what is the difference between ....

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ostarella
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby ostarella » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:15 pm

deddmann_writing wrote:

> WD and others sell tons of books as well as courses and retreats and other things
> that people buy all the time to learn how to write.
> If nobody was learning anything the word would get around fast and the books would
> stop selling and the courses would not have students.
>
> I suspect that many of their students may have tried to DIY and failed. Or they
> read some books and still didn't get enough so they signed up for the courses and
> seminars next. And if they had learned just enough from some books they would
> still be looking for more advanced ways to make their stories better.


I suspect a lot of these books get sold because new writers hear how hard it is to get published and think that following all this advice will make that easier. "I'll just read these books and I'll know exactly how to write so I get an agent and a publisher and I'll make tons of money!" And of course, after purchasing the books and getting totally confused about how they're supposed to write, they either give up or toss the books and just start writing because nothing else worked.

Look at all the advice that gets tossed around writers' circles - don't use a prologue, don't use adverbs, don't use passive voice, don't don't don't. Then people start discussing that advice and find out, OMG! those aren't actual RULES? I CAN use a prologue, and adverbs, and passive voice and just actually write a story MY WAY?!?!?! omgomgomgomg!

And then you think reading bookloads of that advice is going to help?

People can spend all kinds of money and time reading about writing and never get a word on paper. The people who really want to write do just that - write.

deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:30 pm

ostarella wrote:
> deddmann_writing wrote:
>
> > WD and others sell tons of books as well as courses and retreats and other
> things
> > that people buy all the time to learn how to write.
> > If nobody was learning anything the word would get around fast and the books
> would
> > stop selling and the courses would not have students.
> >
> > I suspect that many of their students may have tried to DIY and failed. Or
> they
> > read some books and still didn't get enough so they signed up for the courses
> and
> > seminars next. And if they had learned just enough from some books they
> would
> > still be looking for more advanced ways to make their stories better.
>
>
> I suspect a lot of these books get sold because new writers hear how hard it is to
> get published and think that following all this advice will make that easier.
> "I'll just read these books and I'll know exactly how to write so I get an agent
> and a publisher and I'll make tons of money!" And of course, after purchasing
> the books and getting totally confused about how they're supposed to write, they
> either give up or toss the books and just start writing because nothing else worked.
>
> Look at all the advice that gets tossed around writers' circles - don't use a
> prologue, don't use adverbs, don't use passive voice, don't don't don't. Then people
> start discussing that advice and find out, OMG! those aren't actual RULES? I CAN use
> a prologue, and adverbs, and passive voice and just actually write a story MY
> WAY?!?!?! omgomgomgomg!
>
> And then you think reading bookloads of that advice is going to help?
>
> People can spend all kinds of money and time reading about writing and never get a
> word on paper. The people who really want to write do just that - write.
===========

That may be why some of those books sell.

Some people just naturally want to learn a little bit about something before they try something new.
I would (and did) read some books on music theory, chords, and related topics before I tried to compose music. Or rather to program a computer to play pleasant sounding music in the baroque style of counterpoint.

I suspect that a goodly number have tried to write the novel and failed. Or they at least realise they don't know where to start.
And I am the type of person who does think that reading the advice of successful authors should be beneficial and cannot hurt at all as I am free to reject it if I am not convinced it will work for me.

Anybody who can just write or even thinks they can write should give that a try and see how it works out. That would save reading a lot of books on theory if they succeed without any outside guidance.

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Brien Sz
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby Brien Sz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:43 am

Back to the original point. Theme is essentially the meaning, the lesson, so to speak, of the work written. Plot, is the vehicle you use to tell it.

deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:20 am

Brien Sz wrote:
> Back to the original point. Theme is essentially the meaning, the lesson,
> so to speak, of the work written. Plot, is the vehicle you use to tell it.
==========

Thanks. Putting it that way makes more sense.

But do I really need a theme? Does detective catch killer really have a theme? Or is theme whatever the critics say it was, or what?
Could the theme just be implicit and not something that the author worries about. Crime does not pay seems to be the theme for most detective novels.
Is that really something a writer decides first or even cares about?

To me the plot makes the story interesting. Theme is something for English profs to debate. Does the island on Lord of the Flies represent the garden of Eden? Or what does the rain in Hemingway's novel mean. And how does all the symbolism add up to something that would be a theme without being just a verbal Rohrshach test.

Aesop's fables had a moral to the story. I thought those were tacked on so a boring description had some significance. Else why have the story at all just get to the theme and tell us without wasting time like a proverb does.

T.A.Rodgers
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:11 am

I believe the plot is much more important than any theme. Most writers write toward a plot. Many great novels of today have people thinking that the writer wrote toward a theme when in fact they just wrote the novel as they saw the story in their head. I can't remember the novel or author, but I remember this author giving an interview where he was laughing at some of the reviews where the readers were discussing the theme of his novel and he was saying he didn't even know his novel had a theme. So unless you are specifically trying to relay a moral of the story, I say just write a great novel with rememberable characters and forget about theme.

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