Author Topic: The Mistress of Spirits AMA  (Read 1813 times)

Nyika

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The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« on: December 06, 2013, 09:19:22 PM »
Well, I'm pretty sure everyone knows who I am, so now that that's out of the way….

Ask me anything!

Balmafula

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 01:24:58 AM »
1. If Nyika was a Pokemon, what would be her type and signature move?
2. What is Nyika's favorite flavor of ice cream?
3. What is Nyika's theme song?
4. What is Nyika's element?

carelesswhisper

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 05:34:07 AM »
Who or what inspired Nyika?

Were there any subtle things that the audience missed and disappointed you? 

Did you have any "must use!" scenes that never made it in?

What would it take to turn her to the dark side?  (All of the cookies have been distributed.)

Matra Hammer

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 08:42:07 AM »
Who shot first: Han Solo or Han Solo?

Which X Man is the worst?

Who is the best: Rick James, Michael Jackson, or Prince? Why?

Name one scene you'd completely rewrite if you could. No "everything went as planned" cop outs.

What do you think made Nyika so successful? Give me a top three.

What would change if Nyika was male?

Nyika

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 05:40:57 PM »
Oh god, I'm already so far behind!! I'll answer these one at a time.

Balma:

1. If Nyika was a Pokemon, what would be her type and signature move?
2. What is Nyika's favorite flavor of ice cream?
3. What is Nyika's theme song?
4. What is Nyika's element?

1. Were Nyika a Pokemon, I'd label her type as Psychic/Ghost, with her signature move as Psycho Cut. After Ruark, it just seems natural.

2. Nyika's favorite flavor of ice cream is probably chocolate. Deep Dark Chocolate, to match her deep, dark soul.

3. A friend actually wrote this for me: http://picosong.com/kewP/ <3

I also want to throw this out there as Istvan/Nyika's theme:


4. This one got me thinking! To be honest, I initially thought of Fire or Air as her element, as both are unpredictable and passionate, but Fire can sometimes be a little too volatile, which, while it works for her outbursts and violent mood swings a la Frozen Flame, doesn't suit her more sober and solemn moments. So I did some researching, and settled on Water. Why? Because Water is most tuned to a person's emotions, and Nyika is an emotional character, first and foremost. She is as deep as an ocean and her current can change on a sudden whim. She is caring and nurturing, breathing life or hope into a beast but just as easy she can turn that soft rain into a torrential downpour, flooding the land and reaping widespread destruction she no longer has control over. It's easy for a beast to get caught up in her flow, and without a lifeline to cling to, will find themselves swept far downstream.

That's if you want to consider Classical Elements and Astrology. Istvan and I were talking about Alchemical Elements, and he thought Antimony fit very well with Nyika. It's a soft metal that wears away when exposed to stress. When scratched, an exothermic reaction occurs and if you try to smash it, it explodes.

KABOOOOOM ……… dle.



Caboodle.

TNT

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 07:27:31 PM »
I actually have no idea who you are (was it supposed to be obvious? ;_;), so...is this your first contest? If not, what years were your contests in?
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development

Nyika

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 07:49:18 PM »
Nyi is Nyikaka!!

This is not my first contest, actually. I'm trying to think, but I don't actually remember the years. 2004 was one, I know that much. Umm … *searches the wiki* … then a couple between 2009 and 2011.

I thought it was obvious. At least, I did when everyone was like, confronting me about it, hahaha. Apparently I have a very distinct writing style and forum voice, or some found out based on activity logs and specific personal information I released to the other contestants.

=^.^=
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 08:02:48 PM by Nyika »

Nyika

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2013, 07:58:11 PM »
Who or what inspired Nyika?

Were there any subtle things that the audience missed and disappointed you? 

Did you have any "must use!" scenes that never made it in?

What would it take to turn her to the dark side?  (All of the cookies have been distributed.)

Who or what inspired Nyika?
I started answering this and ended up the beginnings of an essay, so I'm going to hold off on this for the time being. I'll post it eventually, when I've got all my thoughts gathered and written out in a legible manner instead of this stream of consciousness ramble I've got going.


Were there any subtle things that the audience missed and disappointed you?
There was one that I was really disappointed with, and that was my first post. A lot of folk seemed to confuse Nyika's fear and distress in Death on the Snowfield with the sheer amount of ghosts walking about. One mentioned that her primary coping mechanism was ignoring it all, which was heartbreaking to me because I took a lot of effort in her app to show that helping those passed on—and therefore vicariously, the living—was her main lot in life.

Her distress was measured more by the fact that most of the beasts who died did not know they were dead, and while it was Nyika's job to comfort their woes she was simply unable to. Not when she was stuck on an upper ledge with a dislocated arm and Zevka was there keeping her focus on the living.

I tried to show this through two specific lines in the post, which I can understand were probably lost in the sheer volume of what was written:

Quote
Nyika shook her head. "They don't know, or they're just finding out. Zevka, what do I do? I can't comfort them. I don't know where they are!"

and

Quote
[Zevka said,] "We can't help them. We have to leave them be."

[Nyika said,] "I can't do that. Oh, Zevka, I can't do that to them."

Other than that, I can probably say everything else was my own mistake. I botched my application, which I'll discuss later, but truth be told, I can't really think of much else that I was really disappointed with. I tried playing Nyika as Istvan did, although I admit he did a much better job of it in terms of keeping people guessing and developing their own conclusions. The thread Crazy, all powerful, or just misunderstood? An open discussion actually addressed many subtleties I planted that hadn't been brought to light.

One thing I do actually want to get out in the open is the purpose of Freya's apparition in Week 3. Why Nyika's mother changes when "ghosts don't change."

Throughout the story, I never meant to disclose whether Nyika's ghost seeing power was authentic or all in her head, but Freya's appearance is an exception. All her life Nyika has had brief visions of her mother who came to her when she was feeling especially rotten or needed some sort of guidance. She's never had a mother-figure in her life; the closest was Vera, but she was more guardian and teacher and authority figure than mother. So when Nyika finds out that mommy was naughty cat, warping this perfect, nurturing, sweet, and caring mother Nyika had envisioned her to be, Freya turns from this eloquent, beautiful queen into a feral, disturbing horror.

Why is this a problem? Because if "ghosts don't change", if they are how they are at the time of their death, then this mother cat who has been visiting Nyika ever since she was a kitten is false, imaginary, made-up. Nyika conjured her because she wanted a mother, a true mother, and tricked herself into believing Freya was really visiting her to give her the comfort and guidance she desired. This throws her entire world upside down. If she can't trust her mother, the one static thing she's had in her life aside from the vixen tribe she abandoned, then who can she trust? How can she believe that any ghost who visits her is real and not all in her head? After all, she's the only one who can see them, and she's never known enough about them for her visions to change.

In the end, Zevka's words, "So...at the end of the day, I think you just have to decide: do you want it to be true?" are the deciding factor. Does Nyika want it to be true? Mekad, Risk, her mother, everything? All the ghosts she's ever seen, all the beasts she's ever tried to help? And Nyika says, "Yes. I want it to be true. This is real to me, and that's good enough."

It was a big score for the Crazy Crowd but it still worked in the Authentic Association, when you consider that Freya is the only one who changes and you understand that if Nyika has been seeing ghosts her entire life, it makes perfect sense for her to make her own imaginary friend in the form of her mother.


Did you have any "must use!" scenes that never made it in?
As a matter of fact, yes. When I submitted Nyika, I had exactly two "must use!" scenes that I wanted to write. One was the initial collapse and her reaction to it—waking up and seeing all the wide-spread death around her; the most death she's ever seen before in one place at once time. It's why I posted early on and immediately after the collapse because I needed to get it out come hell or high water.

The second scene was actually her death. I had very specific plans in the event that Nyika died. One that completed her story with absolute finality in regards to her afterlife. I won't go into details, because I plan on writing it and posting it as a little "Director's Cut".

Regardless, while her death would have provided an absolute ending to Nyika's tale, I'm really glad she was able to make it and survive through Tikora's kit. It brings her story full-circle, which is just as good, if not better, than giving it a full resolution.

I can't say there were many "must use!" scenes that I thought of during the contest that I couldn't write. Everything I wanted ended up in there in one way or another. Actually, there was one scene I was super disappointed that I had to trash … let me scrounge it up….

Week 3. I was going to start the tunnel search but then Nessa and I switched places. I wrote this for the beginning:

Quote
"Och, it's dark doawn here. Ah cannae see past me own whiskers."

"It's a tunnel."

"Aye, but ye'd think it'd be nice iffen they had some wall scones to light the way fer us."

"Scones?"

"Ye hang them on th' wall. They hold candles an' torches an' such."

"Sconces?"

"That's it."

"Mm, I could go for a scone right about now. Lemon, drizzled with honey."

"We don't have any scones."

"No scones, no sconces…" There was a heavy sigh. "What a horrible night to have a curse."

Poko got to use it though, so I'm thankful for that, hee. :3


What would it take to turn her to the dark side?  (All of the cookies have been distributed.)
Well, if all the cookies have been distributed…

I actually don't think I quite understand. What do you mean by dark side? She's already kind of like, messed up—poisoning a tavern of beasts and justifying it because "the ghost tricked me." Do you mean not feeling any remorse? Taking delight in it? Becoming a scion of Death and reaping as many lives as she can? Giving in to fear, anger, and hate, for that is the true path to the dark side?

Nyika walks a treacherous tightrope between good and evil. Good because it is her lot in life to help those around her, and evil because she is impressionable and the beasts who hold the most sway over her can be vindictive against the living.

I would say that Nyika constantly falters between light and dark for these exact reasons, and what would it take to turn her completely to the dark side? Probably more time with Risk and less time with Istvan. Istvan, I feel, truly saved her from a downward spiral into madness, while every dark act that Nyika performed had Risk there at her side.

I love the ferret to death, and so does Nyika, but he was a bad influence on her.

carelesswhisper

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 05:11:29 AM »
I meant more literally, what would it take if a Sith lord were attempting to turn Nyika.  :P  But your answer was way more interesting anyway.

Also, I am pretty sure that I was the one who said her way of coping was to shut the ghosts out.  *proudly holds up new title of Dream Crusher*  It did become clear over the weeks that I was wrong, though, and happy to be so.


EDIT:  Also, it just occurred to me, it's interesting that you say that Risk is her devil while Istvan is her angel, because oftentimes people who experience aural hallucinations find that the voices they hear have an extreme negative effect on them (telling them to hurt themselves, making them paranoid, etc.)  Yet another potential score for team bipolar!  :P  You already know what I think.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 05:14:04 AM by carelesswhisper »

Nyika

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Nyika

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Re: The Mistress of Spirits AMA
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 09:43:00 PM »
Who shot first: Han Solo or Han Solo?

Which X Man is the worst?

Who is the best: Rick James, Michael Jackson, or Prince? Why?

Name one scene you'd completely rewrite if you could. No "everything went as planned" cop outs.

What do you think made Nyika so successful? Give me a top three.

What would change if Nyika was male?

Who shot first: Han Solo or Han Solo?
GREEDO. No, Han Solo shot first, if you consider he was the one who dropped his consignment when he got boarded.

Which X Man is the worst?
Probably Jubilee, although I can definitely say that Nyika's favorite X-Man is Kitty Pryde, teehee!

Who is the best: Rick James, Michael Jackson, or Prince? Why?
This is going to sound lame, but Michael Jackson simply because I haven't listened to much Rick James or Prince to appreciate their songs. Nyika is totally an MJ fangirl, though. Why?

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night.

Name one scene you'd completely rewrite if you could. No "everything went as planned" cop outs.
I know this may sound silly, but I would actually rewrite my app. I feel like I made a huge blunder in the interaction between Nyika and the ghost. A lot of people questioned why if he wanted to know where his kits were he would play with Nyika and give her false names and basically ruin everything. My initial idea was that here was a guy (fox) whose mate used to spend all his coin on frivolous things, and now here she is paying some seer with the dwindling funds she has for what he considers a stupid reason. So he tests Nyika when she looks at him, telling her to ask where his kits are, but then gives her a false name because he wants to instill enough doubt in his mate that Nyika's a fake and making stuff up, and therefore won't pay her. Does that make sense? I don't even know anymore, hahaha.

I probably would have done better to write the scene with the ghost included instead of missing from an outsider's perspective. I know a lot of people were thrown off guard between that and my first post because all of a sudden these ghosts were real and apparent and tangible when it seemed from the app they were not.

Everything else … I'm pretty much happy with. Sure, there are a few things here and there that could have used some tightening, but nothing I would completely rewrite. Even my Week 2 Frozen Flame post that had everyone in an uproar I felt was well enough done, although you really can't discern Nyika's motivations and mood swings until you get deeper in the story.


I'll answer the rest in due time. I've had this open for the past week or so and I just haven't been able to get back to it, haha.