[MISC] Plot vs. Character

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 3 02:16:37 PDT 2006

As an afterthought, on Saturday 2 Sept 2006 Martin
Phipps <martinphipps2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>Oh yeah.  I probably should also mention that Net.Heroes on Parade, Speak, 
>House of Fiction and The Green Knight are all excellent examples of 
>character driven fiction.  The Nostalgics, so far, is less successful 
>because it is not clear why the narrator is including a lot of seemingly 
>irrelevent details that would appear to have little to do with what he is 
>ultimately trying to say.

I would submit that _Nostaglics_ is a slightly different animal:
it belongs more to the detective mystery style of story, in
which lots of background information is added.  In a more
conventional story that sort of surfeit of information would
constitute something like characterisation or even world
building, but in this style it's primarily about hiding clues
among red herrings. Whether that's the true nature of the
story itself is something that I can't tell. However, since the
narrative is not so much a confessional by Jason (he's freely
admitted he killed one of his teammates) but rather an
attempt by him to ellicit help to identify why he did it, it
makes sense that Jason himself would be deliberately
giving as much potentially relevant information as possible.

Or at least, that's the way I've been treating it.  And
certainly the contests that Tom ran related to _Nostalgics_
have pointed in that direction.  To this end I had a funny
moment after reading the end of #3, when Tom homaged
the way Spiderman received his living costume at the end
of the first _Secret Wars_ miniseries, and I wondered via
email to Tom if Jason did the dirty deed because he'd been
under outside control from his new costume.  Turns out I
was wrong, but that's the sort of 'intellectual game'
approach I've been using.

And now that I've got a bit of free time I'd better go spend
the rest of my Sunday evening working on a house
advertisement for _My Father's Son_.

Saxon Brenton   Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au

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