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07 August 2013 @ 10:37 pm
One of Breaking Bad’s greatest strengths is something that has been the greatest weakness of almost every other show that has attempted such a thing: It takes place in a clockwork universe. The “clockwork universe” is a storytelling world where every single character and element is meant to contribute to the overall forward thrust of the story and its attendant themes. The characters may have rich inner lives. They may seem to have free will. But the more the workings of the story are poked at and pulled apart, the more the characters are revealed to primarily be there to play specific roles within it.

For the most part, clockwork-universe storytelling works best in works of finite length. A novel or film can turn this kind of mechanical storytelling into something utterly thrilling. Think of how many great heist stories are primarily boiled down to the role each character plays on the team, or think of how many quest narratives ultimately become about how the party assembled to complete the quest was exactly the right party because its members all filled specific roles that were necessary for the adventure undertaken. The plot of a clockwork-universe story is usually at least somewhat complex, filled with moving parts and ticking time bombs, and when things resolve at the end of one of these stories, there’s often a great sense of elation, particularly if the storyteller can offer up well-drawn characters and unexpected revelations along the way. Things snap into place. Story points that seemed unnecessary make sense. Everything becomes incredibly

-- "How Breaking Bad Broke Free of the Clockwork Universe Problem," Todd VanDerWerff, avclub.com

Posted here because this is an easy way of explaining Death Note's structure and characterization to the unwary: every major character has their origin in a very specific plot need and is constructed to be the kind of person who would take the action that the plot requires them to take to move forward. For example, every single thing about Misa was chosen to make her the kind of person who would have the Shinigami Eyes and would be willing to use them to further Light's plans.

The article is interesting in other respects, too.
11 April 2012 @ 05:00 am
What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies and concealment and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world, and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely, spending hours and days stupor-deep in lies, and then turn back to her holding out the lover's ultimate Möbius strip: But I only did it because I love you so much.

- Tana French
13 January 2011 @ 07:26 am
We organize games on Plurk, and we try to accommodate everyone who wants to play in a given match. If we're aware that someone wants to play, but they aren't on Plurk, someone will be happy to try to grab them on AIM when a game is forming!

It's likely that most of this won't make complete sense until you've spectated or even played a game or two. That's normal: don't worry about it.

slightly outdated information, but maybe still helpful?Collapse )
13 August 2010 @ 05:17 am

(Cleverly backdated! Hoping this doesn't show up on anyone's friends page.)
12 September 2009 @ 04:21 am

Bach Canon Played as a Moebius Strip

Every so often, the topic of music comes up around the DN fandom, or around people who RP as L, or etc. Suggestions are made about what various characters would like, fans agree or disagree... it's harmless speculation.

After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that canon!L probably doesn't like music at all: we think he must because we like it, but he really doesn't seem to want to be distracted from his work. We see him sitting in silence and requesting quiet.

I've seen a few good suggestions, though, for music he might like if he did listen to it at all, and my own vote always goes in for J.S. Bach, based on elements that aren't easy to explain (the mathematical qualities of counterpoint, for example). This video is a fantastic demonstration of what I mean; also, it doesn't require a fandom connection to be fascinating.

[I have been making posts to this journal here and there, but I felt odd about cluttering up people's friends pages with them, so I've been backdating them. There's some stuff I've been meaning to post. When I do, I won't backdate it.]
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Oh, thank goodness: instead of having to type this one up, I was able to find it on the Internet Wayback Machine!

This is a great worksheet that will not only enable you to consider the basics, but also to think about your character's likely reaction in certain situations. Again, I've made some edits to fix minor textual issues.

Lots of questions under here!Collapse )
03 August 2009 @ 02:02 pm
Last year, I put up this post of links to character sheets, and within a few months, two of the most valuable sheets that I linked had vanished.

Around the time I put up the post, I was writing an app, and I printed out most of the sheets to carry around with me, so that I could work on them while I was out around town. I am now typing up the questions from these print-outs. I find these profile sheets useful, and I think many other people will, too.

Below the cut is the one that was featured at Beboauthor.com. It's the same as what was on the site, except for a few edits for clarity. The commentary is by the creator of the questionnaire, not me.

What do you need to say about a character?Collapse )
02 August 2009 @ 12:59 am
This is something I want to get together for myself, because I've been having problems with it while trying to icon for quarter_english, so I will put it under the cut and work on it as I have the chance.

I already expect that I'll be changing some of the categories, because, for example, L has little use for a "flirty" icon, but frequently uses a "fake innocent" one (well, at least as I play him, he does). He needs a pile of "staring" "walking around" and "inquisitive/curious" ones, too.

look out! there's a giant icon table under here.Collapse )
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26 July 2009 @ 05:33 pm
a set of lies agreed-uponCollapse )