The Creative Writer's Guild

Discuss about books other than Animorphs (written/not written by K.A. Applegate)
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capnnerefir
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by capnnerefir » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:36 pm

I don't know if I'd call it a shift, exactly. Certainly Western writers have started putting a lot more effort into plot, characters, setting, and so forth lately than they have before. Entire literary genres defined almost entirely by setting have sprung up in the last 100 years. Science Fiction and Fantasy come to mind, with early Sci-Fi writers getting their pens going in the early 20th century (H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, for example) and Fantasy as we know it being invented almost entirely by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Both of those genres are defined more by setting than anything else, though obviously variations have shot off of them over the decades.

I'd definitely say that writers are paying more and more attention to characters and plots. I think in many cases, they realize that they have no choice. Our generation of readers is sick and tired of the same characters, plots, and places without any meaningful variation. If an author wants to sell something, they have to make significant changes and actually come up with something new. Characters, in particular, are more important now than ever.

I don't know if would call it a shift, though. That would imply that the philosophical elements are being neglected the way the characters used to be, and I don't know if I think that's the case. Most authors still want to teach you a lesson. Granted, most of those are lessons we've heard a million times before, but that's probably more to do with the authors themselves being uninvented and kind of stupid than intentionally re-packaging old lessons.

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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by The_Brigadier » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:48 pm

Alright, thanks for the input, Ben.

That same little birdie, who told me that there has been a literary shift, also said the older English professors do not take Tolkien and Lewis seriously because they feel their works have no substance. And by substance, I mean philosophy.

Have you read some of the literary pieces that won a Nobel Prize in the past fifty years?
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by capnnerefir » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:22 pm

The_Brigadier wrote:Alright, thanks for the input, Ben.

That same little birdie, who told me that there has been a literary shift, also said the older English professors do not take Tolkien and Lewis seriously because they feel their works have no substance. And by substance, I mean philosophy.

Have you read some of the literary pieces that won a Nobel Prize in the past fifty years?

I might have read them, but I don't usually keep track of who wins what award. I actually don't have a lot of confidence in awards anymore - I've seen way too many go to people who simply don't deserve them. I'm pretty sure Twilight has won awards. I read mostly to entertain myself, so most of what I read is SF and Fantasy - which don't typically win too many serious awards.

Sadly, the attitude among said professors is a common one among literary critics. Most of them don't really consider SF or Fantasy stories to be legitimate work. Obviously, it's not an attitude I personally understand. I think this article can explain it better than I can. Sci-Fi Ghetto.

*WARNING: The above link will take you to TVTropes. You might never leave.

As a brief note on Tolkien and Lewis in particular, I'll mention that both were extremely Christian authors, and that what messages they tried to send had a very obvious Christian theme. Obviously, there will be segments of any population that disagree with an author's message. And when that message is of a religious nature, people tend to get angry when they disagree. This can result in two things: violent hate for the books (like the people who hate Twilight because of it's Mormon themes or the idiots who want to ban His Dark Materials) or disregarding the message entirely, as is often the case with Lewis and Tolkien (the latter in particular, as it is possible to read LOTR and ignore any religious messages, which is not possible with Narnia).

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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by The_Brigadier » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:47 pm

Okay, two more questions here (I am so sorry for bugging, man, but you're the most approachable person I can ask these questions to) :

1.) What did you notice about the pieces that won the Nobel Prize? Was the focus of the story philosophy or characters/plots/settings?

2.) The article you gave me stated
proper novels don't belong in their own respective genres.
How is it possible for a piece of creative writing to not have a genre?
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by Current » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:13 pm

[minor comment] The Nobel Prize is awarded to an author for their whole body of work, not any individual piece [/minor comment]
What is not the answer to this question?

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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by The_Brigadier » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:15 pm

Current wrote:[minor comment] The Nobel Prize is awarded to an author for their whole body of work, not any individual piece [/minor comment]
Seriously? My bad. :( Disregard my question about the Nobel Prize. Sorry, bro.
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by xenawarriorprincess » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:34 pm

I write and also read a lot of poetry.
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by Sassy_Cat » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:00 pm

Er, I feel awkward 'cause I haven't even so much as finished a novel, but can I join the guild?
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by Current » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:37 pm

I haven't finished a novel either... I've started it a bunch of times, though.

Point is, yeah, of course you can, as long as you write.
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Re: The Creative Writer's Guild

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:22 pm

I haven't finished any, either.
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