1. JC Axe
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    JC Axe New Member

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    Dialogue Quotes from Amateur/Unpublished authors...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JC Axe, Sep 26, 2014.

    Occasionally I stumble across a sentence or passage in a piece of writing by an amateur author and it really speaks to me as a person.

    I want to know what quotes you've found by amateur authors which you consider to be profound or interesting, but probably don't get the recognition they deserve.

    Please don't quote yourself though, that's just shit.

    JC Axe
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What if you quote yourself, and you are published, and not-so amateur? :p
     
  3. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    If they are unpublished then where are we supposed to be getting their quotes from? I'd like to believe I have incredible psychic powers but I've yet to magically divine another person's thoughts. Does the fact there's no quote in your OP mean anything, like perhaps this whole thread is a giant MC Escher drawing that doesn't make sense?
     
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  4. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fanfiction.

    These are just from my favorite fanfic:

    (For context, the narrator/protagonist is cursed: everyone forgets she exists, and all evidence of her existence is erased. She is effectively a stranger to everyone she talks to; even her friends and family have forgotten her and continue to forget her. But she remembers them.)

    "Have you ever had a beautiful melody stuck in your head, but you don't know where it came from?
    That melody is me."

    "Losing the love of a friend is like a death that has no funeral. Entire galaxies have dissolved over the eons and even they are worthless things. No living thing should face a reality like that, to be an island with no sea—only the perpetual blackness of apathy, encompassing. We aren't born to be alone. It's just not in our blood. We attract to one another. We are cohesive: like water. The void of the universe exists only because we are here in the center to point in all directions away from ourselves and label that which is missing, that which is more cold and frightening than a winter's night, that which hungers for us because it can never understand—as we understand—what it means to be warm, to be happy, to be together."

    "If all I care about in life is the imprints I make in this world, then the most I'll ever leave is a grave."

    "It's one thing to be homeless. But to be nameless? You can live in a mansion paid for with the world's largest fortune. You can own a million houses, a million acres of land, and a million servants dwelling on it to do your bidding. You can even have your very own plot in the ground reserved for you in the world's most sacred cemetery. As long as you're nameless, you don't have a place to call “home,” not in this lifetime or beyond."

    "The sweetest melodies in life are the ones you're willing to listen to over and over again."

    "I don't know how long it will take for me to find my way home, but as long as I am living, I will never run out of neighbors."

    "Something has died, and I suddenly realize I can't bury it."

    "One million invisible forgotten creatures screaming in the night: and I was one with them."

    "In this life, I am guaranteed to have at least one friend. As long as I am true to myself, I can be true to everyone."

    "I just wish I could help those around me shine where I can't."

    "What's so awesome about a life when it's lived in the exact same way as someone who has lived it before you?"

    "And that is how I discovered pain. I mean true pain, the sort of pain that a body is not meant to endure, only to dream of, toying with nightmares that fuel us into avoiding stupid, self-destructive actions during the waking day. It's the sort of pain that exists as a last ditch spark to startle a ghost and fling it back—screaming—straight into the body where it belongs, as a final means of avoiding death."

    "I think that every ghost that haunts a place is too busy frightening her own self, for what is more horrifying than the vacant spaces of her past? What she's lost only reminds her that there are so many more things to lose grip of, until she loses grip of herself."

    "As long as I am alive, I shall do the remembering for all of us. Our friendship will never die."

    "I didn't even know what I was doing there, plodding through the mud, letting my hoodie get soaked to the sleeves, until he said those words, and I realized that even all of the misery in the world couldn't stop him from repeating what would be—at best—a tragically forgotten piece of history."

    "An angel clipped of her wings looks for other ways to fly. It's no wonder that I'm always trying to make song; I'm trying to catch a wind that is forever lost to me. If he could, he would be that wind, and he would carry me to brighter, warmer, happier places."

    "This week seemed to be the perfect graveyard for memories. I only wished I wasn't the town's one and only undertaker."

    "I gazed softly at her. I gulped and said, “What one needs, one often already has. I've learned that the ones who search the hardest are usually the souls who end up alone.”
    “Hmmm. There are worse fates,” she mused.
    “Yes.” I slowly, coldly nodded. “There are.”"

    "A true guardian angel's merit is not measured in what she holds onto, but in what she gives up."

    "My one assurance—my one affirmative thought at this point—is that there is only one soul who will be burdened with mourning me once I am gone."

    "If they destroy me, so be it, for sometimes destruction is the very essence of transformation."

    "Would she forgive me for letting her die—so many horrible times over—as I lived on, guiltless of my crimes? Would she still wish to be my friend, now that I was blessed to be remembered, and yet finally cursed to be judged?"

    "I have been to hell, but I've been to heaven as well."

    "When I die, will they forget the body? Will they scoop me up from wherever I am and attempt to find a cheap, untitled plot in the ground to bury me in? Will they forget halfway through the job, so that they stumble upon me again and again in confusion and ultimately resort to cremation? Will even my ashes be forgotten?"

    And those are just from the first half.

    Most of the really powerful lines depend far too much on context to make sense here. Even the last line -- "I almost wish I could write a song." -- is my favorite conclusion to any fictional story ever, but it delivers its emotional impact entirely via subtext. Twisted, ironic, bittersweet subtext.
     
  5. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I don't read fan fiction. It's like buying Prada in Thailand. You know it's not the real thing no matter how artfully it appears to be. It is a cheap knock-off of something more desirable. It has that desperate clutching at wanting to be meaningful while being words wasted on another person's dream.
     
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  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I haven't read fan fiction since my teens; a lot of the unpublished material I read are friend's manuscripts or things from amateur writers who come to me for help. I can't call something a manuscript unless it has been properly formatted, but that's just an example of my snobbery I guess.

    One of the most profound things I've read from an unpublished work was from a friend's essay on Chaucer. I'll not post it exactly, because that friend is still trying to get it published, but I'll type what is essentially it:

    'Chaucer's failure is also our own. In failing to complete his Canterbury Tales before his death he left a work eternally hanging over the edge of some precipice. It's still rocking, still tottering, waiting to sink into an ocean of meaning, but it just cannot fall. We do not know what would have resulted from the Tales, had they been completed. While the journey itself might tantalize us with clues, it's unfinished nature becomes a different sort of meaning. Chaucer's death has become a metaphor for unfulfilled business - yet strangely his ghost is not lingering to resolve it.'

    He puts it another way of course. He has also agreed to this paraphrasing.
     
  7. Chiv
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    Chiv Active Member

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    I see fanfiction as an inability to let go of characters and stories, so they make their own extra bits. Makes me sick. Like you said, it's not the real thing.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I agree. I find fanfiction waste-paper to be honest.
     
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  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    But...but...without fanfiction we wouldn't have Fifty Shades of Grey, and everyone's sex life would be boring.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Allow me to introduce you to the Marquis de Sade. :p
     
  11. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Best analogy I've seen.
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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  13. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does having no talent feel like a gaping hole? Well, it cannot be filled by being dismissive of the writings of talented people. If you read them, then you could learn something, and if you are lucky, then you could someday pretend to write something half as good.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This seems very defensive. It need not be.
     
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  15. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wrote it because the point of this thread is to identify individual passages that are well-written and meaningful, and once passages from fanfiction have been presented, bringing one's own distaste for the nature of fanfiction into this context can serve no purpose other than to dismiss a broad category of passages with a genetic fallacy.

    Unless there is some other purpose. If the purpose just to explain why you have not read fanfiction and therefore have nothing to contribute, then my response is a way of ridiculing the reasons that were presented above, because my natural response to something ridiculous is to ridicule it.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    In my teens I read a lot of fanfiction, and I wrote a lot of it too. It is where I learned how to write and had my critics from readers. My teens were only 4 years ago, so I have more than enough experience with it.

    I have came across the very rare example of fanfiction that has been well written, yes; but the ratio of good to bad is extremely unbalanced, even compared to the ratio in popular novels. Also, it is to me much better to stand on your own feet as a writer.

    Your attempt to 'ridicule' is misguided, nor does it even make much sense. This thread is not only about fanfiction - what? I'm now not allowed an opinion? If you feel personally ridiculed then, sorry. It was not my intention to do that. However, it might be worth remembering not to go so much on the offensive because other people might not be as kind hearted as I am.

    I do not talk from ignorance, but long experience. Fanfiction is maybe ok for a time, but isn't worth staying in that area. Thus I think it isn't ultimately worth it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  17. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    I used to read a lot of fan fiction and the quality ranges from very bad to very good. Unfortunately, you have to sift through a lot of very poorly written stories to find the jewels. Sorry, I can't remember any specific passages. Writing fan fiction is good practice for someone wanting to learn the basics of writing. That's how I got my start. Had a few published in my early days before Internet publishing over took paper fanzines.
     
  18. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    What's with the fanfiction hate?
    Writing fanfiction is as good as any way to learn how to write.
    It's certainly how I started and look at me now :s

    Yes, fanfiction is generally crap and I know a lot of deluded fanfiction writers and roleplayers that think they're amazing.
    But that doesn't mean it's all bad or that it can't help wanna-be writers learn the basics bit by bit.
    The worlds and characters are already made, you just need a story and play it out on paper. Less to worry about as you're learning.
    Besides, it's fun to live out your fantasies on paper now and then.
    I would write some final fantasy slash fiction all day and learned a lot from my readers.
     
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  19. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can we please please please have a fan fiction contest?
     
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  20. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is true. I respect someone's choice not to spend their time looking for hidden gems. That is not what I was referring to. I was referring to @PensiveQuill's and @Chiv's assertion that fanfiction is inherently a lesser form of writing because it borrows from another work.
    I respect an author's decision not to borrow from another work, but that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about what we encounter as readers. For example, what I encountered and quoted above.
    Never said it is only about fanfiction. The OP called for examples of unpublished writing; I provided some examples that happen to belong to a certain category; the assertion was made that the category is an inherently lesser form of writing; I called the assertion out on its BS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  21. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    Yes, fan fiction is borrowing from the works of others, but it still fulfills a need, both for the beginning writer learning about plot and character development, and for fans looking for some light reading and a little extra time in a fandom they enjoy.
     
  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    All writing has influences and borrowed elements. I may have some harsh things to say about fanfiction, and what I don't like about it is that it is largely self-published, but I'm a traditionally published semi-professional writer. It would be odd if I didn't.

    If you like it that should be all that matters. Whatever opinions I may have (and to be honest I've not read your quote post) are only my own, and not the voice of some enlightened cognoscenti that does not exist.
     
  23. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    And I am praising fanfiction that fulfills the second need especially well. "light reading and a little extra time in the fandom" is an oversimplification but you have the right idea.
    Then I mistakenly lumped your post together with the ones I quoted in my post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  24. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amazing how many people who don't read fanfic know just how awful ALL of it is and how truly pitiful ALL of its authors are (apparently even those published authors who still write it).
     
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  25. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I'm pretty sure if any of us were asked to be a guest writer for one of our favourite shows, most of us would jump at the chance. Or is it just wasted potential on another person's dream?

    Fanfic is a way to answer those what-ifs about our favorite shows/books/movies/etc. To be connected to the characters and stories we love. Even if it means pretending to be a writer for one of its episodes.

    I'm really surprised by some of the replies here, but hey it's your opinion. The thread is going off-topic though..
     
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