1. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    All my questions in 1 post

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MarkArellius, Jul 15, 2012.

    Hi, This is my very first post on the forum and I have quite a few questions, so instead of posting them all seperately I thought this might be more convinient.
    My apologies in advanced if there are any repeat questions, I scaneed the forum but could not find any similair references too the stuff I would like to know.

    My Questions:

    1. I loved reading ''God Hates Us All'' by Hank Moody from the show Californication. Can you recommend any books like this one, dark & bittersweet with a good sense of humor.

    2. What is too cliché to write about these days ?

    3. Who would be concidered a #1 writer of our times who's still popular and alive today ?

    4. Which movies are about either writing or something like it, i.e. A writer on an adventure, like D.Duchovney and Brad Pitt in ''Kalifornia'' or ''Room 1408''.

    5. If you want to start writing, which links/posts do you recommend me to read, like guides and all that.

    Thanks in advanced, if I have any other questions, I will put them here :)
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Never seen Californication, but Stephen King is good light stuff that's dark and (have to hand it to the guy) can be funny.

    Try googling 'Cliches Literature' because there are too many to name here.

    In essence this question is unanswerable since everyone has different tastes - Harry Potter is still popular, I hate it. The three writers I most enjoy, who are alive today, and famous are Thomas Pynchon, Haruki Murakami, and Salman Rushdie.

    ... ok. Film? Anyway I hear Secret Window isn't too bad, and a few others I'm aware of I just can't remember right now.

    Wikisource. It's the best source for classic works in the public domain and it's all free. What better teachers than the masters themselves.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. I loved reading ''God Hates Us All'' by Hank Moody from the show Californication. Can you recommend any books like this one, dark & bittersweet with a good sense of humor.
    ...no

    2. What is too cliché to write about these days ?
    ...nothing, if you can be original about it in some way

    3. Who would be concidered a #1 writer of our times who's still popular and alive today ?
    ...depends on what medium and genre you're referring to

    4. Which movies are about either writing or something like it, i.e. A writer on an adventure, like D.Duchovney and Brad Pitt in ''Kalifornia'' or ''Room 1408''.
    ...'adaptation' for one... for others, use the search option on www.imdb.com

    5. If you want to start writing, which links/posts do you recommend me to read, like guides and all that.
    ...none... if you want to learn how to write, just read good writing... constantly!
     
  4. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Thank you for your guidelines, I will take it with me.

    @mammamaia,
    Could you recommend any writers here on this forum that produce good work ? And post it here..
    Mainly in the genre of Romance & Humor or Crime & Psychology, Romance & Psychology would als be a good combo.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this is not a site for displaying full works just to be read, mark... it's a working writers' site and only brief excerpts are [or should be] posted for feedback from fellow members...

    to study good writing, you should be reading published works by writers who are generally considered to be 'good' to 'great' ones...
     
  6. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Aha, I get it.
    I was thinking of later posting a story I've written about my expiriences in Las Vegas last year, on another forum I got good feedback from it, however it was looked at from an entirely different perspective, so I thought I could put it here and get the proper advice from some experts, or at least someone who knows about good writing.
    As for the reading good & great authers, I have yet to read Bukowski :) Herd good things..
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    We'd much rather train you to recognize good writing, and to find and fix the flaws in your own writing. Our Writing Workshop isn't a place to get critiques. It's a place to learn to give high quality critique, which you can then apply to your own writing.
     
  8. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Hmm, I see.. Thats also a small goal of mine.
    However, is it possible to recieve critique when I would post my writing here ?
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You need to give at least 2 constructive critiques before you're allowed to post your own (plus have 2 weeks membership and at least 20 posts I think - double check that)

    As to your question about films about writing - try "How to lose friends and alienate people" - it's not about writing at all but it does follow 2 characters, both of whom wanna be writers :D it's a rom com, quite British in humour.

    What I don't get is why you're searching for good writing on a forum, however. On a forum you help each other - like fellow students helping each other. While you can of course still learn things from students, it's slightly strange to be looking specifically for the students when you ought to be studying the masters, surely, and they don't come on forums. They actually have published books :) So go and read!

    If you really wanna read people's work, the workshop on here's got tonnes - but they're here for you to critique, for you to help a fellow writer, rather than as an example of "good writing" to "teach" you (though it might be good of course, I just mean that's not the point of the workshop - it's not a place just to showcase your work)
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and you should never post a complete piece of work you ever hope to get published... no publisher will buy it from you when it can be read online for free...

    you should post only brief excerpts for feedback, if you have a question about some aspect of the writing...
     
  11. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Mckk,

    My general idea of this forum was that people with more experience with writing and critique, such as yourself, could give me tips. Would love to get some tips from Stephen King himself, but yeah, I'd hope to find somebody who understands his work here, and could then also help me with starting to be a good writer.

    I thought maybe I could post some short stories here, not meant for publishing, so I could get feedback from people with more experience and knowledge then I do now. Sure I could read allot and start to recognize good writing, but what makes the writing good ?

    i.e. I am also on another forum, that has to do with seducing women, I am also a pickup artist. And on that forum, people who are more experienced, even 6 months more, could guide the rookies. Such as myself on this forum now, like I give tips who ask me for feedback on how to seduce women, I was under the impression that I would get kinda the same help here. But maybe I got the wrong idea of this forum ? Maybe you know another forum where you can post your writing freely and get honest and good feedback on it to help progress being a good writer.

    I saw in another sub-forum here people who post their short story's, and they get feedback, like how the character is and all that. I don't need to tell you guys that I guess, your on this forum way longer than I am :)

    I am open to all suggestions and guidelines, any help is welcome*
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^ If you are in to Stephen King try his book 'On Writing'. It's more of an autobiography with some writing hints thrown in the middle but it's fun to read at least. If you want to know good writing then read widely, and read often. Go down to your nearest bookshop and check out the general fiction section. The best writing is found here, at least that's how it works in Waterstones anyway.
     
  13. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Thank you Lemex, I like these kind of answers, much apreciated :)
    Thank God there is a Waterstones here, I get so many books from there too.

    Technically speaking I haven't read anything of Stephen King yet, just seen the movie versions. (I know, shame on me, but hey, by signing into this forum it gives me the feeling that I take writing more seriously and want to be a good one* )
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Stephen King is ok, he's a light pleasure for me. Something I read when I want to relax with something utterly brainless. There are only two books he has wrote, and maybe one or two short stories that I think are really worth reading to be honest. Misery is a good book, Bag of Bones is another worth reading, it's fun, and one of his best written novels. Where short stories are concerned: 'The Man in the Black Suit' is a fine short story, 'Riding the Bullet' is also rather good, 'L.T.'s Theory of Pets' is a story I don't remember well at all but I remember enjoying it. All of those short stories can be found in the Everything's Eventual collection. Also: 'The Mist' was good (Skeleton Crew is maybe his best collection to be honest) and 'The Fifth Quarter' too was pretty ok. That was in the Nightmares and Dreamscapes collection.

    I'm not a massive lover of Stephen King, I've read a lot of him but (as I said) I read him to unwind. He's light, and brainless. To be fair to the man he knows what he's doing some of the time, he can be funny in his prose, and his stories can be enjoyable, but he also has numerous problems that you notice the more you read widely. One main problem King has always had, for example, is the first half of his books are always rather good, because they largely deal with character and allow the story to build and the second half of the books is where things go wrong from a quality perspective. This is generally what happens with the novels, with the short stories they are usually entirely bad or entirely good, but there are a few exceptions. The Tommyknockers, for example, is a book I'm glad I read and glad I will never have to read again.
     
  15. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    Thanks very much for your open answer, I will try out ''On Writing'' and ''The Mist'' even though I've seen the movie, I would like to read how it's originally written. Characters, scary and funny moments, and especially what kind of effect the end of the story will give me, if it differs allot from the movie. Coz' that ending was....... :eek:
    Like the end of the movie Se7en, I would love for a book to give me that kind of feeling also, and the books I've read do.

    I'm also going to take an interest in Hemingway and Bukowski, heard good things :)
     
  16. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    Teen Supernatural Romance...

    Yes, there is such a genre. Yes, the shelves are filled. Yes, it's universally acknowledged as the most cliche'd pile of rubbish since rubbish started calling itself rubbish. But, the YA market is hot, right now. Authors who would otherwise not have a genre have found a home there. Of course, my own opinion is that there is a reason for that... publishers know where the money is and don't care who they have to publish in order to get it. But, I am very concerned about the hard-copy publishing market and realize they are going through tough times. So, I'm willing to ignore this lapse in judgement that is obviously fueled by their need to survive in an market that is under siege. This time. Next time, I shall not be so lenient and I will certainly mail them a very stern letter!

    Impossible to judge, sorry. By what measure would you judge such a thing? Sales? Awards? Would you allow for differences in genre? Would you only select literary fiction titles to judge? It can't be determined. What matters is the writer that most appeals to you and a great many try to be that very writer.

    None.

    I would tell you to head to the bookstore or Amazon.com and buy any titles you see there by the Writer's Workshop publisher's, especially the Elements of Fiction series and anything written by Donald Maass or Scott Bell, in particular. You should also have a copy of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" sitting on your desk and it should be very well used... I would also recommend "The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers" by Vogler for a guide to classic mythic archetypes and plots. It's very helpful for all sorts of fiction writing. For inspirational reading, I would recommend King's "On Writing" as several have done as well as Bell's "The Art of War for Writers." A complete list of recommended titles that I have personally read would take up a bit too much time to put together, but these should start you off.

    I will single out a few, however:

    You must have a copy of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style." It's been reprinted so often that you can't help but stumble across a cheap copy. And, it's brief, being a pamphlet that was originally produced for a writing class. The Chicago Manual, on the other hand, is large enough to cause your gas mileage to go down on the way home from the bookstore... It's better suited for stopping large caliber rounds than replacing Strunk & White. (Careful, here. There are two camps eternally at war over the right of each to claim the title as the Supreme Manual of Style.)

    I believe that you can not make a mistake by reading and following the advice of anything on writing written by Scott Bell. Once you have read a few of his brief books on writing, you will have covered just about every subject involved in the art. After that, you will know for yourself what you need assistance with.

    Donald Maass... I can't give enough praise to his "Writing the Breakout Novel." Read it. Master it. Write the Breakout Novel. It's an excellent piece of work.

    Once you have done all that, then you can be better armed to know what sort of advice is truly meaningful and what sorts can actually impair your own ability to learn how to write well. Then, you can click on links and judge their quality for yourself without some know-it-all dude on the internetz spouting off his free critiques of their quality. :D
     
  17. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    As soon as I get some money (kinda broke at the moment, but writing myself is free haha) I am going to invest in the books you advised me, especially the ''Writing the Breakout Novel'' book.
    Thanks :)
     
  18. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    If money is tight, I would recommend "Plot & Structure" by Scott Bell, published by the Writer's Digest and one of the books in the Write Great Fiction series. Also, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass, also published by Writer's Digest. Buy these two, first.

    But, do not forget your soul... In other words, there are plenty of books that can help you understand that every writer goes through the same sorts of problems that you do. Yes, you go through problems. No, I don't know what they are, specifically. But, since you're a writer, I know there is a long list of very likely suspects. So, as a consequence of our shared pain, there are many books that are filled with sympathy and understanding, specifically targeted at writers. There are also inspirational ones, as well. Stephen King's "On Writing" manages to combine both as well as point out some good pieces of constructive advice. It's worth reading it if only so that you can discover than even one of the most popular authors alive has been through the very same trials that you may have encountered and is sympathetic enough to offer sound advice as well as relate his struggle as an author.
     
  19. MarkArellius
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    MarkArellius Member

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    I haven't been here for a while, however, to continue a topic gone silent...

    Solid advice Morkonan ! :) Haven't read the Stephen King one yet but I got my first Hemingway, The Great Gatsby and an Edgar Allan Poe collection book to level up my writing knowledge and skills, so far E.A.P. is amazing and inspires me allot !
     

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