My first post here, looking for general guidance:

Total posts: [16]
1 ElectricBoogaloo21st Dec 2011 08:34:26 AM from My Room. , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Insert title here.
Er, so, I've been having this premise for a story, and after spending around 5 months reading TV Tropes (also editing something here and there), I decided to finally close the tabs and put some tropes together for this story. Basically, it is a wacky science-fantasy about a nerdy guy (Jimmy) with No Social Skills, somewhat Brilliant, but Lazy, who one morning is woke up by a green penguin that spontaneously appeared in his room, which turns out is a MPD-ish Mysterious Waif generated by a "glitch" in the reality, whose other manifestation takes form as a suddenly appeared app in Jimmy's smartphone, which can basically do Save Scumming in Real Life. So Jimmy enjoys the new power and companion to try and have a fullfilling normal life. NOT. So, there will also be some Space Opera to frame the whole thing, and while Jimmy does all the crazy stuff he can do with the power of Trial-and-Error Gameplay, there will be lots of lampshading, parodying, ShoutOuts, and general tropism (Jimmy is One of Us after all). And here I am trying to get some ideas to enrichen the narrative, or necessary trims, etc. Y'know, a second opinion.
Hilarious injoke
I saw your avatar and read MPD-ish as Mawaru Penguindrumish

I'm sorry

edited 21st Dec '11 10:55:15 AM by Thelostcup

If you find the text above offensive, don't look at it.
3 Schitzo21st Dec 2011 10:53:16 AM from Akumajou Dracula , Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
Is there a penalty he'll have to face because of constant save scumming?

Will he eventually grow bored of save scumming?

Will it become a crutch he can't do without?
4 chihuahua021st Dec 2011 12:47:22 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Generally, you should write out a test scene and see how the story unfolds.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
I'll be honest with ya here - from the very limited information provided so far, it kind of sounds like a bundle of tropes scraped together into the vague shape of a story, with some Class-A nerd-bait sprinkled on top, fed to us by an extremely obvious authorial self-insert. Try not to narrow your target audience too much, and tone down the 'oh god I wish my life was like this' vibe.

Posting a sample of your writing would help, too - it's always good to check that you've got the mechanics down before you start assembling stuff.

edited 21st Dec '11 1:53:56 PM by Iaculus

What's precedent ever done for us?
6 nrjxll21st Dec 2011 01:56:24 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
[up]I got that kind of impression as well, but I'm not going to leap to conclusions based on a paragraph or two. There is one part of that, however, that I definitely agree with:

it kind of sounds like a bundle of tropes scraped together into the vague shape of a story

Tone down the bluelinks. The biggest problem a lot of newer writers on this forum have is this tendency to try and build their story out of tropes, instead of the other way around.
7 ElectricBoogaloo21st Dec 2011 02:39:42 PM from My Room. , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Insert title here.
of course, this is still a preliminar sketch of what I'll be doing, there's a lot of space for changes. about the probable wish-fullfilment feelings it may arise, I'm thinking about the possible downsides of the save-scumming, maybe at one point make him save at a wrong time; or just abuse the thing to the point of being just plain unhealthy, living the life without unpredictability has it downsides and it gets too plain easy and unenjoyable with time, and addictive (exp. taken from save-scumming with games, obviously) but lets not forget that it'll be comedic, so having a moderate lot of tropes won't hurt in my opinion as long as they fit well the plot and atmosphere To be clear, I won't just throw lampshades and mary-sues in it just for the hell of it.
8 Luthen21st Dec 2011 03:25:07 PM from Down Under Burgess , Relationship Status: Playing Cupid
I agree with quite a bit so far, but here are some thoughts:

Have an episode/chapter where control of the save-scumming falls in the hand of his rival. Then he'll have the challenge of getting back. Whether he has Ripple Proof Memory as a result of previous save scumming is up to you.

Question: does he have to consciously choose to load a save, or is it automatic? Could have an amusing Game Over Screen interlude, possibly.

I also wouldn't be afraid to time-skip a few runs, like in Groundhog Day, for a bit of a training montage.

The biggest thing I think you need to decide is, what is Jimmy's goal/motivation. Get the girl? Do something awesome? Make a lot of money? Learn how to make the perfect omelette?

Might be good to ask others what they would do with such a power. I personally would be tempted to go for more long term runs, going all the way to old age or something, so I can try as many different things. Though effectively killing whatever family I gain might be a bit heart-breaking.

edited 21st Dec '11 3:27:17 PM by Luthen

You must agree, my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity!
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Remember that tropes are tools, not foundation. Building a character from a trope, or starting a character from a basic trope is usually a good idea; like everything else, you have to start somewhere and build from there.

It sounds like a story that just has a lot of random ass tropes thrown in just for the hell of it, which frankly sounds chaotic and boring. The whole save scumming thing sounds like a cool idea, but I find that a nerd with poor social skills having this power is massively cliché; I usually find that heroes or protagonists with poor social skills (or poor skills in something, anything, for that matter) having an amazing power to over compensate for it has been done time and again. Why not give that kind of power to the man that already has everything that he wants, then asking what in the world would he do with that kind of power? Or give it to the guy with poor social skills, but can't tell when would be a good time to use it, or who uses that power at times when the outcome is already amazing, but thinks he/she can do better.

Again, the sample of the writing would help here, but from what you've told me, I'm not sold on the idea.
One has to remember that stories are not built from tropes.

Tropes are in stories, yes, but stories have far more then just that.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Indeed. Asking whether something is a promising story based on what tropes are involved is rather like asking whether a painting has merit based on the precise shades of blue that the artist used.
What's precedent ever done for us?
I Get Along
Don't write in tropes, it simply does not work. Create characters, create themes, create a basic plot. You try to build something out of tropes and you end up with 2D characters and a trite clichéd story. Tropes can be fun to use when consuming a work, but they are no substitute for soul, passion, purpose and imagination. And they are certainly no substitution for the fundamental understanding on how story telling works.
Talks about art, misses all the points.
And they are certainly no substitution for the fundamental understanding on how story telling works.
Oh so true.

Tropes tend to be the bareback essence of what composes storytelling, much like musical notes. How they're arranged is what makes a good story or piece of music, not that you have them there in the first place.
14 ElectricBoogaloo23rd Dec 2011 02:25:15 PM from My Room. , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Insert title here.
Oh. You see, all I did was describe it like a TV Tropes summary page would, I mean, just to get the general idea, I used the tropes, but obviously I won't be making the whole story with only tropes. My wording was probably misleading. What I likely need to do now is a more in-depth description of the whole thing, it'll take a while, since I've just started a new job now and... Just not much time to trope, I mean, write.*
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]TV Tropes article pages are exceedingly poor things to derive an idea of the quality of a work from - hence, the YMMV and Review tabs. They simply list the narrative building blocks a work employs.
What's precedent ever done for us?
What I'd recommend, if you're serious about it, is writing it as a short story first. It's a simple enough concept to be used as one, and it allows you to get faster feedback and also allows you to improve.

There is no reason to not later expand the concept into a longer work if you so choose.
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Total posts: 16