World, Writing, Wealth discussion

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message 1: by Mehreen (last edited Jun 19, 2016 04:58PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Pushing the boundaries: How much is too much? Can we make our own realities or is it a must to hold the mirror up?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Writers certainly do both. Books should be both mirrors and windows.


message 3: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Let's portray an ideal world then where there is no death, no disease, certainly no dramas to hatch an intriguing plot.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments What you describe would be a beautiful mirror and not much of a window lol. I think there is a place and purpose for what you describe but reading, for most people, is escapism. The paradox is that even when we want to escape our daily grind we still prefer our fiction to contain conflict. It allows us to vicariously slay the dragons, outsmart the dangerous double agents, run off with the devilishly handsome highland rogues and win the intergalactic battles in our own lives. But we can't do this unless there are evil wizards, wily counterspies, romantic mishaps and villainous space warlords out to thwart our goals - enter conflict. Enter 'reality'. It is metaphorical, of course, but very cathartic. We can not exult with Oliver Twist if his orphanage doesn't come across as brutal just as we can not heal with Bagoas until we've understood his painful, tragic childhood.


message 5: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments To hold a "mirror up to nature" is taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet, to mean that literature must be based on reality as we know it. What I have said was not a "mirror" in this sense at all but the complete opposite. But to come back to pushing boundaries. How far can we push it when it comes to uphold realities in writing fiction? That is the moot question. In other words, the possibility ofcreating a whole new dimension in literary fiction away from this reality that we live in, is what I am talking about.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Perhaps an example would help. I understand you to mean writing in which the goodness of nature/humanity is explored instead of its ugliness i could be wrong.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13055 comments I don't think there is any kind of 'must' anymore. We can hold a 'mirror' or create realities and I think in both senses we should push the boundaries. Van Gogh was sometimes holding the mirrow and sometimes creating new realities, especially, it seems, when his own imagination was reinforced by absinthe -:)
Personally I'm more concerned with holding a mirror, as you/Shakes describe it, but there are lots of others opening windows, as Tara suggests, to new realities. Must or not must, the outcome should be interesting and enjoyable for some readership, because audience is one of the inherent motivations of art, in my understanding...


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I am not certain I could enjoy literature without conflict, with the exception of some poetry. This is just a personal preference. I don't like GOT level depravity but I still understand how dealing with the worst life has to offer heightens the joy we experience when things go well. And even when there is no pleasure, per se, in literature, I still need the friction conflict provides in order to measure my own response to How the characters are dealing with that conflict.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13055 comments Tara wrote: "I am not certain I could enjoy literature without conflict, with the exception of some poetry.."

Sure, no conflict - no engagement, in my opinion too. Boring to read how beautiful something is without counterposing it to something ugly -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Agree. Even nursery rhymes and children's books have some conflict. It can teach resilience and let us know that we are as big as our resolve and not just our flaws.


message 11: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Without dramatic conflict, it usually feels flat. I guess to create something new, one needs to find newer ways to explore and project the same old like an "old wine in a new bottle" as the proverb goes.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Agree and I think this produces some of the most interesting fiction. Even Game of Thrones and Pillars of the Earth benefitted from this concept. Take a tired old trope and twist it around.


message 13: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Well said Nik.

Guys, how do you put quotation in italics? I can't seem to be doing it!


message 14: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Tara, although I haven't read those books but sci-fiction does that I think.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments asgree lol


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Ok, trying to be clever, typos and all ha ha
Simply type < followed by i followed by > with no spaces and then your text.
it's that easy!


message 17: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments too easy.


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Kinnen (KevinKinnen) | 22 comments I read a LOT of my specific genre, science fiction, and a LOT of what is out there today in the indie market, as well as the larger E-pub works. With rare exception, too many current writers are using old, cliché and worn-out plot devices to portray this idealized paradise, as well as the contrived and false conflict. If I never read another dashing, flawless space captain saving the galaxy repeatedly again, it will be too soon. I cannot abide escapism without something to escape - there is very little in the way of subtle rendering, shading of characters, or even much sense in the plots. Those seem to be set-dressings for the writers to showcase their (to them) innovative philosophies. The fact is that most of that superficiality washes away in the reading, leaving me saddened by efforts that would have never passed an editor back in the old days. I laud your concept, but fear that there are few writers today that could give it the gravitas and import of Paradise Lost.

Kevin Kinnen


message 19: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Wow, well said Kevin.


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9192 comments Kevin wrote: "I read a LOT of my specific genre, science fiction, and a LOT of what is out there today in the indie market, as well as the larger E-pub works. With rare exception, too many current writers are us..."

In some ways, all writers use some old plots - because there are supposed to be only a very limited number of possible plots :-) However, I like to think that when I write SF, I am adding something to the plots. It is a bit like music - Kyrie Eleison has been thrashed to bits, but all the variations are different.

The real secret is to have control over what you are writing, and to make sure there are reasons for what happens, and the reasons come from some character aspect, and not from the desire to outline some idea you have.

However, in fairness, I don't think we should expect another "Paradise Lost". That was the work of a genius in another time. Just because you are not going to get another piano sonata like Beethoven's number 32 does not mean there is no more good music out there.


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