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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2905 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  04:36:37  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Quale

Stephen Donaldson - I don't care at all for his characters.



Agreed. Now that you reminded me, he's supposed to be on my list, too.
I don't hate him - I enjoyed his first trilogy. The second one left me - and everyone else - flat. His characters weren't exactly all that likable (except for the giant), but his world was very interesting; not your typical cookie-cutter fantasy setting. He should have never written more novels about The Land - I get the idea he used up all his good ideas in the first three.

Perfect example of over-milking the cow.

Did I just hear someone say Drizzt.......

I'd have to put Stephenie Meyer at the top of my 'Most Despised' list - what she did to vampires borders on the criminal.



You don't like shiny vampires?


No they suck.

Reminds me of the picture I have seen floating around the interwebs. It's has Blade standing behind Edward and Bella saying this is how the movie should have ended.

Sums up my thoughts exactly.

.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 31 Oct 2011 04:39:59
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2905 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  04:38:14  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

You have to read all four books to know what I mean.


Now why would I want to do something like that??

.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  04:40:25  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

She's a beacon of hope for all the geeks out there. "Write and believe you shall be celebrated one day!" And a millonaire, too!

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  04:42:06  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sometimes authors can't write what they want, but what their fans want, and that lack of creative self-direction may be the worst fate of all. Its like an actor who gets type-cast, and gets stuck in a never-ending cycle of the same crap they can't break free of.

While it matters that at times the authors are being dictated what and who to write about, I must say the quality of their books would mostly depend on one thing: their talent [at writing]. Now, donít get me wrong. I would not be so disrespectful as to accuse some authors of lacking talent. Only that, they do have, but for some, itís not enough. Let me mention Matthew Stover and Laura Resnick as examples. Both were given two uber-powerful planeswalkers to write about, and to a certain degree, were dictated what to write [or so I heard]. Stover nailed Tezzeret, while Resnick hardly did Chandra. Stover showed the nuances of the setting without losing focus on his hero [or villain, depending on how you would see Tezzeret]. On the other hand, Resnick barely gave justice to the setting and even to Chandra herself; it seems like she was only concerned with how many buildings and creatures Chandra could burn in a day. Same setting, same level of characters, but so different in the quality of their books.

Every beginning has an end.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14034 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  05:12:11  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Once again, I believe it comes down to 'passion'.

If you do not feel passionately about what you are writing, you will only do a mediocre job, even if it is subconsciously. How can you be expected to create 'art' around a topic you do not care much about?

Which is why I believe that some authors get stuck in a rut of writing about their same old characters, even when the creative well-spring has long run dry (for those particular characters).

Ed himself has said on numerous occasions that he could think of hundreds of Realms stories he'd love to write, but has to write about the characters they want him to write about (namely, Elminster). Not that Ed doesn't love the old mage, but it doesn't matter how good something is - everyone needs a break from steak or lobster now and then, and eat a taco or greasy cheeseburger.

In other words, if you are forced to consume Filet Mignon every night, you'll grow sick of it pretty quick.

Fortunately for Ed, he gets to play with his cheeseburgers elsewhere.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 31 Oct 2011 05:13:32
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  05:25:01  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

One can cook [and eat] the same recipe ---and add some new ingredients. Same with writing. You can write about the same character and setting and add new dimensions to them so as to squeeze those [literary] juices. Passion comes with talent.

Every beginning has an end.
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WizardsHerb
Seeker

United Kingdom
23 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  12:27:18  Show Profile Send WizardsHerb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe it was Terry Pratchett who once wrote the analogy that writing is like painting - and that writing fantasy is like adding more colours rather than using different colours. I can imagine that a lot of "bad fantasy" forgets some of the basic colour, thinking it's not needed with the new colours. In fact, I think that was the point of the piece he was writing, since I now recall it was advice on writing fantasy, in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3056 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  13:00:51  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WizardsHerb

I believe it was Terry Pratchett who once wrote the analogy that writing is like painting - and that writing fantasy is like adding more colours rather than using different colours. I can imagine that a lot of "bad fantasy" forgets some of the basic colour, thinking it's not needed with the new colours. In fact, I think that was the point of the piece he was writing, since I now recall it was advice on writing fantasy, in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.



I agree with you on this. Also, i think some of the younger/newer fantasy authors get all wrapped up in developing a new spin on their fantasy idea that they forget the basics of writing a good story: character development, plot advancement, etc. I have read some fantasy books where i loved the idea of the setting, but ended up not really enjoying the book because it never seemed to go anywhere, or because i felt no attachment for the characters.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  14:13:25  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

That's because most readers are often drawn by the characters. The other elements only come second---setting, conflict, tone, etc. If I would read a novel just for the sheer wonder of its setting [with unappealing, completely boring characters], then I'd rather travel and go to places.

Every beginning has an end.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14034 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  14:56:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When you can travel to other worlds, planes, cities on mountaintops at altitudes ABOVE the atmosphere (Majipoor) and beneath the sea, learn spells at the local mage school and exchange blows with a dragon or two, you let me know, okay?

As a DM of 30+ years, I find I am given creative 'seeds' far more often by the backdrop then by the characters - different strokes for different folks.

Not that I don't enjoy a book about interesting characters - who wouldn't? But when the setting is very cookie-cutter it serves little purpose, and those same characters can be dropped into any setting, which defeats the purpose of the fantasy genre, IMHO.

Drizzt would be at home alongside the three Musketeers, as a Nubian transplanted to Europe and raised as a gentleman, with a pair of rather unique antique swords. Luke Skywalker would be fine in the Realms, learning from his goblin (Blue or Xvart) master the art of psionics, wielding his flaming sword. Indiana Jones or the guy from The Mummy would do just fine dumped into Mulhorand, or just about anyplace else with ruins (meaning, ANY fantasy RPG setting). And Sherlock Holmes would have no problem living in Watereep solving "The Shadowmastiff of the Baskerhorns".

Characters can be transplanted - background, not so much. In the fantasy & scify genre, its the great world-builders who get the accolades.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 31 Oct 2011 14:59:12
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  15:06:16  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Why would I want to transplant a background?

Characters often define the story. A tsunami swallowing an entire nation [empty of people because everyone has already gone on an exodus to another country] might be fascinating to watch. But the story would be far more interesting if we get to see some people stranded or unwilling to leave. [Which by the way, reminds me of the cho-ja in Feist's Wrath of a Mad God.]


Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3056 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  15:17:41  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

When you can travel to other worlds, planes, cities on mountaintops at altitudes ABOVE the atmosphere (Majipoor) and beneath the sea, learn spells at the local mage school and exchange blows with a dragon or two, you let me know, okay?

As a DM of 30+ years, I find I am given creative 'seeds' far more often by the backdrop then by the characters - different strokes for different folks.

Not that I don't enjoy a book about interesting characters - who wouldn't? But when the setting is very cookie-cutter it serves little purpose, and those same characters can be dropped into any setting, which defeats the purpose of the fantasy genre, IMHO.

Drizzt would be at home alongside the three Musketeers, as a Nubian transplanted to Europe and raised as a gentleman, with a pair of rather unique antique swords. Luke Skywalker would be fine in the Realms, learning from his goblin (Blue or Xvart) master the art of psionics, wielding his flaming sword. Indiana Jones or the guy from The Mummy would do just fine dumped into Mulhorand, or just about anyplace else with ruins (meaning, ANY fantasy RPG setting). And Sherlock Holmes would have no problem living in Watereep solving "The Shadowmastiff of the Baskerhorns".

Characters can be transplanted - background, not so much. In the fantasy & scify genre, its the great world-builders who get the accolades.



I think you need BOTH memorable characters & an imaginative setting to have a sucessful fantasy story. Having only one or the other doesn't work for me.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  15:28:27  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the fantasy & scify genre, its the great world-builders who get the accolades.

Says who? They surely won't get those "accolades" from me!

I can live with a "mediocre" setting but with a bunch of fantastic characters. Weeks comes to mind. As I noted before, I'm not impressed with his world-building. [Didn't Time say Weeks's world-building is "weak?"] But he's great at crafting interesting characters, even though he ended up killing them off.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3056 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  15:45:00  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the fantasy & scify genre, its the great world-builders who get the accolades.

Says who? They surely won't get those "accolades" from me!

I can live with a "mediocre" setting but with a bunch of fantastic characters. Weeks comes to mind. As I noted before, I'm not impressed with his world-building. [Didn't Time say Weeks's world-building is "weak?"] But he's great at crafting interesting characters, even though he ended up killing them off.



Yeah Weeks' worlds don't inspire vivid scenes in my mind, but his characters are fantastic and real.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Old Man Harpell
Senior Scribe

USA
470 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2011 :  19:08:12  Show Profile  Visit Old Man Harpell's Homepage Send Old Man Harpell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


And strangely, the 'most uber' character in any book I read - Nathan Brazil - was one of the most likable, simply because with all his power, he hardly did anything at all (and didn't expect anyone's pity). The dude literally had the ability to hit the 'off switch' on the universe itself. But he inspired pity anyway, on a much deeper level (picture Tom Hanks character at the end of The Green Mile, and magnify that a trillion-trillion fold).


This is an excellent example. Chalker's only lemon, to me, was the Changewinds series. But any and all things Nathan Brazil are worth the read. There was even a Midnight at the Well of Souls role-playing game, once upon a time.
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Marc
Senior Scribe

618 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2011 :  12:33:55  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
after I started GM-ing world-building become more important, still not more than the story or characters

.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2011 :  04:21:57  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

As one actor said, "Eden without Adam and Eve is boring." And I would add the snake to that.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3056 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2011 :  12:32:34  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


As one actor said, "Eden without Adam and Eve is boring." And I would add the snake to that.



Yep, and without the fruit and trees and such they would just be hanging around in the nude.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14034 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2011 :  13:57:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like the 60's.

And Adam was VERY boring - a regular "goody-two-shoes", and Eve wasn't much better. Without the snake, no-one would ever bother read that story. Now Lilith, there was a fascinating character - too bad they leave her out of most versions.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 02 Nov 2011 13:59:36
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2011 :  14:30:12  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Perhaps that should be rephrased to: "Eden without Adam and Eve is far more boring." A book with a wonderful setting but bland characters is ultimately...boring. Now how much more if the setting itself is also boring.

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Huerin Illance
Acolyte

12 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2011 :  22:09:56  Show Profile Send Huerin Illance a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ED GREENWOOD

Hands down! The latest book, "Bury Elminster Deep" is awful. I offer this as my opinion, but the worst part about it is that "Bury Elminster Deep" is allegedly the type of novel that the author *HIMSELF* doesn't even like!

quote:

Orignally posted by The Hooded One

P.S. Merrith, right on! Ed and I both dislike fantasy books where novices on a quest unerringly find their way across a continent to where they have to get, and various characters "just happen" to show up at the right place and time to intercept foes or join allies. Life is full of wandering around and making mistakes and rushing around.
Thente, the movement in BED is nothing like any Realms session I've ever played in (or Ed has DM'd) - - and how El and Storm can (and can't) use magic, and how it's changing, is fully explained (here and there, during the story) in EMD and BED: it's NOT like 4th edition game rules, for either of them.




The entire novel is predicated on the main character, (Elminster) having a vision, or rather racing off to Cormyr after he states, "I have foreseen it." I mean, really?

"Hello, I am the protagonist of this novel. I have foreseen events from the future, so I'm gonna go and, you know, do novel stuff..."

Not to mention all the awful coincidences, characters just bumping into each other in the Halls of Obarskyr or along the Promenade... just bleh!!

Anyway, I really don't think Ed Greenwood would be published by WotC if they didn't have a contract to publish a book by him ad infinitum... or at least as long as WotC wants to maintain the Realms IP. I really hope that Ed quits nancying around and really, truly, kills this god-awful character off, once and for all.
Then Buries Him Deep.

EDIT: And what about all the sexual tension between Elminster and Storm? Elminster was her foster-father! Just weird...

Edited by - Huerin Illance on 03 Nov 2011 22:12:39
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30221 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2011 :  23:14:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps you could express yourself a little more respectfully? Your post comes across as rather insulting.

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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2011 :  00:02:52  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hrm, I don't HATE many writers, though Meyer comes to mind. but I voted RAS- NOT because I hate him or his books, but because he managed to do one thing I thought would NEVER happen. He killed Chewie. Yes, I am referring to Chewbacca of SW fame. but after getting to the part where the lovable wookie dies (sorry for spoilers for those who have not read the book) in Vector Prime, I could NOT finish the book. I was just too mad, depressed, sad, and shocked. I can handle the deaths of favorite characters, but that one just punched me in the gut for some reason.

And for those who voted Anne McCafferey- ruind dragons?! REALLY?! One must realize that the dragons in her Pern series are (A- not fantasy-based, but pure Sci-Fi(they were created through genetic manipulation of a native species) and (B- bear no resemblance to D&D dragons. Their colors were gender-based, and had nothing to do with breath-weapons, "alignment" or anything else D&D dragons are noted for. They were more like "real-life" dragons, in that their abilities were logical and fully explained biologically.

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Arcanus
Senior Scribe

485 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2011 :  01:00:25  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Perhaps you could express yourself a little more respectfully? Your post comes across as rather insulting.



I think that Ed's shoulders are wide enough to take the comments on board. I myself agree with some of the points made. Elminster was interesting because he was powerful and always seemed to have the upper hand (in the end). We have already had El deprived of magic (shadow of avatar, book one) and to to see the same thing more or less repeated over many more books is imo boring.
I'm not the biggest fan of Eds writing style, but I love some of his characters. Without magic these characters are made rather pointless. This leaves me frustrated because all that is left is a series of 'capers' in and around the palace again and again. Hardly inspired writing imo.
I realise that Elminster is a cash cow for wotc but I feel that this series of books has been stretched too far. This latest Elminster yarn feels like it should really fit into a trilogy and not six books.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3056 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2011 :  01:00:34  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Hrm, I don't HATE many writers, though Meyer comes to mind. but I voted RAS- NOT because I hate him or his books, but because he managed to do one thing I thought would NEVER happen. He killed Chewie. Yes, I am referring to Chewbacca of SW fame. but after getting to the part where the lovable wookie dies (sorry for spoilers for those who have not read the book) in Vector Prime, I could NOT finish the book. I was just too mad, depressed, sad, and shocked. I can handle the deaths of favorite characters, but that one just punched me in the gut for some reason.

And for those who voted Anne McCafferey- ruind dragons?! REALLY?! One must realize that the dragons in her Pern series are (A- not fantasy-based, but pure Sci-Fi(they were created through genetic manipulation of a native species) and (B- bear no resemblance to D&D dragons. Their colors were gender-based, and had nothing to do with breath-weapons, "alignment" or anything else D&D dragons are noted for. They were more like "real-life" dragons, in that their abilities were logical and fully explained biologically.



Readers DO get attached to the way they picture dragons in their minds

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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