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Old November 26 2014, 01:31 AM   #1
EnderAKH
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10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

10 Writing "Rules" We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break
I kind of agree about Mary Sue. I think it is a term I see tossed around way too much in regard to female protagonists. For example, I've seen Skye on Agents of Shield described that way, and I don't see that at all.
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Old November 26 2014, 03:30 AM   #2
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

EnderAKH wrote: View Post
I've seen Skye on Agents of Shield described that way, and I don't see that at all.
Skye isn't a Mary Sue at all. She's just irritating.
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Old November 26 2014, 03:33 AM   #3
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

I agree with almost everything on that list. Except the one I hadn't heard of before.

As the "rules" of writing have become more well-known, everyone feels like they are too sophisticated for anything that dares disregard them. And on a tangent, I'm beginning to hate tvtropes. When every single little variation of a moment or thing or person has a name or designation, it becomes meaningless. Oh, that movie? I found the Villain Explains It All scene was far too reliant on the Cue Card Pause, especially when it came to the Checkov's Gun. If he had just not Burnt His Ships, the Actual Pacifist could have saved him.
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Old November 26 2014, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Karzak wrote: View Post
EnderAKH wrote: View Post
I've seen Skye on Agents of Shield described that way, and I don't see that at all.
Skye isn't a Mary Sue at all.
Yes she is. Her name was Mary Sue Poots before she had it changed. True story.
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Old November 26 2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Karzak wrote: View Post
Skye isn't a Mary Sue at all. She's just irritating.
Part of being "Mary Sue" as I understand it is everyone likes you, so not a Mary Sue.



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Old November 26 2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

I disagree with people complaining about the term "idiot plot." There are too many idiot plots around and they really should be called out. It's insulting to be given a story that only works because the characters driving it are incompetent (unless it's a comedy, then it's funny.)
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Old November 26 2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Wanna get rid of these terms? That's easy: Eliminate Literary Criticism.

Critics are the ones who create terms like these to pigeon-hole the works being reviewed so that they might educate both the author and the unwashed masses intelligent enough to be among the critics' readers. This is true of any form of entertainment someone is asked to professionally review.
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Old November 26 2014, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Those aren't even fucking rules, just descriptors used by critics.
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Old November 27 2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

More like fashion than rules. But, like fashion, rules are something I want to defy as soon as I learn about them. But it seems to me that the last one should be the opposite these days-- it's okay to have sympathetic characters.

The comments from the writers are mostly very true, except for "Idiot Plot" (which includes characters suddenly acting out of character for the plot to work) and "Hard Science Fiction" (which contradicts itself).

Rules and fashions in the arts should be considered a challenge.
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Old November 27 2014, 05:24 PM   #10
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Those aren't even fucking rules, just descriptors used by critics.
That's exactly what I was thinking while reading the article.
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Old November 27 2014, 09:47 PM   #11
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

Tosk wrote: View Post
I agree with almost everything on that list. Except the one I hadn't heard of before.

As the "rules" of writing have become more well-known, everyone feels like they are too sophisticated for anything that dares disregard them. And on a tangent, I'm beginning to hate tvtropes. When every single little variation of a moment or thing or person has a name or designation, it becomes meaningless. Oh, that movie? I found the Villain Explains It All scene was far too reliant on the Cue Card Pause, especially when it came to the Checkov's Gun. If he had just not Burnt His Ships, the Actual Pacifist could have saved him.

TV Tropes operates from the notion that every kind of story has precedent in plot, structure and character. That is a myth, and requires a strong familiarity with literature to know better. While they have a point--to a degree--in that innumerable film/TV productions recycle plots/characters/motives you've seen hundreds of time, that in no way means there are films or TV series that were original in various departments--not merely a rearranged collection of cliches, plot devices, etc.
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Old November 27 2014, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

I actually think the hard/soft sci-fi descriptor is useful in a broad sense to let me know if I should try a book.
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Old November 27 2014, 11:37 PM   #13
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

I really disagree with Ken Liu in that piece, but then I don't much care for Liu's writing at all. I don't mind switching perspectives or point of views between chapters--such as what Martin does in Game of Thrones--but knowing what everyone is thinking and feeling in a particular scene becomes annoying to me as a reader.
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Old November 27 2014, 11:46 PM   #14
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

KSR is probably mad because he gets accused of it, though he really doesn't include anything extraneous. It's not all exposition, it's dull and unnecessary exposition. We need that term to shame the authors who abuse it! Tired of hearing the term dystopia? Stop reading/writing the same YA book every month.

Also, we wouldn't see so much of this if folks didn't spend all their time reading TVTropes and then acting like writing experts. I'm personally sick of seeing "straw" used frequently in debates, especially since it's mostly misapplied (very often on this forum). People like to try and dismiss an argument out of hand by simply calling it a straw man. Oh, and tropes. It's not that I hate the word, it's that its usage usually signifies that you're reading the words of someone who thinks they know more than they do.
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Old November 29 2014, 04:56 PM   #15
Argus Skyhawk
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Re: 10 Writing "Rules" Some Wish More SciFi and Fantasy Authors Wo

I think the OP actually intended to link to this page instead:

http://io9.com/5879434/10-writing-ru...rs-would-break

Am I correct EnderAKH?
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