I am vexed!
Honestly? Who the hell cares? I don't write for depth — I just write, and sometimes depth happens. Sometimes it doesn't. Aiming for depth seems to be one of the easiest ways to become pretentious and talk down to the audience, though. Besides, when most people talk 'deep', they don't actually mean conceptual depth in any case; they're referring to a combination of how well the narrative resonated with them emotionally with the amount of ridiculous bullshit it tried to get them to swallow. Good writing tends to be 'deep' in almost all cases, irrespective of tone. Terry Pratchett may be a humour writer that uses a ridiculous fantasy world as the backbone of his career, but his writing is so clever that he manages to discuss the value of abstract concepts in the context of Pig!Santa, the Grim Reaper and the Grim Reaper's sort-of granddaughter.
edited 24th Oct '10 9:13:43 AM by MadassAlex
^ Eh, I find it just as preachy and obnoxious when someone starts going on about how people who try to add 'depth' are Doing It Wrong or everybody's full of hot air or trying too hard. My more comedic projects are shallow as kiddie pools, and done so intentionally. I refuse to let Cerebus Syndrome happen! They run entirely on Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool and every other Rule you can think of. Well, maybe not every one. In one of them there's a few Genius Bonus references, but those are also just for fun. Kaegishik was meant as a typical fantasy adventure RPG game, but the storyline got quite complicated. Political intrigue and conspiracy are in the thick of it. This is one where I didn't consciously go in intending to put in any particular themes, but as the story grew out I realized how particular issues kept cropping up. I then took advantage of that, and grew the character's personal struggles and motivations around those themes. The biggies relate to duty, responsibility, leadership, 'necessary evils', and balance between respecting one's past while moving toward the future. There are so many characters, all of them with their own complicated feelings on the central plot, most of them very justifiable opinions but none of them obviously right, that of course it ends up being very multi-layered. My world-building FAEBLES project has no central plot, since it's a sandbox world, but lots of the things I've constructed in that world have been inspired by things I've learned in school; Philosophy, Religion, Bio and Chem, Sociology and Psychology, all of that fun stuff. I feel I've got a good handle on the magic and religion/spirituality of this world/universe too, which if I were to explain it some may find similarities toward things from scientific theories like the Big Bang to the Karma and reincarnation cycles of Hinduism/Buddhism, and the like. Also ideas about dictatorship, environmental concerns, cultural and racial ethnocentrism, the nature of freedom, and heck, just whatever I feel like. It's a whole world to explore, it's got tons of stuff going on. <3 ali
Thou errant flap-dragon!
^^ Yes, actually trying to be deep and philosophical can make the writer look like a pretentious jackass. I used to be writing a straight fantasy novel populated with Mary Sues and flat characters. After being put through some hell, this has... changed. Now, the series could be retitled as "1000
Plausible Reasons Why I Put Optimists Through Hell— Especially if They Think They're in Love". I also utilize the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism and Earn Your Happy Ending and pretty much everyone is an Anti-Hero instead of a straight hero. I'm a depressing person and I truly believe in some of the things I have (accidentally) hinted at in my writing, so I might say that maybe some of the subtext of a work comes from the writer's own beliefs.
Can someone say Narnia here?
edited 24th Oct '10 10:51:46 AM by snowfoxofdeath
Well I'm working on something of a Space Opera and depth isn't something I aim for but I more or less try to make it an intelligent story. It is a science fiction and I have the technology readily affect society in deep ways but characters never talk about it. If you live in the society, you think it's normal so that's how I present it, perfectly normal. If that's depth i don't know but i think an author should focus first on making a good novel to read.
I think I only tend to get philosophical when it is needed to advance the story. For example; Rainar is on his quest to retrieve the Hand of Bieres and return it home. It can be just a normal story about "man gets magical artifact and brings it home," but it could be so much more. Rainar may consider family more important than anything else, thus he continues amidst adversity to return the Hand in order to honor his family. To include this one bit of information you could get a glimpse at the mindset of the Dvargar. Maybe they tell the story of Rainar to their children to show them the importance of serving the family by making Rainar out as The Paragon of what it means to be a Dvargar. I am just curious, what do you guys think?
Has ADD, plays World of Tanks, thinks up crazy ideas like children making spaceships for Hitler. Occasionally writes them down.
My work generally goes on the Rule of Interesting- if it gets to the point where getting deeper will make it more interesting, it'll happen. But if it's a simple story, and it works, why make it more complex and possibly lose a few people?
Hey look!. Yu-Gi-Oh meets wrasslin'!
All Guns Sparking
^I'm the same way. For clarification's sake, I don't write with one hand on my keyboard and a copy of Also Spratch Zarathustra in the other; I just do what I think might be cool. I've got themes in my story, sure, but that's just small potatoes in the long run - plus, although I think it's cool having some nice ideas in a work, I wouldn't want people to focus on that more than the actual story. Besides, knowing me, if I try too hard to make it a philosophical discussion, I'm probably going to do it wrong.
My blog — Read it, and (maybe) become a writing hero!
I try to avoid current social commentary like the plague, and try to give equal handling to my ideologically motivated conflicts(authority vs. absolute freedom, well being of individual vs. well being of the community, power vs. responsibility, safety and security vs. ambition). I'm fairly pessimistic person so most of my “heroes” are flawed, and I believe that winning anything means losing something. Everything has price and if you want it you will have to bleed for it. If this makes me deep great, if not well I mostly right for my own enjoyment anyways.
"If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you." —Don Marquis
I don't fool myself into thinking my work has philosophical depth. I'm writing fantasy and space opera, for crying out loud. I like to deal with a lot of topical themes in my work, though. Racism, LGBT issues, and so on. But I often feel hampered by the fact that I don't have any firsthand investment in those issues (read: am not non-white or LGBT-indentifying myself), and wonder whether I have any right to examine or speak out on those issues. But anything to save my work from the pulp shelf, I guess.
we are not the same
you will hear my voice
you will hear my voice
Any depth in whatever I write is incidental; a story occurs to me and I write it. I don't go out of my way to make anything any deeper.
Cry for the moon!
Away on the wind~
^^ Everybody has the right to talk about issues that don't affect them. LBGT issues, racism, sexism. As long as what you write does't get deemed offensive, then you'll brobably be lauded with praise. As for me. I tend not to try and go too deep in any real hot-spot issues. I brush upon some issues, but I just don't think I could add in a political rant and not have it come across as ham-fisted.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
What I write about is a manifestation of what my feelings are. Because of that, I always add depth to my work. Not by writing endless discussions about philosophy, but by using overarching metaphores and allegories to best express what goes on inside of me. Writing a story solely because it's cool is not worth writing to me. Still, I think philosophy is far removed from that. Sure, there may be a certain (mix of) philosophy to it, but I'd hate having to think like 'I'm writing about existentialism now', or 'This is totally Nietzsche.' Depth is less about philosophy per se than about something that goes beyond the story (without hitting you on the head with it).
See ALL the stars!
When it's finished, 0.5in. I don't actually know, actually. It's sci-fi, but since it's derived from Avatar it has all sorts of SYMBOLISM just from the premise. Which then gets blown to bits when you realize that the characters know about the Unfortunate Implications and are trying to avoid them.
edited 25th Oct '10 4:00:38 AM by Yej
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
I don't try for depth. Sometimes I have used symbolism just for fun, or have shaped stories around a theme because I found it interesting, but that's it. If you find depth in my stories, you can be sure it's "fake".
I don't even try. When I go for some shallow, just-for-fun Excuse Plot story, suddenly all my characters have depth and there's a major plot arc where I didn't plan one. When I want to write something deep, about a quarter of it gets derailed somehow.
But soft! What rock through yonder window breaks? It is a brick! And Juliet is out cold.
Not a Dong
CAUSE EVERY GIRL IS CRAZY 'BOUT A SHARP DRESSED MAN
To be honest, I do write a good deal of my stuff for depth. Part of it is to make something that's both interesting to read and interesting to analyze, acting as my response to the usually boring novels studied in high school English classes. Writing literature to contain a significant amount of depth and commentary and symbolism and complex themes is fun for me, as I find it a great way to keep up narrative structure and overall solidity throughout the work. Plus, I honestly do have high aspirations. Why not give those literary critics and analysts something to chew on other than Shakespeare plays and Lord of the Flies?
frozen in time
As an inveterate navel gazer, I do like to have introspective passages and dialogues and to make reference to philosophy, religion, etc. However, there's no overall "thesis" that I'm trying to force on the reader. If s/he wants to think about these things, that's cool; if not, it can be read just for light entertainment.
no one will notice that I changed this
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
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