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herdivineshadow

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needsmoreresearch: (Default)
[personal profile] needsmoreresearch posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
You ever feel like it’s hard to meet characters? Hard to find reasons to throw two characters together, and not sure you want to commit to a whole scene? Let’s try speed dating: Comment with your characters below, and people will tag in for a speed date. To simulate the time limit, each conversation can go no longer than 7 tags from each person. Characters who come as a set can absolutely join too, nothing wrong with a three-way or more-way date! (And no, these absolutely do not have to be dating-type conversations. Speed arguing, speed hating, speed friendly chatting, those are good too. Just throw characters at each other.)

This is all off-the-record, of course, not really IC. Unless someone has a character who wants to ICly set this up.

Shout outs

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:03 pm
ceitfianna: (paper butterfly)
[personal profile] ceitfianna posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
Thank you to everyone for tagging and enjoying the unofficial fight club, its wonderful to read all the threads in my notifs. Also its open as long as it needs to be, so don't worry if it feels late and you have an idea.

Reynolds! This is a wonderful and sad OOM, I loved reading it.

All the Digimon OOMs are completely heartbreaking and gorgeous.

Loki argues with the door, this is such a perfectly Milliways' EP.

Now I've only touched on all that's been going on, share which threads have been keeping your attention and what you've finished.

Wednesday DE: Rule 63

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:08 pm
cook_the_rude: (**Cubefall16 - female superior)
[personal profile] cook_the_rude posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
 What would your character be like gender-switched? Would there be much of a difference, both physically and in the societal setting of their world.

Terrible Tuesday

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:07 am
inlovewithwords: (Default)
[personal profile] inlovewithwords posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
With very few exceptions, characters interact with others in their world. Most work with them in some way. Of those, most even bother to care about other people. (I know there are exceptions.) And even if none of this happens in their own worlds, there's always Milliways.

So, how do your characters react to conflict within their social circles? For the ones who will put in more than zero effort, what will they do? For the ones who usually cannot possibly care less, what can make them care?

Monday DE: Flash Fic, AU edition

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:01 am
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
I'm back, y'all. Last week was soooo long and the move isn't done. Ugg.

Anyway, let's do some fic! Comment with pups you'd like to write for, we'll then comment back with prompts from which you'll write a short fic. And since AU week is sometime in the near future, how about the fic is a preview of the world you might be thinking of playing from? 

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:17 pm
ceitfianna: (riding into the sun)
[personal profile] ceitfianna posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
Hey, so there hasn't been a fight club for a while and I know I have at least one pup who wants to hit and blow things up. I'm not planning on doing an official fight club but an unofficial one with Cassian out by the firing range and pells. Would anyone be interested?

ETA: Post is up here. I've set up a few subthreads, please add more, tag under. Let me know if you want Cassian anywhere if not I'll be tagging around. Have fun, channel the anger.

Sunday Indulgences

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:51 pm
misslucyjane: poetry by hafiz (Default)
[personal profile] misslucyjane posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
It's Sunday again, Milliways, and you know what that means...

it means I am a travellin' gal )

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:25 pm
cottoncandypink: (Default)
[personal profile] cottoncandypink posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
I had a question, and in trying to look up the answer to said question, I was faced with another one.

Which one of you is responsible for this? http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Roleplay/MilliwaysBar

I had no idea that page existed, and I'm tickled at it! It's great!


And since I never did find the answer to my original question, I'll ask it here as well. What is the hotel that the bar's rooms are supposed to be modelled after? I know its rooms are weird, and that's all I can remember.
jesse_the_k: harbor seal's head with caption "seal of approval" (Approval)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Zombie cheerleader says: "Rah rah rust!"

Zombie High motto is: "If we can't win using our brains then we'll use your brains!" ;-)


Context is a Lego cheerleader in a graveyard, among other topics
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (ScottPilgrim.Scott - Reversal!)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

V.E. Schwab — A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light

March 6, March ??, and July 10

I plan to head directly into the weeds on this review, but I'll make a brief pit-stop at concision before I hit the road: I definitely recommend the first book of this series. It's fast, bold, and slick — just weird enough to grab your attention (a stacked-worlds cosmology where the only constant is London? What??), and more than competent enough to hold on to it. I'm more ambivalent about the other two books, but A Darker Shade of Magic actually stands alone pretty well anyhow.

Speaking of which, HEY, let's talk about trilogies! There are several different ways to put three book-sized objects in a row, and this series uses what I think might be the worst. I don't have a proper name for it (duologies behaving badly? party in the front, sweatshop in the back?), but it's that same thing Garth Nix did with Sabriel and Lirael/Abhorsen:

  • Start with one standalone, book-shaped book, with tight plotting and characterization and some deep-but-restrained worldbuilding.
  • Follow it with a much larger and more sprawling sequel, arbitrarily split into two volumes. (Book 2 usually ends on a cliffhanger of some kind.)

Recognize it? Contrast with the "three book-shaped books" trilogy or the "one continuous scroll" trilogy, both of which work better.

Part of the problem is just setting up an expectation of book-shaped books and then flubbing it. But I'm also starting to think that two books out of a trilogy is a uniquely awkward and unbalanced story unit, and should be avoided categorically. In all the examples I can think of, the sprawly second story has major plot and pacing issues that didn't afflict the first book and could only be addressed with major story surgery.

In this case, most of book 2 is dedicated to a shōnen manga tournament plot. This is a time-tested device that works really well in a long-running combat-focused comic, because it provides a lower-stakes pause in the main action (during which you can cut to machinations in the background as needed), it's guaranteed to take up a good long chunk of serialized time, and it's a good way to demonstrate how various characters have progressed or not progressed, especially because it lets you pit allies against each other without having to completely deform the story.

But tournaments usually work so well because they take up like an eighth or a tenth of a tremendously long comic. This one is like a quarter of the damn trilogy, and while yes, it's cool to see how badass Lila is now, it basically shoots the pacing all to hell.

Also affecting the pacing: The villain of the second story seems to spend an inordinate amount of time just twiddling his thumbs out in the distance. And he's just a lot less interesting than the confluence of villainies in the first book! He kind of sucks, tbh. (Note that I had this same beef with Lirael/Abhorsen. Is this a weird secondary effect of the structure?)

I had some other plot beefs. There's a death in book 3 that just kind of comes from someone acting out of character for no good reason, plus a few other things... not gonna go super deep into this, it just felt like things generally got a little sloppy.

Finally, there's a central character unironically named "Alucard," even though the only proper use of that name is to tell the reader with a big fat wink that this is Dracula's depressed son. (This story has nothing to do with Draculas, and IDEK how Schwab managed to not realize what she was doing there. Are there truly people who Don't Castlevania?? [yes])

IDK. I did enjoy the second book quite a bit, but it's not a complete unit, and I got bored partway through book three and just put it down for several months to read other things. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but it's flawed and uneven compared to book 1's mirror-bright polish.

Martha Wells — The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red

May 7

Yay, new Martha Wells! Spoiler, I liked it.

This had a more-than-passing resemblance to her short-lived Emilie series — it's more stripped-down than a lot of her other books, with more straightforward plotting and a more parsimonious approach to characterization for the supporting cast (not flat, but with most of the depth gestured rather than rendered, if that makes sense). It's an old-fashioned sort of feel, and one that suits both series' niches (Emilie was a deliberately retro pre-"YA" subgenre of youth lit, and Murderbot is a novella, which is sort of a coelacanth format just now coming out of a long hibernation).

Anyway, this is short and enjoyable and cheap (in its native ebook form, at least; the "tor.com" imprint has been publishing pretty nice tpbs of their novellas, but they're so overpriced that I get the impression we're not actually meant to buy them), and you should check it out.

Re: recent comments about how to structure a series: this is definitely the start of a larger story (note the beautiful last-minute left turn to avoid "happy ending"), but it's nicely contained, setting the stage for a next bit without any cliff-dangling. Which, again, I always greatly appreciate.

Jason Turner — Fir Valley (comics)

July 13

I liked this! It used this really aggressive POV shifting to get kind of a cubist every-angle-at-once view of the town of Fir Valley. And the town felt pretty legit; idk, I was reading this at the same time as Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, and they both do interesting things with the, like, sensation of being in the Pacific Northwest.

Tonally, this was all over the place in a way I kind of loved. Gruesome murder, young people making music, ghostly conspirators with animal heads, drunken idiocy, all kinds of stuff in here, and all presented with this kind of goofy big-hearted cheer? Turner has cited Twin Peaks as an influence here, and I can definitely see it. He isn't following Lynch's aesthetic, but the method seems familiar.

Anna-Marie McLemore — When the Moon Was Ours

June 11

I liked this, but I don't really feel like talking about it. It was good.

DE: Getting through the week

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:30 am
inlovewithwords: (collide)
[personal profile] inlovewithwords posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
Well, we made it to another Friday. My week, and the end of the week in general, has me thinking:

Sometimes things get overwhelming. Saving the world is as draining and frustrating as it is uplifting and invigorating; sometimes just plain old work gets utterly bogged down; even the nuts and bolts of being a supervillain can be unwieldy. How does your character maintain their drive and energy to achieve their goals?
roadrunnertwice: Yoshimori from Kekkaishi, with his beverage of choice. (Kekkaishi.Yoshimori - Coffee milk)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

Eleanor Davis — How to be Happy

April 10

This is a collection of Davis' short comics, which are all over the place in style, length, and media. Davis is a really good cartoonist, and her more out-there art styles (the spindle-legged huge-torso look) are legit unique — the sort of thing that shouldn't work nearly as well as it does.

I liked these shorts; they felt like they were holding me at arm's length a lot of the time, but they did unexpected stuff and followed through on their swing. And Davis' cartooning is real engaging even when you're not really feeling a given story.

Books I stopped reading: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter — The Long Earth

April 2X

I stopped reading this about a third of the way through, because it lacked all of the things I'm looking for when I pick up a Terry Pratchett book.

John Darnielle — Universal Harvester

June 24

To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out what I think of this one. I was very much not satisfied at the end, and I'm trying to decide how much of that was the whole point, and how much of it was JD's reach exceeding his grasp this time. I might end up not deciding.

This had certain rewards anyway, despite the way it trailed off in the back third or so. There's this kind of roaring hollowness behind every paragraph that I feel really fuckin' nails why I find rural and small-town America scary, and not jump-scare scary but existential dread scary. JD was onto something here, and it's pretty compelling for a while. But it seems like an unfinished thought, and I put the book down with the sensation that someone had walked out of the room in the middle of a sentence and was not going to come back.

Again, it's possible that was the point.

Italo Calvino — Invisible Cities

May 9

Whoa, this was great! Not quite a novel, not quite short stories, more just an expanding fabric of disorienting oddness. A glitchville sort of vibe that reminded me of the last section of Kalpa Imperial, or maybe (faintly?) of Vellum? I feel like I can't quite dig up the thing it reminds me most of, which is very on-brand for this, now that I think of it.

Lars Brown — North World, vol. 1 (comics)

July 18

This had its charms, but maybe not enough of them. I don't feel the need to read more of it.

It feels like it belongs to a very very particular era — that bit in the late '00s, where mixing elements of classic video game settings with more prosaic character drama was having a moment? Scott Pilgrim kind of kicked it off and did it best, but there were a lot of others; some were blatantly following the trend, but I feel like a whole bunch of them were legit convergent evolution. Stories their authors wanted to do anyway, and which happened to be ready to go when the commercial moment arrived. Like, old games are responsible for a lot of the foundational metaphors by which my generation understands life, and of course we're going to work through that in our art.

Anyway, what I really liked about this comic were the settings — the city streets and markets and shops and houses and apartments. Brown's approach went something like: assume this big dumbass JRPG world, then focus on what people actually do from hour to hour and try to make everything feel really lived-in. It was great, a cool mix of... how to describe this. How about "conflicting familiarities." Which is kind of the whole raison d'être of this subgenre, right? The dissonance between our too-many methods of making sense of the world, which went from an idle preoccupation to an emergency when we realized the social and economic structures we were supposed to be "growing up" into had been devastated pretty much beyond repair well before we arrived? Yeah.

Oh right, back to the comic. Setting good, plot totally forgettable. Character writing ok, but nothing I was really connecting with. I kind of need at least two out of three to keep investing in something, so I'm out.

Inaugural Garden In The New House

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:52 pm
cocoajava: Skeptical (pic#128378)
[personal profile] cocoajava
 BEANS! First picking. That colander is a foot and a half wide, so that's some beans. I'll have a snap-party in a minute, watch something on the iPad and snapsnapsnap.

It's 4000% humidity outside but I managed to pull two large buckets of weeds, picked raspberries (not many today but I have a lot accumulating in the freezer), pulled up some viney stuff, checked the grapevine and counted over a dozen halfway grown grape clusters, the grapes are about 1/2" big and green and beautiful. Then trimmed five tomato plants, and picked all those beans.

Sure glad we decided on a 'small temporary garden' this year. *eyeroll*
 

needsmoreresearch: (Default)
[personal profile] needsmoreresearch posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
The third play in the set that my guy William comes from is pretty much James III saying "Everyone in Europe is having a Renaissance and I want one too," and his wife saying "That's lovely dear but we can't afford a Renaissance."

So today's DE is: What would your characters splash out a fortune on, if only they had a fortune to splash around? For the fabulously wealthy characters, what's a big expenditure that they feel genuinely satisfied with?

liseuse will lasso the wild novella

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:30 pm
lilysea: Mischievous (Mischievous)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] metaquotes
I think my bookshelves mostly convey the message "you need more shelves" and "apparently will read anything that stays still long enough."

Context
is "is this a case for - the ponceyness police?"




Shout outs

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:23 pm
ceitfianna: (paper butterfly)
[personal profile] ceitfianna posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
I hope everyone's week is going well and not too horribly hot.

Eric and Pam have some very bad days.

The crew of the Ghost causes trouble and has serious discussions about what they're doing.

A creature is loose in Milliways.

This ended up a OOM heavy post so share what EPs and threads you've finished and are following.

fic (time lords not having sex)

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:09 am
nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
[personal profile] nostalgia
Twelve/Missy fic in which they try not to get jiggy with it.

It's almost entirely about sex. Twelve is frustrated, Bill is clever, Missy is an appalling person who keeps getting cockblocked.
full_metal_ox: (Default)
[personal profile] full_metal_ox posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] owlbrigade1 cites this case in point:

Gotham police are at a loss to explain a sudden rise in animal themed costumed weirdos? Surely the explanation is the same as it is for the long standing animal themed weirdos? It is Gotham, it is what they do. People in animal costumes wreaking havoc is practically a city tradition.

Context, to no one's surprise, involves Harley Quinn.
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