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How To Deal With A Murdered Story

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by FatCat, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. FatCat

    FatCat Maester

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    When does acceptance of the higher powers at be change what you wish to tell? I'm not sorry my strory wasn't set in classical Europe, I'm not sorry the farmers' son died so cruelly. What I am sorry for is trying to publish fantasy outside what is normal for the genre. When did the idea of anything is possible become usurped by Tolkien?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't mind a rant, but a rant, if it would be a good rant, needs a bit of context.
     
  3. FatCat

    FatCat Maester

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    I'm wondering wether a quick relpy is organic to federal opinion. Let's see who decides.
     
  4. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    You either bury it or you breathe new life into it.
     
  5. Velka

    Velka Sage

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    I have no idea what is happening here.
     
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    More info in a coherent format, please.
     
  7. troynos

    troynos Minstrel

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    hhhmm...interesting. Tell us more.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I cannot figure out either the OP or this post. In what way is a reply organic? How does one federate an opinion? Who is deciding, on what are they deciding, and who is doing the seeing?

    Looking for clues ....
     
  9. RedMetalHunter

    RedMetalHunter Minstrel

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    I would say in a perfect world, one would never change what they wish to tell, but if one's livelihood depended on getting published...one must eat.

    Good! Don't be.

    Don't be. Plenty of non-traditional fantasy has been, and will be published.

    I cannot help but think there are two groups of people flocking to traditional fantasy (Tolkien-esque). The popularity of the LOTR & Hobbit movies has brought new people to the genre. Fantasy was looked down upon in years gone by. A thing of freaks and geeks, but it is now more widely accepted.

    Also, I think that more, hardcore, fantasy fans are cyclical in their reading preferences - at least to some degree. The pendulum had swung towards darker, grittier stories, but (unfortunately in my opinion) it seems to be coming back the other way.

    Publishers are going to follow the trends, and give the people what they want.

    Or, I could be completely full of bologna...either way.
     
  10. La Volpe

    La Volpe Sage

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    I don't understand the second response, but the original post seems to be something along these lines:
    Higher powers, being publishing houses et al (?), dictate what kinds of stories are published. His (or a hypothetical) story does not follow standard fantasy tropes. And I think he means that Tolkien has become a measuring stick by which fantasy is defined, and he wonders why this is allowed to subvert other types of fantasy.

    It seems that RedMetal had the same sort of understanding of it as I did.

    As for my response on this: It might have been true at one point, but a lot of fantasy these days do not follow LotR tropes at all anymore. And those that don't are seen as new and original. Ergo, carry on.

    Agreed.
     
  11. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Perhaps it would be prudent for us to wait for the OP to make his point somewhat coherent before we respond.

    If his suggestion is that a world of infinite fantasy writing possibilities has been narrowed by Tolkien he is simply wrong, and for the moment I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
     
  12. Devora

    Devora Sage

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    For everyone who can't understand. Translation: Why must everything be a Tolkien clone?
     
  13. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    If this is a correct translation, then I'd say cast a wider net in what you read. Not everything is a Tolkien clone. Far from it.
     
  14. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    When did the idea of anything is comprehensible become usurped by Heidegger wanna-bes?

    Heidegger, incidentally, answered the OP's question 90 years ago, in his wonderful Being and Time:

    “When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what it transmits is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part, that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial 'sources' from which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even understand.”

    Or just face the fact that people are going to rip **** off; most original ideas in this world die of loneliness.

    Comfortably lament that we have lost the shelter of being, friend. Weep gently.
     
  15. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Penpilot is simply correct. There are mounds of high quality fantasy being done out there at are not close to being Tolkien clones, as there has been for decades.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  16. I've never published anything, so perhaps I'm just innocent to the experiences and sacrifices of publishing. But I would say that publishers like to go with ideas that are tried and true, because there is already an audience for them. It's already been proven that people like the ideas that have been done before because, well, they've been done before and people liked them. A truly original idea is a risk.

    However, you have to decide what your ultimate loyalty is to: the goal of publishing, or to your story? You might have to sacrifice one for the other. My conviction is that the story always comes first, but again, I don't have to live off income produced through writing. I want readers, yes, so badly! But I also want to protect my own ideas and prevent them from becoming twisted beyond recognition to serve a market. For me, the story itself is far more important than publishing. I didn't create this story to fill a particular niche or to follow a particular trend, I created it for myself, because I love it. I'm worried for the future, about long years of frustration because my ideas aren't easily salable to a pre-packaged market. But as of now I'm enjoying developing the story and the characters.
     
  17. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Publishers, and more importantly acquiring editors, are a great deal like investors with the books they buy are like their portfolio.

    Different companies have different risk management tolerances just like individual investors due. They balance their portfolios differently between high risk, medium risk and low risk investments for a multitude of reasons.

    But don't fool yourself, even the most jaded editor or agent is still waiting for that unique, smashing, totally original masterpiece to come across their desk so they can buy it and see it take off so they can brag about it with their peers and be rewarded accordingly.

    The trick is finding the right editor or agent at the right time.
     
  18. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    A publisher could be looking for a specific thing and the work doesn't fit, because as others have pointed out, being like Tolkien will neither get you published nor not get you published. It sounds like a premise started from a bitter place.

    "A truly original idea is a risk. "

    I would argue more to truly original ideas don't exist, there is only original execution of old ideas... which Tolkien managed.

    And a whole lot of old ideas failed, and publishers know them well, so... why bother? I had a screenplay getting shopped that everybody, I mean everybody who read it said good things about, some folks downright loved it... but would they buy it? Nope. Okay, one guy would've but he wasn't in position to do so, that was his boss's job, LOL. Despite the fact that films vaguely similar to it were made and will continue to get made now and again, there was a major killer fact... films like it didn't make big money.

    That's life. Only way that screenplay gets bought is if I novelize it and it has success and gains an automatic audience... and it would probably help if I made it into a YA.

    The world keeps turning, the writers keep writing.
     
  19. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    To be honest, the original OP felt like something written in the heat of anger or frustration, probably because something submitted for consideration was rejected, and I'm not sure the Tolkien reference was actually pertinent. Did the rejection specifically mention the lack of Tolkien-esque tropes, plots, style?

    Basically, I wonder if the rejection could have been for any number of other reasons and the given reason was merely an assumption.

    I do understand the general frustration however. It's like some of the hate shown for grimdark, with the assumption that GRRM's success is responsible for the failure of so many non-GRRM-esque stories. As if it's all a zero-sum game, so while some genres/subgenres/styles are on the ascent, others are cruelly forced down into untimely graves.

    To some extent, this may happen. Trying to gauge the popularity of a given approach can play into many editors' portfolio strategies. It's like what happened after Spielberg's E.T. appeared: So many cheap knockoffs were put into production almost immediately. (To say nothing of supernatural Y.A. movies and television shows...) But I don't think the industry is as monolithic as it might seem to the recipients of rejections slips. (The publishing industry. Hollywood....may be much closer.)
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  20. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    FV i agree with you. When I read the initial post it sounded to me like an incoherant rant about a negative crit.

    They happen. Lick your wounds. Move on. Do better next time.
     
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