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Ozymandias

Myopia (39)

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I've never much liked the Dreamer as a character. He lacks so much personality. Sure, I know there's anger and devotion there, but in the pieces that follow him in his life as planeswalker, I've never caught even the vaguest hint of what drives that. I can't even pick out mysteries that I might wonder about, other than saying to myself, "Okay, planeswalker- why? What purpose knowledge and power? Why so venegeful? Why so dedicated?".

 

That being said, I always love reading a new Dreamer piece because Z, you are a friggin' *master* of setting. Supporting characters, be they living, or other, like the automata you describe for us in here, spring to life every time. You draw worlds with a painter's touch- an amazing balance between conveying detail and evoking emotion with all the places Dreamer goes, and with everyone and everything he meets.

 

I think it may be the simplicity you use in descrbing everything that goes on around the Dreamer, as well as the fact that you never fail to describe EVERYTHING that goes on around the Dreamer, and only ever just as much as we need to understand the scene (which quite often begs interesting questions in and of itself- Reconstruction Wars, you say? What wars were these? Why did they start? How did they change the face of the Eternal war, exactly?...to name a few). I can't quite put my finger on it at the moment, but that'll do for a start.

 

Your settings and supporting characters are seamless. They exist in interaction with each other, but never interruption of each other - if that makes any sense...(I'll have to think more about how to better phrase that one too).

 

Which also leads me to my one point of outright envy- I covet my neighbor's writing consistency!

Edited by Ozymandias

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I've never much liked the Dreamer as a character. He lacks so much personality. Sure, I know there's anger and devotion there, but in the pieces that follow him in his life as planeswalker, I've never caught even the vaguest hint of what drives that. I can't even pick out mysteries that I might wonder about, other than saying to myself, "Okay, planeswalker- why? What purpose knowledge and power? Why so venegeful? Why so dedicated?".

That's a good point, and you are right in that. I'm not sure if I'll ever fix that, other than point out he has said himself he has trouble keeping himself motivated. Perhaps he is caught in a vicious circle, not being able to stay neutral even though he wants to ... or at least wanted to. After a while war can be its own purpose, a blow having no other purpose than to avenge a previous blow suffered. For motivation problems of any immortal, I can recommend Moorcock's "Dancers at the End of Time" books.

 

His obsessions and dedication might seem a little less weird if you consider he has no "life" to live in peace. He tries to take breaks from the conflict, like seen in Corrosion (even that is a vacation spent as a soldier, not your average human's idea of fun), but they do not seem to grant him whatever he seeks. And, of course, he is (or at least was) a playing piece of the Fates. I guess you could think him as a tragic Greek hero, dancing for the amusement of the Gods of Olympos, though I grant you he is not as sympathetic, not as vivid as they were.

 

Very good point, in any case, and I thank you for making it. Makes me think, it does.

 

You draw worlds with a painter's touch- an amazing balance between conveying detail and evoking emotion with all the places Dreamer goes, and with everyone and everything he meets.

I wish I was a better painter, actually. I have extremely rich visual imagination, and since this is the only mode of output I feel I am proficient in, I use words. :)

 

(which quite often begs interesting questions in and of itself- Reconstruction Wars, you say? What wars were these? Why did they start? How did they change the face of the Eternal war, exactly?...to name a few)

Well, that tale is actually told in Blue Flame (21) ... somewhat, at least. The Reconstruction Wars were the first wars the Kalash appeared in. Half of the questions any piece of mine might beg are already answered in the previous stories, another half of them are possibly answered in the future, and the third half are either never answered or the answers are there, in theory, even if practically they are impossible to deduct from the given sparse facts. Like the origin of Maiden of Daggers, for example. I'd rather overestimate the genius of my readers than underestimate them and have my characters pause in the middle of whatever they are doing to explain to the "camera" the why, how and what.

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Aha!

 

A good system. I will always get behind any system that *makes* me think.

 

I suppose my biggest problem is not that I require that spoon-feeding, but that I've seen it used in conjunction with a requirement of research so very often, that not receiving any of that meant that I reflexively did *not* think of researching.

 

Thank you.

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You could certainly think of it like that, and I'm sure there'd be a grain of truth in it at least. Perhaps rearranging the letters in his full name, "Wodzan Xe Chanima", is relevant to this. *grin*

 

On the other hand, there's scattered a number of small hints to his motives all around the stories. This is from Ward (19):

 

“Why do you always look so happy when you talk about defeat, uncle? And so grim about the victories?”

 

“’Tis endless war will end at th’ last defeat an’ th’ search for meanin’ will be fullfil’d. I do not have th’ peace of mind to follow my master, th’ courage or th’ knowledge to plunge through th’ Impassable Wall or th’ cowardice to surrender. No death awaits me, puny mortal, no dreams durin’ th’ nights. There’s no rest for me an’ th’ likes of me.”

 

The Dreamer’s eyes shone with pearly white sheen and his smile was almost warm. His words shocked the girl, but the planewalker himself was as calm as she had ever seen him.

 

“Do not give me that look, young one. Th’ unicorns o’ Law an’ their snow-white armies will bathe in red before there’ll be any defeats. I will write my name in blood on their pages of history an’ my fall will mark th’ end of th’ Age of Balance, ‘twill be no sooner.”

He is a hollow man running on hubris, but instead of the proper punishment for that, he gets scars, one at a time. And I think one of the reasons we do not see him examining his actions and their reasons is that he is genuinely afraid of what he'd see if he'd look into that sort of mirror. That also explains why he visits his "sister" (see H4x (34)) so rarely is that she is a living reminder of how somebody starting from same point of origin has lived a life of little strife. He is envious on some level, I'm sure.

 

I really should write about his Ascension one of these days, but I always hesistate to part the veil and diminish the mystique he is shrouded in, even if that leaves him a monochrome silhouette, two-dimensional and impossible to sympathize with.

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You could certainly think of it like that, and I'm sure there'd be a grain of truth in it at least. Perhaps rearranging the letters in his full name, "Wodzan Xe Chanima", is relevant to this. *grin*

Ha! Well played.

 

That reminds me- I need to make some notes on a villainous time traveller for something of my own. A gent named 'Justin Time'. My first friend I told that I do believe began internal haemorrhaging on the spot. I was proud. :D

 

On the other hand, there's scattered a number of small hints to his motives all around the stories.

 

...

 

He is a hollow man running on hubris, but instead of the proper punishment for that, he gets scars, one at a time. And I think one of the reasons we do not see him examining his actions and their reasons is that he is genuinely afraid of what he'd see if he'd look into that sort of mirror. That also explains why he visits his "sister" (see H4x (34)) so rarely is that she is a living reminder of how somebody starting from same point of origin has lived a life of little strife. He is envious on some level, I'm sure.

Which makes perfect sense when you explain it, but the hints still seem to remain excessively hard to find, between the rarity of their appearance, and the utter lack of them the rest of the time. Take your last paragraph above; does anything, other than his scars, show up in any discernible way to a reader?

 

I really should write about his Ascension one of these days, but I always hesistate to part the veil and diminish the mystique he is shrouded in, even if that leaves him a monochrome silhouette, two-dimensional and impossible to sympathize with.

You should. To understand the world better, the change from mortal to planeswalker, and for that matter, the transition from Planeswalker to...whatever the name for what he is now. They seem like rather important details!

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Which makes perfect sense when you explain it, but the hints still seem to remain excessively hard to find, between the rarity of their appearance, and the utter lack of them the rest of the time. Take your last paragraph above; does anything, other than his scars, show up in any discernible way to a reader?

That's a mistake I'm willing to make, at least for now. Perhaps this will sink into my subconscious and surface at a later date to influence a story where he will part the veil and expose the innards of his mind, but if it doesn't then so be it. Not to mention I have so few readers they can just do the 'net equivalent of tugging my sleeve and ask, as you did.

 

You should. To understand the world better, the change from mortal to planeswalker, and for that matter, the transition from Planeswalker to...whatever the name for what he is now. They seem like rather important details!

Hmm? He is still a planewalker, just a veteran one, respected if not liked.

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So the plan is to keep the Dreamer internet exclusive for the foreseeable future?

 

If so, I'd have to agree with you, and say stick to yer guns.

 

One mpre exposition note, tho'- would it need to be an all at once reveal? If you'd rather space such a thing out- if you *do* it- why not do so?

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I finished!

 

Two requests remain-

 

Closure. All of the Dreamer stories I've read have about half again as much closure as the average American Horror movie.

Wrapup, please? Not all the time- just 50/50, maybe 60/40?

 

I think I see better how you manuever The Dreamer's life and those of all the supporting characters' now, but I'd like to learn more. Are there any of the pieces that delve deeply into any supporting characters' lives/selves? If so, are there any you'd recommend as a place to start trying to understand your people better?

 

That being said- bravissimi. This was a real a war tale as many of the best works of battle fiction: Saving Private Ryan, The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, take your pick. Well done!

 

And dammit, what was the significance of that gate?????

 

Must reread!

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Closure. All of the Dreamer stories I've read have about half again as much closure as the average American Horror movie.

Wrapup, please? Not all the time- just 50/50, maybe 60/40?

There's no closure as the story goes ever on. Some of the stories have somewhat recognizable story arcs (Clemency, Pilgrimage, Purgatory to name a few) while others get cut at almost random place. Story no. 40 will continue from this, that's all there is. Does it help if you'd think of them as chapters in a long book instead?

 

I think I see better how you manuever The Dreamer's life and those of all the supporting characters' now, but I'd like to learn more. Are there any of the pieces that delve deeply into any supporting characters' lives/selves? If so, are there any you'd recommend as a place to start trying to understand your people better?

Depends which ones you are interested about. Descent (28), Excision (30) and Divergence (32) concentrate on the young occultists while Serenity (26), Havoc (31) and Dolce (36) tell tales about Jankiize's post-Grail Carrier history, Ward (19) and Oblivion (20) her early life. Faaye is present in more than half of the stories after her introduction in Web (18), and Suentalv was introduced in Desolation (37). The Patriarch was briefly seen in Ward (19), a Monk of Balance in Divergence (32).

 

Hmm... perhaps I should kill one or two of them off at one point. ;)

 

And dammit, what was the significance of that gate?????

The theme of the breached walls to the other Parallels is an ascending theme in the Dreamer stories ever since it was first introduced in later parts of Ward. These gates are generally regarded as Bad Things by the Dreamer and his allies, but there's little accurate lore about them out.

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