marbleglove: (Default)
First, a bit of background:

I was having a philosophical discussion with a friend of mine. I accused him of being a pessimist. He responded that he was merely a realist while I was a naive optimist. It occurred to me that plenty of people self-identify as optimists but no one (that I know of) self-identifies as a pessimist, they all declare themselves to be “realists,” under the apparent assumption that bad things are real while good things aren’t.

I propose that the reason why the news tends to be full of disasters is that bad things are “news” while good things are the status quo. While, of course, an amazing example of goodness, kindness and virtue is still amazing, the regular success of societal interactions is normal.

Then, to introduce fandom:

There are two conflicts in X-Men: First Class. The first is between the good guys (Charles and Erik) and the bad guys (Shaw et al.): the good guys win. The second conflict is between Charles and Erik about what the future holds, and is largely a conflict between optimism and pessimism.

Erik says the humans will attack mutants, governments will turn against them, and survival will be a fight between humans and mutants.

Charles says that humans will grow to accept mutants as will governments, and society will continue on as is.

Now it is, of course, easier to make a plot around Erik’s perspective because there’s an easily built-in good guy versus bad guy dynamic. And fanfic authors have realized this. For that matter, canon authors have realized this too, and the X-Men-verse in general consists of Erik’s vision coming to pass with Charles and his X-Men fighting a losing battle.

And finally my plot-bunny request:

What I would like is a story that revolves around Charles’ vision of the future, in which the world continues on as is, just with mutants in the general population.

(There is, incidentally, already a fabulous AU, Limited Release, that involves a society that has simply incorporated mutants into it. Despite being a WIP, I definitely recommend it. However, what I want at this point isn’t an AU.)

I want something that acknowledges a civil rights movement after the end of X-Men: First Class rather than a war or attempted genocide. There are horrible events, of course, just as there have been in the struggle for racial equality and gender equality, and sexual equality. But it's nothing like the large-scale genocide of the Nazi holocaust that Erik feared.

So I’m thinking maybe a hate crime should be the central conflict of this story, maybe structured like a Law & Order episode.

Someone dies.

Was the victim a mutant? Or thought to be a mutant? What about the suspect? Was mutation part of the motivation or was it for some unrelated reason?

Maybe the victim was a teenager being recruited by Charles for the school. Or maybe the primary suspect is the potential recruit. Maybe the investigators are suspicious of or have to interview Charles and/or Erik.

What do the detectives think? What do the attorneys think? What does the community or the press think?

What do Charles and Erik, Professor X and Magneto, think?

And, of course, I want it to end with Erik realizing that he probably should have realized earlier that Charles, as a telepath, actually does understand people and their reactions extremely well. And possibly realizing that Charles is a great deal more ruthless than Erik had expected, because this sort of small-scale personal horror that they are going through right now, is part of the shining future of integration that Charles had expected. After all, he let Erik and Raven leave him on the beach, to go off and start an underground terrorist group. He has always known that he has to allow free will for the future to be anything worth living, and free will in others involves disagreements and violence. But he also believes in forgiveness and amnesty.

And a happy ending. Because, after all, I am an optimist and I want the happy future.
marbleglove: (Default)
Today being Sunday and me feeling more virtuous than usual, I actually contemplated religious issues today. It occurred to me that if God is this incomprehensible creature with vast powers, I have a god-like role to the characters in my stories. So I considered this comparison for a bit. 

I love my characters. A few in particular are my favorites, of course, but for the most part, if I don't enjoy a character at least a little then I don't write them at all, and that's that. I love the good guys and I love the bad guys, and I love the conflicts they get themselves into. 

And I am not kind to my characters. When I love them, I love showing them off. I push them to their limits, finding outrageous scenarios that would show off a particular reaction from them. My characters do not get to skip happily along singing happy little songs because, good grief, it would be boring and I don't like boring characters. In fact, the type of character who is beautiful, wonderful, capable, happy, and who skips along singing happy songs while being beloved by everyone has a name. This name is Mary Sue, and she is not well thought off by all the other god-like creators out there. Occasionally, other fic-writers go out of their way to beat down a Mary Sue for being too irritating. 

My characters even have free will to the extent that if I write them as wildly out of character, it's just poor writing and I try to avoid that. 

I do want my characters to be happy... at the end of the story. Or maybe not happy, precisely, but better off than they were. Or, well, more impressive than they were?  Or at least have survived to have a really cool story to tell. And if they die a horrible death, at least it's for a good cause and other people will be impressed. If they ever find out about it since it's really made to be visible from a god-like perspective rather than to the other characters. But well, the other characters just aren't my audience, now are they? 

Anyway, those are my thoughts as I sat in holy silence contemplating the wonders of the world and the love of god. People who say, "God loves us, he wants us to be happy" are probably not fiction writers, or at least haven't thought it through. 

Have I horribly offended anyone by this bit of philosophical rambling? I did refrain from saying any of this out loud until I could get back to my computer. 

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