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I think we agree on quite a lot.

Have you read a book called Writing the Breakout Novel? If not it's an amazing eye opener, and it really showed me what I was doing wrong. I attempted to follow its advice on my first book, and the content of the book was pretty solid in that regard.

The marketing failed. The title of the book was funny, which doesn't fit the tone of a serious archeological thriller. It looked more like a horror novel. That taught me to respect marketing much more than I had. We live in a data-driven world, and our job is to reach the market who will love our product. If we can do that with say 500 people, then Facebook, Google, and Amazon can all do the rest and start finding more without us having to do anything.

If your basic premise is amazing, like say Stranger Things, then it spreads. It goes viral. Each person tells another person or two, and before you know it everyone in your circle has seen it. I've gotten to watch this occur in the author world many times. I've seen several people hit the #1 spot on all of Amazon, which requires thousands of sales a day, and / or hundreds of thousands of pages read.

Anyway, the reason why I think this failed is that it only took one market into account, and that market isn't really interested in watching a show like that. Twitter hated it, because it wasn't woke enough. The graphic novel fandom hated it because they changed the source to reflect modern sensibilities, and it broke their suspension of disbelief.

When attempting to write a breakout thriller the goal (as I learned it) is to make as many audiences happy as possible.

You brought up award shows...I could go on and on about those. They've lost all respect from the community, because it's clear that they're a popularity contest. Everything from the Oscars to the Emmy's had their worst years ever, and next year will be worse. Because it's no longer about the what the audience wants. It's about self-aggrandizing. We're tired of being lectured.

For Y-- a man being in the plot doesn't satisfy the wider audience any more than saying a man would satisfy the audience of Lost when they are expecting Jack or Sawyer and get Hurley. Not just any man will do.

If the archetype is seeking an archetype like from my 300 example, then they'd rather have a big, butch woman filling that role, than a skinny, sniveling, weak pathetic cowardly man.

Abs are a problem to the romance crowd. Lack of scientific authenticity (or pseudoscience) is a problem for the graphic novel crowd. Obviously left politics are a problem for the conservative crowd. You add all those together, and who is watching your show?

Contrast this to the Walking Dead. I feel like they really missed here, and were quite clear about trying to miss by not wanting certain demographics. I absolutely agree that this same show, and concept, could have been successful.

If your last man is Jason Momoa, or Denzel Washington, or Peter Dinklage now we're talking. Now we have a hook. From reviews that doesn't seem to be what we got.

Anyway, apologies again for being patronizing. I felt like I was getting that from you and I was wrong.

Now I'm picturing a really short Aquaman...

No, I haven't read that. I've read King's On Writing and a handful of others, but it's been a while. Regarding your failed book, I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm an inveterate patron of used book stores, and can scan a shelf of book spines and immediately know their genre, and focus in on the ones that interest me. There are a lot of visual cues, from fonts and size to art and colors. It's a form of signaling.

To touch on the lead man in Y, I think it's more he just isn't there. He's sort of soft, and maybe hippyish... I don't have a strong sense of who he is, and he isn't buoyed up by any charisma. I'm going to throw back to another show I mentioned a few posts back: The Man in the High Castle. There's Julia, who is pretty and little stubborn, but takes a while to develop into a character. Her boyfriend is a nebbish, who bad things happen to. Joe's a little better, because he's got the boy next door look, but we know he has a dark secret. But the real seller of that series wasn't any of them, it was the villain. The Nazi Obergruppenfuhrer. More than anyone else, Sewell probably probably carried the show. With his intensity and the almost palpable malice he could exude with those bony cheekbones, while still managing to come across as human.

That's one difference between written and visual media; there needs to be a compelling character, and what makes the character compelling is a complex of visual and verbal cues. Sometimes the character can be scenery, like with Annihilation (to circle back again), though that's hard to sustain. But usually, it's a person. It doesn't need to be a sex symbol, though that helps. Or a hero, though that's the default expectation. But it does need to be someone we want to know more about. I think that's more important than politics or abs.

And I suppose bringing up award shows in the vicinity of a sf writer was a bad idea. I think your set have become uniquely bad, though Ricky Gervais' take on the Golden Globes might be the best thing that came out of 2020 unless you happen to be a huge fan of totalitarianism.


Hey there! I haven't seen this particular show being discussed, as I don't watch much television at all. However, it did occur to me in reviewing your discussion--particularly Chris Fox and Pat--that, your misunderstandings aside, the show has failed because you are both correct at the same time. I could easily see the show failing because it doesn't appeal to a broader audience--as Chris Fox commented--while also failing because it is a shit program, with shit writing, directing, and soon, which is what I inferred from Pat's critique of the show being poorly produced in general.

I also wanted to commend you both--PAT AND CHRIS FOX. Your conversation has been excellent, and enjoyable. I am glad the two of you recognized your misunderstandings, and have reconciled.

The side-running commentary on marketing concepts--based both on theory and practical experience--has been illuminating, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable. The analysis of award shows, and the other aspects of your conversation--related to physiology, sex appeal, all that good stuff, is fucking awesome.

Award shows...*Laughing* Yeah, they have become fucking woke and they're going down the fucking drain. GOOD! Go woke, go broke, indeed! God these people are fucking morons. I know, I know. It all isn't accidental. All of this bullshit, all of the failure and raging against the culture, and efforts to create a new kind of Marxist culture, right in our midst before our eyes as we speak--is all *INTENTIONAL*. Yeah, let your minds marinate on that truth.

Recognizing that truth is part of what gets me enraged, and so ferocious against these woke, Marxist fucktards. Arrgghh. I know there isn't much I can do about it, as the culture struggles in the culture war daily, as we speak. I often have to take a deep breath, light up my fine pipe, make some good coffee, and just unplug and focus on other things. So frustrating, but we have to also live the best life we can, my friends. I find enjoyment whenever I can.

Keep up the good fight, gentlemen. And also, be kind to each other. ;D

Semper Fidelis,


Wrath of God:
I think "Y - The Last Man" is quite decent idea, and I don't really get representation arguments from Chris. I think dystopia and post-apo are meant to be catastrophic, and killing off wide swaths of mankind and biological life is proper way to go. This is option within genre. So I guess reason was either pushing woke above all, or overall screenwriting failure, or both.
I guess they tried to umph some feminist agends, and threads of some cherry picked women from vast array of female characters above, forgetting it's ultimately one man's road story in fallen world. For what I see they decided to demonize further for instance quite dark character of Yorrick's sister, that join some radfem death cult in books, here making her utterly terrible person even before Y-event, because God forbide anyone who will or would become radfem ergo TERF and SWERF would be in anyway sympathetic.

So there's that.


--- Quote from: Ratman_tf on September 19, 2021, 04:45:40 AM ---Anyone actually watching the show, or are you all too busy hate-fucking each other?

I'm on the fence on whether I want to invest the time. Maybe after I finish my Babylon 5 rewatch and have nothing else to do.

--- End quote ---
I refuse to watch any TV series that isn’t finished.  I got burned too many times with great shows that went south in their 3rd season, or outright got cancelled. 

I do however own the graphic novels and I loved them.  So if the TV series follows the comics, it should be a good show…until they write in some lame-ass shit for politically correct reason, or just outright cancel the show.


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