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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Bad writers/books learning from them? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Bad writers/books learning from them?
Lyrajean
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Giving allowances for the fact that everybody's taste is different, are there any examples of (what you think) are badly written books or authors who have writing issues, or that you can't stand, yet you've read them and learned important writing lessons from them.

My best personal example is Anne Rice in general and her Vampire Chrinicles in particular. The first 2 books were genius and I still love them. Unfortuantely this probably made her so famous that no sane or insane editor can say 'no' to her now. And there's a lot of $$$ pressure on her to keep milking the same stuff over and over...

What I learned from her is where to call it quits with description or a conversation between 2 characters that gets sidetracked by philosophy or whatever before it gets boring, mostly by her books especially the more recent ones, setting a bad example. I love lush descriptive text and in something with a romantic tone it has its place to a point, but when I find myself skipping over large passages of text to see what happens next, enough is enough...

If you can site examples and give reason why a certain author's bad work helped you without getting bogged down in arguing over what books and writers you dislike, I'd appreciate it.


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Natej11
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David Farland, his Runelords Saga. He had a good idea and a well developed world, but the first book was only sub-par story and pace-wise and each one after got worse and worse. My guess is he found some overenthusiastic agent/publisher who rushed him through the process and cut corners heavily.

They didn't do Farland any favors, and if I wish he would have given himself the time to really mold his books to fit the potential that was there. Now instead of having a series on a par with Robert Jordan, Runelords is just average.

I could mention others that found success with their first books and let all the subsequent ones get rushed through without taking the proper time for them. It's a lesson that a lot of the time, unless you find a true publisher, these companies see you as a golden goose and pump you for eggs. You have to decide if your work is as good as it can be.

Nate


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BenM
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Usually when I find a book to be atrocious I'll give up and not finish it - why suffer needlessly?

There are two exceptions I can think of recently though.

The first was Stephen Lawhead's Song of Albion series (I should first qualify myself by saying it actually wasn't that bad). But, even when I found it tough going I slogged through and finished the series, as a friend had recommended them and I wanted to be able to finish it so we could discuss them. A couple of my problems with this series were:

1) All are first person, but Book 2 is told from a different character's PoV, without immediately making that clear, and then (spoiler alert) Book 3 ends with the main character starting to write Book 1. So not only does shifting 1st person PoV jar the reader in Book 2, it just makes no sense. Helped provide an example of how PoV can annoy a reader.

2) Book 1 starts off in modern Britain, and the language is suitably contemporary. Once the (first person narrator) main character enters the alternate fantasy universe, the language changes to become spectacularly flowery. At times this is okay (yes, it's just *that* much better than real life) but it often is done to excess, such as when he meets three young ladies and spends 3 pages describing their golden hair. I mean really - we know he's enraptured, but he's already showing this in other ways - and the book's not about the hair! So this helped provide a few concrete examples of the line where I perceive descriptive language jumps into purple prose.

The second book that annoyed me was, gasp, Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The big hint that it was going to do this was in the author's notes where he alludes to it being the 'big, rambling' novel he'd always wanted to write. And it is, interweaving occasionally promising scenes that advance the plot with big background substories that serve to pull the reader away from the main character and his dilemma, thereby also reducing their interest in that character and consequently the book. To me, this book was a great example of not adding material to the novel that doesn't advance the plot. By the time it finished I'd almost forgotten what it was about.

You didn't ask for books that we don't finish, but I'm going to include one anyway, because my lunch break is almost over and, well, just because. Maybe it'll prove you don't have to finish a book to learn something. Neil Stephenson's Anathem. I read a decent chunk of this book (25-30%) and almost enjoyed it, but it was just far too much trouble to stick with.

1) Invented language. On the one hand I see he's been quite clever in the way he's introduced a new language into the milieu. It's been carefully crafted to make it largely understandable to a reader who's never seen it before. On the other hand, it also makes for a lot of stumbling and frustration, as almost every paragraph has one or two words that the reader has never encountered before. When you're already stumbling regularly, frequent interjections by 'dictionary' snippets explaining the language causes the rate at which I read this book to slow to a frustrating crawl. My lesson? Being clever may well cost readers.

2) Length. The book is 900+ pages in trade paperback. At the pace I was able to read it I wasn't prepared to sit through it all - it just wasn't that gripping. I'm not sure exactly what I learned with 2, 3 & 4, but they left an impression, so I guess I learned something.

3) All the reviews on the back cover of the book were for other Neil Stephenson books. What this says about this book spoke volumes to my cynical mind.

4) I'm going to be bold. I was vaguely offended that this book is in bookstores at all. On the one hand, Neil Stephenson fans will probably love this book, and I can completely accept and understand it from that perspective. Go you. But it's also exactly the sort of book a debut author will never be able - even allowed- to have published. It's too long and too inaccessible for a new audience to accept. And for that same reason I feel books like this should be put in the bookstore on a high-up shelf with warning stickers on them so that well meaning mothers don't pick them up as gifts for their sons.


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Robert Nowall
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I learned a lot by reading some bad novels and non-fiction. But I think I learned more from good writing, and I also think I'm past the point where a bad story could teach me anything. I just don't have the time to work through something that doesn't put it across for me.

That's bad published work, as opposed to bad unpublished work. In my Internet Fan Fiction days, I read and critiqued a lot of work, a lot of which was bad. (The charm of it all, plus knowing that there would never be enough episodes of the series to satisfy me, carried me thorugh it all.) I think it's as close to reading slushpile as I'll ever get. And I learned a lot doing it.


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dee_boncci
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I am currently reading "Snow Falling on Cedars". As an aside, I periodically wander over to the "literary fiction" section of my local book store and select something semi-randomly to broaden my experience base.

Anyway, I am annoyed by some of the author's (David Guterson) gigantic paragraph sizes, sometimes more than an entire page, and am vowing to watch that in my own work. Overall, it's so far a pretty good book.

But at the same time I hesitate to label published works/writers as "bad". Some I like more, and some I like less, but they're all at a higher level of achievement than I am right now.

Whenever I read something I try to take mental note of things that stand out to me, either good or bad, and try to take it a level deeper and understand why I have the reaction I do. When I get a handle on the causes I try to employ the lesson learned. I mentioned huge paragraphs above. They are hard on the eyes and break the flow of the story, and are usually big blocks of description and backstory (in this particular novel). So the takeaway for me is to break things up and keep the story moving.

I look on two levels: the skill of the writing, and the skill of the storytelling. Strength in the latter can often carry the former, but not vice-versa (to my tastes), so most of my focus at this time is on the story rather than the prose. In the past I focused more on the language, which while valuable, was probably not the most efficient use of my attention at the time.

So a shorter answer is yes, although I wouldn't recommend seeking out less skilled writers and weaker stories--you'll find plenty of work doesn't click with you while pursuing "good" stuff.


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Unwritten
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I just finished Brisingr. I don't know that it was a bad book, but I learned several things I don't want to do from it.

I was bothered by the way nothing too bad ever happened. It seemed as though they were always clutching victory out of the jaws of defeat and they were always able to get healed and regain their ability to do magic in a matter of seconds. It made me wonder how Galbatorix could possibly be such a terrible villain when he doesn't really win a battle in over 1500 pages.

I never feel very emotionally engaged with his subcharacters. They are complex and real characters, but it's only after they die or have to leave that I realize they were supposed to be important emotionally to the main character. I'm not sure if there are just too many characters that are supposed to be important or if the story just doesn't deliver real bonding. Probably both.

Melanie


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Jeff Baerveldt
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The most recent example I've had of learning from a "bad" book happened a few months ago when I read Ru Emerson's AGAINST THE GIANTS.

Having played the old D&D module on which the novel is based, I was really looking forward to it.

But it was horrible. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there were two reasons I didn't like it.

1. The action never stopped. The beautiful thing about Tolkien is that there's the constant movement from action to contemplation. After the Barrow Downs, they rest in Bree; after Moria, they rest in Lothlorian; etc. AGAINST THE GIANTS had none of that. All action. It was too much.

2. Emerson forgot all about the MacGuffin. Generally speaking, readers care about characters, not about the things the characters care about. We want to know what will happen to Ender, not whether the buggers will attack. In GIANTS, Emerson never gave made the reader care about her characters. None of them had any inner conflict.

In fact, I wrote a post about this very thing on my blog. If you're interested, here's the link:

http://www.jeffbaerveldt.com/salvation-damnation-and-dd-novels/

(Yes, that was a shameless plug!)


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extrinsic
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Bad is a relative term. One reader's trash is another reader's cache. Out of the dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories I've read recently, I've found two short stories that I had no criticism of.

Unsatifsying endings, slow starts, low tension, unsympathetic protagonists, weak plots, chaotic causal flow, the roll call of flaws is legion. One of the more common flaws is a lack of setbacks for the protagonist, second is misplaced climaxes. An episodic plot, too much anecdote or vignette, not enough plotting. What I find worst is when a protagonist comes to a climax then resolves a predicament through no struggle and no effort on their part.

Also lately, there've been too many stories with pessimistic assumptions about the world. But I've seen a trend in the swinging pendulum of outlook, pessimism when times are good, optimism when things are roughest, with stories lagging behind the times by about two years.


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BoredCrow
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As someone who writes - and reads - mainly fantasy, I think I've learned more from the genre as a whole than any one particular writer:

1)Stupid heroes. Nothing irritates me more than a hero/heroine who ignores all obvious clues, or does things that no sane person would do
2)Unpronouncable names (where I suspect the writer just hit random keys on the keyboard to come up with a cool sounding name)
3)One-dimensional villans
4)Trilogies that should have just been made up of one or two books.


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C L Lynn
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I think I ranted about this once before. Can't remember the thread though. Anyway, the weak author that sticks out most to me is Chris Claremont. He happened to work with George Lucas to write sequels to the movie "Willow," which I grew up watching every weekend. So I was excited when the books came out. The writing nearly ruined the experience for me. Great ideas, bad presentation. Nearly every sentence pivoted on the "to be" verb. While I was reading, I started substituting these with more colorful and accurate verbs, just to spice things up and keep my interest. A valuable lesson. Only relay on "to be" when necessary.
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TaleSpinner
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I just dumped a book by a writer I have previously enjoyed enormously, after just three chapters.

The first chapter was written in close third person, and at the end of it, MC died. That always annoys me, because I can't imagine how a dead narrator can tell us the sights and sensations of their final death throws.

Chapter two was an info dump. No action, just info.

In chapter three the story started. Love interest arrived, and did something really stupid to MC. Destroyed any basis for trust they might have had. Yet, instead of passing her by like any sane MC would, he invited her to join him on his private jet. Not because he was thinking with his manly bits, not because she found a way of recovering his trust, but for some contrived reason which was supposed to hide the fact that, really, their relationship -- rich, rugged techno-entrepeneur fancies beautiful intrepid journalist -- was necessary for the plot.

I think I learned that, as I learn more about writing, I become less tolerant of weak writing -- hopefully in my own as well as that of others. (I fear I also learned something sad about established name writers and their publishers.)


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BenM
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After thinking about this topic some more last night I realised the one key thing I've learned from all the books I've read but not enjoyed has very little to do with my own writing.

Things I find annoying still get published. Therefore, I should probably be a little more flexible and understanding in my critiquing of others' drafts.


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Jeff Baerveldt
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@ Ben M.

quote:
Therefore, I should probably be a little more flexible and understanding in my critiquing of others' drafts.

You make an excellent point! One of my favorite stories about the man who wrote GRENDEL -- the late John Gardner -- is that turned away one writing student, telling the student that he, Gardner, didn't believe in the kind of fiction the student was writing (modernist and nihilistic) and therefore he, Gardner, would make a horrible teacher for the student.

That's humility.


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Kitti
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It probably says something good about your skill as a writer when you can read something, absolutely hate it, but recognize that it was well-written despite your personal preferences.
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Robert Nowall
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Mention of George Lucas above reminds me of when I read the novelization of Star Wars. After a short prologue, the story starts with a description of a double star system with a planet that was mistaken for a third star. I thought: Geez, nobody's going to mistake a planet for a star. (I also thought that no science fiction writer would make that mistake: whoever ghostwrote it for Lucas, it wasn't a pro SF writer.)

I think this did have an influence on me. I like things right, though I don't necessarily go as sci-technic as some writers. I might make a subtle mistake, but not a gross mistake like that.


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Natej11
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Not to derail the topic, but if anyone wants to get together for some serious Lucas bashing I'm in ^^.
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Robert Nowall
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Well, the movie didn't say anything about what I said. Just the book.
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C L Lynn
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As far as the writing of the Star Wars movies goes, didn't Lucas have a hand in scripting Episodes One and Two? And the reviews were "blah" so Episode Three saw the use of different writers? Or am I completely mistaken? Regardless, I've certainly noticed that when Lucas is involved in the writing process, the results are just that -- "blah." I guess even creative geniuses shouldn't be expected to have great taste in excellent prose.

But, yes, this is slightly derailing the topic. Sorry.

[This message has been edited by C L Lynn (edited April 08, 2009).]


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Zero
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Episode three was blah too.
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Robert Nowall
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I enjoyed the movies---all six of them---but only the first ("Star Wars" also-known-as "A New Hope") was a life changing experience, and even then, not much of one. Let's say "life enhancing" rather than "life changing." (It's the only move I've seen three times in theaters.)

*****

Back on the bad novels influencing me theme---I've been influenced by the early work of John Varley---both the good and imaginative end, as well as the impossible behavior of characters and the bad plotting. Two of his award-winning stories turned on something "unknowable" that he doesn't deign to describe.

I thought Varley did the literary / SFy equivalent of getting away with murder. In the end, the bad in his work outweighed the good for me...you'll notice I said I was influenced by the early work...I haven't bothered to pick up the later stuff.


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pixydust
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Episodes 4-6 were so darn good you couldn't match them. I think it was an interesting experiment to put out the first 3 but I wasn't fond of them at all. I did like three the best of the bumbling bunch, though.

I read bad romance novels so that I can maybe someday write one and get it published then be able to say I published a book so someone will take me seriously as a writer. Gee, when I write that down it sounds really backwards and pathetc.

Seriously, I do read some books that to me are forced or bad cause it's published by a publisher I'm researching or by an author that is getting tons of public support. I read "Twilight" and loved it, but the subsequent books were less than steller, OMHO. Other people liked them, so who knows, someone thought it was good writing. Sometimes it's all a personal view as to the kind of writing you like or want to write.


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KayTi
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Good writing or good books?

You make such an interesting point, Pixy. I've recently read the Twilight books too, in part because I can't stand to be on the outside of such a huge trend. I was on vacation last week and literally every woman over the age of 14 that I saw had one Twilight book or another under her arm or spread on her blanket or on her lap or in her bag. Every one! That's a phenomenon. And, to digress for a moment, that's a phenomenon I want to be a part of. I don't want to write a book that gets critical acclaim and only 200 people read. I want to write the breakout novel, the runaway best seller. The book that's under everyone's arm and on everyone's mind. But that's me (sure, sure, I'm an egomaniac, that's OK, I can cope with that.)

I'd hazard a guess, though, that none of the women I saw with the Twilight books on vacation would say they're reading the book because it's "good writing." Rather, they're reading because it's a good book.

I read all four books and really enjoyed them. I found them to be really satisfying reads. I'm a writer, but I paid pretty much no attention to the writing (which IMHO is a sign of decent to good writing to *fail* to draw my attention to it.) There were things I noticed that on the whole started to bug me slightly (e.g., how many times can we use the word "marble" to describe skin?) but they didn't really impact my enjoyment of the books.

I recently read an Elizabeth Moon 5 book series (the Vatta War series that starts with Trading in Danger) that I enjoyed just as much, though the books/stories got under my skin a little less than the Twilight ones (I believe it's due to the romance angle in Twilight - that creates emotional tethers that are very strong...many remindings of my own teenage love affairs, etc.) but still I enjoyed very much. Very different books, very different subject matter, very enjoyable experiences.

But in neither was I paying any attention to the writing.

I'm saying all this because I think we all need a reminder from time to time that readers don't necessarily care about our *writing.* No, really. I don't think most readers care. What they care about is our stories. Or, to be more accurate--if we're successful, what they care about is our stories. If we're bad at it, all they care about is some *other* story they've read and not ours at all.


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pixydust
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Good point, Kayti. Good story doesn't mean stellar writing. I think good story trumps what a lot of writers would say was good writing anyday for the reader. Look at HP. Those books had adverbs leaking from your ears by the time you were finished, but WOW to the story element. You devour those books.

I devoured the first two Twilights but by the third I was feeling a little irritated at all mushy. Plus, I'm afraid I like Jacob better than Edward *gasp* I know, I'm a traitor. Evil pixy. But the whole agressive thing Jacob had going for him was way hotter to me. And Edward was so possesive. Tenticles off, my dear.

I bought the fourth and only read the first 20 pages before I gave up. I think I'm too much of a realist...lol. And the marble thing...lol...I was thinking the same thing. We get it, he was hard and shinny. But a hottie, none the less. Hehehe...

Anyway, I like your point. And I agree, I'd rather write a booked people will buy and love, not win awards. Though, both would be nice.


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Natej11
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I enjoyed The Host a lot, borrowed it from my roommate. But when he was reading the Twilight series I flipped through some of the books and every tidbit I read just struck me as unbelievably mushy and borderline corny.

Silly guy read every single one. Apparently he's willing to try and enjoy everything he reads/watches (except for things I recommend to him >.<...!).


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JeanneT
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Hello, everyone. I haven't been here in many, many months but popped in and this topic rather interested me so I thought I would comment even though I know longer consider myself a part of this community.

On the subject of David Farland, the divide between a good and bad book is certainly a matter of opinion. I assume that the poster who commented on an "over-enthusiastic agent" wasn't aware that Mr. "Farland" was already a successful writer under his real name of Wolverton when he started the Runelords series and among others that OSC is an enthusiastic fan.

Just goes to show that opinions vary.

Just as they do on Twilight. Most people are aware of Stephen King's disparaging remarks about Meyer's writing. I agree with King that her writing is beyond bad and find the theme of the books to be so negative that even the mention of them makes me sudder.

Obviously that opinion is very much my opinion (and partially King's) and not shared by her kazillion fans.

So one person's bad book is another person's treasure. That does make it bit hard to figure out how to please agents and publishers though.


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skadder
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Hey...Jeanne's back!
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steffenwolf
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I couldn't stand Twilight the book because I could never sink into the writing. I was always conscious of it. How many times can I read the phrases "flawless lips" and "perfect features". He's attractive, I get it, can we move on now?
And said-bookisms galore!
"Ssh," he shushed.
Alice was apologetic. "I'm sorry."
I saw the movie before reading the book, and I actually enjoyed it (despite some cheesy bits). I was really disappointed when the action climax of the movie was totally omitted in the book because Bella was unconscious.
And the second book had no climax whatsoever!

I just tried reading The Shining, and couldn't even finish it. Sinking into inevitable insanity with a character--not pleasant. The part that really bugged me though, is that his snapping was inevitable with or without the hotel. He'd already lashed out violently even without alcohol. And his wife was just TSTL for choosing to stay in the hotel with him. When I saw the Steven Weber miniseries version I'd thought Jack's character was pretty relatable, but in the book it was very clear from the very beginning that Jack was violently unstable.


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Zero
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Anyone else who's seen the movie think it had the most low-budget music score <i>ever</i>?

I couldn't believe it. It was like ... me in a garage with an $80 keyboard from Wal Mart. Very crappy.


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wetwilly
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Really? The Shining? I really enjoyed that book. I can see why one might not like it, but I certainly wouldn't call it BAD. You may not like the fact that the character is clearly not a great guy from the start, that his madness is inevitable, just waiting for a half-decent catalyst to set him off, but that does not mean it's a bad choice, just not the right one for you. Apparently the book was meant for people like me, who find it interesting to know a character is going to go mad and I get to watch the process.

What's more important than me sniping about your opinion, though, is the purpose of this thread. What did you learn from those books that you thought were bad?


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extrinsic
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I read The Shining and Twilight when they first came out, and again since, and have seen the movies. Neither to my thinking is bad, per se. What both do that writer-readers find unconscionable the target audience didn't notice. In fact, more likely than not, the audiences found the writing peccadilloes sufficiently sophisticated to accomodate to their tastes. Learning something from that, what does and doesn't matter to an audience is not necessarily what matters to a writer-reader.

Twilight, an innocent beauty tames a savage beast, a coming of age story, too, ideal resonance for a young adult female audience.

The Shining, a caretaker who is too damaged to take care of his family, in a resort that closes for the winter. Hah, sublime, a caretaker who can't provide care. Yet it's the damaged state of Jack's career and emotional health that makes him perfectly, logically plausible as the hotel's caretaker. But Jack is the story's false protagonist, Danny is the true protagonist. The possessed resort hotel is an analogous motif for the cruel pressures that a narrow environment inflicts upon everyday living. Hmm, setting as a character posing antagonism.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited April 28, 2009).]


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Zero
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quote:
Twilight, an innocent beauty tames a savage beast, a coming of age story, too, ideal resonance for a young adult female audience.

I don't know what Twilight I was reading then, because that wasn't my impression at all. You're describing Beauty and the Beast but, in Twilight, what really seems to happen is that a self-absorbed hundred year werewolf (who is surprisingly cultured and intelligent and cannot be described as savage except in the sense that he stalks women he likes and spies on them) becames obsessed with a self-doubting weakling and manipulates her into doing whatever he wants. He doesn't change.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited April 29, 2009).]


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micmcd
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I don't think I learn a whole lot from bad books, but I can be inspired. There are some authors whose prose I find so fascinating that it just makes me want to give up (N. Stephenson, who writes in the style I wish I had) because I'll never write like that, and there are others who I find inspiring and insightful because their style is moderately similar to my own, and it's something to shoot for (actually, OSC, JKR, and Kelly Armstrong).

As far as bad books, I make no claim as to whether or not the writer is any good (he may have had plenty of other good books) but there is one paperback that I keep just as an awful reminder that I could be published one day. I generally always cringe when I read my own writing, but as I was starting this book, it is one of the first cases where I could say without exaggeration that my writing is better than this book -- and it got published. To be fair, the author has dozens of books out, so it could just be a laziness thing. Quite a few of the chapters I've read from fellow hattrackers are also better than this book... it's almost comical:

First description of a female character "...she had the kind of figure that men want to howl at..."

Same chapter, in the first two sentences I realized that at the end of the conversation (end of chapter, several pages later), she was going to tell him she was pregnant. Last sentence of the chapter: "I'm pregnant."

Anyhow, it's nice every now and then to think that I could make it someday (should I ever actually finish my book).


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micmcd
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(I'd prefer not to name the author of the bad book I use for inspiration -- he's famous, and people do read the internets... if anyone's curious you can email me.)
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Zero
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I would hope that any published, and therefore successful, author has thick enough skin to endure criticism from a bunch of rookies like us. So don't hold back.
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extrinsic
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quote:
I don't know what Twilight I was reading then, because that wasn't my impression at all. You're describing Beauty and the Beast but, in Twilight, what really seems to happen is that a self-absorbed hundred year werewolf (who is surprisingly cultured and intelligent and cannot be described as savage except in the sense that he stalks women he likes and spies on them) becames obsessed with a self-doubting weakling and manipulates her into doing whatever he wants. He doesn't change.

Edward in Twilight is a vampire, among other focal and accessory characters. He's older than 100 years, but he's been 100 years without a love interest in his life. Changed by Bella? Slightly altered in that he's more charming and gallant, perhaps, and calmed in the peculiar way that being loved calms anyone. I didn't find the story itself especially memorable, either. It's the phenomena that it created in a narrow fan base that I find memorable and intrigues me. A core fanatical fan base reveres the novel and the series. Most anyone else finds it less than stellar almost to the point of revulsion and annoyance over Meyer's "unexplainable" success. Odd, a popular work that polarizes audiences rather than appealing broadly.

I didn't note a marked reversal of fortune for any character, per se. As far as immersion, the sexual suspense and forbidden, dangerous love, and barely checked potential for violence drive the plot forward to, for me, an unsatisfying ending.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited April 29, 2009).]


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Zero
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I think I agree with you on that, extrinsic.

I too am fascinated by the market response for Twilight, and---from everything I can tell---its appeal is narrow being limited to women (especially young women) when compared to something like Harry Potter, but it seems "forbidden love" and the dream of being swept up by the rich, handsome, powerful boyfriend is almost universally appealing to women, and there are enough female readers in the world to give the series incredible steam.

So because it appeals to women of almost all varieties, I wouldn't describe its appeal as narrow from a marketing point of view. Which must be true because of its commercial success.


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extrinsic
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"Appeals to women of almost all varieties" isn't a global statement I'd attempt to substantiate. In fact, my experience is the opposite, roughly 50/50 for and against of the female readers I've interviewed. The female responders who were against were more outspoken than the men, though men were more heavily weighted against.
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Zero
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"Women of all varieties" isn't the same statement as "all women." By all varieties I mean it has appeal across age and culture differences. And though it may be weighted more toward young caucasian women, I have met enough others who enjoy the books to feel very comfortable with my statement. Don't invent things between the lines.
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extrinsic
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I beg your pardon? What makes you think it's acceptable to tell me what to do?
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Zero
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Consider it really good advice.

If you invent things between the lines you are inferring all kinds of stuff I did not say, and then using that new stuff---which you invented---as an excuse to disapprove, criticize, or be offended. None of which I intended. So I think asking someone to read what I actually wrote and not alter the words in their own head is a pretty reasonable request.

I don't like "arguing" (or discussing) with people who don't read what I actually write, falsely interpret what I say, and then become offended when I correct them. Is that really the way it has to be?

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited April 30, 2009).]


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extrinsic
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I consider it dogging my heals with put downs. You've been riding my back since I came on here. I don't care for it. You have no right to correct my behavior or hassle me for your own ends and at my expense. I in no way condone or fall to your level of rudeness. You've no right to call me out for "reading between the lines," when that is what you rely upon for deriding my comments. Hypocrisy and arbitrarily applying double standards are even more offensive behaviors than ordering me around and telling me what my opinions mean. Get off my back and stay off.
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Cheyne
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Now you two fight nice.

I know several girls and women who have eaten up the Twilight series and even a few men who have been able to read them, but I have not gotten more than part way through one of them. I did read 'The Host' and was entertained by it. While I didn't think it a bad book I haven't nominated it for an award. It bothered me only because I had outlined a plot, hoping to update RAH's 'The Puppet Masters' which was sufficiently similar to Meyer's book that I deleted the outline from my computer.


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Zero
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quote:
You've been riding my back since I came on here.

Maybe it's my bad memory but I have no idea what you're talking about.

And somehow, I think if I had posted this about you:

quote:
I consider it dogging my heals with put downs. You've been riding my back since I came on here. I don't care for it. You have no right to correct my behavior or hassle me for your own ends and at my expense. I in no way condone or fall to your level of rudeness. You've no right to call me out for "reading between the lines," when that is what you rely upon for deriding my comments. Hypocrisy and arbitrarily applying double standards are even more offensive behaviors than ordering me around and telling me what my opinions mean. Get off my back and stay off.

You'd be up in arms. I'd like to see you find anything that I've ever said to you that's this belligerent.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited April 30, 2009).]


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Zero
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Cheyne,

What is RAH?


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Zero
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extrinsic,

I think I know what made you angry. When we debated about the economics of smoking. Me being the discompassionate non-smoker and you being the frustrated smoker. I'm sorry if that came across as personal, really when I said you sounded like a jaded smoker I didn't actually think you were a smoker. So, I apologize for the strong language. Diplomacy isn't my strong suit and I never intended to come across that way.

But even that blunder isn't anything close to "being on your back ever since you arrived".

So, was there something else I should be apologizing for?

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited April 30, 2009).]


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Cheyne
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Zero,
My bad,(don't you just hate that saying) RAH = Robert A Heinlein. Guess I shouldn't assume it's that universally known.

extrinsic,
Being one who rode you some when you first got here(in jest and good humour for the most part), I hope that you do not become jaded with the community and stop frequenting the site. I for one greatly appreciate your depth of knowledge and insight and would miss your erudition and research skills if you forsook us. I can't speak to the past between you and Zero but I would hate to see you go over this little misunderstanding.
While I can't promise to never ride you again, I do promise to be gentle.
TIBI GRATIAS AGIMUS QUOD NIHIL FUMAS

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Zero
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Thanks for the clarification, Cheyne
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shimiqua
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Not to restart an old arguement, but...

The awesome thing to me about Twilight is that it is the first book she ever wrote.

Now when I think about my first crappy book, that impresses me.

She was able to write a good story that was a success on the first try. I've noticed an improvement in her novels as she becomes more experienced, and I have to say that now I am a fan.

I can't wait to read her tenth book. I bet it will be fabulous.
~Sheena


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Cheyne
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Perhaps we should have a thread about bad books that we still enjoy. I have powered my way through many novels that i didn't particularly respect in terms of writing style or technique because I cared about the story, but my patience for such has decreased with age.
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wetwilly
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Or how about books where you couldn't really give a hoot about the story, but the author's language mastery makes you keep reading? William Gibson comes to mind.
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