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Chapter Five, (Stupid) Things, of Tribulations is up.

Let the confusion begin.

(I kid, I kid. Don't bother to line up a timeline here - the dating is to give a general idea of when it takes place and, in the case of subplots, so you know which piece came first.)

Some stuff about fictional dreams )
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Chapter Four, (Appealing) A Higher Power of Tribulations is up.

Wasn't kidding about mood whiplash.

The really disturbing thing here is that I'm not even reaching into metaplot here. In canon, the authors repeatedly describe contact with God as something that fills you with shame and self-loathing at how worthless you are, say God is too bright to even look upon, etc etc. The only change is that Adalia's reaction to the witnesses is conducts to the divine as glorified humans, rather than ordinary guys the protagonists hero-worship for no textually explained reason.

The ramifications of forgiveness are also pretty horrific if they're thought too long on, especially with what things are considered sins.

Also, Uzumaki. The feel of Junji Ito's work is really similar to how I think of the LBverse. The crucial bit to the horror is that it's inexplicable, something alien that's brushing up against our world, and something fundamentally opposed to humanity. The Wikipedia page puts it best: Ito's universe is also very cruel and capricious; his characters often find themselves victims of malevolent unnatural circumstances for no discernible reason or punished out of proportion for minor infractions against an unknown and incomprehensible natural order.
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Chapter Two, Just Treading Water, of Tribulations is up. Did end up changing the title a bit. (Also, I ended up splitting the chapter once I finished the speech, so technically Ch3 is also done.)

Bible reading in Left Behind seems a lot like an informed ability. Side characters often say they're reading the bible, but it's always off camera. The one time there was on camera reading, it was skimmed over and the character continued on with their life as if they remembered none of it. There may be an interesting metaphor buried in here. Drinking water quenches thirst, but it doesn't change you. Similarly, the characters who "thirst after the living water of the bible" seem to simply be thirsty, drink, and continue on with their life.

A good way to know if a course of action or line of thought is incorrect in the Left Behind books is if it can fit into a sentence beginning with "Intellectually, he knew that..." This may be why no character ever seems to realize that, if the bible is real, intellectually it'd be a good idea to memorize the whole thing. It says something that while the RTC authors are able to conceive of a world where the rapture happens, they still can't imagine a world where there's ever a logical or intellectual reason to read the bible, or where someone could willingly read it without the level of mindwammy they portray.

In the story, America eventually pulled out of Iraq and went to the UN to admit that they had fucked up, handed it over to the UN and wrote them a blank check. There's actually no way to know how well this would work. On the one hand, to call Iraq an unremitting disaster is an understatement. On the other, there's a slowly growing body of evidence that much of what went wrong there was deliberate and so the problems would go away if it was handed over to UN peacekeepers with their proven history of not arresting innocent people and accidentally killing them by using them as soccer balls. I sincerely hope that we'll eventually have some sort of study that'll explain that some of the worst stuff was a misunderstanding and we did not actually have American or allied forces setting bombs to blame on Sunni insurgents and create sectarian violence to destabilize the country.

The Witnesses are an absolute headache. I think the authors didn't realize Israel has an actual police force or secular government, and assumed all interactions with the witnesses would involve

a) Orthodox Jews listening and being offended, and/or heckling, while staying far away
b) People falling to their knees and converting.
c) Attempts to remove them by killing them, which fail.

As a result, no one can remove them from the wall. What happens if a bunch of guys go in and try to physically remove them without killing them never comes up. I've decided to have the Witnesses be far more aggressive and their converts act to drive off anyone who tries to reach them. Any attack on the converts will then give the Witnesses the right to kill in self-defense. The only way to remove the Witnesses, therefore, is call in enough people to subdue and remove the entire crowd of converts without harming them, then removing the Witnesses, and do it all before any of those new people you've called in start converting.
farla: (Default)
Left Alone Book Two - Tribulations posted. Not sure if I'll end up cutting it to just Tribulations, or changing the title entirely.

Entire thing typed up pretty fast, because I wanted to have the first chapter posted on Nov 1st. In other news, I'm now up to 3618 words for NaNo, part of which is another full chapter I typed up.

As seen with my portrayal of the Witnesses, I have no real qualms with messing with the specific description the authors use for rapture events, as their version generally sucks. Also, I'm thinking the horsemen will be made of smoke and the mounts get wings, since they're gonna be cherubim. Actually, I'm currently hammering out a big thing with the angels. There are going to be four types, two of which fell.

My plan for Tribulations involves a timeskip and flashback. In the books, most of it is taken up with a really stupid romance subplot whose only positive side is the reassuring implication that the sort of RTC the books champion can't successfully reproduce, a bit more filler nonsense, and then suddenly a jump to eighteen months later. I plan to keep this formula as it's the best way to highlight how you'd have to be a colossally incompetent writer to jump eighteen months with nothing interesting happening, especially in a book about how the world is going to end in a couple years. As such, most of the story will be taken up by flashbacks after that, which will reveal how she got to such a point.

Joe the friendly solar panel guy is a shout-out to Joe the plumber, only he's actually a solar panel guy and also, not a total moron.


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April 2011

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