Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 10

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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #91
    The only character I can think of that never changes is Rorschach out of the Watchmen comic. He was the same person the whole way through and he had to be killed by another good guy because he refused to change who he was.

    Even vulcans end up changing.

  2. #92
    and he had to be killed by another good guy because he refused to change who he was.
    Justice.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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  3. #93
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    It's always this way.

    Certain types of people locate the most active thread on the forum,
    and they zero in with their nonsense to ruin it.

    It's always this way.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    It's always this way.

    Certain types of people locate the most active thread on the forum,
    and they zero in with their nonsense to ruin it.

    It's always this way.

    What's the nonsense. If you look at things in society, there are only a few answers that people can give. Eventually the thread is going to get derailed because there is nothing to say that hasn't already been said.

  5. #95
    I’m sorry but this just isn’t interesting.
    From everything you’ve said the story is nothing more than a “this happens, and then this happens, and then some more of this happens… the end.”

    What’s more is the detached main character is deified, and no one is going to want to read about that character. Theresa sounds like an Artemis Fowl, but without any personality, or the devious mind which makes reading him a delight. You’ve got a touch of the Stephanie Meyer and gone all Edward Cullen on us: Hammering in the perfection of Theresa. I mean the world leaders sound like gushy schoolgirls and not savvy politicians when they talk about her. Yuck!

    Her biggest challenges are surviving assassins and nuclear bomb loaded planes. That is not interesting. There is a reason Batman is the greatest superhero and has been written by every single top comic book writer in the past 70 years, and the reason is not because he saves Gotham from nuclear weapons and fights off the League of Assassins, it’s because he is human, flawed, and ever changing.

    I mean, look back on literature from Gilgamesh to Homer to Mallory to Cervantes to Shakespeare to Tolstoy to Hemmingway to Bolano and you will find stories and characters that are “Human, all too human.” And those are characters we love.

    Make it interesting. Have some stakes for your main character that are personal, emotional. Saving the world is fine, but it means nothing if the character doesn’t endure. The world ends and everyone dies and so who cares? 99% of the species that existed on Earth are extinct anyway. But what happens if the world is saved but the main character is damaged in the process? Connect some heartstrings from the reader to the character and then tug and pull and yank and snap them.

    Even Hollywood blockbusters attempt it, and the great films achieve it. You don’t have to look far. Take Skyfall which is playing right now. A Bond film that is better than all the previous films in the franchise because they humanize the hero. He is weak, injured, mentally strained, and his loyalties are tested. Emotional turmoil. Sure he thwarts terrorist, but he also finds catharsis. That is a popcorn film. You are writing a novel. Emotional turmoil is your bread and butter, and you haven’t shown any of that crisis.

    All the key conflicts you’ve listed are Theresa solving a problem that moves her to the next one. Like the dominos you analogized. Dominos aren’t fun. Chess is fun. Play games with reader. Make it so that HAL is accessible to the average Joe. Then there is a constant fear in the back of the readers mind. It’s like you have E.T, but instead of wrapping him in a blanket, you have him locked in the world’s most unbreakable safe and only the main character knows the combo, and he just sits and waits for the mother-ship to arrive. That’s not fun. There is no drama here. E.T is vulnerable. Make HAL vulnerable. Don’t just tell us Theresa is perfect and that she alone should have this power. Show us how others misuse HAL and that contrast with Theresa makes us believe that she might just be O.K with something like this.

    And finally, you keep bringing up Mockingbird, but that is a whole different genre. It is about a small town, with small characters and a small criminal case, and the effect it has on a small community. You on the other hand are writing about geo-political conflicts involving deeply seeded secular and religious ideologies. You shouldn’t attempt it with cardboard messianic figures. It doesn’t work. You are attempting to dwell into human nature and the psychology of power, yet it seems like a Tom Clancy novel.

  6. #96
    Certain types of people locate the most active thread on the forum,
    and they zero in with their nonsense to ruin it.
    Then maybe you should stop doing it?

    I think moeslow's covered everything I might ever say.
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  7. #97
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    I would have to write ten thousand words to respond to moeslow's assumptions.

    I say assumptions because all he does is list assumptions about my story which are contradicted by the story itself, which he has not read.
    In other words, he's wrong, and wrong, and wrong again.


    To demonstrate, I'll throw out a couple bones:

    Have some stakes for your main character that are personal, emotional.
    Theresa walks out alone in front of four million North Koreans who have been ordered to kill her.

    An assassin tries to kill Theresa by running a car into her. Her back is broken and she's paralyzed from the waist down.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 6th, 2012 at 03:20 PM.

  8. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    An assassin tries to kill Theresa by running a car into her. Her back is broken and she's paralyzed from the waist down.
    Really? I don't remember that in your chapter outline and I can't find it in the Google cache. Is that a new part?

  9. #99
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    Really? I don't remember that in your chapter outline and I can't find it in the Google cache. Is that a new part?

    That chapter outline was written long before I wrote the current Young Adult version and was obsolete.
    There are interesting changes. For example, in the old version, Theresa returned to the United States on the U.S.S. carrier Ronald Reagan, the same carrier from which the jet fighter with Theresa and the A-bomb were launched. The voyage lasts four days. She meets all the sailors and plays football with them.

    In the new version, Theresa flies back to the States in a Boeing 747. Naturally things go wrong. When the plane goes out over the Atlantic, if's like the jet fighter flying over the South Atlantic a year earlier from which Theresa fell into the sea. This triggers HAL to respond. He puts everybody into "deep sleep", the process that kept Theresa herself alive in the South Atlantic. Theresa looks around at everybody and hopes Steve and everybody else is only in "deep sleep", not death.


    Who was flying the plane?

    Nobody is flying the plane. Theresa has to fly it herself.
    This is an old movie situation from 1940s movies, but with new twists. Theresa is not a stewardess and knows nothing about flying a plane. The techincal manuals are hundreds of pages long and written for people who already know everything. And the "deep sleep" process also knocks out transistor devices because of their very low voltages.

    Electric lights and things like that used voltages thousands of times higher.
    In other words, Theresa has no communication with the ground. What will they do when she approaches Kennedy Airport in New York?

    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 6th, 2012 at 04:46 PM.

  10. #100
    I'm extrapolating on the information you've given me.
    That is what you are here for, and from everything you've provided, it's nothing but a deified character running around doing things those ignorant pageant contest spew: "I would solve hunger and cure aids and bring world peace and blah blah blah." We gag at them on TV, why would we feel different reading about them?

    Who cares how many North Koreans there are? She is, presumably at the time, 18-20 years of age, and we feel terrified if a girl that age is approached by even one adult man with bad intentions. You aren't helping the case by the hyperbole. It saturates the danger because 4 million is nothing to a deified character.

    And why do you a character walking out alone in front of 4 million people ordered to kill her? That is just plain stupid. There is nothing noble about it and I don't care how you spin it. You are trying to free a nation that by all indications doesn't want freedom. If four million of them are marching at you, its time you leave THEIR COUNTRY. It's the American way now, I guess. Just walk into nations, and shove "freedom" down their throats. This doesn't endear Theresa to me, rather she sounds like a brat. An ignorant, misinformed brat.

    Again, all you ever do is have her in danger physically. People try to kill her and that's it. That's boring. Bruce Wayne has his back broken but that isn't the obstacle. Bane has him watch the city he's been trying to save run rampant with criminals and terrorists. He tortures him psychologically. That is interesting because the Wayne family has been trying to save that city for generations, and now all their work is being whipped clean. What could be the major obstacle of Theresa breaking her back? The world somehow destroys itself? What has Theresa invested in the outcome? And if the point has come that we have to rely on a 18 year old girl to keep THE HUMAN SPECIES from annihilation, evolution has failed and our species has reached its extinction point.

    I think you need to shift focus from Theresa.
    Have her observed through the eyes of another character.
    Maybe tell it from the point of view of the husband. Make him be afraid of her, afraid of her power, have a growing fear in his mind that threatens their relationship. Make the stakes close to the heart. We can connect with him, whereas we can't do that with Theresa. The 16-18 years we know/knew are nothing like her, and if we ever met 'em, we tend to move along to the "fun" teenagers.
    I suggest you read Artemis Fowl if you haven't. It has a genius 12 year old who is trying to pretty much take over the world. And he isn't anything like the "good girl" you've mentioned.

    Good characters aren't fun. That may not be your opinion, but if you are trying to sell this, than you have to play ball. Take the Harry Potter series. The titular character is rarely even in the top five or even top ten favorite characters of the fandom. The majority are twisted and damaged characters or ones that are so flawed they are endearing. Even The Boy Who Lived isn't deified like Theresa. People think of him as such because he survived Voldemort, but we know that Harry is an average boy. He isn't the smartest, Hermione is, nor is he the funniest, Ron is, nor is he the most confident, Draco Malfoy is, nor is he the strongest wizard around. He's an ordinary boy caught up in an extraordinary world. We can relate, and as readers, we are always looking to relate, and for the majority of us, if we had anything like the power Theresa does, we'd be like the kids from the movie Chronicle. Pulling pranks on people, flying around the world, and just having fun.

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