Raza wrote:Weren't we talking about love, specifically? The difference between that and sexual attraction seems well defined in Erfworld, perhaps moreso than it is IRL.
Once again, there were a few different issues going on here. While we were discussing love, some of the other statements in the thread seemed to be addressing desire, so I was going for two birds with one stone. My posts do have a tendancy to run away with me and end up being quite verbose. I'm starting to feel like one of the spambots on the forum. So, I was trying to be concise. Also, in some of these instances, it is hard, with the information we currently have, to distinguish between the two. For example, take Wanda's feeling for Jillian. If Rob stated, "Yes, Wanda love Jillian," I would have no problem accepting it. If Rob stated, "No, Wanda does not love Jillian, she simply has a sense of ownership, like with the Decrypted," I would still have no problem accepting it because I find both interpretations valid at this point. We are using Larry as an example of someone who loved Wanda, but he may be synonomous with a guy who showers a girl with attention but loses all interest once he's gotten her in bed. Larry may have simply had an overpowering desire for Wanda; without being able to get into his head, there is no way to know for sure. Outwardly, his behavior wasn't much different from the other Haffaton hopefuls. The final issue is that the forum ate my first reply, which annoyed me. In my rush to try to remember everything I wrote the first time, I cut corners the second, especially in my use of quotes.
Raza wrote:Still, how do you write romantic attractiveness? The process of falling in love rarely makes sense to anyone but the person experiencing it. Admissions like Clay's and obvious signals like Larry's are commonly the first thing you notice when someone has developed a crush IRL, too. Writing clever manipulations seems easy by comparison.
Let me preface this by stating this is my personal preference. I don't think an author should describe a character as "attractive." They may note stiking eyes or graceful movements, but leave subjective judgements out of it. They should leave it to the reader to decide how attractive the character is. If expressing one characters opinion of another, it is fine to have them think the other is attractive, but I think it tells more about what the first character finds attractive than how attractive the second character actually is.
As for writing attraction, I don't have a problem with it. I think Olive's attraction is completely justifiable given their fateful connection. I think Jillian's attraction is completely justifiable given their complamentary sexual interests. I found the Haffaton hopefuls' attraction justifiable given they're a bunch of inebriated dudes at a party, even if I found their approach distasteful. I can even find Larry justifiable. Love is an important theme in Erfworld; it needs to be addressed. Larry's unrequited desire was part of Wanda starting to explore the concept. His rashness in attempting to claim Wanda is what allowed her to escape. I don't have a problem with any of that. It is simply that it has reached a tipping point for me. There is Marie. I have justified Marie with a theory that Wanda seduced her in order to mess up Marie's Predictions, get Jack to the wrong city and allow Stanley's attack. If Marie's feeling for Wanda are a lie caused by Wanda's manipulation, I think that's fine. Clay is my real sticking point. If his love exists just to cause more friction between Wanda and Delphie, that's cheap drama. If his love exists just so we can learn love messes with the dice, I think that concept could have been introduced in a different way.
Raza wrote:Interesting analysis. Her physical symptoms indicate anxiety, certainly, and you bring up good points on the way she seeks external validation. But wouldn't anxiety disorder leave her less capable of decisive action? The statement "to be Lady Wanda Firebaugh was not to fear, but to execute." remains true for the Wanda we know from books one and two. She dives into combat without hesitation, risks her life on split-second decisions and uses valuable and limited side resources on her own best judgment with apparent confidence.
Could be that that's the unique psychology of Orders and Duty at work, though. Erfworlders may not get to be dysfunctional in anything but their personal emotional lives. Still, it seems a stretch that her competencies wouldn't be affected at all... we've seen personality play a role in those before.
Someone with agoraphobia can make the decisive choice to go inside. I think most of Wanda's choices can be seen in that light. It seems Wanda may have had some knowledge of the Predictamancer-Hippiemancer Conspiracy to Summon Parson. If she did, her decisiveness with Stanley can be seen as her fulfilling Fate. Wanda has no fear of croaking in combat, since her Fate won't allow it, so her fearlessness in battle is an actual complete lack of fear. Parson is Fate's instrument. Following his orders is following Fate. During the Summer Updates and the beginning of Book 2, Wanda thought she had found Fate's path, which freed her from the anxiety. As mentioned, when in doubt, she takes the action she believes is the most direct route to Fate, like the agoraphobic taking the shortest route to the nearest building. Wanda's anxiety isn't crippling, but it makes her so uncomfortable, she acts to soothe it as quickly as possible. Anyway, that's one interpretation.