Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

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Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 16:07

I'll start with a disclaimer: of course a GsG fanfic is whatever the author wants it to be. There is no effin' way we can all agree to The One True Definition. I'm just curious: what makes a GsG fanfic a GsG fanfic for you?

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 16:27

I consider my works to be more placed in the GSG universe as opposed to being GSG stories (like the manga or anime), so I'm probably not that qualified to answer. Smile

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 18:03

Okay, what's the difference between the two?

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by crazyidiot78 on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 18:52

I would have to agree with Kisk on this one since my own story is a major change from the existing cannon. However I think what makes a gunslinger girl fanfic a GSG fanfic for me is characterization and plot. I like to see the interplay between the handlers and how the handler balances the hard choices their work demands and what is left of the girls innocence. I think Kisk and Voodoo do a rather good job with this one. I also like the more subtle plotting and intrigue that surrounds the world the girls live, which Alfisti does a good job of. Finally any story that shows the everyday life of the girls outside of the missions.

Taer- I think the difference is that some authors, like kisk and myself, change certain elements of the cannon to varying degrees while still retaining the core elements of the GSG universe.
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Thescarredman on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 20:04

To ask, 'What makes a GsG fanfic?' is to ask, 'What makes a GsG fan?'. I enjoy reading and making stories about people in novel and challenging situations, especially angsty ones. Gunslinger Girl has that in spades. The girls' attempts to find a 'normal' life for themselves, imbued with love and purpose and hope, despite their crushing circumstances, stunted social environment, and the emotional hobbles of their conditioning, all with the ticking of their deathclocks in the background, draws me to them and makes me want to tell their stories.

Adherence to canon is an issue best left to the individual author. I write for several fandoms, and treat the subject differently in each one, depending on how the original material was handled. I write Gen 13 so AU it's nearly original fiction, because the series' canon is all over the map, with multiple and conflicting backstories for the major characters, hanging plotlines, etc. For Firefly, I'm a canon Nazi, maintaining that the fourteen TV episodes are all the canon there is. Ditto Sarah Connor Chronicles, acknowledging only those parts of the movies referenced in the TV show. For Gunslinger Girl, I use a mix of events and personalities from both manga and anime, even though they don't always agree. Heck, I'll even throw in the video game and try to stitch it all together somehow. I couldn't bear to throw any of it out. That said, I've seen some marvelous GsG stories by other authors which have only a nodding acquaintance with canon.
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 20:25

"What makes a good story" is a different matter. You can adhere 100% to canon and still write a dreadful story, and you can take a little bit of it and make a great story.
...people in novel and challenging situations, especially angsty ones. Gunslinger Girl has that in spades. The girls' attempts to find a 'normal' life for themselves, imbued with love and purpose and hope, despite their crushing circumstances, stunted social environment, and the emotional hobbles of their conditioning, all with the ticking of their deathclocks in the background, draws me to them and makes me want to tell their stories.
Much the same here. I love the overarching theme of hope, that everyone hopes this will be worth it, hopes it will be over, hopes they broaden their lives, if they cannot lengthen them.

For me, the deathclock is a must. I know others have said, "Gen-threes don't have that problem." That's great for the author, but I want to read about girls who are cheated out of their adulthood, or for some, even their late teens. They don't have to die in the fiction, but the spectre of inexorable death is as much a part of the GsG canon universe as the cybernetics.

The psychological dependency is also a must. I don't want them to be autonomous. I want them to be severely limited in life skills, crippled in social interactions, and enslaved in some way to their handlers. They can be in love, think of them as an older family member, or even as a boss, but they have to look to their handlers as the reason they are living.

I love the canon for the character interplay, and look for that in the fanfic. I don't need pages and pages of house-clearing. I want to see friction, conflict, but not necessarily combat. I want the characters to learn about one another, to introspect, to come to uncover yet one more bit about the world as they go.

I want the world to suck. Not a post-apocalyptic suckage on the surface, but everyone is actually okay with it because they're prepped and armed. No, I want it to look normal, ebullient even, on the surface. Underneath, with the conditioning, the deathclocks, the secret war and grim fictional reality they face, I want the world to challenge the reader, to make the reader uncomfortable.

Because that's when the quiet, childish innocence that the canon cyborgs show shines so brightly. That's when we see their hopes.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kurosaka "Ery" Erika on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 20:53

@taerkitty wrote:I'll start with a disclaimer: of course a GsG fanfic is whatever the author wants it to be. There is no effin' way we can all agree to The One True Definition. I'm just curious: what makes a GsG fanfic a GsG fanfic for you?

"Shape the future, Sketch the past, understand the present"

that's how i feel about GsG fanfic n_n
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 23:50

I'm sure that was meant as a joke.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Project J on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 0:03

I'm pretty open with fanfic interpretations and the level of writing in this forum, so as long as the writing captures the spirit of what the series is about in some way or form, I'm pretty okay with it.

I find that not putting self-imposed restrictions on what a fanfic should or shouldn't include in order to be about Gunslinger Girls makes it easier to accept a good piece of writing. It's not so much individual aspects about a piece of literature, but rather the sum of all those things as a whole, complete fiction.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kurosaka "Ery" Erika on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 1:14

@taerkitty wrote:I'm sure that was meant as a joke.

nope....GSG fanfic is the only fanfic that let me use my full potential of writing


it let me "Shape the future, Sketch the past, understand the present" in the story itself.
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 1:43

We went through this in IM. You're saying "GsG fanfic is different." Okay, how is it different?

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Alfisti on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 9:51

I think the major one for me is being able to suspend my disbelief in the context of canon. I'll be honest: if I look at something and go "that's breaking so many precedents layed down by canon", if I can't mentally justify what's going on, then I'll loose interest pretty quickly. Now, to be fair some parts of the canon are played pretty loose... so as to what falls within and outside those realms, well: your mileage may vary.

I assume the basic question here is: what core features are for you, personally, going to tilt the see-saw between reading something as GSG fan-fiction or as OC fiction which bears a passing resemblance to GSG?

@taerkitty wrote:For me, the deathclock is a must. I know others have said, "Gen-threes don't have that problem." That's great for the author, but I want to read about girls who are cheated out of their adulthood, or for some, even their late teens. They don't have to die in the fiction, but the spectre of inexorable death is as much a part of the GsG canon universe as the cybernetics.

The psychological dependency is also a must.
The DeathClock (Cyborg Central (tm)) is a big one for me as well; it's GSG's 800lb gorilla in the room. Whether the characters acknowledge it conciously or not, it shapes their interactions with the cyborgs, and the interractions of the cyborgs themselves. It shapes the world, mutes its tones and hangs like a heavy cloud over the actions of handler and cyborg alike. Without it, this is just another "superpowered teenagers" story. It helps reminds us that this is a universe of greys, and with every good thing comes a price.

Hell, even when Kisk and I co-wrote something for the Idyllic Lives thread; in a theoretical world where everyone lives happily every after, at least one girl still had hers running. So yeah; to me it's a pretty big one.

The psychological or handler dependency of the girls is also something which is, to me, at the core of GSG. Whether it's worn on their sleeve, or buried deeper, a handler is the cyborg's world... and her actions are shaped by him. At the end of the day, no matter what form it takes, a cyborg is conditioned and servile to both her handler and the SWA. Which comes first, well... that depends on the fratello.

On that note: the relationships between characters are important as well, and their interractions. Now to be honest I don't know if my own writing lends itself to it, I hope it does, but I've always considred GSG (and have discussed this with Taer) to be primarally a character drama. So whether the story is actual drama, or action or adventure; that element needs to weave its way through on some level.


I gues the last one which is big for me is the nature of evil within the series. Both the SWA and Padania could be considered "evil"; however, with the exception of the Dante type figures (and maybe a doctor or two), I don't think the people in either organisation could be considered "evil". The bulk of them, if you asked them, would honestly consider themselves to be fighting the good fight. They're going to extremes to do it, but they're people with a job to do or a goal to achieve... they're not out specifially trying to hurt little girls or kill innocents for shits and giggles. As such, the "evil" in GSG is for the most part an institutionalised evil, rather than a personal evil (I'm sort of paraphrasing a discussion I had with a mate regards the Honor Harrington series here, but the same thoughts are relevant). That lends itself to the moral greyness of the story, with is one of the things which drew me to it in the first place. That's another big one for me; I want to see badguys, smart badguys preferably, who aren't necessarily bad and hopefully actually quite relateable.


There's more, but those are the ones which leap to mind.


...I actually wonder if this isn't so much a "things I look for when reading" spiel, as "things I aim for when writing" spiel.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by boomer_gonz on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 13:12

I agree with Alfisti here. The Deathclock is a big one I like to use almost to the point of OC abuse.

My main OC Alpha doesn't have a deathclock peresay, but within the main storyline his fate is simply to watch those around him perish one by one until there is none left and be utterly, hopelessly if you will, powerless to stem the thinning of the ranks.

It's the fact that GSG began for me as a grim story, especially with the end of the first anime season giving weight that Angelica passed on in her sleep. Granted it happened that way in the manga, but the end to Season 1 had so much emotion layered on it stuck in my chest and drove me to write fanfics for it. Even now, that's what makes GSG so appealing. From the onset you know that there are no happy endings going on here.

The manga gave us a semblance of one, but in truth the dark subject matter is at the core of many GSG fanworks (save for a few comedic ones). Though the canon girls, and even our OC's gain little victories here and there; they are still fighting a losing battle from within.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 13:51

I agree. In my writings, life as a cyborg sucks. Those on the outside see it, and the girls themselves would see it if they weren't so hopped on the c-drug. I suspect there is a little part of them inside that does either see it, or sees that they ought to see it. Take Angie's passing. The girls talk about it matter-of-factly, but one of them (Tri?) says that she thinks she should be feeling more, but doesn't.

On the topic of evil, I agree. Hilshire the most, but all the handlers wonder to some extent if they're justified in committing evil to fight evil (Jean does a great job of handling it, though. I still see it in him.) In a recent chapter, I wrote a scene where the OC neophyte handler is forced to participate in torturing his cyborg, and at the hands of the Agency, not some villain's death game.

I had a hard time writing it. The story is rated T on FanFiction, so it's not explicit or exploitative. However, subjecting a ten-year-old girl, no matter how drugged, to ice water torture and waterboarding is just plain evil. I justified it on many fronts, enough that I could see it as not utterly breaking canon, but I still had a tough time writing it.

I think that's what brought this about. At the end of it, I felt it was solidly in the canon, and I realized there is a subtle, insidious mindgame the manga plays: you are enthralled by it as you turn the page, rooting for the Agency and decrying the Lega Nord. However, at least for me, after a bit, I realize the inherent horror of the scene. And, by cheering them on, I feel complicit.

It's a wonderful, and at the same time terrible, realization. It is something I have seen elsewhere (usually in manga, but I'm sure Western prose has it as well), but it is one of those things I expect and adore in GsG.

===

Regarding Alfisti's comment about "what we want to write" vs. "what we want to read" - we all write what we want to read, seeing as that's our only reward for this. As such, we should all have a good idea of what we want to read already. Now, some may simply say "young girls with cybernetics forcibly transplanted by a shady government agency" is enough to claim it as GsG. If so, I say more power to you. Please write it!

I'm not here to be the One True Judge. I think I'm curious if I'm too far out of line, what the differing opinions are, and who else is of like mind.


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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by J the Drafter on Sat 2 Feb 2013 - 12:55

For me, the best parts of GSG fanfics are the areas that look at the characters' thoughts and feelings. I'm particularly interested in how the conditioning has altered the girls' viewpoint on things, e.g. Henrietta casually talking about how she has killed a bunch of people.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 2 Feb 2013 - 21:50

For me, it's about Lauro.
The whole GSG story is great and I'd prolly write a fan fic regardless even if he didn't exist, but I like that character so much, he's my main reason for writing, therefore that's what the Gunslinger Girl fan fiction is for me.
When I write about Gunther, my fan fic character who is Lauro's younger brother, it's like I'm keeping him alive through his sibling. Wink
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 21:02

(Dragging the topic out of the refuse bin because I'm that sort of kitty.)

For me, a lot of it is the mood.  It has to be somber, it has to be subdued.  I want the world to suck, in part so that the little bits of hope and cheer are blinding by way of contrast.

At this point, I'm running out of ways to make the world suck, so I'm open to suggestions.  By 'suck', I mean within the context of "life continues."  Letting the nukes fly or unleashing the T-virus will definitely make life suck, but it will also upset the canon universe.  I'm looking to find ways to make the canon universe (or at least as much as I can keep) suck.

Help?

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 21:31

You could run with the "Italian Civil War" idea first kicked off by Odon. A country and population divided against itself is pretty sucky.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 22:21

That's sucky on an abstract level.  For it to work on that one-on-one gutpunch level I prefer, it'd have to be something along the "best friends end up on opposite sides of the war" trope.  Or, the usual deprivation and depravity that comes with war.

My problem with flipping the "war starts" switch is that it is very hard to find and flip the "war ends" switch, at least within my writing timeline.  If it's set in a 'hot' war, then the war tends to be front-and-center, limiting my plotting choices.  

While you can point to shows and movies that don't feature WWII battles set during that period (Foyle's War and Land Girls are two titles I've seen), they're not as readily at hand-and-mind as ones on the battlefield.

I guess I should be more specific.  I'm looking for more ways to make the characters' lives more sucky, not the world as a whole.  There's an additional sense of tragedy when one character (or the fratello as a pair) are being crushed under their private burden, and the rest of the world is oblivious, or even sunnily cheerful.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Il Direttore on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 22:29

DISCLAIMER:
DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS BEING PRIMARILY PERSONAL PREFERENCE. IT IS WRITTEN IN AN ANTAGONISTIC AND FORCEFUL STYLE, BECAUSE I HAVE STRONG OPINIONS. WHETHER OR NOT YOU ACCEPT IT IS IRRELEVANT, IT IS SIMPLY WRITTEN AS A PIECE AND EXISTS.

For me, what makes GSG great is the constant normality. Nothing is actually gone to shit in the public sphere. Many things aren't great, but they've not gone horribly wrong. The innocence of a world at peace is still alive and shines brightly. This singular element, when crushed, is demonstrated to be the catalyst for many horrible things, not the least of which is the existence of the cyborgs in and of themselves. And to anyone, not just the politicians or the pundits, the maintenance of this innocence, this irretrievable brightness in the quagmire that is the world, is important above all things.

The fight is thus shown to not be for some great moral reason, such as justice or equality or whatever, but rather to Maintain the Status Quo. Things cannot be allowed to get shittier, and so the government can and will use whatever means it has in order to hold and retain power and order. The capacity for control is constantly in doubt, and so too does the grip of government overwatch grow constantly tighter. The Majority Government cannot and will not allow control to slip from its grasp. Even in battle, everything is kept under control through conditioning and psychology, regardless of the morality of such an action. To rip off Metal Gear Solid 4, everything is monitored, and kept under control. The age of deterrence, the Cold War, is now the age of control, where all resources are no longer devoted to averting the end of the world, but rather to adverting political and economic catastrophe due to internal strife and chaos.

In this sense, Gunslinger Girl is not a manga merely about innocence and the loss of it, but rather about what people can and will do to retain innocence, and how they change when innocence is torn away from them. It demonstrates the capacity for humanity to go completely off the deep end when they no longer have a bright spark that burns away the darkness and keeps them sane, but it also demonstrates the capacity of humanity for deeds of great sacrifice and great compassion when that innocence is at risk.

To make a Gunslinger Girl fanfic, therefore, is impossible without the challenging of innocence. Whatever you do, however you do it, you absolutely MUST challenge the innocence of a peaceful world. You must approach this innocence with the intent of breaking it, of shattering it, of grinding it into the very dust of the world before leaving it to scatter on the wind, never to be recovered. To write a story and call it "GSG Fanfic" without doing so is to fail to grasp the fundamental nature of the show and the manga. This, then, is the fundamental thing that must be grasped. It is the central concept, the very core, of what makes a story a Gunslinger Girl story.

Perhaps perceptions differ on the show's original concept, and I will concede that characters and their interactions or whatever other reasons exist are probably all very justified and valid. But for me, all of that still boils down to the singular reason of protecting innocence. Why were the cyborgs created? Why did Jean go on a revenge rampage? Why was Marco so unable to handle Angelica's condition? Why were Petrushka and Alessandro always such a cheerful fratello to read when Henrietta and Rico and Triela all made us much more sad? These are questions that I do not believe are answered simply through plot or literary elements, but rather because of the underlying motivations behind their existence and their actions. That is where it ends, in my book, and that is what I need in order to consider a story to be a Gunslinger Girl story.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 22:40

Wow... Great essay!

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 22:41

@taerkitty wrote:(Dragging the topic out of the refuse bin because I'm that sort of kitty.)
I like that sort of kitty.

Like all fanfiction of any work, the fan must wright something that is in his belief a viable story in that universe. Thus one of my works: A US Team of CIA Nuke Chasers caught up in the SWA Universe. The other - a collaboration with BoomerGonz of the SWA's origins, as such an organization would have started from many circles.

Though my OC may seem to be god-like and untouchable, I created them as solutions and answers to given problems. Fernando can be shot, its a matter of getting that close (or far) enough to get it done. To get to Juanita, you have to get through two cyborgs. And though Francesca might be an airhead, dont let that fool you; she is a lot smarter and faster than most. Her problem is that the med tech reprogrammed her a bit to hard an made her forget thing that Fernando taught her over the years. And Rachel... She there at Fernando's side, taught by him to be the best... But the stories, like the GsG Universe, is Dark. Like I said on this forum many years ago... "Carpe Noir"

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Il Direttore on Tue 25 Jun 2013 - 23:07

@taerkitty wrote:Wow... Great essay!

Well now that I've stopped blushing, thank you!

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Alfisti on Wed 26 Jun 2013 - 4:58

First up: great essay El, and agreed on a number of points... especially the "ongiong normality" (if I'm reading that right): people can fight, people can die, one side or the other can win but, to a greater or lesser extent, life goes on for those not directly involved. They remain innocent.

@Taerkitty wrote:That's sucky on an abstract level.  For it to work on that one-on-one gutpunch level I prefer, it'd have to be something along the "best friends end up on opposite sides of the war" trope.  Or, the usual deprivation and depravity that comes with war.

My problem with flipping the "war starts" switch is that it is very hard to find and flip the "war ends" switch, at least within my writing timeline.  If it's set in a 'hot' war, then the war tends to be front-and-center, limiting my plotting choices.  

While you can point to shows and movies that don't feature WWII battles set during that period (Foyle's War and Land Girls are two titles I've seen), they're not as readily at hand-and-mind as ones on the battlefield.

I guess I should be more specific.  I'm looking for more ways to make the characters' lives more sucky, not the world as a whole.  There's an additional sense of tragedy when one character (or the fratello as a pair) are being crushed under their private burden, and the rest of the world is oblivious, or even sunnily cheerful.

I'm not a great fan of hitting the "war" button either... but for me it's a case that it stops being GsG once you hit the "war" switch. Big battles, armies and open combat full in the face of the public are not what I came here for.

As to the original question of making things suckier for one or both members of the fratello: the cyborg can have problems in the dorm with another girl(s) or suffer a late reaction to her conversion process, she could miss-read something her handler does or completely foul up some way. For the handler there could be a rift form between him and the staff... assuming this is for Paulo you already have reason for others not to trust him, (more) family troubles, money troubles... if his cyborg has issues with another girl and they get far enough they will become his issues... a run-in with Section One or even just piss off Ferro...

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 26 Jun 2013 - 12:04

@Alfisti wrote:First up: great essay El, and agreed on a number of points... especially the "ongiong normality" (if I'm reading that right): people can fight, people can die, one side or the other can win but, to a greater or lesser extent, life goes on for those not directly involved. They remain innocent.
Bluh. Embarassed

Thanks for the compliments, Alfisti.

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- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Fri 28 Jun 2013 - 16:11

@ElfenMagix wrote:But the stories, like the GsG Universe, is Dark. Like I said on this forum many years ago... "Carpe Noir"

I'll admit to having a bit of a hard time with overpowered characters.  In fact, I'm struggling a bit with trying to come up with opposition of suitable power level to be believable and yet challenging.

The fact that the girls are at a nigh-unbelievable power level already means head-on combat isn't a good option.  I remember when I first read the St. Mark's Tower sequence and was shaking my head.  "Yu's tired of this series and is going to kill them all to finish it."

I can't outfit everyone with RPG-7s, anti-material rifles, and such.

Besides, death is a blessing.  'Suckage' requires they live through it.  

===

Back to the original post.  For me, what makes a GsG story is the emotions.  The reader has to feel for the girls, the handlers, and even the support staff.  I want the reader to voice the doubts and reservations denied the girls.  I want the reader to be "hit in the feels" just like the handlers and those support staff still with a sliver of a conscience.

I want the stories to make the reader think, question, and doubt.  Do the ends really justify the means?  Being a cyborg is a "fate worse than death," but is it worth it?  What are the limits to that ephemeral phrase bandied about: "humanity".

You can do that with god-mode characters.  I loved the X-men's Dark Phoenix saga in 1981 or so.  However, cyborgs  that are carefree, that have life too easy, that are too whole, they make me look elsewhere.  

===

I'm going to be stupid here and be absolutely truthful.

- I don't like rich handlers.  I want the handlers to be only slightly freer than the cyborgs.  The girls are their weapons, and they are the dogs of the Agency.  They fail to perform, they will get put down.  That applies for the girls, that applies for the handlers.

I want the handlers to need the Agency, to need to stay in the Director's good graces. They're on a tight leash, and the Agency should yank on it every so often to remind them that they're constantly being spied upon, too.

- I don't like stories where the cyborgs have a full childhood.  Some of them (most of them) have as much of a childhood as their handlers can give, either out of guilt or out of duty, but it's in no way even approaching what most parenting experts consider 'barely sufficient.'

The Agency would probably they just sit in Elsa-style spartan dorms when they're not in the killhouses and ranges.  It's cheap, it's effective, and they're always where the Agency left them.
 
- I don't like stories where the fratello has a fully-healthy relationship.  I want the relationships to be creepy to some extent.  I want the bond to be harmful, but the conditioning blinds the cyborg to the festering sores.  The handler should also be aware of it, but continues to work within it because he has to.  See previous point.

- I need the handlers to be broken on the inside.  The girls are broken on the outside, the handlers on the inside.  (The girls are also broken on the inside, but the conditioning drugs keep them from seeing that.)  That's actually where I'm having problems defining Paolo - he's too whole. 

- I need the fratello to be vulnerable, and constantly threatened from both within and outside the Agency.  If they cake-walking it, if there is not a frequent and substantial risk of hurt and harm, it's a turn-off for me.  The cyborg may be nigh-unkillable, but that doesn't mean it can't be hurt.  I want the reader to know that, should the attack be successful, it will cause both deep and long-term damage to the fratello, the bond between them, or the members.  

===

In short, I don't want the reader to want to be either a handler or a cyborg after reading my fic.  Their lives suck.  That's the baseline.  It sucks, but it's a low-enough level of suckage that they've learned to cope. They lie and think it's "worth it."  Or that "it's better than the alternative."  

From that point, I'm looking for ways to deepen the pit.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Il Direttore on Fri 28 Jun 2013 - 17:04

Here is the issue I foresee.


@Taerkitty wrote:I want the stories to make the reader think, question, and doubt.  Do the ends really justify the means?  Being a cyborg is a "fate worse than death," but is it worth it?  What are the limits to that ephemeral phrase bandied about: "humanity".


This I feel to be non-compatible with infinite suckage.

Specifically, the idea of "a fate worse than death" implies at least one thing: a lack of hope. Concluding that conversion to cyborg-inity is a fate worse than death implies that being turned into a cyborg means to have all possible hope stripped away from you, and that nothing, ultimately, can possibly exist except despair and death. But to say that there is no hope, that nothing remains after conversion except existing until you die, is, I think, a false statement.

Do we not live because, in life, we hope and pray to the world or to God that something in life, greater than what we have now, will one day come, and that whatever it is, it will be an event or a thing that shines brightly in this dark, festering pit we call Earth? The reason a cyborg opens her eyes and is able to get off the hospital bed is because her first thought is to her duty and to her handler. It is because love for this person and a hope to make him or her happy and proud, however artificially instilled, burns within her as the primary motivation for all of what remains of her life.

To call that fate a fate worse than death implies that such love and hope is transient at best and nonexistent at worst. That to the cyborg, clearly, instantly and immediately, such feelings and beliefs exist only as an artificial construct and may be discarded at will. If that is the case, you would conclude that no cyborg has any reason to live and should probably shoot herself as soon as possible, because living will only bring her more suffering. 

And so the notion of infinite, increasing pain and despair no longer computes. Because to have infinite, increasing pain and despair, one must first have a reason for suffering through it. And if you being by saying that the fate of any one cyborg is already worse than death, then you have already made it clear that nothing is worth suffering and returning to death would be preferable in all cases. And so everything collapses, and there is no story, no character, nothing.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 28 Jun 2013 - 19:57

El Conservatore wrote:Here is the issue I foresee.


@Taerkitty wrote:I want the stories to make the reader think, question, and doubt.  Do the ends really justify the means?  Being a cyborg is a "fate worse than death," but is it worth it?  What are the limits to that ephemeral phrase bandied about: "humanity".


This I feel to be non-compatible with infinite suckage.

Specifically, the idea of "a fate worse than death" implies at least one thing: a lack of hope. Concluding that conversion to cyborg-inity is a fate worse than death implies that being turned into a cyborg means to have all possible hope stripped away from you, and that nothing, ultimately, can possibly exist except despair and death. But to say that there is no hope, that nothing remains after conversion except existing until you die, is, I think, a false statement.

Do we not live because, in life, we hope and pray to the world or to God that something in life, greater than what we have now, will one day come, and that whatever it is, it will be an event or a thing that shines brightly in this dark, festering pit we call Earth? The reason a cyborg opens her eyes and is able to get off the hospital bed is because her first thought is to her duty and to her handler. It is because love for this person and a hope to make him or her happy and proud, however artificially instilled, burns within her as the primary motivation for all of what remains of her life.

To call that fate a fate worse than death implies that such love and hope is transient at best and nonexistent at worst. That to the cyborg, clearly, instantly and immediately, such feelings and beliefs exist only as an artificial construct and may be discarded at will. If that is the case, you would conclude that no cyborg has any reason to live and should probably shoot herself as soon as possible, because living will only bring her more suffering.

Elsa clearly came to see her fate as one worse than death, which is why she killed herself and took her handler out with her (perhaps in the belief she was "saving" him from a fate equally worse than death when she was gone).

I do not believe any of the other canon girls had this view of their life as a cyborg. Rico clearly sees her fate as one better than death, as does Angelica. Henrietta has the fear her fate could be worse than death, but only if Jose leaves her. As long as he is by her side, such thoughts I doubt ever enter her mind. And Triela clearly has hope - it's what I think is a core of Hilshire going forward. Even with his relationship with Roberta, he decides he'd rather end his life with Triela than continue on without her.



I've long stated "I don't do tragedy" and that is clearly reflected in my fiction. But then I have also long stated that I do not write Gunslinger Girl fiction - I write fiction set in the world of Gunslinger Girl. Smile

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 28 Jun 2013 - 20:33

@Kiskaloo wrote:
El Conservatore wrote:Here is the issue I foresee.


@Taerkitty wrote:I want the stories to make the reader think, question, and doubt.  Do the ends really justify the means?  Being a cyborg is a "fate worse than death," but is it worth it?  What are the limits to that ephemeral phrase bandied about: "humanity".


This I feel to be non-compatible with infinite suckage.

Specifically, the idea of "a fate worse than death" implies at least one thing: a lack of hope. Concluding that conversion to cyborg-inity is a fate worse than death implies that being turned into a cyborg means to have all possible hope stripped away from you, and that nothing, ultimately, can possibly exist except despair and death. But to say that there is no hope, that nothing remains after conversion except existing until you die, is, I think, a false statement.

Do we not live because, in life, we hope and pray to the world or to God that something in life, greater than what we have now, will one day come, and that whatever it is, it will be an event or a thing that shines brightly in this dark, festering pit we call Earth? The reason a cyborg opens her eyes and is able to get off the hospital bed is because her first thought is to her duty and to her handler. It is because love for this person and a hope to make him or her happy and proud, however artificially instilled, burns within her as the primary motivation for all of what remains of her life.

To call that fate a fate worse than death implies that such love and hope is transient at best and nonexistent at worst. That to the cyborg, clearly, instantly and immediately, such feelings and beliefs exist only as an artificial construct and may be discarded at will. If that is the case, you would conclude that no cyborg has any reason to live and should probably shoot herself as soon as possible, because living will only bring her more suffering.

Elsa clearly came to see her fate as one worse than death, which is why she killed herself and took her handler out with her (perhaps in the belief she was "saving" him from a fate equally worse than death when she was gone).

I do not believe any of the other canon girls had this view of their life as a cyborg. Rico clearly sees her fate as one better than death, as does Angelica. Henrietta has the fear her fate could be worse than death, but only if Jose leaves her. As long as he is by her side, such thoughts I doubt ever enter her mind. And Triela clearly has hope - it's what I think is a core of Hilshire going forward. Even with his relationship with Roberta, he decides he'd rather end his life with Triela than continue on without her.



I've long stated "I don't do tragedy" and that is clearly reflected in my fiction. But then I have also long stated that I do not write Gunslinger Girl fiction - I write fiction set in the world of Gunslinger Girl. Smile

I don't necessarily do tragedy, but I write as the story needs. If a character needs to be shot during a shoot out or as a target of some would be shooter, then they will be shot. Espionage is a game that dances with death when things go wrong or when needed to make things right. Its not a game where one wins with a smile. Law enforcement does not mean that a law enforcement officer will never draw their weapon on a suspect intent on escape and not caring who gets hurt in the process. The use of deadly force maybe necessary when called upon, nobody is that lucky.

Stories that uses god-mode characters and actions is cheating on a story, making it take shortcuts to make things easy. I dont necessary agree with that, and though my stories seem that they do, they dont. My characters think, maybe too much and can figure out problems to situations, not taking for granted that things will go well for them. I see that in too many fanfiction stories - characters taking for granted that things will go well for them. We are human, and our characters must reflect the humanity within us. I do for I write Fanfiction based on the Gunslinger Girl universe.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 16:21

@taerkitty wrote:(Dragging the topic out of the refuse bin because I'm that sort of kitty.)

For me, a lot of it is the mood.  It has to be somber, it has to be subdued.  I want the world to suck, in part so that the little bits of hope and cheer are blinding by way of contrast.

At this point, I'm running out of ways to make the world suck, so I'm open to suggestions.  By 'suck', I mean within the context of "life continues."  Letting the nukes fly or unleashing the T-virus will definitely make life suck, but it will also upset the canon universe.  I'm looking to find ways to make the canon universe (or at least as much as I can keep) suck.

Help?

A co-worker and I were discussing Iberia Airlines today and the general sorry state of the Spanish economy, so if you want suckage, modeling your fictional Italy off of real-life Spain would be a good start.

Unlike Silvio Berlusconi, Renato Pisano was able to hold onto power, but Italy's economy continued to erode and the fiscal crisis deepened. The EU, after bailing out Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, Hungary, Portugal and Latvia finally puts it's foot down and says "no" to bailing out Italy, resulting in the country slipping into a depression. Unemployment is at 25% and the unions have been gutted, resulting in them becoming even more militant. Padania steps up their efforts at secession, noting that the North should not be dragged under by the South and the Five Republics gains traction as the idea of "controlling one's destiny" as an independent republic or city-state seems like a better idea.

With the economy in collapse, the government has to drastically cut back spending. What if Dina was the last cyborg converted? I know she's a Generation One, so you can either make her the last Gen 1 (so set it in an Alternate Universe where the Second Generation never happened) or make her the last Generation Two. There were other girls planned for conversion, but the plug has been pulled on them - literally. You could have the Social Welfare Agency on the verge of closing down due to lack of funds or even have Pisano thrown out of office, leaving Special Operations Section Two with no cover and no benefactor. Special Operations is subsumed into the military or the Carabinieri as a covert operations unit and the handlers and girls need to adapt to military life and regulation. Medical development stops and the focus now is to keep the girls operational for as long as possible to "maximize their value" before they're scrapped as being too expensive to support.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 30 Jun 2013 - 16:39

While I understand that the above is supposed to be suckish for the SWA, I do have to admit that the mental image of Dina being hopelessly confused by tactical vests utterly adorable.

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Re: Flamebait: What Makes a GsG FanFic a GsG FanFic?

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