Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Diana, Mar 9, 2015.

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  1. You read a book, saw a show or a movie, played a video game, whatevs! And in the process you were like "Good god, this is shit. I could have written this better!"

    It happens all the time!

    So tell us... what is a book, show, movie, game, or WHATEVER that made you think "I could do it better."

    Tell us about it and about YOU would have done instead! :D

    Mine is totally 50 Shades of Grey. c______c I would have turned it in to the AWESOMEST kinky serial killer series.
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  2. Eh, Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nick Chronicles. I would have turned it into something better than bland, monotonous writing.
  3. Eragon/The Inheritance Cycle. The books and the movie and the game, particularly the latter two. Ugh.
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  4. The directing work of Star Wars Episodes 1-3.

    George Lucas is a great visionary and has built an incredibly rich and diverse universe. But, he's not a very good director! The films have a solid cast, but the disparity in acting quality is very noticeable, and it's up to the director to fix that. If you compare Ewan McGregor to Hayden Christiansen, it's clear that McGregor has lots of acting experience and that he can understand the direction and flow of a scene. Christiansen on the other hand, needs guidance! I used to just think Christiansen was a shitty actor, but I've since come to realize that it's almost certainly the fault of directing.

    This was made especially clear to me when I saw Shattered Glass, which also starred Hayden Christiansen. He was not terrible, and I actually thought he did a really good job. In addition, Natalie Portman is an awesome actress but I thought her performance in most scenes in the Star Wars movies felt flat and uninspired.

    I'm convinced that I could've done Star Wars better than George Lucas.
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  5. Almost every personality quiz I've ever taken.
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  6. Omg....nearly every single Stephen King book that was turned into a movie! Especially The Mist.....

    The Trylle series by Amanda Hocking. How she portrayed Wendy was annoying, and the fact that she ruined the romance.
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  8. Blackstaff Tower by Kevin E. Schend.

    However, I'm not saying it's bad. I quite enjoyed it. But I can pick apart a lot of glaring mistakes in the flow of the overall story and the writing itself that I'm confident I could have done better. I'd have to have the book by me to list all of them (which I don't, and I doubt people would want to read that anyway), so here's only a few examples:

    The prologue focuses on Vajra Safahr, the apprentice and heir to the Blackstaff Samark. For those who don't read Forgotten Realms, the Blackstaff is the second ultimate authority (the first is the Open Lord) in Waterdeep, the City of Splendors (and a major recurring setting throughout the books), and is an archmage with access to the memories and spellcasting talents of all previous Blackstaves, and besides has possession of Blackstaff Tower (calling it an impregnable fortress would be a severe understatement) and the Blackstaff itself, which is an incredibly powerful magical artifact.

    So anyway, Vajra is waiting outside while Samark retrieves several items from a tomb outside Waterdeep. I think. That's my first problem. It's never clearly explained what exactly they're doing there. It's just an excuse for them to be out of Blackstaff Tower, and it stretches my suspension of disbelief when two very powerful mages are outside the city with only a few magical wards, no alarm spells around the area, and otherwise very few defenses, when they have a lot of enemies in Waterdeep, some of them mages almost as powerful as they are. I also question why Vajra (the weaker of the two) is the one who waits outside the tomb--alone. When no reason is really given for her to stay up there.

    So of course, Vajra is attacked by a group of thugs. Naturally she takes out most of them, because they're not mages, but then Khondar "Ten Rings," a very powerful mage who wants to be the Blackstaff, attacks her. He beats her and is holding her hostage when Samark comes out. Here's my next problem. The Blackstaff and their heir are inextricably linked by magic, so it wouldn't be a stretch to say that one of them would know when the other cast a spell or was in danger (if not by the link itself, another spell relying on the link). Yet Samark comes out of the tomb with absolutely no knowledge that she was attacked. Now, he uses magic to take out the few remaining thugs and free Vajra, quickly forcing Khondar's surrender, because he's, you know, an archmage. Then there's my first problem with the writing itself--Samark is promptly killed by a "ring of energy" from another spellcaster. But that attack is described in the space of a line. I understand the emotional effect of abruptness, but it didn't work here. All the book says is that a ring of energy split him in two, which gives me very little of a mental image, as well as not really specifying what the ring even is. And also brings up the point of how this one attack is enough to kill him when Khondar (the Khondar that attacked Vajra was actually his son Centiv disguised by an illusion) is established later to be much weaker than Samark, which is why he needed the benefit of an ambush. Samark beat Centiv with barely any effort, so his magical defenses were barely exhausted, yet a single attack from a weaker mage kills him instantly?

    Now, I will say I really like Centiv in his scene. The prologue establishes two things about him: One, That he's capable enough to beat Vajra, but also still only really an apprentice himself and no match for an archmage like Samark. Two, that he has a penchant for illusions. Throughout the book he impersonates several people (mostly Samark himself) and casts several other illusions, and the prologue neatly establishes this ability, making it not abrupt later when he impersonates Samark.

    So anyway, Centiv and Khondar take Vajra captive so they can get information on how to get into Blackstaff tower so Khondar can try to steal the Blackstaff. However, chapter 1...jumps to some other people that don't seem to be relevant to Vajra's plight. A group of Waterdhavian nobles, Renaer, Faxhal, Vharem, and Torlyn. They talk about books in a tavern, then they leave and escape the Watch, which was looking for them because some low-level Watch commanders have a prejudice against them. I only like two things about this scene. First, it establishes Renaer's love of books and history, which is relevant later. Two, it establishes his evasion abilities, which also come into play later.

    So then I expected the book to go back to Vajra and tie that scene to the group of nobles in some way, but it actually goes to yet another seemingly irrelevant character, a young sorceress named Laraelra. She hires a mercenary named Meloon and then goes down in the sewers to inspect something (she's part of the guild that handles that stuff) and ends up helping two dwarves also working down there, one of whom had been pinned by a falling stone while building a wall. So they send the two off to get medical attention while they finish the wall. However, they hear a screaming sound. So they go through the passage they were blocking off and follow it, where they find a drop-off (the sewers connect to other, older, tunnels under Waterdeep) that has sight of a small room where two men are torturing Vajra for information. I thought they'd go down there and save her, thus progressing the plot, but instead they leave and try to find information. Long story short, their search brings them to Renaer, and he gathers his noble friends (except Torlyn for...some reason) and they make their way to that spot by another route. Then Faxhal takes a crossbow bolt to the throat in an "emotional" scene. Except, it's so early in the book that the reader hasn't gotten to know him yet, so there's no actual emotional reaction; where instead told what we should feel by Renaer and company, who are very sad and angry. Faxhal is the most pointless character in the book; Renaer's hunt for revenge is only his driving motivation for the span of a chapter, and after that he's only even mentioned a few times. So they get through and eventually rescue Vajra.

    Vajra herself is my biggest problem with the book. When Samark dies, all the knowledge and ability of every Blackstaff goes into her, which is normally supposed to only happen through a special ritual in Blackstaff Tower, with the Blackstaff in hand (which grounds the magical energy and makes it not traumatizing). That's fine, except the spirits of the previous Blackstaves possess Vajra for half the book, and she's unconscious for another fourth. She's supposed to be the main character, but we never see her actual personality except briefly in the prologue and in the last fourth of the book when she grounds the energy in Blackstaff Tower and comes into her full power. To be fair, that part is very good. But the re-unification of her mind loses some impact because we didn't really know her beforehand. Once she has her hand on the Blackstaff, the book improves a great deal, because then the actual battle begins; before that it was mostly the group running from Khondar to reach Blackstaff Tower.

    ...This turned out way longer than I wanted it to, but OH WELL. I have a habit of carefully scrutinizing things like that. Like I said, I still really enjoyed Blackstaff Tower; its plot lacks direction early on and the main character barely exists until the end, but the other characters are well written and the book is careful about establishing things (like Centiv's illusions or Renaer's love of history) beforehand, and for the most part does it well. The villains are also very good. It's just tarnished somewhat by the flaws I mentioned and a lot of similar ones.

    No way in hell I'm bothering to proofread this right now, so if it turns out completely incoherent, whoops.
  9. I decided I could write a better fantasy universe and stories than most fantasy authors. So I did. The end. :ferret:
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  10. Pretty much every fantasy NRP on Mahz's Playhouse.

    It's understood by most fiction writers, both professional and otherwise, that Tolkien set the standard for high fantasy with the myriad of literature that he produced during his prime. Originality is all but dead these days, but the vast majority of high fantasy writers do not even entertain the idea of breaking the status quo. There exists a stunning plethora of worldly material that aspiring authors could utilize for the drafting of their fantastical settings, but the lion's share of these budding authors opt to firmly anchor their faith in a single (and relatively shallow) pool of folk tales, superstitious beliefs, archaic religions, and cultures.
    #10 ASTA, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2015
  11. Anything you can do I can do better.

    But to go into specifics, I'll choose Tales of Graces.

    Take out Assbel, the king of cliche animu protagonists, and put anyone else in his place. Like Captain Malik. I would play a game about Captain Malik.
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  12. This!

    Also, do justice to The Stand! Bring back the original ending to the Mist, too! Remake the Langoliers with better CGI!
  13. I'd also change The Shining where Hallorann dies, since he didn't die in the book and he's in the sequel. I wouldn't change It too much though, but I would seriously improve the effects and make Pennywise freakier looking, although I'd keep Tim Curry's voice.
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  14. ^This @ 8:10
    No I can't, this clip is perfect.
    Damn this just made me go down Nostalgia lane.

    In all seriousness though?

    1. Balancing games (Table top or video games)
    Or maybe this is just my immense love of mods and homebrew making me blind.

    2. Being Iwaku's residential cookie monster
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