transkats said: why are you a homestuck
I don’t know if I am.
I became depressed and lost like 98% of my interest in Homestuck the moment I saw Nepeta’s body floating in a tube on the metor. She was my favourite character just because she wasn’t…
I love this theory about the Ultimate Riddle. It seems likely to be true, and I certainly hope it is. :)
Even leaving that aside, I’ve seen a fair few people get upset, or just surprised, by events in Homestuck having actual consequences. They talked about how Hussie was “trolling” the readers when he… had something happen that was heavily foreshadowed for a thousand pages. They were astonished when something bad didn’t happen, as when Kanaya confronted Rose’s drinking problem instead of leaving her because of it, because obviously Hussie was just stringing everyone along… right?
Characters getting killed and stay largely out of the story (even if their irrelevance is a running gag)? New challenges arising that weren’t quickly resolved? Relationships beginning and ending? Characters changing personality traits, likes and dislikes? Those aren’t trolling, they’re basic narrative structure.
Or so it seemed to me.
Then one of my friends pointed out that all of these are things that don’t happen in episodic fiction. American television, longform shonen anime and certain long-running book series don’t have permanent changes happen. Western comic books do, but it doesn’t stick. And a lot of the Homestuck fanbase comes from a background where that’s the default. In episodic fiction, characters don’t change forever, and problems are resolved by the end of the episode/book/issue.
(I’m given to understand Young Adult fiction doesn’t often kill or irrevocably alter characters, either, but I’m not really qualified to say.)
As someone who mostly consumes fiction in the form of adult novels, video games, movies, single-season anime, and TV miniseries - which, when they come out a little at a time, are serialized fiction - almost invariably have long, dark arcs where everything seems to be going wrong and characters you love are being hurt or hurting others. That’s how their dramatic arcs work.
Hussie has always said he’s writing serialized, not episodic fiction, with an eye toward archival readers. He sets up plot threads that take thousands of pages to develop, and along the way, especially read in update-sized chunks, things can look pretty bleak, because that’s how things look in serialized fiction.
He’s even talked about how fanfiction can provide the comfort of episodic fiction. Which is no bad thing, but is not his thing. (Interestingly, the inverse is also true. Just as fanfic for serialized fiction can provide character interaction and slice of life, fanfic for episodic fiction can provide character development and a sense of progression). I wish more people could tell the difference between his thing, which is not an uncommon thing (although he does it on an uncommon scale), and trolling.