Jun 16, 2019 6:36 PM
alteriverse!imrainai lands in sanity
+ Show First Post
Total: 713
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Not everything about it. Or - you can't tell a really sad story without anything happy in it, I don't think. Probably. You can be miserable but I don't know if you can be sad."

Permalink

"Huh. Do you mean that you have to establish the potential for happiness which was lost? But probably there's a way to do that without anyone in the universe experiencing happiness at any point, I'd think."

Permalink

"...I don't think so. There are lots of things you can imagine without ever experiencing them, sure - like, like forests or freedom or magic eels that fly through space, or whatever, even if you've never experienced them and even if it's not actually possible for them to exist. Even if you won't imagine them right. But you have to be working with the right pieces, and I don't think happiness is like that. If you had never experienced a feeling that had any sort of positive valence - if it's even possible for a person to come to exist without ever seeing anything that they recognize as good, not even in themselves, and I'm not sure it is - then, then you couldn't tell that person a tragic story because they wouldn't recognize the sadness of it as something notable. It would just - be. Like room-temperature air. A successful storyteller has to make you feel something, and if the emotional valence of the story is the same as the emotional valence of the listener, and it doesn't have anywhere to go, then you can't do it and it won't work. But I bet you couldn't even do something like that to a Liar in real life. I think if you opened a crack in their miserable existence far enough to give them the idea of storytelling - if you could even keep them from developing it on their own, and I bet you couldn't, but if you could, then - well - then they'd find something in the world worth being happy about, and they would end up mourning its loss when it was taken away. I - dunno if any of that makes any sense, sorry."

Permalink

" - maybe. It still seems to me like it'd be very sad if someone lived and was hurt and unhappy and never knew that it could be any different."

Permalink

" - I guess. It would be, like, cosmically sad, because we'd know that it could have been different for them and we'd be sad about it. But I don't think you could end up with a Liar like that, one who didn't even have the concept of anything being good ever."

Permalink

"Maybe not. I think even orcs had that concept when they were sworn to the Enemy, even if they were wrong about which things were good."

Permalink

She nods and crosses her arms like she's hugging herself. "I should hear more about the orcs sometime. I wonder if we'd get along with them."

Permalink

"Probably, I don't think they're hard to get along with except for Elves."

Permalink

She nods. "That's good. I - hope they'll get along with us, too."

 

Permalink

"If not we'll set you up somewhere else, it'll really work all right either way."

Permalink

She nods.

Permalink

"Is everything okay? Well, that we don't already know about?"

Permalink

"Uh."

What would it mean for things to be OK? No, that's dumb, that's irresponsibly feigning ignorance. If Mathrael were here, then she would ask if everything was OK, too, and Imrainai would tell her that no, actually, things are not OK, everything is terrifying, and she's scared and overwhelmed, and she's trying really hard to breathe her emotions and her instability out, but she can't, because everything is terrifying, and if she gets this wrong then apparently there are like a trillion people who could have been helped but who won't be, and she keeps getting randomly nauseous and trembly because her body is trying to tell her that whatever responsibility she just took on she should put it back right now immediately.

"Things aren't perfect but I wouldn't want to sound, uh, petty or anything. They're pretty good."

Permalink

"All right. Let me know if you need anything."

Permalink

"OK! Maybe - maybe tomorrow we can watch a play or something and you can explain what's happening. If you're not urgently needed somewhere and it doesn't sound boring."

Permalink

"That sounds good! I'll look up a good one and reserve us seats."

Permalink

"OK! Cool!"

So she has another day to pull herself together, that sounds doable. She can pace around her room, intermittently meditate, and mentally order the basic events of the story she's already decided she's going to tell.

When someone brings paper and something to write with, she gets to work writing letters to people in Confederate One. It's tedious and hard because she isn't used to writing, and because Confederate One isn't meant to be written with human hands, but if she works for several hours then she can make all the little dots line up in all the right ways.

For Ves, she begins the first one. I'm really sorry for not coming home. Some things you just have to do, even when they're terrible for you.

She writes five letters, three of them apologies and all of them regrets, and then she goes to sleep.

Permalink

He picks out a play that Eru liked. It's about someone tracking down their orc descendants.

Permalink

That sounds pretty interesting. Time to see if Eru has good taste.

Permalink

The play is very beautifully acted and terribly heartbreaking, as its protagonist stumbles through the universe with a blessing disguising orc faces from them so they can bear to be around them long enough to track down their children. Their children don't remember them and don't like Elves and fragile attempts at a relationship keep being derailed by the limitations of everyone involved.

Permalink

She's never seen a professionally acted play before. It is perhaps unsurprising that she cries. Still, she has enough analytical power left over to think about the structure, about what makes it work and which elements evoke which emotions, about what the author was probably going for and how you can tell if you're successfully hitting the right notes on something like this.

(She wonders if her parents will try to find her, after all of this is over. She wonders if they'll ever get to hear what happened.)

"Now, see, that's a tragedy," she tells Fëanáro, after it's over. "It's not the most crushingly tragic core ever - the presentation was amazing enough that you might think it was, but I bet if I found the actual most tragic story ever then with an equally good presentation you'd be able to tell again - but at the center it's a tragedy."

Permalink

"I thought they did a very good job, it was terribly sad. Was it useful for you?"

Permalink

"Yeah, I got a lot of stuff out of that. I think the thing I have is - well, I don't know if it'll work, I can't match that on a presentation level - at all - but the story itself should be, uh - I think if I'm capable of coming up with something that works then the thing I'm working on should probably fundamentally work. So if it doesn't then it's probably just that I don't have something." She nods. "It was really good. I don't like most tragedies but that was a really good one."

Permalink

"Why don't you like most tragedies?"

Permalink

"I don't like stories about people giving up. Stories where they get their heads cut off for not, sure, but not the ones where they give up. Not on the really important things. I mean, they have their place - sometimes when you have to give up, maybe you need those ones to help you soften the blow. And sometimes, if you do them really right, they make you a stronger person for having listened to them. But they're still not the ones that keep you going."

Total: 713
Posts Per Page: