"Who cares what the plot is?"

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by Chess Piece Face, Mar 17, 2009.

?

Do you care about the plot?

  1. Yes - I couldn't care less about the characters.

    6.8%
  2. Yes - because it is at least one half of a successful formula for a well written show.

    72.6%
  3. No, plot means ZILCH without good characters

    15.1%
  4. No, I could watch 45 minutes of Starbuck noodling on the piano every week

    5.5%
  1. Chess Piece Face

    Chess Piece Face Commodore Commodore

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    You make a lot of great points, and I agree with a lot of them. The problem is when you say this:


    The characters are the story. The show is and has always been about what happens to them and how they deal with it.

    My point is this:

    Nothing, next to nothing, or the same thing over and over is what has been "happening to them" as of late. That is boring. That is not character development. That is not entertaining. That is not good writing.

    And that's assuming you believe that the last 5 hours of a years long show is the time to develop character in the first place.

    Look, I love RDM and I love BSG but this thing is LIMPING towards the finish line, and I think even his strongest defenders have to at least see that there is some sort of problem here, even if they don't think it's that big of a deal.
     
  2. archeryguy1701

    archeryguy1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think both are important. However, I'm wondering where people are getting the impression that 'character stuff' and plot are mutually exclusive. Why can't Moore write a bunch of character stuff that also moves the plot along? Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that Moore said he got stuck during the writing of the final assault when this happened... in something like that, I have a hard time imagining what sort of useless character stuff they could possibly do that would eat up so much time. Here's a thought: how do we know he's planning on "dropping the plot" for all, or most, of the episode? Like I said above, this quote came from when he was stuck on the final assault. What if the problem was that he was struggling to make a specific something work and he needed to change his focus to get through that particular scene/ act/ etc? It's entirely possible that people are getting worked up over a relatively contextless sentence.

    I will say that I think it is an interesting, if not questionable decision to leave all of the questions until the very bitter end. It seems like a better strategy to me to answer questions along the way, unless there is one overriding answer for everything. Hopefully there won't be too much going on in this last two hours.
     
  3. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It should be about 50/50. It doesn't matter if you call it plot and characters working together, characters driving the plot, or the plot driving the characters. The fact is that if you have interesting characters doing interesting things, solving larger mysteries, etc while they're also interacting, reacting, evolving, etc, the show is so much richer. If you just have the character half alone, you're missing so much. If you just have the plot half alone, you're missing so much.

    I care about the plot. I also care about the characters. It's not mutually exclusive.

    Mr Awe
     
  4. Sharr Khan

    Sharr Khan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bingo! You sort of hit on I think why the last couple episodes after "No Exit" haven't been filled with "answers" because everything pretty clearly all tied into some sort of overarching answer that is in some manner part of Kara Thrace's destiny.

    Sharr
     
  5. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Come on, this isn't about making people eat their words. That's petty. Let's just hope there's a great finale that we can all enjoy. Until then, it's fine for us to elaborate on our hopes and fears for the finale.

    I was shocked too. I didn't really have many fears about the finale itself until hearing his comments. Still, the glass is half full. I've lowered my expectations based on those comments so it will be easier for the finale to exceed my expectations. ;)

    Mr Awe
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    I care about story and characters. Plot is not story, and is a great deal less important to the enduring value of almost any piece of fiction than the first two, IMAO.

    I will be mildly disappointed if we don't discover Hera's importance. I will be massively disappointed if Gaius Baltar's story has an unsatisfying, truncated ending.
     
  7. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not making people eat their words, I'm saying that the fianle will. What's petty is taking one line of what RDM said, damning him with it and then blasting the finale when you haven't even seen it yet. That's absurd.
     
  8. CinC_UFPForces

    CinC_UFPForces Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems to me that this entire thread is based off comments that are missing important context. As I remember The Last Frakkin' Special, in referring to "spinning our wheels with plot", Moore was talking about the atmosphere and productivity during a particular session or group of sessions in the writing room - relating to the finale episode.

    Ron Moore was not saying, "Who cares what the plot [of Battlestar Galactica] is?".

    I don't begrudge anybody their opinions about the last tranche of episodes, but Moore's been telling this story for months; it's not a kind of encapsulating theory as to why the writers took the path to the finale that they have. In any case, it seems to me that the "plot" isn't wanting; the show's mysteries will be revealed, hopefully in total, this Friday.
     
  9. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spin it how you want . . . :rolleyes:

    At any rate, I don't see anyone damning the finale yet. I certainly have not. You show me where I have if you're going to accuse me of that.

    Some of us are just a bit more worried than before based on RDM's own words, that's all I have said about it. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

    Mr Awe
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Relevent definition excerpts from Merriam-Webster:
    Story: an account of incidents or events
    Plot: the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work)

    I don't know, they sound pretty similar to me. The plot definition even includes the word story. Maybe you should call them up and tell them that their definition is wrong?

    Until they change their definition, I hope you won't mind if use them interchangeably? :techman:

    Mr Awe
     
  11. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I saw the thread title, I was about to chime in with "obviously not Ron Moore".

    Seems kinda redundant now.

    Damn that man's a hack.
     
  12. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Do I care about the plot of a story? Yes.

    Am I concerned about Ron Moore's comments? No. It's likely an exaggeration or used for motivation.


    Am I satisfied with season 4.5? Yes. I have been able to relate to aspects of some characters in some sense, I see struggles that are understandable for each characters situation, I'm fascinated in how they differently perceive what's going on around them, and more accurately what's thrown at them.

    Was season 4.5 without faults? No. I think given some of the filler elements, I would have liked one more episode regarding the mutiny replacing an hours worth of elements in the last 4 shows or so.




    Am I scared the season finale will disappoint me regarding the overall plot of the story? Yes, slightly. As someone else said, I want to see a conclusion for the individual character stories. I do want an epic feel and nice special effects. I do want some conclusion to certain parts of the plot.

    But everything does not need to be gift wrapped regarding the plot in order for me to be happy. I would like a more concrete explanation about the "Six in Baltar's head" story. I'm cool with "the plan" being Cavil's plan of revenge against the five. I'm cool with Starbuck being another Human/Cylon, which is what the story wants you to believe at this point... and I don't necessarily need it discussed in detail for the finale. However, her "harbinger of death" plot line does need to be covered.



    The one thing that does really scare me, I liked DS9, and it was overall a good story, but the finale didn't quite deliver in some regards- particularly Sisko/Dukat and the prophets plotline.

    So I hope BSG will be better pay-off than that.

    Overall, with its flaws and everything, it is most likely my favorite television series in history of any genre. And one of very few where I actually care about the characters.
     
  13. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    What? Plot is not story? Since when? I'm surprised to hear you say something like that, given you wrote a few stories for TNG.

    If Plot is not story, than what is it?
     
  14. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^ Don't sweat it. I checked an actual dictionary, rather than pulling it out of where the sun don't shine, and it confirmed that they are one and the same.
     
  15. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Captain Captain

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    I'm pretty sure it's something like this:

    The BSG Plot is cylons destroyed human colonies, and are now hunting down the survivors in space.

    The story is watching Starbuck play piano, having visions of her father, and realizing she is a halfbreed.
     
  16. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    And right now, that is a pretty crappy story but that's just in my opinion.
     
  17. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    If you bothered to look at the King quote from the other page you'd see an explanation.
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Gee, an actual dictionary! that must settle it, huh? Someone better alert Stephen King.

    Or...someone should get a better dictionary and do something more than superficial "research" into the various meanings of the terms and their usage.

    Now, one simple way to understand the distinction is with a story like "The Little Tailor."

    The story is: a young man of modest accomplishment is mistaken for a hero, grows into that role and finds true love.

    The plot is:

    1) A tailor is annoyed by flies while eating a sandwich. He swats them. He discovers that he's killed seven flies with a single swat.

    2) So impressed is he by this accomplishment, he embroiders a shirt to read "Seven At One Blow" (yeah, I know, what can I say, colloquial usage changes)...

    3) The tailor sets out on a journey...


    And so on and so on. Plot involves the specific events of a story, their order and relationship.

    There are, needless to say, thousands upon thousands of books, movies, plays etc telling the same very few stories but with differing characters and a great variety of specific plots.

    I suppose I should provide something like a citation to counterbalance Mr. Awe's (vague and unspecified but apparently final and authoritative) dictionary, so here's a simple one for starts:


    http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/glossary/g/plot.htm

    The main storyline of the nuBSG series is that of the survivors of the destruction of the Colonies searching for a new home while struggling to survive and to hold on to what they value in their civilization. Those values are continually challenged and often found wanting. The various characters have their own individual stories within that story, and those stories are deeply a part of who the characters are - the plots are a great deal less so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  19. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought that quote snippet came out of Ron's frustrations while plotting out the final battle sequence and subsequent revelation that he was doing it wrong. Am I misremembering?


    Does anyone have the full quote handy?
     
  20. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    No, you're correct. It's just more fun to baselessly bash him than to bother to understand what he was referring to.