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Notes and a Poll for B7: Perceptions stories 
19th-Mar-2009 11:02 am
Mysteries and Discoveries is now finished with Chapter 43 but I have a dilemma because I can't start on the Perceptions of Truth story yet.

The Jenna storyline was pushed to the side during Mysteries and Discoveries because there were too many things going on. Her journey has to be progressed much farther before I can do the final story.

So I am currently taking stock of where I am in the long-term plots front and trying to come up with ideas on what to do with the gap story.

Poll #1368162 Random Poll for B7:Perceptions

Would you like to see Jenna back with the crew?

Other. Please Specify.

For question above.

EDIT: An additional poll for story planning.

B7 Perceptions: Story 10 Planning Poll

Mysteries and Discoveries was predominantly angst so the next story will not be that. Well, maybe just a bit. I am looking back at some of the story suggestions made before I began Mysteries and Discoveries.

At this planning stage, I'm also searching for more ideas/suggestions and a bit of feedback to see how various things worked.

What did you think of the story of the boys? Did the mystery and discovery of who they were work for you? One of my biggest concerns was: were the boys recognizable as younger versions of our characters? And even though we knew that things were not going to end well for the boys, did the scenes of them being taken, still have a strong impact?

Each of the characters and many key relationships were developed in this story. What do you think of where the major characters and relationships are now?

EDIT: Thanks to reapermum's reminder, I am also in the process of making revisions to the Character Index. Additions have been made to the Major Characters. Other character details have been added up to the third story of Perceptions (The Definition of Peace). New material is marked in blue.
19th-Mar-2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind a story where the emphasis is Jenna and the Justice is only background, possibly not featuring beyond bar gossip of Kameron throwing his lot in with Borel.
19th-Mar-2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions =)

Edited at 2009-03-19 05:26 pm (UTC)
19th-Mar-2009 04:30 pm (UTC) - I'm rambling... but here's my thoughts before I zonk entirely...
I'd kinda guessed quite a while ago that Avon and Vila and Sester had all known each other as kids, and been brain-wiped. I was pretty sure for much longer ago that Argus had known Avon because of all the hints about him being irrationally (if he hadn't previously known Avon) protective of Avon and considering Avon worth quite a bit of sacrifice. I hadn't realized that Argus had been deliberately made into an Uber-warrior by the Feds.

I recognized the younger Vila and Sester, but not Avon, but then in your story Avon's original personality had been warped, so the adult Avon shouldn't much resemble the child. The set up for them getting taken was so extended that I'm afraid it didn't have much impact on me.

(Note: I am still skipping huge hunks of story because of my irrational lack of interest in the original characters + equally irrational dislike of inconclusive endings [I say irrational, because they're perfectly good characters and life is always inconclusive- it's only in fiction that things come to neat endings] so I don't really know where you're going. Is Servalan patiently waiting for Sester to do something? Is the rebellion getting anywhere?)
19th-Mar-2009 04:54 pm (UTC) - Re: I'm rambling... but here's my thoughts before I zonk entirely...
Very good guesses.

I understand about skipping parts. I do that myself. It's a fine balance. Some people really like the orig characters, some don't and some could take them or leave them.

I guess for me the purpose of these stories really is about creating a post-GP world rather than continually revisiting the same relational things over and over again. For me it's like having a season 5 and 6, where the dead/gone characters are replaced by new ones.

Servalan is still biding her time until the alien situation gets sorted out and Avon is recovered enough for her. Sester is supposed to keep reporting to her. They haven't decided what to do about that yet.

The rebellion has been put on hold until the alien situation is sorted out. So the last few adventures have been about their efforts on that front.
19th-Mar-2009 05:36 pm (UTC) - Re: I'm rambling... but here's my thoughts before I zonk entirely...
I quite like your Servalan; she is so insanely evil. I look forward to her losing patience and doing something sneaky and nasty to try to get Avon back.

Good luck getting the aliens sorted out- I can't think what would really take care of them.
19th-Mar-2009 05:44 pm (UTC) - Re: I'm rambling... but here's my thoughts before I zonk entirely...
Servalan is looking forward to it too and rubbing her hands with glee.
19th-Mar-2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I do like reading well written angst!! Especially in this story loop, you needed to really stretch their characters ... Hard for you, but long term, so much more depth.
19th-Mar-2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it.
19th-Mar-2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
You obviously like writing angst!

Moving things along faster would work better. I often skip bits if I think things are too slow, or we're lingering on scenes or situations.

I think Argus and Vila were recognisable as boys; Avon less so, but his personality was deliberately suppressed. Their capture didn't have much impact as I knew their escape wasn't going to work, but Vila's mother's did as it was more unexpected.

I'm pleased that Vila has someone to love him, and that he now knows what happened to his mother. Now Argus realises where his aggression came from--and the fact that he fought it at Zircaster (a point he should realise) I suppose he can move on to the Tellaran methods of fighting. Avon I'm not sure about. If he changes too much, he won't be Avon. I'd like to see Cally have some concerns other than Avon--and use her other skills more. She wasn't always a nurse!

Maybe Jenna could have a story arc of her own, and perhaps some investigation of that image of her mother being tortured that Zen showed her (lots more angst for you!) so that she's about more than Blake. The ship could do with her as a pilot, but OTOH she's be great as an ally with her own small fleet. Ultimately it's up to you as the author though.
19th-Mar-2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Some great suggestions.

*sigh* I should have realized that there wouldn't be that much impact with the boys' capture since we already knew the outcome.

I'm glad that the characters of Argus and Vila were recognizable. They would have been closest to their later selves. Sester as well. Avon would have been less recognizable other than for some basic characteristics, generally the non-nasty aspects.

Very good points and suggestions about Cally and Jenna. Now that the relationships between the men are more developed and I've established, Avon/Cally, Vila/Corinne and Argus/Reya, I will need to spend some time developing the roles and characters of the women apart from their relationships with the men.
19th-Mar-2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Maybe Jenna could fall for Sester. *GRIN*
19th-Mar-2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
LOL! Yes, it's going to be interesting to see Jenna's reaction to Sester when she realizes that he's not going anywhere. Though, you realize Argus hasn't made him part of the crew yet ;)
19th-Mar-2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Though, you realize Argus hasn't made him part of the crew yet ;)

I wouldn't expect that yet. It's still too soon after removing the tracking bracelet to move on another stage.

I'd even be reluctant to allow him to operate the teleport yet, just in case.
19th-Mar-2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
I will need to spend some time developing the roles and characters of the women apart from their relationships with the men.

YES! Cally and Reya are both excellent fighters,and Cally's TP should be used to all the crew when it can give them an advantage. Corinne needs to develop a skill that isn't nursing or traditional in any way--I'm sure she wants to be as far away from the subservient roles she'd have had on her birth planet.
19th-Mar-2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
I understand your concerns about Avon. I definitely want to keep what we love about Avon. Of course my own perceptions of him are my own and are different from other people's but hopefully its not too different.

To that end, this is what I have in mind for Avon's character growth.

He won't change per se but aspects of his character (in his softer, more overtly caring and self-aware moments that we see in the series) will become more prominent and other harder aspects softened a bit, at least in relation to people he cares about. The nastier aspects will start to come out again but in relation to people who are strictly enemies or people who are supremely and arrogantly stupid. Avon will never be able to stand fools or foolishness and will be very vocal about it.

For my own vision of Avon, I've always been of the opinion that he treated people differently if they did not establish an antagonistic relationship with him first, he didn't feel like he had to be constantly on the defensive/offensive with them and if they respected him.

So for the Avon I am moving towards will be more like the one we saw when he was with Cally on the Ortega, when he was with Hal Mellenby, Anna, Grant, Meegat, and several scenes with Cally, the scene when he was teaching the crew about the cypher machine, the scene where he's excited about the Liberator's technology and was trying to interest Blake in it as well, his relationship with Dayna in Aftermath/Powerplay, and the nice shuttle scenes with Vila in Orbit before the sorry last 8 minutes. For me that is the real Avon and the much nastier one we see is the bristly shell he feels he has to assume as a defence mechanism. We will see much less of that because with the crew now, he has no need to feel defensive.

Will the put down humour disappear? Definitely not. But it will take on a different aspect. It will be more like the lighter, wittier ones we saw and no longer have the nastier aspects. For this I'm using some of my own colleagues as examples because they are all highly intelligent, witty and they engage in some very biting, merciless put down humour but everyone knows its in good fun.

That is the sort of humour that I am beginning to develop between Avon and Vila starting with the Mysteries story. Up to now, they've been unsure of each other because so much has happened and been resolved between them, and there is still more.

Avon will always be much more pragmatic, cynical, pessimisic and mistrustful than the others. He will retain great confidence about his own intelligence and abilities. And he will always prefer more intelligent solutions to the use of brute force. He will still tend to view emotions and sentiment as irrational forces and will try to give excuses for them, even though he will exhibit more of them. And other than for very personal moments, he will never be that emotional.

Edited at 2009-03-19 10:18 pm (UTC)
19th-Mar-2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
That all sounds good! And I do understand that affectionate put-down humour as my friends and I used it a lot, to the puzzlement of onlookers who thought we disliked each other.

Avon and Vila had a great relationship up to S3 when Vila became a spare part and started his downward spiral into depression and drink. Yes, you do see flashes of their old friendship in Orbit and at the end of Ultraworld, and if their witty put-downs (on both sides, I might add) disappeared, neither of them would be the characters we know and love. I write them both so often because I love the complexities of that relationship.
19th-Mar-2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, we still see flashes of what I consider their real relationship in S3. I never understood why all of a sudden in S3, the writers had Vila going around looking as if he had swallowed a lemon. I mean, Avon had just rescued him and Cally when he could have just taken off with the ship and ORAC. He knew from ORAC that he didn't really need anyone and he was hardly likely going to go around looking for trouble. Something which Vila would have appreciated. Shouldn't they have just continued that relationship that we last saw in Gambit? Where did that disappear to? That's one thing I hate, is when shows seem to change the characters at whim just to suit plot and not keep their integrity or they do a reset when in reality their experiences would have changed them. That's something I'm trying stay away from for my stories.

I really blame the writers and that horrid Vere, not Avon and Vila.
22nd-Mar-2009 05:44 am (UTC)
I think Vila's "welcome to it" and Avon's "spare part" comment were their usual humour, which, sadly, Tarrant and Dayna failed to get. Than Avon taking Vila off weapons and leaving Vila functionless really didn't help. I'm not surprised he became depressed with 1) constant putdowns from the Tarrant and Dayna and 2) nothing to do and no way to keep his mind off fearing the worst. He's fine if he was something to do.

I blame the writer (esp Boucher who was script editor) too. Nation's scripts always had more complex characters all round, and a Vila with wit and an edge.
22nd-Mar-2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, Tarrant was dense that way if he still believed that Avon thought Vila was a spare part afterwards. If anything else, Tarrant was the least valuable one there. He was easily replaceable. And it wasn't Tarrant that Avon prefered on missions with him.

Many of the episodes, esp in S4, made me wonder if the writers had all of a sudden forgotten who the characters were.

I've never understood how they could have a non-trusting Avon all of a sudden give Tarrant and Dayna command access to the ship. Dayna I might see a bit since he spent more time with her. But Tarrant? A total stranger who they really know nothing about except what Tarrant told them?

And Tarrant didn't just put Vila down constantly, he also did that to Avon constantly from the beginning. I don't really see Avon putting up with that from anyone, and Tarrant wasn't even intelligent enough to be witty. Maybe the reason why Avon and Vila were unhappy was partially because of Tarrant trying to push everyone around and insulting all of them.

And I really don't understand why Avon would put Dayna on weapons. He saw that she was good with hand weapons, but did she show any ability or experience with ship-based ones? I think that I've come up with an explanation...we'll see how it works.

I really blame the writers for this glaring silliness. This is not Avon or Vila as TN envisioned them.
22nd-Mar-2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
It certainly isn't!

Tarrant was meant to be an older man, and intended to replace Blake as leader, but didn't when they realised Avon was the most popular character. Interesting;y, he was also meant to be the Federation plant I was sure he was for most of S3 (going by his name and several other points I've covered in stories) but for some reason they dropped that idea.
23rd-Mar-2009 11:53 pm (UTC) - command access
I've never understood how they could have a non-trusting Avon all of a sudden give Tarrant and Dayna command access to the ship. Dayna I might see a bit since he spent more time with her. But Tarrant? A total stranger who they really know nothing about except what Tarrant told them?

Watch one of the three interviews of Paul Darrow in 2005? not the three-part cult one, on Youtube. PD said Avon would never say that because it would give them the power. He is told, if he doesn't, then they haven't got a series, etc.
24th-Mar-2009 12:07 am (UTC) - Re: command access
Yes, I've pretty much watched everything there is about B7 that's available =D

The excuse never made any sense to me. I agree with PD, it made no sense and is completely out of character to have Avon do that. Or that Avon would let someone like Tarrant push him around like that. With Blake, Avon had no choice because Blake had control of the crew already. Tarrant doesn't. The crew should automatically follow Avon, as they did before whenever Blake was not around, and should not be trusting Tarrant to do anything until they had tested him. Avon certainly never would have nor would he or any of the original crew have accepted Tarrant giving any orders. It's why I consider the writers did not seem to understand the characters, esp Avon and Vila, after TN left.

Why would they not have a series? Why couldn't they have the first episode or so about the new people being tested and having to prove themselves? Now that would be different and plausible. What's wrong with Avon, Vila and Cally being the primary crew and Tarrant and Dayna on sufference for at least the first couple of episodes?

I think it was very short-sighted of the writers and producers to think that all the characters must have equal power on the ship in order to have a story.

And really, they didn't need a hotshot pilot on the Liberator and both Avon and Cally could pilot the ship just fine, if not exceptionally.
20th-Mar-2009 01:08 am (UTC)
I think redeveloping Jenna back into the crew would require some serious work on your part.
In essence she's already burnt her boats and has taken a more hostile approach to Avon. To get her back on board from that just seems unrealistic unless you could prove it was yet another example of psychomanipulaton. Though too many of those will make the whole plot arc seem unrealistic.
recovering her as an ally maybe as a crew member,doubtful. So saying they seem to be getting on with Sester so much better, so anything is possible.

Avon as caring I have no problem with so long as you do it in a suitably Avonic way. He showed he was capable of it in the series, just he never made a big deal of it and just did it. In other words not too demonstrative, apart from anything else, old habits die hard.

It wouldn't be the same without the banter between Avon and Vila. However neither of them are saints so it is possible it can get a little biting at times, especially if one has cause to be pissed with the other.
At the moment Avon is clearly keeping his sharpest barbs aimed in Sester's direction, though that has softened some when he realised they were friends as children and could be friends again.
It would be good if Sester could turn his skills against Servalan, hehe.

Edited at 2009-03-20 01:09 am (UTC)
20th-Mar-2009 01:21 am (UTC)
Some great input. Thanks =)

Jenna will present many problems ;)

Yes, Avon will be suitably Avonly in his caring. And his attempts to occasionally tack some extra steps on in an attempt to improve things will be not unlike an alien trying to speak English without learning how to first.

As Avon starts feeling better, we will see more of his old self but one that has also grown. He really does not like going around being a magnet for angst and sympathy.

It would be good if Sester could turn his skills against Servalan, hehe.

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