Web
Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter
Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Dagesh Lene

The Difficulties of Writing a Story (KH3 Edition)

Recommended Posts

Not long after I finished Kingdom Hearts III, I made a post on this site called "Rewriting the Story of Kingdom Hearts III [SPOILERS]".  I am not the only person who made content like this, and even if people didn't post their own versions of the story, many of them did talk about how they would change certain parts of the story.  I was originally planning on releasing a "Final Mix" of my original post after I played the Re:Mind DLC, but I decided not to do that anymore for two reasons.

First, looking back on the story of the game, there isn't much I didn't like about the story except for Sora fading away at the end of the game.  The cliffhanger ending combined with the foreshadowing for the next saga really made it seem like this wasn't a finale but just another game in a larger story.  I have since made peace with the fact that Sora faded away, especially after seeing that it was foreshadowed since the beginning of the game when Xigbar appeared before Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Hercules in Olympus.  So, while I am still not a fan of the large amount of foreshadowing for the next saga, there wasn't really any major story beats that I would change outside of when they happen in the game.

Second, I don't think many people fully understand how difficult it is to write a story.  Rewriting a story using the power of hindsight is much easier than writing a story from scratch.  When you rewrite a story using hindsight, you use a story that has already been written and alter the parts that didn't work while keeping the story as close to the original as possible.  You are able to do this because you know what parts of the story worked and what parts didn't based on how the audience responded to the story.  However, when you write a story from scratch, you don't have the benefit of knowing what parts of the story worked and what parts didn't.  You have to guess what the audience will like while also telling the story you want to tell, and you have to find the right balance between the two.

In conclusion, writing a story is hard, and acting as if you could do it better isn't giving Nomura the credit he deserves.  In fact, Nomura himself revealed to us how hard it was to write the Keyblade War scenes in Kingdom Hearts III.  Writing a story isn't as easy as asking yourself, "What would please people the most?" and writing that.  You definitely should keep in mind what will please your audience the most, but knowing what that is isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since you will never know for sure how your audience will react until you release your story.  This isn't to say you should never be critical of someone's story and give suggestions for improvement.  People will never learn if all you do is praise them.  And there probably are people out there who could write better stories.  However, acting as though writing a story that would make your audience happy is easy is not realizing just how difficult writing a story that pleases your audience can be.

Edited by Dagesh Lene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that rewriting a story is easier than writing a story from scratch. I also agree there is no way to know how an audience will react to something until it's released. Finally, Nomura definitely gets more hate than he deserves. All that being said, yes, Nomura could have written a better story because he's a pretty smart guy. There are some things that should have been obvious to him.

-Who in the world would think that Kairi being demoted to a damsel in distress was a good idea?
-Sora dying for Kairi in the end is... fine. The problem is that you essentially killed off your main character off screen. Um... hooray?
-Nomura had so many good payoffs in KH3, that I'm surprised he didn't have TVA do or say anything directly to Master Xehanort himself, since they were the only Guardians to have a personal relationship with him.

I don't want this to become a rant list, but you don't need hindsight or fan reaction to write some of this stuff. Nomura has had since 2006 to plan this story, with the side games supposedly helping to set it up. Nomura deserves more respect, but he also really dropped the ball in some areas that are just... baffling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Green Sparrow said:

I agree that rewriting a story is easier than writing a story from scratch. I also agree there is no way to know how an audience will react to something until it's released. Finally, Nomura definitely gets more hate than he deserves. All that being said, yes, Nomura could have written a better story because he's a pretty smart guy. There are some things that should have been obvious to him.

-Who in the world would think that Kairi being demoted to a damsel in distress was a good idea?
-Sora dying for Kairi in the end is... fine. The problem is that you essentially killed off your main character off screen. Um... hooray?
-Nomura had so many good payoffs in KH3, that I'm surprised he didn't have TVA do or say anything directly to Master Xehanort himself, since they were the only Guardians to have a personal relationship with him.

I don't want this to become a rant list, but you don't need hindsight or fan reaction to write some of this stuff. Nomura has had since 2006 to plan this story, with the side games supposedly helping to set it up. Nomura deserves more respect, but he also really dropped the ball in some areas that are just... baffling.

Certainly giving Kairi the Damsel in Distress role was entirely the wrong call. Not even an Interval expanding on the training she and Axel did, or her and Axel putting up a fight before Sora turns up to fight Saix and Xion. Killing off Sora is like Doctor Who killing off the Doctor for real, you know it won't stick and the only question is how they come back. If Sora's fate had been left more ambiguous, then it would have done more to encourage discussion.

Playing the Phase 2 games (which I consider to be the post-Kingdom Hearts 2 games) it's interesting to note the foreshadowing, like how at Radiant Garden's Purification Facility an argument between Xehanort and Braig changes direction completely when Braig sees that Xehanort has No Name. So to see this planning it is frustrating when obvious payoff or long standing fan issues are ignored or unaddressed.

It doesn't help that the fanbase has gotten to the point where any character or plot point can be incredibly divisive, so that it's impossible to please everyone. Many fans have played and enjoyed Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, and expect anything new to be of that quality. Nomura should stick to writing a good story with interesting characters and not let fan pandering overrule creative decisions to the detriment of the quality of the overall product.

Edited by jbmasta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Green Sparrow said:

I agree that rewriting a story is easier than writing a story from scratch. I also agree there is no way to know how an audience will react to something until it's released. Finally, Nomura definitely gets more hate than he deserves. All that being said, yes, Nomura could have written a better story because he's a pretty smart guy. There are some things that should have been obvious to him.

-Who in the world would think that Kairi being demoted to a damsel in distress was a good idea?
-Sora dying for Kairi in the end is... fine. The problem is that you essentially killed off your main character off screen. Um... hooray?

-Nomura had so many good payoffs in KH3, that I'm surprised he didn't have TVA do or say anything directly to Master Xehanort himself, since they were the only Guardians to have a personal relationship with him.

I don't want this to become a rant list, but you don't need hindsight or fan reaction to write some of this stuff. Nomura has had since 2006 to plan this story, with the side games supposedly helping to set it up. Nomura deserves more respect, but he also really dropped the ball in some areas that are just... baffling.

These two if you ask me are some of the most questionable decisions Nomura made. He knew Kairi was gonna be a keyblade wielder for 7 years but still reduced her to a damsel in distress and why? Cause she needed to temporarily die? She has training with Lea a former organization XIII member and is a Princess of Heart but even with special abilities Donald healing Sora was way more effective this time around… That is saying something and they advertised Kairi in almost every trailer.

 Sora dying is fine and I agree ''killing'' him off screen is... yeah you know XD but what I personally (my opinion) find bad is that Nomura refused to explain the power of awakening! We know that it is dangerous but unfortunately there is no true explanation avaiable as of right now and left to interpetations and theories.

I assume the last one is gonna happen in the Remind DLC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2019 at 1:16 AM, Dagesh Lene said:

Not long after I finished Kingdom Hearts III, I made a post on this site called "Rewriting the Story of Kingdom Hearts III [SPOILERS]".  I am not the only person who made content like this, and even if people didn't post their own versions of the story, many of them did talk about how they would change certain parts of the story.  I was originally planning on releasing a "Final Mix" of my original post after I played the Re:Mind DLC, but I decided not to do that anymore for two reasons.

First, looking back on the story of the game, there isn't much I didn't like about the story except for Sora fading away at the end of the game.  The cliffhanger ending combined with the foreshadowing for the next saga really made it seem like this wasn't a finale but just another game in a larger story.  I have since made peace with the fact that Sora faded away, especially after seeing that it was foreshadowed since the beginning of the game when Xigbar appeared before Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Hercules in Olympus.  So, while I am still not a fan of the large amount of foreshadowing for the next saga, there wasn't really any major story beats that I would change outside of when they happen in the game.

Second, I don't think many people fully understand how difficult it is to write a story.  Rewriting a story using the power of hindsight is much easier than writing a story from scratch.  When you rewrite a story using hindsight, you use a story that has already been written and alter the parts that didn't work while keeping the story as close to the original as possible.  You are able to do this because you know what parts of the story worked and what parts didn't based on how the audience responded to the story.  However, when you write a story from scratch, you don't have the benefit of knowing what parts of the story worked and what parts didn't.  You have to guess what the audience will like while also telling the story you want to tell, and you have to find the right balance between the two.

In conclusion, writing a story is hard, and acting as if you could do it better isn't giving Nomura the credit he deserves.  In fact, Nomura himself revealed to us how hard it was to write the Keyblade War scenes in Kingdom Hearts III.  Writing a story isn't as easy as asking yourself, "What would please people the most?" and writing that.  You definitely should keep in mind what will please your audience the most, but knowing what that is isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since you will never know for sure how your audience will react until you release your story.  This isn't to say you should never be critical of someone's story and give suggestions for improvement.  People will never learn if all you do is praise them.  And there probably are people out there who could write better stories.  However, acting as though writing a story that would make your audience happy is easy is not realizing just how difficult writing a story that pleases your audience can be.

I completely share your point, pal. I personally have the hobby of storytelling/fanfiction, and writing a story is anything but easy. However, I don't care about what the public wil think or if they will like it; I write stories I know I will like, and that's enough. You can't please every single person after all. Writing the stories you will like to hear was one of the keys of Stan Lee's success, and I greatly admired that man. 

However, it's also true that it's quite easier find error in another ones' work before your own. I have no regrets about Tetsuya Nomura's story for KH3, but some errors can't be avoided to be mentioned. 

One of them, for me, it's the Replicas' topic. Ansem the Wise, Ienzo and the others used a Replica to restore Roxas; then, somehow, they managed to send it to the Keyblade Graveyard just in time to save Xion and Axel. In the meantime, the Replica used for Dark Riku was supposed to be used for Namine; but Sora and Riku didn't even bother to put it in some safe place until the battle was over. I can't stop thinkign that it could have been more easy if the Replica from Dark Riku was used for Roxas, and the Replica on Ansem the Wise's lab was used for Namine. Don't you think it could have been more logical this way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ursalink said:

I completely share your point, pal. I personally have the hobby of storytelling/fanfiction, and writing a story is anything but easy. However, I don't care about what the public wil think or if they will like it; I write stories I know I will like, and that's enough. You can't please every single person after all. Writing the stories you will like to hear was one of the keys of Stan Lee's success, and I greatly admired that man. 

However, it's also true that it's quite easier find error in another ones' work before your own. I have no regrets about Tetsuya Nomura's story for KH3, but some errors can't be avoided to be mentioned. 

One of them, for me, it's the Replicas' topic. Ansem the Wise, Ienzo and the others used a Replica to restore Roxas; then, somehow, they managed to send it to the Keyblade Graveyard just in time to save Xion and Axel. In the meantime, the Replica used for Dark Riku was supposed to be used for Namine; but Sora and Riku didn't even bother to put it in some safe place until the battle was over. I can't stop thinkign that it could have been more easy if the Replica from Dark Riku was used for Roxas, and the Replica on Ansem the Wise's lab was used for Namine. Don't you think it could have been more logical this way?

That could definitely work.  However, I personally still think that the way Nomura wrote it makes sense.  Because of the story that Nomura was telling with Riku Replica, I think that the story would have had to be rewritten in order to give Riku Replica the same closure that he got in the game.  Riku Replica sacrificed himself to provide a vessel for Namine, keeping his promise to protect Namine, and at the same time, defeated his past evil self.  True, the Replica was just left there until the Keyblade War was over, but where would they have put it?  I suppose Nomura could have added a brief scene of them putting the Replica under an archway or something like that, but then we wouldn't be able to take selfies with the empty Replica laying facedown on the ground, which was a highlight to many.

As for Roxas, Nomura wrote the story so that Roxas' return was unexpected, and if the Replica at the Keyblade Graveyard was used for Roxas, I think that it would lose some of it's unexpectedness.  Also, I don't think that Ansem the Wise and Ienzo sent Roxas to the Keyblade Graveyard.  I think Roxas automatically went there once his heart returned to him since he shows up the moment after his heart leaves Roxas.  And, as Roxas said, a connection was the only thing he was missing in order to become whole again, and that connection also led him back to his friends.

Basicaly, I do see your point.  However, I can also see why Nomura did it the way that he did, and I think that it still makes sense the way that he wrote it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...