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Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

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Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Spearheader on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:42 am

So, alright, Saarai, Arc, and I were discussing narratives in the chat and were told to come here. Here I am, anyway.


The fundamental disagreement we have is about what makes writing good, I think. Saarai has claimed it isn't about that, but I'm not really sure what he is claiming so he'll have to either make this thread himself or reply to me, because this is all I get from his posts.


We were also attempting to discuss more specifically what is and isn't relevant to the narrative, though I think there is basic agreement here. In particular the example of a crotch shot was used--it had been argued that this would be an example of a distraction from the narrative if it happened during a fight scene. (And, therefore, that it shouldn't be there).

My counter has been twofold, arguing:

1. If one can focus on the narrative while the crotch-shot is happening, it does not distract from the narrative, and most details aren't exactly necessary.
2. Not everything has to follow perfect narrative structure to be worth having.

So far, no one has addressed the first thing, and no one has really addressed the second one very well--the arguments I've received against #2 are as follows:

1. That contradicts narrative structure.
But #2 doesn't deny that
2. These narrative structure rules are facts
In a very technical and narrow sense, yes, they are facts, but unless you're willing to throw in a value judgement about narrative structure, it's not clear why they are relevant to anyone but English majors
3. By abiding by narrative structure, you make the story waste less time for people
Well what about the people that like crotch shots? What about the animators that might want to draw that for whatever reason? You don't get to decide for people what to do with their time.
4. Declaring narrative structure irrelevant makes criticism irrelevant.
Criticism is only relevant when the goals are already agreed upon, or at least some of them are. That's a pretty powerful position for it to be in, in the context of things like cancer research. Either something seems like it could cure cancer based on the evidence, or it doesn't. No two ways about that. In the context of literature, though, it's a little ridiculous to act like everyone writes for the exact same reasons you do. You can dislike them for not doing so, sure, but there's no objective reason for them to care.
5. What about the broader social implications of writing?
This isn't really on-topic, but it's important so I'll address it. At some level, I can't tell you what to think about how writing should interact with the world around it. If you want to suppress writing that has tropes you find to be bad for society, I will try to stop you, but I'm not going to pretend I have a moral high ground. However, if you care about concepts such as individuality, creativity, and personal expression, then there's reason for you to think that maybe not every work with scantily clad women is evil and must be eliminated. Those things are a part of people, of their minds, and I think that deserves some respect. If you want to improve society through media, strangle publishers and developers, or produce media of your own that bucks the trend. But don't eliminate everything else.

And, before you say, I know you might not want to. But then you turn around and screech about how x shouldn't be in writing. So don't lie to me.

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Re: Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Saarai on Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:33 pm

I don't know how much more clear I can be. All narratives follow the basic idea of a beginning, a middle, and an end. There is no such thing as perfect or imperfect narrative structure. It just is what it is.

Now to address the rest, I had repeatedly stated that quality is irrelevant when discussing narrative structure, or more specifically to our conversation, narrative importance.

In a narrative, or even in jokes, you set up something earlier in the film, or show, or book, whatever, that pays off later. This is true for everything from Homer's Illiad to stand up comedy to Seinfeld.

There's also misdirection. Red herrings. They're what you get when set up something in the narrative that would seem important, but ultimately isn't for whatever reason.

A five minute sex scene, like those in True Blood that fans of the show have been vocal about, is usually not either one of those things. It can be, of course. But that depends on the people making that show or writing that book to make it more than gratuitous fanservice.

Can you imagine how angry people would have been if a movie they went to see never progressed, made a statement or did anything of importance to it's story?

I'm sure there are some people who would find meaning in something meaningless like an hour of a wide shot on a vase even if the director came out and said it was just a vase. But, it's just a vase. It doesn't do anything to change or enhance the story.
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Re: Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Spearheader on Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:01 pm

Saarai wrote:I don't know how much more clear I can be. All narratives follow the basic idea of a beginning, a middle, and an end. There is no such thing as perfect or imperfect narrative structure. It just is what it is.

Now to address the rest, I had repeatedly stated that quality is irrelevant when discussing narrative structure, or more specifically to our conversation, narrative importance.

In a narrative, or even in jokes, you set up something earlier in the film, or show, or book, whatever, that pays off later. This is true for everything from Homer's Illiad to stand up comedy to Seinfeld.

There's also misdirection. Red herrings. They're what you get when set up something in the narrative that would seem important, but ultimately isn't for whatever reason.

A five minute sex scene, like those in True Blood that fans of the show have been vocal about, is usually not either one of those things. It can be, of course. But that depends on the people making that show or writing that book to make it more than gratuitous fanservice.

Can you imagine how angry people would have been if a movie they went to see never progressed, made a statement or did anything of importance to it's story?

I'm sure there are some people who would find meaning in something meaningless like an hour of a wide shot on a vase even if the director came out and said it was just a vase. But, it's just a vase. It doesn't do anything to change or enhance the story.



Alright, this is a fair argument, but not against crotch shots. A crotch shot doesn't take up anywhere close to the amount of the movie/film/whatever to really prevent something else in the narrative from building up.

Due to that, I don't see how it's a violation of the narrative structure rules you've set up.

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Re: Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Saarai on Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:57 pm

Again, it's narrative importance, not structure, I have been speaking on.

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Re: Fanservice and What Makes a Good Story

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby VindicatedPurpose on Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:48 pm

I'm sorry...what was the...uh...debate...about?
Like a stranger on a grate, or a skylark, or a taper, flying ever upward and knowing of love's satiety. Our dreams beyond the Sun and into the expanse of Night doth sound a quiet hymn.

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