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Messages - NO1SY

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Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: May 06, 2021, 04:21:23 AM »
congratulations Lego!

Especially good looking practice with this last 1000 figures. The block style seems to really work well for you in terms of proportions, dynamism and perspective.

How do you feel?

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Dune... confused me...
« on: May 05, 2021, 04:23:37 PM »
Now that is some interesting context!

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Dune... confused me...
« on: May 05, 2021, 04:39:57 AM »
No! And if you did it pales in comparison to the content of Heretics!

I think you are correct, the Bene Gesserit do fall into the same patterns and pitfalls as everyone else in their attempts to shape humanity across the universe. It is explored a lot in Chapter House, but to me felt almost forgotten about in Heretics to the point that they seem like a group fighting for righteousness, even though it is only self-righteousness...

Spoilers for the first 3 or 4 books....
Conversely I’m not sure how much I agree with you about Paul. We find out that he saw the Golden Path (although I am unsure if this was the path of the Jihad or the path without the Jihad...), tried his hardest to make decisions that would not lead to universal conflict, then came to the realisation of the necessity for metamorphosis and could not bring himself to do it (possibly because of the emotional impact of losing Chani and him realising that he couldn’t deal with loneliness for thousands of years, which even Leto II struggled with.). Part of Paul’s deep sadness towards the end is that he has deferred the responsibility to his children.

The introduction of the Siona genes that shield prescience is interesting, but I’m not sure that it necessarily flies in the face of the prescience that lead to the Golden Path before her. Considering Herbert’s interest in science and ecology, natural selection and reactive evolution is something he would have been aware of - and this is what the shielding reminds me of. It was even cultivated by Leto II himself and seemed to fit into his plan. Something that is explored in the later books (and somewhat in the earlier ones) is how those with true prescience can lock themselves onto only one singular path; extrapolating determinism, which should only be 100% correct in hindsight, and repeating certain predefined patterns from the collective knowledge of the past to produce a correct pseudo-“foresight”. But I think the point is that this is not sustainable for humanity and too easily hijacked. I always got the feeling that the true point of the Golden Path was to free humanity from the trap of Prescience, and subsequently from the ability of any group to hold such total control as Leto II did. I’m not totally convinced of this yet, but it feels sort of right to me.

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Writer Discussion Table
« on: May 04, 2021, 10:31:51 AM »
Well... you could pull a Sanderson and have two prologues...!

Sometimes a way to deal with this kind of situation is to show the character at the highest high point during the prologue, do not show their fall at all yet, then have them at their lowest during the first chapter. This large contrast can do a lot of the heavy lifting in making sure readers feel the impact. You can then go back after-the-fact to fill in the details of the fall - through flashbacks or discussions with other characters (past acquaintances, those affected by their actions, their victims, those that used to idolize them etc) or just through self reflection comparing present to past. It's a more long-term way of writing the scenario, but it progresses the actual plot more quickly.

And the other way I've seen it done is to just not have a time-skip at all... just write it all out!

break Room / Re: The Status Of Our Fellow Raiders
« on: April 30, 2021, 05:00:43 AM »
I'm about to go on vacation in Alaska.  Gonna visit some national parks

Nice! Super jealous....

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Writing Log
« on: April 26, 2021, 05:09:58 PM »
26 April 2021: 555 words tonight and I will take it... I have not had enough time for doing much creative stuff at all recently so that felt pretty good. Hopefully I will be able to finish this next chapter draft within two more slightly longer sessions.

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Dune... confused me...
« on: April 26, 2021, 03:32:11 PM »
Well, to counter that a little, I'm 30% through Chapter House Dune now so far it's SO much better than Heretics! Firstly it feels just a lot better written. Secondly, a lot of the thematic exploration comes across as discussion of moral hypotheticals/dilemmas again, rather than morally loaded statements without elaboration. This is the fine line to tread I think.

On a side note, I think I may have been a bit harsh on the Bene Gesserit previously. It's weird because they are essentially meant to be eugencists and manipulators to create stability in humanity across the universe, which is obviously quite morally dark, but their selfless and dutiful monk-like nature can make them likeable... It felt like Heretics put them on a pedestal and made them appear overly righteous, even though in God Emperor before it there had been discussion over the stagnation their plans wrought. In Chapter House it seems that the discussion of stagnation is back and it is happening from within, which shows development that is interesting and engaging for me as the reader. The weird h*ntai-esque plot seems to be mostly over now too!

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Dune... confused me...
« on: April 25, 2021, 12:39:48 PM »
What comes to mind most is when he introduces Alia's Amazons (in book 2?) and points out the reason that they're all women is because men are too emotional and get too worked up over stupid sh*t to be good soldiers.

I don't remember having much to say about the Amazons - they seemed like a typical all female honour guard. I think you may be remembering Moneo discussing the Fish Speakers with Duncan Idaho in God Emperor here though. What I seemed to read, which came across as a bit progressive in messaging, was that Duncan was supposed to be the archaic viewpoint, uncomfortable with females taking on different, more physical roles in society - he couldn't fathom an army of females - despite the fact that they were very capable. Herbert comes across as a feminist asking fair questions about roles here.

But then the confusing/weird part was the subsequent reasoning; about homosexuality being a "phase" of indulging in "pain-causing behaviour" (it's kind of just stated without any elaboration as to thought process...). To summarize Moneo's dialogue: For a group of men with the responsibility of an army this seems to result in the devolution of the brotherhood into an oppressive force that never leaves the "phase" and substituting in this indulgence in place of a duty to procreate and drive the survival of the human species. Whereas, with a group of women (who as a class Herbert seems to put on a bit of a moral pedestal) apparently their mothering instincts take over to take them out of the "phase" and look to nurture rather than destroy or oppress...

This is obviously all very out-dated thinking (for most people...), but, understanding that, I've seen it said that Leto was referring to the historical example of the Sacred Band of Thebes, trying to make the strongest military that would not devolve into oppressors or anarchists after he was gone. Alongside the themes of human species survival and generational genetic manipulation, which somewhat morally weights towards traditional relationships - the following of this line of logic seems like an interesting, innocent but biased exploration of a hypothetical by the author based on old and unfortunate understanding of social interactions... It feels a bit like Herbert is a naive scientist, bringing together what data he can find.

A real lesson to writers here though... things like this date your work terribly if you morally load any of it and society leaves your ideas behind... In the case of Dune it's kinda sad to me, because the rest of it is so timeless but this stumble chains the books squarely in the mid 20th century...

Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: April 25, 2021, 07:16:45 AM »
Kauan - "Ice Fleet":
This is my first introduction to Kauan and immediately I knew I stumbled onto something special. This is a Russian, post-doom!? band and this album focuses a lot on these really lovely, reverby keyboard and strings sections, adding wonderful atmosphere to the proggy or doomy distorted parts, or standing alone as enjoyable instrumentals. The sound to me invokes images of a bitter cold, iced over ocean, that is harsh but also tranquil and still.

Glass Cloud - "The Royal Thousand":
For some reason Equal Vision records re-released a track from this album on Youtube recently, which got me listening to it all again. Thinking back, this was one of the first instances of progressive music in metal that I ever really heard. Although the band was predominantly a metalcore group, the guitar and vocal syncopation was super interesting in pretty much every song, and some of the melodic choices were super unique at the time. Fantastic album.

General Manga writer discussions / Re: My view of writing
« on: April 25, 2021, 06:55:38 AM »
I think everybody has a need to feel like they are doing something worthwhile and being productive towards it - it's very natural to become unhappy with just consuming.

I wish you the best of luck in improving your productivity, finishing your studies, the job hunt, and in making your webtoons. And good on you for pushing through when things feel difficult.

As for your writing, it seems that you are saying you like quite a variety of things, but mostly you like slow, character-focused build-ups, even if a plot doesn't move a lot? That's completely valid - this basically describes the book series I am reading now! (Dune). The most difficult part of writing those stories, however, is making sure that there is a point!

Some advice for helping to organise your thoughts onto a page like this is to break up your points into separate lines, as I am doing here. This will help others to read your thoughts a bit more clearly.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Echo Archives
« on: April 22, 2021, 07:14:59 PM »
Ah welcome back Echo! Been missing you and your work :)

Pretty sweet song, and I think the character art captures the emotions of it quite well. Really liked the outro section of strings and piano.

I think I've had RPG Maker MV sitting in my Steam Library for years, but I have never done anything with it... I think I'm happy enough playing games, don't have to make my own!

The sprite and portrait art looks great though! I honestly can't see much wrong with it at all... you sure are a harsh critic! I really enjoy distinct and clean sprite and pixel art. If you ever release a full game, I'll give it a go!  :biggrin:

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Dune... confused me...
« on: April 22, 2021, 07:02:46 PM »
So just finished book number 5: "Heretics of Dune", and going to start the last of Frank Herbert's books "Chapter House Dune" tomorrow.

I have come to the conclusion that The Dune Sequence may be one of the grandest, most thematically explorative stories I've ever been told - I'm pretty sure that this is the only series I've read with a story that spans something like 5000 years (so far). Simultaneously, it is a series that may be one of the worst at telling me its story...

So much of the fifth book very opaque or obtuce ruminations by characters, which lead to a style of storytelling that is like taking the "show don't tell" method to such an extreme that it horseshoes round to the over explaining of reactions and thought processes in a completely "tell" fashion (sometimes it feels like reading inner monologues from a shounen anime!?!?). Because the thoughts of characters are so difficult to understand sometimes, it is hard as a reader to infer things like logical thought processes or emotional reactions etc, or to even just follow dialogue between two characters - sometimes it feels like they are just talking one-liners at one another and not actually engaging in conversation. There is already so much esoteric rambling in these books that it really did not need extra stuff slowing down the pace and really not even taking the exploration of themes very much further in my opinion... I thought the balance was better in the previous book "God Emperor of Dune". Or maybe not; just that almost all of the ruminating was by Leto II, who's mind was just more compelling to understand, meaning that it just didn't feel as much of a slog - In fact, I actually rather enjoyed God Emperor. I feel like book 5 could have been cut by a third, by ommitting some of the lengthy and repetitive rumination by characters that pretty much amount to little (Taraza's and Waff's viewpoints really didn't need such depth...), and nothing would have been lost... Frank Herbert even limited his third person perspective a lot more for this book, but I feel like he just abused it because of how much time was spent in the head of characters and achieving nothing for the narrative or emotional response in the reader!

The other weird thing was the focus on sex in Heretics... I kinda understand it from a thematic perspective - attachments, love, sex and the power dynamics involved in these things are actually quite compelling themes... but the way it was written came across a bit like a H*ntai plot or something, with unecessarily graphic scenes to boot... I would've really liked some heavier use of metaphor here, considering that most sex scenes in previous books had just been time-skipped to pretty decent effect. It can be hard to tell where the thematic exploration here is going at times too (i.e. what message Herbert is trying to get at). Obviously people are products of their time and so Herbert came across as a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to relationships and sex, although I think his son described him as attempting to become more progressive about these things - especially in relation to homosexuality, which was explored... sketchily... in book 4. So I am not too keen to say that Herbert was intentionally making any moral statements with any of his writing here, just that the books feel a bit dated in the understanding of relationships, sexuality and their dynamics in society.

Another thing I noticed when reading Heretics is that I find it odd that the Bene Gesserit are sort of set up in protagonist roles, despite the nature of their manipulations. With Jessica it made sense to a certain extent, but the general perspective seems quite odd. That said, I suppose it is interesting because the evil religious organisation as the enemy trope is a little over-played, so an insider perspective feels a bit fresh despite its seeming "wrongness".

Lastly, the scene-cut-time-skip towards the end of Heretics where they just are all together and land on Rakis felt super Janky!

I think I just find it all a little... annoying, because there is some actually really good story material hidden in this grand narrative, and Herbert was definitely capable of writing some really really good scenes. Two absolute standouts for me were the redemption of Gurney Halleck to Jessica in book 1 and Ghanima's fairwell to Leto II in the crag in book 3. It just makes me wish that all of the storytelling was as good as those moments... Past them I also enjoyed a lot of Leto II's back and forths with characters throughout book 4, and I have enjoyed Miles Teg a fair bit in book 5. Miles Teg in particular stands out because he was such an impactful character even though he was only just introduced in book 5, and a lot of characters in The Dune Sequence are casualties of the extraordinary time-frame of the series, meaning that they come and go and readers don't really form strong interest in them (e.g. Siona - I actually found Moneo way more interesting - Hwi, Feyd-Rautha, Irulan and Farad'n. Even Ghanima really...). It is really hard to say how much of this is meta-manipulation by Herbert to get us to empathise with Leto II though... Aside from all this, the ephemera passages at the start of every chapter are pretty much always a pleasure, and I even miss the poetry from the first few books. There is so much here that makes me want to get invested and immersed in the story and the universe of Dune - there just seem to be several barriers blocking my way in.

And so I continue my love-hate relationship with The Dune Sequence! In all honesty, I do think overall I have enjoyed the experience so far, even Heretics despite the slight slog, and am excited to be continuing the journey through the aeons.

break Room / Re: The Status Of Our Fellow Raiders
« on: April 18, 2021, 05:51:39 PM »
I have my 7 month progress report due for my PhD, so I'm maxing out my lab hours as well as spending evenings to write up, leaving little time for much else other than reading on my commutes. My brain is pretty much mush for the next 2 weeks... :ohmy:

I have had my eye on all of the work you are posting @Suuper, so once I've handed in I will check out your stuff :)

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Am I overthinking social media?
« on: April 13, 2021, 07:56:22 PM »
The one counter point I will give is to NO1SY, and that is to start posting stuff before you have a solid product. It doesn't have to be a high level of interaction, but it will be a way to build your audience for said product before it's ready. Even if you only hook say, 100 people, that's 100 people more than you would have if you just show up one day with a book. It's about building trust slowly. If you're a known quantity, people will have an easier time dealing with you (and not assuming you're a scammer).

Very fair point. I actually think I remember WhiteCrow doing something like this with his comic.

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Am I overthinking social media?
« on: April 12, 2021, 04:13:41 PM »
As much as I dislike social media in general, it does appear to be really important right now for marketing and growing an audience. Engagement with people that read/purchase your products is a big draw. I think the advice so far has been pretty spot on, set up professional profiles and not personal ones, that way you engage with people more as a "content creator" and keep a level of separation, which hopefully sidesteps a lot of the worst parts about social media sites. I don't think you need to set anything up until you have a finished product to market though (or a crowdfunding campaign to advertise). Use it for release announcements, event announcements, merchandising, linking to funding sources, and then maybe things like sneak peaks/ behind the scenes stuff if you build a decent following. The issue is that once you start you really can't stop... the benefits really come from being consistent. However, that doesn't mean every day. Maybe just once or twice a month is enough?? And just copy/paste!

Man... I've even been told to sign up to twitter to keep up with releases from scientists in my field...

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