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So I have recently been examining my works and the tropes in them, and I have realized, much of my work is, in general, a deconstruction of many different sci-fi elements and war stories.

Sometimes this is insanely brutal, as one example uses the concept of faster than light travel, something taken for granted in every sci-fi ever, and completely destroys it. The idea that we could do this, is presented to be able to destroy all of man kind. Not by going out into the Stars, but by the fact that warping space-time like that could wipe out our whole solar system. This is an entire plot point on which much of my work later focuses on.

I never meant to do this, and in many ways my work falls under Indecisive Deconstruction. This lead me to a thought; what is it is about deconstructions?

Why do we do them? What are their strengths? Weaknesses? Are they generally better than being played straight? tropes are not bad, yes, but I have an insistant nature on decontructing things in general when I am just thinking how to include things in my work. This is in part of my dread of writing it all out at once, to look at it and deconstruct it. This is why I have been so unwilling to just write the damn thing for a while. I have been so busy on deconstructing it BEFORE I write it out, so I do not have to go through the pain nearly as much.

This has led me to utterly maddening points when I do this, and I want to hear everyone else's views on deconstructions. Plain out, I want to, in a sense, deconstruct the idea of deconstructions.

So let's let the flood gates open, and discuss deconstructions.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Most, if not all of my works are deconstructions too. I believe the main reason for it is that I'm trying to be realistic, and there are so many tropes that are just plain unrealistic if played straight. It's not a concious thing though, I don't wake up and say "Let's deconstruct this trope today!". There are also trends in fiction that bother me, and I deconstruct them in order to do something different, though I'm not a big fan of originality for originality's sake.

The above have a tendency to make every single one of my plots dark, set in a Crapsack Word, with a Downer Ending more often than not, with messed up heroes who get more messed up as the story progresses. How much of it is a direct result of deconstruction though, I'm not sure.
The reason why we do deconstructions is because the straight of doing things become trite and clichéd. Basically in order for new things to grow you have to burn down the forest. It causes a lot of destruction but like many of the pines some stories can only be made after the original idea is deconstructed. Their strength is that their a new way of looking at something, their weakness is that they can get old fast, particularly if it's Darkerand Edgier. But the thing about deconstruction is that they can lead into reconstructions of the original trope.
Edited because it was a dumb knee-jerk reaction.

edited 25th May '11 12:13:15 PM by Leradny


Oh god, oh god.

Okay, how to put this? I wasn't even talking about time distortion, I was talking about warping SPACE-TIME, not time, and not space, but SPACE-TIME, but really it was more focused on the space part.

EVEN WITH THAT, this is an extremely flawed picture, it's just wrong, and I will tell you why, it is using a classical model to a relativistic reality.

It isn't even considering time dilation. As you approach the speed, of light, relativistically, everyone observes you as slowing down in time, as speed is diverted from the dimension of time to space. When you reach the speed of light, a physical impossibility since it would require infinite energy, since the speed is a convergent quantity. When you exceed the speed of light, mathematically, you will go BACK in time.

Your using the wrong model. I'm sorry, but you fail at special relativity. The ironic thing is though, I wasn't concerned with that aspect of it, I was concerned with General Relativity. Unless you can provide a more detailed explanation that actually proves with a relativistic model why the actual statement would turn out to be true, I must conclude that your assertion is in absence of an understanding of Relativity.

I do not mean to sound know-it-all, but I do not know how else to articulate it. The picture ignores many, many facts. The only way someone could conclude something like that is just being, for a lack of a better, word, ignorant of how Relativity works. The idea presented there contradicts on of the very basic aspects of relativity.

My work, though was focusing on the distortion of space being messed up, and effecting orbits like waves in the ocean can overturn a boat.

Anyway though, back to deconstructions. (if you want to continue this we can go to PM's, I also have some reference material on hand, though mostly in actual book form)
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Sorry mate. I just snapped because I'm not currently the paragon of mental stability.

Let's drop it before this gets embarrassing.
7 MajorTom25th May 2011 01:03:23 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Deconstructions are well-loved by certain authors (of which there seems to be a higher proportion here on TV Tropes possibly owing to knowing how tropes work inside and out) because quite often the authors love said trope or genre.

You know the old phrase "I hate because I love"? Basically the logic behind Deconstructionism in a large percentage of those who write Deconstructions. Tear apart a trope, play it way too straight for it to be acceptable anymore or alternatively let Reality Ensue.

I myself am fond of the lattermost in my style of Deconstruction in Endless Conflict. Take some of the classic scenes you'd expect out of a military sci-fi or Space Marine show and have reality check in. Suddenly the space marines are using real tactics as opposed to their Hollywood manual of arms, the Powered Armor is actually utilitarian to ease the load of carrying armor and gear while at the same time providing a level of protection on the battlefield, and best of all the soldiers themselves dropped the cut-and-dried attitude and became real people even if their mortality rate is sky high. That's what I do and I still follow the logic I mentioned earlier. I deconstruct all those scenes because I like that style of show.

edited 25th May '11 1:04:14 PM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
My teacher's a panda
Deconstructions are just one of the many ways that I love playing with a trope. But I wouldn't say I prefer deconstructions over any of the other ways to play with tropes. In fact, I really do enjoy playing tropes straight, incredibly straight, in a way that hasn't been seen before. I do like justifying tropes, lampshading, subverting, double subverting, and zig zagging.

Overall, my priority is to tell a story that is unique, and often that means subverting expectations, taking familiar things and making them unfamiliar. Sometimes it requires deconstructing a trope, and sometimes it requires something else entirely. If you're going for a more realistic feel for your story, then deconstruction is often the choice to go with. For example, in my superhero series, I attempt to play with a lot of superhero tropes, but through the eyes of an ordinary family just entering the superhero world. The world is supposed to be slightly realistic, although more along the lines of magical realism, but is most definitely a very gritty and dark world. So a lot of the tropes would be deconstructed, mostly to establish the type of world I'm trying to create.

In a lot of my other works, I usually go for a lighter tone, and in these works I would typically go for the exagerrated or parodied trope, simply because the world of the story calls for the tropes to be played that all. Overall, I suppose it all depends on the intent of the work and the type of mood you're trying to convey.
Hmm, so they are fueled by hatred, or love, or both.

Personally, my tone is 'when you think you understand how it works, you discover you are still wrong.'
Deconstruction in my work and how I relate to what has been said (may skip if you don't care about it, won't stop the flow of the post)

Essentially, it is about truth, finding it, and figuring out what the hell is going on with everything around you. The first book plans to do this with political motivations and with the idea of the "big bad". Namely, who is the big bad? We have three contenders, a guy that seems somewhat like a good guy, the canoical big bad guy that teams with the heroes at the end, and the mysterious council of great power. Also, to a lesser degree, one general.

The next book further complicates this with many factions rising, and the motivations of the canocal big bad being actually not so bad, the one guy that is on the boarderline be more vague, and that council showing to, while with bad and good motivations, are actually in some ways doing some good.

The next book, completely stomps it into the ground, asking if maybe the hero was near to becoming this. Even with all this, the seemly randomness of politics and war makes this realistic. My approach was to realstically portray what a War would be like between a developing country and a developed on on this kind of scale, with both mostly following the Geneva Convention and the poltics taht follow. What I came up with though, was many different deconstructions not just in war, but in sci-fi, as they have political (economic) and military applications.

Thus, in my efforts to simulate the confusing "what the fuck is the truth?!" in War and the politics we get, like the US did in Iraq and Afganastan that I have grown up in my childhood with, along with accusations of war crimes against us, I can show that we often don't 'get the whole picture.'

So by presenting the idea of 'not getting the whole picture' I come up with all this other stuff. Was what America did wrong in the prisons? dunno, but did it saves lives? maybe. I can't know, I do not know the whole picture. That is how I take the portrayal of how the war pans out in my book, only the reader does know MOST of the story, and while team Nightmare knows most of it and sees people react to parts of it, they still are not completely sure since powers greater than them all have their own god damned agenda until the hero says "fuck it, we have our own too!" and tries to do the 'right' thing.

Apparently playing mine too straight, or portray a real life point, led to many deconstructions. I would say that I love sci-fi and war stories. I love realistic war stories that drive that point of confusion to home even more. I like alien and human war stories, like Halo and such. I love the tropes, so I guess I do it out of love in a sense. The ones I love more are the ones I am willing to see completely deconstructed, as we see why we love them so much, and it makes it more dramatic and feel so much deeper.

It is a little hard to see why one would do it out of hate though for me. Can anyone expand on this? Or any other important points about deconstructions?

edited 25th May '11 4:58:04 PM by jasonwill2

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
10 nrjxll25th May 2011 07:54:15 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
I'm not a big fan of writing deconstructions - with one exception. I love to use Reality Ensues. As I've brought up on a few other threads, I write from a very Watsonian perspective, which means treating my works like real life. As a result, both situations, and, especially, characters, tend to play out more like real life then like fiction, which can occasionally give my works the feel of a Deconstructor Fleet.

I don't, however, try to do this all that deliberately - it's not like I sit down and say "I'm going to deconstruct this trope today". And I hate the mentality that Deconstruction = Darker and Edgier. It certainly doesn't for me.
11 feotakahari25th May 2011 09:35:28 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I get the impression that TV Tropes influences writers towards deconstruction. The positive interpretation of this is that they're becoming self-aware. The negative interpretation is that they've latched onto a fancy term for legitimizing Darker and Edgier. Both are probably true for different people.

I don't remember ever completing a story that was a deconstruction in the standard sense, but one I plotted out on and off for about eight years did take a rather brutal approach to how the standard fantasy hero would function in a setting where Dark Is Not Evil.
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
They are painful to write I find. Part of the reason I loved writing star wars fanfic was not having to deconstruct any concepts.

hell, for a while I am going to see how many I can play plain striaght in my work.

but anyway, does anyone else have any view on teh love/hate thing?

edited 25th May '11 9:42:25 PM by jasonwill2

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
13 drunkscriblerian25th May 2011 09:47:10 PM from Castle Geekhaven , Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@feo: I'd tend to agree. There's a reason there's a page entitled Not a Subversion.

I'm making a point of using a trope that I don't personally like, to see if I can craft a story I enjoy from it.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
My first work started as a deconstruction of Shounen but ended up being a character study of a Villain Protagonist trying and failing to be The Atoner. That aspect remained a deconstruction and I actually repeatably made it look like I was going to deconstruct The Power of Friendship but I had a subverted deconstruction instead but I may still deconstruct Easily Forgiven in the second half.

I have managed to make a nice Re Construction of the Byronic Hero though. I deconstruction Bad Dreams in one chapter, and the main character as a whole is a deconstruction of Bad Powers, Bad People.
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15 dRoy26th May 2011 02:24:47 AM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Perpetually clueless
I originally considered making my work a deconstruction of Shōnen anime, but along the way it become something to a shonen genre as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is to Humongous Mecha genre (yes I do know the elements of decon, but ya know.)

edited 26th May '11 2:25:52 AM by dRoy

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
[up] I want to read that once it's finished, I must judge if it's worthy of being compared to TTGL :3
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17 dRoy26th May 2011 02:28:52 AM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Perpetually clueless
[up] No, darn! I take my comment back! I was having a short moment of Small Name, Big Ego DX.

Well, I guess that it's not TOO much of an exaggeration because really, there's pretty much only three words I have in my mind when I work on my work:

Refuge in Cool.

edited 26th May '11 2:31:34 AM by dRoy

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
[up]I want to read it regardless, "never take back your words if you mean them, no matter how it might seam." ....-writes that down for own writing-
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19 MajorTom26th May 2011 06:29:02 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
And I hate the mentality that Deconstruction = Darker and Edgier.

So do I. But you want to know a funny thing? Compared to other shows of similar genre to mine, mine is actually Lighter and Fluffier. Sure the combat is depicted quite realistically, sure there's tons of Scenery Gorn in war-torn regions and sure the mortality rate is sky high for both Red Shirts and named characters but the effect is actually lighter. Endless Conflict is not grimdark/grimderp, or two-dimensional in World Building (which is in stark contrast to 40k's flat universe of "Gods are making things shit and the not-gods are making it worse"), or depicting the future as only having an oppressive regime as its outcome. (Possibly a Take That! to Starship Troopers.)

edited 26th May '11 6:29:38 AM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
20 GAP26th May 2011 10:43:08 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
It is possible to have a deconstruction without gong darker and edgier but it almost seems when playing tropes in a realistic context that trhere us bound to be some form of horror in there.
"Maki Harukawa: Looking Inquisitive"
It all really depends on how the deconstruction is portrayed in terms of being made realistic. You could easily have a realistic deconstruction land on the idealistic need of the sliding scale and still not be an Reconstruction, and vice versa.


The Load

Cynical Deconstruction: The Load gets a member of the team killed or is killed themselves because of them being in the way.

Idealistic Deconstruction: The Load is told by the heroes that they have no use and should stay away from them, resulting in them becoming depressed and disenfranchised with the heroes or just simply staying away from the heroes. The later being the most idealistic.

  • A subverted reconstruction might have them trying hard to become more useful but ultimately failing.

Neither is a reconstruction.
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I think the tendency comes with that fact that most cool tropes that are deconstructed turn out to be dangerous, either physically, mentally, or psychologically to ever come about naturally.

Though if one trope or premise might work out perfectly for a story brutally deconstructed, it could be idealistic. I do not know what kind would work here, other than the Nuclear Option, which might be very hard to deconstruct tropes the way most people do. I mean, can you play it any straighter? Deconstructing it might actually make it work better for a story.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
23 GAP27th May 2011 09:40:43 AM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
Deconstructions (at least some of them) do address the strange logic that most writers seemed to hand wave. It also asks questions and takes different scenarios to already tried-and-true tropes such what would happen if damaged protagonists became mecha pilots? Just what what is the energy source they are using? Or what would happen if an orge became the hero of a fairy tale story? Deconstructions take the trope apart by analyzing why it works that way or what would happen if it works in the real world. That is not to say that jsut disliking a trope is deconstructing it, that is a different matter.

edited 27th May '11 9:41:02 AM by GAP

"Maki Harukawa: Looking Inquisitive"
24 honorius28th May 2011 05:23:38 AM from The Netherlands
"never take back your words if you mean them, no matter how it might seam."
quite an interesting metaphor
If any question why we died/
Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
So Shrek is a deconstruction?
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly

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