Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Episode 37 - DEEEEEEP Hurting

Ever had one of those days when you wake up late, spill hot coffee on yourself, accidentally sever your hand in the car door, and then witness the utter destruction of everything you know and love by a trans-dimensional blitzkrieg?

Me, either. But if you're a fictional character, it's not outside the realm of possibility. So why do creators put their characters through such torture? Does a character ever suffer too much? And why are we attracted to suffering in TV and books we would be happy to avoid in real life?

If those questions are too much for you, skip to the second half to hear Tim and Nick talk about perfume.

So enjoy the always surprising, possibly fascinating, 37th episode of Derailed Trains of Thought. (Original live recording available here. No sandstorms were used in the recording of this episode.)


Show Notes

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  1. Saaaaaaannnnd Stttoooooorrm
    I’m writing this as things come to me while at work, so excuse my stream of consciousness response.

    Nick, I got a chance to read The Clock tower during a lunch break while writing my portfolio, and it didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere for the clock tower was very creepy, and I liked how the sound of the bell changed the further up they went. I think the ambiguous ending fits the story perfectly. Once I finish my portfolio, I hope to read some more of your work, starting with The Unremarkable Squire.

    I’m glad you both don’t care for the pile-on kinds of suffering for protagonists. After a while, you need to take a break and read something happy, because I hate seeing characters hitting the bottom, and then falling through the earth to metaphorical Australia. I was turned off of Battlestar Galactica due to just how much suffering there was early on. Now, I know they wanted the beginning to be dramatic, but I never felt compelled to follow their story. If the writer is going to make a character suffer like that, then I need to see why I want to root for them, or I won’t care.
    “All stories should end with truth.” I never considered that, as I’m a good ending fan, but I do think that’s right.

    I must admit with some shame that I have yet to watch The Dark Crystal. I need to remedy that, because I love 80’s fantasy movies. When I went to the Jim Henson Exhibit at the Chicago Museum Science and Industry, the Dark Crystal bits were some of the most interesting. Dark Crystal was on Netflix for a while, but I missed it.
    The Dark Crystal perfume reminds me of the disgusting Harry Potter Jelly Bellies or the Jones Soda Thanksgiving dinner line. It’ll be a hit for a very specific audience, but not to the average person.
    I like the Narnia perfume. I’d probably need lots of the Puddleglum cologne. Middle Earth makes sense as well.
    I’d suggest Redwall, but all the scents would probably end up as food related. My actual suggestion for a perfume line would be for the Final Fantasy summons. Ifrit’s Fire of Passion, Shiva’s Ice of Purity, Ramuh’s Lightning of Attraction, stuff like that.
    Looking forward to the next podcast!

  2. Hey! Someone who's actually read The Clock Tower. Cool beans! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    While I'll pile on suffering more than Tim, I prefer it to be directly connected to highlighting a theme or character. I meant to mention "Intersections in Real-Time," the Babylon 5 episode where the entire 45 minutes is spent with an interrogator trying to mentally break Sheridan. Great TV--and, if I remember correctly, no torture, just constant pressure and mind games. I'm a sucker for that sort of character-based suffering, especially when the character holds out and stays awesome. I mean, Locke breaking his leg in Season 5 of Lost works because that's essential to who he is. If he'd randomly lose an arm? Not cool.

    I was just mentioning last night to my wife that I haven't watched The Dark Crystal for many, many years and I really need to.

    We also need some Dragonriders of Pern perfume. I'd go for that.

    Thanks for listening!

    Nick Hayden