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Thread: A gripe from one literary writer to another...

  1. #51
    Without Shame gan_naire's Avatar
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    Really glad my literary has a plot that's known within the first ten pages.
    Conformity leads to death of not only the human spirit, but to imagination.

  2. #52
    practical experience, FTW Graz's Avatar
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    The fluorescent light fixture mounted over the bathroom sink hummed, buzzed and flickered. Its brightness grew, abated then again increased. The gleaming whiteness of the tile and porcelin reflected the light and concentrated it into searing radiant beams that caused the man to squint.

    Seated, he gazed at the toe jam held captive beneath the thick and yellowed nail. He only wore white socks. How could the toe jam be dark in color? What does this mean? His head rested in hand, elbow on knee, he contemplated the meaning.

    The man reached down and extracted the toe jam. Placing his finger in front of his face, the mass balanced precariously on it's tip. His burdens concentrated, he gazed at the mass of collected and stored debris the toe jam held and represented. It was in the shape of Madagascar.

  3. #53
    practical experience, FTW
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    Had he ever been to Madagascar, in this life or any other? Most likely not, so why was this nebulous reminiscence of such exotic climes smoldering in the depths of his soul? Did he really care? Did his toe jam care about him? Was this some token representation of his own futility - had this crusted crescent of unsavory grunge led a more fulfilled existence than he? Was this the sign he'd been waiting for?

    (the thread that cannot die... a literal literary zombie... feel free to contribute to it's everlasting life, as you deem warranted)

  4. #54
    practical experience, FTW Graz's Avatar
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    He flicked away the offensive amalgamation and watched it land. Thrice it bounced on the cold tile squares made of white. The discarded scrunge ball came to rest against the bath tub. The light flickered and hissed, it's last gasp of illumination faded and blackness came.

    Plunged into complete darkness, the scent of his own waste and the eerie dark silence that surrounded him caused his thoughts to wander back decades long passed to the time spent on that strange and mystical island off the coast of Africa where electricity and plumbing were rare. Onto not only Madagascar but also Hasina. The only woman he ever loved and the only woman he knew had loved him in return.

    Neither spoke the other's native tongue. They communicated solely through the eternal language of love, lust and passion. The verdant strawberry fields, pumpkin and watermelon patches were the floors and matresses in their nest roofed by brilliant starry nights.The aroma of the fruit combined with the scents of sex, of Hasina filled his mind. He sat on the toilet, alone in the darkness and began to weep.
    Last edited by Graz; 07-01-2011 at 07:18 AM. Reason: First Draft

  5. #55
    Dumas. Alexandre Dumas. schamber's Avatar
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    You might enjoy this article by The Magicians author Lev Grossman. It makes some of the same points that you do about plotlessness. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...804387216.html

  6. #56
    Wonderfully Irreverent Dr.Gonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    The very most bestest Middle English comes from the West Midlands.
    No. It is the beige Volvo of English accents.
    In a closed society where everybody's guilty,
    the only crime is getting caught.
    In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

    -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #57
    grave watcher
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    Sometimes, I think language can kill a book. Subtle plots get overwhelmed by words and suddenly seem plotless because the author/editor/publishing house thought it was a little too clean and to the point. And then there really are the books that seem as though they were published simply because the publishing house knew a guy who knew a guy who wrote a "FANTASTIC" book that didn't turn out quite right.

  8. #58
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    I just finished reading a hard-core literary novel in which the "plot" (such as it was) didn't start until I was about 170 pages in, and wasn't resolved after 330 pages. The bulk of the novel consisted of classical allusions (the hero is an insufferably pretentious classics prof) and digressions into detailed analyses of musical pieces, figures of speech and the like.

    Why did I read it? Because the author kept pestering me to review it. I don't know how to tell him I think he should have kept this one in the trunk (as, I believe, his former publisher wanted him to do). I've read quite a few of his other (better) novels and reviewed them, but I'm done now. In fact, I may just switch to reading fast-paced YA and genre fiction full-time.

    Basically I'm just using this space to vent, since, as far as I can tell, no one has read this novel but me (and perhaps his friends). It didn't sell well, so it's not exactly indicative of trends in literary fiction. Which, in my view, is for the best.

    Though I also felt this way after reading all 700+ pages of Rick Moody's latest book. There is something to be said for (a) plot, (b) plausible, non-postmodern characterization and (c) economical prose.
    YA thriller The K1ller in M3 coming summer 2016 from D1sn3y-Hyper1on

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