PDA

View Full Version : vocabulary term for critiquing?



greglondon
01-03-2007, 11:09 PM
So, you're a beta reader for someone's story. In the story, it rains at every funeral. Its sunny at a wedding. There's lighting outside when they're in the haunted house.

The weather generally tracks the characters emotions.

What is the word that describes this sort of thing in a story?

Julie Worth
01-03-2007, 11:10 PM
Cliche.

Elodie-Caroline
01-03-2007, 11:12 PM
unimaginative ;)

greglondon
01-03-2007, 11:29 PM
I found it on another writing website. The term I was looking for was:

"empathic universe"
or
"melodramatic setting"

Julie Worth
01-03-2007, 11:54 PM
And the overuse of melodramatic settings would be cliche and unimaginative?

Bartholomew
01-03-2007, 11:55 PM
I could make an arguement for Sentient Milieu, but you'd have to take liberties on the definitions of both words.

greglondon
01-03-2007, 11:59 PM
And the overuse of melodramatic settings would be cliche and unimaginative?

I'm sure it would. But "empathic universe" is much more specific way of telling an author what didn't work for me as a reader.

rugcat
01-04-2007, 12:00 AM
Climatological synchronicity

Julie Worth
01-04-2007, 12:04 AM
I'm sure it would. But "empathic universe" is much more specific way of telling an author what didn't work for me as a reader.

Two problems: you'll have to explain it (only 20 hits on Google), and, like everything else, an empathic universe not bad unless it's overused.

Elodie-Caroline
01-04-2007, 12:13 AM
It would to me if someone had to keep using the same old scenes for their settings.


And the overuse of melodramatic settings would be cliche and unimaginative?

greglondon
01-04-2007, 01:00 AM
Two problems: you'll have to explain it (only 20 hits on Google), and, like everything else, an empathic universe not bad unless it's overused.

It's defined here
http://www.sfwa.org/writing/glossary.html
which is good enough for me to be considered a "legitimate" term,
I just couldn't remember the term.

And for me it is bad, even if you use it once.
If you have me read a book where it rains during a funeral, even once,
I will shake my head in disgust.
I may keep reading because other stuff is going on that's good,
but for me personally, my experience as a reader is,
"blech".

Julie Worth
01-04-2007, 01:05 AM
If you have me read a book where it rains during a funeral, even once,
I will shake my head in disgust.


Can I have drizzle? How about blustery and cold, but no rain at all? Or how about crows? A great flock of crows that darken a sunny day?

greglondon
01-04-2007, 01:14 AM
a bright, sunny, warm day, or nothing at all.
If you want some crows that make a brief appearance, I'll grant you that one.
I like crows.

Bartholomew
01-04-2007, 01:19 AM
...I've been to seventeen funerals, ten of them military, not that that matters, but anyway, it rained at twelve, maybe thirteen of them.

My life is cliche. o_o

Judg
01-04-2007, 01:23 AM
And for me it is bad, even if you use it once.
If you have me read a book where it rains during a funeral, even once,
I will shake my head in disgust.
I may keep reading because other stuff is going on that's good,
but for me personally, my experience as a reader is,
"blech".
Hmm, not even once? It really truly does rain sometimes at funerals, you know. If a big deal is made of it, I'm with you, but if the weather helps establish atmosphere now and again, I'll go along happily. But it has to be done seldom, and subtly. None of this "as if the sky were crying along with them" kind of stuff. In real life, weather conditions can amplify certain emotions, so if it's handled in that way, I have no objection. A book in which the sky was always at loggerheads with the events would be just as artificial.

AnnieColleen
01-04-2007, 02:38 AM
A book in which the sky was always at loggerheads with the events would be just as artificial.

But it could be fun to play with. Especially if the characters knew it -- "Hey, it's sunny today. Something awful's going to happen!"

PeeDee
01-04-2007, 10:32 AM
If it's sunny at weddings, it's raining at funerals, and we follow this to a logical conclusion........does it hail at baptisms? Does it bluster at graduation parties? Does it tornado at Bar mitzvahs?

I think if your novel as a touch of metaphysical in it of some sort, then I might be a little more lenient. In American Gods, it gets colder and colder and more wintery as things go bad....but then again, it's also happening during the winter months. Toward the end of the novel, it's spring again...but even if no events had bene happening, it would have been spring, it was that time of the year.

Julie Worth
01-04-2007, 04:16 PM
It's defined here
http://www.sfwa.org/writing/glossary.html
which is good enough for me to be considered a "legitimate" term,


David Smith's list is interesting. Sprinkling your critique with a half dozen of his terms would leave a budding writer thinking you were terribly smart, if not downright frightening.

Petroglyph
01-06-2007, 07:02 PM
Perhaps "pathetic fallacy" is a good term for what you want to say?

maestrowork
01-06-2007, 07:14 PM
I found it on another writing website. The term I was looking for was:

"empathic universe"
or
"melodramatic setting"


Sounds good, but basically, they're cliches. Happy settings for happy moments, sad setting for sad, horrifying settings for intense/horrifying moments. They're moods -- if use sparingly, they serve a purpose. But if every funeral is on a rainy, windy day, of if every wedding is picture perfect, it's unrealistic (or at least melodramatic).

rugcat
01-06-2007, 09:06 PM
Perhaps "pathetic fallacy" is a good term for what you want to say?I believe 'pathetic fallacy' refers more to the attribution of human characteristics or emotions to inanimate objects. Such as "an angry storm," or "a wise old tree." Just linking weather to the characters' moods or actions doesn't really apply.

paprikapink
01-06-2007, 09:13 PM
I could make an arguement for Sentient Milieu, but you'd have to take liberties on the definitions of both words.

I think you could make a novel out of Sentient Milieu if you put your mind to it.

Elodie-Caroline
01-06-2007, 11:19 PM
When my step-dad died 9 years ago last September. The day of the funeral was bright and sunny. I stood at the front of the church, but took no notice of the service at all. I was too busy watching the sun dancing through a small hole in the lead from the stained glass window; that made me feel more that God was around, than what the actual service did, it was beautiful.

Ellie



But if every funeral is on a rainy, windy day, of if every wedding is picture perfect, it's unrealistic (or at least melodramatic).

Chumplet
01-06-2007, 11:27 PM
At my little cousin's' funeral, it was November. The day was crisp, frosty and bright. The sky was a brilliant blue, and when Austin's classmates released a hundred balloons, one silver Nemo balloon stood out and our eyes followed its sparkle until it finally disappeared. Apologies to passing airplanes, but the effect was beautiful and uplifting.

Aunt Dora's funeral, in another November, was chilly and drizzly.

Elodie-Caroline
01-06-2007, 11:35 PM
It's sad when a child dies isn't it; it's something that you can never forget. My little sister of 7 died when I was 15, well over 30 years ago now. But you never forget how it feels and how they're going to miss the things that we've taken for granted through our adult years, like falling in love etc.

tenpenynail
01-07-2007, 01:02 AM
I drove 400 miles to the funeral of my friend's son. My foster-sister went with me. The funeral day was cloudy, rainy, and the ground squishy. But the rain stopped for the grave-side ceremony.

As I was standing in the back of the crowd--looking over the tops of many black umbrellas--thinking how that was somehow beautiful, I heard a strange chanting-like singing, very low men-type voices. I looked around for the boom-box, transistor, or radio or whatever.

Then I realized it was coming from above. So I looked for speakers in trees. None. When I looked up at the sky---it was just crowded with angels--all in a swirl--ones head would be over the feet of the one before...they were kind of transparent. And it was their song---or more preciously, it seemed to me they were praying FOR US!!! For all of us...

I can still remember the chanting song. It was beautiful, melodic and soothing. The closest thing I've heard on this world to compare it to is when Jewish men sing at their dinner tables. Kind of like that...but more.

I showed my foster-sister and she neither heard it or saw it. They remained through out the entire ceremony--then broke up and dissipated. I've had visits from dead-folks before sometimes [in fact this mother died 2 years later and she visited me 3 months after her death]. But this was different.

C.bronco
01-07-2007, 01:33 AM
Correspondence.

e.g. "a steady storm of correspondences"" from Macbeth

Siddow
01-07-2007, 02:34 AM
"meteorologically unimportant"
"does not enhance mood"
"irritated me because of the cliche"