Commentary

Convoluted writing

Ah, yes, here’s another enemy of clear understanding of your story.

I was 16 around the time I came up with the concept of BBR. Homestuck was all the rage at the time, and I was genuinely blown away by Hussie’s ability to create absolutely insane plotlines that seemed to be a mess at first, but in retrospect suddenly tied up in a creative way. He managed to somehow remember tiny details he mentioned thousands of pages ago and bring them back. And almost all of that early stuff was improv! Like, wow.

(this is suddenly a homestuck analysis now. i apologize)

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Here’re things I didn’t realise at the time, though:

– It WAS so convoluted because it was improv. Planned-out stories don’t have that excuse.

– In retrospect, a lot of those desicions weren’t for the best. We all sure do love trolls, but they stole the storyline from the main characters and basically shoved a completely different comic in our face. If trolls didn’t get the spotlight in Act 5, Homestuck’s ending would’ve been pretty short and sweet. And then we could’ve had Homestuck 2.0 about trolls’ session! Not to mention alpha kids and trolls…

– It was kinda cool to read Hussie’s recaps and suddenly realize “oh yeah, everything does make sense now”. But if the only hope for reader’s survival is giant recaps, you’re doing writing wrong. What’s the point of telling the story through the visual medium, then? Just post a bunch of recaps and you’re done.

– With all that being said, Hussie still managed to pull this off in the early acts, again, just because the events were so batshit insane that even the recaps were captivating. However, I didn’t have the skill to make my convoluted bullshit work the same way. I don’t think most people do, at least not if you’re just a beginner.

– As time passed, Hussie either forgot or stopped caring about those tiny details. Same thing happened to me. There was so much garbage on my hands, I couldn’t remember it all. Leading to plot holes, forced explanations and OOC behavior.

– You know where it really did work? In Problem Sleuth and Felt intermissions. Because those were short stories. Neither the reader nor the writer had to juggle with too much information.

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you know you’re in trouble when these are your notes explaining a plothole

To sum everything up, let me put it this way. Convoluted bullshit is very easy to make, but very hard to work with. Simple and clever solutions take forever, but are truly priceless for everyone. Just ask the programmers.

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