1. forcefield081
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    forcefield081 New Member

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    I need help!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by forcefield081, Jun 27, 2009.

    I really need help on this thing that I am facing. I have been writing for a long time, and I decided to write novels when I was in seventh grade. At that time, I loved manga, and fairly addicted to them; thus affecting the way I write and plan out plots.

    At that time, I wrote a very very stupid and manga like novel, which is not "literature" at all. As I make my way towards tenth grade, I realized that I've been writing stupid novels, and decided that I should change my ways. It was well, and now I'm working on a new project.

    This novel that I plan to write would not be like my previous stories : constructing the plot as I go on, didn't have character traits, ridiculously stupid. I think that this new project would really connect itself to the fantasy genre of literature ( not manga ) ( oh, and I love to write fantasy stories ).

    I brainstormed every idea that came into my mind, and one day I asked my manga loving friend about my story idea; she said it was cliche. The story idea is basically about five human races of the world that lives in their own continents; with one small continent as the place for those five leaders of the world to maintain order. I will be telling the story from five different viewpoints, one from each of the five human races.

    The idea does not stop there; one day, one of the five leaders of the world misused his power (place as a leader) to keep resources and everything to himself. The other leaders were persuaded and seem to agree, but two disagreed. Now these five people that I would have a viewpoint on would go on with their lives, and ended up meeting each other to stop the leaders of the world.

    The idea is pretty... exaggerating at the moment, but I'm working on it. What I need help on is : Is it bad? Does it need changing? Is it not literature enough? or Is my mind still with "manga" kind of stories? Please give out opinions, I really do need help...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)

    Ignore your friend. Forget the notion of storylines being cliche. It's the quality of the writing that matters; how well your characters are crafted, how well you present the story.
     
  3. forcefield081
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    forcefield081 New Member

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    Wow, that actually... Inspired me; I think you're right, a story writing IS about how well we present it and how well we characterize the characters. Thanks :) that made me feel better.
     
  4. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    It's hard to find a fantasy novel that doesn't seem cliche in some way. Just look at what's popular and you'll find that virtually all of it is incredibly cliche. Anime is the most cliche of anything, but I love it anyway. In fact, the most commonly duplicated ideas are constantly recycled because they just never get old. They continue to sell more than anything else for a reason. As Cogito mentioned, it's all in the hands of the writer; your writing ability combined with the effort you put into plot, setting and character development (among other things) will determine whether your book is a winner or not.

    I'm usually only bothered by the common misrepresentation of real life groups like the Yakuza. . . because then you're basically lying about real people. That irks me to no end. But If it's all in your head, how can you go wrong?

    The only important thing right now is to satisfy yourself - your desire to write something you can be proud of. Your friend doesn't have to like it; you do. Writing should always be fun, unless you're getting paid.:)
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why worry about it being "literary" enough? I've always hated that word. I also hate the word cliche. Some people will slap that label on every other book they read, sometimes everything they read. Relax. People love manga, which is a deceptive term, anyway. It's not a genre. It's a format that includes all genres. The literal translation is "whimsical picture" which doesn't say anything about story, anyway. Even many American graphic novels and comic books have become respectible and just as "literary" as any Margaret Atwood novel *gag*. Relax. There is a publisher for everything. Don't get sucked in my the snooty Atwood-style writers. She likes that stuff. You like what you like.
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Besides literary novels aren't popular. They rarely sell well.
     
  7. Atarxia
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    Atarxia Member

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    I am guessing that you got an inspiration from Twelve Kingdoms anime... maybe not.

    For me, brainstorming a believable tale whose conflict is really huge is EXTREMELY challenging, or perhaps even impossible, task. I think you need an extensive knowledge and probably a strong interest as well in how governments and politics work first.
     
  8. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    But surley if it's fantasy, there way of politics dosn't have to be the same as ours. they could choose there leaders by whoever gives the mose chocolate (I know thats not a good example.)
    In my opinion in a fantasy novel, you don't have to know any thing apart from what you have decided. Oh and how to write.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Yeah, what's up with that?? In the 70s and 80s, great literary fiction topped best-seller lists. Now its all Twilight and Harry Potter and mass-marketed trash. Way to go us! One step forward, five steps back...
     
  10. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    People want books that are fun to read. For many of us, classic lit is just about the furthest thing from fun imaginable.
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Yeah, but what happened in the past 20, 30 years that changed that?? When did the world suddenly decide that it didn't matter how good something was as long as it was fun? Its like a parallel with the sudden obesity thing, it doesnt matter how unhealthy something is as long as it tastes good, it doesn't matter how unhealthy what I'm doing is as long as I enjoy doing it. When did society become so shamelessly hedonistic?

    /end rant.
     
  12. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Probably when people started to look through a book and say to themselves, "I bet I can write a better story than this guy/girl." The more people involved in... well, anything, the more diverse it's going to become. So in addition to the people writing to educate and paint mental pictures, we get people who just want to tell a fun story. Whether or not we also find those stories worth our time is our own business.

    As for me, I can't stand it when an author uses more big words than necessary. That's the main reason I hated most of the required reading for my literature classes.
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I don't know about you... but the things I enjoy the most are the well written stories. Any artist will look at other works analytically and when you do that the enjoyment from works that aren't very high in quality tend to decrease. Example: Twilight has hundreds of thousands of fans who like it for the wish-fulfillment aspect of it, but I bet those who have looked at it with care and have compared it to their own and other's work can't stand how Meyer writes. Eragon also qualifies.

    About the hedonism part, I have to stand up for it. Just because I'm looking for something pleasurable to read doesn't mean it has to be mindless or badly written. The comparison you draw with unhealthy food is not apt, as you can develop a taste for classical literature when you know about the historical and social context as well as the author's mindset when he wrote it. I postulate that most of us are hedonist most of the time, do we not do what would make us happy in almost any case? Be it in the near or the far future, mostly every decision we take is simply a mean to be happy. Would you read a book that outright bored you if you didn't gain anything from it? Would you watch a movie, have friends, etc?

    I agree with this statement (even if you didn't) to the point that it wouldn't interfere with my happiness in the future. To illustrate: I wouldn't take heroin because of the risks of addition, despite it being immensely enjoyable.
     
  14. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Wait, I think you misunderstood me....I was saying people should be reading good literature...the kind of fiction that you can analyse and unweave and enjoy more...I was saying that the general book-buying population has changed from buying a lot of intelligent, provocative, sublime literary fiction like people used to, the most popular books are now trash like Twilight and James Patterson, things that merely entertain briefly, when literature can and should do so much more, and that that shift is....well, lamentable to say the very least.
     
  15. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I objected to you separating good from fun. I don't think that people 30 years ago read "better" stuff than what we do now. I'm sure people had Pattersons and Meyers in the 70s, it's just that we don't remember any of those.
     
  16. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm not seperating good from fun. I'm seperating good from bad. James Patterson is fun, maybe, but terribly written. Same goes for Meyer.
    I guess this discussion just boils down to personal preference, but I have a really hard time understanding why you wouldn't want to read good literature. Its like deciding to go on vacation and choosing Scranton over Paris. Yeah you're still getting away, but you could be going someplace much better.
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    arron89, the books people read 30 years ago are not any better or worse than today's novels. There were bad novels back there, too. It's just that they have faded away with time, so we are only left with "classics" for that time period. People today buy good literature, too. Just take a look at the New York Times bestseller list for the past few years. There are several good authors on there which shows that people today are buying good novels.

    And books like Twilight are just fads. There were probably fads like that 30-40 years ago, but we just don't remember them now.
     
  18. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    If people were less interested in the kinds of books arron is talking about Margaret Atwood would be out of a job, but she's still a top seller.
     

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