Monday, May 12, 2008

Why I Keep Geeking Out About A Villain's Life

Man, I already thought A Villain's Life was cool, and sort of sweet, but now I care. Doctor Cataclysm, please be okay!

Yeah, I'm still geeking out about it. It'll pass. In the mean time, a small insight:

Most media has a fairly clear division between real/non-real. Movies have a screen, books have their pages. Even if there's a framing device, in most cases it's still pretty easy to tell, just from the format, that it's fiction. Yes, that book may claim to be a journal, but its still professionally printed with the publishers name in the front.

This kind of fiction, this fictional blogging, has a little less of that. It's still obviously fictional--there are no superheroes, no superpowers, no weather machines. But that's only discernable from the content.

In form, this is just another blog. It's framing device is built into the media itself. I tend to dislike frames in books, just because they're not. You can tell, very easily, that the frame is also false, so it tends to interfere with my suspension of disbelief. Your mileage may vary.

But this is cool. I get information about Doctor Cataclysm in exactly the way I would if he was real. 'tis a trick, rather like a well done game story, that allows for stronger audience/character attachement.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


  1. So are you saying you don't like the letters and diary approach Stoker used in Dracula, or that it's even more effective for you?

    - Brian

  2. Okay, okay, so if someone who knows what they're doing is running it, it can work. But I read enough age appropriate stuff in my teens that my first thought when I see a framing device is "great, no matter how good the story is, it's going to annoy me."

    That's true of most things teen fiction related, I suppose.

  3. What about elaborate lies? Those are like non-obvious fiction.

  4. Yeah, the lie/fiction divide can definitely get a bit fuzzy, especially with fiction like this, where part of the point is that you're pretending that it's not fiction. I'd say that the difference is in intent, you're usually trying to do something other than just tell a story with lies, but that runs into trouble with people who lie all the time for no apparent reason.