1. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    is there such a thing as overblown and if so, what is it?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by crashbang, Nov 15, 2007.

    so i told a friend the ending for a trilogy im writing, and he said it was overblown, which put me off that ending for a little while. but then i thought, if it works with the story, if it fits the pieces, then is overblown bad?

    this brought me here? what is overblown? is overblown bad, and if so when? at what point does an extravagant plotline overblown?

    am i even talking any sense?:confused:
     
  2. zerobytes
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    zerobytes Contributing Member

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    LoL - I think I know what you're saying. Most people talk about the ending of the LOTR as being overblown (especially those who have only seen the movies). I think I'd need a bit more detail on the 'overblown-ness' you are referring to though. Is the 'final showdown' too big, too long, too multifaceted, etc. Do you try to tie up all the ends in the last couple chapters? If you know what he thought was overblown about it then we can address that individual topic.

    On a general scale, I think pushing your fictional world into something that it's not or never was would be overblowing it. Keep the ending real to the characters and the world. Don't drag it out, but tie up the loose ends satisfactorily. I think I"m the one not making sense now... *_* Basically, don't draw it out and keep it plausible.

    zb
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there sure is!... it's what's also called 'florid' or 'flowery' or that father of overblown, 'purple prose'...

    ...see above... for examples, go to any site devoted to the works of lord bulwer-lytton, for whom the term 'purple prose' was coined... there's even an annual contest for the worst first line, in honor of one of his worst and the best-known, that begins with, 'It was a dark and stormy night...'...

    ...it's almost always bad... whenever it's used...

    ...when it incorporates everything but the kitchen sink... when it's crammed with stuff that has no relevance to the main plot premise, but is just stuck in there for no good reason... hope that helps... love and hugs, maia
     
  4. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    helps. i think its okay, i could be very wrong. i like to think its merely the climax of the last plot string rather than everything being solved at once, but i could be wrong.
     
  5. SAGMUN
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    SAGMUN Member

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    The question isn't, "Is it overblown?" But, "Is it neccessary?"

    Pay homge to this common principle in medieval philosophy: One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

    Because, in discourse, the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar, William of Occam popularize this principle; it was called Occam's Razor. Be brave. Use it to cut away all that is uncessary

    Incidently. Madeline L'Engle's Newbery Award winner, A Wringle in Time, has this for the opening line. "It was a dark and stormy night."
     
  6. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    interesting. oculums razor might just be helpful. but i thought that was the 'simplest answer is often the correct one.' thing? or is it lots of strange bizzare rules
     
  7. SAGMUN
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    SAGMUN Member

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    'simplest answer is often the correct one.'

    The above leaves out implcations and is a weasel restatement of Occum's Razor.
    -------------------------------------------
    One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

    The above in terms of writing, means that in describing a person, place, thing, or event don't go beyond the neccessary. In other words don't flog a dead horse.

    There are writers deluded by the mistaken notion that permutations and engorgements of the same discriptions are an affirmation of their creative virtuosity. You are certainly don't want to be one of them, do you?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm sure you meant 'wrinkle'... right?... anyway, i read the delightful tale many years ago and forgot/am surprised to find she actually used lytton's infamous first line... i have to wonder if it was tongue-in-cheek, or in homage to the father of purple prose...
     
  9. SAGMUN
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    SAGMUN Member

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    Good catch! Wrinkle it is.

    Let's nnot forget Snoopy.
     
  10. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    There are writers deluded by the mistaken notion that permutations and engorgements of the same discriptions are an affirmation of their creative virtuosity. You are certainly don't want to be one of them, do you?'

    might be guilty of doing that a few times. i liked what john steinbeck does in mice and men, using description to set the scene. is that wrong?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, snoopy atop the doghouse, pecking away at his trusty manual, is one of the most endearing and enduring images of the writer's art ever!... schultz was both an artistic genius and one of the most brilliant [and effective] philosophers of all time... his 'leaving' was a great loss to the entire world... if anyone could live forever, i'd want it to be peanuts' pop...
     
  12. SAGMUN
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    SAGMUN Member

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    John Steinbeck's descriptions are great. They set mood and tone.

    Length is not the issue, but what you put into that length is what matter. Every description should have no more, no less than what is needed.

    If you're into lengthy descriptions, Proust is the author for you.

    On this thread, except for you, we're all giving opinons on something we haven't seen. Theoretical questions and opinions concering work in progress are an iffy process without some text to read.
     

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