Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fiction

What do you do with your free time?

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby FaceTheCitizen » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:49 am

cmsellers wrote:
  1. For TCSers who write, why do you write?
  2. Do you have any authors you love you feel are incredibly underrated, and intutions about why they're not as popular as you think they should be?
  3. Why does every slightly geeky person still read LotR around middle school? Is it just because it's part of geek culture, or is there a valid literary reason for it?
  4. What makes Shakespeare great? (I've heard stories about North Koreans crying when they read translations of his work, so clearly it's not the puns alone.)


1. I was always a day dreamer and always created stories in my head during class, on the way home, when I'm about to sleep, in the bathroom, etc. Putting these ideas on paper (or virtual paper) is fun. I like creating stuff, and creating stories is teh funz.

2. not really lolz

3. I was gonna say "I didn't read LoTR in middle school" but I'd be wrong. I did read it, but for school. I don't recall what the assignment/reason was, but I picked it up, read it for a while, then got bored and picked another book. I never touched the story ever since. I've never really been into high fantasy/high sci-fi. That's why I'm not super into LoTR or Star Wars or Star Trek. Unless it's a comedy (like Rat Queens).

I think LoTR is beloved in geekdom because it's a big mainstay of geek culture. Is it good? I can't say, I only watched the movies. But it's a classic in geekdom, thus it's almost something of a rite of passage for geeks. I may be one of the only nerds in the world who never read LoTR in it's entirety.

4. I have no idea what makes Shakespeare great. And honestly, after being forced to read his works for years in school, it'd be too soon if I never read any of his works again.
  • 10

"Or perhaps the distinction between the two wasn’t so fine, between the man-made monster and the man made monster."- Sylvester Lambsbridge, Twig.
User avatar
FaceTheCitizen
TCS Moderator
TCS Moderator
 
Posts: 4541
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:12 pm
Show rep
Title: Thot Patrol

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Cordslash » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Agreed with Sellers in that Ursula Le Guin is great at world building. Her characters though are very so-so. Which makes her books kind of iffy to read. Love the world, but the characters are 'meh'. With the exception of her short story "The rule of Names", because that was loads of fun.

I'm not a writer but a huge consumer of other people's stuff. For me there needs to be a balance. Many stories errs toward world building and it takes away from the story. Others are character driven but then you don't know the world they inhabit.

Two recent stories I've read that managed to bridge that gap is A Galaxy Apart and The Saints.

Everyone should check those out.

As for Shakespeare it's probably a combination of several universal themes combined with some pretty inspired dialogue. Not everyone writes dialogue well. Just look at most sitcoms.
  • 2

*The artist formerly known as CmdrVimes*


Hancock, John.
User avatar
Cordslash
Resident Dickhead
Resident Dickhead
 
Posts: 1340
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:32 pm
Show rep
Title: Blackboard Monitor

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Matthew Notch » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:41 pm

cmsellers wrote:
  1. For TCSers who write, why do you write?
  2. Do you have any authors you love you feel are incredibly underrated, and intutions sic about why they're not as popular as you think they should be?
  3. Why does every slightly geeky person still read LotR around middle school? Is it just because it's part of geek culture, or is there a valid literary reason for it?
  4. What makes Shakespeare great? (I've heard stories about North Koreans crying when they read translations of his work, so clearly it's not the puns alone.)


1. I write, but mostly because it's just something else to do. I don't know, why does anyone do anything, I guess?
2. I don't think there are any authors I'm particularly attached to one way or the other. It's all about the story; if an author consistently cranks out great stories, then awesome, but I'm less loyal to a particular author than I am to, say, a musician or an actor.
3. I've still never read LotR. I can't get through it. It's boring as sin. The movies are a million times better.
4. I also am not a great fan of Shakespeare. The best Shakespearean works are those that have been redone for modern audiences, and even then it's shaky. I did like 10 Things I Hate About You, which may invalidate my opinions for some of you, but eh.
  • 4

It's Dangerous to Go Alone


"I desperately want Jiggery Pokery now."-- Pikajew

"I do feel that if she happens to favour attractive, successful, intelligent men I will be at a disadvantage."--Anglerphobe

"I have a beautiful sphincter and Mexico is gonna pay for it."--Kate
User avatar
Matthew Notch
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 4950
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:48 am
Location: The ICT
Show rep
Title: The Last Finisher

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Jack Road » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:17 am

One think about Tolkien, he wasn't really that interested in world building per se. He was interested in language and he was interested in mythology. Specifically, how Great Britain doesn't have an organic mythology. They borrowed from France and other countries.

An interesting book is Guns, Germs, and Steel. The book explores how geography has and does influence people far more than we realize, especially back when geography but pretty rigid controls on expansion or movement.

But way before that book came out, linguists, Tolkien being one of them, were talking about how geography impacts language, and language impacts culture.

This I think is a trait shared by the older men of epic fantasy. I say men, because I have yet to read an example of epic fantasy written by an elderly woman, though of course it may exist. They start with no immediate interest in telling a story. They are generally men of academia. They world-build. They make the geography and the geography fuels the language, and the language builds the people. They write histories and mythologies. They have family trees and the hundred thousand details of a living breathing world. Then, as they age, they begin to write more novel-format stories in this world. These stories feel so organic because the world they are in is organic.

So, although this is a bit simplistic, I think it comes down too. Do you want to tell a story about a people, or a person, or a concept?
  • 6

Jack Road
TCS Guerilla
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:38 pm
Show rep

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Knicholas » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:59 pm

Jack Road wrote:
This I think is a trait shared by the older men of epic fantasy. I say men, because I have yet to read an example of epic fantasy written by an elderly woman, though of course it may exist. They start with no immediate interest in telling a story. They are generally men of academia. They world-build. They make the geography and the geography fuels the language, and the language builds the people. They write histories and mythologies. They have family trees and the hundred thousand details of a living breathing world. Then, as they age, they begin to write more novel-format stories in this world. These stories feel so organic because the world they are in is organic.


Can you give some examples beyond Tolkien? I thought again of Guy Gavriel Kay, although he really got his start by helping Christopher Tolkien put together the Silmarillion, and then wrote The Fionavar Tapestry to get it out of his system. Much of his later writings were in a single world. Who else would you include? George RR Martin?
  • 2

Knicholas
TCS Regular
TCS Regular
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:25 pm
Show rep

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby cmsellers » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:10 pm

Knicholas wrote:Can you give some examples beyond Tolkien? I thought again of Guy Gavriel Kay, although he really got his start by helping Christopher Tolkien put together the Silmarillion, and then wrote The Fionavar Tapestry to get it out of his system. Much of his later writings were in a single world. Who else would you include? George RR Martin?

Robert Jordan and David Eddings come to mind.

Terry Goodkind was in his fifties when he started writing, however my impression is that his motivation for writing was more about promoting Objectivism than world-building. Certainly, I don't recall anything the least bit interesting about his worlds.
  • 1

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 7930
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Anglerphobe » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:26 pm

I don't really write, but from a young age I liked to design creatures for various fantastic environments.I suppose I was more interested in the monsters than the characters or the lore when I was small. I would always think of what the creatures were doing when they weren't battling adventurers, just living their lives and trying to survive in their unique environments. The ones I made up needed to be "proper" organisms, even if they were patently supernatural things like wraiths and shapeshifters.
Over time, just drawing and writing about them evolved into something of a Roleplaying bestiary, some of which have been used in real games. I still sort of do this, though I very rarely draw or write any of it down nowadays.
  • 3

"Tusser, they tell me, when thou wert alive,
Thou, teaching thrift, thyselfe couldst never thrive.
So, like the whetstone, many men are wont
To sharpen others, when themselves are blunt."

Don't you dare go Hollow.
User avatar
Anglerphobe
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 2032
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:03 pm
Show rep
Title: Depressed Goblin Nightmare Man

Re: Worlds vs. their inhabitants as motivation to write fict

Postby Jack Road » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:09 am

Robert Jordan, George Martin, Patrick Rothuss, Richard Adams. Some others.
  • 0

Jack Road
TCS Guerilla
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:38 pm
Show rep

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest