The storyline’s over, and now that it is, I wanted to talk a little about it.  But, you know, in a general storywriting sense versus yesterday’s stroll down awful childhood memory lane.

I’d written previously how, years ago, before Becky had been reintroduced into the strip as a main character, I knew Becky couldn’t be shuffled offpanel forever.  She had to stay.  We couldn’t get our pathos out of her and discard her.  But I knew her dad would be following her, and he’d have to be dealt with.  He’d have to be dealt with definitively.  I didn’t want the threat of him to be always hanging over her – she has enough to worry about already – and so I knew he’d have to do something terrible, enough to put him solidly in prison.

That was the genesis of everything, but I think it’s really wonderful how it all worked perfectly with what the story needed.  Joyce needed to feel betrayed by her family and her community.  Amazi-Girl needed to face a threat that was leveled up from the previous showdown her own father.  Dina… needed to be in the best strip ever.

And I could do it all without sacrificing Becky.  Often in fiction, bad stuff happens to gay ladies, and then the narrative just gives up on them.  That’s the end!  That’s it!  Buh-bye.  Meanwhile, stories bend over backwards with supernatural zeal to keep straight folks happy and together with whatever love interest they met five minutes ago.

I wanted to subvert the shit outta that.

So bad stuff is happening to Becky, but the narrative says Fuck No.  Her dad’s attacked by her girlfriend in the woods.  Her dad is followed by her best friend and somebody else on a friggin’ motorcycle.  Her dad is hunted down by a goddamned SUPERHERO.  And they all work together, somewhat unwittingly, to shut that jackass down.  Physics is bruised a bit, but that’s the point.  That’s the subversion.  Becky’s not going down.  The universe will melt in the face of her.  And she will get that shining final moment with her father where she backs away, all grins, double birds.  The last word.  Because goddammit, she gets to win this time.  Fuck you, dad!  God answers lesbian prayers.

Ultimately, Joyce gets her Moment of Brokenness that her arc demands at this point, and – very importantly – without sacrificing Becky.  It’s the betrayal of her family and community that breaks Joyce.  Fridging Becky would be superfluous.

And for both of them, life goes on.

I’m pretty sure Dave Willis has blocked me because I can’t reblog his posts 😐

I bolded the part up there where Willis straight-up states why a lot of people hate Becky, but doesn’t seem to realize it. The narrative said “fuck no”. Why the fuck is “the narrative” on your protagonists’ side?

Let’s look up the Pixar rules of storytelling.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.


Oh wow, it’s literally number one. The narrative shouldn’t have been the one to say “Fuck No”. Becky should have been the one to say “Fuck No”. BECKY should’ve been the one to overcome her father and win her freedom. But she didn’t. She didn’t do anything. You literally could have replaced Becky with a set of golf clubs, and the plot would’ve done just fine.  The only action Becky took against her dad was recording his murderous rantings, but that was after he already fired a gun in front of a bunch of witnesses and tried to kill Dina (who survived….somehow? Was that explained?), so it didn’t actually matter.

Not only did Becky not do anything to try and deal with her father, she actively undermined other characters trying to help her. She blew her money on rad haircuts while Joyce was cutting meals to try to feed her, and not only did she openly walk around campus, she didn’t even try putting, like, a hoodie on or some kind of disguise. Like a hat, or sunglasses.

Instead, Becky is saved by the universe itself bending to allow her to succeed. And that’s Willis’ own description! It’s a literal deus ex machina. Becky can’t fail because the plot says so, and she doesn’t have to contribute to her own story even superficially.

Why couldn’t….I dunno….Becky lead her dad on a chase right to a police station? Or….fucking….stab him in the dick with a knife? Why can’t the dad subtly threaten Becky with a gun, making her call to the police even slightly useful? Actually, yeah. That would’ve been fine. Becky wears a hoodie and sunglasses when looking for a job, but Ross sees through it, so the plot’s not affected (but she gets points for trying). Instead of a shotgun, dad has a pistol, and wears a coat so that only Becky and Dina see it, and then in the car Becky calls the police and has the conversation with her dad recording. Maybe he’s not so obviously mustache-twirly, and she has to cleverly get him to incriminate himself.

Hell, what if Ross did shoot Dina, and threw her in the trunk or something, and then at the end of the story the doctor comes out and says Dina’ll be okay and everyone lived happily ever after. It’s the exact same story, except now Ross is a scarier villain and Becky looks better for having vanquished him, instead of him being a goddamn moron who dooms his own plan from the start by shooting at a campus, and whom Becky is powerless to do anything meaningful against herself and has to rely on the universe itself fucking bailing her out.

And then if you HAVE to get Amazigirl involved in this storyline (and you really fucking didn’t), you couldn’t have had Ross, cornered by Becky’s cunning, escape into the woods with her as a hostage and Amazigirl could’ve gone after him and hid in the treetops which is still cartoony but way less absurd than the magical car chase. And then she and Becky could’ve KO’d Ross together just in time for the police to arrive, and Becky goes to find if Dina is okay and then there’s a cliffhanger and oh hey she’s fine.

And then, with the “serious” braking of Becky’s family ties out of the way, you could still have done the double flip-off spot and it would’ve worked better anyway. And then you could have “radical” wacky Becky, since the threat was defused.

This shit’s not hard. Stop trying to come up with weird meta-stories for your autopilot Funky Winterbean knockoff, and focus on telling stories about the protagonists overcoming a conflict, instead of the universe doing it for them.

Christ almighty