Writer's Block Daily:

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19301 Wheezy21st Apr 2013 09:41:59 PM from Tampa, FL. Again.
(That Guy You Met Once)
Re: how to describe a Compelling Voice.

Here's an idea:

"When he speaks, I don't just hear his words, I feel them. They're wiggling into my brain and rewiring it. In an instant, I realize that I've always agreed with him, I've just been too dumb to admit it. The commands he issues me next are for things I've been waiting my whole life to do. I can't believe I've found someone who knows me so well."

I'm currently working on two stories with characters who can do things like that, so that's similar to how I describe it.

edited 21st Apr '13 10:08:05 PM by Wheezy

19302 ramuf21st Apr 2013 09:46:20 PM from Matterfact Street
[up] How does one defeat such a character?
Sideshow cars and plastic stars
19303 Wheezy21st Apr 2013 09:48:17 PM from Tampa, FL. Again.
(That Guy You Met Once)
In the first story, the protagonist doesn't.

In the second, the badass normals win by distracting her while someone snipes her from a distant rooftop.

edited 21st Apr '13 9:50:37 PM by Wheezy

19304 Jabrosky21st Apr 2013 09:54:36 PM from San Diego, CA
Madman
At the risk of picking on an easy target, I honestly believe that the main reason we even have a "paranormal romance" genre right now is because of all the hacks who want to cash in on Twilight's success. If someone put out a bestselling romance with ninjas instead of vampires, we'd see the rise of a "martial arts romance" genre instead.
19305 montmorencey21st Apr 2013 10:08:18 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
...I kinda want to check that one out [lol]

I don't have solid facts, but I'm pretty sure paranormal romance in general predates Twilight. It doesn't even have to be bad...probably.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
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Paranormal romance had a decent sized market pre-twlight. In fact Twilight was published after it started to build up momentum.

edited 21st Apr '13 10:15:08 PM by Vyctorian

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19307 Jabrosky21st Apr 2013 10:21:56 PM from San Diego, CA
Madman
[up][up]I don't mean to claim that paranormal romance is necessarily bad. I'm sure one could craft a good story in that genre along with any other. What I meant to convey is that the recent upsurge in YA paranormal romance almost certainly has to do with writers wanting to exploit Twilight's commercial success. But everyone knew that already.

Speaking of commercial success, I for one question whether a given book's sales accurately reflect how the public evaluates its quality. I would not be surprised if a high proportion of customers bought Fifty Shades of Grey only to see how bad it really was. As for how any book grows "popular" in the first place, I would chalk that up to how aggressively the author or publisher promotes it more than anything else.

edited 21st Apr '13 10:22:15 PM by Jabrosky

19308 JHM21st Apr 2013 10:51:18 PM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
...Well, no, actually it doesn't stand to reason. Works in the YA "genre" fall equally well into more descriptive genre categories such as fantasy, romance, and so forth. My fundamental objection, in fact, is not about systems of classification in general; it's about the fact that the YA "genre" is a system of classification based purely on marketing purposes. It is, in effect, a prescriptive genre, and it is having a negative effect on the concept of genre as a whole - see also the emergence of the so-called "new adult" classification.
All of this. All of it.

Also, paranormal romance is ultimately no worse than any other kind of romance.
19309 montmorencey21st Apr 2013 11:00:16 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
Oi! There is some very high quality romance out there!

...I can't believe I just said that.

But, honestly, there is. Nobody can tell me that Jane Austen was a bad writer, neither were Emily/Charlotte Bronte or George Elliot (Though I'm not much of a fan of the latter three myself. Still.)

They all wrote romances, but they distinguished them by giving them some substance other than 'Jerkass loves me, Jerkass loves me not, Jerkass loves me...let's get married. Or die for our eternal love'.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
19310 JHM21st Apr 2013 11:13:29 PM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
I never meant to imply that all romance is awful, simply that the vast majority of romantic fiction—post-genre codification, mostly; the Brontë sisters and Jane Austen are bad examples—tends toward the subpar, particularly when targeted at people with little practical understanding of romance (read: teenagers).
19311 MajorTom21st Apr 2013 11:15:58 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Ugh, after weeks and months of procrastination, edits, revisions and new writing coupled with some real life issues slowing me down I finally finished this damn chapter.

Now the author's healing can begin. Incidentally, I'm now nearly 150,000 words.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
19312 montmorencey21st Apr 2013 11:27:21 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
[up][up] I didn't take it too seriously, either way. I'm not much into the romance genre myself and those are actually just about all the names I could come up with off the top of my head. And I agree with your assessment regarding the output post genre-codification. There are still some very decent romances, but they're too rare for me to bother reading through the pile of terrible novels in order to find them.

Then again, genre codification seems to have that effect in general. The arbiters are wonderful pieces of fiction, but as the genre solidifies, it tends to grow formulaic and rigid. I guess it's hard for writers to think out of the box once it's been constructed around them.

edited 21st Apr '13 11:27:34 PM by montmorencey

Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
19313 JHM21st Apr 2013 11:42:21 PM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
Then again, genre codification seems to have that effect in general. The arbiters are wonderful pieces of fiction, but as the genre solidifies, it tends to grow formulaic and rigid. I guess it's hard for writers to think out of the box once it's been constructed around them.
Exactly. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons that I detest turning "Young Adult" into a genre in the first place.
19314 Jabrosky21st Apr 2013 11:51:10 PM from San Diego, CA
Madman
I plead guilty to having attempted to write romance several times in the past. Unfortunately these never amounted to more than a horny male twenty-something's fantasies about scoring with the hot women of his dreams. I have managed to finish one pornographic short story though, but it had barely any character development.

@ Major Tom

150,000 words? Congratulations! :D
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My first real novel attempt was romance with fantasy, I came to realize while I liked the romance I liked the fantasy more but I also found I can't write both in the same work. So I write romance-less fantasy now.
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19316 Night22nd Apr 2013 01:06:22 AM from PSNS Intrepid , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Bring it on! I'm right here!
Then again, genre codification seems to have that effect in general.

I'd argue the opposite; we live in the golden age of Sci-Fi now, not when Clarke was around. The works of the much-lamented-though-not-quite-yet-dead Iain Banks and many of the more recent Japanese contributions to the genre (among others) force that conclusion. (Basically since Yukikaze dropped in 1984 Japan has been releasing truly great sci-fi novels on a regular basis.)

You're blaming genre codification for Sturgeon's Law. It's easy to be great when you're the only one standing. Nobody can judge you.

edited 22nd Apr '13 1:07:21 AM by Night

Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
19317 montmorencey22nd Apr 2013 01:10:14 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
My attempts at romance in any sort of fiction usually fall a little...er. Flat. I can only suppose that it's partially because I've never been in love myself. I have difficulty figuring out how it's different from a really intense friendship with an erotic component. Frankly, I'm a bit skeptic about the concept on the whole. To me, it often seems like 'love' is something you brainwash yourself into feeling according to the standards set by the media.

[up] I haven't read Clarke, nor do I read much Sci-Fi atm, but I've read Asimov, Dick, Zelazny and some stuff by others. My knowledge of Sci-Fi movies and series is better. So I guess I can't argue this as well as someone who's really into the genre, because I lack in perspective, but I'd argue that the golden age of Sci-Fi was from the sixties to the declining nineties. Mostly, because atm, technology has progressed so far that living in the now is already like living in a Sci-Fi story. A starship is no longer any sort of exciting idea because, well, it's just a starship. Futuristic societies don't wow as much as they used to because we have globalisation and mass communication which allows us to see a million different societies around the world. I don't know, I'm not arguing this point very well, I'm afraid and I'm really not up to speed on the newer developments in the genre. But whenever I pick up a Sci-Fi book I just get this feeling of, meh, I've seen this before.

edited 22nd Apr '13 1:21:23 AM by montmorencey

Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
19318 JHM22nd Apr 2013 01:19:46 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] As someone currently in a relationship, I can safely say that it is a little more than that. I mean, yes, some relationships are like that, but it is definitely a touch more emotionally complicated than you make it out to be.

That said, straight romance story-lines do not particularly interest me. Being in love is not the same as reading about someone else being in love. If there is little sophistication in the mechanics of the situation, then it will simply present as boring, at least to my viewpoint.
19319 montmorencey22nd Apr 2013 01:24:04 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
[up] Like I said, I can't talk from personal experience, but this is what I've observed in my social circle. Most romantic plights seem somewhat contrived to me, or people running against walls of convention.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
19320 JHM22nd Apr 2013 01:34:12 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
It really depends on the people and why they are together in the first place. It also depends on how old they are and how much their personal perceptions of what a relationship should be are moulded by societal expectations or what they see in media. Environment, personality, persona—these all have an impact on how a relationship presents itself. Also know that one can never truly know what another person feels with perfect accuracy, particularly with respect to a third person.

There is also the question of what kind of mutual attraction you are talking about.
19321 montmorencey22nd Apr 2013 01:50:59 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
I take those factors into consideration, which is why I don't tell my friends 'mate, love is just a social construction, relax' when they come to me with some romantic concern, but rather listen and tell them what I'd be saying if I didn't believe that.

But it doesn't change the fact that I don't feel that way, and it's very hard to write a convincing romance while feeling like you're writing up a mathematical formula.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
19322 ohsointocats22nd Apr 2013 02:20:26 AM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I have never written any romance. Falling in love is boring.

I do not think that romantic love is a societal imposed construct. It does do something wacky to the brain. However there's a lot of societal impositions that make people view the stakes as much higher than they actually are, which makes so much of it seem contrived, and makes you, from an objective viewpoint, able to view it as the silliness it is.

This is why established relationship are so much more interesting, because the stakes can actually be high.

edited 22nd Apr '13 2:32:37 AM by ohsointocats

19323 DeMarquis22nd Apr 2013 07:08:23 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
I can vouch for the fact that having been in love (several times) doesn't neceesarily help one write romantic scenes. I guess being the author, and being one of the characters (so to speak) are completely different experiences. Romantic scenes are one of my weakest areas as a writer, I pretty much just avoid them, and I know I have to change that.

@Anyone: Who in your opinion writes the best romantic scenes?

@nrjxll: So your objection isn't with classifying works into genres in general, but with YA in particular? I suppose you can argue that the publishers aren't using the category very skillfully (mostly because they don't understand the audience, which is a research issue). I presume, therefore, that if they did market such works more intelligently, you would have no objections?

@Vyctorian: I agree that the YA classification cuts across many other genres, but that it also approaches those genres (or should approach them) in a unique way.

@Night/others: "Nothing the publisher does is required to serve a purpose to the reader. It's not even required to serve a valuable function to the publisher. Belief is not reality; and your faith does not make it so."

Perhaps not, but the market does. They can experiment with various products and approaches for a short period of time, but if in the end it doesn't help move product, they will abandon it, or go broke.

@Everyone: I'm also feeling amused by the tropers who wanted to attack Romance as a low quality genre and were forced to backpedal. Heh.

@Montmorency: "Then again, genre codification seems to have that effect in general. The arbiters are wonderful pieces of fiction, but as the genre solidifies, it tends to grow formulaic and rigid. I guess it's hard for writers to think out of the box once it's been constructed around them."

If it's the authors who are doing that, then that's the author's responsibility to change. Though I will say that there is a general understanding that a new author should first master their genre, before going on and breaking the rules.

If it's the publishers who are doing this, again the market will fix that. If there are readers who want something "outside the box" then some method will arise to get it to them.

@Night (19316): "Basically since Yukikaze dropped in 1984 Japan has been releasing truly great sci-fi novels on a regular basis."

I've read IQ 84. Any others you can recommend?

edited 22nd Apr '13 7:10:12 AM by DeMarquis

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
19324 chihuahua022nd Apr 2013 07:19:06 AM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Let me say that I can't make a reliable opinion on romance as a genre, but I have interacted and read blog posts from some romance authors. They're not shallow writers.

Keep in mind that romance is the largest genre and it has a ton of subgenres, so it runs the gauntlet of quality.

19325 ohsointocats22nd Apr 2013 07:42:13 AM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I would like to read some actual good romance.

It does seem like because romance is often considered secondary in most genres, it's shittily done and that's what most people associate with romance.

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