Anyways, the Tech 10 Renovation Project is not officially back on, but I have been doing a couple things for it lately. I'm not committing to anything, but I am considering writing to at least the end of Ultimatrix Unleashed. I'd ask how many of you would be interested in me actually continuing it, but I know it would be like one person at best.
I can't really blame anyone too much since even with the rewrite the first ten entries of UU are boring as sin. There's relatively little actual conflict and 99% of what happens is just setup for later. I will say the second arc gets a lot better, but I don't have a whole ton of that rewritten yet.
At any rate, congratulations to the winners, and may god have mercy on your souls.
(On a side note, any winners interested in displaying their awards can use this template on their pages.)
but seriously OV CHROMASTONE WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD-
I'd officially move the Gazette's release to Tuesday but I'd probably end up putting it off until Wednesday.
Lesson 17: Writing Longer Stories
A few different people on the Discord requested this one, and I have to say while this lesson might be useful for them, there's simply not a terrible amount to be said on the topic. I already talked at length about putting details into your writing, and beyond doing that, there's only one way to legitimately extend your stories with repeating yourself:
There's no magic trick to it, you just kind of have to take the stuff you have and shove more stuff onto it to make it bigger. For some examples of what you could add:
More characters = more people you have to have do things in the story = a bigger story. Note that this is generally not the best route to go unless you're fairly confident in your ability to comfortably juggle writing multiple character arcs.
Did your episode about things happening end up too short? Add more things happening! Adding more action or character scenes or what not is a decent way to extend a story, but try to keep everything focused around advancing towards the end point of the episode instead of just stalling the plot for the sake of filler.
Do you have a plot? Does that plot not take up as much physical space as you want it to? Just add another one! And another one! And another one!
Okay, that much is obviously exaggeration, but it doesn't hurt to have subplots if you feel your main story is lacking in content potential. Just make sure to keep the main focus of the story on the main plot so you don't end up annoying the audience by meandering around with diversions. A solution I personally like using is the A Plot/B Plot formula, which basically means you have two "main stories" per episode. These stories should be related to each other in some way, but there is a decent amount of wiggle room as far as that goes.
Of course, aside from all that, there is always another option to consider when deciding how to add extra stuff to your story:
Sometimes your story is short, and that's all there is to it. You don't always need to make something longer just for the sake of making it longer; if the story you want to tell is best told short, then by all means, keep it short. The integrity of your storytelling should always be your first priority.
The Renovation Project for my old stuff may be abandoned but I still wanted to make an updated design for this guy.
Not too long after the end of Ultimatrix Unleashed, where Tech swears off fighting, he gets dragged back into the fight regardless of his personal opinion due to the sudden appearance of a new enemy known as Dethrouge. Dethrouge aims to reach the mythical Gateway of Reality, which will grant whoever passes through it their heart's greatest desires, no matter how destructive these desires might be. After getting utterly trashed by Dethrouge in their first battle, Tech travels to Egypt to find the source of Dethrouge's power, and ends up receiving the BIOME Suit, an ancient piece of alien technology that acts as a counterpart to Dethrouge's own armor.
The BIOME Suit is stored as a blue gauntlet (the thing on Tech's left arm) and is activated by pulling the handle on the device. Once activated, the rest of the suit will generate around the user's body. It leaves the Ultimatrix Dial free, allowing Tech to transform into aliens while using it, but covers up the module slots, making it impossible for Tech to combine or evolve his aliens while the suit is in use.
An ancient Pharaoh whose grief drove him to ignore the warnings given to him and abuse the power of the Underworld Suit until it drove him mad. The suit grants him the ability to distort and destroy life, allowing him to create twisted creatures that serve his will and cause those who oppose him to wither away into nothingness.
Dethrouge seeks to uncover the Gateway of Reality and reshape the universe in his image. Though it is impossible to truly know what image a madman would create, it is near certain that the resulting twisted world would be a living hell.
Ben 10 News
A promotional event called "Alien of the Week" (trailer here) is set to begin airing in the states in a couple of weeks. Part of the event is evidently the series of "Alien Worlds" shorts, two of which have already been released...in Norwegian.
The Alien Worlds shorts goes into the lore of each reboot alien's species and their home world. The two episodes released thus far are about Khoros and Petropia, which are much different (and dare I say better) in the reboot's universe. An English version of the Khoros short has been found, but the Petropia short is only in Norwegian so far. Thankfully, the visuals of the latter are usually enough to get the point across, and I would recommend giving it a watch anyways if you're interested.
SUBTERRANEAN DIAMOND KAIJU
Well, that's it for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed the sixty-third issue of The CaT Gazette! Feedback and support are appreciated!
Remember around this time last year when I could write 12,000 words in the span of a few days and actually had motivation and a will to live? Good times. Now it's a struggle just getting out of bed in the morning and the only thing I do all day is hope this drawn-out period of excess stress, depression, and anxiety ends up giving me a fatal heart attack sooner rather than later.
Lesson 16: Writing an Interesting Main Character
In Lesson 12, we discussed how to make interesting side characters. This could be considered a sort of continuation of that lesson, and more or less everything I said there still applies here. Again, make sure to check out this TVTropes page on the subject if you get the time, as it's an immensely informative resource.
So, main characters. They're the people who your story is going to focus on the majority of the time, so logic says you better make damn sure they're interesting (or at least bearable); unfortunately, as you can see in pretty much all media, having an uninteresting main character is more or less the status quo for escapist fiction, and I'd like to cover why that is and how you can avoid it.
The primary reason main characters in escapist fiction are so generic and bland is because the genre is just that; escapist fiction. A book with a main character people can latch onto and imagine themselves in place of is the easiest way to grab a reader's attention and keep them reading. This isn't necessarily a terrible idea in and of itself, but it's extremely uninspired and overplayed, and anyone with any literary experience beyond entry-level bare minimum is going to get tired of this trope very, very quickly.
You can get someone to read a book using a bland main character, but to get someone to experience a book, you need to go above and beyond the bare minimum and make your character human.
Let's face it, humans are humans and we like other humans; a bland main character is a handy dandy writing tool, but nothing more beyond that, and eventually your audience is going to want to spend as much time with them as they would want to spend with a socket wrench (and hell, at least the socket wrench is practical). If you want your audience to get really invested, you're going to need more than a paint-by-numbers stereotype of what a person should be; you're going to need character.
Character is sort of an interesting thing in that it's basically the concentrated version of what makes something feel human. Write about a normal rock and you're just writing what might as well be a technical essay; write about a rock with character and suddenly you're storyboarding for Steven Universe. If you want to upgrade your cardboard cutout to the status of "good", you're going to need to sprinkle some magic character dust on it, and while it's not super easy to do so, it's not exactly as hard as you might think.
To start off with, think about what makes you...you! Who is<name>, really? If that's a bit too philosophical for your tastes, just ask yourself some basic questions such as "What do I like? What do I dislike? Why the hell do I put up with this purple assweed spamming my Message Wall every week?"
Once you have that line of thinking down, try applying it to your character. What do they like? What do they dislike? What is their motivation for doing what they do? How would they react in a certain situation? How does the way they handle the situation differ from anyone else's? Ask questions about your character as if they were a real person, because ideally speaking, they should feel like a real person.
This is a bit of unorthodox advice, but I would actually recommend taking this personality test if you're having trouble figuring out this line of thinking by yourself. It asks questions that force you to think about the kind of person you are. If you find you're still having trouble pinning down you characters, try extending the "roleplaying" advice i gave in Lesson 12 and taking the quiz again, but this time answering as if you were the character you're trying to figure out. The only real downside to this quiz is that it is fairly time-consuming, so learning to do this on your own is eventually going to do you better in the long run.
Like I said in Lesson 12, characters are an extremely complicated topic (about as complicated as real people, as a matter of fact), so I can't cover anywhere near everything here. Make sure to check out the resources I've linked if you get the time.
The pre-finale was sad and the finale itself was bittersweet.
I'll probably start watching Blade next.
No progress on my own projects since I'm currently busy trying to sort out college registration and what not. I've been accepted into BYU-Idaho majoring in University Studies, but it seems like the people in charge of the program intentionally made registering for the actual damn classes as difficult as possible.
Not much is happening other than the Omniverse Awards coming up in August.
It can be difficult to manage your time if you don't keep track of it. Making and keeping a schedule of things you want to do can be extremely helpful assuming you don't blow it off to shitpost all day.
Lesson 15: Killing Off Characters
Oh boy get ready for "CaT's Controversial Opinions" time even though these aren't really opinions so much as blatant writing facts that people like ignoring for the sake of being edgy sons of-
Okay, back on topic.
So, killing off characters. Let's face it, we've all had some of our favorite characters die on us at one point or another, and it usually brings forth a certain question to mind: was this a good idea?
Now, killing off characters the audience cares about is admittedly somewhat uncommon for various reasons, the most common being "Plot Armor" that keeps the character safe simply because they're needed to complete the story. That's not necessarily a bad thing on its own, but its overuse and cliche nature has lead to a contrarian movement of people who think that, if killing off no characters is bad, then killing off all your characters must be good!
I'm here to point out that no, killing everyone with contrived plot points is just as dumb and lazy as keeping everyone alive with contrived plot points. Being unique doesn't make it quality.
The main thing to remember when writing your characters at any time, but especially when you're considering axing them off, is that characters are narrative tools, and should be treated as such in a practical sense. If you still need a tool for a specific job, then you should keep that tool around, but if your tool has no purpose in your project other than taking up space, it should be removed from your inventory.
Now, removing a character from your inventory doesn't always mean killing them off; it may just mean putting them to the side for now and bringing them back later if you decide you need them. You don't need to keep tabs on all your characters all the time, so this course of action isn't really a stretch. A character should only out and out die if it serves the story.
Death is an extremely impactful event, both in real life and in fiction; you should never just kill off anyone more important than a background character and act like nothing is going to change because of it. Something should always come of killing off a character if you want it to be seen as more than just Edgy Snowflake signaling. Whether it be the development of another character, the progression of the story, or even just a contribution to the themes of the narrative, you should always have a reason for someone to die other than "I was told this would make my story edgy and mature".
All in all, just use common sense. Death being an easy way to make your story dark does not make it exempt from normal rules about telling a competent story.
If you've ever wondered what I look like in real life, this is a close approximation.
If you're wondering what's up with the right hand it's this thing I do while I walk where I tuck my thumb between my index and middle fingers while having my hands in a fist. Not for throwing punches because you'd break your fingers but it keeps the blood from pooling up in your hands while you're swinging your arms for an extended period. It's also apparently the equivalent of flipping someone off in some countries, so there's that.
The hoodie was custom-made for my old Scout troop, Troop 1789. It's been about six-seven years since I got it, but it still fits and it's held up pretty well.
An alien for my upcoming series DecaSystem Tech. He has the ability to teleport through starlight and create/manipulate "Stardust", which is actually thousands of tiny meteor shards that can screw you up if you're not careful.
Ben 10 News
There was a Ben 10 panel at San Diego Comic Con this past Saturday, but nobody in attendance cared enough to leak any of the info from it.
Well, that's it for this Sunday, folks. I hope you enjoyed the sixtieth issue of The CaT Gazette, and I'll see you next week! Feedback and support are appreciated!
My projects have not moved forward at all except for planning for DecaSystem Tech and maybe a little of Star Spirit but mostly I've just been sitting around watching Kamen Rider Ryuki and succumbing to depression.
Man, the wiki is really going through a dry spell of literally anything happening right now.
Sometimes I remember when I used to have self-confidence and shit like that before becoming a completely insecure wreck.
Lesson 14: How to Write "Filler"
Let's face it, we've all been here. We're watching a really good TV show, the plot has been progressing at a steady pace, and the season finale has given you a whole lot of questions. You put on the next season, and...wait, why are they hanging out at the beach? Didn't the world just end? Why are they talking about hot dogs? There is literally a major villain that landed half a mile away from their house in the season finale!
You, my friend, have fallen victim to the dreaded eternal time waster known as "Filler".
Some shows have it worse than others.
Filler is material that basically just takes a break from the main plot. If done well, it can be a welcome reprieve from the heaviness of the plot and give us more of an insight into the characters we're spending time with. If done poorly and/or so much it outweighs the actual plot, it becomes a massive pain in the ass.
So, how do you do Filler correctly? Ideally speaking, it should be done in a way that people can debate if it's even filler at all. By taking time to show your characters living their lives away from the main plot, you should be taking the opportunity to develop them and make them more interesting to the audience. If you just have filler for filler's sake and don't develop the characters at all, you might as well just be giving us the main plot anyways.
Another massive pitfall for Filler is poor timing; if your Filler is taking away focus from an especially tense part of the main plot, you're just going to end up frustrating your audience.
In a professional setting, making Filler work all the time can be somewhat difficult if you have a quota to fill (see: the anime industry), but if you aren't constricted by deadlines and executive meddling, you should do everything in your power to make each of your installments feel like they were worth something.
Think about your "filler" like this: if you took it out of your series, would it be exactly the same, or would it be missing some level of genuine character? If your answer is the latter, you're on the right track.
Been a while since we've seen these, huh? Due to some people expressing interest on having ad space in the Gazette again, I've decided to return this section to the Gazette's lineup, but only when there are new ads to work with.
Planning for DecaSystem Tech is continuing at a fairly steady pace. I'm planning this series more thoroughly than usual, and there are some things in particular I'm looking forward to creating.
Milky Way Race is also further along in production, albeit primarily in the art department. A promo short for the series was just released this week, so make sure to check that out.
I am so glad I decided to do the Re:Vise project because it means I can rewrite things to put personal issues like this to rest.
This has been one of the least eventful weeks on the wiki in recent memory pls help
Controversial opinion: the majority of online roleplaying is incredibly cringeworthy and it makes me die a little inside when I see people doing it unironically (there are exceptions, but not many).
Lesson 13: Chekhov's Gun
Let's say you're watching a movie, and fairly early into the film, it pauses for a moment to focus on a cowboy flicking his nose in the background. You momentarily wonder what that was about but shrug it off as a shot that went on for too long or something.
When the third act arrives and all hope seems lost, the background character suddenly bursts into the scene, taking off his face-obscuring cowboy hat to reveal himself as Bruce Lee, who promptly kicks the villain's asses. You think this is a clear Deus Ex Machina for a moment, then remember that, oh yeah, the film built this up a little. So what is it, exactly?
What you have just borne witness to is known as a (admittedly not amazingly executed) Chekhov's Gun.
The origin of the phrase "Chekhov's Gun" comes from short story writer Anton Chekhov, who is famously quoted as saying "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."
While the original quote is more of a reference to Conservation of Detail, the term "Chekhov's Gun" has come to mean a seemingly insignificant plot element that plays a role in the story some time after it gets introduced. Done well, this can feel like satisfying payoff; done poorly, it can feel like either a borderline asspull or just lazy writing depending on how you screw it up.
A good Chekhov's Gun is introduced into the story fairly early on, isn't played up as having any sort of wider significance beyond its purpose in its own scene, but is still memorable enough for the audience to say "oh hey I remember that thing!".
A bad Chekov's Gun is usually done in one of two ways: either the introductory scene is too subtle, making it almost impossible for the audience to realize the element was actually introduced, or it's too blatant, practically yelling at the audience that "THIS THING WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER".
There are variations to the Chekhov's Gun, such as the Red Herring, which is a plot element specifically created to distract the audience from the real Chekhov's Gun, or the Brick Joke, which is essentially the Chekhov's Gun played for laughs. These variations can be screwed up in the same way as a normal Chekhov's Gun, so make sure to be just as careful while writing them.
Ken's design for Milky Way Race when he's not using the Spanner suit. He's 16 years old and has a new Omnitrix that he uses alongside the Spanner suit to defeat threats across time and space after being picked up as a protégé by Professor Paradox.
Ben 10 News
Nothing to report this week.
Well, that's it for this Sunday, folks. I hope you enjoyed the fifty-eighth issue of The CaT Gazette, and I'll see you next week! Feedback and support are appreciated!
Okay you know what screw it I'm just moving the Gazette to Monday now this is ridiculous
In other news, you should read the Fanon Con Main Blog if you haven't already, since it contains a lot of important news about my stuff.
I've created the page for my newest project, DecaSystem Tech, so make sure to go check that out.
Summer Fanon Con ended on Saturday, and while it wasn't a particularly eventful con, we still got some interesting stuff out of it.
Sometimes I wish I was still the happy generous person I used to be so people would like me more, but then I remember a lot of people just liked me because I was easy to take advantage of.
Lesson 12: Making an Interesting Cast
So you want to write a dank ass series with loads of characters that everyone loves, but you keep running into a single problem:
All of your characters are boring.
It can be difficult to plan out development for multiple characters, especially characters that don't get much screentime, but if even your main characters are boring, you might have a problem.
The biggest problem I see when it comes to people trying to create casts is that they aren't really creating characters so much as they're creating character ideas. Let's face it, you can have the best idea for a character in the world, but if you don't flesh it out into a full character in and of itself, well...
The less said about that the better.
The ultimate worth of a character comes less from what happens to them or even what they are so much as it comes from who they are. Any character can have things happen to them, and any character can be something cool, but what really defines them is how they behave in relation to the aforementioned factors.
Note that for their behavior to feel realistic, your characters should act as their own agents and not just plot devices. You can give a character arbitrary traits and follow a paint-by-number scheme of how they go through a scenario given those traits, but if the personality of the character doesn't feel genuine, then it just feels like you're putting your writing on autopilot.
I feel like I'm not getting this across very well, so let's use a practical example here from a series I have an unhealthy focus on for no discernible reason, Mig X.
Mig X, like the majority of series on the wiki, has a lot of problems with characters feeling unrealistic and fleshed out (no offense Mig), but unlike the majority of series, it has one big saving grace: Terox.
Terox is an absolute joy to read. He's simultaneously a horrifying villain and an amazing little shit, and what makes him stand out so much from everything else is that he feels free. Terox doesn't feel constrained by the plot; Terox is the plot. He sets everything in motion by being himself, whereas a lot of other characters in the series just seem to act based on what would make the story seem "cool".
Of course, the main thing to nail down above all that is to make a character relatable. A stock badass with a stock tragic backstory and stock behavioral issues isn't relatable; it just feels forced. Try to imagine yourself in a character's shoes while you're writing them and think about how you would react in their situation.
Even if your personalities are wildly different, just roleplay for a minute and think, for example, "If I was a badass hero, what would I say?" instead of "If this plank of wood character was a badass hero, what would they say?". You're almost guaranteed to get better results.
Once you gain more experience writing a character and nail down their personality, you should be able to start asking "what would [character] do?" directly, but depending on the specific character, this could take a while.
I've tried to sum up what I could here, but as this is (obviously) a very complex topic, I would recommend reading this TVTropes page on the subject as well, assuming you have the time. It goes more in-depth on an individual basis I couldn't cover here without making this issue extremely long.
Iblis is who you could technically call the primary antagonist of DecaSystem Tech. He wields the UnaSystem Vision, which allows him to transform into an alien called Abstract. He is feared by the other Challengers due to his position as Executioner if any of them break the rules of the tournament.
Ben 10 News
Nothing to report this week.
Well, that's it for this Sunday, folks. I hope you enjoyed the fifty-seventh issue of The CaT Gazette, and I'll see you next week! Feedback and support are appreciated!
(I know this is a late warning, I genuinely forgot)
Please do not bring chat drama out of chat. You posted a screenshot of Creeper with hostile intentions (whether or not you realize it) on the Discord server. This counts as insulting him as well. Keep whatever happens on chat on chat unless needed next time. Please read the rules to prevent this from happening again.
Another late Gazette. Sunday was busier than usual and I kind of forgot about writing it. My bad.
Most news on my stuff is gonna be announced in the Fanon Con Main Blog on Friday, so make sure to read through my entry on that!
Summer Fanon Con has begun! I've updated the head and siderail module, where you'll be able to find the full schedule for the con.
I'm too scared of death and worried about screwing everyone else over to ever really commit suicide, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it on a semi-regular basis.
Lesson N/A: Health Notice
Sometimes it's healthier for you to go out and about and do something outside instead of sitting on your computer and writing walls of text for a fanfiction wiki all day. Being outside will make you healthier both mentally and physically, and let's be honest, when was the last time any of us got our daily recommended dose of Vitamin D?
The protagonist of an upcoming project to be announced in the Main Blog on Friday. For now, all I'm letting slip is his name and that the device he's holding is called the DecaSystem.
Ben 10 News
There's a blurry screenshot of a new alien for the Reboot floating around, and while it does resemble the toy seen at the New York Toy Fair, its legitimacy is still debatable, so I'll refrain from parading it around for now.
Well, that's it for this Sunday, folks. I hope you enjoyed the fifty-sixth issue of The CaT Gazette, and I'll see you next week! Feedback and support are appreciated!
I apologize for putting the Gazette out a day late. I've sort of lost my energy to do much of anything lately. I'll elaborate more in the Editorial section if anyone wants to read it.
I haven't been making much progress on my series lately either for the same reason. I've really lost my mojo.
On the more uplifting side of things, I figured out that messages sent by bots will not clog up Recent Activity; as such, all new issues of the Gazette will be delivered by your friendly neighborhood BotBot Bot.
Wikia has made the new header mandatory across all wikis, and while we've done what we can with it, it's still pretty ugly.
To be honest, I kinda feel like the wiki is dying. Not because of all the terrible changes Wikia has made, (though heaven knows that doesn't help), but because of our own community.
Now don't get me wrong, people still interact with each other; the wiki's Discord servers are both a lot more active than Chaturn was in its twilight years, but as for content on the wiki itself? Yeah, that's kind of dying out.
At the end of the day, there's no one thing to blame for it; it's just how things work. People get older and busier, and Ben 10 just isn't the smash hit success it was seven and a half years ago. The reboot is good (fight me you neckbeards), but there's nothing that particularly stands out about it to make it worth writing about in most people's eyes.
When the wiki first started, Alien Force was already airing, expanding the Ben 10 universe way beyond the basic "kid on summer vacation" concept and thus giving people a lot more to work with. Since the reboot has looped the franchise back to that plot, there's not nearly as much people can do with it, and fics based on the old continuity don't grab people's attention like they used to.
As for the rare new fics that are being made, good luck getting much feedback on them. The wiki's gotten a tad better about this lately, but for the majority of the content someone puts out, they may as well still be screaming into the uncaring void for how much good it does them.
As for why I've lost my mojo, everything I mentioned above contributes to it pretty significantly. I started my art and writing careers on this wiki, and with it dying, I'm sort of floundering around for a source of motivation. I still have a lot of stuff to do on the wiki, but does any of it matter? I am so close to finishing Tech 10 and being done with it forever (three episodes and a movie), but I don't know if I can even bring myself to do that.
People seem to be looking forward to Ben 10: Milky Way Race, but as the old Ben 10 continuity keeps fading into irrelevancy, so does my motivation to write the damn thing. It doesn't help that my only other popular series that people actually engage with are Mack 10, which was made around shitting on people and created out of bitterness, and CaT Reviews, which is entirely dependent on other people's work.
The first BTFF RPG seemed to be popular (46+ downloads!), but I never got wind of that until I actually checked the numbers for myself because of how little people mentioned it to me. The Spooktober RPG was barely played by anyone, and if The Next Evolution or Not Applicable RPG ever actually get finished, I'm sure the general reaction will just be some people saying "oh it's cool that you did that" and then nothing coming of it.
The only thing I'm actually kind of invested in working on right now is my post-Tech 10 project (not Reform; I cancelled that because it ultimately didn't seem like a good idea), and that's only because I plan on adapting it into something original I can put out as its own book somewhere down the line (granted the more solid foundation and setting for it compared to some of my other works helps, but still).
I'm probably coming off like I'm complaining about people not paying attention to me, and I don't mean for that to be the message here; I'm just explaining why I don't have the same motivation I used to. Hell, putting my own stuff aside, I don't even have the motivation to help people any more; every person I've ever tried to help has ended up screwing me somehow (except Mig; thanks bro), and goddammit I try to stay positive but it's hard to unironically say I want to help anyone out these days.
Honestly, I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore. I'd be surprised if more than a couple people actually took the time to read through this boring-ass wall of text.
See you next week, I guess.
Lesson 11: Deus Ex Machina
So imagine you're watching one of the best, most tense and dramatic movies you've ever seen. The climax is almost over, the protagonists are screwed, the antagonists have pretty much won, and you're wondering how the hell they're going to turn all this around.
Then Jesus comes out and uses holy lasers to make the villains blow up.
Excuse me, what?
The source of the disappointment and frustration you'd be feeling at this random-ass plot point is called a Deus Ex Machina, translated as "god out of the machine". The phrase originates from ancient Greek theater, where actors playing Gods would literally be lowered down by a crane (the "machine") at the end of a play to fix everything without any prior buildup.
Deus ex Machina are solutions to a problem. They are never unexpected developments that make things worse, nor sudden twists that only change the understanding of a story.
Deus ex Machina are sudden or unexpected. This means that even if they are featured, referenced or set-up earlier in the story, they do not change the course of nor appear as a natural or a viable solution to the plotline they eventually "solve".
Deus ex Machina are used to resolve a situation portrayed as unsolvable or hopeless. If the problem could be solved with a bit of common sense or other type of simple intervention, the solution is not a Deus ex Machina no matter how unexpected it may seem.
Deus Ex Machina are external to the characters and their choices throughout the story. The solution comes from a character with small or non-existent influence on the plot until that point or random chance from nature or karma.
The reason discussing this is so important is because there are so many stories on this damn wiki that end in "EVERYONE IS SCREWED BUT THIS NEW ALIEN I PULLED OUT OF MY ASS IS GOING TO SAVE THE DAY BECAUSE REASONS" that Category:Aliens might as well be renamed Category:Bullshit Endings.
This is a fairly simple concept to understand, so this is just more of a heads-up telling you to not pull shit out of your ass at the last moment. Yes, this trope can technically be used well, but most of the time it isn't, so I would recommend taking the four qualifications of the Deus Ex Machina to heart and blatantly defying them whenever possible.
I wasn't really satisfied with this thing's first design (and neither was anyone else really) so I decided to redo it. I was a bit iffy on the white markings at first, but the people on the Discord seemed to like it.
Ben 10 News
Nothing to report for this issue.
Well, that's it for this Sunday, folks. I hope you enjoyed the fifty-fifth issue of The CaT Gazette, and I'll see you next week! Feedback and support are appreciated!