Reviews for That Essay That Everyone Else Writes
rvtolentino chapter 3 . 10/12/2006
first off, i like the chapter title! very... stylish. kinda reminds me of those Trinity Blood forum signatures my friend makes for me...

anyway, i just had to react on the "Harry Potter is a Sue" part. the tests were mostly recent, and it had appeared during the post-HP era. Harry Potter had influenced a lot of writers (and stories and characters in turn), so it's not surprising that he'd appear as a Sue-when in fact, he was arguably the progenitor of most of these cliches (except of course the prophecy part, which has been done a gazillion times long before)!

very nice chapter, JJ. i rather like how you've written a "seeming" prophecy only for this update. one more example of a "shoddy" prophecy is that of the Dragon Reborn, in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. read it; you'd probably laugh.

anyway, i'll be waiting for the next chapter! because i so love your cynicism.

MarkPenn chapter 1 . 10/10/2006
Very creative. i can realate to it. Keep writing its great.
Theory Of The 4th Dimension chapter 3 . 10/9/2006
I would have to agree to your unfinished article. The first chapter, articulately true, but what would you expect from infant writers; the first actions they would probably do are ones their parents are doing, eventually they will find their own path to follow. In some point in our lives, wev'e taken up some famous writer/artist's style as a guide but we end up finding our own style as the ultimatum.

Sadly, not a lot of writers these days are even going for originality as a goal. If one must use clichets at least use it artfully though. Take the excretions that hollywood is giving out, the history of the theater is entering a bleak chapter.

Anyway, that's all I have to say. Good job with this by the way. If you worked on the chapters a little more and completed the unfinished portions, I think this is something worth publishing. Awesome piece!
She Who Loves Pineapples chapter 3 . 10/9/2006
Hmm... I somewhat agree. And finally someone who is (sort of) bashing Sues who is actually being HELPFUL - a rarity.

Quote, "For a first chapter, I plan to observe how new authors, like baby chicks, use the regurgitated stuff. Sounds like a gross comparison, but follow me here."

That's lovely. . But quite... interesting, I suppose.

Quote, "The concept of ‘swallowing’: Yeah, I probably explained this already, but think about it. I don’t really mean that the writer can’t handle it keeping their writing under control. I think this is more directed towards the younger (as in age) writers. They haven’t been exposed to different styles of writing, so they write about what they know will work."

Not quite sure I get what you mean by that.

Quote, "Though not always true, people tend to shy away from this topic because, simply stated, the reader wants to cheer for the protagonist. Therefore, the villain is hardly critiqued. As a writer, the story is all about the lead character(s), who in most cases will be for the forces of ‘good’. After all, the villain is always evil, trying to foil the protagonist’s supposedly good deeds/intentions."

Augh... I used to have a HUGE problem with that. In fact, I still do, but at least now I recognize the problem and it's not quite so obvious... and I at least TRY to give them some sort of human psychology. I think the problem (at least for me) was that I'm not really around "bad guys", therefore, I don't know how they act. Since I didn't know personally how they act, I had to rely on what I'd heard before, which was stereotypes...

And why would anyone want to take over the world, anyway?

I like what you pointed out about prophesies(sp?). I never really thought about that.

So, yahz... I'll have to keep reading this. It, unlike most essays of its kind, seems like it could be useful.
Annatari chapter 3 . 10/9/2006
Good stuff. *thumbs up*
everg8er23 chapter 2 . 10/9/2006
"either highly attractive or distractingly ugly" Hehee, I like that one. So which was Nate?

You're right people should pay attention to their main characters AND their villians. Would make reading their stories way more interesting.

I can't wait for the Mary Sue bashing. It's too bad that we don't have any paper copies of stories with Mary Sues, we could have ceremonial burnings. How fun would that be?
XXXXX XXXX XX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX chapter 2 . 10/9/2006
Nice essay. After reading that Anti-Mary-Sue thing (Forgot the name), I'm looking forward to the upcoming Mary Sue "episodes".
Annatari chapter 2 . 10/8/2006
I like this, very amusing! To me, at least...anyway, can't wait for the stuff on Mary Sue! :)
rvtolentino chapter 2 . 10/8/2006
nice insight into the stereotypical villain. there are a lot of rants and an upsurge of writing about cliched characters/plots in FP, but i find that yours have the most wit and funniest style to date.

but as i always tell in reviews of less-original stories, originality is overrated. while yes, originality does help a lot in attracting readers, it isn't the final product, which most writers misunderstand. i'd go for a heavily-cliched story with excellent execution rather than a very original story with poor execution anytime.

very nice, this one here. i like it. i'll look forward to the next one, and probably get some indirect advice from you on staying out of typical and trite character and plot development.

Terence the Terrible chapter 1 . 10/7/2006
I could not agree fact, I wrote something myself on the subject. It's really, really difficult to be original when almost all of the best ideas have already been taken. Sure, there have to still be some original things floating around out there, but some of them are far too zany or too deep for the layman to comprehend. All in all, it's definitely a job to be creative.

And, indeed, FictionPress is the living testement to that sentiment. It's sad, really...
everg8er23 chapter 1 . 10/6/2006
Ah cliches, they shall be the death of us all. And you're right I think we can all be accused of using them before (even if it is everyone's pet peeve). People write what works I suppose. I don't know, it probably isn't possible to come up with a new story line. It's all in the way it's presented. Like Harry Potter, there's been stories about wizards and teens coming from bad families. But this one was a hit anyway. All in the writing you might say. So then maybe it doesn't matter if young writers regurgitate old plots, they just can't reuse other people's style. So how are they going to find their own style? I have no idea. Mix and match others perhaps. In any case, I love the essay because it is something I think all writers can relate to. Villians are next you say. I like evil people. *looks around* What?
EeeNAce chapter 1 . 10/6/2006
hahahaha so true. Continue and expand on these groups! I'm interested. As for my reaction, I must say that the matter of being able to stand somehing depends on what one writes. Everyone knows that romance novels are all trash (other than the classics i.e. pride and prejudice) but people tend enjoy that cliche (women in particular.)And as for romance, how many scenarios can there possibly be?

But yes, I must concur. Literature just isn't what it was anymore.
Magnolian Wolf chapter 1 . 10/6/2006
Nice essay! Maybe you should submit something to Stop The Press; its a newsletter with tips and goodies for the authors of fictionpress. I'm sure Bread would be happy to have you on board!
rvtolentino chapter 1 . 10/6/2006
very nice comparison, i like it. it gave a lot of insight on yes, "the decline of originality".

i saw on a forum once that we have progressed to the point-our civilization's literature, that is-that there would be no more completely (and i mean COMPLETELY) original stories. FP is a testament to that belief. everyday you'll find another vampire story, another royalty-in-hiding story, another distant planetary terraforming story, another high school comedy-romance story... and the list goes on and on.

i won't be a hypocrite. all of us suffer from cliches. cliches are basically cliched because they work, mostly either from the ignorance of the masses or because we are also ignorant of something that has been done before. or maybe we just like the idea so much so we in effect copy it and decorate it for ourselves.

oh, you used the word "cannon" inappropriately. i think you meant "canon" in the context that you used it.

very nice essay. as i said before, i love the metaphor.

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