1. Mercury12000
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    Mercury12000 Member

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    Where are all the good lamentations?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mercury12000, Jan 9, 2012.

    Why don't more novels have lamenting language? Shakespeare was built on fantastic character lamentations, that "Oh woe is me!" jazz. Even the so-seeming gothic fiction (which I feel is really more fantasy-romantic these days) is so watered down, sterile and caluclated with all of it's pretensions of being based on historical literature (cover art not being the least deceptive tool).

    But besides, that, what are you all doing in this area? I love to express moments of tourment with a good lamenting passage whenever I can. It ain't easy though. Mostly because I tend to write in third person omniscient and lamenting is really more of a first person voice.

    And how much do you think is too much lamenting?
     
  2. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Maybe it's because lamentations are archaic and unreadable, and self-pity is tres passe.

    I read Greek epics and tragedies, which are full of lamentations 'oimoi! kakodaimon!' etc etc. Even historical novels get away with the odd 'Oh cursed gods!' But you can't write a lamentation in contemporary English because people just don't use them anymore. They have been replaced by swearing - someone is far more likely to shout 'oh shit! what the fuck? Oh my fucking god!' than 'oh woe is me! merciful gods, thou hast forsaken meeee!'

    It's about realism.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Quoted for truth. This is essentially everything that needs to be said.
     
  4. Thom
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    Thom Member

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    Time progresses, as does language. Unless that archaic speaking style is essential to the story and the character.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lamentations have evolved. Characters most likely still spend plenty of time lamenting. I know mine do. Just not like that.
     
  6. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Well-look-at-that, I actually agree with you for once. :)
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    This is also true.
     
  8. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    Shakespeare wrote plays, not novels. The "inner voice" of his characters had to be vocalised. Writing for the theatre is different to writing a novel.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch How to Train Your Dragon. One of Hiccup's lines is, "Oh, the Gods hate me." That sort of stuff most definitely is used. It's not used in contemporary fiction though, because modern folks like us think people need to accept when something is their own fault. It's better to just try and fix a problem than bitch about it. It's hard to respect someone who moans about their problems.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it's still done... only nowadays, it's done with four-letter words!
     
  11. Show
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    Or emotional outbursts. Emotional outbursts are still popular from what I can tell.
     

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