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Author Topic: PC127: The Belated Burial  (Read 12589 times)

mbrennan

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Reply #20 on: October 25, 2010, 04:34:47 AM
Beautifully written, and it managed to hold tension for me because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop about this whole burial tradition.

. . . but then it didn't.

I enjoyed it right up until the end, when this really interesting thing appears (in the auditory sense, at least) and then gets dropped without ceremony.  I was very disappointed by that, and disappointed that the story ended with Brylee still sitting there, waiting, and no sense of change on her part or realization on mine.  If there was supposed to be something there, it was too understated for me to pick up on.

But I quite enjoyed the story up until then, largely because of the beautiful writing, and the actual amorality of the vampires -- these were definitely not animal-feeding, guilt-ridden types.



Scattercat

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Reply #21 on: October 25, 2010, 05:30:05 AM
I *like* understated.  I actually didn't care for the story much at all - if you've ever interacted with White Wolf before, then you've seen that particular tone and plot dozens of times - up until we got to the end and it got really interesting, then ended without belaboring the point.  That's what I like in stories; ones that don't lay it all out and don't overstay their welcome. 

Up until the end of the story, she's looking forward to being a vampire, still in that first blush of love and sexual excitement with her "mistress," anxious and impatient to get on with things and start really enjoying herself.  She regards the ritual as a formality, something she has to do but not terribly important.  She'll go underground and come up unchanged.

But down there, there's a Thing waiting.  She doesn't understand it, doesn't know it yet, not really, but she's had her first brush with the darkness, now, the real darkness that will leave her as hollow and uncaring as all the others.  It's a story about growing up, about teenage enthusiasm and those first discomforting brushes with failure, with the weight of responsibility, with death.  It's about fear, and how it changes you. 

It's a good story.  Better'n I could do, probably.

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mbrennan

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Reply #22 on: October 25, 2010, 07:54:45 AM
The story you describe sounds interesting, Scattercat, but it doesn't feel like the story I listened to.  I can read lots of stuff into the material that I really like -- various interpretations of what's going on with the Thing at the end -- but I can tell I'm reading into it, to a higher degree than I would prefer.

(As it happens, I know White Wolf quite well.  What this did that most Vampire gamers don't is, it actually showed the inhuman amorality of the vampires.  As opposed to making them simply immortal goth kids, or superheroes with fangs.)



Scattercat

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Reply #23 on: October 25, 2010, 08:28:20 AM
If a story doesn't require me to read into it, I'm not interested.  I loathe it when stories try to tell me what they're about.

The last time I played Vampire, we ended up as the leaders of a secret cult despite our stringent efforts to avoid the limelight.  Our ST just really wanted to show off his complicated backstory plot involving psychic powers created at military bases.

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Reply #24 on: October 25, 2010, 02:39:26 PM
If a story doesn't require me to read into it, I'm not interested.  I loathe it when stories try to tell me what they're about.

For me, the best stories work on two levels:  the immediate and the further examination.  I like a story that has things to read into it, but I like it when that can be conveyed while something is actually happening as well.  Something to satisfy now, and plenty to chew on later.



mbrennan

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Reply #25 on: October 25, 2010, 05:36:07 PM
To me, "reading in" doesn't mean "giving further thought;" it means "supplying pieces that aren't actually there."  And this one, to me, feels like a square table with three legs: to make it steady, I have to bring my own fourth leg to fill the gap.  It's a very pretty table, but it feels like it will fall over if I don't do something to prop the ending up.



woodchuck

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Reply #26 on: October 27, 2010, 12:57:52 PM
I'd like to add that the blueeyeddevil-sacredcamel-electricpaladin discussion helped me to not focus on what I didn't like about the story and remember what truly horrified me as I listened. I was driving home and I felt like my car was too cramped as I listened about being buried alive (is that the right word to describe the character in this story?). I guess that's what I like about good stories, they evoke a visceral response from the reader/listener by making you ask yourself: 'What if it was me in that coffin?'



eytanz

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Reply #27 on: October 31, 2010, 01:33:37 PM
I'm with mbrennan here - this story felt incomplete. There are plenty ways in which it could be finished and be interesting, but there's a difference between reading a story that makes me want to go beyond where it takes me, and a story that starts and stops leaving me stranded before I've really gotten anywhere at all.



Obleo21

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Reply #28 on: October 31, 2010, 10:23:19 PM
I really got into the horror of having to wait that long with just your thoughts.  It seems much more intense than the claustrophobia.  I could have done without the lurking presence though.  I think that aspect was what made it seem a bit unfinished. 

When I realized though that the story was taking place in Rhode Island (went to grad school there) all I could think about was the vampires talking in the RI accent and it all went a little absurd. (I'm not knocking it, most of my family has a very strong RI accent).



acpracht

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Reply #29 on: November 02, 2010, 04:36:12 PM
Had potential, but: I didn't find it creepy or interesting at all... sorry...

I guess there just didn't seem to be much forward movement in the plot. I mean, to me it can be summarized for me with, "Vampire gets buried underground as part of a rite of passage. She hears something."

Really? That's it?



That Hirschman Guy

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Reply #30 on: November 05, 2010, 03:50:48 AM
This one just didn't do it for me.  I was in a state of "ungrippedness" for all of it, and it just left me thinking, "That's it?  Meh."  It could just be me; I freely admit to being sick to death of erotic vampire stories. 
Unfortunately, I must echo this review. Even once she starting hearing the rumble underground, and I started saying "oh, here we go, something is going to happen" - exactly that more or less failed to. Happen, that is. Nothing did. Happen.



Listener

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Reply #31 on: November 06, 2010, 04:19:29 PM
Quote
(insert comment about how the story didn't end, it stopped

This.

Quote
(insert comment about how the story didn't really cover any new ground other than the burial tradition, which I personally had never read anywhere else)

This too.

The burial tradition part was actually pretty cool. It reminded me of some other rituals experienced to make people understand where they came from -- the kahs-wan, the eating of certain foods once a year, Yom Kippur. All the burial ritual stuff, though, made me want to think something horrible was going to happen to Brylee (a name I did not like AT ALL -- it felt too emo-vampire-y) and her lover/maker was a part of that.

The vampire stuff felt kind of tired, and I wasn't thrilled with the lesbian angle because I don't feel that it contributed to the story very much. I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that particular choice.

Good reading.

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mbrennan

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Reply #32 on: November 06, 2010, 06:37:25 PM
I wasn't thrilled with the lesbian angle because I don't feel that it contributed to the story very much. I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that particular choice.

I disagree with this for a very particular reason: if Brylee's lover had been male, I very much doubt anyone would have been commenting here saying "I wasn't thrilled with the heterosexual angle [. . .] I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that choice."  I've come around to the way of thinking that I don't need an author to have a reason for making a character gay, any more than I need a reason for making a character straight.  Putting gay characters in only because there's a specific reason for them keeps them stuck in the realm of Messages, rather than a natural part of the story.

If, on the other hand, you mean you weren't thrilled with the romance angle (which happened to be lesbian), that's a different matter.  I still disagree because it's important to why Brylee's in that box, trusting Miss Josephine, but in that case my disagreement is practical rather than philosophical.



Dave

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Reply #33 on: November 07, 2010, 06:29:41 PM
Great beginning! Now it needs an ending.

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


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Reply #34 on: November 08, 2010, 02:55:16 PM
I wasn't thrilled with the lesbian angle because I don't feel that it contributed to the story very much. I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that particular choice.

I disagree with this for a very particular reason: if Brylee's lover had been male, I very much doubt anyone would have been commenting here saying "I wasn't thrilled with the heterosexual angle [. . .] I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that choice."  I've come around to the way of thinking that I don't need an author to have a reason for making a character gay, any more than I need a reason for making a character straight.  Putting gay characters in only because there's a specific reason for them keeps them stuck in the realm of Messages, rather than a natural part of the story.

I agree with this.  I didn't particularly care for the romance in this one, but the fact that it was lesbian romance was incidental.  It's nice to have a story with homosexual characters where the story does not have to be about homosexuality.



Dave

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Reply #35 on: November 17, 2010, 02:19:28 AM
I wasn't thrilled with the lesbian angle because I don't feel that it contributed to the story very much. I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that particular choice.

I disagree with this for a very particular reason: if Brylee's lover had been male, I very much doubt anyone would have been commenting here saying "I wasn't thrilled with the heterosexual angle [. . .] I'd like to know what the author's reasoning was behind that choice."  I've come around to the way of thinking that I don't need an author to have a reason for making a character gay, any more than I need a reason for making a character straight.  Putting gay characters in only because there's a specific reason for them keeps them stuck in the realm of Messages, rather than a natural part of the story.

I agree with this.  I didn't particularly care for the romance in this one, but the fact that it was lesbian romance was incidental.  It's nice to have a story with homosexual characters where the story does not have to be about homosexuality.

Seconded! Homosexuality will never stop being an "issue" until we stop treating it as though it is.

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)