Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

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Postby The Mad Collector » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:40 am

Tonyblack wrote:I bet Stephen Briggs cursed Terry when he had to read all that for the audiobook. :lol:


I am half convinced it was put in just for Stephen :)
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:48 am

Yes, I think the same when I hear Stephen reading all the dwarfish dialogue in Thud! :lol:

I have to say Lil - that I don't think of UA as a love it or hate book. I think there's a lot of really good stuff in there, but that there's too much going on and too many threads that don't always work. But I don't hate it or love it. :P
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Postby LilMaibe » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:19 pm

It certainly is the book where quite a lot of people say it's the worst of the whole series and that it feels like a bad fanfiction.

EDIT: Attempt to read it again. Failed... Now feel like writing a review/rant X(
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Postby Archaeologist » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:14 am

Oh, dear...

Before I start - what's the difference between character development and out-of-character? This is in regards to Vetinari. I think he's just changing, personally (but I am new to the Disc).

Anyway...

It actually took a couple of months for me to get into it (I bought it, started it, got bored, put it down, read something else, saw it sitting there and picked it back up again) but by the end, I couldn't put it down. Funny how that happens. But I don't think I would read it again. Admittedly, it wasn't a masterpiece in my opinion (some of it paced strangely, some parts which were meant to be a payoff didn't quite ring with me, etc.).

'Drunk' Vetinari made me weep with laughter. I thought that the scene began with him being more talkative than usual at the beginning and suspected something was up. However, his story about watching mother feed babies with mother and babies was chilly, a weird moment of darkness in what was usually a light-hearted novel, but it's one of my favourite bits. I also loved Nutt, I think there's a lot of room for a lot of development in his character.
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Postby LilMaibe » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:33 am

Archaeologist wrote: I also loved Nutt, I think there's a lot of room for a lot of development in his character.


For that he needs to get character to begin with. Instead of just glorious traits. Seriously, that bugger has not a single flaw. And if something looks like a flaw at first glance it also turns out to be a 'lovable charactertrait' :|
How did a blatant, boring Mary Sue (okay, Gary Stu) onto the Disc? WTH?
(sorry, that [term used to describe him has been censored] is my personal berserk button and the thing that ruined the book for me *rantrantrant*)
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Postby Archaeologist » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:41 am

For that he needs to get character to begin with. Instead of just glorious traits.


I can see that, yes. His character isn't much more than suffering from severe lack of confidence and a constant search for 'worth' which is overcome by revealing how...awesome...he is. But I would argue that his lack of confidence in the face of his awesomeness makes him flawed enough to not be a Gary Stu - isn't that the kind of character which the author/everyone in the story would just love to be? But, perhaps, it does make him just very annoying. :?:

I say he has room for development because he might discover some serious flaws. I can imagine him turning very arrogant, or so self-confident that he runs very close to it. That would be fun.
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Postby LilMaibe » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:47 pm

If you wanna waste a few minutes of your life try to take this:
http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm
for the orc
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Postby Archaeologist » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:14 am

That's an awesome quiz, both in content and in size. I pretended I was Pratchett (difficult) and completed it with Nutt in mind. Oh dear, I might have to start eating my words.

"Fanfiction authors beware - Mary's on the loose. There's still a chance you can save this character with some TLC, though. Role-players and original fiction characters, you should also strongly consider giving your character a workover."

If I did it right, Nutt's definitely a Sue...according to this quiz, anyway. :lol:

Thanks for the link.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Prolekult » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:01 am

I enjoyed this one. It could have done with a bit of pruning, and the book nearly went out of the window at the 796th mention of Trev's - ing dear old mum, but I thought Vetinari was very good in this one, with Terry clearly trying to show some of his hidden personality, which worked well I think, especially the drunk scene.

The scene where Pepe hold's up Trev with a knife seemed a bit weird and unnecessary, they were on perfectly amicable terms as Trev himself pointed out, I guess Terry was settting up Pepe's dark side for the later scene with Andy but it didn't really work for me. Also it would have been nice if the Academical's victory had been a bit more legitimate, I think riots would have been the likely outcome the way it went. But there were a lot of fun parts to the book and I get the impression Terry enjoyed writing this one.
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Re:

Postby raptornx01 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:22 pm

The Mad Collector wrote:
Tonyblack wrote:I bet Stephen Briggs cursed Terry when he had to read all that for the audiobook. :lol:


I am half convinced it was put in just for Stephen :)


i think he does that alot. See: Not-as-big-as-medium-sized-jock-but-bigger-then-wee-jock-jock as proof.

Archaeologist wrote:what's the difference between character development and out-of-character?


Character Development: What the author writes.

Out-Of-Character: what the fans throw around to berate an author for what he/she writes.

Mary-sue is also something fans like to throw around assuming its an insult.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Prolekult » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:44 am

I have to ask, who is Mary-sue & what did she do to deserve such treatment?
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:31 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary-sue

Smith quotes editor Joanna Cantor[9] as identifying "Mary Sue" paranoia as one of the sources for the lack of "believable, competent, and identifiable-with female characters." In this article, Cantor interviews her sister Edith, also an amateur editor, who says she receives stories with cover letters apologizing for the tale as "a Mary Sue", even when the author admits she does not know what a "Mary Sue" is. According to Edith Cantor, while Paula Smith's original "Trekkie's Tale" was only ten paragraphs long, "in terms of their impact on those whom they affect, those words [Mary Sue] have got to rank right up there with the Selective Service Act."[10] At Clippercon 1987 (a Star Trek fan convention held yearly in Baltimore, Maryland), Smith interviewed a panel of female authors who say they do not include female characters in their stories at all. She quoted one as saying "Every time I've tried to put a woman in any story I've ever written, everyone immediately says, this is a Mary Sue." Smith also pointed out that "Participants in a panel discussion in January 1990 noted with growing dismay that any female character created within the community is damned with the term Mary Sue."


Its comes a point where fear stifles creativity. I've encountered the same thing. i've been trying to write a novel since i was a teenager. but i've always wanted it to be as completely original as possible. to the point where regardless of how far in i may be if i see something similar i abandon the project.
Last edited by raptornx01 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:46 am

Well, Mary Sue, used as term to describe a character, IS an insult, as it refers to a character that shows the author was not capable of making a character work with a believable number of abilities in a logical strenght, give a character believable flaws or was plain lazy.

A character can have made a number of achievements without being a 'sue'. but now imagine you'd open a book and read about a very young character who has accomplished more in a number of fields than old masters of that field ever accomplish, is always best at whatever s/he tries and even failures turn out to be in their favour.
All the while the character is played completely straight as in we, the reader, are to take him/her serious.

And it is a common misconception that authors could never write their characters Out-of-character.
If as an author you use the same character/setting several times, there has to be a certain personality/set of rules to the setting.
If, let's say, your character does not believe in anything supernatural and throughout the books nothing happened to change this view, you just CAN'T have him suddenly talk about ghosts and curses as if that is the greatest thing in life in a new book.
Or, if you have a setting were you need a certain genetic mutation to be able to learn how to fly (without machinery) and the training takes years. Then you can't go and have a character without that mutation start flying without any training and have no one wonder about it. not the other characters, not the narrative.

Characterdevelopement is thus:
See the character mentioned above. The one who doesn't believe in the supernatural. If you have a story/stories where he experiences something supernatural and there is no scientific explanation to what he saw, then you can have him consider that there might be ghosts behind the newest probleme, but he won't wipe away the possibility the there might be a scientific solution
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:05 am

You can't have character development without change. and you can't have change without there being a point at which the character acts so-called "out of character".
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:50 am

No, you can have character and therefore change development without having the character go out of character.
Have you read what I wrote? A character is Out Of Character the moment he does something uncharacteristical without any explanation.
You are talking about characters without any personality, characters that are less than tool. That isn't how you write a good character.
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