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Anvils You Needed To Be Dropped:

 101 Fallen Legend, Thu, 8th Dec '11 9:48:40 AM from Mexico City!
Element of love
The recurrent anvil that my works tend to drop, from orbit, is that "the world is too complex for people to improve it by merely having strong/good will". Essentially, that people who preach that "nothing is impossible", or that talk their kids will be able to do everything they want or dream of, or who turn to "world love" or "religion" to the solution to the world's most important troubles, are way past the point of insanity. But more important than that, one can not simply go and make one thing better — it ends up making everything else worse. Getting things better is a process, and having better things is a process too, not a goal..

Unless you mean that change requires action alongside will. I stronky disagree with those themes.

But everyone has their own opinions I guess.

edited 8th Dec '11 9:48:59 AM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 102 Actually Comma, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:02:18 AM from a mysterious place
I am making sense!
Not really, because if ever any showed up in my vicinity I could kill them with a gun. There's a difference between 'generically hostile nonhuman' and 'terrifyingly powerful Eldritch Abomination'.
Fair enough

I would like to get back to the 'face-eating monster' anvil. Lovecraft (and some similar writers) are a bit anvil-happy, the message being that human life is utterly pointless and there is no god and no hope. A lot of people resist that particular moral so he/they have to be a bit blunt.

Reading Heathen's post, I drew a conclusion: we seem to have very different ideas of what leads to the best outcome. My list of popular and unpopular aesops: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13221722320A23582300&page=1#6 His list of popular and unpopular aesops: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13221722320A23582300&page=3#68 It's like Order Versus Chaos personified. Except instead of between Badass Anthropomorphic Personifications with Physical God-esque powers, it's... a pair of nerds on the internet. Somewhat less epic. :/
What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?

The chaos list reminded me of the episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit where they took on PETA. PETA's animal rights activists espoused the view that violence against humans was justified to prevent violence against animals. Then P&T explained that PETA euthanize roughly 2/3 of the animals they 'saved' from shelters, and that one major figure in the organization uses medication that was tested on animals.

If somebody is really gung ho about committing violence in the name of a cause, consider the possibility that they like violence more than they like the cause. There's an anvil for somebody to drop...

edited 8th Dec '11 11:09:14 AM by ActuallyComma

Except [condescending response follows]. Because [sarcasm here]. You do understand [snark], right? POTHOLE TO SARCASM MODE
 103 JHM, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:09:02 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] Yet it also makes his work more effective: What is a horror story, especially a tale of the weird, if there is no inherent slant against the "protagonist" in the world of the tale?

Also, yes, there is a very big difference between a simple monster and Azathoth itself. Partly it's a simple matter of scale, but it's also a matter of whether or not the small rules apply.

edited 8th Dec '11 11:11:41 AM by JHM

 104 Actually Comma, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:13:02 AM from a mysterious place
I am making sense!
Well the generally advised way to create a horror story (That Really Sells!™) is to create a believable setting, believable characters, and have them menaced by some almost-believable supernatural thing. I never really bought that: if believability is the most important thing, why isn't all horror fiction about stuff like e.g. home invasions or realistic serial killers? The threat should be more fundamental... Lovecraft et al got that.

EDIT: also re: the previous discussion, what makes eldritch abominations so very eldritch is not the threat of them ripping your face off but the larger implications of their existence.

edited 8th Dec '11 11:19:22 AM by ActuallyComma

Except [condescending response follows]. Because [sarcasm here]. You do understand [snark], right? POTHOLE TO SARCASM MODE
 105 JHM, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:17:18 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] Exactly. That's what I was kind of nodding to with "small rules": Our collective conception of physics, for example...
I have two main characters. One has a very traditional view of right and wrong, the other has a very grey morality. The one with the grey morality comes across as stronger throughout the story, but at the end, the two are proven to be just as strong as eachother, just in different ways.

The message in there is, I guess, that a more black and white worldview doesn't automatically make someone a weaker person, and there are times when clear cut morals are more useful than grey ones.

 107 Handsome Rob, Sat, 10th Dec '11 9:36:48 AM from A very angry place Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
Scary little bugger
[up]

I like that. I've always felt that while Grey and Grey Morality is Truth in Television, and makes for interesting stories, it's sometimes comes at the cost of not allowing heroes to be heroes. While Black and White Morality does have it's flaws, I think sometimes you can find things that are one way or the other.

That's probably a weird thing to hear anyone say, but Moral Ambiguity sometimes allows for too much leeway in what is allowed, and too easily justifies I Did What I Had to Do even when it shouldn't be.
No, I'm not a Zombie, they piss me off.
 108 Rainbow, Tue, 13th Dec '11 5:24:36 PM Relationship Status: Puppy love
Sailor Moon Fan
Probably the series I'm writing with the most potential to be Anvilicious is my Harry Potter next-gen fic "The Four Witches Series." The main lesson of the story is:

  • People are not their parents and should not be blamed for bad things their parents did. Nor should they be worshipped/given special treatment for things their parents did.

It kind of grew up as I wrote the characters (the only thing planned at the beginning was Scorpius Malfoy being Draco's opposite because I HATE Draco and don't want him duplicated in his son), and some of it comes from the fact that I highly dislike it when next-gen fiction makes the kids act like clones of their parents (I don't mind them looking like their parents or having similar magical powers, but it's BORING when they have the same personalities). So it's basically a Take That to the In the Blood trope.

I also have a Sailor Moon fanfic (starring Senshi with dessert names) that could probably get rather anvilicious at times with its anti-homophobia message (although I tried to balance things out by having one of the good guys be rather homophobic but not to the murderous extent of the villians).

edited 13th Dec '11 5:27:47 PM by Rainbow

Pink Sugar Heart Attack!
Formerly G.G.
I got this from another user on another forum:

You don't have to be the best, you just have to think you are.
"Comics that go longer than ten volumes just coast on their success. At least that's my theory."
 110 Gault, Tue, 13th Dec '11 10:45:26 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
[up] That seems rather dubious to me.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 111 Night, Tue, 13th Dec '11 11:03:48 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
[up]I'd say there are professions where it's reasonably true; sports teams, some emergency services, many military posts. When it's better to act at once then it is to debate for ten seconds for the perfect response, confidence is a valuable trait.

Doubly so for things where aggressiveness is also desirable, which brings us back to the military and sports again.
Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
 112 USAF713, Tue, 13th Dec '11 11:08:29 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Being "the best" can simply be a matter of mindset, if the person who is actually better than you has become complacent. It's not nearly so common or so easy as fiction would have us believe, but it's not a terribly unrealistic aesop...
I am now known as Flyboy.
 113 Umbramatic, Wed, 14th Dec '11 5:48:01 PM from WAAPT or PEFE Relationship Status: Holding out for a hero
@ Arla Grey + Handsome Rob: I agree SO much with both of your points. Grey and Grey Morality is great when you do it right and is close to IRL (Though the closest to me is Morality Kitchen Sink), but unfortunately many times it's done too much like Black And Black Morality and the heroes are made into assholes, which is why I consider them about equal but almost prefer Black and White Morality.

As for what I use? Well, my works tend to subvert Always Chaotic Evil and similar tropes a lot; specifically, I portray normally monstrous species as having a good side in at least some individuals. Even the "demons" in my fantasy universe, who have their morality preprogrammed from birth, have good eggs, and some are major characters. I also like to stay a little idealistic on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism - sure, the world is full of crap, but the good stuff can make up for it if you focus on it enough, and it is very possible to make it better.

Also, I like to screw with the tropes used by antireligious authors, and portray antireligion as just another form of religious discrimination, but I try to keep that one in check to avoid offending people. tongue

edited 14th Dec '11 5:48:57 PM by Umbramatic

"There's a funny thing that happens when you know the correct answer. It throws you when you get a different answer that's not wrong."
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]OK, so your works have moral themes. Do you deploy anvils, though? That's what this thread seems to be asking.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 115 Exelixi, Thu, 15th Dec '11 3:43:08 AM from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Newton's Third Law, applied to philosophy. Every powerful movement or organisation directly forges its own death. This is most apparent in Reclamation, wherein the heroes are all spurred into action by something the Synagogue does; they kill off Iris' race, execute Jace's childhood friend/first love/etc, made Blackheart into. . . Well, what he is, and forced Keira's species into a state of existence that makes slavery look comfortable.

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
 116 Umbramatic, Thu, 15th Dec '11 1:58:56 PM from WAAPT or PEFE Relationship Status: Holding out for a hero
[up][up] Good point; now that I think about it, I tend to avoid actually stating the moral unless it's a parody. However, I do plan on dropping anvils for at least some of those in future stories, and the themes are so blatantly obvious in some I've already written I may as well have dropped the anvils.
"There's a funny thing that happens when you know the correct answer. It throws you when you get a different answer that's not wrong."
 117 Pink Heart Chainsaw, Sat, 17th Dec '11 4:03:36 AM from Land of Rape and Honey
PinkChainsaw
My fanwork of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is going to deconstruct the usage of The power of friendship and The power of love as a fuel source. Friendship and love are amazing things though they can be explained, it is simply immoral to use them to fight evil.

edited 17th Dec '11 4:04:07 AM by PinkHeartChainsaw

"If there is a hole then it's a man's job to thrust into it" - Ryoma from New Getter Robo
 118 Noir Grimoir, Sat, 17th Dec '11 4:17:07 AM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
[up]How is it immoral to use the power of love and friendship to fight evil?
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
 119 Pink Heart Chainsaw, Sat, 17th Dec '11 5:06:26 AM from Land of Rape and Honey
PinkChainsaw
[up] Well it isn't exactly immoral it's just not a good a plan as expected. You see turning something as personal as friendship and love into weapons aren't a good idea. Love can be lost and Friendships can be strained. Whenever your fucking up because you can't get along then finger pointing is going to be involved. Thankfully I will still have an uplifting moral that friendship can still be maintained in the darkest of times, and that it is ok to be mad at your friends from time to time.
"If there is a hole then it's a man's job to thrust into it" - Ryoma from New Getter Robo
 120 Noir Grimoir, Sat, 17th Dec '11 5:33:28 AM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
I think the word you were looking for is 'risky' then.
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
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Total posts: 120
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