Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by SeedySider, Dec 27, 2005.
So I started it. And it has the very fitting title: ... and Loyalty
Woo! On my way, MsL
Its been a while since I've read a story of unscrupulous scoundrels.
Since there has been no new challenge in this thread since April, I suggest SeedySider or LutonPlunder or someone post a new one.
I'm interested in trying something new.
I know. I think we could use a new topic too. I'll put something together...
Oh, and remember: the PM boxes of both SeedySider and myself are always open for challenge or discussion ideas!
Twenty-Third (I think) Update
Starting off with new fics! Read them. Reply to them. Love them.
We start out welcoming Onoto to the Seedy Side index with a good and illegal response to a challenge at the esteemed Essential Guide to OCs?
The Gringlow Job
Timeline: Prequel Trilogy
Genre: Challenge, Heist
Main Characters: OCs
Summary: Two criminals plan to rob the most secure bank on Nar Shaddaa, but it's impossible to account for everything.
Our next fic, featuring the oft-overlooked bounty huntress Aurra Sing, is from another author we haven?t had in the index yet, nate_the_great:
Timeline: near ANH
Genre: General, horror
Main characters: Aurra Sing, OCs
Summary: The former Jedi known as Aurra Sing is given a little back story in Broken Chains.
Status: In progress
The TSS index is also proud to now hold a story from RX_Sith! It?s got Seedy right in the title. Really.
Timeline: During the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of Coruscant
Genre: Challenge Fic
Main characters: OCs
Summary: A group of characters have to survive in the perilous regions of Coruscant during the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion.
Our next author is no stranger to the Seedy Side ? why yes it?s Luton_Plunder, with the latest episode of CorSec officers and the wonderful scum and villainy they fight.
The User 1.3 Metalegacies
Timeline: About 2 years before ANH
Main characters: OCs
Summary: Detective Tadgh Maitland and his brother Taban investigate a remote planet that may conceal secrets from their past. Meanwhile, Detective Jeanice Keyston investigates the resurgence of a xenophobic gang.
Status: In Progress
And last, but far from least, is another author we?ve featured before, MsLanna, with not one, not two, but three fics featuring Jango Fett and an ice-cold assassin.
1. Strictly Business
Timeline: about 34 BBY
Main characters: Leila Durmon, Jango Fett
Summary: Leila Durmon, assassin specialises on unarmed murder, is hired to rescue the Daughter of Lord Graden. But he misapplied some details of the mission, starting with her having to cooperate with Jango Fett.
Timeline: about 34 BBY
Main characters: Leila Durmon, Jango Fett
Summary: Leila Durmon is stuck on a backwater planet with no way out, when suddenly an opportunity opens up.
3. ?And Loyalty
Timeline: about 34 BBY
Genre: General, action
Main characters: Leila Durmon, Jango Fett
Summary: Leila Durmon is hired to kill Jango Fett.
Status: In Progress
I asked for ideas and I got them ? fast! This challenge prompt comes to you from brodiew:
"I Am Changing the Deal"
Write about an underworld deal that goes south. This could be arms, drugs, information, anything you want (within TOS ). Just make it seedy, and make it all go wrong.
And this topic of discussion is brought to you by Luton_Plunder?
"Beneath this Rough Exterior..."
?Is there a heart of gol/>/>
Wow, that was speedy Face! I declare you the fastest gun in the west. This gun obviously shoots some brand of index update, naturally. And on the topic, this update was massive kudos to your taming of the markup codes.
A great prompt from Brod for the challenge! I can't wait to sink my teeth into that one
And hmm, now I'm actually going to have to think about the discussion topic I will be back. And in greater numbers.
...Did Luton_Plunder just imply he was going to return to loot and plunder?
You know what, moral vacuums are overrated. Yodimus prefers the MUCH more over-the-top method of introducing exotic matter into his soul so that he ends up with moral negative space.
Vacuums are so last epoch.
In reality, I think Yodimus isn't so much an empty pit into which all morality is crushed (or - once the exotic matter is implemented - sucked into an alternate reality). Rather, I think he's is just grossly irresponsible and naively arrogant. His unending desire to just go and then go again probably helps feed this, since it keeps him eternally adolescent, even when he's playing the role of an adult (which he likes to do...possibly because he should be one). It doesn't help that he surrounds himself with people who either compliment or feed these bad personality traits of his. It also doesn't help he works as a travelling salesman.
But I don't think that ever helped anyone, so I guess that's beside the point . <-- (point)
And that's what I have to say for myself.
The principal from "The Breakfast Club" would be proud.
Just don't mention Barry Manilow's wardrobe.
I think a good Seedy Side character would be a reluctant hero. The type who says, "Do I have to help? Well, no, I don't have to, but for some reason I want to." And I don't think the primary reason has to be anything noble - after all, seedy folk have to eat (and even more so, drink). You can't always pay for food with good deeds in their world.
Another question: can a seedy type perform a good deed and remain completely unchanged? Or, forever will that good deed dominate his destiny? If Seedy is a moral vacuum, does that mean he can do something nice just as easily as he can do something mean, but the good deed doesn't spark a conscience in him? In other words, is it possible to remain truly selfish?
Or maybe I'm getting too philosophical.
I like my seedy siders with morals.
I don't know how to explain any of it, though, because it's a braod and fuzzy terrain for me. There are some things playing into how 'moral' an act is, though. If the two sides involved are equally stron, or if it's just abuse of power. If they are in a position to know things like that will happen. Eg., if you're a crime boss, be prepared that crime might happen to you. That's what guards are for. If your assassin outmanoeuvres you, bad luck, you had your chance.
Innocence is also a factor for me. If the affected are innocent bystanders, no good. But since I mostly put up seedies against other seedy siders, that is not much of a problem. Just keep the colateral damage down... I'm not sure if that's 'being good' or just keeping your business running smoothly, though.
JadeSolo maybe it depends on the character. A hopeless opportunist may do a good deed beacuse it just suits him then and go back to old habits when they are more profitable again.
Am I making any sense?
And heart of gold? Probably, if they made enought credits to have the old one replaced.
LP: Quick like lightning! I'm musing on the challenge myself...
Yod: Bizarro morality!?
I like that analysis of Yodimus; I think it makes a lot of sense. Particularly that he surrounds himself with immaturity - that's very true. It makes me think back to one of the earliest topics in the first Seedy Side, about falling in with the wrong crowd. Yodimus fell in with the emotionally and ethically stunted crowd, and found it suited him nicely.
If I had a nickel every time...
This is kind of the flip side to the Non-Force-User discussion about how little it takes to start Jedi down the Path to the Dark Side?. Is there a slippery slope into the light?
My first instinct is to say no, because, after all, evil is "quick and easy." You can't buy the parts you need to keep the ship flying by trading in merit badges. You can get them, however, in exchange for blood money.
My second thought was, well, maybe it is. Think about Han. You know he must have lost half his underworld contacts once word got around he'd gotten soft. Helping the Alliance in a prison break for the creds, sure. But firing on Darth Vader without being paid to?! By the time RotJ rolls around, he's more soldier than smuggler. Heck, he?s even made, what, General, in the X-Wing books? Whether he admits it explicitly or not, he believes in the cause. It started with just helping out some friends and slowly he fell down the Path to the Light Side?. There was ?good in him? all along. Solo had just buried that under all his baggage and braggadocio. He got to try on righteousness and, what do ya know, it fit him pretty well.
But I think MsLanna has hit upon a key point here. If we take a look at a truly amoral seedy-sider, by definition s/he has no particular predilection toward Good or Evil. It?s just whatever?s profitable. If that orphan kitten?s got a reward bigger than the bounty on its owner?s head, heck yes it?s getting saved. Ideally you can then collect the bounty once you?ve been paid, and maybe sell the cat too. If their sense of ethics has been so twisted they don?t see right or wrong any more, in theory, doing a Good Deed affects them no more than doing a Bad Deed.
Of course, I imagine it would be hard to find someone who can actually walk that line without their experiences tilting them one way or the other, but if there?s a place they can exist successfully, it?s the Seedy Side.
There's a difference though between being amoral and immoral.
An immoral person knows something is wrong and does it anyway, an amoral person just does what ever the hell they want. Think Edmund or Iago.
You've got a good point there, Face, walking on the seedy side is much more entertaining than dealing with the ethical issues of the light and dark side. Kinda reminds be of a line in Hitchhikers (film)"I don't have ideas, Madam Vice President, I just do what I do."
And I'm going to have a go at that challenge too.
That's what I meant, but I apparently felt a desire to make it sound much more confusing than your clean 'n' simple explanation.
Hey, just a reminder, since I forgot to say this when I wrote the update: Usual Seedy Side challenge procedure applies. Be sure to post your challenge response in its own thread in the proper forum (Before, Beyond, or Saga), with (Seedy Side challenge response) or something to that effect in the subject line. Then PM a link to either SeedySider or The_Face, and I'll talk about it in an update.
Anyone else have thoughts on morality/immorality/amorality of underworld characters?
Everyone working on the challenge?
Of course I am!:
Not really: !
Topic discussion and seedy fics, people, bring 'em both on!
My roommate and I were discussing the topic of morals today, and whether or not there was a difference between the lack of morals and having negative morals. I say there is. He thinks they're the same thing.
I mean, someone made up pure evil (24 karat evil) WOULD have morals. Very strict ones. But they'd be evil morals. Some smugglin' scoundrel who only cares about the next buck - he's got zero morals (cubic zarconia evil), so maybe he does good and maybe he does bad, but it won't bother him. If the evil guy accidentally did good, he'd feel weird.
Conversely (decent shoes), my roommate argues that there's really no such thing as negative morals, except insofar as they pertain to either the lack of morals, or the tragic misinterpretation of honestly good morals. Or something like that. I think this is waay too humanistic, but that's just me.
Anyway, in order to maintain symmetry, negative morals would HAVE to exist in order to annihilate positive morals. Because the fight between Yoda and Palpatine would have been so much better if they instantly exploded when they touched. Am I right? Picture that. How cool is that?! (explosion-level cool)
I"m not sure I understand, Yodimus. I always felt like pure evil was a lack a moral foundation. I know Palps was calculating and patient, morals? What strict evil moral code would he adhere to? Does an evil moral code have dos and dont's or is purely do what needs to be done for the end result. I've always felt it like ordered chaos.
If you want to talk about the philosophy of the seedy, I would think your bounty hunting, gun for hire types would have a fair number of nihilists in their ranks. It's a big galaxy, people die every day, what's one more guy who probably did something wrong anyway? During the OT, there's even more room for rationalization. If the dominant government in the galaxy is committing all these atrocities, what's one guy with a blaster taking down lowlifes on the fringe matter?
Conversely (decent shoes), my roommate argues that there's really no such thing as negative morals, except insofar as they pertain to either the lack of morals, or the tragic misinterpretation of honestly good morals.
I wonder if this all comes down to one's perception of the concept of morals. Are morals only meant to be defined as a code of good conduct, thus making it impossible for anything negative to be called moral? But that would cancel out the reality of good intentions, which are traditionally supposed to be one road to Hell. (The other, of course, is off I-95). If morals are strictly defined as only being inherently good, then what does one call the code of conduct a person with less than pure intentions might possess?
Principles of Evil?
Last weekend, I saw "No Country for Old Men." Highly recommend it not just as a good movie, but as a good look at seedy, seedier, and just plain bad folk. Well, Tommy Lee Jones plays a good guy, but never mind that. Javier Bardem as the bad guy was one of the coolest characters I'd ever seen. You never quite knew if he had some twisted moral code or set of principles, or if he was just loopy. Or maybe both. He's the kind of guy who sees killing as a matter of principle - someone takes your money, and it's not enough to just go after him and get the money back. You have to make that guy understand that you are NOT pleased with the theft and with having to chase his ass all over the place. You take it a step further and fulfill all promises (read: threats) that you made to him, even after you've got your money back.
To me, that guy still has morals. They're not the same kind of morals "good" people follow, but then that guy, from his point of view, believes he's following a certain code. Another example is the scary agent from "Serenity" - there's a fellow who knows he's not a good person, but he still adheres to a specific code of conduct.
I think most characters will adhere nicely to what the stories needs.
If Exhibit A is to be a protagonist we are supposed to identify with, an acceptable set of morals would be in order. That can differ depending whether she's on a revenge rampage (aka Kill Bill) or just trying to make a life in the GFFA. But if we're to identify and root for ExA, we need to understand and accept his premises.
Exhibit B might be the villain of the fic, or just a protagonist who we are to hate. His set of morals can be opposite to ours or even worse. Just what you need to get the lesson across.
taking Exhibit Han for example. If he had just vanished from the story after getting his money, his actions would not have had to have an impact on him. But since he had to return and was somebody we were supposed to like, he did get his heart of gold.
So, what I'm trying to say, often the way the story goes will decide on how moral a character needs to be.
Very true, Lanna, and I recall Luke saying in SOTE is that Han's lack of concern for anything that didn't directly affect him was just a facade to disguise the fact that he really did care.
I just think, in terms of seedy side, morality is not something that can be viewed as a black or white issue. There's morality, there immorality and there's amorality, but where do guys like Quinlan Vos, Nick Rostu and heck, even Boba Fett, where do they fit in? I always though Fett was out for himself, but the end of NJO he said his gruidge was really against the Jedi.
Tying in with what Lanna said, I think I've discussed before how even characters portrayed as being neutral or morally ambiguous will inevitably have to take sides within a story. Usually. So there is of course that over-arching sense within a story that certain deeds will make a character either "good" or "bad" or some fluctuation of either.
The thing about it is that the morality of the seedy character in question is being viewed and judged by the protagonists of the story you are writing. So, to use Han Solo in ANH as an example: We see him from the POV of Luke Skywalker. And to the galaxy's most goodest good guy, Han is viewed as a rogue who slips his "in it for the money" attitude to take up a higher calling as a virtuous hero. However, make the protagonist of the story say...Greedo, and Han becomes a smirking traitor (who totally shoots first! ) to his employers.
Where the seedy element is great is that you get to make the Han-esque character the protagonist, and he's free to dictate just what morality means to the audience. I think within your story, if the main character says it's okay, then by god it is okay. If a protagonist feels righteous enough, I'd wager you could write a story about deplorable genocide with a perfectly understandable moral core. A reader might not agree with it, but it can be understood.
So to try and pull my rambling together:
(a) ...what Lanna said
(b) The morality of every character is usually viewed and judged by the protagonist. So if the story is from Vader's POV, then Obi-Wan Kenobi is just the worst person ever - no arguments from the audience.
(c) Han. Shot. First. k? Seemingly an insignificant detail, but the fact that George Lucas went back and changed it to self-defence means that he was worried an audience would find him too unsympathetic if he went about killing people with no provocation. That speaks highly to the fact that your standard loveable rogue in a Star Wars story needs to be pretty morally upstanding to cut it with the "good guys". Does that mean we have to worry about that sort of thing within a Seedy fic? Of course not but it's worth noting, I guess.
I'm lovin' all this discussion. Still trying to wrap my mind around some kind of response.
Some of you may have noticed a certain project here, in the Essential Guide to OCs. Well, I can reveal now the true intent of this "OC Project". Or I can copy and paste correllian_ale's post.
Here's another link to the Essential Guide to OCs. I encourage anyone who's been following this experiment to try their hand at turning your precious creation over to the underworld. Be sure to post a link to your tale of corruption here and there. Maybe we can even get some discussion on what strategies you used to make a villain out of an existing character, how this was a harder/easier/better/worse way to get an antagonist going, etcetera etcetera.
This does not, however, mean you can't still add thoughts to the current morality discussion (I hope to) or respond to the deal-gone-wrong challenge. Heck, maybe a deal going wrong is what sent your OC over to the seedy side, I don't know. />
So, I've read this thread on and off. The Seedy Side intrigues me (though I've never really written anything with seedysiders. Yet.).
As to my thoughts on the current discussion topic, here we go:
Nothing exists in a vaccuum, especially morals. What one does affects people, and what other people do affects that one. However, I would think that people on the Seedy side of life would pretend that they're not affected, at the very least. Look at Lando. He's betrayed his friend, and he acts like he doesn't care--but he really does care, and it bothered him that he'd gone against his own morals and then changes and tries to help. That's who I thought of when I read the challenge's title.
My computer's dictionary says this: moral *concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character
? concerned with or adhering to the code of interpersonal behavior that is considered right or acceptable in a particular society
? holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct
? derived from or based on ethical principles or a sense of these
? [ attrib. ] examining the nature of ethics and the foundations of good and bad character and conduct
2 ( morals) a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do
? standards of behavior that are considered good or acceptable
I've thought that villains do not consider themselves to be bad--the amoral ones, anyway. I always thought that they would see themselves as doing the right thing. Palpatine, for instance. I think that he truly believed that by eliminating the Jedi he was doing the right thing. Sure, it was partially fueled by revenge, and he certainly did not have humanitarian intentions, but he thought he was doing the right thing. It's like that part of Vader and Obi-Wan's conversation (can I really call it that? it's definitely not civilized) that goes like this (yay for Wikiquote!):
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!
Anakin Skywalker: From my point of view the Jedi are evil!
A Seedy Sider's morals would serve their best interest, and is seen as though they're the protagonist of their own story. In my psychology class, we'd call that the 'adolescent fable'. So it makes sense that they would see themselves however they viewed themselves. Hmm. But, secretly, the grayer they were, the more affected they'd be by their 'good' actions. Truly hardened people would not care either way.
Hope my first offering on this thread makes some sort of sense. I'm thinking about something for the challenge, too.
Quite sensible indeed, Laine. Welcome to the Seedy Side, and I hope you do write a challenge response.
Well the title was taken straight out of TESB, so Lando is certainly topical.
Yes, I'd say that plenty of seedy-siders do have a moral code, but they also have something - greed, lust for power, fear of rocking the boat - that compels them to act against that. And either they break that code down to the point where they really don't care any longer, or they just pile on more and more regrets. And that regret could drive them to change, or to drink, or to any number of other things. That's one of the strengths of underworld characters, I think. There are just so many different ways for them to go.
New topic coming soon, everybody! And don't forget: (1) the deal-gone-wrong challenge is ongoing, and (2) the OC Project! Turn your OCs to seediness by year's end (or January's end if you're making a new OC for it). Deadline's kind of flexible though since it's not a voting thing.
We start this update off right with a story for the index: From Katana_Geldar, it's an old-fashioned gritty detective story.
The Seventh Star
Timeline: c. 45 BBY
Main characters: OCs
Genre: Hard-boiled detective fiction
Summary: Just out of prison for crimes he did not commit, Jali Dawler, ex-Coruscant Security Officer, follows a series of events to uncover those who framed him.
Read, reply, enjoy.
Next up, I've only gotten one response so far for the "deal gone wrong" challenge. But here it is, from The_Face:
Timeline: approx. 5 years post-RotJ
Genre: Intrigue, crime
Main characters: OCs
Summary: A professional courier of illegal goods finds herself caught up as a pawn in the game of more powerful forces.
Status: In Progress
And finally, a new topic of discussion! It's another character study, this one suggested by Forcefire:
"You Are A Wonderful Human Being."
Jabba the Hutt is one of the biggest underworld presences in the OT. But what goes on in that big slimy head of his? Let's see if we can't analyze the character of everybody's favorite slug gangster./>/>