to forget that, and their attempts to find the ideas and symbolism and whatever the hell just sucks all the joy you get from the work.
        • I disagree. Partly, anyway -- reading, whether fictional or non-fictional, is certainly about entertainment to a point, but all fiction -- even 'lightweight' airport fiction -- is expressing something about the person who wrote it and the culture it came from. Some people go too far in looking for the deeper meanings, but that doesn't mean the deeper meanings aren't there. Besides, part of the fun can be identifying the author's use of symbolism and ideas about the world; a book which contained none of these things would probably be as boring as hell.
      • Because it helps one to detect the use of irony in written language, something which the above tropers apparently have just the slightest trouble doing.
      • Fiction is a great art form with a lot of cultural significance. Humans are mythologically oriented beings. We like stories. Half of history is taking stuff that happened and trying to turn it into vaguely accurate stories. It's what we do. (And it's fun.)
    • How is it possible for fictional characters to possess information that does not actually exist? To elaborate, 1/0 got me thinking and trying to develop a comprehensive theory of fictionality that allows for the character's perspective and stuff like Mutually Fictional stories (what would a Futurama character conclude from watching an episode of The Simpsons which had the latter's characters watching the former?), accounting for the Literary Agent Hypothesis and simple writer error...and I got fixated on this tidbit. Take the fundamental theoretical basis for magic in the Harry Potter universe, for instance. "Theory of magic" is alluded to, but not elaborated on, because J.K. Rowling could never have come up with it. So even though at least some of the characters (Hermione, for sure), possess lots of information about it and could lecture you for hours on end about it if you found yourself as the protagonist of a Self-Insert Fic, that information does not really exist. Not in the millions of copies of the books, not in Rowling's notes, not in Rowling's mind or any of her readers'. It's completely ubiquitous, since any universe would contain more information than could be contained in any number of minds, but something about it just doesn't make sense. I imagine some of it is related to interpolation and extrapolation, but not all. Is this the sort of thing information science deals with? >_<
      • If the author told you everything the characters know, every novel would be at least 10,000 pages long. Instead, the author has to carefully select every bit of information given to the reader and offer as little irrelevant detail as possible.
      • The fictional characters don't exist either. That's why they're fictional. I don't really see the problem with them knowing something that the author hasn't thought of.
        • Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. Think of it from the character's perspective. Imagine that someone came up to you and told you that you, in fact, were a fictional character in a popular movie - and had the DVD to prove it. Undeniable evidence. But wait - you have a whole lifetime's worth of memories, many of which you can recall individually! If you only exist within the confines of this story, where did all those memories come from? They're more than the writer could've ever thought up, certainly. The fans? Individually, there's the same problem; collectively, there's sure to be contradiction - and the "writer" problem probably still applies. So where?
          • Fictional characters don't exist within the confines of the story. They don't exist at all. A fictional story is just a really long string of words describing people that never existed and things that never happened. It can describe anything the writer wants it to, and it doesn't have to describe every single detail. If the story describes them knowing something that the writer hasn't though of, then there really isn't any contradiction. Yes, knowing information that doesn't exist is impossible, but fictional characters don't know anything. They don't even exist. That's what the word fictional means.
          • I'm fairly certain this is a what if sort of thing, what with the whole imagine word being used. Why are you here if all you're going to do is reduce everything to "it's fiction so it's not real" Every question and nitpick can be answered with that. So I object to that piece of your argument. However, since the character is the product of the author and created entirely by the author and has absolutely no life of their own besides what the author has given them, everything they are comes from the author and that goes all the way to the way the world works. And where do your actual memories come from anyway? What evidence do you have that they're real? The whole thing is a non-issue. Everything in a work of fiction exists within that work of fiction because the writer says so. Regardless of any inconsistencies or plot holes. End of Line.
          • I'm reminded of one of the classical arguments for the existance of God:
            "Imagine a perfect deity. Non-existance can hardly be a property of a perfect deity. Therefore, God exists."
            There are numerous flaws with this argument, many of which start with, "Imagine a perfect island..." The main problem with the argument for god and the question that started this discussion is a shifted perspective. All fictional characters are aware of things that only exist in the context of the story, namely, their own history. Hermoine is aware of the events of her fifth birthday (which never really happened), and this doesn't seem to be causing anyone any existential confusion. The theory of magic is no more or less non-existant than every other thing Hermoine knows that only exists within the context of the story. Harry has a lightning-shaped scar, which doesn't really exist, but he knows about it!
            This does get tricky when characters should be acting on knowledge that they don't have because the author hasn't made it up yet. This is a real (er...) problem in RPGs, where the characters have existed in a world full of details that some players may know, but others may not. If it's a DM-created world, things can get out of hand really fast. As an example of what I'm talking about, I was in the mood to play a Paladin in one campaign, and there was one organized religion around, but the DM forgot to include in his summation of the setting he gave us that the church had some starkly evil properties (namely, hunting down and killing magic-users). As a result, the character I was trying to play couldn't logicly exist in the setting, and my behavior was constrained by facts I didn't know. Ugh. This is one reason why many campaign worlds aren't all that original. We all know what a medieval-fantasy-pastiche setting looks like, so we all come in with a common base, and there are fewer surprises hiding in the bushes ready to trip us. Ditto the Standard Sci Fi Setting
            1/0 is still brilliant, however.
      • Having given this some thought, I believe I've come up with a construct. Fictional characters are not subject to the laws of thermodynamics. Real people live in a universe with finite entropy, where information is constantly changing form. The information in your life will persist for a length of time, but ultimately it will degrade until the content is no longer recognizable. Fictional characters have near-zero entropy; the information within their life is fixed and unchanging. Thus, a character cannot possess or display information until energy is added to the system (by the author and violating the First Law of Thermodynamics) and they actually do. Moreover, if information that is added that contradicts previous information, both are ultimately valid within the system due to the complete lack of entropy, violating the third law. This is a complicated way of explaining, basically, of saying that fictional characters are not subject to the same physics as you or I.
      • If the character needs to impart information that doesn't exist in the confines of the story, then the author will create the information and it will become known. All unkown information about the universe exists in the author's imagination potentially, to be created and written down as needed.
      • I've always thought of fictional characters minds and memories to be fluid, adapting sort of things. I'm reminded of the scene in Last Action Hero where the young boy tries to prove to Arnie that he's not real by showing him a terminator poster in a video store, but instead of Arnie its Sy Stallone. In the confines of the series of movies that Arnies character is in, they probably never mentioned who played the terminator until the young boy called attention to the fact and Stallones performance was instantly created, altering the memories and past of the world around it, as it happens. So, basically, whenever a character mentions a piece of information in a story that hasn't revealed said information before, it's like a mini-retcon. Luke had never bullseyed wamp rats until he mentioned it in the death star briefing, Marty had never heard of Johnny B Good before he got on stage and Hermione doesn't really know the theory of magic, at least not until she explains it. She may be under the impression that she knows it, but it's not actually in her mind until the plot calls for it to be.
      • I've always thought that fictional characters DO exist, simply in another place and in another time. For instance, suppose someone tells you a story. You would be inclined be believe that it is true, because of the vividness and sense of realism. But because of some detail framing problem, the story did not happen. For example, someone said something but it was really someone else. Now, imagine a story-teller, his pen weaving the words of his own little tale. And on the other side of reality, the same thing happens, but not to any work of the writer. It's all a big coincidence (for lack of a better term). And what happens when they change details that they don't like? They TUNE, like finding the right station on the radio.
        • My beliefs are similar. Well, moreso my hopes than my beliefs, since I refuse to believe without any proof. I think that every world of fiction exists, and we just can't access it. Every different version (remakes, alternate takes, etc.) is a similar but different world. Books, shows, movie, games, etcetera are simply windows into other worlds. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, after all...
      • This very issue is one of the core ideological debates in the world(s) of Myst. Some practitioners of “The Artâ€� believe that they're creating worlds from scratch when they write, while others believe they're merely referencing existing worlds from among infinite possibilities, and call the tomes they write “Linking Booksâ€� with this in mind. The cardinal bone of contention is where all of these little details come from (I.E.: One writes about a blank white field of snow, steps through the link, and discovers flowers under the snow.) This is especially hilarious given the nature of the actual games, which required the brothers to painstakingly model, draw and animate every single detail by hand.
        • The information is implied to exist, and that's all it takes. A grown person must, unless they have amnesia of some kind, have the memories of their life. Where do they come from? What do you mean, where do they come from? They come from the same place everything in fiction comes from, the author. Fictional characters don't exist. Proving to a fictional character that they're fictional is something that could only happen in fiction. Therefor, it's subject to the same rules as any other fiction. If you want to write it, then it's up to you. There can be no right or wrong answer. And if fiction is a true story told about another dimension or something then it's isn't fictional at all and your question doesn't apply.
    • Why is it that my love of most characters in fiction is a result of Misaimed Fandom and Draco in Leather Pants? And is that an inherently bad thing? Is there something seriously wrong with me? Should I feel bad for misinterpreting what the creator meant, even though it made me happy? Why do I sound like a Shinji Wangst monologue?
      • There is nothing wrong with interpreting a story differently than what the original author intended. Writers are fallible and cannot predict how people view their stories and characters. However, it is usually easier to understand a story if you know what the author originally meant to say.
        • Well, I'm still disillusioned over the fact that "Fight For Your Right To Party" was about making fun of party animals. Not to mention R. Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'", same concept but for rock lovers in general. But I suppose I can forgive that one since the man admits he hates just about everything in existence, including himself.
        • As fun as it can be to look at a story at a perspective that you prefer to the author's intended one, it is kind of like swimming against the tide. For example, if you follow a story wherein you sympathize with the Anti-Villain more than you do the protagonist, you're eventually going to have to face the disappointment of seeing said villain get taken down somehow. Or for that matter, there's the risk of the author taking measures to destroy one's ability to view a story through an alternate lense.
        • Whilst there's many cases where the author just didn't do the work properly (or they were trying to be too clever and subtle), in fairness there's plenty of cases where the fans just see what they wanted to see and actually did just miss the point entirely. People listen to a cool tune and neglect the lyrics or they focus on a really dreamy actor's good looks and completely overlook the fact that the character this actor is playing is a complete prick. That's gotta be frustrating.
        • I personally think the problem doesn't so much stem from people interpreting characters in their own way, but when people let their interpretation of a character blind them to what that character really is. There seems to be a tendency for a lot of characters who get 'Misaimed' Fandoms or Draco in Leather Pants followers who seem to be blinded to the simple fact that their favourite characters are the bad guys - ergo, they're villains. Ergo, they're gonna do not-very-nice things. They're villains, it's what they do. As such, when they do bad things - which, being the villains, you'd expect them to do - the fans who've willingly blinded themselves feel betrayed and start whining about how the author's forcing the character to act out of character, when they've haven't.
        • There's no problem with interpreting a character however you want as long as you don't try to force your vision on the author or on the rest of the fandom. If you want to write a fanfic about how your Mary Sue redeems your favorite Draco in Leather Pants character, by all means go ahead (and if it's well-written and actually believable, more power to you). The problem comes when people start publicly ranting that everyone, including the author, should conform to your vision of the character. In the same vein, it's wrong for everyone to expect you to conform to their view of the character, even if it's canon. The biggest problems I have are in roleplay sessions when I'm trying to get the people I'm playing with to accept my attempts to turn the Alpha Bitch nicer or the Draco in Leather Pants to a full-fledged hero, that's when conflict typically arises. I remember wanting to have Azula do a Heel Face Turn in an RP I'm participating in, but my partner and I can't agree on it. We were thinking of settling it by betting on the Super Bowl, but both our teams got eliminated.
        • I also have an interest in ropeplaying, and can attest to what the above troper said. However, I have less problems in sessions, as usually which ever friend I'm roleplaying with accepts my interpretion (although normally I give them the "you can role play all the characters yourself if you're going to keep pushing that I Flanderise everyone" threat when they're becoming unreasonable because they love or hate a character too much) or my friends suffer from the Misaimed Fandom or the Draco In Leather Pants as well, so may put suggestions here and there for possibilities I can explore (which honestly I love the challenge, and as long as I don't feel I'm turning them into a Sue or making them too OOC, in my opinion, I can put up with it). Truth is, the world isn't Black and White, even if you try to protray it in fiction. People will always be reading between the lines, even when there's nothing there to read! There is always some aspect that a person can find as redeemable, and this is where Mileages do vary so it isn't anything to worry about. It's most likely you just find yourself wanting to divulge into something that the author had never put in there (after all, they're characters. There's only so much an author can give you of their persona) which could logically fit or be present if said character were real. Just as long as you don't force your views onto everyone else, there's no problem in having a different opinion.
      • The problem with Draco in Leather Pants is in the trope name: Draco doesn't wear leather pants. The trope isn't about simply liking the villain; it's about ascribing characteristics to the villain that do not exist for the purposes of justifying your like of the villain. Take Azula; I like Azula, as a character. But if I start saying that she's actually the hero of the story, that she's a good person and so forth, and start trying to justify this by cutting and pasting her lines of dialog to support this theory, then I have ventured into Draco in Leather Pants territory.
    • Why is it that Eastern fighters (martial artists,...) in fiction will almost always be better then Western ones (boxers,...) i.e. They're better fighters, are more balanced,... It seems like the only times this is averted, it goes the other way and portray Eastern fighters as borderline offensive. Why can't there be a show,game,... where all types of fighters are human, with their own good and bad sides.
      • Probably because of the fact historically unarmed combat has been looked down on in Western cultures (i.e. Noblemen don't partake in fisticuffs) whereabouts in Eastern Cultures unarmed combat is just as respected as learning how to use a sword.
      • Probably something to do with the visual aspect. Eastern martial artists have forms, fancy kicks and flips, which viewers think translates into good fighting. Boxers train to efficiently deal out and take huge amounts of punishment. An ordinary punch doesn't look as impressive as a bunch of fancy moves.
      • I think because Eastern Martial Arts are just better, Bruce Lee could kill Muhammad Ali, Bruce used his mind and body as opposed to just the body as Eastern Martial Arts teach you to do.
        • You are part of the cancer alluded to by the person who brought this up
        • On the subject of the whole Bruce Lee thing, he was just really good as an individual. The man was Badass. However, Eastern Martial Arts are not "just better". Sambo, which originates from Russia, was pretty awesome, and Kampfringen, from the Holy Roman Empire was also awesome. The most awesome Western Martial Art would be Krav Maga, which originated in Czechoslavakia and was developed in Israel. While it pretty much emphasizes that you fight dirty, it is very effective, to the point where Sam Fisher uses it.
        • Western martial arts include sambo, savate, krav maga, boxing, catch-wrestling, greco-roman wrestling, Brazilian Jiujitsu (which is admittedly derived from Judo), pankration etc. That's a pretty good score when compared to demonstrably effective eastern martial arts.
        • It's worth pointing out at this point that many of the Eastern Martial Arts-style moves you see in the movies would in fact be hideously impractical for a relatively realistic fight, not least because many of them aren't actually as damaging as the movies make them appear.
      • Bit of Wild Mass Guessing on my part but it's at least partly a sense of continuity, at least with the armed styles. Weapon design and tactics changed quite rapidly in Europe so the older styles fell by the way. Asia or Japan and China anyway had long periods of stability where there weren't massive changes in weapons so there was greater time for formalised systems of teaching to develop and maintain those traditions, which in turn spilled over into how the unarmed styles were taught. Basically the eastern styles feel like they're part of an Ancient Tradition. It's all PR rather than a technical analysis of the merits of one style compared to another.
      • As was mentioned earlier, there is the aesthetics of eastern martial arts. A lot of them simply look cleaner and better than western ones. But there is also a difference in focus, eastern martial arts tend to focus more on mental discipline with movement while western martial arts are more about beating the crap out of your opponent as quickly as possible.
      • I think the biggest problem is that we've forgotten most of our western unarmed/not-very-armed martial arts. So that all we're left with is boxing. All that I can think of that survived was Irish Stick Fighting (its name in Irish sounds much more badass).
      • Uh, actually, it's pretty much only because martial-arts flicks as a genre come from Asian countries. Bruce Lee is not going to be shown losing to Chuck Norris because the movie is made for a Chinese audience. And since the genre has been adopted wholesale by Western audiences, including the Eastern-martial-arts fetishism, the tropes involved just get perpetuated. If Errol Flynn type swashbuckler movies were as popular and varied as martial-arts movies, we might be having this discussion about why it was that rapier-wielding poofters were regularly beating up armored knights, soldiers with guns (Zorro!), velociraptors, or whatever. Usual subversions of the "Chinese martial arts are always better" tropes usually involve Just Shoot Him (Indiana Jones shooting the swordsman), or Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh (where a small, fancy martial artist may get cold-cocked by a much larger or just plain tougher bruiser).
        • Or the early days of mixed martial arts, when it was still style-vs-style, and you saw the boxers, wrestlers, and Brazilian Jiujutsuka beat/submit the snot out of the taekwondoers and most karateka (Lyoto Machida notwithstanding). IRL, simplicity and alive training wins fights, but in fiction, it's fanciness and raw effort regardless of efficiency.
          • I always thought it was because most western fighting systems were all turned into sports or originated as sports. Boxers expect to be boxed with. When Mr. Kung-fu starts kicking Mr. Boxing in the face and gouging his eyes or whatever he doesn't know how to deal with it. Same with wrestlers. Tournament/sport fighting is different than life or death fighting. Fighting systems based on saving your life/killing the other guy are superior in a life or death situation. Oh, and the protagonist wins, period. Whatever he uses is going to be superior to everyone else, unless the point of the story is him learning from a wise old master, in which case the wise old master is superior.
    • What's with all this concern with relating to characters? I read/watch fiction to hear an interesting story, or to learn about a situation which is alien to me. I don't want to hear a thought process similar to my own, that's what I can think for.
      • Simply put -- whether you notice it or not, it's easier to engage with that interesting story or alien situation if it's occurring to someone who can experience things in the same way as yourself. Nine times out of ten, the story is interesting because it is happening to a character whose reactions are identifiable (even if they aren't exactly the same as how the reader would approach things), and very few stories deal with the truly alien simply because few (if any) writers and readers have the ability to engage with the truly alien without some recognizeable point of reference. Thinking that a good character has to react in exactly the same way and do the exact same things as you would do is probably going too far with it, but characters the reader can relate to are an important part of fiction nonetheless.
      • Something like the above answer, I always assumed 'relating' to a character was more in the 'recognising a human reaction' vein. Some people just seem to take it way too far, assuming they need to be exactly like the watchers to relate to. There is something to say for similar age groups, genders, professions ect making it somewhat easier to see the situation a character is in, however.
    • Why is the heart depicted in drawings look so different than an actual human heart?
      • Because stylized is cute, and realistic isn't. Have you ever actually seen a real heart? It's a biomechanical pump, and looks like one. It's not pretty, or cute, and it's not meant to be.
        • There was a taboo against human disection in western culture for a long time, so animals were the best we had to go on. Look up a turtle's heart. That looks more like the heart-shape than a human heart.
        • That is so cool!
    • Why do they have to turn kids' movies into vehicles for adult celebrities? Take the new Witch Mountain film - if you were a ten year old, would you be more interested in seeing a movie because it has kids with cool powers or because it has Dwayne Johnson? The people who make the TV ads seem to think it's the latter for some reason. And how many Dwayne Johnson fans are going to go see a children's movie because he's in it?
      • I hear you on this... it's even worse with animated movies that have big name voices who can't voice act worth a damn. Pixar is good though at having big name voice actors but who are chosen because they fit the part so damn well, plus they don't sell the movie by their names. It's perplexing though when it's an actor known for their looks and not any sort of distinctive vocal quality, like Brad Pitt in Sinbad.
      • Surely it's a marketing device to interest the parents in the movie as well? Depending on the age, the kids aren't going to be going into the cinema alone, so whilst the kids might want to go and see the movie for the kids with cool powers and action scenes and stuff, the parents might be swayed by "Oh, it has Dwayne Johnson in it, I really like him." Same with animated movies -- it's about letting the parents know that there's something / someone in this movie that'll interest them as well.
    • This is centered around Disney channels. Why is it that they have one moment where they make a big deal about bullying every few months, making episodes dedicated to this issue for each show? And then... completely forget about the whole thing until the next moment? Like, in Wizards of Waverly Place, they do this and then weeks later they're making fun of Justin for being a dorky boy - they're condoning what they disapproved of earlier. What bugs me is that television executives immediately assume that there's "biiig bullying" going on and we have to put it right every few months. Don't they realize that it's the small things that contribute to bullying most of the time? The "aesop" just loses its merit immediatly.
      • I think you just put more thought into it than any of the executives did.
      • Well, let's face it: a show with "perfect" kids would be very dull. Comedy is really just a bad vehicle for delivering Aesops since by its very nature comedy tends to emphasize character flaws and thus having anyone overcome their flaws would ruin the comedy. That's why there's Aesop Amnesia.
    • I realize that Tropes Are Not Bad and nothing is truely original, but it annoys me that so many series play tropes so completely straight that I can see it a mile away. Like laying eyes on a female character and instantly guessing she'll end up as the love interest, meeting a cop's best friend/partner and guessing he'll betray him somehow, etc. Is it so much to ask that writers use their tropes effectively and not telegraph plot developments a million miles away? It completely kills interest and suspense when you can guess most of the plot only a part-way in, or the entire cast are predictable stock characters.
    • Why are kids in fiction either cartoonish little brats or- even worse, IMO- genii with ludicrously large IQs and every talent under the sun? Is it simply because most writers are so distanced from their own childhoods they can't think or write as a convincing kid anymore?
      • Kids that aren't brats or... well, a super-genius is usually a brat anyway, just more obnoxious about it- Anyway, the kids that aren't annoying aren't memorable. And many kids are brats or talented, it's just that things tend to be increased in fiction at every level when the writer is trying to make a point of a kid genius (Brats, on the other hand, tend to be under-written in my experience, except for canon sociopaths).
    • Know this was mentioned in Disney Animated Canon JBM, but I had to say it. Why is it that many times villains are more interesting than heroes? I mean, the Joker came across as a Complete Monster in The Dark Knight, yet he was still a very interesting character, if not the best character in the movie. I mean, I see lists of the greatest villains of all time a lot more frequently than I see greatest heroes and for some reason I like it. But how are we supposed to "like" a villain if they're evil?
      • Some people would give you a long speech about how this demonstrates the moral degeneracy of the audience and the inability of decadent modern society to understand the banality of evil. The real truth is that, many times, the hero is a badly written lump of blandness while the villain is actually entertaining.
      • You don't like evil characters as people, but you like them because they entertain you. As you said, the Joker was a total bastard, but he's still a favorite character, because he's entertaining to watch.
      • If you think about it, in most stories there are far more villains than heroes. Therefore you can assume that there's at least one villain who's more interesting than the hero. I don't know where I'd be going with this if I'm referring to a story with only one villain though.
      • Most authors these days seem to go by the adage of, "A story is only as good as its antagonist." Whether there's anything to the saying or not, there's your answer.
      • Because villains can cheat. Here's what I mean. When a character does something clever, gets over on their opponent and does so stylishly, this creates viewer/reader interest. That's much, much easier to do with a villain than the hero, because we see the hero. We know what the hero has planned and what the hero can do. Case in point: The Dark Knight. There's no way the Joker could have snuck that much explosives into a hospital (a building that is operating 24/7). Especially explosives in the form of gasoline (his preferred bomb). But we can ignore that because he's the villain; we don't know what his resources are. The writer can play fast-and-loose with what he does. He cannot do so with the hero because the hero has too much screen time. Also, if the hero starts pulling things out of their ass, the audience is more likely to call them on it. In short, it's easier to make a villain look cleverer, because the villain can cheat.
    • Is there an unwritten rule somewhere that says each and every pipe organ that appears in a work of fiction has to play Bach's Toccata and Fugue? Thank God for the climax of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. And maybe the Exorcist tanks that the Sisters of Battle use.
      • No unwritten rule, just the usual Small Reference Pools!
      • The makers of the fiction are aware of how much that melody (particularly its famous opening bars) has haunted popular consciousness ever since first being employed to provide a grim atmosphere in silent movies. They figure that you have to go with what works, and the Toccata really strikes the right chord. You'll notice, though, that it is neither played on organ nor for any sort of dark atmosphere in Fantasia.
    • Geez Louise. Where are all these Abridged Versions coming from?
      • Freedom of speech gave form to this. Every show is guilty of having its flaws and plotholes that can irritate the most dedicated of fans. It's all in harmless fun to spoof a show by pointing out its flaws and playing them all up at ridiculous levels. Also, they're hilarious.
        • Don't get me wrong; I wasn't complaining about the Abridged Versions; I was just wondering why there are so many so suddenly.
    • Why do people think that analyzing a text and recognizing a deeper meaning is directly opposed to being entertained? The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I find analyzing things quite enjoyable. Understanding a deeper meaning contributes to enjoyment of a text. Should we blame grade school literature classes for causing an association between actually thinking about a work and "something boring that I'm forced to do" in the minds of the public?
      • God yes. It's worst when you are obviously and deliberately over-thinking it purely for the shits and giggles, and someone comes up and says, "Hay guyz itz just a show/book/game lol". Hey, maybe some of us prefer to look deeper into a work.
      • You could relate it back to anti-intellectual sentiment. Most people consider the idea of looking for meaning in a work something "smart" people do and therefore dull and un-fun. The whole English class thing doesn't help, but then again you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who admits to enjoying school, either. Modern society tends to pressure people to consider intellectual pursuits distasteful.
      • It depends on what you're doing with it. If you set out to look for feminist messages, racist overtones and Christ metaphors in everything, you probably won't be disappointed, and it gets dull (not to mention, it's usually reaching a bit). If you take things on a case-by-case basis, chances are you're looking deep into the actual work, not your own navel.
    • On the opposite note, why do people always try to find the "message" in a story, particularly a negative one, even when it's clear that it's not what the author is trying to say. Like looking at Rance Burgess, and taking it to mean Joss Whedon is saying "Every father that wants custody is a misogynist monster," rather than it simply meaning, "This dude is a douchebag." Not everything is an Author Tract, people. Sometimes, when there's a character portrayed negatively, he's not a stand in for every member of his demographic.
      • Depends on how frequently such a depiction / message occurs in the author's work, I guess. Can't speak fully for the example above (although from what I have seen, Joss Whedon does at times display a tendency to depict male parental figures in a less-positive light than female parental figures), but one example of such a character by itself is indeed just an example of an individual character being a complete asshat, and shouldn't necessarily be read into too closely. However, if every time or even most times the author wrote a character who was a father they tended to make them asshats of a similar nature, then one might be forgiven for interpreting this to mean that the author has a particular viewpoint about fathers that they want to express. Not everything is an Author Tract, but if an author is consistently presenting a particular idea than it's not unreasonable to suggest that it's an idea the author believes.
    • Why do people (like my dad) cry more in movies than they do in Real Life?
      • I believe that sometimes it is easier to identify with the characters and the situation in movies as compared to real life. After all, people only ever see things from their point of view, unless it affects us directly, we never know what's going on with other people and what they were thinking at the time. Mostly, you have to take months to years to get to know people well enough that something tragic to them affect you. Whereas in a movie, you're there to lose yourself in that world for your own pleasure. Because it goes on only for about two hours, the creators have to find a quick way for you to identify and relate with the characters quickly so that you can share their emotions. Also, let's not forget setting the mood, like lighting, camera effects and BGM. These are things that help get the appropriate reaction from the audience - unfortunately stuff like that does not exist in real life to help give us an indication of what we should be feeling.
      • I think it's also sometimes easier to get emotional about a story than it is in real life because it's not really real and therefore you don't actually have to feel it as deeply. When you cry over a character's death, it's cathartic because it's a way for you to let out your emotions without having to face the real tragedy of everyday life, which can often be a painful experience.
    • What is up with the tendency of popular fiction, especially with movies and television, to target a single demographic. Isn't one way of showing that a work of fiction is successful is that it appeals to as many people as possible? Granted, works of an adult nature (in the pornographic sense) probably shouldn't be enjoyed by young children, but there have been many cases of children's fiction that have been enjoyed by adults (such as the works of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling). For me, it makes as much sense to split a popular medium of entertainment into target demographics as it is to split a museum into an adults' section, a teens' section, and a children's section. For that matter, why are so many so-called "family" movies clearly primarily intended for young children as opposed to an audience where age is mostly irrelevant?
      • It can be difficult to write a great work that appeals to more than one demographic. After all, you need to be skilled in giving these two or three groups with differing opinions something they can all enjoy in one work without lacking in anything one group would really need to enjoy a novel. Also, most people prefer to read of books that they can identify with easily, which usually limits what ground you can write to. If you're a kid, you rather be reading where the protagonist are children where the ideals of the text isn't too complex for them. If you're a teen, you rather be reading something with a teenaged protagonist that suffers from the same problems you do, so you can relate. If you're an adult, you rather reading of a protagonist that's an adult, with more complicated structure that can challenge you yet still not hard enough to turn you off. I'm overgeneralising here, but the point is, appealing to multiple demographics can cause some conflicts here and there with what one group wants. This would be why most people focus on one group, because it's easier to write when you don't have to accommodate for everyone.
      • Further to the above, the popularity of certain 'kids' media among adults is -- at least partially -- the Nostalgia Filter; a lot of people grew up reading the novels of Roald Dahl and J.K Rowling and maintained this fondness for them into adulthood; they just happen to be relatively rare examples which also hold up quite well to being read by adults as well. A bit tangential, but it's also worth noting that there are, in fact, a lot of museums which have sections aimed at children and sections aimed at older patrons; this is so that children can be engaged with material that is fun and interesting to them and able to learn without the material being too complex or off-putting (how many times do you hear kids whine "This is boring!" when dealing with something beyond them?), while the adults can learn and engage with more complex, challenging material. It's a similar thing with popular media; material which engages children might not do so for adults and vice versa, so it's easier to focus on one primary demographic rather than trying to satisfy both when they have very different requirements.
    • OK, so the heroes have this mini-villain that's been a thorn in their side down and out for the count. Instead of, oh, I don't know, killing him/her/it, they leave the mini-villain alone and then wonder why that mini-villain is back to hamper them some more.
      • It kind of depends on the villain and their actions, and whether they merit death. Thou Shalt Not Kill is not just a fictional trope, but a very strong influence on governing people's behaviour in Real Life; and most people don't view murder as an acceptable method of solving problems except in very extreme circumstances. It's all very easy for a reader to complain about the hero not killing someone who stands in their way in a story, but if that same reader was faced with the same choice in Real Life, they'd probably hesitate as well; for most people, taking that step of killing someone, even if they're a threat to you, is a pretty big step to take. Furthermore, a 'mini' villain tends to suggest a villain who's actions are, at most, an inconvenience, not a major threat; killing someone merely because they're an inconvenience to you tends to be the hallmark of the sociopath, and for perhaps obvious reasons people tend to find it hard to like and root for sociopaths.
    • Same thing if you have a insubordinate member of a group whose belief is somehow totally different than yours. Take Cold Blood from Doctor Who. That one lizard female believed that all humans were apes despite her leaders trying to give them a chance. What happens? She pretty much makes a mess of everything and kills a certain member of Team Tardis. Why do the leaders not take that insubordinate person off to the side and have them executed? It would save them a heap of grief later!!
      • Similar to the above, capital punishment is an extreme step, and not one that's viewed equally by all cultures. There can also be a tendency to rally around to protect the members of your own group from outsiders regardless of their actions; for similar reasons to this, Canada and Britain will not allow the United States to just execute one of their citizens (and will not extradite their citizens to face the American legal system if it's possible that they will be executed), regardless of the crime they committed. They'd also probably hesitate to execute one of their own citizens just because America really really wanted them dead as well. Furthermore, execution for 'insubordination' tends to lead societies down a slippery slope, since 'insubordination' can easily come to mean 'anything the leader doesn't want or like to hear'.
      • Also, you don't always know what that insubordinate person is going to do. In your case, that character you mention(I can't remember her name right now) could have gotten into a sleep pod, and probably was expected to - it was that or die. Her leader probably didn't actually expect her to go after the humans to kill them and die herself. Sometimes people are unpredictable and do terrible things that no one thinks they will(or wonderful things, even).
    • What is it with Disney movies and saying pirates are worse than the Devil?
      • Beats me, mate. I guess they just want children to think piracy is really, really bad and they shouldn't do it?
      • I'm not sure what you're getting at here; Disney's piratiest series of recent years is Pirates Of The Carribean, the stars of which are heroic pirates. Even the villainous pirates tend to only be doing bad things due to some kind of curse rather than being inherently evil.
      • To be fair, a lot of old-time pirates were quite horrible people. They weren't all lovably eccentric and charmingly manipulative scamps like Captain Jack Sparrow; there was a lot of raping, murdering and pillaging going on.
    • Has anyone else noticed the decline in originality in a lot of fiction? Especially in fantasy and sci-fi, whose whole purpose is to be imaginative.
      • I call bullshit on this one. Fiction has always had the same proportion of originality to the unoriginality. It's just that the books from the sixties and so on that sucked aren't still in print.
    • What is a stereotypical street urchin in fiction? Is it like Oliver Twist?
      • Pretty much; your standard Dickensian homeless orphaned kid, really.
    • Why is it that, in some stories, when the hero had been rescued and brought into someone's shelter, he/she wakes up to a little child hovering over him/her? In Uncharted 2, this happened to Nate when he wakes up to see a young girl staring at him. Why is this?