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  1. carsun1000

    carsun1000 Active Member

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    Who is the most opportunist of all: Readers or Writers?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by carsun1000, Dec 29, 2016.

    I couldn't but wonder how everything we see or hear affects us all as people. The very many negative news cycle (crime, economy, social issues) is a big repertoire for ideas for writers. Same could be said of positive news cycle. But also, could it be that some readers read something (new) in a novel and wanted to act it out or lead to a major movie or TV series?

    Is it selfish of an author to want to say exploit..the kidnapping and the returning of a woman for an epic crime novel? Would it be selfish to make an unwanted character that won an election against all odds for a political drama? just to name a few real life situations

    I would say we all feed off of one another.
     
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  2. A man called Valance

    A man called Valance Senior Member

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    I agree.
     
  3. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    One of the reasons I've never liked the fantasy genre is that to me, writing is about presenting the here and now, the realities of human existence - warnings of dark paths down which we may be heading, calls for compassion for those who suffer, expositions of the drama of the human condition - what we feel and how we cope. There is also much to share from the stories of those who overcome hardship (or help others to do so). To me, this isn't opportunism, it's what we as writers are supposed to do. And readers read us because we are their gateway to a larger world.
     
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  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I would actually say that fantasy can be used to trick people into recognizing things about real life that they would've rejected if it had been presented more directly. When somebody's committed to an end result, they don't look as critically at the logical process that leads to the result, so presenting the same process in a different way can make them think more critically about what the end result should look like.

    "Comedy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can say whatever you want and everybody laughs because they know it's not true. On the other hand, it's all true" - Bill Hicks
     
  5. Youssef Salameh

    Youssef Salameh Senior Member

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    Greetings. I believe that there is a mutual relationship between any reader and writer. The good deep meanings inspires both; not only the reader, but both on equal levels.
    Also it depends upon the reader how he grasps and understands the meaning and how he applies it. It depends on how faithful we are in applying the good meanings that we grasp from any literary work.
     
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  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Makes you ask the bigger questions in this grand social experiment that we call our existence.
    Weaving reality into a fictional fabric, that takes us into exploring our inner selves.
    Using the resources available to make such fabrication possible.
     
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    You haven't read the write fantasy. There is a lot of fantasy that does these sorts of things. The setting isn't relevant to this, you just need a story and characters that can convey the message. Could be set in Los Angeles or on the moon.
     
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  8. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Everything people read plays a part in how they define reality, think of ideas as small adjustments to the lens we see the world through.
    Writers have to take responsibility for every idea they put out. Readers have to be responsible for what they allow into their world. Reading a book with a rape scene isn't inherently bad, that's a part of life and necessary to understand people, but continually reading books in the rape genre? That's an unhealthy reader, only writing about rape is an unhealthy writer.

    Mostly this writer/reader relationship balances out. The problems are usually from outside sources, I'll use capitalism as an example:
    If a writer wants to make a living as a writer, they have to produce what readers want. If a publisher wants to make money, they have to stick to books they know will sell. The main options presented to readers are mainstream books that publishers have paid to get the readers attention.

    This creates a cycle of writers producing a type, because its what readers buy, because they're the options publishers give, because that's what writers have written before.

    It's very difficult to break out of this cycle when...
    Okay, I just lost my entire train of thought. Ignore me guys, i'm suffering from sleep deprivation.
     
  9. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I would argue that the setting is extremely relevant. By placing the conflict and the issues in a faraway galaxy or middle earth or a school for witches and whatnot, it's all at a remove from both the reader and the writer, rendering the problems as less real. In fact, most fantasy fans that I've seen comment on the genre say that they read it for the escapism it offers. My experience has been that one does not find the solutions to problems by escaping from them, but rather by confronting them. YMMV.
     
  10. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Is Shakespeare no longer relevant because the "contemporary" setting expired over the last few hundred years?
     
  11. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Shakespeare's settings were real in the time that he wrote them. Moreover, setting (in the manner that I used it) is more than just a time; it is about place, about the ways in which society is ordered, and the characters who people it. The conflicts in Shakespeare are not that different from the conflicts today (even though the circumstances differ), and I suspect that many of us who still delight in reading his works do so in part because of the timelessness of those conflicts. But we also do so because of the magnificence of the writing that makes them so. I would further argue that the same can be said of the writings of Dickens, Twain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Steinbeck, to name a few. All of them commented on the society in which they found themselves, and their writing resonates with that reality.
     
  12. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would certainly say that it's in how you choose to engage the literature, be it Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, whatever. I read Science Fiction exactly because of its engagement of present-day concerns with the lens of magnification that Science Fiction allows. Good Science Fiction is never about the future, ever; it's about the now. Sci-Fi from the golden age has nothing to tell me about 2016, which would have been a perfect setting for the stories written in the late 50's and early 60's, but it certainly has a wealth to tell me about the zeitgeist of the time in which it was written. Are there readers who only want what I call "tech porn" and nothing deeper? Sure. But I think these readers would probably not be looking for a deeper story regardless of the genre they engage. *braces for the brickbats* Regardless, yes, my mileage certainly does very, but I'm always looking for the story under the surface story; I want the deep story.

    So, to answer the OP, the opportunism of which you speak sounds like a negative the way you ask it, and if it's prostituted in an exploitative way, for no better reason than to rustle some jimmies, then yeah, I guess that is a negative, but writing is art and the function of art is to comment on culture.
     
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  13. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Sure, but there's also "realistic" fiction that sacrifices real-life meaning and relevance for escapism. What's to say that there can't be SFF that doesn't?
     
  14. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Not sure what you mean by "realistic" fiction in the realm of escapism. What do you have in mind?
     
  15. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think you and I both know that there certainly is. A while back I read The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. I'm remembering it because I recently saw the film Arrival, which has a similar theme and I remember spending weeks thinking about those books when I was finished. VanderMeer's books - Science Fiction - are about communication. Not just how we communicate, or how language works, though this is certainly also part of the story, but why we do this, why we communicate, what it means to be a being that wishes to impart its experiences to another being, and what it means to acknowledge another being outside our usual, solipsistic enclosure of self-ness. In these stories the alien is an alien, but it clearly stands in place of the alienness of another human paradigm that may or may not function in a way that we can individually, respectively understand. This is a realm of focus where SFF shines.
     
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  16. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Romance novels about unrealistic plots and character arcs taking place in a realistic setting.

    Most of the fiction that I try to write is the other way around.
     

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