Ten-Sided: Dissecting a Disaster Part V (House Arrests)


This is now my fifth post in the Dissecting a Disaster series. Follow the link for the beginning.

In Ten-Sided there were two people that were either under house arrest or some kind of half-way house for loony people.

The first is a blog, aptly named, My House Arrest. In the first couple posts, the writer claims he doesn't know where his "house" is.

I live alone. And the state (or wherever it is I am)

Normally I don't think about where my house is. I'm under house arrest, so the outside, my municipality, nation-state, whatever is of little concern to me.
Let me ask all of you something. If you're writing as a character that 9 other people are supposed to relate... why would you make it a mystery as to where you live? This would just further hamper meeting and interacting with the other characters. Eventually, we get a hint as to why he might be under house arrest

Well I can't tell you the whole story. That wouldn't end well for either of us. But it did begin with killing cats. I was damn good at it. And people admired that. And that's how I came to love her, the girl that led to my house arrest. I met her at the municipal pool. We spent so much time in the water that I couldn't avoid the topic any longer. I told I could kill a cat quicker than any man she knew. She said she wanted me to teach her. So, I did, and she learned well. I liked that about her
He also talks about women visiting him. I'm pretty sure that all of them, except "Lucy" are either imaginary or dolls he thinks are alive.(there we go again with the dolls...)
Today the women arrived, and a few minutes later, another woman showed up. But she was different, I could tell from the looks on their faces, the faces that visit me every day. They’re all sent to me by the State, or whatever authority I’m living under at present. But this woman came to visit me on her own.

I asked my visitors to please excuse us. One of them began to disrobe, from the bottom up. I held up my hand. Would you please excuse us? They all left, in an orderly line. But I could see they weren’t happy about it. They knew that this new woman, this interloper, might discuss dangerous matters. Particularly, the customizable nature of transistor radios and their frequencies.

The woman’s name is Lucy and she’s still here. She knows little about transistors, but I do think she understands harmonies and their liberating powers.

In April, the guy meets "Aliss". In May things just get crazier. Lucy and Aliss start "sending" radio signals to the psycho doll maker. The softest person did acknowledge receiving them sometimes. The rest of may things just keep getting weirder... He finds his twin brother's shoe, (That's right, half way through the story we find out he has a twin.) He escapes his house arrest, and is being followed by a guerilla film crew. (apparently relating to a reality tv show mentioned by another blogger)

At the end, in June, mixed in with some mindless insanity we find out he meets up with the doll maker. It's not clear what happens after that.

Now, let's look at "between moments"(link is unaccessible, you can only view it's republished feed at the Ten-Sided homepage). For the entire month of March, Leo does nothing but rant, nearly incomprehensibly about his twin Lucy.

About half way through April, the author quits ranting and takes the 'daring' move of writing some actual facts and background about the character and what he's doing. It becomes obvious that he's staying in the same place as Old Uncle Charles from My House arrest. He mentions Lucy and Aliss \ Alicia

By May, it seems like you can almost make sense of the blog. If you look at it as, Leo is Uncle Charles' split personality(or vice versa), it makes sense. Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to stick with that and instead launches into lengthy explanations of Picar. (that's the name of the "Lost" Island)

By June, It's back to madness. His penultimate post might be the closest we'll ever get to knowing exactly what the hell is going on in Picar.

I was born of a clear cold night on an island that doesn’t exist, to a man with no woman and a woman with no man, and before I was born my mind split in two and Lucy took the other half.

I was raised in the moonlight on the edge of the tide on an island that doesn’t exist, and everything I ever needed was ripped away from me. My other half was gone.

But she doesn’t exist and neither do I.

She’s a fucking doll, Tristan.

And so am I.

And so is Aliss, who yes, clearly, was always Alicia. Alicia trying to give me a second chance. Alicia kicking tango with dear Lucy, fencing nearly fearless with my soul.

And you, old Tristan, are also a fucking doll. Made of stuffing and sawdust and buttons and rope. Not that it matters; we could be marrow and flesh and hair and we’d still be what we are.

But you wanted to be a fucking Pinocchio, Tristan. You wanted it more than any of the rest of us. Cut the strings, cut the strings, cut the strings.

There are no fucking strings, Tristan!

The strings are inside us, wound around our little rubber hearts, threaded through our arteries. Web of subcutaneous fiberglass fat that rides beneath our cotton skins.

You can’t make those strings shrivel up and die by flooding the system with poison, Tristan. Biker Joe, A.P. – you’re not going to get anywhere with that. They don’t know what you think they know, and even if they did they would die before they told you.

They would die, Tristan, before they told you. Because their little doll hearts beat blacker than yours, and each and every one of them wants to be the man in the pink jumpsuit.

(I know what your next question is, and no, I don't know who Tristan is or what his role here is)

I think the lesson here might be, "Don't have crazy people writing your blog fiction".
I know what you're going to say. Hortan's Folly does it. Yes, Yes it does. The difference there is that it's one author who planned out some of the madness. It's not 2 different people *who aren't allowed to coordinate* trying to improvise crazy people.

I think another lesson can be gleamed from "between moments". The author didn't start strong. It took him quite a few posts to get to something interesting. First he's ranting about his twin. Then he's just crazy. Then he seemed to be going for playing the alter ego of Uncle Charles. Then he went back to just being freaking crazy. The point I'm trying to make is that the author just seemed unsure of himself and it showed through. If you're going to be writing blog fiction, especially with other people, you need to get an idea in your head and stick with it.

1 Comentário:

Tom Evans said...

It is interesting though, in some ways. If this were the only character, and it was just a random blog with crazy ranting, then it would clearly be rubbish. As it is, it's just a spice in a wider dish. Sure, it's not great for interactions with other characters, but that can depend on the future ideas of the author (assuming there are some!) - it could lead to some clever and elaborate twists after a time!

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