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CupcakeDolly CupcakeDolly is offline
Wayward Victorian Doll
Default   #33  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzerain of Sheol View Post
29. "Relatable" Characters

I think I may be in the minority on this one, but I do not understand the need to be able to identify or empathize with a protagonist or any other character in a work of fiction. Maybe there's something wrong with my concept of escapism, but I'm generally not thinking about myself at all when I'm reading. Whether *I* personally would like a character in fiction is an absurdly meaningless proposition to me. I care if they're interesting to read about, that's pretty much it.

As an aside, audience-proxy characters need to go die in a fire. I'll flounder about in new fictional worlds all on my own, thank you; I don't need a doltish dunce of a protagonist asking idiotic questions at every turn for me to figure things out. Give me characters who've actually lived in the world they inhabit, kthxbai.
I agree, although I understand that from the authoring/publishing perspective it's easier to sell books if the protagonist is likable. Nowadays I feel like that's only relevant in romance novels, since most of the time the reader is putting themselves in the main character's place. As far as other fiction goes, some of my favorite main characters have been truly horrible people, but I still cheer them on and keep turning the pages to see what they'll do next.

30. Unnecessary Descriptions
I like to think of myself as a somewhat literate lady, but my attention will wander if a book is going on and on describing the trees, the individual colors of the setting sun, the twitching of each muscle moved by each character... I don't care. Don't write five paragraphs about the damn trees. Is this book called "Trees"? No? Then get to the relevant stuff. I don't care about the trees. Nobody cares about the trees!
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im gonna fly off the handle
im gonna do some sort of acrobatic fucking PIROUETTE off the handle and win like a medal or some shit
Old Posted 10-06-2015, 09:52 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #34   Lawtan Lawtan is offline
Dragon Storm
31. Ill-Defined Actions

Err...I do. I would prefer actions to be described over scenery, though. I have to be able to visualize something to understand it well, so when someone says "whirled" rather than "turned 180 degrees" I can mess it up in my view of the event. This has contributed to several misunderstood words in my youth, to be honest, so yes, it is a pet peeve when a term for an action is not defined enough.
Lawtan: A chaotic dragoness with issues.
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Old Posted 10-31-2015, 07:17 PM Reply With Quote  
Salone Salone is offline
Problem to the Solution
Default   #35  
32. Word Overuse

Sometimes I feel like an author finds out about a word while writing a book and likes it so much that they insert it whenever they can. A good example is Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth. Fairly short story, but read it and tell me how many times 'furtive' pops up. R.R. Martin is another guilty party, as he comes across words and phrases and is so excited to use them that he uses them way too freaking much. It's as if he thinks each time he uses them, they'll take a pound away. Variety is the spice of life, but a lot of authors find that they really enjoy Lemon Pepper and end up saturating their work with it when in fact, the reader also enjoys parsley and rosemary with a dash of thyme.
Old Posted 11-02-2015, 04:31 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #36   Quiet Man Cometh Quiet Man Cometh is offline
We're all mad here.
Maybe because you warned me about it I did't really think it was used all that much. I've seen worse, especially with phrases. I suppose I take it as a point of style with Lovecraft, since he did the same thing with "aeon(suffix)" in At The Mountains of Madness.
Old Posted 11-04-2015, 08:42 PM Reply With Quote  
Coda Coda is offline
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Default   #37  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salone View Post
22. Seeing the exact same event from different third person perspectives.

This one doesn't come up a whole lot, but there is a certain book series that turned me off because of this. While sure, it describes the event for each character, the reader is forced to read through the same events over and over. It's even worse when it goes on to describe the physical event again and again. The biggest offender I've seen had a record-setting six different viewpoints on the same thing. And it just repeated itself with each new event.

While it's accurate for your characters, please insert me in to the story at the point that is after the event has happened but before they have responded to it. It's like watching a youtube video repeat in slow motion 6 times every time.

This isn't what I wanted, book. This isn't what I wanted at all.
A year and a half later...

This is people thinking they can write Rashomon, while being oblivious to the fact that Rashomon's effectiveness was entirely based on exploring the limits of each person's perspective and then FOLLOWING THROUGH WITH IT to explore how that influences how the events are interpreted.

There's a pretty good chance that the authors in question may not even be aware of Rashomon and just heard about it having been done and thought "that's a great idea, let me try!"

---

BTW, adverbs are great. And Tom Swifties are just lazy, not DIAF-level. Occasional use, especially if the adverb in question actually says something relevant about the description, isn't a bad thing.

---

I've seen the capital letters thing before. It's not just fanfiction; I think it hearkens back to the religious use of capitalized "His", marking a particular (usually common) word as possessing some sort of marked quality. The example of "Blue" would therefore not be saying "they're very blue" but "they are the specific quality of blue that means the person belongs to group X / is an avatar of X / etc." Kind of a proper noun, in adjective form.

---

"Relatable" characters: I think most of your gripe comes from a lot of writers misunderstanding what "relatable" actually means in writing advice (and then making more writing advice based around that misunderstanding). It doesn't mean that the reader should feel an empathic connection to the character. It means that the reader should be able to form a mental model about the character that aligns with how real people think and act. Said another way, it's not that the character should think in a way that resonates with the reader emotionally; it's that the reader ought to be able to imagine being in the character's position, with the character's knowledge, with the character's personality, and from that context have the character's decisions make sense.

If you violate this rule on purpose, that makes the character seem alien and incomprehensible. If you violate this rule by accident, that makes the character seem flat or stupid or confusing.

It just happens to be the case that novice writers tend to have an easier time writing relatable characters that also have empathetic resonance.
Mega Man: The Light of Will (Mega Man / Green Lantern crossover: In the lead-up to the events of Mega Man 2, Dr. Wily has discovered emotional light technology. How will his creations change how humankind thinks about artificial intelligence? Sadly abandoned. Sufficient Velocity x-post)

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Old Posted 12-05-2015, 12:34 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #38   Quiet Man Cometh Quiet Man Cometh is offline
We're all mad here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coda View Post
I've seen the capital letters thing before. It's not just fanfiction; I think it hearkens back to the religious use of capitalized "His", marking a particular (usually common) word as possessing some sort of marked quality. The example of "Blue" would therefore not be saying "they're very blue" but "they are the specific quality of blue that means the person belongs to group X / is an avatar of X / etc." Kind of a proper noun, in adjective form.
I can understand that, but in the case above there was nothing else to hint that there was anything special or significant about that particular shade of "Blue." If there was meaning there outside emphasizing a colour, or why it was emphasized, the author didn't share.
Old Posted 12-05-2015, 12:59 AM Reply With Quote  
littl3chocobo littl3chocobo is online now
isn't that funny
Default   #39  
chars who are, undoubtedly, the very [I]best[I] at something that they've never put any actual work into. there is something really lazy about the five-star 'prodigy' who is 18 years or so old, has never practiced their 'talent' seriously a day in their life and yet is unequivocally better than thousands or millions of other people who have spent decades of their lives studying/practicing/honing the same talent and nary a soul challenges this claim excepting a single middle-aged man(who is trounced terribly) and/or the villain(who is trounced much worse)
Old Posted 12-05-2015, 07:31 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #40   Coda Coda is offline
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You mean like how Harry Potter got all the glory because of something that happened to him as a baby, while Hermione Granger was by far the better magic user?
Mega Man: The Light of Will (Mega Man / Green Lantern crossover: In the lead-up to the events of Mega Man 2, Dr. Wily has discovered emotional light technology. How will his creations change how humankind thinks about artificial intelligence? Sadly abandoned. Sufficient Velocity x-post)

Games by Coda (updated 8/15/2019 - Nonograms)
Art by Coda (updated 7/18/2017 - new song: Mega Man 2 style study)
Old Posted 12-05-2015, 12:39 PM Reply With Quote  
Suzerain of Sheol Suzerain of Sheol is offline
Desolation Denizen
Default   #41  
Coda, how dare you try to bring tempered, evenhanded consideration to my hyperbolic rant from 325 days ago!

I find myself strangely less invested in most of the things I ranted about in this thread. Maybe it's something to do with being out of school for a year and not being constantly exposed to my classmates' terrible writing.
Cold silence has a tendency
to atrophy any sense of compassion
between supposed lovers.
Between supposed brothers.
Old Posted 12-05-2015, 06:42 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #42   Quiet Man Cometh Quiet Man Cometh is offline
We're all mad here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coda View Post
You mean like how Harry Potter got all the glory because of something that happened to him as a baby, while Hermione Granger was by far the better magic user?
Harry Potter was famous but not necessarily the best.
Old Posted 12-05-2015, 09:04 PM Reply With Quote  
LilLupie LilLupie is offline
Harmless
Default   #43  
34. Love Rival/ Love triangle
Now don't get me wrong, I think that generally, love triangle can be a good trope. It's just that too many works, even non romantic ones, have some sort of love triangle thrown in. Like you'd even expect a book series like Lord of the Rings to lay off that ish but nope; there's one there too.
And to be honest it's not that I don't like a love triangle, it's that 85% of the time, the hopeless suitor is the one I like -_-

35. Amnesia

Now in long series it can often happen. A character has an accident and has temporary/selective/whatever amnesia and doesnt remember the other characters, his story and his goal.
97% of amenisia arcs are poorly done. Very forced, tiresome, drags the story. Don't do that, please.

36. Useless ellipsis
Okay this is one that I see mostly on fanfics but stop using stupid ellipses...to make the sentence sound mysterious...
It's annoying.
Last edited by LilLupie; 01-01-2016 at 12:37 AM.
Old Posted 01-01-2016, 12:35 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #44   Quiet Man Cometh Quiet Man Cometh is offline
We're all mad here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilLupie View Post
3435. Amnesia
Now in long series it can often happen. A character has an accident and has temporary/selective/whatever amnesia and doesnt remember the other characters, his story and his goal.
97% of amenisia arcs are poorly done. Very forced, tiresome, drags the story. Don't do that, please.
>.>

<.<

So what would you like to see or be interesting in seeing in a story that deals with amnesia? Would you consider it a requirement that the person gets their memory back, that it's shown what information the character is missing, or that the reader learn why the character has amnesia in the first place?
Old Posted 01-06-2016, 10:36 PM Reply With Quote  
MonBon MonBon is offline
On in to the future
Default   #45  
I'm kind of tired of YA in general. I know this isn't exclusive to YA but you get the idea
-Tragic world shattering events
-One sole person who can save the world
-Romantic subplot that take away from the tragic world shattering events
-Romantic subplots within the romantic subplots
-Various pandering
♥♫♪�Mon♦Bon�♪♫♥

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Old Posted 03-30-2016, 12:43 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #46   Lawtan Lawtan is offline
Dragon Storm
For me (I dislike amnesia plots as well)...it is largely because it is done more as a trope than as an explored mental phenomenon. Give the characters extreme fear and anxiety - they've lost part of what makes them...them. It is incredibly stressful to forget a part of your self. Depression can do this, as well as trauma or stroke or dementia...and as memory is sort of your brain telling your story to itself, even if recovered there can be a sense of disconnect - of you in your memory not being you.

>.> I'll know MonBon won't like my stories, then. About half involve some form of saving a world or town or group of people. <.<
Lawtan: A chaotic dragoness with issues.
__

��s ofer�ode, �isses sw� m�g.

__


Science, horror, folklore, and cuteness incoming!
Old Posted 03-30-2016, 08:28 AM Reply With Quote  
MonBon MonBon is offline
On in to the future
Default   #47  
Hehe Lawtan

It's not that there can't be a world shattering event. I will eat that stuff up, what primarily bugs me about YA is that there is specifically a romantic sub-plot that detracts from it. It's like this (I am generalizing and simplifying of course):

There is a volcano raining down on the village. Everyone has only an hour to escape. But Lily and Jessica must come out to their parents and Molly loves Lily. Molly convinces Lily that Jessica doesn't love Lily so that Lily will hang out will Molly for 50 of the 60 minutes they have to escape. With 8 minutes left, Jessica publicly proclaims her love to Lily -- in front of her parents! ♥ This gives Lily the strength to give a rousing speech and lead the entire village out of the range of the volcano in the final 2 minutes (disregarding the 30% of people that died at various parts in the novel).

THAT is what I mean by "world shattering event but romantic events that somehow completely overshadow world shattering event." I actually enjoy reading about world shattering events and even romance in the proper contexts :)
♥♫♪�Mon♦Bon�♪♫♥

I really want backgrounds okay?

Old Posted 03-30-2016, 05:21 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #48   Quiet Man Cometh Quiet Man Cometh is offline
We're all mad here.
I recall a story I read once online that featured that sort of deal.

There is a boy, the world is ending, and he is the only one that can save it. He promptly throws himself off a building. End of story.

That does lend itself to the idea of examining the pressure such a 'destiny' puts on someone.
Last edited by Quiet Man Cometh; 07-18-2016 at 10:30 PM.
Old Posted 07-18-2016, 10:24 PM Reply With Quote  
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