Thanks again, Poly. I'm guessing your real surname is "Syllabic," for being just as comprehensive and verbose as I often am in my responses and IMHO doing a better job of it. (Mine are often more like On the Road
written on a sheet of two-ply Charmin... and the "platform" used for its intended purpose.)
polymath wrote:Stephenie Meyer's writing is a little awkward craft-wise, voice-wise a little on the weak side; however, I think those are part of the target audience appeal. She has a BA in English from Brigham Young University, a challenging curriculum. She did her apprenticeship before writing Twilight. She wrote the raw draft in three months, but had years of rewriting and revising to go before acceptance for publication and further rewriting and revising to do afterward.
The famous "dream" came in 2003. The first book was published in 2005. Two years isn't that long in comparison with the decades
some people have to slog along through, or is this a bit of creative marketing aka "fuzzy math"?
The "target audience appeal" -- are younger readers as aware of the aforementioned "awkwardness" in terms of craft and prose as older readers, or do they mainly hone in on the story itself?
polymath wrote:It's chapters later before the external complication of a high-concept variety is fully introduced, which is readily accessible and easy to relate to. Simply put, a main dramatic complication is what a character most wants and the conflicting forces internal and external that oppose achieving the want, which a lack of development of is the number one shortcoming I encounter craft-wise in struggling writers' writing.
Right now it's primarily external forces in my WIP (not yet ready to reveal details), but those in and of themselves do have a profound effect on the character's inner development throughout.
polymath wrote:Meyer is fair to middling able with narrative distance, but the awkward way she at times applies craft techniques makes them obvious ploys that call a little too much undue attention to themselves, breaking the reading dream participation mystique, thus challenging willing suspension of disbelief.
I still can't believe people "forked" over ten bucks to see this in theaters. How did it reach this level of hysteria if it was only mediocre? Or did Twimania not take off until after the movie came out?
Then again, in terms of what's on the popcorn I still can't believe it's not butter.
polymath wrote:But again, the audience isn't writers studying craft, it's young to early adult females who buy into the saga's message of it's okay to insuperably strive for social elitism.
Doggone one percent.
So that raises a few questions about how did she in fact get published if the agent is likely looking for things like craft and voice, not just the story itself but how well it's told. I mean, there is a natural linear progression of the traditional publishing realm anyway -- writer (and "written") > agent > publisher > audience. Or was Twilight
merely a fluke? One of those once-in-a-million-lifetimes things that boils down primarily to luck and not presented skill?
polymath wrote:Narrative distance is simply the distance between a narrator's voice and a viewpoint character's voice. Distance in terms of orientation to the persons, settings, events, and attitudes of a narrative's circumstances. The closer a narrator and viewpoint character are oriented to a narrative's proxy-reality world, to narrator, viewpoint character, and world, the closer readers feel they are to the secondary world of the narrative, the more engaging and stimulating and entertaining the narrative is.
This part I actually copypasta'ed into a notepad document to reread several times over. The distance between point A (narrator) and point B (viewpoint character) ought to be as close as possible, if I'm reading this correctly. Right now this draft is in third-person, I want to say limited omniscient as the primary protagonist is
this one character, but sometimes the inner reflections and external actions of others are available too, but not anywhere besides how they relate to the overall story of this primary character. It's not limited in that it's only through her eyes but the other threads are only mentioned as to how they involve this person. Not about their daily lives or whatnot. Should it be in first-person if the primary focus is the story of this one particular character, even though there are some external forces brewing in the background that she doesn't know about yet?
polymath wrote:To test your audience appeal, write some short throw-away sketches, anecdotes, and vignettes and post them for comment. If you don't put much emotional investment into them, criticism of them won't be so painful, and some of the crticism might actually be somewhat joyful for being playful. But publication is, unfortunately, opening one's self up to pain along with joy. The challenge is to turn pain into motivation. Life would be so much easier if it was easy to live. But we'd all be stuck in bathtubs contemplating our navels and eating lotus blossoms if life were easy to live. Great accomplishments come at the price of great pains.
Or like Springsteen said in "Human Touch,"
You can't shut off the risk and the pain
Without losing the love that remains,
'Cause we're all riders on this train.
Throwaway as in not related whatsoever to this project, and just as an example of how I write? Or things like character descriptions and nutshells of the plot for this one?
I'm something of a prude
, so I probably wouldn't mind eating the lotus blossoms, but would definitely shy away from looking at my navel.
Never mind anything below that point.
polymath wrote:By the way, facility with narrative distance is the number one all-encompasing shortcoming I encounter in narratives I evaluate. Mine included. But I'm getting there.
Distance is apparently a strain for me too. But then again, I have no sense of direction either. A sign that says "One Way" is like a spork in the road for me.