The Imagination of a Great Storyteller, or the Eloquence of a Master Writer? - Page 2


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Thread: The Imagination of a Great Storyteller, or the Eloquence of a Master Writer?

  1. #11
    WF Veteran Like a Fox's Avatar
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    In class this year, this was kind of our lament's way of separating genre fiction and literary fiction.

    I fall into literary because I write character-based work more so than plot-based.
    I don't actually feel like I have great yarns to spin. I feel like I can take how I see people and the world, put it on a page, and entertain someone in doing so. That's why I write.
    "I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better." - A. J. Liebling

  2. #12
    I think a good example of a sense of story losing way to eloquence, pardon me fans of the series, is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The language is often brilliant, dazzling, distracting, extremely funny, but I'll be damned if there's much of a story in there. I enjoyed reading it, but not for the story.

  3. #13
    I recall reading a piece on Douglas Adams. He was one of those "tortured" writers who sat hunched by the keyboard in desperation, ready to tear his hair out because he couldn't construct "perfect" sentences. I don't think he wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for the story, though, as you say. It is funny. The first 100 pages had me in tears.
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  4. #14
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    I think you are doing Dickens a dis-service, his plots are amongs the most convoluted and complicated I have ever met. You should also consider the age in which he was writing, his prose may seem "near purple" to you now, but in his time he wrote for ordinary people and his prose is a product of his time.
    Haha, yeah; it's just that he makes it look so easy. You read him and think, "Oh, I COULD DO THAT!" but then you can't.

    As for the OP's question: I have no preference. I don't choose reading material based on type and usually am reading several things at any given time; on the dining room table at this moment are lying several art books (A. Mucha and some other poster-type artists and a "Spirit" graphic novel), a manual that tells and shows how to lay forms for a concrete foundation, the Clymer manual for Smudge's new motorcycle, the nonfiction WWII book Retribution, and a couple of novels I only just finished reading which are older sci-fi type novels my friend found at a book sale.

    Whatever writer of fiction I get hung up on at any given time is a totally random process; someone says, "I'll bet you would like the Thomas Covenant series, it's really well-written," and so I read that. Someone else recommends Henry James, and though I've read and re-read his stuff before, I read it again. I find an old novel that was set aside several years ago by my friend's deceased partner, with her bookmark still in it, even; I read that.

    I just read whatever is there, a lot of the time even if it's NOT well-written, just to read. If I'm at someone else's house (especially if I'm bored with whatever's going on there) I'll read the stuff that person has lying out, that he/she has been reading.

    Last summer I had a sort of goal to read everything that Joyce Carol Oates has written, but that project sort of fell by the wayside what with the "angry villagers with their pitchforks and torches" scene that I had to deal with. I think that Oates is a combination of a heavy literary-style writer AND a storyteller... which sort of answers your question, in a roundabout way, I suppose! lol
    Will you ever write a story for which no character will have cause to reproach you? (Stephen R. Donaldson: "The Creator" to Thomas Covenant)

  5. #15
    I'm pretty picky with my reading. I'm usually one of those 'if I start it, I have to finish it' types. And I get stuck reading things like the Twilight series. There are times when I'm staying with family, and I pick up an god-awful book. I mean.. it looks good, because the owner has the entire series, and several other series' from the same author. It must be good.. and I start reading, and end up praying, hoping that it gets better, or that I'll die before I have to turn another page.

    I just don't know how books like the True Blood series get published. Sure, some might argue that it's a popular theme.. but it's poorly written. I truly did enjoy both the Twilight series and the True Blood series.. because I like the vampire side of things. It allows me to forgive much.. but I still know that they're both poorly written. Anne Rice did a much better job, despite the fact that I cannot get past a certain book with more homosexual activity than I can handle. I've tried twice now... I don't have nightmares about vampires anymore..

    So there is something to say about writing the right story for the time, and being able to tell a good story; more so than the ability to write it well.
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