1. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    What would YOU call a brilliant story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Annihilation, Nov 15, 2014.

    I'm writing a short story, and by that I mean 20-30 pages.

    I'm used to writing very deep stories with sort of a twist. I'm not sure if that kind if writing will fit in a short story, but again with writing, there's no certain way to do things. It's your rules.

    I'm just having trouble telling about things/situations. I feel as if the way I write things are similar to a teen book. Teen books don't really appeal much to me, so I wish there was a more complicated, adult way of writing scenarios.

    I thought I'd ask you fellow writers out there, what do you think will suite a deep story?

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think most successfully "deep" stories are ones that don't try to be deep first and foremost. They have engrossing characters and plots that aren't used solely for purposes of philosophical teachings, and then the deeper contemplation comes second.
     
  3. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Well how could I have a vision of what kind of story I want without trying to do something specific?

    Do I just write and not plan?
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The actual question is different to the title, heads up everyone.

    If you are talking about quality prose - how much literary fiction do you read? Ever read Thomas Mann, Salman Rushdie, Thomas Pynchon, and the like?

    About planning for complexity, these come from careful thought and careful rewriting to get the most out of a story.

    Brilliance is a small part inspiration, large part perspiration, unless you are some sort of supreme genius and can knock out a Wagnerian opera in a day or something.
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/22/short-story-read_n_4220181.html

    There's a few famous ones in this link. I used 'The School' as a teaching resource with intermediate speakers of English...they were saying things like:

    'But it is tragic, no?'

    I had to explain,

    'I am sorry class, it's what is referred to as "homor" across the pond. Hoh hoh hoh. Now, yes, moving on, please open your text books at page forty-seven...'

    It is funny, though.
     
  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I always find a story brilliant when someone brings a fresh perspective to a familiar theme, or embraces a wild scenario but rather than draw attention to it makes it feel as though it was entirely natural and plausible.

    I don't know if you can plan for brilliance. It's very subtle. An author who knows their prose ( language ), understands their characters, and works the theme delicately. It takes years of practice. Your best bet is too pick subjects you're naturally passionate about and just be honest about the subject.
     
  7. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What I mean by my first post is not that you shouldn't have a specific goal in mind, but that you shouldn't completely disregard the non-intellectual goals of a book. I offered this advice because you talked about teen books and how you wanted to find "a more complicated, adult way of writing scenarios." To me, a stereotypical teen book would be emotionally-driven but have flat characters/plot and lack a deeper meaning. It seems that you want to avoid both of these latter things, but I just wanted to make sure that you are not ignoring the former. A book can have a deeper meaning, but it is still driven by compelling characters and/or plot.

    To answer your questions:

    Many authors have success by first focusing their writing on the characters or plot, and then the themes come later naturally. For example, if you started with a detective plot and you came up with an interesting case the detective had to investigate, your theme might come naturally as a part of the case. Maybe the case could mirror some problem that the detective is facing outside of his work. Or maybe it turn out in the end that his spouse was involved, and he faces the moral dilemma of how to handle the case.

    Other authors have success by first focusing on the grand deeper meaning, and then they choose a plot/characters later. If you wanted to talk about religion, you could have your main character be a priest. The plot could be that something tests his faith, etc.

    Some authors don't seem to plan ahead and they start just by writing. There's no one way to do this, so it would probably be best to try them all out and see which works for you.
     
  8. Glasswindows
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    Glasswindows Member

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    That includes several questions. I wonder if the subject you've chosen or the scenes you're writing just aren't right for you. Like said, no planning for brilliance. I've never read a story which in itself was brilliant. I think the writing can be brilliant. Story no. I guess there's so much out there, different stories and all, that the things in itself lose their meaning and all I wan't to hear are the the words by the writer, if he says it well. "what do you think will suite a deep story? " A senseless question, the story doesn't exist. Once you've written it, you decide if it's deep or not. I don't see the point in trying to to write a certain type of a story. That seems like the outcome first and then the doing, when it's doing first then the outcome.
     
  9. nawaz
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    nawaz Guest

    Probably has to be the characters for me, but it also would have to be getting that said person to be able to react correctly for a key point in the plot to work.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    if your characters and themes are deep, it wouldn't really matter how you write it - it will still be deep. The complication comes not in sounding clever, the complication comes in the concepts your story tackles, the philosophies you make your readers ponder. Actually, I'd even say, the deeper and more complicated your themes, perhaps the simpler your language should be. You're not writing an academic paper. You're not writing a philosophy book. You want your book to be easily accessible to a wide range of audiences, and the more there is to think about in the actual content, the harder it will be for the reader to grasp, so why to make even the communication method (the writing) complicated too?

    And if you're simply not happy with your own writing, that's a different question entirely. It's not nothing to do with story or being deep. It's to do with your skill as a writer. In that case, practice. Read works that you admire and learn from them. Steal phrases and words if you like :) It's what I do. When I see a particularly lovely turn of phrase, I try to remember it. Like yesterday, I was watching the anime Code Geass and at one point, this girl says, "Do you know why snow is white? It's because they've forgotten what colour they're supposed to be."

    I've never thought of it that way. It's very pretty, yet very simple, and a very interesting analogy for deeper things. As you can see, I've memorised it. And yes, I plan to use it for my own work - it wouldn't be in the same scenario, it may not even be about snow. It's just a concept I love that will be replicated somewhere and will inspire my own analogies.

    Anime is basically cartoons and in the Grave of the Fireflies, with animated characters, they show a story about a brother and sister in WWII Japan and their lives as civilians. Hands down the most disturbing film I've ever seen, beautiful art and a masterful story that chilled me to the core, and I watched it as an adult. Yet it's animated. It's a cartoon. (and not for children, may I add) And it struck me because of the content - and the medium the story is communicated in is used for maximum effect.

    So it's the same with your writing. Complicated writing doesn't make a story deep. An actually deep story makes it deep, and now just maximise the effect by using your prose appropriately. Simple can be a very good thing. Think of Fault in Our Stars, technically a YA novel. Yet who would say it wasn't deep?
     

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