Robert Rankin and Terry Pratchett - Page 2
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  1. #11
    I have read almost every Discworld novel by Pratchett and thoroughly enjoyed them. His type of British humour is so much fun to read.

    As for Robert Rankin…never heard of him. But if you compare him to Pratchett, I will be looking into his books soon.

    It is an interesting question you pose about the types of critiques they would receive. When I read Pratchett it was always as a pure reader, without giving the structure/style/words etc. much thought. I just enjoyed the stories. I might have to go to my bookshelf and see what his early works look like and look at them with more of a critique eye. And I wonder how they compare to his later novels.

    Topcol, how would you critique The Colour of Magic? Jack has some interesting comments.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of all trades View Post
    I'm not really a fan of fantasy, though there are a few exceptions, so the authors you mentioned are not ones I have read. Still, I hate seeing a thread get ignored, so I looked up Terry Pratchett, whose name I recognized. I found he wrote The Color of Magic, and looked for it to read for free, so I could talk about it here.
    Based on what I read, which wasn't much, The Color of Magic would have gotten shredded if the opening had been posted here. Just my opinion, of course!! Here's my speculation of what would have been discussed.
    First, there's a prolog. The point that many readers skip prologs would have been brought up. I don't skip prologues, I presume the author uses the prologue for a reason and if it's well written, ie readable, I'll read it.
    Then there's a lot of stuff about a turtle that's an info dump. My opinion. So that probably would have been debated. This too is essential for understanding the Discworld physical structure.
    If I had read on, I probably could have come up with more stuff. Of course, I doubt anyone would want to know what I think about Hemmingway's writing, and I know I've been told my opinion of Dickens' writing is wrong. I read a lot of Hemingway's output when I was a teenager, never read anything by him since. My dad had the whole set of Dickens and I have the complete works on Kindle, I've read well over half, I especially liked his characters in Sketches By Boz.

    So if what you're asking is, "Are the opinions of folks here valid?", the answer is, "Yes and no." No, not my intention at all. My aim was to try to distinguish technical correctitude from readability
    We give our opinions and make suggestions. Most here are wannabe writers or hobby writers. We're not blockbuster novelists. We say what we think. It's up to the original poster to decide what to do from there. Sure, sometimes one or another of us will act like the all-knowing, next-great-thing of the writing world. But you have to judge each and every criticism on its own merit, and weigh that against your belief that what you've written is going to grab, and hold, the attention of readers. We can make predictions, but have no real way to prove the accuracy. As I've said on here many times already, I've used a lot of the critiques of my stuff to substantially amend ALL of the 3 novels & 15 short stories I've written since 2013. I deleted the entire prologue of my 1st novel after it was critiqued in no uncertain fashion.
    All we know, for certain, is our individual reactions to a particular piece of writing. Personally, I wouldn't have finished Pratchett's prolog. But I understand his books were popular! I can't explain how. Pratchett's books are still very popular among British readers. I note you are a Yank and it's been made apparent by the failure of so many British comedians in the USA that Brit humour does not go down well.
    Are you going to be the next Pratchett? Maybe. Maybe not. Not, and I have no ambition to be him or any other writer, just myself.

    I sense that you have similar thoughts about your own work. Maybe I'm wrong, and if so, I apologize. Apology accepted.

    If you are wondering if your book has potential, I suggest finding beta readers that are NOT writers. (Ducking stones from wf members) Writers too often want the piece to be in their own styles. I think it's natural, so no insult is intended. I think it's just the nature of the writers. Not potential, I just want to find out if it has mere readability, that would satisfy me. Which mythical land do these creatures inhabit and how can I get there?
    A reader will give you a different type of feedback. More "this needs work" without any suggestions or specifics. That's the good and the bad. There's no attempt to rewrite it for you, but no details about what's wrong either. It's this question of "wrongness" which bewilders me. I've had several critiques with positive comments about my stuff's readability which also included some useful advice, yours among them. However, I've also had great long spiels giving me only negative feedback in very verbose, almost bombastic styles, no pos comments at all.

    Once you know the problem spots, you can post them here for help, if you like. Just take suggestions with a grain of salt. We're writers, and we each have our own style, our own way of doing things. All we do is try to be helpful. And I have always thanked my helpful critics for their help.
    Thanks again, Jack
    topcol

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Roac View Post
    I have read almost every Discworld novel by Pratchett and thoroughly enjoyed them. His type of British humour is so much fun to read.
    As for Robert Rankin…never heard of him. But if you compare him to Pratchett, I will be looking into his books soon.
    It is an interesting question you pose about the types of critiques they would receive. When I read Pratchett it was always as a pure reader, without giving the structure/style/words etc. much thought. I just enjoyed the stories. I might have to go to my bookshelf and see what his early works look like and look at them with more of a critique eye. And I wonder how they compare to his later novels.
    Topcol, how would you critique The Colour of Magic? Jack has some interesting comments.
    Hi again, Roac. I'm surprised you got on well with Terry Pratchett's books. They are, as you remark, written in a very British humorous style.
    Robert Rankin is very different and even more localised as his books are all set in the London Borough of Brentford. They always begin by describing the idiosyncratic activities of certain well-defined local characters. There are two main protagonists but all the minor characters play important parts in the books. Each book juxtaposes the everyday with some fantastic happening.
    That may put you off but who knows?

    As for critiquing The Colour Of Magic, I'm still crap at it because if something gives me pleasure or increases my store of knowledge I'll read it. As I've said elsewhere, I was among other things an English language teacher for many years and my SPaG ability is second to none so those aspects of a book and any obvious anachronisms are the only things which I notice as negatives. Any area of knowledge which is new to me I will google and I always expect to learn something new from whatever I read.

    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye
    topcol

  4. #14
    Member Xenization's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post
    Hi again, Roac. I'm surprised you got on well with Terry Pratchett's books. They are, as you remark, written in a very British humorous style.
    Robert Rankin is very different and even more localised as his books are all set in the London Borough of Brentford. They always begin by describing the idiosyncratic activities of certain well-defined local characters. There are two main protagonists but all the minor characters play important parts in the books. Each book juxtaposes the everyday with some fantastic happening.
    That may put you off but who knows?

    As for critiquing The Colour Of Magic, I'm still crap at it because if something gives me pleasure or increases my store of knowledge I'll read it. As I've said elsewhere, I was among other things an English language teacher for many years and my SPaG ability is second to none so those aspects of a book and any obvious anachronisms are the only things which I notice as negatives. Any area of knowledge which is new to me I will google and I always expect to learn something new from whatever I read.

    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye
    topcol
    I have to confess to being a bit worried by what you have said here. I myself am not going to be doing many if any critiques as I have recently run out of critiquing steam and mostly joined just to have a place to talk about other aspects of writing.

    However, if this forum is one that is closed if you don't "put out" this might be a short stay. I mean it is no fun at all being on a forum where you never get to chat about anything and are ignored.
    Write what is good, not what is popular or approved by the times you live in. - Xenization

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post
    Thanks again, Jack
    topcol
    You're welcome.

    My point about thanking those that critique was not implying that you were unappreciative. I was offering friendly advice that if you disagree with a critique clicking thanks and moving on is a polite way to handle the situation without it escslating. I learned the hard way to do that. I am trying to save you a bit of suffering.

    As for being ignored, it happens to everyone once in a while. I'm being ignored on a thread I started about TV or movie titles and the number of fonts. I was asked for clarification, which I provided. Now there's no new activity. I wish there would be, but I have to accept that they simply might be busy or not know how to answer my question.

    One thing about this place is the people change. There are some who seem to be permanent fixtures, but others come and go, only to return again. Maybe tomorrow or next week will be better for you.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post
    Hi again, Roac. I'm surprised you got on well with Terry Pratchett's books. They are, as you remark, written in a very British humorous style.
    Robert Rankin is very different and even more localised as his books are all set in the London Borough of Brentford. They always begin by describing the idiosyncratic activities of certain well-defined local characters. There are two main protagonists but all the minor characters play important parts in the books. Each book juxtaposes the everyday with some fantastic happening.
    That may put you off but who knows?

    As for critiquing The Colour Of Magic, I'm still crap at it because if something gives me pleasure or increases my store of knowledge I'll read it. As I've said elsewhere, I was among other things an English language teacher for many years and my SPaG ability is second to none so those aspects of a book and any obvious anachronisms are the only things which I notice as negatives. Any area of knowledge which is new to me I will google and I always expect to learn something new from whatever I read.

    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye

    topcol
    At least you had something selected for Flashes. Not everyone does.

  7. #17
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post

    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye
    topcol
    92 replies? Wow. I don't think I've ever had that many. As for useful critique, even just reading and replying with something like "I liked it up to here and then you lost me because of X" is helpful. Sorry you feel this way though. All I can say is that a little give and take goes a long way, but if you really don't feel you can offer much in terms of crit, then just say so, upfront.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xenization View Post
    I have to confess to being a bit worried by what you have said here. I myself am not going to be doing many if any critiques as I have recently run out of critiquing steam and mostly joined just to have a place to talk about other aspects of writing.

    However, if this forum is one that is closed if you don't "put out" this might be a short stay. I mean it is no fun at all being on a forum where you never get to chat about anything and are ignored.
    It isn't really like that across the board. Many people don't critique for a variety of reasons. Some people just chat away in the discussion forums. But I suppose if someone posts volumes of their work, expects critique, doesn't reciprocate when it's given, and complains when their stuff is left gathering dust, then responding further is a pretty hard sell. Time is a commodity, and we all have our own stories to write.
    Last edited by bdcharles; February 13th, 2018 at 03:39 PM.




    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post
    Hi again, Roac. I'm surprised you got on well with Terry Pratchett's books. They are, as you remark, written in a very British humorous style.
    Robert Rankin is very different and even more localised as his books are all set in the London Borough of Brentford. They always begin by describing the idiosyncratic activities of certain well-defined local characters. There are two main protagonists but all the minor characters play important parts in the books. Each book juxtaposes the everyday with some fantastic happening.
    That may put you off but who knows?

    As for critiquing The Colour Of Magic, I'm still crap at it because if something gives me pleasure or increases my store of knowledge I'll read it. As I've said elsewhere, I was among other things an English language teacher for many years and my SPaG ability is second to none so those aspects of a book and any obvious anachronisms are the only things which I notice as negatives. Any area of knowledge which is new to me I will google and I always expect to learn something new from whatever I read.

    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye
    topcol

    Hi Topcol. So I have this weird fondness for British humour….not sure why…but I just really enjoy it. I particularly like the TV shows, though before such things as the internet or netflix, it was hard to get them here in Canada. Shows like Fawlty Towers, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, Last of the summer wine, Butterflies, On the buses, Chef, etc were all part of my formative years. Not to mention the classic Dr. Who (the new series is ok but the old ones are so much better!!).

    As for you leaving WF…well I would say that sucks. I have enjoyed reading your stories and topics posted in the writing discussions and I was hoping you would post more. I have read a few of your recent stories but I have not had a chance to post any comments. I would not be too discouraged if there is a lack of comments for the stories, I have seen this happen to many people and I don’t think it is a reflection of your writing. I think the lack of comments is more related to the time it takes to sit down and read a long-ish posted story and then provide helpful feedback. It is so much easier to reply to a simple posted question in the discussions section and to view the, often funny, bantering that goes back and forth between members.

    If you are going to leave…well it was nice to have chatted. Otherwise, I hope to see you stick around. The forum is a fantastic place to learn this craft. Not everyone provides critiques, some just chat and some provide really valuable information in the discussions. For myself, prior to this forum, I had never critiqued anything before and I found it difficult at first (and still do) to provide feedback but I use it as an opportunity to learn and have fun. Whatever your decision, I wish you the best!

  9. #19
    Member Xenization's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    It isn't really like that across the board. Many people don't critique for a variety of reasons. Some people just chat away in the discussion forums. But I suppose if someone posts volumes of their work, expects critique, doesn't reciprocate when it's given, and complains when their stuff is left gathering dust, then responding further is a pretty hard sell. Time is a commodity, and we all have our own stories to write.
    Why does half of this reply seem like A. a way of saying you need to put out to get anything and B. an underhanded jab at Topcol for saying anything about the subject? Not. Cool.
    Write what is good, not what is popular or approved by the times you live in. - Xenization

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by topcol View Post
    Despite having had one of my short stories selected for Flashes Of Brilliance, I think I'll be leaving WF very soon as I don't think I can provide anybody with a helpful critique and my latest postings have been largely ignored whereas my thread Responding to Criticism in the Discussion section has had over 2,400 views and 92 replies so far. Perhaps the name should be changed to Writing Critiquers' Forum.
    Bye
    topcol
    What posts do you feel aren't getting adequate attention?

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