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vampires, who likes them, who doesn't?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Alex, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    As long as it gets people reading it can't be all bad. ;)
     
  2. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Well, if they went on to read more substantive fare then they didn't succumb to it, right?

    I'll go further. It's OK to like Twilight--I like some B movies for that matter--but please don't think that Twilight is good.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That raises another interesting question - if the purpose is to entertain, and if you read it and like it (i.e. are entertained), then isn't it good, at least by some measurement?

    In any event, I submit the hate for Twilight is about 1000x beyond what is warranted. I'm not the best judge, since I don't like those kinds of stories as a rule, but I read the first book and it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone makes out. The writing was competent, but mediocre. Nothing stood out. But she apparently did a very good job of creating characters that fans engage with and care about. That's probably the biggest battle for an author, and I know a lot of people who are technically very good writers, much better than Meyer, who will never be able to achieve that ;)
     
  4. "Good" is a 100% subjective term. There is no such thing as objectively good. If someone thinks Twilight is good, they're not wrong. (They're also not right, because it's not something you can be right or wrong about.)
     
  5. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Really don't like arguments about semantics, but the definition of good that I was implying was "high-quality".

    In this sense, a B movie is not "good", but can be enjoyable.
     
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Also, I agree with Steerpike that the hate is much more than deserved. I think it deserves apathy more than anything.
     
  7. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    [​IMG]

    Some disagree.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That's almost all subjective, Mindfire. And almost all stupid.

    Look, for example, at the one thing that arguably may not be subjective: "It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue." Nothing wrong with that sentence.

    The image you posted above makes my point perfectly, because the criticisms are so nitpicky and so asinine as to make the reviewer look like a fool, imo.
     
  9. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    That was awesome.

    I do agree with Steerpike, but I loved seeing the write-up. Are there more write-ups out there like this of famous published works? I imagine there are from the classics to today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Please. The reviewer is obviously a fool with an axe to grind just because it is Twilight. You could do that with any work; it's all a bunch of subjective nonsense. If Twilight had never been written, and someone posted that piece in the showcase here, for example, anyone who says that the above would be reflective of their reaction to it is being less than honest.

    If I had written something like that, for some reason, and those were the comments I got back from a reviewer, I wouldn't change any of it. That's how bad of a review it is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I was a little too lazy there and I edited my post after seeing yours. I meant it was awesome for its entertainment value, not as a review. I would fire a reviewer that sent that back to me. I assumed it was meant for entertainment. It also seemed unduly harsh.

    I agreed that she didn't seem terrified and that "affectionately" would have sounded better, but the rest appeared to just be attacking for attacking's sake.
     
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  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That's a good point, and yes I was just thinking the same thing - which is that it is kind of a joke review meant to be funny and not serious.

    I saw some similar things on writing forums with respect to the Harry Potter books when that was at the height of its popularity, where someone would pick a passage from the book, beginning, end, or middle, and just go through redlining the whole thing. It really is silly. Much of it was meant to be funny, and in a way it illustrates the subjective nature of critiques generally. But I saw a few that I felt really were intended to slam Rowling and to try to make the reviewer look clever. They invariably had the opposite effect. Personally, I'm happy to see an unknown writer have a huge hit right out of the gate, whether I like the work or not.

    But I think you're right - the review was probably meant to be a joke from the start. At first it just seemed unduly harsh, as you note, but upon reflection it would be impossible for any reasonable person to take it seriously, so I'll assume it was meant to be over-the-top and silly from the outset.
     
  13. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I disagree Steerpike. Sorry. I tend to be very nitpicky with my criticisms both of self and others. More nitpicky than this reviewer usually. And yes if this piece had been posted in Showcase I can honestly say I would have made similar remarks if not the exact same ones. But maybe I'm just a dick. :p

    Now I can't speak to the intention of the original reviewer, so maybe it was just meant to be entertaining. But what can be said is that this first page is dry. Extremely so. Intolerably so for a modern novel I think. I would likely not read on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  14. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That may be so, but I think based on the success of the novel, there were plenty of people who did read on. The vast majority of novelists, including your favorites and mine, will never even come close to acquiring the same size audience. It's a real rarity.
     
  16. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    A fact which I have yet to fathom. Did you see the other posts with links to the rest of the criticism? I think you'll have a better opinion of the reviewer if you look at the whole thing rather than the small snippet I posted.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I doubt it. I've read the entire book and formed my own opinion. I don't need someone to tell me what to think about it. As I said above, the writing was mediocre. Nothing great, but certainly not horrible. Meyer was able to create a story and characters that resonated with readers, however. There is a difference between story-telling ability and writing ability. If you have the former, you can gain an audience even without the latter. If you don't have the former, stellar writing ability won't save you.
     
  18. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    As technically poor a writer as Meyer may be (I use that as opposed to 'good' or bad'), she's better at it than some of the people that half of this forum would go to the grave defending (bluntly, Christopher Paolini and Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb).

    In addition, I'm surprised at some of the hate I do see from people working in fantasy, as we are probably the most maligned group of fiction writers in existence.

    Every criticism of Meyer I've heard seems to be couched in either jealously or resentment. 'Vampires don't sparkle' is the dumbest one, as I alluded way back in the opening posts of this thread. It just means that she took something traditional and made it unique - something each and every writer on this forum struggles with in some way. 'Bella is a blank slate' is second dumbest - it just means that she found an extremely effective way for every female reader of that book to relate with her main character.

    I don't like Twilight - I just don't. But I feel no need to tear down Meyer.
     
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  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Bingo.

    I've made that point as well, and I do think it is true. I also agree re: Paolini - in terms of writing ability, he may be the worst I've come across. But, that said, he was also able to gain and hold an audience.

    I don't think it is necessary to tear down any writer. It is hard work; often solitary. Many/most writers experience varying degrees of insecurity about their work. Many are introverts by nature and have a hard time putting their creative output up for inspection. When a fellow aspiring professional writer goes from aspiring to having done it, I'm pretty happy about it.

    Meyer went from an unknown to a tremendous first book deal. She had some good feedback and teachers along the way (David Farland, who wrote the Runelord books, among others, and also taught Brandon Sanderson), but we all stand on the shoulders of others, as they say. I say good for her.
     
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