May 24, 2019, 10:40:32 AM

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Re: Where's the Intellegence? Cannot the same complaint be lodged against any genre? Detective novels, thrillers, romance in its myriad forms, mysteries. Sturgeon's Law, folks. Don't sweat it. Value the good stuff in part because it's rare.

April 15, 2018, 05:00:10 PM
Re: Are you an Artist?
On the literary vs. genre demarcation, I sit firmly on the side of genre pulp, but I still consider myself an artist. Anaïs Nin once said:  “It is the function of art to renew our perception.  What we are familiar with we cease to see.  The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

I think a lot of people define art in terms of form instead of function (is your prose-poetry experimental enough to be considered art? does it defy existing tropes and conventions?) But while I find genre conventions incredibly annoying (i should say INCREDIBLY annoying, esp when people tell me I *have* to write an archplot protagonist who wants something or a single POV i get so aggravated) and I like to break the boundaries where it serves me... but all that said, I'm much more interested in layering meaning in metaphors in a story that's designed to touch readers somehow, not make them puzzle things out. I'm certainly not trying to fit into literary conventions any more than I am genre conventions.  I'm just writing whats in my heart and not trying to be one thing or another.  I was in love with the symbolism we studied in English class, whether it was To Kill a Mockingbird or TH White's Arthurian novels, and the insights on life you could glean from reading, so I try to layer in a disillusionment plot or a less protagonist-centered reality when I can into my novels which are essentially D&D nostalgia.  My short stories on the other hand, do at times probably qualify as literary.

I think it's largely about intent: i want to convey new ideas to my readers, evoke new and unexpected feelings.  Commercial writers are just trying to sell books. 

I've written on what I think art is here, if anyone's interested:

April 16, 2018, 03:18:37 AM
Re: That slightly annoying thing Crappy female characters:
1. Women as prizes or subjects of competition
2. Women defined by sex (e.g., victims of rape, prostitutes, etc.)
3. Women empowered solely by their sex (e.g., women who can only seduce/must seduce to achieve their aims)
4. Mary Sues

April 28, 2018, 04:09:01 AM
Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff (about books) from the internet
May 19, 2018, 08:51:43 PM
Re: Favourite black or light humour lines It's not Fantasy, but I love this exchange from the Western 'Unforgiven':

"You just shot an unarmed man!"
"Well, he shoulda armed himself."

June 06, 2018, 07:01:26 PM
Re: What is it with brothels and the fantasy genre?
So I'm with JMack on the problem of romanticising a social construct that contains a whoooole bunch of power, gender, class and other issues. It's definitely something fantasy does a lot.

There is no rule that says prostitution HAS to be illegal and underworld.

June 18, 2018, 12:06:30 AM
Re: Plots without twists and payoffs other than surprise Yes, I don’t think you really need twists, especially big ones, for a book to be very entertaining. I also think that the bigger the twist, the greater the chance that the writer will lose me as a reader. If it’s just a character revealing that he’s working for the enemy, fine, but if it turns out that all the characters are actually a hallucination in the mind of someone else, I’m likely to be put off unless it's very well done. I suppose it’s when the twist doesn’t enhance the story as much as fundamentally changing or damaging it.

Personally, I find it quite difficult to write plots that aren’t the A, B, C, D structure you mentioned. It can get a bit samey, and each episode of the story can seem like collecting coupons to be allowed into the finale. That said, some books are so complex or their worlds so intense that twists aren’t really needed. I don’t remember Neuromancer really having plot twists, but the setting and style meant that it was both immersive and quite hard going without them.

July 06, 2018, 09:17:03 AM