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What is your opinion on this statement? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

What is your opinion on this statement?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Steve4848
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What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby Steve4848 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:53 am

Last edited by Steve4848 on Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shadowwalker
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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:55 am

It should be "develop", not "development". Otherwise, pretty basic concept. You don't include sentences that don't have any purpose.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby Steve4848 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:30 pm

Thanks for the reply and the advice.

I can think of plot, character, and environment development as main categories that possibly contain sub categories, for example character development between characters.

Can you think of any other development categories?

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby robjvargas » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:03 pm

I frequently tell writers around me that story is the CEO, President, Prime Minister, King, Queen, Emperor, and Empress of writing.

Think about the movie Suicide Squad. One of the complaints I saw about the movie (and I agree for the most part), is that it spent too long telling us how the individual characters came to be. Now think about a related film, Batman v. Superman. How much time was spent getting to "understand" (develop, if you will) Wonder Woman? Yet most people around me say that her appearance in the movie was its brightest spot.

Keep the story moving, keep the reader in the story. Let the story tell us who the characters are. Let it develop the scene, the characters, and so on.

Sentences can have purpose, yet not advance the story. No "rule" of writing lacks for exceptions, but generally, if it doesn't move the story, there's an opportunity for editing right there.
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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby Steve4848 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:40 pm

If a reader can tell whether a sentence was written for plot, character, or environment development then there should be a way for a language model to determine that also.

I'm creating categories so a language model can parse the sentences into them.

I understand what you are saying about the over development. If I parse thousands of stories eventually common correlations will appear, things that will separate the well developed from the not so well developed.

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby robjvargas » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:24 pm

Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:37 pm

I agree with rob. I mean, the more stories you put into your program, the more generalized the results are going to be, because different stories appeal to different readers for different reasons at different times. You're more likely to end up with generic bland instead of "well developed" storytelling.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby Steve4848 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:51 pm


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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby Steve4848 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:38 am

Just curious what profession involve these established successful practitioners, recognized by authorities that you speak of? Would it be professional writers, linguistics specialists or more like English teachers?

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Re: What is your opinion on this statement?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:18 am

I guess my confusion is and continues to be the purpose of doing this. Fiction is a creative thing, and while there are basic "requirements" for good writing (knowing grammar rules well enough to communicate your thoughts, for example), the quality of any work depends on the eye of the beholder. Some readers may like the story but find the writing difficult to follow; others may find the technique masterful, but the story dull. Still others will find nothing of value in the work while others rave about it. Add in the different genres and reader expectations for them, and stories that cross genres and combine techniques of each.

There is a reason for these different opinions - every writer writes differently and for different audiences. In the end, unless you write separate programs for specific types of stories, I can't see that you will end up with anything more than, as I said, generic bland. "A well developed story has a beginning, a middle, and an end." - which is something we already know, and thus adds nothing for the writer.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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