William Leisner wrote:
I think you give the authors far too much credit...
I think this cuts right to the heart of the matter, so I’m going to add my last thoughts based on this. I’ve written what I have to explain the reasons I feel the way I do – and perhaps that was the wrong track to take. Let me simply things.
If the intention was to create an unsympathetic character - congratulations, you’ve succeeded. Ignor me and move on.
If the intention was collectively to create a sympathetic character in Miranda, so far, for me personally, it has been a failure. Doesn’t mean the writing’s been poor, doesn’t mean I have to agree with her choice, doesn’t mean you have to change her decision or that I may ever like her. I do not find her sympathetic. An interesting character, whom I don’t really like.
And if the intention is to convince me on a message board of why I’m wrong, in gamer lingo, epic fail, you’ve completely missed the point.
I know its in vogue to say ‘it’s just one idiot on the internet’ – and again, if you feel you’ve done everything in your power to make Miranda a sympathetic character and the fault lies with me – great, your job here is done. But it seems to me where there’s one, there might be more people reading her character this way.
What I have tried to do is give some examples of ways in which the authors might find ways to improve this character. Frankly, I don’t think these suggestions would hurt even if you are a reader who is completely sold on the idea of Miranda. I’m talking about seeing her and her husband talk about this decision some more. I don’t really feel like I’ve seen him say he wouldn’t join her – but even if I’m forgetting that scene from a particular novel, if these novels are meant to stand alone, there’s no harm in revisiting these things in later novels (besides, in real life, these kinds of discussions come up over and over again, with hurt feelings, and unresolved issues). Would it hurt to have her husband ask the same questions I have (‘what’s your goal Miranda?’). Perhaps he’s totally on-board with this decision, but the children aren’t.
You could argue, ‘maybe these things are going on behind the scenes’ – well, that doesn’t really help. I’m not ‘seeing’ those discussions, so to me, everyone is a-ok with the situation. And maybe they all are, and if so, it’s unrealistic to me, but whatever.
I’ll give you another example of how this discussion could be brought up in terms of a novel (and actually create character growth for another character who could use it) – it might be interesting to have a character on the Enterprise who knows about Miranda’s decision, and doesn’t agree with it. Doesn’t mean the character in question (let’s say Geordi, who fits this bill well since he’s got unresolved abandonment issues, and has been reluctant to become friends with Miranda ‘because she took over Data’s spot’ – but what if there’s something a little deeper there) would be disrespectful to Miranda, it might not even prevent them from being friends – but not everyone has to agree with Miranda’s decision, and right now, there’s no sense of conflict here.
But all that’s just one idiot’s opinion on the internet. Now I’m going to play with my kids.