Writing in a *done* genre

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PR Griffin
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by PR Griffin » March 11th, 2011, 7:41 am

I long for the day when a great writer, who has written a great book, is venerated on posts like these. I'm afraid I couldn't stomach much of Meyer. To recognise bad writing is fundamental to our own development as writers. What is just as important is recognising the obfuscatory nature success brings. J.K. Rowling is a decent writer and certainly hit her stride after the third book. Meyer- well I shall not add any further.
Success blinds writers, but it also blinds readers.

Perhaps the main slant of this post should veer from 'Done' genres and move to 'done' writing: We should seek to polish our writing without success or limitations imposed by others. There is nothing wrong with exploring genres, but what is being mentioned here is sub sub genres. Vampires, a human lover, werewolves in a love triangle. To limit your writing from the start is to straight-jacket it by the end.

And above all write what is inside, not what the outside instructs. Self discipline in our reading is just as vital as in our writing, always push yourself to exceed boundaries and not be constrained by them.

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polymath
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by polymath » March 11th, 2011, 12:45 pm

Allegedly bad writing offset by publishing success speaks for itself, res ipsa loquitor. And, Nothing succeeds like success.

Me? I didn't find Twilight especially artful. I did read it to see why it succeeded, from my perspective. Close enough at achieving its intents and meanings for its audience niche. On the other hand, moral and critical authorities disapproving of it added a good deal to its popularity. C'est la vie.

Regardless, I believe panning a published work is a specialty art form for critics who have the mien for it. Not my forte. I'm a writer, and an editor, not a fault-finding critic. I rigorously avoid bad mouthing my peers' successes. I just feel it comes off as haughtiness and artistic jealousy. I don't want that kind of a reputation. At the least, if I ever make a breakthrough, I wouldn't want to get caught up haunted by that kind of dialogue. Mostly because I expect I'll come under the same kind of critical fire no matter how artful my writing is.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by Margo » March 11th, 2011, 10:38 pm

polymath wrote:I just feel it comes off as haughtiness and artistic jealousy. I don't want that kind of a reputation. At the least, if I ever make a breakthrough, I wouldn't want to get caught up haunted by that kind of dialogue. Mostly because I expect I'll come under the same kind of critical fire no matter how artful my writing is.
Nicely said...er typed.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by PR Griffin » March 12th, 2011, 8:11 am

polymath wrote: I'm a writer, and an editor, not a fault-finding critic. .
I have to disagree *shrug* I believe that we, as writers, are naturally fault finders. If we do not pursue perfection- and by perfection we include the recognition of imperfection- how are we expected to improve?
If we see problems and know them for what they are then we are less likely to keep them in when editing our own.

Whereas the ability to remain on the supportive fence and is perfectly acceptable, so too should be the taking of sides and critically analysing work. If you wish to be the best that you can be, then fault finding is imperative. We start with our own then work outwards.

I think that to deny the feelings we have as humans first and writers second, when we come across bad writing is to see things untruthfully. Or as some would say: Animadverto per a vas atrum.
Negativity should not be forced from the light of day, it can be just as effective as positivity if used properly. As writers we should use all the emotions, recognise that we are all different, but ultimately not allow sub par to be the norm.

There are many wonderful writers around. And many not so. What is wrong with declaring your opinion as to whether a particular writer is one or t'other?

And that's what I believe *shrugs again*. But self belief is the province of both the right and the wrong *grins*

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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by polymath » March 12th, 2011, 1:26 pm

It is as easy and natural to find fault as it is to be imperfect. Fact is, nothing and no one is or can be perfect. Which is perfect. Faults are a part of virtues, without which faults, virtues would not stand. Many times I've found faults which if corrected would tip virtues into meaninglessness.

Far harder and far more meaningful and far more influential and far more beneficial overall to focus on virtues.

My poet's progress stalled coming up against an impassable obstacle. The proverbial irresistible force met with the proverbial immovable object. It was a dark vessel I couldn't see my way through. Reading anything was a bitter chore. I was miserable. Reading has been my lifelong passion and it had deserted me. Focusing on virtue made all the difference, all the while cognizant of faults, But heck and all, they're easy to spot. The obstacle evaporated like the veil of self-serving delusion it was.

Frankly, I'm no one to find fault with anything, not without being a hypocrite. I've got my fair and possibly extra measure of faults, hypocrisy not the least among them. There are those who make their bones, their livelihoods, their fame and fortune, their meaning in life from being public hypocrites. They can have it. I can't stand all the bitterness which ensues. I know from a lifetime of bitterness that it harms me to find fault. Personal growth paralleled my poet's progress.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by stephsco » March 12th, 2011, 6:08 pm

Moni12 wrote: If you have to do paranormal romance, for example, and have to add a creepy love triangle why not say the girl doesn't like either of the guys and she has to defend herself against their creepiness. In the meantime the guys get into a fight to the death over her and she's free to be with someone who cares about her and with whom she has no risk being with. I would read that.
I would definitely read that!

I've read YA fiction on and off for awhile, and I can hardly believe how much paranormal romance and twists on vampire romances are out there. I read Twilight in 2007, a recommendation from a friend, and considered it a fun, guilty-pleasure read. That summer Eclipse came out, and I heard some hype about Meyer being the next IT author. I went to a book signing and could not believe what I saw. A 1,000 ticket sold out event filled with girls in Edward Sparkles! t-shirts and homemade scrapbooks about the story. This was before the movies came out. I had the realization if Stephenie Meyer was the next IT then what did I have to lose? Those books hit a cultural nerve at the right time, but they aren't by any means "good" books. So, I have Meyer to thank for my writing aspirations.

And I don't mean to bash her on that; I actually liked the first 3 in the Twilight series for what they were. But that last book was downright horrible.The sudden shift in focus of the series from the big question of "will Bella go to college?" into "will she survive the birth of her monster baby?" had to have alienated some of her younger fans.

Anyway... glad to read such interesting responses to this thread. Just wanted to chime in myself :)

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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by sierramcconnell » March 12th, 2011, 10:35 pm

stephsco wrote:And I don't mean to bash her on that; I actually liked the first 3 in the Twilight series for what they were. But that last book was downright horrible.The sudden shift in focus of the series from the big question of "will Bella go to college?" into "will she survive the birth of her monster baby?" had to have alienated some of her younger fans.

Anyway... glad to read such interesting responses to this thread. Just wanted to chime in myself :)
I'm jumping in. I'm a partial Twilight fan.

I liked Eclipse the best because it was actually somewhat well written. It seemed like she knew what she was doing.

And then, Breaking Fail.

It wasn't so much the monster baby thing. It wasn't all the irrational decisions and plot tangents that led nowhere that remained in the book. It wasn't so much that 'need to no basis' thing.

It was the fact that NO ONE DIED.

The Volturi (whom I happen to love, btw, and who need a lot more background information because that would be a wonderful group to explore) are a bloodthirsty hoard who decide to endanger their wives and not have a backup plan for little miss blackhole Bella? The people who have lived for hundreds of years are that ill prepared? And the fact that there's all this build up to a vicious battle and then...nothing.

NOTHING.

"Oh," SMeyer says, "I couldn't kill one or two of them without killing everyone off."

IT'S CALLED BEING A CREATIVE WRITER. Yes, you can. You find a way of doing it intelligently. WHAT THE HELL.

She took all the respect I had slowly built up for her and nixed it all right there. That book from the point of the kid coming out and on was the single most spectacular literary failure I have ever read.

And I'm one of the worst critics so I know failure. I hated Angelology (Dear God the detail kill), Halo (Cliche Hell), and Red Riding Hood (Did we ever figure out what was really going on here?), but this...this was fail gold.

So I think it's a mixed thing when someone says, "I'm going to be the next SMeyer!"

Dear God I hope not. I wish you all the luck in the world to be better than she has, because she hasn't had another good book since then, has she?

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roh
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by roh » March 14th, 2011, 2:34 am

I'm one of those writers who's written a novel in a 'done' genre. I wrote the first draft two years ago, and have been editing and fine-tuning it since (along with working on other projects).

It's a dark fantasy with romantic elements, and the characters are vampires.

But I didn't write it to jump on a bandwagon, or take advantage of any popular trend. I wrote it because I woke up one morning with a character in my head DEMANDING I tell her story, and she would not let me rest until it was done.

My problem is that by the time the novel had undergone multiple editing rounds and was ready to shop to agents, NO ONE wanted to read another vampire story. Agent website after site all say the same thing, "I love paranormal, but please, no more vampires." Or, "If you send me a vampire story, it has to be really unique." Like what, they drink sweat instead of blood? The sun turns them to stone?

I'll probably end up indie-publishing it, which is sad, because even though agents and publishers are tired of vampires, a lot of readers still aren't.

And just wait until the movie comes out based on the old gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. I'm talking about the movie that's being made right now, with the vampire Barnabas Collins portrayed by none other than Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp as a gothic vampire. Yeah. Vampires are a long way from being dead.

So I guess what I'm saying is: write what you love, write what demands to be written, and forget about market trends and forecasts. Publishers no longer hold all of the cards - writers have options today like never before.
Last edited by roh on March 14th, 2011, 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by Margo » March 14th, 2011, 12:25 pm

polymath wrote:Cool, Margo, thanks. Care to thumb wrassle?
0_o

uh... hmm... I don't think I have the brainpower to respond to that right now. Brain is just giving me an error message. Hasn't done that since I asked it to calculate the numerical value of peanut butter to the last digit.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 14th, 2011, 1:05 pm

polymath wrote: ------
Cool, Margo, thanks. Care to thumb wrassle?

....wait. Did Polymath just say "wrassle?"
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by polymath » March 14th, 2011, 5:26 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:
polymath wrote: ------
Cool, Margo, thanks. Care to thumb wrassle?
....wait. Did Polymath just say "wrassle?"
In my opinion, Bubba June, love, fight, or hold a light. Didn't know I was country? See, what it was was town and country. I'm more country than town. I play at make believe I'm from town.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by Margo » March 15th, 2011, 11:25 am

polymath wrote:In my opinion, Bubba June, love, fight, or hold a light. Didn't know I was country? See, what it was was town and country. I'm more country than town. I play at make believe I'm from town.
If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd been reading my blog.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by polymath » March 15th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Margo wrote:
polymath wrote:In my opinion, Bubba June, love, fight, or hold a light. Didn't know I was country? See, what it was was town and country. I'm more country than town. I play at make believe I'm from town.
If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd been reading my blog.
I graze leo's blog for insights and to see where you're at mentally, emotionally, and writing development-wise. That final epiphany which will help you through that final veil still eludes you. You're so close to it you're in danger of passing it by unrealized. I think if you focused on realizing readers' roles in the all-important participation mystique dialogue you'd transcend the final veil. I'm barely just there now after more than a year of coming to terms with it since first realizing its role, but in a period of acclimation assimilation adjustment and hard decision-making selections for narrowing choices. I'm a cusp Taurus-Gemini. The twins persistently keep me in a state of flighty indecision. However, I'm through marking time. The bull is about to move.
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by Margo » March 15th, 2011, 2:51 pm

polymath wrote:I graze leo's blog for insights and to see where you're at mentally, emotionally, and writing development-wise. That final epiphany which will help you through that final veil still eludes you. You're so close to it you're in danger of passing it by unrealized. I think if you focused on realizing readers' roles in the all-important participation mystique dialogue you'd transcend the final veil. I'm barely just there now after more than a year of coming to terms with it since first realizing its role, but in a period of acclimation assimilation adjustment and hard decision-making selections for narrowing choices. I'm a cusp Taurus-Gemini. The twins persistently keep me in a state of flighty indecision. However, I'm through marking time. The bull is about to move.
So now I have major performance anxiety. :)

Taurus-Gemini? Innnteresting. So embarrassing to admit I'm into that kind of thing (certain kinds, anyway - oh the places I've been, the people I've met, and the things I've done. hehe).

I don't suppose you could nudge me toward that veil, or point it out, or shove my stubborn self through it? One of those realizations we must all come to by our own efforts? Such a koan thing. What is the sound of one hand clapping...a keyboard...up against one's forehead...repeatedly...hard... (Sounds like cracking plastic, by the way.)

-Margo
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Ah but we must wait for the sequel to find out. Or was it the prequel?
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Re: Writing in a *done* genre

Post by polymath » March 15th, 2011, 3:57 pm

Margo wrote:Taurus-Gemini? Innnteresting. So embarrassing to admit I'm into that kind of thing (certain kinds, anyway - oh the places I've been, the people I've met, and the things I've done. hehe).
I'm into it enough to understand what it's about, though not so caught up by it that I let it rule my life. It's one of the participation mystiques of paranormal phenomena that people believe in and are caught up by. Illogical, yet part of the human zeitgeist. I'm kinda most interested in the real magics which people so easily overlook and find too hard to readily grasp. Magics like opening dialogue between the conscious and subconscious minds. Like looking for and finding hidden meanings, secret agendas, the underlying subtexts of surface contexts. Like uncovering the governing patterns in seeming chaos.
Margo wrote:I don't suppose you could nudge me toward that veil, or point it out, or shove my stubborn self through it? One of those realizations we must all come to by our own efforts? Such a koan thing. What is the sound of one hand clapping...a keyboard...up against one's forehead...repeatedly...hard... (Sounds like cracking plastic, by the way.)
The koan "sound of one hand clapping" has manifold individual interpretations and meanings. That's its beauty. Again, illogical. Yet rational thinking will find a meaning or two. Me? The sound of one hand clapping is the silence of realizing approval seeking for the mere sake of seeking approval is an empty rice bowl. I read to connect to humanity. I write to meaningfully connect with humanity.

Passing through the seemingly impenetrable yet ephemeral seven veils separating intermediate accomplishment from advanced accomplishment in any field are realizations which we all must mostly come to by our own efforts. One of many keys for understanding the participation mystique role is empathy for readers' circumstances, their conscious and subconscious meanings. It's no coincidence young adult protagonists with young adult dilemmas are essential for young adult genre, for a broad example.

You are by nature a social reformer. Your education and training and vocations and pasttimes revolve around improving lifeways. The tendency of social reformers to preach is strong. However, preaching is most likely to alienate readers or preach to the choir. The former is epic fail; the latter doesn't foster reform, just appeals to yea-sayer audiences who will nitpick naysay for the self-serving purpose of stealing your thunder for their own benefit.

Your audience is the one seeking direction who doesn't want to be told the path, wants for subtle guidance to find their own pathways, find meaning for themselves with a little nudge here and there so they can grasp and run with making their own trials and errors so they own their roads and meanings independently and through their own efforts.
Margo wrote:-Margo
Zen Jedi or Sith Hack?
Ah but we must wait for the sequel to find out. Or was it the prequel?
You have the spirit guidance of a warrior-scholar. Jedi or Sith, light or dark? Somewhere in between I expect, able to broach the dark side for good means to a good end. Look into the abyss. See the elephant. It is glorious. Though, please, don't make it into an addiction.
Last edited by polymath on March 15th, 2011, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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