1. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    A bold and maybe dumb decision

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DeathandGrim, Apr 6, 2016.

    Considering how long this series is I'll try to be brief. In this series there's a Galactic Federation unit who have abeen tasked with a pivotal role in saving the galaxy from death at the hands of a star eating god. The crew is full of oddball misfits but otherwise S-ranked Federation members.

    One of the crew, the youngest, Smegma, has been moody and distant during their entire time together and eventually has an embarrassing meltdown in front of his crew mates. Revealing his pent up anger and frustration over his home planet, Mungus, being in danger of dying and the Federation not registering it as an issue. It's the reason he joined the Federation in the first place: to hopefully garner attention for Mungus.

    The crew captain, Jinx, then makes a decision that even I'm hesitant about. At this point they're very close to a big milestone in their mission and she instead sets her sights on saving Mungus and then continuing the mission afterward. This is a huge decision that sets the precedent for the latter parts of the series. Jinx as well as the other crew mates wanted Smeg to feel loved and a part of crew and she needed his head in the game just as much as everyone else if they were gonna save the galaxy.

    My problem comes from the ideal behind Jinx's decision itself and possibly affecting the reader's interest in reading onward. At this point in the series everyone's backstories have been explored to a good degree except for the closed off Smegma who only occasionally and briefly showed what he was truly like under layers of angst and depression. The following parts on Mungus explore Smegma and the Mungan world in depth enough to give a clear view into the character and how he thinks.

    But that all of this character development and triumph comes at a big price. A price that may seem completely ridiculous to a cynical reader. Drawing from my own experience, I've had reactions to parts of stories or television series in which characters make big decisions that are completely dumb and affect the plot in a big way but didn't need to happen in the first place. It fractures my immersion a good deal because I can't stop thinking "If only you didn't do X" then this wouldn't happen.

    What I'm looking for is a reaction from you as a reader. If the captain pulled this stunt and potentially jeopardized the galaxy itself to save her crew mate's home world instead and the plot started to take a different because of that decision, how would you feel as a reader?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I know it's really annoying when people reply and don't answer your question but... you do know what smegma is, right? I mean, the name is intentional?

    I just have to check for your own good. :D
     
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  3. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I second this notion. You probably don't want that name.
     
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  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    It depends on how jeopardized the galaxy is. I have to weigh up the risk and reward here.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're not sure, then why are you asking? You know the answer - but it's tough to not go ahead with it as you've planned, but if it doesn't work, it just doesn't work, y'know?

    Anyway, no, Jinx's decision doesn't make an ounce of sense. I'm imagining something akin to military here, chosen and sent out for a much greater mission than the salvation of one person's single planet. No self-respecting and reputable leader - no good leader - would go against what she knows is for the greater good of mankind for the sake of one angsty, emotionally imbalanced individual whose horizons are clearly too narrow for this mission they're on. No, it's probably more likely this individual would be kicked off the team because his attitude jeopardizes the mission - a mission too important to risk so unnecessarily like this. Jinx would never have been chosen to head such a mission as this if she was as emotional and easy to sway by personal relationships as you've described. It would have been someone else who is able to make hard, tough decisions in the blink of an eye and shoulder the burden too, and that doesn't sound like Jinx, thus making her an improbable or just a downright crappy leader.
     
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  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I had to google this. Yeah, not a good name lol :-D
     
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  7. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Oh, those crazy Brits...




    As for @DeathandGrim's question, I have to agree with @Mckk:

     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
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  8. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Worked for James T. Kirk all the time.
     
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  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I'm with the others - diverting from a galaxy-saving mission in order to help out a single planet? Makes no sense. I would have trouble suspending my disbelief on that one.

    It feels like the side quests in video games... sometimes there's a reasonably compelling reason for them (like building up the alliance in Mass Effect 3) but even with them, I'm always a bit antsy - shouldn't we be focusing on the main issue, now? Why am I spending time rescuing this research team (or having drinks at the damn Citadel!!!) when I should be STOPPING THE REAPERS?!?

    Can you introduce something about the planet that would mean it would actually help with the main mission? (Similar to the "finding artifacts" aspect of ME3 - all of these comparisons are going to be kinda useless if you aren't a gamer, huh?) Maybe the scientists on the planet were on the edge of a really important discovery that would help fight the god, or something like that...?
     
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  10. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I concur with the others. I'd find it somewhat annoying and, also, maybe not so credible either.

    Oh and please change Smegma's name. :blech: It would turn me off more than this potential plot twist, and I'm usually not squeamish about this kind of... humor.
     
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  11. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    His full name is Su Megama and Smegma was a nickname given to him. And you know what I didn't know what it meant til now, but that's hilarious. :D That's pretty great. But not I'll have to change that lol ogodpls
     

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