Author Topic: Book Air Rewrite  (Read 7267 times)

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Loopy

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Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 07:31:36 PM
Well, that's a lot better than them being Thomas and Martha Wayne. :D I like that their death is linked to the specific sordidness of the city, rather than a random murder that could have happened anywhere, bringing a bit more of its character into the lives and backstories of the characters.



FartsOfNeil

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Reply #16 on: September 18, 2016, 05:31:25 PM
Alright, Asami's up and since she's so closely tied to what's actually going down, her actual plot description kind of exploded.  I'll have to do some trimming a'fore I actually talk about what she does, but 'till then, her's a quick rundown of who she is:

Asami is before anything else, an engineer and it informs every aspect of her personality and thought processes.  Her life is lived with a level of structure tipping well in to the realms of OCD, using a rigidly scheduled daily routine as both a tool for productivity and a shield against being caught in situations she’s unfamiliar with.  She hates being unprepared for anything, with very little tolerance for rushing into things without at least some kind of plan.  Telling her to ‘expect the unexpected’ is one of the quickest ways to piss her off.  Despite her own personal reservations, she’s exceptional at thinking on her feet.

Regardless of the kind of problem she faces, they are all dealt with as if they were engineering problems, solved through examinations, breaking down and approaching it piece by piece.  While overall this makes her a pragmatic, productive and an extremely effective problem solver, it also has a tendency to backfire when applied to social issues she has to deal with and has left her with a reputation for being somewhat socially awkward and even callous towards the feelings of others, though she doesn’t mean to be.  It also makes her a very poor judge of character.

She’s also curious, with an insatiable desire for knowledge, fueled in part by a deep fear of ignorance, but there is little she won’t try to learn more about.  This has lead to her oddly bi-polar lifestyle, where her awkward social behavior provoked her into learning how to be a socialite.  She now effectively imitates a high society debutante, which she views as a form of harmless escapism.  She very much enjoys the attention and looking pretty, but there's a deeper sensation.  A sense that she's solved the problem about herself.

Her true passion is as a grease monkey, working as head of her father’s R&D department, where she leads a small group of engineers creating and testing new designs or refining old ones.  The group’s mostly comprised of Sato’s close friends when he began his business and so have known Asami all her life and they basically view themselves as family.

Her relationship with her father is personal and friendly, but there’s also a side that is both professional and intellectually contentious.  Her father relies on her department to keep their business ahead of the competition, but can sometimes make unreasonable demands that she pushes back on him about however she makes it a personal prerogative to never let her views get in the way of her responsibilities to the company.



Loopy

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Reply #17 on: September 19, 2016, 06:19:36 PM
Hey, most engineers have no problem expecting the unexpected. That's the fun part, brainstorming all kinds of weird things that can go wrong and then coming up with ways to make the product in question indestructible. The budget discussions that come after aren't as much fun. :D



FartsOfNeil

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Reply #18 on: October 02, 2016, 05:44:06 PM
Well, it's more to say that she hates being unprepared for anything.  To wit:

How she plays out in the story has...already been played out.  She runs over Mako, takes him to dinner, they hit it off. she meets the team, gets Sato to sponsor 'em, they try to arrest her father, the secret facility gets revealed, she betrays them...but not really...

The last act of the story would basically have her splitting herself in twain trying to 'solve' this impossible problem.  She knows her father is wrong, but can't bring herself to betray him, while at the same time, she secretly helps Korra whenever she can and tries to convince them that she can get her father to see the error of his ways if they just give her time.  Tarrlok/Amon finds out she's a double agent, but instead of capturing her, manipulates and preys on her fears in order to both gain information and subtly convince her to truly join the cause.  In the end, it's Korra who convinces her to stop waffling and take a stand and she shuts down Sato's mechs and subdues him herself.

So the person who hates surprises the most has to deal with the rug repeatedly and constantly getting thrown out from under her.  I swear, I don't dislike her.  Honestly the original season one kicked her ass just as much, but my beef was that she didn't do anything about it.  So the majority of what she does is more about how she responds to having the rug constantly being shoved out from under her and largely it's by retreating further and further into her comfort zone of treating everything like a logic puzzle and shutting out everything else.  As mentioned prior, there'd be a big discussion Korra would have with her that would eventually break this and have her save the days...which is really important to remember when I get to Korra...

...next time...



Loopy

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Reply #19 on: October 11, 2016, 05:33:29 PM
Ah, yeah, I can understand that mindset a lot. I'm always trying to play for optimum points in real life and run myself ragged as a result.

And, of course, a character who actually does something is always good to have around. :D



FartsOfNeil

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Reply #20 on: October 13, 2016, 07:22:02 PM


Something I forgot to mention regarding Asami is her relationship with Korra and Mako, which kiiinda important since it plays a pretty massive role in what motivates her actions.  With Korra, it's a fairly similar arc to Mako.  Avatar/spiritual stuff in general are outside her wheelhouse, but she does understand that it has a large cultural significance and there are expected social responses regarding it.  'nother words, the Avatar is someone you're supposed to be super respectful and 'traditional' towards, and she has a noted difficulty reconciling this expectation with the down-to-earth person she knows as Korra.  'nother 'nother words, she can't see the Avatar past Korra and she knows that's not socially acceptable, and this tension is turned into general discomfort/unease when being around her and a gnawing sense of suspicion not entirely because she works so closely with Mako.  The arc in this relationship would be Asami learning to accept Korra as a person first and foremost and then helping her in becoming a better Avatar.

The topic of Mako however, would be a little more...tumultuous.  After the initial dinner, she'd be hooked on him.  Talking with him she feels for the first time that she'd met someone who she can relate to.  His pragmatism and focus reflects her own and she really felt like Mako would 'get' her.  Meanwhile, he'd still be in full-on 'check yo privilege' mode when they first meet, so his response to when this beautiful rich girl offers him dinner as a posh restaurant is to think 'she wants a human sports car to show off.'  It never occurs to/he's unwilling to acknowledge the possibility her affection is genuine, so when it all gets put on the table when they come to arrest her dad, the realization of how he really felt about them together would be pretty devastating.

H'okay!  So now I can start talking about Korra...next time!



Loopy

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Reply #21 on: October 14, 2016, 06:00:39 PM
That's right, Mako, suffer for your mindset! Bwahaha! :D

Nah, really, it's cool.



FartsOfNeil

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Reply #22 on: October 24, 2016, 10:04:12 AM
I actually might...have that?  I 'unno.  I know I'm approaching this from the same angle Bryke would've, i.e. building for a one-season story because I don't know if the show'll be picked up for more.  So it'd be important that all the characters have some form of acceptable closure.  That being said, I of all the characters that I'd be 'okay' with leaving unresolved, Mako'd be the top pick.  Not 'unresolved' but more unredeemed...or more accurately, 'still wrestling with shit'.  Character Sequel Bait.

...

Zuko.  He'd be Zuko.  Okay, so Korra...



Oh buzz off I'm a busy man!  Anyway:

So in the original Book Air, Korra's arc was...very muddled.  Yes, the plot was a structural garbage and that didn't help, but mostly it was that the show was telling us she couldn't punch her way to victory, then proceeded to show her punching her way to victory.  That being said, I think there's foundation there that can be used, which is that she doesn't understand who she is and I mean that in a very literal sense.

My version of Korra would largely remain intact from what was in the show (not the least of which because J Varney was a cornerstone in making that show bearable), but the motivation for that behavior would be far more clear and present.  Essentially, my story of Korra would Identity Crisis: The Animated Series.

We'd have this character who has grown up being conditioned with expectations born from OWL's assumptions about what the Avatar is and as a result of being shut away from the outside world and being only exposed to this viewpoint, she wouldn't understand her own identity as Korra.  She understand on the conscious level that she's a human being born from a mother and father, and given a name as a form of identification, but she identifies as the title 'Avatar' rather than as the person Korra.  'nother words, she's under the belief that every aspect of who she is, is exclusively the result of her being the Avatar.  She is the way she is, because that's what the Avatar is supposed to be.

Her story would be about how this assumption gets ripped apart upon being put into practice in Republic City, and how she learns to separate her identity from a title and essentially realize her own person hood.  So she'd still be headstrong, impulsive and try to punch her way to victory, but now it would be because she thinks that's what The Avatar is supposed to do.  She'd still have this spiritual block that keeps her from airbending, because she has yet to realize who she truly is.  The content's the same, just the context is different...except the challenges she faces would be different, or at least framed differently.  I'd already establish her as powerful and unbeatable in a fight, but make it'd a point to show that winning physical scuffles she gets into doesn't solve her problems, they just create more fights.  So what does she need to do?

Talk.  She needs to talk.

Her story and her growth would largely be social in nature.  How she develops her relationships with other people in Republic City would be how her story is told and since idendity is the core theme at play, it'd be the lens through which those people interact with her.  Their interactions and responses would be the avenue for her character arc, as most of them would first view her as 'The Avatar' like she does thus reinforcing this unhealthy viewpoint and then learning who she truly is as a person and either challenging or developing her growth as a result, with the inevitable goal being that she learns who she is as Korra is what makes her the Avatar, not the other way around.

So who is Korra?

Korra is someone who empathetic, selfless and determined.  She has an innate and deeply held resolve to help people and while she has difficulty understanding 'the larger picture' and making long-term decisions on that scale, her honesty and vulnerability make her approachable on a personal level and that's where her strength lies.  Her success in the story would not be in beating up the bad guys and saving the day, but in helping the people around her realize their full potential to aid in helping the city save itself.  She doesn't defeat Amon/Tarlok, her interactions with Tenzin allow him to overcome his hesitant nature and fight for what he feels is right.  She doesn't defeat Sato, Asami gains the courage and will to choose a path for herself as a result of her relationship with Korra.  And so on.

Like, I'd have this side-plot where she'd learn that Aang considered Avatar Kuruk to be one of the best Avatars in all history because he actually did his job of keeping balance rather than having to restore it, and not through massive feats of bending prowess.  He was just a really personable guy who knew how to talk to people.  He was a great Avatar because he stopped the fights before they happened.

Plot-wise, Korra's final 'battle' would be talking down Noatak after he kidnaps Tarlok intending to off/de-bend them both in some back alley that no-one bears witness to.  Her journey would be a personal one and her actualization would be using powers that are entirely Korra's in origin, rather than the Avatars.

So yeah...I'd turn her story into a Visual Novel.  Sue me.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 02:26:08 PM by FartsOfNeil »



Loopy

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Reply #23 on: October 24, 2016, 06:45:05 PM
Interesting that Aang's opinion of Kuruk is inverted from the fandom's. Of course, we only know his story in how it led to the encounter with Koh, and there's some confusion about whether it was his webisode aggression that led to losing Ummi or his cartoon-finale's "go with the flow" attitude. Looking back and using some concrete examples to say, "These are the qualities of a good Avatar," would do a lot for Korra's storyline.

I'm curious, though, how Korra wound up with the idea that the Avatar is a human weapon when Aang's tenure started with showing a kind of mercy to Ozai and then leading the world into a new era of cross-culturalism. I wouldn't mind a story that will eventually blow the lid off the ridiculously incompetent White Lotus of Korra's time.



ahintoflime

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Reply #24 on: October 25, 2016, 12:48:24 AM
Interesting that Aang's opinion of Kuruk is inverted from the fandom's. Of course, we only know his story in how it led to the encounter with Koh, and there's some confusion about whether it was his webisode aggression that led to losing Ummi or his cartoon-finale's "go with the flow" attitude. Looking back and using some concrete examples to say, "These are the qualities of a good Avatar," would do a lot for Korra's storyline.

I'm curious, though, how Korra wound up with the idea that the Avatar is a human weapon when Aang's tenure started with showing a kind of mercy to Ozai and then leading the world into a new era of cross-culturalism. I wouldn't mind a story that will eventually blow the lid off the ridiculously incompetent White Lotus of Korra's time.

I assumed that someone had weaseled their way up the White Lotus and took power and was playing at a long game all that time that Korra was receiving - apparently - useless, ineffective, weak, wrong, incomplete, training. Like that they were setting up the curriculum and who is going to argue against the Head Lotus and any other conspirators that would be in league?

But it just turned out to be Korra.

And they did have examples of qualities of a good Avatar. They did it with Wan before Korra turned into blue Jet Jaguar. And with how everyone who was opposing what Aang did being beaten down by his successor's comrades and their own burning ambition.

And qualities of a good Avatar would only serve to have Korra hate herself even more since she didn't demonstrate any of those qualities positively in the show's run. "Going with the flow" led to Kuvira. "Being decisive" had her lose the past lives. "Do whatever it takes to protect the world" led to her state in Book 3's end. "Only justice can bring peace" led to her losing to Amon at the end when she tried to expose him and bring him to justice and actually led to the criminals going on a one way cruise.

So yeah...I'd turn her story into a Visual Novel.  Sue me.

I do like the idea of talking.
But considering how driven her opponents were she would need to reallocate or put her points in charisma, wisdom, and intelligence. I don't see Amon going down in one private conversation.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 01:27:40 AM by ahintoflime »



FartsOfNeil

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Reply #25 on: October 26, 2016, 08:09:07 PM
I assumed that someone had weaseled their way up the White Lotus and took power and was playing at a long game all that time that Korra was receiving - apparently - useless, ineffective, weak, wrong, incomplete, training. Like that they were setting up the curriculum and who is going to argue against the Head Lotus and any other conspirators that would be in league?

This kind of story is exactly what I'm trying to fix about Book Air, because it did the exact same thing being suggested here.  It took the very complex issues of class inequality, government corruption and systematized oppression and boiled it all down to 'Masked McBadguy threatens status quo' because they weren't willing to have that conversation.  It wouldn't make sense to create some character with a deliberate motivation to sabotage Korra's development, especially when there are already perfectly valid explanations for OWL's behavior that are far more believable such as collective fear, presumption and the natural change in perspectives/alignments/opinions that occur in any organization over time.



Loopy

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Reply #26 on: October 27, 2016, 06:42:14 PM
Yeah, in my own fanfic, I've hinted at the idea of Iroh's turning the White Lotus into an army that one time basically started it down the path of becoming a full military organization, with the leadership being career soldiers and other warriors. I'm not sure why Aang would approve such a thing, but it could be justified without adding a malevolent entity.

I'm just up for some well-written fantasy politics. No more false-flag operations, though, because I've read a million of those and written a half-dozen. Time for something new.