1. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    Witty word play, or sound storyline?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Georgew, Mar 13, 2011.

    I've found a number of my favorite books are those with strong storylines, rather than amazing descriptive language and witty word play.

    Which do you think is of more importance?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    wit is no substitute for a good story... however, the combo of both can't be beat!... see robert b. parker's works for examples of same...
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both is best... But it's a pretty magic combination, and usually is reserved for the "greats", so I guess if you were being an average everyday writer, it'd be plot, so people would want to read your stuff. I know I tend to fall on the witty wordplay side, and even then it's not too witty, and I'm not the best at plotting, so... Yeah.

    *wanders off dispirited*
     
  4. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Do both. There's nothing stopping you.
     
  5. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    no well devolped characters ? just a solid story line narrated with witty word play ?
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one even mentioned characters. :p They're part of a different equation, I guess.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    LMAO! Yep..I think I'll go with a strong plot and witty dialogue between a barn board and an old fence post. How do you think that'd work out?
     
  8. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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    I think the board and the post would eventually have to talk about the human inhabitants of the farm in one way or another...
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    It's abandoned? Falling down? They've been gone so long they can't even remember what human's are?
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both have their place - it is a talent to write a good clear story with simple language, it can be witty and descriptive without flowery language.

    Having said that the only writing that pays me anything at all is my innuendo ridden sketches about a fire extinguisher and bankers lamp set in the back of a hardware store of a mad scientist, people pay me to write orignal pieces for bestman speeches lol They don't have much by way of story.
     
  11. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    As far as which one is more important is concern I would have to say strong plot because you can do without witty word play but you cannot without a strong plot, in almost all cases.
     
  12. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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    Hmmmmm... this has actually got me thinking, which I don't do alot... but if you ponder long and hard about it, when you say story you're talking about not just a series of events but about a perspective that ties them together. Which is always going to lead you 'round to some kind of consciousness that has some kind of stake in it all, ain't ya?

    So the board and the post would have to need to accomplish something... and they'd need the ability to act in some way, however imperceptibly... otherwise, you're left with some manner of sad, evocative poem, you could describe their feelings of abandonment and impending ruination, but it would only become a story if they could talk to each other and scheme, y' know?
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK hoping a barn board is a board used in building a barn. If not apologise lol

    The barn board yawns - doing his best to stretch just a little bit, 'Honestly those chickens. Thanks goodness they are out now. Never got a wink of sleep.'

    The wind breezes past causing the fence post to sniff, 'Oh honestly wheest your moaning. I had the cockerel standing on me this morning shouting the odds. The day they put him in a pot I am going to cheer.'

    The board grumps, 'A little bit of sympathy would be nice, you get a few moments early morning. I have to put up with the blasted pests all night.'

    'I've never seen Shep use you as a latrine.' The fence post rolls a couple of knots, 'You really do think you are hard done by don't you? Why did I have to be put in such a restrictive spot near a cantankerous old board like yourself.'

    Who needs a plot lol
     
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  14. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Yep, barn board is a board used in building a barn :) Nice job :)
     
  15. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Yes, I suppose you're correct. They become characters themselves.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    They could take advantage of the mounting winds and collapse the crucial position of this board allowing the whole barn to fall in a certain way- the barn harming the chickens, post could fall over with the cockerel on top right on Shep when he is taking a leak knocking them into the path of the falling barn.

    Then the farmer either repairs them or uses them for firewood.

    OK now I have a plot lol
     
  17. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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    Or... the "wooden characters" have access to some information that's beyond the normal five senses, they can see the future or something... and remember, their greatest loyalty is going to be to the trees at the edge of the field, their brethren... maybe something about an impending forest fire...?
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on the reader (and on the mood of the reader at the time). Different people have different priorities for what they read.
     

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