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(US News)   'Fifty Shades' author to publish writing guide. This is like Nickelback offering piano lessons   (usnews.com) divider line 61
    More: Stupid, Nickelback  
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626 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 11 Mar 2013 at 12:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-11 11:45:49 AM
My inner goddess simply cannot hold back her elation at the thought of improving her writing skills!

fark.
 
2013-03-11 11:56:42 AM
I saw a copy of that book in the grocery store the other day.

It was $16!

$16!
 
2013-03-11 11:59:37 AM
...and those who can't - teach.
 
2013-03-11 12:09:18 PM
And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?

Danielle Steele it ain't, but people still love it and are buying it in droves. Whether you think she's a terrible writer or not, the verdict is in. She's got an audience and is making tons of money pandering to it.
 
2013-03-11 12:13:08 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?

Danielle Steele it ain't, but people still love it and are buying it in droves. Whether you think she's a terrible writer or not, the verdict is in. She's got an audience and is making tons of money pandering to it.


So, then, it should be a marketing guide or a self-publishing guide, not a writing guide.  It's not only me that thinks she is a terrible writer, but most of her fans think so, too.  Sales does not equal writing skill.
 
2013-03-11 12:13:18 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?

Danielle Steele it ain't, but people still love it and are buying it in droves. Whether you think she's a terrible writer or not, the verdict is in. She's got an audience and is making tons of money pandering to it.


i2.ytimg.com
 
2013-03-11 12:13:56 PM
Headline made me cringe, subby. Good job.
 
2013-03-11 12:15:24 PM
Well, her target audience can't read and she can't write so it's kind of perfect.
 
2013-03-11 12:17:24 PM
Phase 1: Write erotic fan fiction based on a story that's so poorly written there's nowhere to go but up.
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!
 
2013-03-11 12:21:44 PM
Meh
 
2013-03-11 12:22:55 PM
Some of you more literary types should take note that some of your favorite authors were despised while they were alive. A true merit of a writer is how well the works stand up after they are dead. I think 50 Shades has the staying power to be part of the culture for years to come. In fact, I think it will be noted as a defining moment in literature, along the lines of the Hemingway and Kerouac.
 
2013-03-11 12:23:51 PM

Strategeryz0r: Phase 1: Write erotic fan fiction based on a story that's so poorly written there's nowhere to go but up.
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!


This. Twilight is the only book I've ever read that made me angry at myself for having read it.
 
2013-03-11 12:23:54 PM

Gifted Many Few: Some of you more literary types should take note that some of your favorite authors were despised while they were alive. A true merit of a writer is how well the works stand up after they are dead. I think 50 Shades has the staying power to be part of the culture for years to come. In fact, I think it will be noted as a defining moment in literature, along the lines of the Hemingway and Kerouac.


8/10

If you get a bite the score shall be re-evaluated. It's still a great attempt regardless.
 
2013-03-11 12:26:39 PM

Gifted Many Few: Some of you more literary types should take note that some of your favorite authors were despised while they were alive. A true merit of a writer is how well the works stand up after they are dead. I think 50 Shades has the staying power to be part of the culture for years to come. In fact, I think it will be noted as a defining moment in literature, along the lines of the Hemingway and Kerouac.


What you did, its there and I see it
 
2013-03-11 12:31:22 PM

Gifted Many Few: I think 50 Shades has the staying power to be part of the culture for years to come.


I agree.  That's what makes me sad.
 
2013-03-11 12:31:46 PM
"Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."
 
2013-03-11 12:34:36 PM

Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."


You advance is in the mail, we hope you can get us a full manuscript by the end of this year
 
2013-03-11 12:55:17 PM
Her writing is bad, but not outstandingly bad; just your typical romance dreck sold in every corner drugstore, but her writing garners more notoriety because it sold. Still, she has no business writing a book on writing.
 
2013-03-11 01:02:26 PM

Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."


Spam castanets is going to become part of my vernacular. I can't stop giggling.
 
2013-03-11 01:10:42 PM
Would it help to think of it as a guide to what not to do?
 
2013-03-11 01:11:43 PM
A lot of farkers have evidently read this book for women.  That's shocking.

Why comment on her writing?  No one has ever claimed Fifty Shades was competing  Gunter Grass for a Pulitzer.
 
2013-03-11 01:23:45 PM
Didn't she steal huge chunks of it from twilight fanfics people had posted online, or something? I swear I remember hearing that, though it could very well have been a rumor.
 
2013-03-11 01:25:18 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?


It doesn't matter.

"Let's see you do better" is never, ever a good response. You don't need to have master chef skills to know when you're eating bad food. You don't need to be a guitar virtuoso to know when you're hearing someone who can't play. You don't need to have the talent of a major league ballplayer to recognize a flubbed play. You don't need to be a good actor yourself to see how awful the acting in Birdemic is. And so on and so forth.

Whether or not critics of this book have sold books doesn't matter. The ONLY thing all her sales say is that it became very popular. Doesn't say a whit about whether or not the work is good, and you don't need to have written a bestseller yourself in order to pass judgment.

"Let's see you do better" is never, ever a good response.
 
2013-03-11 01:38:49 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?


And this will be a good time to plug my own book.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVRNTEQ
It's about why sex is so easy, but saying I love you is so hard. I only need about 2,000,000 sales to catch up to fifty shades so c'mon people, help me out here.
 
2013-03-11 01:39:40 PM

shoegaze99: AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?

It doesn't matter.

"Let's see you do better" is never, ever a good response. You don't need to have master chef skills to know when you're eating bad food. You don't need to be a guitar virtuoso to know when you're hearing someone who can't play. You don't need to have the talent of a major league ballplayer to recognize a flubbed play. You don't need to be a good actor yourself to see how awful the acting in Birdemic is. And so on and so forth.

Whether or not critics of this book have sold books doesn't matter. The ONLY thing all her sales say is that it became very popular. Doesn't say a whit about whether or not the work is good, and you don't need to have written a bestseller yourself in order to pass judgment.

"Let's see you do better" is never, ever a good response.


It was a perfect trap for that dildo in the Adam Sandler movies, who got a prodigious smackdown from Roger Ebert for trying to play that card.
 
2013-03-11 01:56:26 PM
Also like Taylor Swift being a marriage counselor.
 
2013-03-11 02:04:04 PM
Either of them (E. L. James or Nickelback) could write a book called, "How to create crap that sells."

The criticism of their work may be entirely justified, but they're still laughing all the way to the bank.
 
2013-03-11 02:31:02 PM
I don't know. On the one hand, producing masses of the literary equivalent of cheap cheeseburgers for millions of consumers seems attractive, given the financial rewards. On the other, writing it must feel a little like taking your clothes off for money and lying prone while choking back tears, hoping you won't end up with a neurological disease later in life.
 
2013-03-11 02:31:27 PM
'Fifty Shades' author to publish writing guide.

This is like Nickelback offering piano song writing lessons

A more apt analogy.
 
2013-03-11 02:45:58 PM

3rdtimearound: I don't know. On the one hand, producing masses of the literary equivalent of cheap cheeseburgers for millions of consumers seems attractive, given the financial rewards. On the other, writing it must feel a little like taking your clothes off for money and lying prone while choking back tears, hoping you won't end up with a neurological disease later in life.


I find the key to writing romance/erotica for money is to post under a pseydo... pseudono... fake name.  That way your real writing doesn't get tagged as 'crap by that porn writer who's too lazy to look up how to spell pseudonym.'

/my writing may be crap for other reasons
//but you will have to buy it first to find out
 
2013-03-11 02:46:33 PM
It's a "journal" with "lined pages" and a "few tips". I'm assuming the tips are along the lines of: "So you want to be a writer? Set some time aside each day and write."

Would only be interested if this was a book about marketing crappy books.
 
2013-03-11 02:46:36 PM
1. Take something popular.
2. Make the same thing, but put a lotta sex in it.
3. Profit.


Hey, this reads like the "How to Make a Porno" book for some reason.
 
2013-03-11 02:48:07 PM
In other news...  This is in U.S. News and World Report?  Seriously?  I haven't read it in years - is this what they do now?

/you used to not be cool, and you didn't try to be cool either
//it was actually what we liked about you
 
2013-03-11 03:01:28 PM

K.B.O. Winston: 3rdtimearound: I don't know. On the one hand, producing masses of the literary equivalent of cheap cheeseburgers for millions of consumers seems attractive, given the financial rewards. On the other, writing it must feel a little like taking your clothes off for money and lying prone while choking back tears, hoping you won't end up with a neurological disease later in life.

I find the key to writing romance/erotica for money is to post under a pseydo... pseudono... fake name.  That way your real writing doesn't get tagged as 'crap by that porn writer who's too lazy to look up how to spell pseudonym.'

/my writing may be crap for other reasons
//but you will have to buy it first to find out


It's really tempting, I admit. Still, someone is always going to find out at some point, and I'd have to live with myself and not have to look in the mirror and  see some degenerate hack staring back.  Well, too late for that, but still, I wouldn't want the world to know.

/not going to be rich and famous
 
2013-03-11 03:07:46 PM

Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."


I'm sorry, but this can't possibly be the work of John Travolta in Drag E.L. James.  That's because she wrote an entire trilogy about being a sex slave that didn't ever get farked.
 
2013-03-11 03:13:35 PM

K.B.O. Winston: 3rdtimearound: I don't know. On the one hand, producing masses of the literary equivalent of cheap cheeseburgers for millions of consumers seems attractive, given the financial rewards. On the other, writing it must feel a little like taking your clothes off for money and lying prone while choking back tears, hoping you won't end up with a neurological disease later in life.

I find the key to writing romance/erotica for money is to post under a pseydo... pseudono... fake name.  That way your real writing doesn't get tagged as 'crap by that porn writer who's too lazy to look up how to spell pseudonym.'

/my writing may be crap for other reasons
//but you will have to buy it first to find out


Did you write Naked Came the Stranger?
 
2013-03-11 03:19:01 PM
Only thing that matter is: did it make any MONEY. This is America, subby, learn the rules.
 
2013-03-11 03:23:59 PM

FriarReb98: Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."

I'm sorry, but this can't possibly be the work of John Travolta in Drag E.L. James.  That's because she wrote an entire trilogy about being a sex slave that didn't ever get farked.


So you're the one guy who read this tripe? I kid, I kid. So, she never got farked? Not even in the butt? What about the monthly murder scene sex? Say it isn't so!!!

Here's more. Just for you...

"After having my vibrator crater hammered, he then proceeded to plow my mavis fritter. The unrelenting orgasms from his bald avenger pounding my one slice toaster made me come so hard, I began sweating like a gypsy near an unlocked shipping container. The seemingly never-ending streams of cock custard emanating from his bald-headed yogurt slinger soon had me coated like a plasterer's radio. The mixture of butt nugget and ectoplasm in my black hole created the delicious rectoplasm that he was so fond of. The slamming makes me ejects my minge monsoon all over his spunk-filled spam rocket."

/I can't take credit for this, though.
//http://www.fiftyshadesgenerator.com/
 
2013-03-11 03:34:54 PM

Charlie Chingas: FriarReb98: Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."

I'm sorry, but this can't possibly be the work of John Travolta in Drag E.L. James.  That's because she wrote an entire trilogy about being a sex slave that didn't ever get farked.

So you're the one guy who read this tripe? I kid, I kid. So, she never got farked? Not even in the butt? What about the monthly murder scene sex? Say it isn't so!!!

Here's more. Just for you...

"After having my vibrator crater hammered, he then proceeded to plow my mavis fritter. The unrelenting orgasms from his bald avenger pounding my one slice toaster made me come so hard, I began sweating like a gypsy near an unlocked shipping container. The seemingly never-ending streams of cock custard emanating from his bald-headed yogurt slinger soon had me coated like a plasterer's radio. The mixture of butt nugget and ectoplasm in my black hole created the delicious rectoplasm that he was so fond of. The slamming makes me ejects my minge monsoon all over his spunk-filled spam rocket."

/I can't take credit for this, though.
//http://www.fiftyshadesgenerator.com/


weknowmemes.com
 
2013-03-11 03:59:09 PM
Great sub subby!
 
2013-03-11 04:08:05 PM
I'm not sure how EL James feels about the success of 50 shades, nor do I care... but I can guarantee you that there's a publishing marketing exec somewhere in the world that KNOWS he or she is a genius in the field of marketing.
 
2013-03-11 04:25:04 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: And how many copies of your book have you sold, critics?

Danielle Steele it ain't, but people still love it and are buying it in droves. Whether you think she's a terrible writer or not, the verdict is in. She's got an audience and is making tons of money pandering to it.


Yes, and porn producers are selling movies because of the great scripts and high production values.

Making tons of money does not good writing make. When you're writing a romance novel (which are just written porn) with an unusual fetish twist, the writing isn't the important part, the sex is.
 
2013-03-11 04:51:32 PM

douchebag/hater: 'Fifty Shades' author to publish writing guide.

This is like Nickelback offering piano song writing lessons

A more apt analogy.


i18.photobucket.com
Nickelback, you see, has no keyboardist in their lineup.
 
2013-03-11 04:56:51 PM
Fifty shades is just a mark on the meter when I date a new girl.
If she says, Oh, did you ever read fifty shades of gray?
It's like a lot lower on the "will date again " meter than if she says, "Did you see "the secretary"?"
which is lower than if she asks, "Did you ever read Rice's Beauty series?"
Which is lower than if she just farking leans over the damned dinner table, drips wax from the candle on her wrists, and says, "Would you like to know what my safe word is?"

Because, I'm not going to waste my time with a freaking tourist.
 
2013-03-11 05:38:06 PM
 
2013-03-11 06:20:53 PM
If book sales aren't the goal of writing your book, what are you doing wasting your time?
 
2013-03-11 06:50:03 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: If book sales aren't the goal of writing your book, what are you doing wasting your time?


Nice work. The first one was a 9/10, bumped down to a 8/10 only because this reveal is a mere 6/10.

Otherwise, excellent show in this thread.
 
2013-03-11 07:35:45 PM
All you need for a best seller is to write a book targeted at barely literate adults with an outcast Mary Sue character that wins at an appropriate metaphor for high school using special gifts that everyone else overlooked or can't see. If the last line of your book can't be "I TOLD YOU SO AND NOW YOU'RE ALL SORRY BECAUSE NOW I AM WAAAY TOO COOL TO HANG OUT WITH YOU" then you'll never make it in the self-publishing biz, buddy.
 
2013-03-11 08:19:06 PM
My old go-to for Fifty Shades threads was the clip of Gilbert Gottfried reading it.

Until I found this...Six Grown Men Read Fifty Shades of Grey

The sadly ironic part is that you can make any over-the-top voice read it and it's still just as awful, but at least it's funny when Zoidberg does it.
 
2013-03-11 09:37:08 PM
I haven't read it, but I know it started as a Twilight fan-fiction and later had its Twilight connections removed for the official published version.

The internet is practically inundated with thousands upon thousands of horrible erotic Twilight fanfics. There's something to be said about how one managed to stand out above the rest. It must be good in some way or another. I'll never know, though.
 
2013-03-11 11:20:15 PM

Felgraf: Didn't she steal huge chunks of it from twilight fanfics people had posted online, or something? I swear I remember hearing that, though it could very well have been a rumor.


Not exactly. It started out as a Twilight fanfic, but the author changed the names and such before publishing it.
 
2013-03-12 12:28:36 AM

FriarReb98: Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."

I'm sorry, but this can't possibly be the work of John Travolta in Drag E.L. James.  That's because she wrote an entire trilogy about being a sex slave that didn't ever get farked.


I've only read the infamous tampon scene online, but she is definitely a sex slave who gets farked.
 
2013-03-12 12:44:29 AM

FriarReb98: Charlie Chingas: "Within no time, I could feel the shiatty magician's wax oozing from my soft tight anus and all over my clap flaps. Hours of farking like this would leave any girl's fishy flaps looking like a ripped out fireplace, and I was no different! The slamming makes me pour my sex wee all over his ramrod. He munched on my spam castanets, even though I'd had the painters in for the best part of a week. Inserting a footlong fudge bullet into my clunge pool got me splurging spaff faster than a greased weasel shiat."

I'm sorry, but this can't possibly be the work of John Travolta in Drag E.L. James.  That's because she wrote an entire trilogy about being a sex slave that didn't ever get farked.


Seriously? I never read the books, but you're seriously telling me there's no farking in a book that's supposedly about BDSM? Does the Dom guy lock her in a chastity belt or something, then go and fark all of her friends? That's the only way I can see it working.
 
2013-03-12 12:47:44 AM

XMark: I haven't read it, but I know it started as a Twilight fan-fiction and later had its Twilight connections removed for the official published version.

The internet is practically inundated with thousands upon thousands of horrible erotic Twilight fanfics. There's something to be said about how one managed to stand out above the rest. It must be good in some way or another. I'll never know, though.


It was the world's tallest midget, apparently.
 
2013-03-12 02:59:17 AM
I read the first three chapters since it was available for free.  Reminded me of what a bright creative writing student would produce in their sophomore year of college; a couple interesting bits, but runs on at the mouth far too much and the author is way too in love with the sound of their own voice.  Worth checking back in on in about five years or so, in case she's doing something interesting by then.  However, by no means is it deserving of the absurd amounts of batshiat insane love that has been poured upon it... much like the original work it was based upon.

Oh, and the fact that this series has sold 70 million copies and counting makes me want to begin vomiting and never stop.

/former creative writing student
//something's wrong with my grapes, they taste bitter
 
2013-03-12 04:35:27 AM
Reposted for every 50 Shades thread...

Everything you need to know about 50 Shades of Gray:

#: of occurrences of literary device

41: characters roll their eyes
35: Ana bites her lip
16: Christian's lips "quirk up"
17: Christian "cocks his head to one side"
15: characters "purse" their lips
50: characters raise their eyebrows
80: references to Ana's anthropomorphic "subconscious"
58: references to Ana's "inner goddess"
92: Ana saying some form of "oh crap" (including "holy crap", "double crap", or "triple crap").
81: Ana says "Jeez"
72: Ana says "oh my"
125: Ana "blushes" or "flushes" (including 13 that are "scarlet," 6 that are "crimson," and one that is "stars and stripes red.")
13: Ana "peeks up" at Christian
9: references to Christian's "hooded eyes"
7: references to Christians "long index finger"
25: references to how "hot" Christian is (including 4: "He's so freaking hot.")
10: Christian's "mouth presses into a hard line"
199: characters "murmur"
49: characters "mutter"
195: characters "whisper"
21: characters "clamber" on/in/out of things
34: characters "smirk"
46: characters "gasp"
18: "breath hitches"
124: "grins"
124 "frowns"
And orgasms are always described as intense, body-shattering, delicious, violent, all-consuming, turbulent, agonizing and exhausting

And this is only book one.
 
2013-03-12 06:40:24 AM

Ishkur: #: of occurrences of literary device


In all seriousness this was something the (now) famous reviewer Katrina Lumsden did to keep herself sane.  As a measure of bad writing, the book length (380 pages) and "device" need to be taken into account.  If Ana "bites her lip" 35 times that's less than once per ten pages on average.  Not too bad unless the lip-biting comes in bunches.  Someone "whispers" almost 200 times, which is more than every other page but maybe they whisper a lot.  It's a word, not a "literary device".  Again, not a sign of good writing by any means, but depending on the work some words will be used more than others, and if people whisper a lot in erotic fiction I'm not going to be shocked.  "Inner goddess", on other hand, is a metaphor that should never be used EVER, and even in bottom-of-the-barrel trashy writing only a few times at most.  The count by the end of the first book was 58; that's running gag territory.
 
2013-03-12 10:19:08 AM

dragonchild: If Ana "bites her lip" 35 times that's less than once per ten pages on average. Not too bad unless the lip-biting comes in bunches.


I think that's a pretty bad ratio, actually. Generally, you want to establish a character trait early in order to give your reader a sense for their mannerisms and quirks, then get on with the story, using that quirk or trait only in a key scene or two later. Three or four lip bits in the first 1/4 of the book, then one, maybe two, in a key later scene. More than that and you've veered into obnoxious and lazy.

dragonchild: Someone "whispers" almost 200 times, which is more than every other page but maybe they whisper a lot. It's a word, not a "literary device".


Even if they whisper a lot, you don't need to say it every time. Once we know a character whispers a lot, it's taken as a given that they are speaking in a low voice most of the time. And you don't always just use "whisper," either. There are a dozen, two dozen ways to say it. Part of your job as a writer is to make the repetitive and mundane seem interesting.

I think what it really is, though, is probably overuse of dialogue tags. All those "mutters" and "whispers" and "murmurs" seem to indicate to me (450 of them total!) that this writer just loads every conversation with them. Totally unnecessary. If your characters have a voice of their own, you shouldn't need a load of dialogue tags. The conversations should be clear from the context, and reactions like muttering and whispering can/should be evident from the context and/or description of their actions.

I know you're not saying this is good writing, I'm just arguing that these signs probably indicate worse writing than you suggest.

Not that anyone reads stuff like this for the writing...
 
2013-03-12 10:41:14 AM

shoegaze99: And you don't always just use "whisper," either. There are a dozen, two dozen ways to say it.


Hey, she also used "murmur"! >:D

Seriously though, there are two dozen ways?  Because beyond a half-dozen or so, what comes to mind sounds very forced.  SMeyer was rightly criticized for trying to cloak her bad writing with copious (and sometimes laughably blatant) abuse of a thesaurus.

I feel compelled to put in a disclaimer that I'm not defending the book; I just wonder if the word count thing is getting a life of its own.  My suspicion is that the repetitive words indeed came in bunches, perhaps as much as 20-30 times in a single conversation, making the word counts worse than they look.  Not every conversation is going to be the same (even in this trash), and as you say, once the context of a conversation's established there's no reason to be redundant.
 
2013-03-12 11:14:45 AM

dragonchild: Seriously though, there are two dozen ways? Because beyond a half-dozen or so, what comes to mind sounds very forced.


Sure. The trick is, you wouldn't just use dialogue tags, you'd also note how the characters are acting, what they're hearing, what others are hearing, etc. A simple, brief description of the scene can be the equivalent of saying the characters are whispering without actually saying it. This would be the preferred ways of noting the whispers rather than finding the 14th obscure synonym for "whisper," and the possibilities are infinitely longer than finding other words to use in its place.

Even simple dialogue cues can do it.

"Keep your voice down! You know they're listening."

"Sorry, I don't know where my head is."

From that point forward, you know they're talking in lower voices, no dialogue tags needed.

dragonchild: I feel compelled to put in a disclaimer that I'm not defending the book


No worries, you're not coming across like that at all.
 
2013-03-12 11:39:25 AM

dragonchild: Seriously though, there are two dozen ways? Because beyond a half-dozen or so, what comes to mind sounds very forced. SMeyer was rightly criticized for trying to cloak her bad writing with copious (and sometimes laughably blatant) abuse of a thesaurus.


I picked up one of the Twilight books in a bookstore once. I picked a random page and started reading, promising myself to stop when I encountered the first instance of didactic imagery.

I stopped 14 pages later -- I couldn't find any. I gave up and put the rubbish down.

The books are seriously seriously BAD writing. Wretchingly bad. Just the very structure and composition of the writing itself makes me cringe and squirm to the point where I want to grab a red pen and start correcting mistakes. It reads like some teenage girl's intimate diary full of pronoun prose and clumsy descriptions but no vivid imagery. There are NO LITERARY DEVICES in it at all. No creative imagery, no metaphors, no similes, no allusions, no symbolism, no clever euphemisms, no evocative descriptions or settings, and the word usage is severely limited. She has a stunted vocabulary and an extremely juvenile writing style. Every page reads like "then this happened, then this happened, and he said this, then she said this, and they went and did this"...there's just no color or life in the writing, it's just flat, drab, straight-forward uninteresting prose.

I understand its meant for preteens, but good god, I read Christopher Pike when I was young and he was way more expressive and engaging than this Meyer twit. JK Rowling is motherfarking Tolstoy next to Stephanie Meyer.

And it seems, with indie and self-publishing on the rise, we're going to see a lot more of this pulp writing. In fact, editors and publishers are all looking for the next Twiligh/Hunger Games and they often urge writers to cut the metaphors and imagery and write straighter and more plain. As if fanfiction.net was scary enough.
 
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