1. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    A Painting or a Sketch

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by J.P.Clyde, Jul 28, 2011.

    I had a bit of an interesting debate with a family unit member today. Me and them have a completely different outlook on books. They like detective books, they call them "books to use brainpower and god forbid that". Where as I like fantastical, mystical books. Horrors and supernatural stuff.

    They prefer straight to the point. Blank writing. They say the book requires imagination. And that the book style I like, which is more detail, more enriching environment to see the world takes less imagination. However, I disagree with that. When I look at a full body painting, let's say this for an example (Image has a bit of a nip slip, but otherwise very PG 13) I get a story. Sure the artist set the initial world up. But you must look through that detail to find the symbols and a metaphor.

    I take writing to be painting. But you're painting with words. My family unit likes sketches. Where as I like full body paintings.

    To explain this better.

    Sketch:

    My family unit likes writing like that. With little detail. For me, I get lost with that kind of writing. Even though it's a dark room. I see black walls and them floating on a magic carpet floor.

    Painting:

    Here I get it more. I can see them in a room. A red carpet, maybe it has gold in it.

    I guess where I am trying to get with this thread is this.

    Is sketch writing better or is full body painting better?

    Does full body painting take away the imagination of it all? [I do not believe so. As a child I love full body paintings even though yes the artist set up the world. I could bypass everything they had written in the painting to explore the world further within my mind]

    Is fully body painting writing to much tell and not enough show?

    And lastly

    Which do you prefer more abstract sketching to the point or full body painting rich details about the world around the characters?
     
  2. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    As long as the story itself is good, for me, it doesn't really matter how that story it's written.

    I like all art, which is to say all real art. Not that "modern art" bollocks...
    But that would be a conversation for a different time.
     
  3. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's simply that different stories have a different target audience and different way of doing things. Personally, I'll read anything from crime to horror to fantasy, with some sci-fi and comedy thrown in for fun. When I read a good crime story, I need to know as much as possible about as many charactes as possible to be able to figure out who did it. It's not fun when you have a crime novel and the suspect isn't introduced until the final chapters. You need to know as much about the suspect as the heroes, and it really isn't a bad idea to introduce the suspect in chapter 1. However, you can't let the reader know it's the killer until the final chapter.

    Horror is a bit of the same, as you can't really care about people you don't know. If you watch a horror movie, someone will usually die in the intro. A good horror needs to set the mood like that and keep it the whole time, so even during the slow parts you get the feeling there is something sinister lurking in the background. If you watch the first Alien movie, it was brilliant like that. You always knew the alien was right around the corner, ready to attack. But you never knew when it would attack, or from where. That's why it was so scary.

    The point is different stories are written in different ways. As for what the "best" style is, it comes down to personal preference. Reading Shakespear doesn't make you a better reader than reading a western or horror. It just means you have a different taste.
     
  4. Mr Grumpy
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    Mr Grumpy Member

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    I've thought about this in the past too - I'm a designer for my main job and have a background studying art since I was a teenager (years and years ago).

    It's easy to draw paralells between sketching/painting and writing as easy as it is to draw paralels between sketching/painting and other forms of art.

    But you have to understand that what can be considered a sketch on it's own, when put into context within a painting the sketch no longer stays as a sketch but as a detail in a scene.

    Look at some of the impressionists - a figure painted fast and loose can look like a quick sketch, but pull out, and that figure is in the background scene of a much larger painting and works within the work.

    Similarly, with music if for example you listen to a fragment of a ZZTop solo, it just sounds like noise but hear it in context with the rest of the song and it works perfectly.

    And thats the thing, context - just because something is not overly discriptive does not mean its a sketch either in paint or words - look at the whole book work as the painting, not just the sentence structure. They just use different styles, some fast and loose, some intricate and detailed - both should work well if the person using them knows how to.

    Don't know if this actually makes sense.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no 'better' or 'worse' no 'right' or 'wrong'... simply differences in style that appeal to one person and not to another...

    to stick to the art analogy, a simple line drawing by a master artist can convey just as much emotion and meaning as the most detailed oil painting... some of us appreciate both equally... while some may only like the one and not the other... chacun à son goût!
     
  6. NikkiNoodle
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    NikkiNoodle Active Member

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    I think it's exactly what Mamma said. I tend to prefer writing with vivid detail (no purple prose, though, please) and I recently started reading a highly acclaimed author who keeps everything simple and stark. At first I was disappointed. But now I am beginning to think that the beauty of his writing might be in it's stark simplicity.
    I haven't decided yet, I'm only a third of the way into the book, but it all just comes down to "whatever blows your hair back."
     
  7. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I think my issue is my synesthesia. I cannot read stark, non detailed work.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like both. Which I'll read depends on what I'm in the mood for. Both styles can be well done. The only thing I do prefer is that the author avoid over-describing the characters.
     

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