A witness to Australia's import-culture. Fan of Red Vs Blue, Camp Camp and Total Drama, to name a few. Has currently read 2 out of 41 Discworld novels (impressive, I know).

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    Latest Topics


    Representing Romantic Orientation

    Sexuality and gender are widely explored in television, film and other mediums, but what about romantic orientation? I feel this is an under-represented area (at least in my viewing experience) that would otherwise add complexity to representations of sexuality, gender and relationships overall in stories. I’ve seen characters have sexuality crises because they happen to like someone of the same sex, without considering that they could be biromantic. Why the lack of focus in clearly defining or exploring characters’ romantic orientation? Is it difficult to represent people being romantically attracted to someone they’re not sexually attracted to?

    • I would agree that there is not very much representation of biromantics. It does carry the same potential problems as LGBTQWXYZ+'s for Biblical-thinking audiences and other people who prefer heteronormativity for whatever reason. To answer your question, though: yeah, it's hard to portray romantic orientation without sexuality. You'd have to make the character explain "Yeah, I like you, but it doesn't mean I want to, like, touch you. At all." Then you'd have to put the entire discussion about what romantic orientation is in the script, and someone would cry "Minority Agenda Propaganda" and you're back to the LGBTQWXYZ+ brouhaha. I know very little about the logistics of this sort of thing, but I imagine one could look to representation of asexuality for ideas. I'm guessing the same sort of discussions happen there. – noahspud 6 years ago

    Approaching "Survival" in Zombie Apocalypses

    Zombie apocalypse stories in TV, film, etc. deal with "survival" in some way or form. How do stories like The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, World War Z, Shaun of the Dead, The Girl With All the Gifts and others deal with this theme in thought-provoking ways? Are zombie apocalypse stories defined by a basic need to survive, or can we approach them in new, creative ways?

    • I think an interesting way to take this, at least in regards to "the basic need to survive" in these shows, would be to examine the ways in which the survival narratives can align with or oppose certain capitalist imperatives. while it isn't a zombie apocalypse story, Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" very intentionally aligns imperatives of survival with capitalism, and perhaps similar stories that also feature zombies could do something similar. whether or not this ends up condoning/promoting or dissuading viewers from follows this ethos of survival, and what that means, might be an interesting way to take this topic. – ees 6 years ago
    • It’s useful to consider what the point of survival is. Is survival about continuing the human race? Is it about finding a solution to the problem (like in I Am Legend)? We all know that we have a survival instinct. Evolution explains it with our innate desire to keep the species going. It would be interesting to consider this from different viewpoints, particularly a Christian one. – tclaytor 6 years ago

    Can Writing Fanfiction Have Benefits?

    While writing fanfiction can be time better spent on one’s own original creative endeavours, are there benefits? I’ve read fanfics that have elevated original works in interesting ways, showing a deep understanding for characterisation, narrative structure, and significantly, the pitfalls those original works might have fallen into. So, can writing fanfiction teach us to be critical and inventive in *what* we write, therefore benefiting how we construct our own original works? Or can its normalisation of appropriation do more harm than good? (Then again, what goes in a post-modern society?)

    • I get that you're referring more to "artistic benefits" than "financial benefits," but the author might find this helpful nonetheless: – ProtoCanon 6 years ago
    • When writing on this topic, it will be helpful to think about how writing fanfiction is a stepping stone to becoming a real author, if that's your goal. Although one does not have to create their own characters or setting, the story line is completely up to them and by having already existing characters, it helps the writing to narrow down exactly what the fanfiction will be about. – Mandymay123 6 years ago
    • Like many things, FanFiction does have benefits, but when writing on this topic, make sure to emphasise how some negatives can impact the writer and how the writer can improve on them. For example, FanFiction writers generally forget to describe the character in detail - and if you plan to write your own work in the future, getting into the habit of skimming your writing isn't great. Make sure the reader is aware of the negatives and in turn knowing the negatives can be beneficial. – DylanThomas 6 years ago
    • I think Fanfiction is a very helpful way to step into writing for those who don’t know where to start however, there are negatives: ie. using other people’s characters and settings can detriment creativity to an extent. – AshTrenwith 6 years ago
    • This is a really interesting question and it actually falls in line with some research I'm currently doing so my PhD. I think to just tack on to what the previous people have commented, pros and cons are key. It can certainly help people develop their own skills, researching and developing characters, practicing structuring stories, experimenting with styles etc. I think it might be helpful also to think about how AUs allow fanfiction authors some real creative freedom to take previously existing characters into whole new worlds of their own. And note how many ideas that originated as fanfiction have gone on to be successful. Dare I say Fifty Shades of Grey? Its not a great example but its there. Plus, a number of published YA writers have started as fanfiction authors. (Cassandra Clare for instance has at least three successful series and a popular tv adaptation now). However, of course I think it's important to note its limitations. As someone already noted, in your own work you can't take the readership's existing knowledge of the characters or worlds for granted. The question of whether people get stuck into certain fanfiction tropes might also be interesting (how many coffee shop AUs are there?). Also, and I don't know if this would be too much of a sidetrack, but perhaps it may be worth thinking about the ethical issues with some fanfiction - real person fiction for instance can be a bit of an iffy thing. – BethLJones 6 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    I really have to agree with you on the themes of the show. It’s not just about survival, it’s about grappling with ideals of humanity. When Rick said, “We ARE the Walking Dead” that sent chills down my spine. Same goes for the dynamic between him and Carl last few seasons.

    I really liked the conflict between Rick and Carl’s ideals. Rick considers survival to be of the ‘fittest’; it’s earned through sweat, blood and bullets. Carl on the other hand saw survival in the long-term, as mercy, redemption and cooperation, because as Michonne said in mourning, Carl knew that there needed to be something after the fighting. After the dust settles, what’ll be left? Victory in destruction?

    Rick and the group have seen a lot of shit. He might think Carl’s wish is too naive, and we might too. But it’ll be interesting to see how Rick and his ideals will develop onwards.

    The Walking Dead: The transformation of Rick Grimes

    I really like your breakdown of the antagonists and the obstacles they represent. It’s true that Harry’s journey is as much our own, making it inspiring and empowering.

    Harry Potter: The Importance of Antagonists

    An interesting read. Code MENT’s appeal for me really was its diversion from the original material, or I guess, its butchering of it. What really got to me was how, in spite of all the random references, non sequiturs and backwards logic, it still managed some level of narrative continuity.

    I think the most true-to-canon abridged series I’d ever watched was Baccano! Abridged! by JelloApocalypse. Only minor deviations from canon plot. Unfortunately copyright strikes took it down, but by god the voice acting did a great job mirroring the actual English dub, or at least the accents.

    Abridged Series as Derivative Media