Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 13

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

  1. #121
    Tone it down! Isn't it toned down enough already?
    It's not the facts of the relationship. It's the descriptions you use and the tone you imply:

    'It was a backless dress made of flimsy, clingy material. It was already short but the occasion called for making it shorter. Jack deserved the VIP treatment.'

    'Off came everything I wore. I put on thong panties but no bra and slipped on the dress. It reached only to my upper thighs. String shoulder straps held the nearly weightless thing up. My back was bare to the rump. Cleavage exposure ranked a venial sin. I looked in the full length mirror on the door. Yup. This was the ultimate killer dress. “Jack, eat your heart out!”

    'We went downstairs and when the boys lingering around in the hallway saw us them whooped and hollered in exaggerated manner. They were paying tribute to my appearance'

    'I was conscious that they were all thinking of my body. Well, some girls might not like it, but I did. Let prudes go to the beach and then say I was being slutty.'

    You have to read them from a YA perspective. I know I can.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  2. #122
    I agree, the whole scene with the black dress is weird. Not really out of place, even in a YA book, but not particularly good either. It's something I can't quite put my finger on, though.

    I didn't write something like this, which would indeed make parents wonder what value this story could have for their kids:

    That's a personal attack. How about doing that in the relevant thread and keeping this one focused on your writing?

  3. #123
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    I agree, the whole scene with the black dress is weird. Not really out of place, even in a YA book, but not particularly good either. It's something I can't quite put my finger on, though.


    It's a few pages in something like three hundred and fifty. Taken out of context this way, it has a different sound to it, if you haven't read everything that came before.

    Here's something weird.
    A book narrated in the voice of a nine year old girl has a trial about a man accused of rape. The trial goes on and on for many pages and during this time the reader has to think about rape. Pretty sick, hunh?

    It's To Kill a Mockingbird, winner of the Pulitzer prize, 85 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and an Oscar winning movie. The book is assigned reading in middle and high schools.

    There's no scene on the edge of propriety in Empress Theresa. Sure, there are scenes in which Theresa is playing for high stakes. But disaster is averted and there's no blood and mayhem.

    Somebody, I can't remember who, said a while back that Theresa is like a robot dispatching one problem after another with no failures.
    Well, in the dorm room scene Theresa is human, a typical girl. What she's doing is something that thousands of other girls might do under similar circumstances. I didn't give you the scene in which she walks into Jack's room and finds Ginny there, while half a dozen boys are watching, including Steve. She walks out thirsting for blood.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 12th, 2012 at 01:44 AM.

  4. #124
    I can too.
    You are mistaken. See, I am a young adult. I read YA fiction 24/7. After all that I've read, including YA fantasy, YA horror, YA sci-fi, YA adventure - everything except YA romance, really - I can safely say that the extract you posted about the black dress would not fit a YA book the way it is written. Neither would your personal attacks.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  5. #125
    I know I'm posting a lot right now but I finally got some time off from work.

    Anyways while I understand what empress is going for here I also feel this is turning less into a YA novel but more into a teenage version of 50 shades of grey but thats just me.


    EDIT: Basically what I'm getting is that the character that everyone is up in arms about is essentially a slut (I don't know the language TOS on the forums I'll happily edit it out if requested) that simply hops off one person to another just out of spite, which honestly....is a bitch that I would hate.

  6. #126
    ET: whether or not the above interpretation is correct, it should make it clearer what I'm getting at. I doubt 50 Shades of Empress Theresa will ever find itself on the YA shelf. It may find itself on a shelf, but not the YA shelf.

    As I said, be more subtle.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  7. #127
    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie View Post
    I know I'm posting a lot right now but I finally got some time off from work.

    Anyways while I understand what empress is going for here I also feel this is turning less into a YA novel but more into a teenage version of 50 shades of grey but thats just me.


    EDIT: Basically what I'm getting is that the character that everyone is up in arms about is essentially a slut (I don't know the language TOS on the forums I'll happily edit it out if requested) that simply hops off one person to another just out of spite, which honestly....is a bitch that I would hate.
    I had read his chapter outlines before he had taken them down and I don't think that's an especially fair assessment of the character or the situation. It was contained within one chapter when the robot named Theresa goes to college and while there gets involved in a simple, cliched teen romance where one guy really likes her but his best friend asks her out first and they become a couple, oh woe! But then they fight and break up and she winds up hooking up with the first guy who weawwy woves her. They get married and he becomes an inconsequential side character, who is mentioned but does nothing, for the rest of the story. I think calling an emotionless robot a slut is harsh. I don't think she was so much a slut as an idiot. The main point is that once this thing ends and she's married, that whole portion of her life is all done. It's over. Nothing happens with it ever again. As such, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the narrative. So I think it's unfair to judge the character based on this episode which is so inconsequential that it could be removed completely without effecting the narrative.
    Last edited by the antithesis; December 13th, 2012 at 06:52 AM.

  8. #128
    I find Blondie's interpretation perfectly valid. Things do need to be considered holistically, but everything has its individual effect. Any scene that makes the protagonist look undesirable for the story can only create issues and make suppressed problems more evident to the reader. The main purpose for YA fiction is entertainment, so if the reader is not entertained by a scene, it needs to be worked on, or it needs to go. Depends on its importance.

    Would a scene where Katniss watches wallpaper dry be effective in the Hunger Games? Only if it was used in conjunction with emotive exposition, I think. Then it links to the rest of the story.

    The key question is, what does the extract mean, empresstheresa? How does it affect the overall, one-line plot?
    Last edited by Jeko; December 13th, 2012 at 05:10 PM.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  9. #129
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    I'm baccccccccccccck!

    I had read his chapter outlines before he had taken them down and I don't think that's an especially fair assessment of the character or the situation.


    I said it before, and I'll say it again. An outline is not a text. If you haven't read the full text you can't know how the story reads. I pointed out that the outline of something like To Kill a Mockingbird would look pretty thin, if you haven't read the text.

    Besides, I already pointed out that chapter outline was written long before the current Young Adult version. It was for a 142,000 word "adult" version which had many scenes out of sight of Theresa. The new 96,000 word version is different.

    It was contained within one chapter when the robot named Theresa goes to college and while there gets involved in a simple, cliched teen romance where one guy really likes her but his best friend asks her out first and they become a couple, oh woe! But then they fight and break up and she winds up hooking up with the first guy who weawwy woves her.
    They get married and he becomes an inconsequential side character, who is mentioned but does nothing, for the rest of the story. I think calling an emotionless robot a slut is harsh. I don't think she was so much a slut as an idiot. The main point is that once this thing ends and she's married, that whole portion of her life is all done. It's over. Nothing happens with it ever again. As such, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the narrative. So I think it's unfair to judge the character based on this episode which is so inconsequential that it could be removed completely without effecting the narrative.
    The chapter outlines did not and could not mention all the things husband Steve does in the story. Theresa is understandably burdened to the point of madness when she finds out it's up to her to get control of HAL and save the world. Steve rushes to England to be at her side. She probably couldn't make it without her.

    Steve does other things. When the Prime Minister points out that a part of the solution she has implemented to bring rain to the world will cause massive hurricanes all over the world all the time, she whines "What am I supposed to do, change the laws of physics? This is the most impossible problem yet." In the middle of the night, physics major Steve gets out of bed and jumps on the computer. He has realized there is no solution to this problem on Earth. One thing HAL can't do is destroy excessive heat. He looks for the solution elsewhere and finds it.

    When OPEC issues its blackmail, Theresa says, "I saved their lives, I turned their deserts into gardens, and this is how they thank me?" Steve replies, "This is the world we live in. We're going to kill those bastards!" Once again, he gets up in the middle of the night and jumps on the computer. He's looking for ocean floor oil deposits left behind by plate tectonics. He locates a likely spot off the coast of Antarctica and Theresa goes to work.

    The next day Prime Minister Blair calls to say Israeli Prime Minister Scherzer wants to meet her to talk about OPEC. She drops the phone on the floor and complains, "Everybody wants something from me. I can't do everything." Steve waits until she calms down. A meeting is set. Steve, Theresa and the two Prime Ministers meet at Number 10 Downing Street. During this meeting, Theresa says only seven words, "It's a piece of cake!" and "You're welcome." Steve does all the talking so old warrior Scherzer can have a dignified man-to-man bullsession. Agreements are reached about what to do for Israel.

  10. #130
    Theresa is understandably burdened to the point of madness when she finds out it's up to her to get control of HAL and save the world. Steve rushes to England to be at her side. She probably couldn't make it without her.
    Ah! That's good emotional stuff there. Reminds me of I Am Number Four.

    If you re-wrote the extract you posted to make more of this, then you'd get your readers attached to your characters a lot more. Have things between Theresa and Steve develop in a natural but exciting way. At the moment, their meeting is difficult to enjoy or see any relevance in.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

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