mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Unseen Enemies

Argh the western defaults are kicking my butt. Today's western defaults that form the shield-ring in my way are:

1) Telling the other guy how you feel is Good. Talking about how you feel is a praiseworthy exercise, conducive to understanding other people's emotions, and operates exactly the same as an exchange of intellectual opinions.

So I'm going to have a character who knows what the other guy's feeling are without being told, because he knows what feelings people tend to have in these circumstances and doesn't need to have it all laid out with diagrams and dissected with a fine scalpel. Besides the fact that laying it out with diagrams is as embarrassing as analyzing the quality of one's bowel movements, and that goes for everyone in this society.

2) Understanding how the other guy feels is Important.

So I'm going to have a character who doesn't think it important to understand how the other guy feels, it's important to help him act as a proper member of society. *Why* he isn't acting that way is only important if it's a physical and external 'why' that can be corrected. His own internal motivations don't matter.

3) Romantic love Matters. When it conflicts with duty the problem, over here, is making duty seem even marginally important because the default is that romantic love Matters more than anything. Even if duty wins it's a sad loss because romantic love Matters. The only thing that trumps romantic love is another deep personal obligation, which pretty much has to be to your spouse, because no other obligation is as strong as romantic love.

So I'm going to have a character who suffers more from his dereliction of duty than from the pangs of dispriz'd love. *And* this character is going to be extremely likable.

And after that I'll change water into wine.

Mmmhh... wine.
Tags: writing

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