Scientists in movies are always finding answers. But scientists in real life? Their job is to come up with questions they can’t answer yet.Dolly’s advisor (paraphrased)
Never trust anyone who says they’ll cure cancer. Cancer is a general term for life gone pathological, and anyone who says they understand how life works, let alone the unimaginable number of ways it can be exploited, is oversimplifying. There’s never going to be an easy cure because it’s different for every person. That being said, some of the strategies we find will kill some tumors, even if they don’t work for others. But if the original question is too complicated for us to answer, it raises another issue: what is the right question?
Never trust anyone who says they can guide people to happiness. Unhappiness is a general term for happiness gone wrong, and anyone who says they understand how happiness works, let alone the unimaginable number of reasons people can be suffering, is oversimplifying. There’s never going to be an easy solution because it’s different for every person. That being said, some of the strategies we find will make some people happier, even if they don’t work for others. But if the original question is too complicated for us to answer, it raises another issue: what is the right question?
This story has jack shit to do with the above concepts. It’s just some Sims.
(Do bear with me, folks. The writing gets better. Earlier posts are being left as-is because I want my own writing progress to be part of the story. I highly recommend skipping forward to a later entry to see how drastic this stylistic shift is.)
The Jeong-Espinosas: Kale and Additional Kale
Claudia Espinosa (Foodie, Goofball, Bro; Bodybuilder aspiration), i.e. Patient Zero, is a master of health and fitness. While establishing herself in the neighborhood as “she who hits the gym 24/7,” she learned to grow her own vegetables and embrace her foodie nature. Her first boyfriend was Zach Griffith; they met at the gym where he worked as a very cute personal trainer. But despite his deep voice, deeper muscles, and cool purple shirt, he turned out to be hella emo, so they broke up. Next she targeted Rex McMahan, who also went to the gym and had cute little glasses, but he turned out to be an abusive fuck, so Claudia went back to the drawing board.
And by Claudia, I mean me, and by drawing board, I mean CAS, because nobody in the neighborhood was good enough for my Claudia. She immediately clicked with one of the two options, thank goodness.
Like most long-lived Sims, Claudia has lived two lives and stopped competitive bodybuilding after the birth of her first child. Nowadays she screams at people about food being RAW. She has a well-documented tendency to hit the sauce if you leave her alone for more than 2 seconds. She says her favorite drink is the EAPA, but, being a foodie, she will immediately complain about low quality if she actually orders one. Her favorite color is yellow.
Michael “Mike” Jeong
This dish right here is Claudia’s husband Mike Jeong (Bro, Music lover, Self-Assured; Comedy aspiration). MJ took a weird path in life. He started off as the gregarious, party-boy foil to his roommate’s shut-in artist, rocking and rolling all night and following his best friend around every day. First, he brought home the Simoleons as a comedian. I don’t know what kind of comedian he was, but, look at him. Doesn’t he look loud? He was probably one of the very loud kinds of comedian. His fame grew out of a very specific set of skills, skills he learned knocking people over with his barrel chest at the club. (I don’t know why people he bro-bumps don’t just bounce off.)
MJ developed a quick wit and hidden depths, but lost the ability to keep up with every girl at the club. Then Ms. Head Gym Bunny dragged herself out of the locker room for one goddamn hour and hauled her ass to where he was at. They started out as fast friends (presumably from screaming BROOOOOOO at each other over the pulsing electronica), but, at some point, they realized the only reason she was going out was to see him. Long story short, after a long courtship period, they lived happily ever after as Broseph and Brosephina.
The birth of their first child sort of scared the crap out of MJ (we’re starting in the middle here) and he switched careers from comedy to BUSINESS like an ADULT. And while his legendary skills of schmoozing and manipulation work great here, MJ isn’t really the suit-and-tie type. (He may be the tearaway suit-and-tie type.) In a bizarre, unpredictable twist of personality, he started brushing up on home repair, math, and astrophysics, of all things. Now he still turns heads when he enters a room, but can also go to space. Maybe aliens like slices of beefcake? I don’t know.
Mike has a tendency to bounce around near stereos more than other Sims. His favorite color is blue.
Charles “Charlie” Jeong-Espinosa
And Charlie makes three. Charlie was the first child born in my Sims 4 games, and man, was he a little angel. By ‘little,’ I mean ‘massive,’ and by ‘angel,’ I mean ‘fucking dork.’ Even as a toddler! He aged up from Inquisitive into Genius, which may have been something latent from his father. God help him, though, he’s staying away from the videogames and making an effort to be well-adjusted. There are no such thing as neckbeards in this exercise-driven family.
Charlie isn’t really being challenged by anything right now. Later, he might struggle to find an identity separate from his parents, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
The Lius: Painting and also some of The Violin
After Claudia tanked it w/r/t the dating thing, roommates Mike Jeong (Fig. 2) and Xiyuan Liu (Creative, Perfectionist, Good; Music aspiration) were created. Two best friends making it in the entertainment industry! Each cuter than the last!
They eventually succeeded: Xiyuan became a famous pianist and violinist, Mike a famous comedian. Eventually, they (I) got bored and needed something else to master. Xiyuan quit his job as a professional musician to work as a… gallerina? I know Charlotte from Sex and the City is a gallerina, but don’t know what the male version is. Google says they’re the same! It also says that Xiyuan’s job has more authority than a gallerina, so scratch that. He and Mike moved into a bigger house on his artwork money. But as Claudia started dominating Mike’s attention, Xiyuan’s jealously prompted him to leave the house occasionally and try to find a suitable partner. He started going out to clubs with Mike and Claudia, looking for that special someone—and she never showed up. Everyone at the clubs was too different from Xiyuan: too hot-headed, too flirty, too wanting-to-do-stuff-and-not-stay-at-home-painting-for-hours. He had devoted a lifetime in Sim years to searching, and came up empty.
Then one night, he and Mike were invited to Aliens Night at a seedy dive bar. The party ended past midnight, and Mike was done—but for some reason, Xiyuan stayed. That’s when she walked in. Aileen: Music lover, Good, Neat; Fortune aspiration. It was a long and tedious courtship, but they married shortly after Mike and Claudia’s wedding.
Xiyuan is one-track obsessed with painting, to the extent that he paints autonomously if left alone for a second, and his walls are covered in masterpieces. When Mike and Claudia moved out, Xiyuan and his family were not allowed to keep the house, or even split the six-figure house funds. What they did instead was move in with the Jeong-Espinosa family, collect their furniture using a packing mod, and split to move into an empty lot. Xiyuan sold about 10 paintings. Tripled the household funds. Back into their old house with their old furniture in no time.
Xiyuan tends to want to talk to plants more often than other Sims, loves fruitcake, and likes his objects overly posh and light pink.
Aileen (Music lover, Good, Neat; Fortune aspiration; née Jensen) was rescued from a 60-second existence as a homeless, unemployed rando. As such, she started as a blank slate with few ambitions. Marrying Xiyuan prompted her to start a job in the Tech Guru industry and master programming. She now runs her own startup, Find Your Phone, an app which displays a screen of text saying “Your phone is in your hand.”
Aileen’s new role was solidified by a sweet New-Age-nerd-mom makeover. She loves maxi-dresses and hates fruitcake.
Xishu “Shu” Liu
Xishu inherited his mother’s looks and his father’s creativity. There are no tiger moms or screaming, raging, vein-popping dads here, because stereotypes r dumb. On the other hand, HE IS NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO PAINT AND PLAY VIOLIN.
Shu ended up surprisingly normal; that is, he would rather go out and play on the jungle gym than sit in the studio and constantly draw. Regardless, his activity table is in the middle of his dad’s professional art studio. His crayon drawings are displayed right next to the masterpieces. Cute!
Shu’s favorite color is red. He autonomously cleans up in other people’s houses. Actually, forget that he was categorized as surprisingly normal above, because one time he went over to Charlie’s house and made a beeline to the master bathroom to take a lavender bath. You know, like kids do.
Life in a utopia wasn’t enough for these six people. Good intentions weren’t enough; they never were. Everything that follows is a desperate attempt to stop these six people from ruining their own lives. Everything that follows is set in a universe where people, even simulated ones, are given the freedom to create their own problems.
This sucks, take me to the story’s splash page
Just summarize the first 30 posts so I can get to the good stuff, thanks
28 thoughts on “Catastrophe Theory: Before the Storm”
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This is…I didn’t even know that I needed it but I do. I know I am VERY late to the party but my lands this just cracks me up (Doesn’t he just look loud? Um. Yes. lol). I’m sorry that I have to go to sleep like an adult instead of reading this all night but I will be back!
Hell yeah!!! Weird SimLit authors unite!
(People often stop reading at this post because there’s a *huge* stylistic shift between this and the later chapters, so I’m relieved someone enjoyed it for once. Whew!)
“he went over to Charlie’s house and made a beeline to the master bathroom to take a lavender bath. You know, like kids do.” LMAO. Idk if you’ve ever seen John Mulaney’s stand ups, but that reminds me of his bit that is very similar to this.
Loved this. You’ve got a great style and voice. I’m so excited to read it all!
Good catch—Mulaney is one of my influences, along with David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, David Foster Wallace, and David Foster Wallace.
Welcome to the club!
I’m speechless. I’m so absolutely amazed here and so glad I found you. Eternally grateful to Cathy here. First off, I’m super invested already and wish I could just read on but someway, somehow, I’ve once again found myself still on my computer at 4 am when I promised myself that this night, things would be different (which is what I tell myself every night at around 1.30am, only to get to experience that 5 am after all…). But man, your story…
Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore the way in which you combine the Sims part of the simlit with the prose part of it. It’s extremely effective – I always love me some screenshots for visualization, but I also really liked the way you added the traits and aspiration after every character not unlike the way in which humans may be introduced in real life settings through their career or whatever is deemed a necessary addition to one’s name for the setting they find themselves in. It reminds me that I am, in fact, reading a Sims-based story here, but it’s not nearly disruptive enough that it would interfere with the prose part.
Then, the humor! Man, I’m such a fan. I absolutely ADORE stories with a great sense of humor and I feel like I may just have hit the jackpot with yours!
Lastly (for now), the characters. Like you said on my page, these messy characters, man. I just fucking love them. Adore them more than anything. My non-Sims stories are even more focused on them… so it’s something I absolutely love seeing in your characters. I can’t wait to read more!!
Welcome, dawg :D! Whoa, I’m speechless back—now I’m wishing I said something this nice on the first page of yours.
It tickles me every time someone gets hooked on the first chapter: knowing what I know now about storytelling, I would have structured the introductions differently to create more tension, and it really is a steaming pile of feces next to the later chapters (they get dialogue! They get impossible-to-write dialogue that takes hours per character because they each speak different dialects of Simlish! And code-switch!). So glad there are people who can get sucked into this bizarre mess from the get-go!
I hope you get some sleep, though; and good luck on your reading. (Actual school reading. Not mine.) If you read slowly enough, you’ll get to Part II before the final four chapters are published. Just like a main theme of Pariah is “is everyone a jerk? Yes,” here, the underlying tone is “could this get any darker? Yes.” So the finales are pretty rough.
So I have ended up here entirely randomly – I stumbled across your thread on the forums and while I only skimmed through it to avoid spoilers, I saw something about the feeling of not belonging (something I can relate to as a type four personality) and Rocky Horror reference… so naturally I’ve decided to head over.
Considering you’ve pointed out there will be a big shift in the tone I’m taking this first chapter as a standalone piece (I definitely haven’t seen an introduction quite like the first couple of paragraphs in simlit, but it does set a scene, in spite of not being directly related to the rest of the entry!)
I’ve got to say that I’m loving your dry sense of humour that comes shining throughout the chapter, some of the remarks here are pure gold.
I’m curious to see those stylistic changes now – but I do agree that it’s worth leaving older chapters as is and follow the writer’s development. It’s one of the best and worst things about simlit, you can’t really go back to edit because the story is “out there”, but at the same time you can get feedback as you go, which can really help!
PS: I tend to read on my tablet so my comments are always riddled with typos. I apologise in advance. I promise I do know how words work (for the most part! 😆)
Ah, dawg, random stumbling is the best! Welcome!! Always happy to meet another simmer who appreciates a good Rocky Horror reference, of course. I hadn’t heard of the Enneagram personality classifications but felt called-out by the Type 4 description. And this? “Their familiarity with their own darker nature makes it easier for them to process painful experiences that might overwhelm other types”? Oh yeah, you’ll be just fine here.
The jump in quality from whatever this is to recent posts is Swole Doge vs. Cheems territory, IMO. But if you managed to stick it out past the first post, you’re golden! It’s all uphill from here. The meme reference means this comment will be passé by the time you read it.
And despite the number and diversity of words here, this is a judgement-free zone as far as typos are concerned. You do you, bruh.
I’m back! Going to give this another full read-through after having read it all (huzzah!) and leaving my first comment on S&L Pt. XI (more huzzah!). I can’t guarantee I’ll have something intelligent to add to the conversation (let’s face it: I operate with 2.5 active brain cells on a good day) and may have resort to obnoxiously quoting back my favorite jokes (boo), but I’m going to try to keep up with the comments. All that said, I’m glad to be back, it’s been a wild ride from start to finish to start, and I’m ready to watch these cats self-destruct again.
Love the new chapter intro, btw.
I love you
I will say nothing of the fact that you have… insider knowledge
Hiya, I came across your story randomly on the forums and I’m happy I did. I did read the summary for Part I this morning and loved your sense of humor, but then I was curious. So I wandered back here to the beginning. You warned to skip ahead but I do like to read everything by an author from beginning to end if I can. I enjoy the evolution of a writer.
I’ll be completely honest. I am a bit of a random reader. Sometimes I binge and sometimes I go long periods of time without reading, not because I don’t like a writer or the writing. It’s just how I roll. I try to balance reading with writing my own stories and some other offline stuff.
However… that being said, I like how Sims mechanics just roll into the intros. The Sims create their own drama and trauma with little input from me. Most of the time I feel like I’m along for the ride, and I never know what to expect. Also I love how you subtly (or not so subtly) draw attention to the crazy things Sims do… like make beelines for bathtubs in other people’s homes for lavender soaks and taking up astrophysics and math and home repair on a whim because that’s completely normal?!?
I don’t mind long chapters. I have some long chapters too. I actually did a rewrite of my primary story (the first official story I wrote). I made a judgment call but part of me wonders if I should’ve left it as is and continued writing. So I’m impressed that you can resist the urge.
Like I already mentioned, I did like this chapter. I enjoyed the real world references in there too. ‘Gallerina’ is a great word. I love the creativity and bits of darkness in there and on your blog in general combined with dry humor. I am looking forward to the chaos that will ensue.
‘Sup and welcome!
Man, it always makes me happy when people enjoy the first chapter! I have to remember it’s not *that* bad. There are a lot of people who were great storytellers before they started and could write a much more thrilling first chapter than I could, and this is just… not that. Many people stop here and it breaks my heart 🙁
It’s because Book I is mostly a chaotic and silly gameplay romp, but Book II onward are meant to destroy your brain and emotions and make you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. Later chapters have legit lead readers to personal epiphanies. And that’s why I beg people that if they don’t like the early chapters, at least skip ahead, dammit. But if you’ve got a lot of patience for author development—and it sure sounds like you do—there’s no problem! It should be interesting.
Read at your own pace, dawg! I’m happy people are here even if it’s once in a blue moon. And get ready for a lot of lampshading; this thing is loaded with it. People don’t usually point it out in the comments, either, so you could be the first.
Ooh—I love the game-driven ones. I’ll have to check out your take on the virtual idiots sometime.
My main story (KCLKF) is definitely a labor of love, but it’s not my best work. Well it has its moments. It is plot driven but was influenced by the game for sure in some of its more dramatic moments. And it’s my plan to make it a long term non legacy series.
I have a dozen or so other stories in some half finished state. I intend to finish them all someday. My ISBI challenge was probably where I first realized how crazy the game really is and how the Sims get themselves into situations all on their own. But that story is a mess as I changed styles a few times. Haha. Yeah my journey with Sims has been weird but fun at least for me.
I really enjoy lampshading actually. I’m really curious about some of your other comments too. Looking forward to reading more.
Hi! This has been on my “things to check out”-list for a while now and I’ve finally got a moment for it 😄 I don’t know how much your future chapters differ from this first one, but I enjoyed what I’ve read so far! The dry humour cracks me up, haha. Very late to the party but eager to see where this goes! Went? Has gone? I’ll catch up eventually 🤭
Dawg! Welcome!! Tales of Camelot on my reading list too! Work has become such a disaster that I can barely keep up with my day job, but it looks like things will quiet down soon.
It changes… a lot. A LOT a lot. Hahaha. Luckily the humor is still there.
Whether it gets better or not, I enjoyed this first chapter. It’s fun, so I intend to progress to chapter 2 instead of chapter 31.
“There are no tiger moms or screaming, raging, vein-popping dads here, because stereotypes r dumb. On the other hand, HE IS NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO PAINT AND PLAY VIOLIN.”
This made me laugh and makes me wonder about denial given the absolute volume of the last bit, but where are you from where the tiger mom is just a stereotype and not something to shield yourself against/against becoming? I somewhat came from a place where the government had to enact a law forcing people to close “schools” by 10pm because the educational fever/desperation was a bit out of control, and even then people held classes later.
I look forward to learning more about everyone.
Woohoo!! Welcome, and glad you enjoyed it!!
As the first 10 pages of Haunted suggest, I’m from a large melting-pot city where “Tiger Mom” has specific cultural and behavioral connotations. There are definitely people who think every single East Asian parent is like this, and at the same time, parents can be academically overbearing without fitting what we see as the tiger-mom mold. For example, mine would never pay cash for extra schooling—they’d just scream at me to do my homework until I cried, punish me for crying, scream some more if I asked for help, and then scream again if I got less than 100.
Do stick around! Is it denial? PROBABLY. I don’t know.
I appreciate the response! The concept of “Tiger Mom” sounds like it’s used in a racist way where you are. In Asian cities where I’ve lived, that specific term isn’t used but the concept of it exists. It just doesn’t feel like it has the same racial color/connotations (just misogynistic ones) so it’s not offensive in the same way and maybe the meaning is a bit different in other ways too. Hmm… Regardless, I am sorry that your parents screamed at you over grades.
For sure it’s a racialized term, and entered the NYC lexicon with Amy Chua’s book and the criticism it received, if you want to know about the phrase’s life in this context. It’s not surprising it has other connotations in places where it’s not mostly associated with one book!
Okay, that makes sense. I’m familiar with her as well as her husband’s SA/teaching scandals…, and slightly familiar with her book The Triple Package. Maybe I’m wrong about the connotations in other places and I’ll be careful with the phrase in the future, but it’s an easy/lazy translation of other phrases and I’ve found that it gives people an idea about wth I’m talking about.
Ahahaha, it’s probably similar enough/clear from context so that you don’t have to worry. The phrase isn’t used so much as an insult by outsiders as it is by teens dragging their own parents.
you say this is your “less good” stuff? i’m already lol’ing (i died at “Find Your Phone, an app which displays a screen of text saying “Your phone is in your hand.” “). and i mean actually lol’ing, not that weird nose-exhalation you sometimes do while meme-browsing
My internet is so shit that I couldn’t FIND the comment box. It went into some vortex or fell upon itself into some cosmic bullshit… So hopefully this comment gets to you.
The top image with the faceless heads and the weird lines… the weird lines remind me of a thumb print.
So. Just gonna guess that this is SCIENCE fiction?
Claudia – Miss Gym Rat Extraordinaire, “hits the sauce” she imbibes (I assume is what this means, but she cares about what goes into her body, I mean food-wise, not abusive prick-wise)? Or is this more like a kale smoothie/protein shake?
When you were describing the bro LOUD comedian MJ, I automatically thought of Dane Cook. I’d throw cash and ass at Mike. You go, Claudia! haha OMG BRO-BUMP ME MIKE!!!! breathe life into muh tittehs!
hahaha Broseph and Brosephina. A match made in broven!
Ermahgawd, Broseph has broin cells, er brain cells. My gawd, I want to KNOW how many times a day someone asks to see his rocket. Meeeeeee-owsa he’s hot.
Maybe he became an astronaut b/c he likes the color blue so much and saw Avatar. Will he be wearing tear-away-suits in upcoming stories? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS.
OOOOOH CHARLIE. I think I recall “Charlie in Charge,” in another story. With the Elle Woods reference.
OMG IT’S YUAN! OHHHHHH and he’s thinking about stroking it! The canvas that is…. >;)
ermahgawd, Yuan is Hot Mike’s dork roommate????? Good God, he had that slice of beefcake and went all hot and bothered over ghost LOTOR? Yuan!!!!
Hahaha oh maaaaaaan. Yuan really wants to find that special someone who will stroke (canvases) with him. Bruh got his priorities. Now I want to know if Lord Onion was also into painting for hours (if THATS what we’re gonna call it) or if Yuan got over that fetish…. Ugh, patience and all that I suppose.
Will have to read the rest later but leaving this comment for now
Yo I got the comment! Is there something I can do with the site layout to fix it? I know WordPress is sometimes on the fritz for people.
And holy crap, you have a lot to say!
The weird lines are the Lorenz attractor, which is technically chaos theory more than catastrophe theory, but, you know, whatever. The original chaos butterfly.
Brosephina certainly does… imbibe. But more on that later. And Broseph?
LOVE IT. So, uh, since Haunted is just expansion on the first couple of chapters, you have a couple extra story beats, and so I’m sure you already understand why Yuan stayed as Mike’s roommate for so long. (And there are alternate universes where I left the computer for 2 minutes and Yuan made a beeline for the cake. And got it.)
And the other comment!
MUST! FORCE! INTERESTS! ONTO! CHILD! But seriously. Gotta make sure the kid can provide for himself. No way that’s gonna backfire later or anything.
Elle Woods? Yuan would never. Elle Woods is hot pink; Yuan is pastel pink with warm undertones. Is Aileen a beard? Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyeah. But I didn’t know at that point.
You are the one who gets to define ‘ruin’; feel free to ignore me. The death themes might become clearer in the prologue, though.
I don’t think this is a you problem, I think my internet is just really bad at loading pages correctly. I couldn’t even open the Sims gallery for days b/c of it, so no worries.
Thanks for explaining the Chaos Theory lines 🙂
Bahahaha alternate world Yuan and Mike making sexeh babies. Can I move there?
I love that Yuan is snobby about his pink tones. I’d still go antiquing with him, but he’d snub me 🙁
I think Yuan already ruined his life by not eating that Mike cake before Mike found his (boring!) soulmate. :p
Yuan and I would get along antiquing. By get along we would pummel each other to bits in order to acquire the cutest pinkest posh objects. This explains the pink office and all those “girly” items that made me what to SQUEEEEE. I think he is a bit more of Elle Woods than Charlie.
Bless Yuan for saving the poor rando woman from remaining a rando woman. She should throw herself to his feet like a rug. So like…. is she just a beard?
Damn Yuan when you created a little you, you went so far so that he will HAVE to learn and love (or at least learn) the things you have mastered.
LMAO Shu goes and takes fancy baths at others’ homes. That’s gotta tell you something about his home life. Like, Daddy might acquire posh pink pieces, but he skimps at the bath bombs.
Okay, I need to talk about this line: Everything that follows is a desperate attempt to stop these six people from ruining their own lives.
Who says that they are ruining their lives? What defines their lives in ruin? What is the desperate attempt to stop them from their (demise?) …uh themselves?
Spoiler alert – I am gonna be re-reading CT because it’s been almost exactly 2 years since I found it, and back then I didn’t have WordPress, so I never commented. So my plan is to reread it with the love and care it deserves, and make all the comments I wanted to make the first time.
Like I told you in my ridiculously fangirly reply to your first comment on the Duchelli Legacy, CT was what made me finally consider writing simlit. I had really enjoyed reading a few Sims 2 stories back in the day, such as infamous The Uglacy, because I am a closeted comedy writer. But I didn’t think I could ever write myself (“I’m a reader, not a writer!” as I would stubborn scream into the void for two decades – the lady doth protest too much) and I was terrified of putting myself out there. But the fact that you are sharing how you don’t feel that these first chapters were as good as your later writing, and being open and vulnerable about your development was really inspiring. So I figured, what the hell. I won’t get any good unless I start somewhere, right? So thank you.
Also, CT was the first simlit for Sims 4 to really suck me in and get me addicted to the genre again.
Now back to our regularly scheduled comment:
I feel like Claudia and Mike have the same bro connection as Alex and Don have in my first generation, except Don is… more wholesome, to everyone’s surprise. Gotta love the beefcakes. (Yes, I’m married to a hobbyist bodybuilder and no, I’m not biased.)
I also immediately connect on a deep emotional level with Yuan’s view of people who go to clubs: too hot-headed, too flirty, too wanting-to-do-stuff-and-not-stay-at-home-painting-for-hours.
Except I want to read. (And now write, dammit. I blame you!)
“Everything that follows is a desperate attempt to stop these six people from ruining their own lives.”
This. This is the exact feeling I wanted to capture in my Legacy as it became more plot-driven, except I’m trying to stop every single one of my heirs from ruining their life too much each and every generation.
Finally – I want it to be noted that I disagree about your writing being “less good” in the beginning. The style is different, but this is not “worse”. You writing is engrossing and fucking hilarious from day 1.