Dec. 28th, 2008

azurite: (twilight - literary syphilis)
So I was reading [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology when I stumbled across this little gem comparing the "Twilight" series to the "Harry Potter" series. In there is the exact reason why I like HP (and JKR) more than "Twilight" and SMeyer:

Twilight fans can criticize Potter for the plethora of deaths, but I'd rather have sadness that makes you grow and develop and completes a story than to completely stagnate the story so that nothing bad happens to the characters. SM could have given Edward and Bella and even Jacob a happy ending without resorting to the ridiculous.

And also, something that got me thinking about "style," and why certain books or authors with their particular style of writing, are "addictive" in nature, like you can't stop reading/can't put the book down:

Small details, minute details from the first few books became vitally important in the last several.

I like doing that with my own writing. I try and think of my stories as spiderwebs, where I'll drop a detail here, a detail there, and you won't know if it's important or not until later-- maybe not even until the next story. But I wouldn't include it if it WASN'T important, because that's a personal policy of mine. Why include extraneous stuff anyway, when it can just distract or detract from the overarching story?

Problem is, because I tend to write longer stuff, when I try and limit myself to one-shots or fluffy pieces (these days), it's difficult-- I can't make a complex "spiderweb" story with a one-shot! It's probably why I'm having such issues with ILB's fic-- the idea's all there, but when I try and translate the idea into prose, I don't know how to put it.

With WDKY26, it's similar, but not the same: see, I have the idea completely mapped out, I even have plenty of scenes written or at least vividly imagined, but I tend to think of scenes for the WDKY series out-of-order, and when I have to write in one of those scenes where the other scenes (that come before and after the scene in question) are already done, I worry about "Is the style going to be the same?" and "Is it going to read out of place?" It's not so much a matter of the scene not really being important, or me not knowing what details to drop-- often it's a choice between a lot and a little, not all or nothing. So I wonder if I should drop Detail A or Detail B here, or maybe both? How to do it? And then I get to thinking "WHY is Detail A or Detail B so important anyway? Is it worth including here when it won't get explored fully until # chapters later?"

Back to that article, I'm shocked by how many people misspelled "Stephenie Meyer" or various other elements of the "Twilight" series, e.g. "Cullen's" when they're talking about the whole family, and not a particular character's possession of something. I wonder if bad fiction breeds bad spelling?

That said, I think all the people that believe that "Twilight" is a richer/more complex plot than the "Harry Potter" series are living under a rock. Yes, the "Harry Potter" books are long, and there are many more of them than "Twilight" books, but it's the HP books that are still being discussed and examined; it's the HP books that have little details that spring up to great importance later on in the stories.

Not so with "Twilight," where Meyer takes the details she establishes in the first book and throws it away in the second or third or fourth one. And the Volturi are evil, not good, not different. They EAT CROWDS OF TOURISTS. They see themselves as the god-overseers of all vampires! WTF!? People are trying to say Voldemort is a wooden, stereotypical villain character because he kills and likes to kill, but how is that any different from the Volturi? Besides, at least Voldemort had follow-through; the Volturi in "Twilight" were like neutered vampires-- all this build-up of them being so scary and fearsome, but in the end, Bella just stood there and stared them down and THAT WAS IT. The decision to do that rather than having an epic fight only did two things: it made the Volturi look pathetic, and it made Bella even more of a Sue.

It goes on. )

But I'm still questing to find out what my "style" is. I think you can only "learn" to write (well) by reading a lot, and so I am. I'm examining a lot of what I've read and trying to figure out what I liked and why. Fiction, non-fiction, fanfiction... anything goes.

I like JKR's writing because she makes every detail vital. Even heroes aren't perfect and don't try to pass themselves off as such, not even to their mentors, classmates, friends, etc. In the end, you have to know what really matters most: those people you cherish. You only have one life to live, and it's worth living to the fullest because of that.

I'd like to think that in my writing, my heroes and heroines have similar attitudes and personalities in that they come across as human and therefore relatable. Not just "I want to be him/her! OMG!" Even in series with a fantasy-twist, I've always liked exploring the more "human" element: the drama and the angst, the romance and the comedy that come as part of everyday life, the life without the magic.

Life is a great story just waiting to be told, isn't it?

 Cleric Preston by Klaus Badelt from Equilibrium (Rating: 0)

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