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> Your Writing Process, And/Or Problems with Same
SubRosa
post Jan 15 2020, 01:55 AM
Post #701


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QUOTE(treydog @ Jan 14 2020, 07:15 AM) *

The human sacrifice by family member is the strongest story line- to me. And what it allows you to do is show (once more) January's strength of character. In my head, she will not dodge the "association"- but will simply say words to the effect of "Yes, that is true. And...?" Force the issue. If someone wants to imply that she (and perhaps other metas) is/are fatally flawed (bad pun, sorry)- they are going to have to come up with something better than- "Well- ya know- your relative did these awful things, so doesn't that mean you are awful too?"

She can point out that George Washington was called "The Town Burner" by the Native Americans because of his punitive (and possibly genocidal?) expeditions prior to the American Revolution- just as one example.

Anyway, in my mind, this story has been about Jan facing and overcoming adversity. This is another chance to show that.

The way I see this working out, only January and Blood Raven will know that the family member was the Conjurer. Blood Raven will not reveal that. Which means that it comes down to January, either as Stormcrow or as herself. She has to decide whether their family member is known as a victim, or as the murderer.

She could say nothing, but then their family member will be listed as missing. She would not put the rest of her family through not knowing why that person disappeared. So in the end, she has to come forward and say something.

Right now, I am most strongly leaning toward her taking Blood Raven's advice and saying their family member was the victim.

I could go another route and have a third person there who sees it all and implicates the family member. Then it would play out exactly as you said above. With Jan saying "yeah, he did it," and not trying to argue it or make excuses. But that puts me in a place I'd rather not go, with January's literary career being derailed.

Unless a third person says the family member did it. Then Blood Raven testifies that family member was being mind controlled. But how many people will believe that? Given that Blood Raven is a polarizing figure, not everyone. Especially not the police. Which puts me right back to January's livelihood (and dreams) being lost.

Granted, maybe I could roll with that. January's career as a writer is destroyed, the final act of collateral damage caused by the family member. Lots of people have their dreams forever crushed. She could work as a martial arts instructor for the rest of her life. Or maybe be a technical writer, for things like manuals and pamphlets. But I'd rather not go there. It's just too depressing.


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Acadian
post Jan 15 2020, 02:18 AM
Post #702


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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Jan 14 2020, 04:55 PM) *
... Right now, I am most strongly leaning toward her taking Blood Raven's advice and saying their family member was the victim. ...
I think this is not only the most humane approach for Jan to take but it also, conveniently, does not necessarily close literary doors to her.

And if it all doesn't work out, she can join chorrol, open a martial arts studio with Uleni and write fanfic. tongue.gif


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Kazaera
post Mar 13 2020, 11:04 PM
Post #703


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So there's a plot point in Adryn which is coming up soon which I've planned on from the start and am now shamelessly going to spoil for you because it has suddenly taken on weight from real life I wasn't planning on and I'm not sure what to do about it.

The plot point is this:

In the game, you cannot leave Vvardenfell (because there is no mainland). I remember reading some...where... years ago that the in-game reason was because Vvardenfell was under quarantine due to the Blight and corprus. I don't actually think it's true but either way it caught my imagination. I'd already started writing SitC then and the island very clearly wasn't quarantined, so I decided it'd be a cool way to raise tensions to have it occur part of the way through the story. It is scheduled to happen end of next chapter.

...er.

The good news is, it looks like I'll be getting exciting real-life experience on unknown contagious diseases and quarantines which will let me make the following chapters significantly more accurate.

The bad news is that if I manage my editing OK/that last gd scene that refuses to be written, that part will probably be posted in the next few months. I don't want to come off as tasteless, or as offering some sort of commentary on current events. This wasn't actually meant to be reflecting real life, but given current events I'm not sure how it can NOT be seen that way.

Now I'm wondering if I should delay this plot point (although I really don't want to - I *already* wanted to have it chapters ago, it just never quite worked out) or even get rid of it entirely. There's nothing vital that depends on it, it's mainly about heightening tension and narrowing Adryn's options. At the same time it's really woven into the next few chapters so I'd have to scramble to rework chunks of them, and it's a lovely dangling plot thread with a lot of potential that I'd be very sad to lose.

...someone tell me I'm overthinking this.


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SubRosa
post Mar 13 2020, 11:12 PM
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I think you are overthinking this. Corprus is a central part of Morrowind. There is no way to avoid it if you are including the events of the main quest. Sure you could not talk about Vvardenfell being quarantined (though if it is quarantined, then why did a ship drop you off there?), but that does not remove the disease or its effects on people. Acknowledging/deciding that there is no way off the island is just a drop in that bucket.

I can certainly see how a quarantine could push the plot forward. Like in Doom, the only way out, is through. The only way off the island, is by defeating Dagoth. That might spur Adryn into action that she might otherwise avoid taking. Or at least be one of many straws on her camel's back.

So I say keep it.


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Kazaera
post Mar 13 2020, 11:26 PM
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Thanks! That was exactly what I wanted to hear. smile.gif And yeah, you're right, corprus and the Blight are very central parts of Morrowind, and a big part of my writing is trying to make things like that realistic. So we're going to see the Empire taking measures and we're going to see the impact that has on daily life, parallels unfortunate but unintended.

Like in Doom, the only way out, is through. The only way off the island, is by defeating Dagoth.

Yes, this is one big reason for it. Adryn's big character arc at the moment is relearning how to stand her ground. Certain events in her past mean the first tool she reaches for when dealing with problems is run away. That is... not an ideal trait for the Nerevarine, so it needs to be addressed. Part of that is bolstering her, giving her a support network, and pushing her slowly in the direction of addressing the trauma she's repressing... but part of it is simply closing off her escape routes. If I leave travel to the mainland open, I am always, always going to have to figure out how to keep Adryn on the island when things really start getting tough for her. It's annoying, it's repetitive, and she can be a lot more interesting with her back to the wall. Ergo, I really do need this quarantine in place.


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SubRosa
post Mar 13 2020, 11:54 PM
Post #706


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Well you could always go another route entirely.

After crime rates increase 400%, the once great island of Vvardenfell becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire Empire. A 50 foot containment wall is erected along the Morrowind shoreline. It completely surrounds Vvardenfell island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The Imperial Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison. Only prisoners, and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: Once you go in, you don't come out.

Of course Adryn will need an eye patch and a scoped Mac 10. And everyone will think she is dead...


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treydog
post Mar 14 2020, 12:58 AM
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Second most strongly what Sage Rosa said.... well, maybe not the eye-patch.....

But the Blight and corprus and also the quarantine are so central to the main quest that you would have to do a lot of adjusting to avoid those themes. And the thing of it is- even if it IS "topical" at the moment.... well, your story is far more than just that.

As to the ship dropping Adryn (or whatever Player to be Named Later) at Seyda Neen.... I always took it to be a "one-way blockade," a sort of "Hotel Vvardenfellia"- "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." The Empire, in its magnanimous humanity, dumps "problem people" that it can't quite afford to just execute onto an island that very well may "solve" the problem for them.

It also explains the incredible profusion of smugglers, and their homicidal tendencies.

Anyway- continue as you have begun, Kaz. It is well worth the doing.


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ghastley
post Mar 14 2020, 03:49 AM
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Yes, but ... If the whole island is quarantined, why is there a ghost fence?

I suppose there's a case for two levels of containment. Those who are fully infected inside the ghost fence, those who might just be carriers on the island. Except that the ghost fence hasn't worked, and the diseases are outside, too. I blame the cliff-racers. Ok, now it's on to plan B.

Go for it.


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Kazaera
post Mar 14 2020, 10:46 AM
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Thanks everyone! It seems I was definitely overthinking this, whew. Full steam ahead, quarantine and all.

@SubRosa - biggrin.gif I think the genre switch would take a few readers aback! And I'm not sure if Adryn is more appalled at the idea of the gun or the eyepatch.

@treydog - thanks! The confusing thing for me is that in-game, there's one quest in which someone pretends to have gone to the mainland and this seems to be treated as reasonable. But I'm generally happy to explain that away because the quarantine makes a lot of sense. As you say, it also explains the many, many smugglers. Re: the Empire's dumping ground... that is actually going down slightly differently in Adrynverse, and is another plot point that's getting picked up again in the next few chapters! But it does also make sense in general.

@ghastley - your explanation is definitely part of it! In fact, one of the foreshadowing scenes for the quarantine was in Interlude I - wherein lo, the caravan Adryn and Varvur were travelling with on their way to Balmora reaches Ebonheart and reports in. This being the caravan where they encountered a Blighted guar, and much worry was had about the fact that it was outside the Ghostfence and even the Ashlands. That was one of several incidents where it was made clear to the Imperial authorities that the Ghostfence was not quite doing its job, and we're now seeing their response.

...which is the other half of the equation: the Ghostfence is a Temple quarantine, Vvardenfell is an Imperial quarantine. The resulting politics are going to be... interesting.


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haute ecole rider
post Mar 14 2020, 02:38 PM
Post #710


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You've been writing this story long enough, Kazaera, that I doubt your readers will consider your introduction of a quarantine into this story line will be seen as tasteless or offensive. After all, this is not a for-profit venture on your part, nor does it run counter to game lore. As others have already pointed out, the game has the disease and the "quarantine" already in it, so it makes sense to bring it up at this point in the story.

And like you said, it adds fuel to the fire, so to speak, in terms of storytelling. After all, what's a story without some tension?


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