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 Writing and Reading Discussion 
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:32 pm
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Post Writing and Reading Discussion
(note same as my LJ and Myspace) I'm writing a novel, so what are your thoughts on these questions? Thanks :)

-What words, in your opinion, evoke images that are absolutely common, that is, everybody can read the word and know what it means in their head? LOLCats has taken to Cheeseburger, but other words I come up with are Tank, Flagpole, TV Set, Hospital, Notebook, Bunny Rabbit, and Tree. I believe everyone should be able to follow a story, if they choose to read it

-What is a word or phrase that you feel should be used in a novel? (examples:A word not used correctly, is not used enough, is funny, is profane, sounds cool, etc.) Just throw anything out there, let's have some literary fun with this.

-What is something you are afraid of? What is something you think other people are afraid of?

-Is swearing excessively (in the context of character traits) acceptable? Why or Why Not?

-How much detail should be placed on or in adult themes (sexual encounters, violence/torture, fictional political views, travel, yadda yadda) ? When is it too much, when is it not enough?

-For those of you that read a lot like I do, what makes you put a book down and/or not finish it (literary wise, not time wise.) Do you suffer through a book you don't like, if you're reading it for fun?

-Are books for fun, or for education, or both? Or perhaps neither? Discuss

-In your opinion, what are some concepts that are cliche' or too predictable?

-Do you read the endings first?

-Who are your favorite authors?

-Favorite heroes? Heroines? Villains?

-Is a red herring necessary in a mystery novel?

-Is gore necessary in a horror novel?

-Have you ever workshopped anything you wrote, and did it help?

Notice how these questions are not specific enough to be about anything I may or may not have written. I'm hedging my bets and hopefully driving a discussion or two. I want to see if any of you literate types might be actually, you know, interested, before I attempt to workshop and/or leak my story. If no one seems to care, I won't waste our time.

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Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Writing and Reading Discussion
nightraven wrote:
(note same as my LJ and Myspace) I'm writing a novel, so what are your thoughts on these questions? Thanks :)

-What words, in your opinion, evoke images that are absolutely common, that is, everybody can read the word and know what it means in their head? LOLCats has taken to Cheeseburger, but other words I come up with are Tank, Flagpole, TV Set, Hospital, Notebook, Bunny Rabbit, and Tree. I believe everyone should be able to follow a story, if they choose to read it

"I don't believe any words would evoke precisely the same meaning in different people. A person will inevitably bring subjective interpretations and preferences into anything they read. "Cheeseburger" will evoke different meanings in a vegan as opposed to one who loves cheeseburgers.

-What is a word or phrase that you feel should be used in a novel? (examples:A word not used correctly, is not used enough, is funny, is profane, sounds cool, etc.) Just throw anything out there, let's have some literary fun with this.

"slither"

-What is something you are afraid of? What is something you think other people are afraid of?

"My fight or flight reaction tends to be quelled by a med I take for completely unrelated purposes. Thus, I have to overcompensate when gauging potential danger. I guess my fear would be a lack thereof."

"Other folks will be afraid of many things ranging from insects to death."

-Is swearing excessively (in the context of character traits) acceptable? Why or Why Not?

"Fuck no. (and Shit Yeah!) I think it is more a matter of improving one's diction. A lack of swearing will be acceptable to a wider range of people. Beyond that, it would depend how the swear words are being used. Creative usage therein can be fairly amusing."

-How much detail should be placed on or in adult themes (sexual encounters, violence/torture, fictional political views, travel, yadda yadda) ? When is it too much, when is it not enough?

"I think that is totally subjective. For me personally, I tend to prefer literature with a discernable message. This can come with or without any of the above."

-For those of you that read a lot like I do, what makes you put a book down and/or not finish it (literary wise, not time wise.) Do you suffer through a book you don't like, if you're reading it for fun?

"In terms of fiction, it would be a lack of plot or discernable message I have an interest in exploring."

-Are books for fun, or for education, or both? Or perhaps neither? Discuss

"They can be any of the above. Both is the ideal."

-In your opinion, what are some concepts that are cliche' or too predictable?

"If done right, you can repackage any concept to go beyond the cliche."

-Do you read the endings first?

"I try not to."

-Who are your favorite authors?

"Dostoyevsky, Camus, Poe .... Many others. It depends on my mood really."

-Favorite heroes? Heroines? Villains?

"Holden Caulfield. haha no seriously I look more at a worldview being portrayed than individual characters."

-Is a red herring necessary in a mystery novel?

"I hope not. I never read em though."

-Is gore necessary in a horror novel?

"No. Mindfucks are often more powerful minus gore."

-Have you ever workshopped anything you wrote, and did it help?

"Yes. No."

Notice how these questions are not specific enough to be about anything I may or may not have written. I'm hedging my bets and hopefully driving a discussion or two. I want to see if any of you literate types might be actually, you know, interested, before I attempt to workshop and/or leak my story. If no one seems to care, I won't waste our time.

"Fair Enough. I actually would not have known your specific intent even. That is generally a good approach btw."




JT


Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:02 pm
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Post 
most contemporary writing is far, far over plotted. Story is more important than plot, and character is really the only thing that matters- both story and plot are secondary to character. I'm also typically pretty disappointed with language, and lack of command of English in the modern writing field.

My favorite writers are Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Joyce, Bukowski, Zelazny, LeGuin, Jonathan Lethem, Connie Willis, Raymond Chandler, and several others. My favorite characters are Corwin of Amber, Molly Bloom, Hamlet, Lear's oldest daughter- and a whole ton of characters whose names I can't remember.

I won't finish books that are just plain poorly written. I have a really hard time finishing Lovecraft's stuff; fantastic stories, no command of the language. I have never finished a Stephen King novel. I'd rather suffer through Tolstoy. Also, the characters and story must be somewhat germaine to my life. Nothing will me like <i>Pride & Prejudice</i>. Ever. Period.

Cliche? It's all cliche. You're not going to come up with anything that is both palatable and new. It's like songwriting. The best you can do is to not be completely derivative. There are certain cliches that will make me groan. War between heaven and Hell, anything involving a prophecy, that kinda D&D hackneyed theme that any 11 year old can predict. Some of them are cool themes, though. The brassy blonde who is trouble the minute you lay eyes on her. The troubled hero with a dark past.

Anything that serves the story can be in the story- red herrings, cliches, off the wall characters, swearing, whatever- as long as it serves the story.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:35 pm
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Post My $.02
Make it a comic.




That is all.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:15 pm
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Post Re: My $.02
manna_panna wrote:
Make it a comic.


that way people will <b>know</b> you can't write.

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Rockula! wrote:
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Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:23 pm
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Post Re: My $.02
drok wrote:
that way people will <b>know</b> you can't write.


But at least there will be pretty pictures!

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:24 pm
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