This is topic "Goat and Lion" (Working Title)-Weird Fantasy in forum Fragments and Feedback for Short Works at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.


To visit this topic, use this URL:
http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/writers/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=004888

Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
And now for something completely different.

Typing up another handwritten manuscript. I already know most folks are probably not going to like this. This story was largely inspired by the work of Brant Danay, a writer who used to post here regularly who was a good friend of mine-I think probably only extrinsic and Meredith would remember. Well and KDW of course.
Anyway, this story mostly relies on action, imagery and sheer weirdness. It is not really a character story.
Comments on the opening are good, full reads are better, as per ever.


Orobomet stood on the wooded mountain-slope with arms spread wide. The inverted pentagram scarred into his furred forehead between his vast horns glowed a deep, rotting green as he infused his followers with eldritch forces of unholy fecundity.

He looked down with his strange-pupiled goat’s eyes upon legions of wine-maddened satyr bravos, whip-wielding succubus dominatrixes, horse-headed glashan archers and a thousand other ribald and infernal creatures gathered under his phallic maypole banner. His whisper-bearded snout drew back in a lecherous leer of impending triumph.

Towering over his subjects, a twelve-foot-tall mass of fur and horn and muscle atop stone-shattering cloven hooves,
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
An individual and the self.

A self-approval prelude to a requisite precombat pep rally prelude, akin to and in advance of an arm-up scene (anymore often a trite sequenced battle scene formula). This fragment is a self-idealization mishmash of World of Warcraft media and Nathaniel Hawthorne "Young Goodman Brown" motif descriptions.

Not engaged except, again, a projected wish for a larger-than-life life transformation account intimated at from an outset.

A crude Effort Over Realization visual aid graph, writer effort for drama realization contrastive comparison to reader effort, a conversation (mutual, shared, or reciprocal efforts and realization):
code:
^| =                 + Writer
|| = M +
|| = +
E| = +
f| HIF
i| +O=
o| + =
r| + =
t| + =
|| + = Reader
|O_____________________
----- Realization ---->

M = MerlionEmrys 9-3:3
H = Hemingway 6-5:5
F = Faulkner 6-6:6
O = Orwell 5-5:5
I = Ideal 6-6:6
Reader-Writer Effort:Realization

A degree of reader effort essential, though not the bulk, due to effort promotes engagement: intellectual, emotional-moral, recreational imagination. "Ideal" means an idealized mean bull's-eye, not per se a most ideal ratio. Over-realization disengages as much as under-realization from too much writer holds reader hand per target audience aptitude.

I would not read further as an engaged reader.

[ December 29, 2018, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
An individual and the self.
I'm not sure I follow. There's only one actual character, so how is their an individual and a self?

It's neat that you came up with a visual aid (seriously, I'm not being facetious) but since I have no clue what it's supposedly to be aiding visually...


quote:
A degree of reader effort essential, though not the bulk, due to effort promotes engagement: intellectual, emotional-moral, recreational imagination. "Ideal" means an idealized mean bull's-eye, not per se a most ideal ratio. Over-realization disengages as much as under-realization from too much writer holds reader hand per target audience aptitude.
I have only a vague notion of what any of this means. Would it kill you to have an "ing" or a conjunction every great once in a while? Really? :-)


quote:
This fragment is a self-idealization mishmash of World of Warcraft media and Nathaniel Hawthorne "Young Goodman Brown" motif descriptions.
Is that an insult, or a compliment?
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
An individual and the self is a broad theme-topos category for self-realized insider exterior and interior discourse related to an "internal conflict" and complication.

Each university workshop course section I attended throughout, twenty-seven semesters total, creative nonfiction, script, and fiction, presented a graphic aid depiction of Reader-Writer Effort Over Realization, different from the one above. The above is per moi and an extension of extant knowledge thereof. The others were a vertical parabola, the apex of which equates to the bull's-eye target above.

"not," "as much as," and "as" are conjunctions. Yeah, unnecessary and trite -ing words and conjunctions bore me. My muse forbids those, exhortation to reconsider more robust expression, same for the four-letter word for air movement, and thousands more huh-uhs, think again.

Likewise, colon, comma are typographic glyph conjunctions. Colon equates to as follows and other; a math symbol for a fraction ratio, means over, equates to a fraction bar or slash -- 1:2 equals ½, for one. Comma equates to and, or, nor conjunctions, and other serial syntax unit division types.

Otherwise, neither compliment nor insult, nor proscriptive or prescriptive, as per my usual: descriptive responses.

[ December 29, 2018, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
An individual and the self is a broad theme-topos category for self-realized insider exterior and interior discourse related to an "internal conflict" and complication.
Okay. Don't fully understand most of that and still have almost no idea how it relates.

Who, in this, is the self and who is the individual?


quote:
Each university workshop course section I attended throughout, twenty-seven semesters total, creative nonfiction, script, and fiction, presented a graphic aid depiction of Reader-Writer Effort Over Realization, different from the one above. The above is per moi and an extension of extant knowledge thereof. The others were a vertical parabola, the apex of which equates to the bull's-eye target above.
Okay. Still don't know what Read-Writer Effort Over Realization is. I could make a guess based on what I'm used to those words meaning, but that probably wouldn't be how you're using them together.


quote:
Yeah, unnecessary and trite -ing words and conjunctions bore me. My muse forbids those, exhortation to reconsider more robust expression,
Yes, more robust, just at the same time nearly incomprehensible. I could probably handle either a bunch of unfamiliar words or having them strung together without anything that tells me what place they serve in whatever point is trying to be made or how they relate to each other, but both makes it very, very hard.


quote:
Otherwise, neither compliment nor insult, nor proscriptive or prescriptive, as per my usual: descriptive responses.
Uh huh.

Well, Nathaniel Hawthorne is a pretty well respected author and World of Warcraft is an extremely successful property, so I will choose to take that as a positive [Smile]
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
An individual and the self is a dramatic contest with the self, irrespective of if with others, too.

Reader-Writer Over Realization is a quotient of reader effort and writer effort to realization of what a narrative's pieces, parts, and wholes depict. The quotient as a fraction, (Reader, Writer)/Realization of the set (A, B)/C or (A, B) ÷ C. An ideal result is about 1 to 1 to 1, or 1/1/1 or 1:1:1 or 1. Oneness among reader, writer, and "Oh!" realization.

Reader-writer over-realization is overwrought detail, description, summary, or explanation, like a [shaggy dog story or lengthy recap or] pun explained, or a joke, a non sequitur, a story, a process, etc., and recreational value spoiled by the explanation [or detail or recap]. Under-realization is inadequate detail, etc., to intimate and infer "Why should I care?" "Oh, really?" and "Huh?" our host Orson Scott Card's questions readers ask and want from a narrative.

[ December 29, 2018, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
An individual and the self is a dramatic contest with the self, irrespective of if with others, too.
Hmm, okay. I thought it was something like that, but with you I'm never sure.

So, what leads you to believe that's the case here?


quote:
Reader-Writer Over Realization is a quotient of reader effort and writer effort to realization of what a narrative's pieces, parts, and wholes depict. The quotient as a fraction, (Reader, Writer)/Realization of the set (A, B)/C or (A, B) ÷ C. An ideal result is about 1 to 1 to 1, or 1/1/1 or 1:1:1 or 1. Oneness among reader, writer, and "Oh!" realization.

Reader-writer over-realization is overwrought detail, description, summary, or explanation, like a pun explained, or a joke, a non sequitur, a story, a process, etc., and recreational value spoiled by the explanation. Under-realization is inadequate detail, etc., to intimate and infer "Why should I care?" "Oh, really?" and "Huh?" our host Orson Scott Card's questions readers ask and want from a narrative.

Okay, so basically reader comprehension and writer comprehensibility.
And I take it what you're getting at is that I'm over describing and causing "over realization?"
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
An individual perceives the self and a gather and expresses personal thoughts about the self and the gather, meditative, albeit narrator received reflections and direct report.

Over-description, under-realized drama, motivations and stakes risked initial introductions shortfalls, in particular. If this is an energetic drama intent. An energetic is a dynamic moral truth discovery narrative, irrespective of per se superficial action adventure.

The fragment reads more like an aftermath celebration than a prelude to an action to come, to me, though narrative implies the latter's anticipation by default. Either-or? Unclear. Backstory stall more so, too, than action in quiet whisper, simmer, or energetic boil forward movement.

[ December 29, 2018, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
An individual perceives the self and a gather and expresses personal thoughts about the self and the gather, meditative, albeit narrator received reflections and direct report.
Hmm, okay. I don't see where any of that indicates a "dramatic contest with the self"-and there isn't one later on either, at least not that I remember, but whatever.


quote:
An energetic is a dynamic moral truth discovery narrative, irrespective of per se superficial action adventure.
That's a matter of opinion.


quote:
The fragment reads more like an aftermath celebration than a prelude to an action to come, to me, though narrative implies the latter's anticipation by default.
Yeah, I can see that being an issue. Might try to cut a little and bring the introduction of the enemy in sooner.


quote:
Backstory stall more so, too, than action in quiet whisper, simmer, or energetic boil forward movement.

Don't really understand most of this, but there IS some backstory to this and it might not be a bad idea to try and give a hint of it a little earlier...hmm...
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Consider a consensus forms because a group attains mutual agreement about a circumstance. What constitutes an energetic narrative's basis has been there and then some for thousands of years. Athwart consensus and individual opinions notwithstood.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
The words "energetic narrative" mean any narrative, with any kind of energy.

A fast moving, action packed narrative could easily be considered an "energetic" narrative, whether it has "moral truth discovery" or not.

Also, remember I never applied the term to this, you did-I don't really like labels, partially because they are often difficult to define in a way everyone, or sometimes even most can agree on. I prefer dealing with each thing in its own context, as much as possible, most of the time.

I've no doubt that there have been things that fit the definition you've given for thousands of years, given the youth of Modern English, chances are at that time they were called something else.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
People agree on a narrative's basics?

I'm suspicious. I have been wrestling with the idea of "what is a story." Or starts, or ends, or the parts of the craft of writing. Or almost anything, I guess.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
Not my style, not my genre, so I think I am stopping on this. I am not your target reader, so that's not a problem.

I didn't understand how he could see them if they were in the woods. I don't know what goat-eyes are.

The characters have potential, but so far it could also fit into cliche.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Energetic, formed from English energy (1599), Latin energia, Greek energeia, ἐνέργεια (Aristotle coin circa 350 BCE): activity, from energos: active, from ergon: work. Webster's "1 a : a dynamic quality <narrative energy>" Aristotle refers to an action's work activity circumstances as "real" in a fullest sense.

Many writers and others of related pursuits agree on story basics though express a unique set of bases' descriptions. A conspicuous absence of one or more facets of a story basis description or of a narrative glares to those, subtext's dimensions most.

[ December 29, 2018, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
'm suspicious. I have been wrestling with the idea of "what is a story." Or starts, or ends, or the parts of the craft of writing. Or almost anything, I guess.
A rock is a rock, and will be a rock for everyone. It will be hard for everyone. It will have the same mass and molecular composition for everyone. Also, within any given language, the word for "rock" will be the same for everyone.

But when you start to get into abstracts, and things that, ultimately, only exist in peoples minds-like stories, or more specifically the idea of "story" you pretty much leave all that behind.
Words are already, to some extent, abstract and arbitrary, but as I said above at least with the names of physical objects and forces, things that are objective, more or less total consensus is pretty easy to achieve.
With things like "story" a lot of it comes down to how general or specific a given person wants to get with their definition. As far as I'm concerned, almost all forms of artistic expression are also forms of story-even many depictive arts. A painting can tell a story. In my experience, most of the time when a person makes some sort of absolute statement about what a story IS or what a story MUST BE (or have) in order to be a story, what they are actually doing is stating what a story they will like IS or MUST BE.


I love language and ideas, and labels can be a useful shorthand, but I find the need to come up with specific, exclusive terms for every tiniest part of or variation in a thing to be rather tiresome. Like sub-genres, for example. Eventually it becomes an exercise in hair-splitting, and consensus goes largely out the window. Ask a bunch of different people what is or isn't "black-death metal" music or "hard science fiction" literature and you'll probably get at least several different answers.


In the end, in the context of speaking to someone in particular, the main purpose of language is to convey your meaning. And when you think about the words you use, a very important thing to consider is what they will mean to people-perhaps specifically whoever you are talking about.

For example, in my experience the phrase "energetic narrative" is going to make most people hear "fast-paced, action packed story." The phrase may mean other things too, but a lot of things in English (and doubtless other languages as well although I think English does have more of it) mean more than one thing.


Things like language and storytelling and emotions and art are not like chemistry or mathematics. People's perceptions don't effect these things-they are the same for everyone. Consensus can have some degree of that effect on some ultimately subjective things, and we have to have some degree of assumed baseline to even talk about stuff but I'd be very careful about trying to treat art too much like science.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Consider that a basis set of conditions for a given individual is the individual's self-determined principle set; however, worthwhile prose and practitioners thereof generally agree to similar or, more often, identical conditions. The words differ, though.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
Originally posted by EmmaSohan:
quote:
People agree on a narrative's basics?

I'm suspicious. I have been wrestling with the idea of "what is a story." Or starts, or ends, or the parts of the craft of writing. Or almost anything, I guess.

Really? What's a story without a start? Or an end, of any sort? How about the middle being missing; or maybe any two of the three.

Unbounded stream of consciousness is not a story to my way of thinking. And feel free to call me old-fashioned if you wish.

Phil.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
Not my style, not my genre, so I think I am stopping on this. I am not your target reader, so that's not a problem.
Totally understand. I don't buy the idea that most of what I write is somehow "niche", but, for a lot of reasons, this story will have a bit narrower-than-usual window of interest.


quote:
I didn't understand how he could see them if they were in the woods. I don't know what goat-eyes are.
Well, it isn't a super-dense forest, but objection noted.

He literally has goat eyes (because he literally has a goat head.)


quote:
The characters have potential, but so far it could also fit into cliche.
Yeah, well almost everything is a cliche in some way or other. All of art is becoming steadily more and more self-referential.
That being said, interestingly I think that this particular story does have a lot of very cliche stuff, stuck in a blender with a lot of stuff that is really not, creating, I hope an interesting (to at least some people) mix.


Thank you for commenting, Emma.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
Really? What's a story without a start? Or an end, of any sort? How about the middle being missing; or maybe any two of the three.
Funny you mention that, I've always wanted to try and write Hermes's beginningless, endless story that he used to bore poor Argus to death...or maybe a "motif of harmful sensation" story about somebody that finds it, and discovers it is deadly to anyone that starts reading it...


quote:
Unbounded stream of consciousness is not a story to my way of thinking. And feel free to call me old-fashioned if you wish.
That's valid, I can see that. One could also say it may be a "story" but doesn't constitute a "narrative" (or vice versa, like how Lovecraft used "terror" to denote the "highest" form of fear with "horror" lower, and somebody else, I can't remember who, swapped them.)


I think that, for me, personally, my broadest definition of story might-mind I say might-be anything that conveys something more than could be conveyed in a single word.


Although, I remember there used to be (maybe still is) a publication, the name of which I forget, that only dealt in tweet-length fiction. What is that, like 14 characters? And I always thought, how can someone possibly tell a full story in that few words?

And yet, I've seen many paintings and sculptures that, at least to me, conveyed a story, of a sort.


I care less about what definitions people use and more about their willingness to respect other people's, at the end of the day.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Twit length: one hundred forty glyphs.

A best-known micro fiction Isaac Asimov attributed to an Ernest Hemingway bar napkin scribble, pure intimation: "For sale, baby shoes, never worn."
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
Ah ha, I knew there was a 1 and a 4, I just forgot the zero.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
MerlionEmrys posted:
". . . Hermes's beginningless, endless story that he used to bore poor Argus to death...or maybe a "motif of harmful sensation" story about somebody that finds it, and discovers it is deadly to anyone that starts reading it..."

David Foster Wallace, Endless Jest, though not a creator lark perpetrated on readers, an encyclopedic novel of considerable subtext substance appeals.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
Are you accusing me of larking?
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Nope. James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, D.H. Lawrence, Anton Chekhov, maybe, though I determine what they actually miss is drama's portentous multidimensional movements. Respectively, snapshot vignette, snapshot anecdote, snapshot sketch, snapshot sketch of novel lengths -- skylarks.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
Even "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." is a story with a beginning, a middle and an end by strict definition. At least to me it does.

Phil.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
What's a story without a start? Or an end, of any sort?

In one book, the person who assassinated her father escapes from prison and comes after her. She goes to her attic with her weapon. She hears him come in, climb the stairs, he sees her, and they face each other, with their weapons.

The book ends there. That actually violates my understanding of what a story is -- to me, that does not count as an end.

So, what do you mean by start? or end? I think a story also needs coherence, which I cannot easily describe.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
The 'cliff-hanger' ending became a thing some time ago. Done well, it can be very effective: John Carpenter's The Thing is an excellent example. Done badly, and such endings ruin what could have been a good story.

Phil
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
In one book, the person who assassinated her father escapes from prison and comes after her. She goes to her attic with her weapon. She hears him come in, climb the stairs, he sees her, and they face each other, with their weapons.

The book ends there. That actually violates my understanding of what a story is -- to me, that does not count as an end.

So, what really appears to be happening is, we have a story that, for you, is unsatisfying. But, as Grumpy says, some just perceive it as a cliffhanger ending, rather than the absence of an ending.


Rather than trying to define what a story is or isn't, I think each time we have an idea, or something we want to say, the question is, how to go about doing that (saying that thing, communicating that idea.) That's why I base my crits on trying to understand authorial intent. Structures and terms and all can be helpful tools and useful guides, but in the end what matter is, what are you the artist and creator trying to accomplish and what things, techniques, styles, elements or whatever else will best allow you to do that.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
That type of "cliffhanger" outcome is also labeled open-ended. Artful open ends, though, project conclusive, inferable after-story. A non-opposite of backstory, after-story setup develops prior, as early as a title's words or later, as late as a denouement act. Yet Naturalist and Postmodernists' nihilism and inept sojourners persist in inconclusive ends.

Non-cliffhanger, energetic, artful, conclusive, unified open-ender; however, the real writer philosophic coda commentary last paragraph spoliates the whole, O Henry, "The Gift of the Magi" (Project Gutenberg hosted).

Gustav Freytag labels and explicates "coherence" as unity of expression and forth about causal and tensional facets of unity. Words for what, why, and how otherwise escaped him. Causal social-emotional-moral forces' complete, covert subtext of a complete, overt action is what, why, and how Aristotle explicates a unified, cohesive wholeness of an action. An incomplete explication, though, implies tensional and antagonal forces though without clarity.

Since then -- few and rare between. As like if folk are allergic-averse anymore to reasoned public social-moral aptitude discussions, except covert moral truth revelation within worthwhile prose and poetry.

[ December 29, 2018, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by Jay Greenstein (Member # 10615) on :
 
quote:
Orobomet stood on the wooded mountain-slope with arms spread wide. The inverted pentagram scarred into his furred forehead between his vast horns glowed a deep, rotting green as he infused his followers with eldritch forces of unholy fecundity.
Seriously? You're using purple ink?
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
Seriously? You're using purple ink?
Are you referring to the...somewhat florid nature of the prose, or something else I'm not picking up on?
 
Posted by WarrenB (Member # 10927) on :
 
This thread took some working through. Worth it for the discussion about story though... Interesting. Leads me to reflect on story as a functional thing rather than an artifact. Artifacts (e.g. short stories) are produced by art/craft, but narrative begins as an inner representation/reflection/transformation of one's inner or outer experience/reality. (Whoa, that's a lotta slashes, but on we go - no time to polish posts as well as everything else.)

Before artifacts, narrative is symbolic - sometimes to the point of being dream-like. The stories in our heads about our lives and the world do not map objectively on to it. And a lot of what we encounter in the social world are energetic narratives negotiating/competing for space. For me, much of the appeal of the artifacts - short stories, novels, etc. - lies in the fact that this complexity is contained and transformed into something that's still layered and complex, but less emergent and chaotic than social 'reality'. Easier to make sense of, in other words. It also connects to other thinking I've been doing about the role of story (narrative and artifact) in supporting social/systemic change... But that's the stuff of my paid life, so I'll move on for now. Apologies if the above is incoherent: just musings.

I also found the principles embedded in extrinsic's graph useful: the importance of reader effort had not clicked for me in this way before.

As for the fragment, I'll just offer my reaction. I literally laughed out loud... "unholy fecundity" - "whip-wielding succubus dominatrixes" - "ribald and infernal creatures gathered under his phallic maypole". Over-the-top in a way that I found really amusing. But if it's not parody, then my reading is way off base. Still, it tickled me.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
We could define a story as starting at page 1 and ending at the last page, and being everything in between. And everything is a story. Then we have nothing. No advice. No criticism.

What I noticed was the broadcasters try to turn a sports event into a story. Conflict and resolution. Turning point. Shifting momentum. Personalize the conflict. Finding deeper meaning. Handling the awesome moment perfectly.

It is as if there is something primitive and fundamental about "story", something somehow in our psyche. And one of the things about that story is that the reader is not left screaming "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?"

To be honest, the reader might ask, "How does this end?" The reader knows that two people facing each other with weapons is not an ending.

I concede that for this book, I was so disgusted with the characters and the story and the author that I did not care what happened next. The author, with a known desire to win a literary prize, was bravely exploring the boundaries of what is and is not a story, trying to be original.

While cliff-hangers are sometimes endings to books, the expectation is that another book is coming. Do authors still do that? I thought the proper ending for a book mid-series is a resolution to some conflict but to still have loose ends.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Dramatic movement from a first cause to a final effect, and no deviation causes and effects, start to middle to end, of five acts and seven pivots, tension segment sequence oscillations throughout, this reflects human life, and animal, vegetable, and mineral, across time and space. "Story" is a primordial phenomena all experience as a primary, first discourse, the first an in-person experience.

Story then is a secondary discourse, a reflection of the first experience, irrespective of if whole cloth fiction invention. Story hearer, viewer, reader experience of a story, then, is a tertiary discourse, a third, though of greatest reader, viewer, hearer appeal if vicariously experienced as a personal, emotional primary discourse and of few, if any, overt lens filters' interference.

Present-day life, though, for all its immediate, convenient, effortless self-gratification distractions, clutters a primary life discourse's dramatic movement, except larger-than-life life transformative crises that demand attention and focus priority. Many current, everyday life crises are of the taxa routine interruptus species; that is, self-gratification routines interrupted.

A bear at the door and it will come in, for example. Or more droll though nonetheless crises, a punctured car tire, funds shortfalls, the next-door Jones acquired the latest, greatest, sparkliest shiny, nada to do in this dead-life town, gotta go to work, a tree limb fell on the house. Each its way a vicitimism crisis, a "feminine" victimized first motivation, reaction thereafter to problem motivator.

Masculist motivators are want crisis first, proactivism, and anymore few and rare far between in literature -- except gladiatoral territorial-aggression sports events and public power and wealth dominance pageant tableaus. Problem motivators attend, oppose, and further motivate masculist want crises. Masculist proactivism creates crises, causes victimism from want. Taken to an extreme, masculist proactivism reflects the "Hero Syndrome Complex": an example, firefighter personnel arsonists, who heroically arrive to heroically extinguish arson fires and heroically reap the glory.

**** Note: feminine and masculine, feminist and masculist, victim of and proactive doer, sociology labels drawn from cultural behaviors and divisions, not per se female and male. ****

Pluralist motivators, want and problem are indivisible, non-gendered, perhaps distinguishable, and simultaneous or contemporaneous proactivism and victimism motivators. A want of funds for a punctured tire repair is Pluralist. How about made yet more of a Pluralist priority crisis by design was on the way to a substantial life transformative event, at one and the same time self-proactivated and self-victimized (self-sabotaged).

The spare is flat, too, un-re-inflatable for want of a tire pump, the jack is mislaid and not to be found, and this all transpires in a cell-reception blackhole, godforsaken nowhere. How I Spent my Summer Vacation this is not. How I Overcame the Adversity it is, and subtext about sloth and self-indiligence; larger-than-life diligence self-adjustment consequences, too. Or other Aristotlean tragic or comic or tragicomic outcomes of a near infinite variety.

Point is, want-problem crisis of whichever vein or mien, maybe victimism first, motivates proactive action soon or late, and accords each and every worth-the-while prose "story" definition and composition and read. Note: even resistance to and refusal of victimism is proactive. Denies external or internal forces' motivations to change, for good or ill.

Story dramatic movement is an account of an antagonal, causal, tensional sequence of crisis events. Or E.M. Forster's famous quip: " 'The king died and then the queen died,' is a story. 'The king died and then the queen died from grief,' is a plot." The king died. The king's death caused the queen's grief. The queen's grief caused her death. Antagonal, causal, tensional events sequenced. (Aspects of the Novel) Narrative length definitions, criteria, and rationales are another post.

[ December 30, 2018, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by WarrenB:
I also found the principles embedded in extrinsic's graph useful: the importance of reader effort had not clicked for me in this way before.

Refreshing!

Part of appreciation for degree of reader effort and effect and affect, too much or too little, derives from rhetoric's decorum concept: "A central rhetorical principle requiring one's words and subject matter be aptly fit to each other, to the circumstances and occasion (kairos), the audience, and the speaker." Add too, pathos, ethos, and logos, respectively, emotional, credibility, and logic persuasive appeals. (Gideon Burton, Silva Rhetoricae, rhetoric.byu.edu)

H.P. Grice's "Cooperation Principle" adds to decorum's extant knowledge base: quantity, quality, relevance, and mannerism of expression such that an audience participates and contributes, irrespective of if a conversation, a direct address from a lectern, in person, or vicariously through a written or aural-visual media.

Other texts, too, which contain facets of writer-creator consciousness of audience topics: Wayne Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction, for one.

[ December 30, 2018, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
Well, WarrenB, that "no internet weekend" thing lasted about as long as I expected it would [Cool]


quote:
As for the fragment, I'll just offer my reaction. I literally laughed out loud... "unholy fecundity" - "whip-wielding succubus dominatrixes" - "ribald and infernal creatures gathered under his phallic maypole". Over-the-top in a way that I found really amusing. But if it's not parody, then my reading is way off base. Still, it tickled me.
This isn't parody, but I still don't think you're that far off base. This is meant to be over the top and crazy, and sometimes that which is extreme (or frightening) can also be funny, in a way, at the same time.


quote:
This thread took some working through. Worth it for the discussion about story though... Interesting. Leads me to reflect on story as a functional thing rather than an artifact. Artifacts (e.g. short stories) are produced by art/craft, but narrative begins as an inner representation/reflection/transformation of one's inner or outer experience/reality. (Whoa, that's a lotta slashes, but on we go - no time to polish posts as well as everything else.)
Interesting. Of course, someone else might call what you call narrative story and what you call story narrative :-)

But before I start ranting about definitions and whatall, I'll say that the distinction you draw between the inner substance and progression and the outer process is interesting. Ultimately sort of an order/chaos thing, potential being shaped into actual. I like it.
I also have no problem with excessive slashes, it happens to me a lot too.


quote:
short stories, novels, etc. - lies in the fact that this complexity is contained and transformed into something that's still layered and complex, but less emergent and chaotic than social 'reality'. Easier to make sense of, in other words. It also connects to other thinking I've been doing about the role of story (narrative and artifact) in supporting social/systemic change...
While I do not believe that literature, or any art, must contain a "moral" or social commentary in order to be worthwhile or valid, very much of it does have those elements one way or other and storytelling and art in all forms have always been strongly linked to social change and whatall-just look at the '50s and '60s American counterculture largely born of and continually supported by a loop of literature and music.

As you say, stories are a way to compress the complicated realities of living as self-aware beings into smaller, more coherent, easier-to-deal with bits and can also-I think the speculative genres especially-allow for seeing those things from different perspectives or couching social commentary into accessible forms.


And even if there isn't a generalized moral or social commentary, there will most likely be some sort of more personal psychological and/or emotional explorations, revelations, statements or messages. Sometimes a person is just telling their own story, one way or another, or just trying to make sense of the content of their own minds.
Sometimes they're just trying to make something beautiful, or funny, or scary, or whatever.


quote:
I also found the principles embedded in extrinsic's graph useful: the importance of reader effort had not clicked for me in this way before.
It is an interesting idea, once I managed to figure out what in the Nine Hells it was supposed to represent.
However, I always have somewhat mixed feelings about "reader" anything, because the question is always, which reader? If you're targeting a specific audience such things can be great, and of course we can generalize to a point, but when it comes to something like "reader effort", I dunno I try to think of what someone might see as more or less "effort" as a reader and apart from some very obvious things...I dunno.

For me it just depends on what I'm writing. I'm fond of the TV show "Killjoys" and in it the Killyjoys have a saying-"the warrant is all." My version is, "the story is all." Now, some of what I write has a fair amount of wiggle room and either already fits the "general" pretty well, or I can tweak it to it no problem.


But, take this story. I knew from the outset it wasn't going to have the widest possible audience appeal. Quite the opposite, there are a variety of things about this story that I know will turn off a variety of different readers. However, I also know that several of those things will interest some other types of readers-less to be sure, but to me it's little different than writing in a not as popular genre-there's lots of folks that don't like horror, or anything remotely dark for example (although all my best sales have been horror stories.)


Like a lot of things about writing (and life) it's a balancing act.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
We could define a story as starting at page 1 and ending at the last page, and being everything in between. And everything is a story. Then we have nothing. No advice. No criticism.

What I noticed was the broadcasters try to turn a sports event into a story. Conflict and resolution. Turning point. Shifting momentum. Personalize the conflict. Finding deeper meaning. Handling the awesome moment perfectly.

It is as if there is something primitive and fundamental about "story", something somehow in our psyche. And one of the things about that story is that the reader is not left screaming "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?"

To be honest, the reader might ask, "How does this end?" The reader knows that two people facing each other with weapons is not an ending.

I concede that for this book, I was so disgusted with the characters and the story and the author that I did not care what happened next. The author, with a known desire to win a literary prize, was bravely exploring the boundaries of what is and is not a story, trying to be original.

While cliff-hangers are sometimes endings to books, the expectation is that another book is coming. Do authors still do that? I thought the proper ending for a book mid-series is a resolution to some conflict but to still have loose ends.

So, here is the thing. In so far as I'm into such things, I think defining "story" as something (perhaps even any sort of what that expresses something) that has a beginning, a middle and an end is pretty reasonable in theory. Almost everything in human experience can be said, one way or other, to have those three things and so it is a very, very broad definition (which is mostly my favorite kind)

I would say, however, that most of the issues with that definition are usually going to be with the "end" part of the concept.

And I think that is partly-perhaps largely-in difficulties surrounding defining what an "end" is.

In your example of the novel with the two characters meeting with drawn weapons, it does end in the broadest sense. The narrative stops. Therefore, in the most basic sense of the word, the story has an end.

So, what you are really looking for, and are dissatisfied by, to the point of considering whether or not a thing qualifies as a "story" is a resolution.

But then, we have to contemplate what counts as a resolution, to say nothing of whether/to who a resolution is satisfactory.

So, do we then change it to being that anything with a beginning, a middle and resolution is a story, and anything lacking one or more of those things is not?

And if a thing that is made of words and sentences and paragraphs on paper or a screen isn't a story, then what in the holy light of Elbesem is it?

And, does it really matter?

Of course it can matter and even if it doesn't, it is intellectually interesting to consider, so please no one think I'm ever trying to say that it's just irrelevant and not worth discussing. I just don't think we should get bogged down in it, apart from generally intellectual curiosity and however it effects whatever we're trying to do creatively, nor should we try to push our conclusions on others (in no way saying that you or anyone is in this discussion, Emma, just stating it as a thing.)

I don't think there is ultimately any answer aside from the one(s) we each develop for ourselves.


The thing about words and their definitions is, to me, this. We of course have to have some decent degree of baseline consensus as to what a word means so we can all communicate. And I think with many words that's pretty successful...especially as regards there most general definitions and basic, day to day usage.
But when you try to get into more specific and/or technical definitions and/or usages, things can slowly start to fragment. You start getting less consensus and/or thinking you have more than you do.

Although not a super big fan of generalization about people, I think it's pretty safe to say that, to most people, the word "story" means any and all of the things we've discussed here. While I think a large number of people would share your irritation with the book you mention and it's lack of resolution, I don't think many folks who aren't writers would question whether or not it qualifies as a story. They'd just decide it's a "bad" story, in other words, a story they don't like.


Any of these things we try to use to determine what "is" this and what "isn't" that can be added or subtracted at will, as in what you say about sports commentators applying what are usually thought of as story type concepts to a sporting event.
Are they wrong?
Well, they are wrong to me, or rather for me. I have three favorite things in this Universe-stories, cute guys and tea(or maybe cheat a little and say tea and desert). For me, sports are more or less the total opposite of that (save for the occasional presence of a cute guy)-pretty much the most boring, uninteresting thing imaginable.
But, I can't really gainsay the type of attempts you speak of. Looked at a certain way, a game of football could be easily said to have those things.

You were extremely unhappy with the book you mention, Emma, but what about the people that love it? Is their opinion wrong?

Likewise, let's say you conclude that it's lack of resolution makes it "not a story."

What about the people who feel it is? Can you absolutely tell them that their opinion/viewpoint on it is unequivocally incorrect, the same way you could say that someone who claims the English word for the tool used to drive nails into wood is "gorilla" is unequivocally incorrect?


I, for one, could not.
 
Posted by WarrenB (Member # 10927) on :
 
Back to extrinsic's graph for a moment. I just looked more carefully at the number sequence linked to 'Ideal':

"I = Ideal 6-6:6"

Intentional satanic irony related to this story fragment or just happy accident? :-)
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
Oh Goddess, please don't get him started
 
Posted by WarrenB (Member # 10927) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MerlionEmrys:
And if a thing that is made of words and sentences and paragraphs on paper or a screen isn't a story, then what in the holy light of Elbesem is it?

A text, since that's a wider category? (Though perhaps that's a little generically postmodern – since we could argue that everything is a text, or can be treated as one. But, let's not.)

My gut feeling is that stories are human constructions with explanatory power, at least for their author (and if they're effective artifacts – i.e. published in one form or another and consumed by at least a few readers – for others too). They say something coherent about existence/life/reality – even if that something is ambiguous/open-ended/unresolved. Stories make meaning, of one kind or another.

Practically though, 'Stories have a beginning, middle and end," does have the (considerable) virtue of simplicity.

And now, back to my own story... A.K.A. finding a way to avoid cooking anything for tonight's party, while making space for a long nap and dredging up what little's left of my festive cheer. Happy New Year, all!
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
"Resolution" outcomes, ends, assumes one-of-a-kind story structure. Damon Knight defines such a story type, though labels it a plot type, that is, the conflict resolution plot. Perhaps the most common story type of all, the conflict resolution story as well self-defines its start and middle. A "conflict" arises, start; efforts to resolve the conflict transpire, middle; conflict resolved, end.

Thank Providence, conflict resolution is not the only story type. Too often, conflict resolution simple plots' straightforward crisis management is dulled from repetition, though by far the more common dramatic structure, especially for mainstream commercial drama rapt with melodrama. Knight indexes several more, though shy a few. Complication satisfaction through accommodation is one he misses. Complication accommodation structure types entail the more sublime appeals of transformative pivots, the twists and turns of complex plots that thrill readers, peripeteia and anagnorisis, respectively.

How any given reader or writer defines "conflict" varies, though. Like pornography, many know it when they encounter it and cannot describe its features, other than the most blatant features -- indecent exposure.

Experienced writer-readers' concise, mutual conflict definitions coalesce around three facets: one, a matter of life-influential forces; two, polar opposite contention of the forces; and three, matters of internal or external forces. Personas often represent conflict forces through a veiled form of allegory; events and settings may also entail allegorical senses, includes conflict and complication events. Conflict: a polar opposition of forces in contention; that is, the central stakes at risk: life and death, success and failure, acceptance and rejection, riches and rags, salvation and damnation, ad infinitum, an individual and [----].

"Internal conflict" is a term much at writer fingertips and tongue tips, though too often bandied and misapprehended. Polar opposition of internal forces in contention, broad enough; though, for composition sciences and arts, wants narrower application therefrom.

Internal conflict contention. Here, the broad category entails temptation opposed by avoidance: temptation avoidance, resistance, refusal, or utter denial, or, actually, conscious, responsible moral truth kept dear and temptation in contention, truth and temptation at risk, exclusively moral aptitude circumstances. Cartoon animations depict the conflict as a demon on one shoulder and an angel on the other, who whisper or whatever into a persona's ears. Those argue and haggle and fight for the eternal soul of the persona.

More recent, less preachy, perhaps more artful, motion picture internal conflict depictions pose a three-version persona in contention, three apparel outfits, three moral attitudes, aptitudes, voices, three personalities of one persona depicted at once in a picture's frame. The cinema gimmick depicts an external thought scene, a debate soliloquy of three parts, and, again, more so social-moral values than per se religious values.

Written word, though, maintains the internal conflict and moral struggle within thought and consciousness, though doesn't per se exclude the above cinematic gimmicks. The three aspects entail the id's instinctive needs and wants, the temptations of the pure state of Nature; the ego's conscious mediation between the id and superego and internal and external existence; and the superego's subconsciously internalized consciousness of parental and social values, consciousness of guilt, and self-adapted moral aptitudes, Natural Law.

For a writer guidance, each of the three aspects of internal consciousness of self may express a voice distinct from the others. One, the ego's mediator voice; one, the id's ignoble, wicked voice; one, the superego's noble, selfless voice. Also, these may be spoken aloud soliloquy or dramatic monologue, internalized thoughts, or given in the dialogues of three or more distinct characters' conversations if allegory.

This way-far above fragment is an individual and the self external and internal observations, yeah, purple, though a convention of fantasy and tradition of fable. If commentary about "purple," that is not signaled, nor related to a tone's attitude. Likewise, conflict is not initiated, nor complication. Albeit several other introductions are initiated, vague event, setting, and character personality developments (id, yes, though not ego or superego); discourse's overall narrative point of view facets and genre established.

I strongly believe the gamut of a start's essential initial introduction features may fit into thirteen lines and a title, complication and conflict initiations most of all.

[ December 31, 2018, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by WarrenB:
Back to extrinsic's graph for a moment. I just looked more carefully at the number sequence linked to 'Ideal':

"I = Ideal 6-6:6"

Intentional satanic irony related to this story fragment or just happy accident? :-)

I would neither confirm nor deny either or more and other. I wondered if and whom would realize that connection.

Yeah, you shall know him by the mark of the Beast shown on his forehead, or on his hand, 666. A chuckle worthy observation that all worthwhile prose is satire's depictions of moral aptitude struggles, though sans per se presupposed notions of religious moral propriety -- or not and more and other.

[ December 31, 2018, 01:24 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
A text, since that's a wider category? (Though perhaps that's a little generically postmodern – since we could argue that everything is a text, or can be treated as one. But, let's not.)
Yeah, I don't think text is very useful for what we're really talking about-it defines form, as in physical form, rather than content, just like "book" or "scroll", or method of delivery.


quote:
nd if they're effective artifacts – i.e. published in one form or another and consumed by at least a few readers

Before I talk about the other part, I had to snip this out and address it. I know you didn't mean anything negative, but I have to disagree that publication has automatic effect on effectiveness. My years in this place showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a metric butt ton of extremely effective storytelling that is not-and may never be-published.

Say rather that an effective artifact is one that succeeds in communicating whatever is trying to be communicated to a receiver. Though, that's really a matter of degree, a sliding scale, because everything like that is going to succeed in that to someone, so perhaps the more it does so with, the more effective. It isn't zero-sum (I think that's the right phrase.)


quote:
My gut feeling is that stories are human constructions with explanatory power, They say something coherent about existence/life/reality – even if that something is ambiguous/open-ended/unresolved. Stories make meaning, of one kind or another.
Yep, I think this is pretty much more or less as close as we're ever likely to come to an "answer." However, as you may, or may not have realized, this definition also, pretty much, makes "story" synonymous with "language." [Cool]


Personally, I'm okay with that because in my heart I personally believe that everything is a story. Some will no doubt disagree, but once again most attempts to define "what a story is", especially the ones that really get specific, are when all's said and done, just a person providing their definition of what a story needs to be for them to like it.


quote:
Practically though, 'Stories have a beginning, middle and end," does have the (considerable) virtue of simplicity.
Yep, and for me that's what terms and definitions are for-basically shorthand, for when you just want to convey basic information. I resist terms and labels that try to convey more specific and/or complex things in one or two words, because such attempts break down for the reasons I've outlined. That's why my posts and conversations tend to be long. I hate being misunderstood, so if I want to do anything besides convey a very basic idea or meaning, I'm going to dig in and explain what I mean instead of trusting that some word or two-or-three-word phrase will mean to whoever I'm speaking to exactly the same thing it means to me.

People want to be able to shorthand everything and it doesn't work. That's also why we need to be willing to take the time to learn about each other, and understand each others definitions, instead of telling people they're wrong, because eventually, then, you CAN shorthand just about everything, at least with that person/those people.

It's also why I favor using the most accessible accurate terms when making a general address.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
"Resolution" outcomes, ends, assumes one-of-a-kind story structure.
No more so than the assumption that stories must all have an "end" at all-besides the most literal meaning of the word, to stop.


quote:
Damon Knight defines such a story type, though labels it a plot type, that is, the conflict resolution
Not all resolutions are conflict resolutions. Although I suppose that can depend somewhat on ones definition of conflict.

Which is, again, my point. Every time we try to label and define things, we find ourselves with more than one definition of whatever label we use.


Also, if I wasn't clear, all I was saying that what Emma was talking about, in terms of what constitutes an "end" had less to do with that most literal meaning of end, to stop, and more to do with lack of resolution, so that the thing about defining a story as anything with a beginning, middle and end might be better said as beginning, middle and resolution.

But even that is questionable.

I think another key here, is to avoid proscription. We can use beginning, middle and end/resolution as a definition of story-but with the understanding that the lack of of those things doesn't necessarily mean something is not a story (if for no other reason than, again, if a written work or such isn't a story, then what is it?)
And of course there is intent. Deep down I feel like if someone writes something and says it's a story, it is-other people can decide whether or not they like it, but if that thing about the baby shoes can be a story, seems to me like anything can.


quote:
This way-far above fragment is an individual and the self external and internal observations
I still don't get it. What internal observations?

I mean, it really doesn't matter...but it feels like your making something simple into something complicated. All that's happening is a magical goat-man striding around and using magic to enhance his troops.


quote:
all worthwhile prose is satire's depictions of moral aptitude struggles
You honestly believe that any prose work that doesn't have a moral (putting it simply) cannot be worthwhile?

If something is just fun and enjoyable, it isn't worthwhile?
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Is a fun and enjoyable thing an emotional appeal? Yes. Does moral aptitude attend emotional expression? Yes. Maybe not one of Aesop's Fables' overt moral aptitude exhortations, though if a narrative is more than a superficial summary action, message and moral aptitude content must be expressed therein, through deepest subtext at least, whether intended or otherwise, cannot help but be included. Moral aptitude is to be human and prose's portraits thereof, irrespective of if a fantastic personification of same or an antipersonification (antiprosopopoeia).

Wayne Booth aptly asserts, refuse one rhetoric, another takes its place. Consciously, subconsciously, or nonconsciously, or some of each and more. J.R.R. Tolkien refused allegory, instead used epic simile for similar functions. Not altogether successful at no allegory, either. Allegorical personas, events, and settings populate his works: extended metaphors.

Refuse a moral struggle, impossible, except for under- or unrealized drama, then writer indiligence obvious, refused though depicted anyway, more so chaotic and incohesive due to unrealized. Haven't yet read a worthwhile narrative sans a moral struggle at some level, includes primary grade readers of the Dick, Jane, and Spot learners' books types. Likewise preschool alphabet primers -- A is for apple, B is for boy, C is for Cat, D for dog, E for Ed, F for fun, G for game, H hat, etc., as deepest covert as the moral is: learn your ABCs and word formations from this way forward for the sake of social inclusion.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
Does moral aptitude attend emotional expression? Yes.
You keep paring "moral" and "aptitude" which seems a little odd to me, so I assume you're using a definition of aptitude I'm not familiar with...so I'm going to address this on a vague best guess of what you mean.


I don't think so. Expressing emotions and morals can certainly be linked, but they don't have to be.
Besides that, part of what I mean is, say, an adventure story that is nothing more than that-no saving the world or anything else, just somebody, say, avoiding danger in an interesting landscape.
Such a story may be enjoyable (for some) but if I'm understanding everything you're saying (which I may well not be) it wouldn't be "worthwhile prose" in your estimation (which you seem to be indicating is also a factual thing.)


quote:
J.R.R. Tolkien refused allegory, instead used epic simile for similar functions. Not altogether successful at no allegory, either. Allegorical personas, events, and settings populate his works: extended metaphors.
Actually, Tolkien's deal is a pretty good example of what I've been talking about with definitions. As far as Tolkien was concerned, his story was NOT allegory, it was fictional history. A case could be made for either one...so which one is "right?"

Of course also, in the case of "allegory" I do kind of think a thing needs to be intended as such to really qualify, but that's a whole other thing.


quote:
Haven't yet read a worthwhile narrative sans a moral struggle at some level,
See, it's the "worthwhile" that troubles me. It smells of an attempt to define some stuff as valid and some stuff as not, universally, which I have a really, really serious problem with (you can define stuff as worthwhile or valid for yourself or not till the Shoggoths come home, but not objectively and for everyone.)

However, I'm not quite sure I follow, because some of what your saying seems to add up to "you literally cannot have a narrative/story/whatever the heck without 'morals' (or whatever)" but some of what you're saying seems to be "there is stuff that doesn't have it, but all of that is objectively worthless."

As long as you're not trying to make objective value judgements about subjective stuff (which all forms of art/expression/literature/music/films/whatever the heck are) then I don't care about the rest.

Anything a person puts sincere effort into is worthwhile, on at least some level.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
Let me try again. Suppose you as author have deliberately created some issue, like a conflict or problem, and the reader is reading to see how that issue is resolved. Then I think there's an obligation to resolve the issue.

And those units have a start -- the precipitating incident, the presentation of the problem.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
An objective truth differs from an objective fact as much the cosmos is wide.

The Sun rises and sets is an objective fact.

The Sun rises eager and sets angry is an objective truth.

Objective truth ranges from personal to global. Objective facts always are global truth, mostly; some will argue otherwise against most any fact anyway, regardless, irrespective of truth.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
An objective truth differs from an objective fact as much the cosmos is wide.

The Sun rises and sets is an objective fact.

The Sun rises eager and sets angry is an objective truth.

Objective truth ranges from personal to global. Objective facts always are global truth, mostly; some will argue otherwise against most any fact anyway, regardless, irrespective of truth.

Like Indiana Jones says, "truth" and "fact" are different things, so I wouldn't really use the term "objective truth" I'd always pair "objective" with "fact." So, to me, you can have personal truths, but objective is about facts and vice versa.

Either way, my point, as I'm pretty sure you realize, is I have a problem with people trying to turn their opinions (which are inherently personal) into facts (which are inherently not.)

Such as by saying "this story is worthless."

To me, all you can rightly say is, "this story is worthless for me."

Anything made with sincere effort has worth, whether you personally care for it or not.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by EmmaSohan:
Let me try again. Suppose you as author have deliberately created some issue, like a conflict or problem, and the reader is reading to see how that issue is resolved. Then I think there's an obligation to resolve the issue.

And those units have a start -- the precipitating incident, the presentation of the problem.

Resolution is one way to manage a narrative's complication problem; satisfaction, accommodation, or closure are other ways. A least favored way is a deus ex machina contrived coincidence ("god from a machine").

L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900, resolves several personas' problems by a deus ex machina; actually, a godlike persona comes out from a machine.

Homer's Odyssey outcome is satisfaction; Odysseus satisfies more problems at the end than he resolves.

James Joyce's Ulysses ends on accommodation and no problems resolved.

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot ends on closure, not a single satisfaction, accommodation, or resolution of any want or problem.

Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain ends on several resolutions, satisfactions, and accommodations, some closure, too.
 
Posted by EmmaSohan (Member # 10917) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MerlionEmrys:
I think another key here, is to avoid proscription...

And of course there is intent. Deep down I feel like if someone writes something and says it's a story, it is-other people can decide whether or not they like it, but if that thing about the baby shoes can be a story, seems to me like anything can.

What about jokes? Do you want to say that if someone calls it a joke, it will be a joke?

Actually, I can tell you rules that a joke should follow. And you might find exceptions, but it's more likely (I think!) that if a joke doesn't follow my rules I can improve on it. Yep, that's totally subjective. But one joke ended with the dialogue tag! That has to be a no no.

Stories (and books) are too complicated to have a simple answer like jokes. But maybe there is something to find.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
The fact of an objective truth is that a self or cohort believes it self-evident. If others disagree, that, too, is the fact of an objective truth.

I believe I'll work woodwares. I do, an objective truth and fact, though not known as truth or fact by many; some, yes.

I believe in an origination deity. I don't, actually, though an objective truth for many, is a falsehood from me, though not as might be inferred, instead, I know, for an objective fact.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
Originally posted by MerlionEmrys:
quote:
As long as you're not trying to make objective value judgements about subjective stuff (which all forms of art/expression/literature/music/films/whatever the heck are) then I don't care about the rest.

Anything a person puts sincere effort into is worthwhile, on at least some level.

What utter sophistry.

Phil.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
Emma-just prefacing by saying everything I'm about to say isn't, in my mind, primarily related to the "what is a story" thing, we're going off on something more specific.


quote:
Let me try again. Suppose you as author have deliberately created some issue, like a conflict or problem, and the reader is reading to see how that issue is resolved. Then I think there's an obligation to resolve the issue.
I want to just agree with this, but I can't, fully. Or at least not in every circumstance.

I will say, that in Western culture, most of the time in the situation you describe, by far the most common reader expectation will be for a resolution of the issue, especially if you're casting the net of what counts as "resolution" pretty broadly, and I feel relatively certain you are. I would maybe say resolve, or at least "address".
Now, a story may raise more than one such issue/conflict/problem, especially in something novel length, and may easily fail to take care of all of them, but again, the expectation will usually be that the one presented as central will be resolved.

I agree that the example you give of the book ending with the standoff is a pretty crappy thing for an author to do, and seems like they were just trying to be "special", rather than really following some sort of artistic vision. There is a sort of social contract thing that goes on between author and reader. It can be fuzzy unsure, but sometimes it isn't. If you present a piece as clearly being a "conflict resolution" story, with nothing else besides, and then just fail to resolve the conflict-or again, at least address it, such as by making it clear it cannot be resolved or whatever) you have let your reader down.

Nobody would have been happy if Sam and Frodo had just been left standing on the slopes of Orodruin.

I'm a big fan of East Asian storytelling, and they tend to have a higher percentage of stories that are sort of open ended without a definite conclusion, but even then often its partly because such a conclusion wasn't necessarily "advertised"...but I do think it can vary a bit by culture and tradition.


quote:
What about jokes? Do you want to say that if someone calls it a joke, it will be a joke?
I'd say that anything that creates laughter/smiles/humorous reactions and was intended as such is a "joke" (and a case could probably be made that the intent isn't even needed-a thing is a "joke" to anyone that finds it funny.)

But, the word "joke" is easier, because it's about something with a single, specific, known goal-to create a humorous reaction.


quote:
Stories (and books) are too complicated to have a simple answer like jokes.
Exactly.


quote:
But maybe there is something to find.
Perhaps. But what? And to what purpose?

I have things I want to say, and ideas in my head that insist on being released in the form of writing. All of them fit at least some definition of "story"-most of them fit many. Some few don't fit some of the narrower definitions (some of my work is not character-oriented and may not fit the definitions of those that feel character-arc stories are the only kind that exist-but again, all that really is is an expression of personal taste, and anyone reasonable sets out in this knowing they aren't going to fit everyone's taste.)

Ultimately the definition of "story" just has very little bearing on what I'm going to do or not do.

Really, this is more about how to deal with those instances when we encounter someone who has a significantly different from the average definition.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
What utter sophistry.
Not at all. Sincere belief.

Sophistry indicates, basically, lying. I don't lie, unless it's to save a life or such.


Let's say two people read a particular novel. One concludes it is worthless. The other loves it. Does either have the right to tell the other they are absolutely, objectively wrong?


Also, and this is not meant to be an accusation of anything by or to anyone, but, to me, saying that some creative works have worth, universally, and others universally do not, that type of thinking, is not that extremely far from, and is of a related species to the sort of thinking that leads to the idea that some people have worth and others do not.

Which is why I react as I do when people try to apply objective universal value judgments to art/creativity/literature/film/whatever terms you want to use.
 
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
 
Sophistry is a type of argument, assertion, etc., that formulates reasoning by accepted deductive or inductive logic organization practices though based upon invalid assumptions and concludes invalid conclusions.

The Earth is a flat platter, once a widely believed objective global truth, has long since been proven invalid and a false fact. Luddites persist in sophist assertions and specious arguments the Earth is flat.

[ January 01, 2019, 12:46 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
 
Posted by Jay Greenstein (Member # 10615) on :
 
quote:
Anything a person puts sincere effort into is worthwhile, on at least some level.
Based on that, if I sincerely try to kill you, because I believe it right, it has value. Jim Jones was sincere when he poisoned the Cool-Aid. What value did sincerity have in giving that act valuae?

I'm certain you don't support such things as valuable goals. So having stated it as you did had to be made for cause. So the sophistry comment has validity and merit.
quote:
Not at all. Sincere belief.
One thing I've noticed over the years, is that a sincere belief in anything, no matter how strongly held, has nothing to do with the accuracy of that belief. Some, on seeing such a statement, might see a sophistic tilt to that remark, which is why I tend to favor objective argument.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
Originally posted by MerlionEmrys:
quote:
Not at all. Sincere belief.

Sophistry indicates, basically, lying. I don't lie, unless it's to save a life or such.

Again, more sophistry. Of course you lie, everyone lies. If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be a cohesive society. It is also a common trope in so many stories. And you deliberately misrepresent the meaning of the word sophistry you are trying to rebut, another sophist trait. Sophistry is not lying.

And:
quote:
Which is why I react as I do when people try to apply objective universal value judgments (sic) to art/creativity/literature/film/whatever terms you want to use.
And even more sophistry. My, you are good. But I find the basis of your opinions, the arguments in support of them and the conclusions of the majority of your arguments to be specious, fallacious and misleading. As well as essentially irrelevant to any discussion of prose or rhetoric.

Phil.
 
Posted by MerlionEmrys (Member # 11024) on :
 
quote:
Based on that, if I sincerely try to kill you, because I believe it right, it has value. Jim Jones was sincere when he poisoned the Cool-Aid. What value did sincerity have in giving that act valuae?

Context. I'd already made this statement once referring to creative works, I didn't feel I needed to re-iterate the slash-filled qualification that I was referring to the types of things we're discussing-creative works, literature in particular.


I don't really understand why the idea that some people's tastes and opinions are objectively wrong and don't count and that some people's creative efforts are irrelevant and worthless needs to be defended and validated, but there are many things in the world I don't understand.


This has been a good, mostly civil discussion, but since I have already, whether anyone choose to believe it or not, sincerely stated my thoughts, views and ideas about the things we've been discussing and since I don't wish it to turn into anything else, I am bowing out of the thread, unless it be to discuss the original fragment.
 
Posted by Jay Greenstein (Member # 10615) on :
 
quote:
Context. I'd already made this statement once referring to creative works,
Naaa. After sophistry, the second most popular troll-trick is the old: you misunderstood what I said because...so it's all your fault."

When I saw that deep purple prose that was supposedly the opening to a story, I figured it was either the work of someone without a clue of how to write for publication, or that of someone wanting to argue for argument's sake. Nothing after that has changed my mind.

I would strongly suggest that this thread be purged.
 
Posted by Meredith (Member # 8368) on :
 
Wow! This thread seems to have moved pretty far from its original purpose. It appears to be more about arguing about how to argue at the moment--which really isn't about the story fragment at all.

What ever happened to the rule about keeping comments about the story, not the poster?

Oh, and it's usually considered bad etiquette to hijack someone else's thread. If a thread raises a question about something else, don't we usually start a new thread for that question?

Just wondering.
 
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
 
I plead necessity. I have my reasons. Also, may I point out the OP started critiquing our critiques. I felt a rebuttal was warranted.

Phil.
 
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
 
It has gotten off topic, but no purging.

Maybe the best thing would be to close the topic, though.
 


Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2