I’m honestly the happiest little kitty in the world right now. TV Tropes is one of those sites I adore. It’s been my… ambition? Hope? Dream? I don’t know, but it’s been something of mine, for a long time, to get something I wrote onto TV Tropes.
I didn’t expect that to be A Hole in the World. I expected it to be Bounty or one of the other things I’m currently working on that are much better than A Hole in the World.
And yet… here it is.
I am literally squealing and flailing and bouncing around in my chair. I haven’t been this happy since I held my book in my hands in print (I’m still working on the actually getting it published as a paperback at the moment, but I’ll get there.)
There’s a few things on the page that amused me and pleased me that I wanted to bring up here.
Basically, it’s a traditional fairy-tale about a prince, a princess and a kingdom whose fate will be determined by the power of their love — with a bit of a twist.
And it is adorable.
Whoever wrote that, I kinda want to have your babies. You know that, right?
Made my day. Made my day.
Cloudcuckoolander: Ditzy personality aside, Alexandra is one weird, spacy girl.
“Music is surely the most beautiful thing to permeate the air!”
I hadn’t looked at her that way, but now I am laughing my butt off over here because “cloudcuckoolander” is probably the best way I’ve ever heard of describing Alexandra. I love Tropes.
Expy: With her attitude, her vague butch/bi-curious tendencies toward Bianca despite her obvious crush on Cory, and her knowledge of chemical pyrotechnics, Daisy just might be an expy of Ace (whose birth name, coincidentally, is the similar-sounding Dorothy).
I have actually never seen a single episode of Doctor Who from Ace’s era, so not only am I incredibly pleased to have written a character that is comparable to such a famous and well loved (I believe) Doctor Who companion, but I find it really very amusing to find out I wrote someone that was like her.
The Unfought: We never even see the evil sorceress.
Damn… now I’m getting sequel ideas.
Thank you, whoever put A Hole in the World on TV Tropes and whoever contributed. You have made my hour, my day, my week and my month. I think you’ve also made my parents’ hour, day, week and month, and when my friends get a flail-full of Happy Squealy Sophie, you’ll either have hell to pay or more people thanking you.
I am honestly the happiest person alive right now.
I’ve got a new Twitter. My old one was basically a large heap of embarrassing things I did when I was younger, so I’m deleting that one pretty soon and I now can be found @SophieRWriting. Hopefully I’ll actually use this one. I’ve got it linked into my phone and I’m not embarrassed about anyone seeing my older tweets anymore.
In other news, Mass Effect 3 came out at the start of this month. I’ve expressed on this blog how much I love Mass Effect before and I stand by that. I love Mass Effect. I love Mass Effect 1 and I love Mass Effect 2 and I even love Mass Effect 3.
What I don’t love, is the ending.
Spoilers for Mass Effect 3′s Ending to Follow.
Mass Effect 3 was like eating your way through the best dessert you’ve ever eaten, just for the last bite to be a sour onion.
Advertised as having sixteen different endings, Mass Effect 3 let itself down. There is one ending, you just get to choose whether you want it in red, green or blue.
This isn’t actually what I want to talk about in this blog, though. What I want to talk about is the backlash.
From what I’ve seen there are now a few different schools of thought when it comes to the ending, but there’s only two I want to talk about right now.
The majority of the fanbase, as far as I can tell, thought the game itself was amazing. It was a roller-coaster of emotion and heart that reduced many fans to tears and gibbering wrecks right up until the point the ending happened. Then they were left going, “Wait… what?” because it fit in with none of the lore, in fact jossing part of it, and ruined the franchise’s ending. They want Bioware, the developers, to change it the ending. They’re so passionate about this that as of this moment when I’m writing this, they’ve raised more than $80,000 for charity in the name of Retake Mass Effect 3 (the donate page has now been closed).
There’s another part though that feels the exact same way right up until the last sentence – they don’t want the ending changed. They believe it infringes upon the artistic integrity of the writers and to demand a changed ending would be some rights-infringing insanity that must be quashed before it can spread and annihilate all of civilisation as we know it.
To that, I say, as an author, “Rubbish!”
The point is, to my mind, that the writers of Mass Effect 3 messed up. They spent three games developing lore and facts to go with their universe just to, in the last five minutes, go, “Oh, never mind.”
In the Mass Effect 2 DLC “Arrival” it is established as lore – as canon - that if a Mass Relay explodes, the star system that Mass Relay is in gets wiped out. Obliterated. It is an ex-star system. They don’t even forget about this in Mass Effect 3 – it’s in the codex. You can open up the journal and read all these interesting facts about the universe right there on your screen as you game. The codex tells you about the asari and the turians and the enemy you are fighting, the Reapers. It tells you about Indoctrination and it tells you about the Msas Relays. It states, in plain English, that they had considered blowing up the Mass Relays to prevent the Reapers arriving in Citadel space, thus saving the world but they couldn’t because the resulting explosion would wipe out all life as we know it.
This would be fine, this would be great, except that in the last ten minutes of the game a little glowy kid wandered out, shouted at Shepard – the main character, the player character – to wake up and said, “Right okay, choose red, green or blue, all of which will result in the Mass Relays blowing up.”
That’s right: Shepard is forced to blow up the Mass Relays to save the galaxy, which in turn dooms the galaxy to a life without space travel and completely ignores the established lore that Mass Relays exploding will destroy the solar system.
Well done, Shepard. You just wiped out every galactic civilisation just to save every galactic civilisation from being wiped out. You must be so proud! Oh, wait, you’re dead. Never mind.
Which brings us back to artistic integrity. People are shouting that to expect a writer to change the ending of something they’ve worked on is terrible, but I disagree.
Imagine, for a moment, that you spend six years of your life crafting an intricate, amazing universe of, say, a series of books. At the back of each book you have ten, twenty, thirty pages even of a glossary. This glossary gives the reader character histories and reminds the reader of all the lore you’ve established for the last six years. In the very first book, you established that there are no telepathic species. Not a single one. This is repeated in the lore, in the glossary, by the characters enough times that the readers know – telepathic races do not exist. Before you publish the final book, you announce on your blog/twitter/tumblr/website about how there’s going to be no deus ex machinas. The ending, the finale, is going to come from the lore and everything that’s been developed so far.
Then, in the final chapter of the final book, the main character suddenly sits up and goes, “I know what we need! We need telepaths!” She gets in her ship, flies to the nearest populated planet of telepaths, kidnaps herself a few telepaths, comes back and saves the galaxy! Rejoice!
But then the comments start coming in; “But I thought there were no telepaths?” “That ending was rubbish… You already established there were no telepaths.” “Why would telepaths be the key when they don’t exist? She was asleep, right? It was a dream?” “What happened to no deus ex machinas?”
Wouldn’t you rather know? From the point of view of an author who potentially spent six years pouring themselves into every facet of a universe, loving it, wanting others to love it, feeding on that love… Wouldn’t you want to know that you screwed up? Wouldn’t you want to know that not only did you screw up, you alienated a large portion of your fanbase? Wouldn’t you understand why the fans were shouting, “We want an ending with no telepaths! It says in the glossary that there are no telepaths! You can’t expect us to buy an ending where there are telepaths.”
I would want to know. I would understand the complaints. I would change the ending. It may take me a while, but I would do it.
Also, when your fans are actually grasping in desperation for the ending to be a dream… You know you’ve done something wrong.
There’s artistic integrity and then there’s making no sense whatsoever and, honestly, I’d rather my hypothetical mess-up to result in $80,000 dollars to a children’s charity and then a correction and apology than just lose all of my fans and have everyone hate my entire work.
You’re all welcome to quote me on this when I make my own terrible mistake with a series of books.
Image by Rheill on DeviantART