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Executor
2007-11-16, 12:17 AM
I HATE CHRIS PAOLINI! Honestly, how can anybody read such... such... DRECK! It's dreck, unoriginal, uninspired dreck. The only reason Eragon was published was because Chris' friggin DAD was the publisher! Eragon is just a bunch of rip-offs. Of Star Wars, of the Dragonriders of Pern, and of Lord of the Rings. Aragorn - Eragon, OH the originality [/sarcasm]. How about Arya - Arwen and Urgals - Uruks. People, face it, his work sucks. And what's worse, is that everyone I know is heaping praise upon praise on this crap. Hell, people are saying Chris Paolini, a 15 year-old PUNK, is better than the likes of C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, or even the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien. Chris Paolini is not better than any one of them! Hell, comparing Paolini to Tolkien is like comparing a candle to a bonfire! Look at the plot of Eragon as compared to that of Star Wars:

Star Wars
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Jedi off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Eragon:
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Dragon Rider off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Does anybody else here join me in my distaste for this arrogant prick that calls himself a writer?

Zeful
2007-11-16, 12:30 AM
Your point? Every story in all of mankinds existance has been ripped off of something else. Little things get changed over time like settings, names, and the like. Chris has done nothing different then any other author, past, present or future. It's the same with every "Earth gets attacked by Alien's" Sci-fi movie in that mankind always wins. And most of the time we require the Alien's technology. Indipendence Day, Battlefield Earth, Species (to a lesser degree). The list goes on forever. Or how about love stroies? They're all a rip off from the Tales Of Genji(or Epic of Genji I can't remember), the first known book ever written. Yet people don't rant and rave about the 'injustice' of the copying of the oldest book written.

I ask again what's your point? Why complain about some's not to blatant coping of material when 'all that is old is new again?'

Rogue 7
2007-11-16, 12:37 AM
The point is that Christopher Paolini's ripoffs are so similar to stuff that's come before, it's almost painful. Originality comes in finding a story that's been told before and telling it in a new way. Paolini doesn't do that.

That's not my biggest problem with his work, however- it's that his work is the most fanboyish thing I have ever seen. I was fine with Eragon- I recognized that there were plenty of ripoffs, but it worked reasonably well. However, Eldest sickened me- it was full of overpowered, cloying, man I don't KNOW what else crud.

Paolini tells the same story everyone else does, he just does it much, much worse.

Setra
2007-11-16, 01:06 AM
Yada yada, how old is this argument?

In any case, yes he ripped of Star Wars, among other things.

Boo hoo.

Get over it.

Zeful
2007-11-16, 01:08 AM
If you think Eragon was bad look up The Dragonbone Chair it's got the same problems Eragorn does but I was a chapter 7 when I stoped reading and nothing happened. So when I look at Eragorn I don't see a bunch of reused and badly written drivel, I see something that was written exceptionally well despite the inclusion of much reused material.

And I would like to point out that D&D also takes from Star Wars

Star Wars: Poor Naive farmboy discover mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.

D&D: A group of poor naive farmboy/girls discover Mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.
So you might want to come up with a more substantial argument other than reuse of a trope, otherwise you might as well hate most fantasy.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-11-16, 01:20 AM
I don't mind derivative things, really. It's when they're derivative and horribly written, full of nonsensical imagery/symbolism and plot holes you can drive a truck through, that it cheeses me off. Mary Sues also get on my nerves.

Setra
2007-11-16, 01:27 AM
I don't mind derivative things, really. It's when they're derivative and horribly written, full of nonsensical imagery/symbolism and plot holes you can drive a truck through, that it cheeses me off. Mary Sues also get on my nerves.I never saw it as that badly written.. not very good mind you, but not that bad.

Then again I'm known to read fanfics.

In any case the books could definitely be better, but the Star Wars argument is annoying to me, as I've heard it at least 500 times.

Paragon Badger
2007-11-16, 01:27 AM
Yada yada, how old is this argument?

In any case, yes he ripped of Star Wars, among other things.

Boo hoo.

Get over it.

The worst thing is that the kid's been more successful than writers who have struggled their whole lives... Some of them with pretty good ideas.

I'm 18 and I feel like everything I've accomplished in life has been surpassed by a child who is younger, AND less talented than me. :smallannoyed:

I mean, I can live with the twelve year olds who can play Tchaikovski blind-folded... but that's actual talent.

Edit: Oh, and for the Star Wars/Lord of the Rings arguement... I found Star Wars to be fundamentally a 70s thing that later became a nostalgia piece. I mean, hey, I love the universe and many of the concepts in it... but if a movie like a New Hope came out in today's market; all naive heroism and stuff- it would bomb worse than Gigli.

As for Tolkein... I respect the man for all he imagined, but he really sacrificed plotline for backstory. I mean... What did Tom Bambodill have to do with the main story? Tolkein had a habit of wanting to tell too much (which I have admitadditly been tempted to do sometimes)

Secondary plotlines may be good for D&D campaigns... but books and films are expected to be a bit more streamlined. A scene that deviates or stops the progress for the sake of character development or somesuch is okay.... but entire chapters? Come on.

As for Paolini? He blows big baby chunks compared to Tolkein....

Seraph
2007-11-16, 01:29 AM
After I read three paragraphs of the eye of argon, I dont think I can really say that anything is badly written. however, paolini comes damn close.

Muz
2007-11-16, 01:47 AM
I'm 18 and I feel like everything I've accomplished in life has been surpassed by a child who is younger, AND less talented than me. :smallannoyed:


Hey, don't feel bad. I'm 33 and I'm only just getting a book published, and just barely at that. :smallsmile:

His dad owned the publishing company? So THAT'S what I've been doing wrong. *goes to call his dad and tell him to start a new career* :smallwink:

I've never read any of Paolini's work, so I can't comment personally on it, but just think of it this way. If you ever run into something professionally produced that's just horribly written tell yourself "If someone got paid to write THIS crap, there's GOT to be hope for me."
(This is what I said to myself after seeing Batman & Robin in the theater--and George Clooney's going to be handing me $7 if I ever do meet him, dangit.) :smallsmile:

The Extinguisher
2007-11-16, 01:48 AM
Also, the kids not 15. He started the first book at 15, and finished at 19. He's in his twenties now.

Also, it's not so much that he copied Star Wars, but he did it so, so badly. Even if you don't think he copied it, you have to admit it's a horrible book. I couldn't finish reading the first chapter. That's how much the book sucked.

I was kicked out of the library because I tossed the book at a friend standing nearby.

Turcano
2007-11-16, 01:56 AM
I think he's actually a 25-year-old punk by this point.

Yes, Paolini is a hack of the worst order, and his success is stark evidence of the public's taste for trash and of the lack of justice in this world. His atrocious prose, unoriginality, and personal arrogance have earned him the unending hatred of aspiring writers the world over.

And on the topic of originality, there is a distinct and fundamental difference between sharing the same tropes and copying from other people's storyboards. The former is perfectly acceptable and, at this point, necessary, while the latter is grossly unethical.

Setra
2007-11-16, 01:56 AM
Also, the kids not 15. He started the first book at 15, and finished at 19. He's in his twenties now.

Also, it's not so much that he copied Star Wars, but he did it so, so badly. Even if you don't think he copied it, you have to admit it's a horrible book. I couldn't finish reading the first chapter. That's how much the book sucked.

I was kicked out of the library because I tossed the book at a friend standing nearby.
I'm gonna call bull****.

You can't call a book crap unless you'e read it, so stop whining about something you've never even read! One chapter is not a book, Jesus H. Christ!

At least the topic poster has read the damned things, I'd hope anyways.

Yes, the books suck, but form an opinion of your own for ****'s sake.

Edit: Of course I'm now a hypocrite, I really should stay away from the threads where I know I will argue with people, tis why I stay away from the Dominic Deegan thread.

In any case I apologize but I've had a bit of a bad day.

averagejoe
2007-11-16, 01:59 AM
Aragorn - Eragon, OH the originality [/sarcasm]. How about Arya - Arwen and Urgals - Uruks.

I think the Arya-Arwen thing is a bit of a stretch. However, it is worthwhile to note that acclaimed fantasy author George R. R. Martin (because you can't be an acclaimed fantasy author without that double-R in the middle! :smalltongue: ) had a character named Arya. Also, I believe Eragon is dragon with the D exchanged for an E.

What? No, I've never read the books. Carry on.

Callos_DeTerran
2007-11-16, 02:18 AM
I think he's actually a 25-year-old punk by this point.

Yes, Paolini is a hack of the worst order, and his success is stark evidence of the public's taste for trash and of the lack of justice in this world. His atrocious prose, unoriginality, and personal arrogance have earned him the unending hatred of aspiring writers the world over.

And on the topic of originality, there is a distinct and fundamental difference between sharing the same tropes and copying from other people's storyboards. The former is perfectly acceptable and, at this point, necessary, while the latter is grossly unethical.

Note, this is not flame bait. This is my honest opinion.



I don't see the problem with Paolini. Honestly don't. Both the books made for a good 'popcorn flick' type of book and was an enjoyable way for me to pass the time. I never even saw the 'blatant' Star Wars rip-off until someone pointed it out to me, and even then I consider there to be enough differences to still make it enjoyable. I'll give that Eldest had some Mary Sueing going on but then again doesn't magic ALWAYS trump everything in fantasy (And if you say 'no' then you either haven't played D&D and/or read many fantasy novels or your a blatant liar) so that was to be expected once he learned it.

I have to honestly say I can't help believing that some of the complaints against come from people who see the fact his father published it and thought he got the easy way in or some such and pointedly looked through it for faults. Thats no grounds to actually despise the book or author if it's actually entertaining. Just like theres no reason to compare authors.

Example: Obiously the OP likes Martin, Lewis (I admit I'm a fan of him as well), and J.R.R. Tolkien. Has to like something about them if its style, writing capability, or something else.

Me? Haven't read anything from Martin, like Lewis, and can't stand Tolkien but I'll read Paolini with no trouble.


...So yeah...obviously my opinion differs from everyone elses...though I'll be the first to admit the Eragon movie sucked majorly, even for a book-to-movie-adaptation.

The Extinguisher
2007-11-16, 02:45 AM
You can't call a book crap unless you'e read it, so stop whining about something you've never even read! One chapter is not a book, Jesus H. Christ!


No, I perfectly can. If the first chapter fails to capture my attention, and want to read, then it's a failure of a first chapter. I'm not going to drag myself through pages of crap to know something that I could figure out from reading the first chapter.

I don't care if it becomes God upon paper during the second chapter. If I have to stop reading a book because I cannot stand it, (and I don't do that very often) then it is a badly written book.

Setra
2007-11-16, 02:47 AM
I don't care if it becomes God upon paper during the second chapter. If I have to stop reading a book because I cannot stand it, (and I don't do that very often) then it is a badly written book.
By that logic many of the books I have read are badly written. (Up to and including: A couple forgotten realms books, Dragonlance, some Star Wars books, Dragonriders of Pern..)

However I always force myself to read a second chapter, just in case.

I suppose you never like trying to same food twice, just in case the first person effed it up?

The Extinguisher
2007-11-16, 02:51 AM
Indeed they are.

You should never have to force yourself through a book. Unless it's a school assignment or something.

Other then that, you should never have to. If you ever start thinking, "oh god, this sucks, but if I read a little more, it might get better," than the author isn't doing his job properly.

Setra
2007-11-16, 02:52 AM
Indeed they are.

You should never have to force yourself through a book. Unless it's a school assignment or something.

Other then that, you should never have to. If you ever start thinking, "oh god, this sucks, but if I read a little more, it might get better," than the author isn't doing his job.
Then I will just respect your opinion, and apologize once more.

Sigh I'm making an ass out of myself.

Callos_DeTerran
2007-11-16, 02:54 AM
Indeed they are.

You should never have to force yourself through a book. Unless it's a school assignment or something.

Other then that, you should never have to. If you ever start thinking, "oh god, this sucks, but if I read a little more, it might get better," than the author isn't doing his job properly.

Thats an unneccesarily high standard for reading books there...I've had to force myself to start reading more then a couple books and enjoyed them immensely after the beginning, and not once have I had to call them crap because the first chapter was dull.

A dull first chapter has never ever been a deciding factor for me...a dull final chapter though, will make me want to burn copies of a book.

Eita
2007-11-16, 03:12 AM
Eldest was just.... It killed my childhood.

I mean really.

"LOLZ! AND THEN HE TURNZ INTO UMMM AN ELF AFTER NEKKID DANCING! ITZ LIKE I'M PRINTING MONEY!"

Infernal Undead
2007-11-16, 03:12 AM
I'm gonna call bull****.

You can't call a book crap unless you'e read it, so stop whining about something you've never even read! One chapter is not a book, Jesus H. Christ!

At least the topic poster has read the damned things, I'd hope anyways.

Yes, the books suck, but form an opinion of your own for ****'s sake.

Edit: Of course I'm now a hypocrite, I really should stay away from the threads where I know I will argue with people, tis why I stay away from the Dominic Deegan thread.

In any case I apologize but I've had a bit of a bad day.


1. Galbatorix Rise- How did thirteen or fourteen most likely human dragon riders manage to basically defeat all the other dragon riders.
2. The Empire is Evil - The series offers no proof of this except for taxes , a slave trade, and one dead town. Every civilization that survives collects taxes, assuming the salve trade is even a legal one and they weren't in some kind of slum slavery was semi common for most of human history(this is perhaps the only semi legitamite claim but if this is the only basis I request that Thomas Jeffeson be described a totalitarian dictator bent on subverting all that is good in all future history books), and the town was destroyed by urgals that could have been operating on their own.
3. Arya - I doubt anyone needs to see a description of the character each time she appears.
4. Eragon and Bid D'aum (spelling might be wrong) - When Eragon goes through the ritual removing the scar they mention that the dragon of the original Eragon had no known name while Brom called it Bid D'aum
5. Butcher - A spotless butchershop. This is impossible even with magic and O.C.D.
6. Meat - The book says Eragon's family is too poor to buy meat and then several pages later their eating chicken. The uncle(forgot his name) also gave them money even though they were suppouse to be too poor.
7. Gold Armor - Gold is too weak to make good armor
8. Childrens Book Claims - Some people claim Eragon and Eldest are childrens books. Since when to childrens books contain 500+ pages and several scenes that can be considered sexual. For that mater why did Paolini fel the need to mention Oromis'es (I think thats the name) reproductive organ)
9. Galbatorix Again - Ok he sits in a castle and has a dragon and is apparently a military genious if he uses only twelve to thirteen other people to defeat an entire order of people with the same powers. (Even Palpatine needed a clone army). Other than that who the hell is he? All we know is he has a scary looking dragon and the elves hate him and therefore he deserves to die.
10 Galbatorix Dragon and Dragon's in genral - Galbatorix killed the rider of his dragon something that should have killed the dragon according to Brom's tales. Assuming their were dragons outside of the pact how did only two and three eggs survive? Speaking of the pact what keeps a hatchling from deciding it doesn't want a rider if they could have already picked one that won't be born for another fifty years?
11. Don't hurt the fluffy wuffy bunny - Eragon has a moral dilema after killing a rabit despite having been a hunter and a farmer but has no problem with slaughtering hundreds of people
12. Egg Teleportation - Why didn't Arya just teleport to Brom with the egg?


I think that is enough other than the occasional bad word choice. All and all despite is vast ammounts of problems the book was ok but then again I tended to skip a lot of the physical descriptions of stuff after a while.

Still I think that list is enough to call it crap.

The Orange Zergling
2007-11-16, 03:21 AM
I dunno, I thought it was at least a worthwhile read. Not the best book ever, but still.

EDIT: But I do tend to dislike reviews that attack Paolini as a person rather than his work as, well, work. Like, the OP's review.

The_Snark
2007-11-16, 03:27 AM
I think the Arya-Arwen thing is a bit of a stretch. However, it is worthwhile to note that acclaimed fantasy author George R. R. Martin (because you can't be an acclaimed fantasy author without that double-R in the middle! :smalltongue: ) had a character named Arya. Also, I believe Eragon is dragon with the D exchanged for an E.

What? No, I've never read the books. Carry on.

If it's a stretch at all, it's a very small one, akin to touching your knees. Eragon, a mortal hero, falls in love with immortal elf Arya... those are two similar names to two characters placed in a similar situation.


Indeed they are.

You should never have to force yourself through a book. Unless it's a school assignment or something.

Other then that, you should never have to. If you ever start thinking, "oh god, this sucks, but if I read a little more, it might get better," than the author isn't doing his job.

That is a pretty high standard... I don't know about you, but many books I read have slightly dull beginnings, because I don't know the characters yet. I'm not sure if you've tried writing yourself, but writing an interesting opening to a novel is a very tricky thing to manage.

As other people have noted, I've read many books wherein the opening felt uninspired, including some extremely famous ones and several I'd count among my favorites.

That said, there's a difference between finding an opening dull and vehemently disliking it, and if it was the latter, you're probably justified in putting the book aside.

As for the book... eh. Take it or leave it; I've read worse. I'm not sure why it's famous, but people have different tastes.

Prustan
2007-11-16, 03:35 AM
If you think Eragon was bad look up The Dragonbone Chair it's got the same problems Eragorn does but I was a chapter 7 when I stoped reading and nothing happened. So when I look at Eragorn I don't see a bunch of reused and badly written drivel, I see something that was written exceptionally well despite the inclusion of much reused material.

And I would like to point out that D&D also takes from Star Wars

Star Wars: Poor Naive farmboy discover mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.

D&D: A group of poor naive farmboy/girls discover Mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.
So you might want to come up with a more substantial argument other than reuse of a trope, otherwise you might as well hate most fantasy.

Been a while since I read Dragonbone Chair and the two sequels, but the series was a quite decent fantasy. Plus, there was a great twist that was hinted at again and again, but didn't become clear until the ending confontation...

As for Eragon, I kind of liked it. Lots of it had been done before, but really, with the amount of stories that have been written, when are you going to come across something truly original. It was far better than the movie too, going into much greater detail with his training and Saphira growing. Haven't found a copy of Eldest yet.

dehro
2007-11-16, 03:59 AM
No, I perfectly can. If the first chapter fails to capture my attention, and want to read, then it's a failure of a first chapter. I'm not going to drag myself through pages of crap to know something that I could figure out from reading the first chapter.

I don't care if it becomes God upon paper during the second chapter. If I have to stop reading a book because I cannot stand it, (and I don't do that very often) then it is a badly written book.

may I point out that many people find the first chapter of LOTR unbearable?

I've read both books..I actually own them and yes, I will buy the next one.

I know it is not a masterpiece..but it makes decent reading and you definitely want to know how it's going to end (the details of course...the big picture and who's going to die and who isn't is quite understandable without divine powers)
it makes for a good evening read and you are not obliged to read them again after the first time (I think that would be against the Geneva conventions)
yes..the paralels with star trek are evident an far more than the few pointed out in a hurry by other posters...
I still prefer reading eragon to, say..watching a bad movie or playing at a mildly interesting game

uh..the movie now..that really was rubbish..
I've had to bring my little brothers to see it, otherwise I'd have avoided it. it is frankly umbearable and I am ashamed of Paolini as a writer for having endorsed it and worked together with the producers...it makes no sense, is terribly done, half of the book is not there and most of the important bits have been left out in favour of close-ups of the main protagonist, who could not act if his life depended on it...a kid with blonde hair and no skill. on top of that, in the italian rendition, the dragon is voiced by a young lady barely out of teenager age and the voice of a dumb blonde (ok, she's a dumb brunette...but the voice acting is of about the same level)

Turcano
2007-11-16, 04:02 AM
Note, this is not flame bait. This is my honest opinion.

No need to worry; I don't bite much.

I actually consider Paolini's lack of originality as the least of his problems; he has three much more serious flaws.

For instance, his writing is dreadful. He tells, not shows, he interrupts the flow of his narrative to stuff in some irrelevant and usually redundant description, he writes almost entirely in clichés, and his prose is both outrageously purple and suffers from Thesaurus Syndrome (especially in Eldest*).

He is incapable of maintaining verisimilitude. His characters are one-dimensional at best. No one has a realistic motive to do anything. There's a staggering amount of moral dissonance. Philosophical elements stem entirely from Paolini's sophomoric worldview and often contradict the character's actions.

But his arrogance is perhaps the least forgivable. Paolini wrote a glorified fanfic that was essentially published (at least initially) by a vanity press, and now he thinks he's God's gift to the cosmos.

As I've said before, Paolini is not unique in his badness. Jerry Jenkins (http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/index.html) and Fenimore Cooper (http://ww3.telerama.com/~joseph/cooper/cooper.html) are just as terrible writers as he is. So don't think I'm just picking on Paolini. Good writing covereth a multitude of sins, but bad even a phenomenal plot can be sunk by bad writing. Paolini, like many hack writers, has neither.

* Note to aspiring writers: consign your thesaurus to the flames. If you're looking for a word, the first one that comes to you is the best one nine times out of ten.

WNxHasoroth
2007-11-16, 04:55 AM
He could do with some originality but I thought it was fairly pleasant reading. I might add that everyone who has claimed to chuck a book at someone at how bad it was is probably being overly dramatic and/or trying to garner attention.

I'll reiterate, it was pleasant and a fairly good air plane book.

FoE
2007-11-16, 05:37 AM
If you think Eragon was bad look up The Dragonbone Chair it's got the same problems Eragorn does but I was a chapter 7 when I stoped reading and nothing happened. So when I look at Eragorn I don't see a bunch of reused and badly written drivel, I see something that was written exceptionally well despite the inclusion of much reused material.

Sacrilege. I read that entire series and I loved it. It made me a lifelong fan of the author, Tad Williams. I agree that the pacing of the books was slow, but ... wow, you missed out on a lot.

Setra
2007-11-16, 05:58 AM
snip
1. I never said the books were good
2. I only said you shouldn't call a book crap unless you've read it, or at least a good bit of it.

Revlid
2007-11-16, 06:14 AM
I first heard about Eragon when I was 13 and on holiday, and a few friends were trying to describe it to me. As they went along, I kept pointing out the similarities to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Dragonriders of Pern.

Then I read it, and it was worse than I imagined.

See, it wasn't just Lord of the Rings fanfiction based around the plot of Star Wars. It was horrendously written Lord of the Rings fanfiction based around the plot of Star Wars.

Then I was pushed into Eldest, and it got... so bad it hurt me. Spiritually.

Jimor
2007-11-16, 08:19 AM
You should never have to force yourself through a book. Unless it's a school assignment or something.

Other then that, you should never have to. If you ever start thinking, "oh god, this sucks, but if I read a little more, it might get better," than the author isn't doing his job properly.

No relevant opinion regarding the author/book in question, but I wanted to QFT this in regards to anybody who does want to be a writer. An editor with a sky-high stack of manuscripts is under no obligation to read beyond the point where he/she first goes "meh".

That might be the first chapter, the first page, or even the first paragraph. And it doesn't even have to be bad, just uninteresting or uncompelling. There are too many writers who do get the first bit of a story right to waste time hoping for improvement from one that doesn't. I can speak from experience on this, since I edited a fiction webzine for a while.

Winterwind
2007-11-16, 08:35 AM
If you think Eragon was bad look up The Dragonbone Chair it's got the same problems Eragorn does but I was a chapter 7 when I stoped reading and nothing happened. So when I look at Eragorn I don't see a bunch of reused and badly written drivel, I see something that was written exceptionally well despite the inclusion of much reused material.A bit far back in the thread, but I could not resist responding to it.

Dude, if you still have that book, I would very much recommend you read it to the end (and the other books of the trilogy as well).
Yes, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn does take longer to start than, quite possibly, any other fantasy saga I know.
But pretty much all of my friends and myself agree that it is the best one out there, rivaled only by the Song of Ice and Fire itself (I also put the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant into these ranks, but that's about it).

The Extinguisher
2007-11-16, 08:44 AM
may I point out that many people find the first chapter of LOTR unbearable?


May I point out that I find the rest of LoTR unbearable as well.

BlackStaticWolf
2007-11-16, 08:46 AM
(I also put the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant into these ranks, but that's about it).

Slightly off topic, but I love you for putting The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant that high. It's one of the best fantasy series I've ever read.

Setra
2007-11-16, 08:49 AM
May I point out that I find the rest of LoTR unbearable as well.
I did enjoy the Fellowship (as well as The Hobbit), but I couldn't get but a few chapters into Two Towers, and didn't bother with Return of the king.

So I can agree with you to some extent.

I'm really not getting the massive Tolkien hate on this forum.
I certainly don't hate Tolkien..

Let's just say my tastes are too simple :smalltongue:

DomaDoma
2007-11-16, 08:51 AM
I'm really not getting the massive Tolkien hate on this forum.

That aside, I will point out that Paolini did have at least one original idea: the Seithr oil. And it was a pretty good one, too. Doesn't offset the vegetarian catechism by a long road, but even so.

Winterwind
2007-11-16, 08:57 AM
Slightly off topic, but I love you for putting The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant that high. It's one of the best fantasy series I've ever read.It is indeed. :smallsmile:
Wouldn't recommend it to anyone with anger management issues though. Throughout the first two books, I was several times not far away from devouring the book desk in seething rage towards the protagonist. :smallbiggrin:

dehro
2007-11-16, 08:58 AM
analogy with Star Wars...
:durkon: there be spoilers inside...consider ye warned

1- He is a blond kid, an orphan who lives with his uncle but destiny has in store many heroic deed for him.

2- He has a vision of a princess

3- there is an old grunt hanging around, who once was a knight

4- The Uncle dies, killed by the envoys of the Empire, who however fail to accomplish their mission

5- the old retired bloke decides to jump back in action and train the protagonist "for he is the hope of the rebels"

6- the hero finds out that the gorgeous princess is trapped in a castle and decides to go and save her.

7- he manages to save her, but the old master dies

8- together with the rebel princess he manages to join the rebels at their hideout but the evil guys track them and the rebels are attacked and nearly destroyed.

9- thanks to the new powers acquired by the young protagonist, the older, experienced and battle hardened bad guy gets a beating and fails utterly

10 - the major villain lords it over an (evil) empire

11 - the good guy finds a new master to train him, a very old retired one who is not anymore involved in fighting

12 - the new master lives in yet another place out of the domains of the Empire and has been totally forgotten by the bad guys

13 - the young bloke finds out that he is the son of one of the baddest villains of the empire



oh..and I forgot...this (http://www.hotel-rimini.com/var/news/storage/images/media/images/ilaria-d--amico/4217-1-ita-IT/ilaria-d--amico_large.jpg) is the girl (actually she's 30something now) who voiced Saphira in Italy...

dehro
2007-11-16, 09:17 AM
May I point out that I find the rest of LoTR unbearable as well.

that is... wrong:smalleek:

Manga Shoggoth
2007-11-16, 09:45 AM
The "can't judge a book unless you have read all of it" arguement is almost as flawed as its reverse ("You can judge a book from its first chapter/paragraph/sentance/word/letter"). They are both extremes.

However: If I am selecting a book I will do two things:

1. Read the synopsis. If there isn't one (or worse, only paens of prase for the Author) then I don't buy the book. Likewiase, if I don't like it I don't buy the book.

2. Read the first page. If the first page is not promising then I don't buy the book. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does have to engage my interest.

I simply don't have time to waste on a book that starts badly but "may" get better.


A friend of mine is trying to publish a book. The agents all request the first three chapters of the book - that's all they use to make the initial selection, and if the writing is not up to scratch I doubt that they will read even that. My comment as a pre-reader was that he needed to do a lot of work on his first chapter, since that was the hook for the reader.

I haven't read any of Paolini's work. Given what I have heard about his writing from people whose tastes I know and share, I doubt that I will in the future, either.

Kaelaroth
2007-11-16, 12:17 PM
Ummm...

*prepares cover*

I didn't actually mind them. Sure, they aren't the best books in the world, but they're fine novels for a nice dip into a fantasy world that doesn't require too much analysation. We're told that Gallamukhthingummy is evil. That's fine. He's the author, it's his book. We should trust it.

The thing I hate him for is letting that god-awful movie to be made. :smallsigh:

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-16, 12:35 PM
Is Eragon a classic or even a particularly good book? Not really. Is it so bad you should bash yourself over the head repeatedly until you forget it? No.

It's an ok time waster book. An easy read that has its moments and is long enough that (depending on how fast you read and how much time you have to read) can last you anywhere from a day to a month or more.


1- He is a blond kid, an orphan who lives with his uncle but destiny has in store many heroic deed for him.
Yep. But that is the case in many, many fantasy books.


2- He has a vision of a princess
He doesn't find out she is a princess until the second book.


3- there is an old grunt hanging around, who once was a knight
Yep. The old mentor thing has been around since long before star wars.


4- The Uncle dies, killed by the envoys of the Empire, who however fail to accomplish their mission
Yep.


5- the old retired bloke decides to jump back in action and train the protagonist "for he is the hope of the rebels"
The old retired bloke has been waiting to train the protagonist for well over 20 years, before he even knew who the protagonist was. And he wasn't retired, just in hiding.


6- the hero finds out that the gorgeous princess is trapped in a castle and decides to go and save her.
Incorrect. He decided to check out he prisons in any towns he went though but made no real effort to find or save the "princess". After being captured he happens to be taken to the same prison that the "princess" is in and when he is escaping he decides to drag her along as well.


7- he manages to save her, but the old master dies
The old master was already dead at that point.


8- together with the rebel princess he manages to join the rebels at their hideout but the evil guys track them and the rebels are attacked and nearly destroyed.
The evil guys already knew where the rebel hideout was, the princess was unconcious for the whole trip there, and the rebels were going to let him die.


9- thanks to the new powers acquired by the young protagonist, the older, experienced and battle hardened bad guy gets a beating and fails utterly
The protagonist was beaten, twice, and only managed to kill the Shade because the Shade got distracted when the ceiling was destroyed and a dragon charged at him. The protagonist won though shear, dumb luck and the fact that the badguy was ordered not to kill him under any circumstances.


10 - the major villain lords it over an (evil) empire
Yes, and this is a common theme in 99% of fantasy literature.


11 - the good guy finds a new master to train him, a very old retired one who is not anymore involved in fighting
Yep.


12 - the new master lives in yet another place out of the domains of the Empire and has been totally forgotten by the bad guys
Forgotten? No. The emperor prolly knows exactly where he is. He jsut suppresses that knowledge.


13 - the young bloke finds out that he is the son of one of the baddest villains of the empire
Actually that isn't guaranteed. The "young bloke" believes his father to be one of the baddest villains of the empire.

Oh, and for those bashing Paolini's use of the name Arya, maybe you should look up what it actually means.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arya

Alex12
2007-11-16, 12:42 PM
I read both. They were enjoyable. I didn't hate them. They weren't great books, but there are really very few great books. Frankly, I thought the first book was better than the 4th, 5th, and 6th Harry Potter books (haven't read the 7th)
I mean sure, there was some pretty blatant foreshadowing for stuff that would be in the second book (Murtagh is Eragon's brother? Yeah, didn't see that one coming. /sarcasm) but lots of books do that.

Anyway, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've read better books, and I've also read far worse books. So what if it was predictable? Sometimes you just want to see the bad guys get beaten.

MisterSaturnine
2007-11-16, 12:51 PM
I read the books mostly because I enjoy reading things, fantasy's always been a favorite genre, and I have to find some way to pass the time.

It's one hell of a bland read, though. Not necessarily because the plot's derivative, but because I've seen all the things the world has to offer already. There's dragons. And scary orc-like things. And elves. Oh, the elves. I *HATE* elves...but that's for another time. :smallredface:

But yeah. It's tolerable, but bland. Like...um...a slice of plain bread. That isn't delicious on its own.

Sir_Norbert
2007-11-16, 01:42 PM
I managed to get through the first book, but it left me completely uninterested in finding out what happens in the rest of the trilogy. The characters are just so wooden -- they're not people, they're names randomly cobbled together with speech and actions -- and so I can't make myself care about them.

On the Star Wars argument: on this page (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?cat=4) (scroll down to near the bottom) there is a 500-word plot summary that applies to both Star Wars and Eragon. It's not just a few tropes, it's the same plot. Yes, I know that all the tropes are old ones and every new work takes inspiration from others, blah blah, but copying an existing plot to that level of detail is a completely different kettle of fish. OK, I didn't really notice it when I was reading the book, but it sure as hell puts me off reading the second one, because I already know exactly what happens.

EDIT: thank you for making me go and look up that link, by the way. In the article just above the one I was interested in, he quotes a poem that, apparently, Paolini inflicts on his readers in the second book. That really made my day. It is one of the most hilariously awful pieces of tripe I have ever come across. He, quite literally, couldn't have done worse if he'd tried.

Dragor
2007-11-16, 02:10 PM
I think some of you are exaggerating. Yes, they're poor books, but then again there is worse stuff out there. It didn't 'Ruin my childhood' or similar phrases. Eragon and Eldest were not A-Grade stuff, and I do agree that it was a glorified fan fiction. It didn't make me physically sick or anything. :smalltongue:

However, is it good for children? Well, it depends- for any budding author, no, stay away from this. But for children who have lacked the reading spark up to this point? Maybe it's just what they need to get them, eventually, onto reading Lord of the Rings and such like.

But I think Paolini's work has been raped to death by this point, I don't really see the point in lambasting him further- after all, what do you gain?

Haydenhawk
2007-11-16, 02:50 PM
I HATE CHRIS PAOLINI! Honestly, how can anybody read such... such... DRECK! It's dreck, unoriginal, uninspired dreck. The only reason Eragon was published was because Chris' friggin DAD was the publisher! Eragon is just a bunch of rip-offs. Of Star Wars, of the Dragonriders of Pern, and of Lord of the Rings. Aragorn - Eragon, OH the originality [/sarcasm]. How about Arya - Arwen and Urgals - Uruks. People, face it, his work sucks. And what's worse, is that everyone I know is heaping praise upon praise on this crap. Hell, people are saying Chris Paolini, a 15 year-old PUNK, is better than the likes of C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, or even the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien. Chris Paolini is not better than any one of them! Hell, comparing Paolini to Tolkien is like comparing a candle to a bonfire! Look at the plot of Eragon as compared to that of Star Wars:

Star Wars
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Jedi off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Eragon:
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Dragon Rider off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Does anybody else here join me in my distaste for this arrogant prick that calls himself a writer?

Dude, it's like everyone's right of passage to copy of each other for writing. Look at World of Warcraft for example. It's been one of the top rated games for the past 5 years yet you cant find ANYTHING in that game which doesn't come from DND. So my point? Everyone copies evryone else for writing it just happens. CALM DOWN

alchemyprime
2007-11-16, 03:05 PM
Now, I do realize that Eragon (Dragon... Eragon... good use of alphabet...) is a rip on Star Wars. But Star Wars was a rip on a few old samurai films, including the Hidden Fortress. The farmers became c3PO and R2D2.

Samurai Film:
A farm boy meets two bumbling farmers. They were sent by a Daimyo's daughter to find a wise old samurai to save her from an evil shogun who was indeed trained by said wise old samurai, but was overcome by greed. The samurai cannot be found, and the boy takes them to meet the wisest man in town. The man is the samurai, but he is too old. The farmboy trains with the samurai, and then goes to save the daimyo's daughter.

That was a film I can't remember the name of. Was also influenced by The Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai (one of my favorite films, btw)

Star Wars:
You all know star wars. Replace Farmers with Droids, Shogun with Sith Lord, Samurai with Jedi, and Daimyo's Daughter with Princess.

Eragon:
We all know Eragon.

I'd be fine with Eragon if he admitted that he was influenced by Star Wars, just like Lucas admitted that he took from Kurosawa films.

They're okay fantasy, and they alone have gotten me two guys to read some good fantasy and play some D&D.

I would like to see Potter fight Eragon though. I'll leave Luke out of this. Luke would pwn them both.

Dragor
2007-11-16, 04:50 PM
I do think that Paolini admitted to being heavily influenced by Star Wars and fantasy novels, but I can't source it to anywhere.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-11-16, 05:09 PM
Now, I do realize that Eragon (Dragon... Eragon... good use of alphabet...) is a rip on Star Wars. But Star Wars was a rip on a few old samurai films, including the Hidden Fortress. The farmers became c3PO and R2D2.

I've seen Hidden Fortress, own the DVD even. George Lucas admits that he was inspired by Hidden Fortress. However Star Wars is very differant from Hidden Fortress. Eragon is almost identical to Star Wars.


Samurai Film:
A farm boy meets two bumbling farmers. They were sent by a Daimyo's daughter to find a wise old samurai to save her from an evil shogun who was indeed trained by said wise old samurai, but was overcome by greed. The samurai cannot be found, and the boy takes them to meet the wisest man in town. The man is the samurai, but he is too old. The farmboy trains with the samurai, and then goes to save the daimyo's daughter.

This is the plot of Star Wars. Not the plot of the Hidden Fortress. The plot of Hidden Fortress is:

Two poor deserters try to go back to their home province but their enemies have closed the check point. They try to go round through another province but run into a middle aged general. The general is guarding a princess and some gold. The two deserters, the general and the princess try to sneak across enemy territory in order to get to an ally's castle. The middle part of the movie happens with action scenes and stuff then they get to their ally and the film ends.

C3PO and R2D2 are inspired by the deserters, but the plot isn't really the same at all. George Lucas, a terrible writer, at least managed to make his plot distinguisable from its source material. Paolini fails utterly in comparison.

You should actually watch Hidden Fortress (or not, it isn't Kurosawa's best film) before wrongly using second hand knowledge. At least double check wikipedia.

Emperor Demonking
2007-11-16, 05:16 PM
Didn't Paolini say he was honoured that people made comparisins with his work and LOTR and SW, but he didn't see any similarities.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-11-16, 05:20 PM
Didn't Paolini say he was honoured that people made comparisins with his work and LOTR and SW, but he didn't see any similarities.

Wow, I hope he doesn't really believe that's what people were saying to him.

averagejoe
2007-11-16, 05:59 PM
If it's a stretch at all, it's a very small one, akin to touching your knees. Eragon, a mortal hero, falls in love with immortal elf Arya... those are two similar names to two characters placed in a similar situation.

Ah, I see. I thought the commentary was purely on the way the names sounded.

Turcano
2007-11-16, 06:17 PM
Now, I do realize that Eragon (Dragon... Eragon... good use of alphabet...) is a rip on Star Wars. But Star Wars was a rip on a few old samurai films, including the Hidden Fortress. The farmers became c3PO and R2D2.

(snip)

I'd be fine with Eragon if he admitted that he was influenced by Star Wars, just like Lucas admitted that he took from Kurosawa films.

As Closet Skeleton pointed out, anyone who says that Star Wars is a ripoff of The Hidden Fortress hasn't actually seen The Hidden Fortress.

Wizzardman
2007-11-16, 07:16 PM
Ummm...

*prepares cover*

I didn't actually mind them. Sure, they aren't the best books in the world, but they're fine novels for a nice dip into a fantasy world that doesn't require too much analysation. We're told that Gallamukhthingummy is evil. That's fine. He's the author, it's his book. We should trust it.

The thing I hate him for is letting that god-awful movie to be made. :smallsigh:

I hate to say it, but the first thing you learn in any Creative Writing: Fiction class is "never trust the author."

Readers shouldn't have to trust the author's viewpoint in order to determine what's good and evil. The author should be able to show us what's going on. He's creating a work of fiction, not a book report. If he just tells us what's going on, then there's no way for us to feel what the characters feel, and get a glimpse of what its like to live in the world from their point of view. Without that, we're left with a flat, unrealistic world where events just occur without understandable justification or cause.

The Emperor shouldn't be evil just because the hero says he is; that reduces the Emperor from the status of 'being a person' (and thus possibly having some reason to be evil) to merely 'being a plot device'--a soulless creature not good enough to be on the PC's side, and yet not evil enough to warrant a description of what he does that's evil, or even elevation to Supernaturally Malevolent status. Its like the main villain isn't important enough of a character to warrant actual backstory.

Now, if you enjoy that kind of world, you're welcome to it, but I honestly doubt you couldn't write a story equal to it if you sat down at a keyboard for 30 minutes--even if you'd never taken anything beyond Middle School English.

Honestly, the thing that really annoys me about Paolini is that I've seen both fanfic writers and Creative Writing students with more talent and skill than he has, and yet he's been presented with enough fanboyish worship that he can consider himself Rowling's equal while they desperately try to claw their way into the industry. Eragon and Eldest are just glorified fanfiction.

Also, on World of Warcraft: Of course a lot of it was copied from D&D. It was partially parody when they first came up with it, and by now exists mostly to attract members of the D&D crowd. Also: Warcraft doesn't steal storyline. Stealing setting is okay these days; stealing storyline--when there are so many other possibilities--is just kinda lame.

dehro
2007-11-16, 07:29 PM
Yep. But that is the case in many, many fantasy books.
true


He doesn't find out she is a princess until the second book.
immaterial, the fact remains.


Yep. The old mentor thing has been around since long before star wars.[/spoiler]indeed, but the pace and the "fashion" of this rendition is remarkably similar to SW

[QUOTE=Emperor Tippy;3529261]The old retired bloke has been waiting to train the protagonist for well over 20 years, before he even knew who the protagonist was. And he wasn't retired, just in hiding.so we find out in the third trilogy..I think I remember that in the first place, obi-one had sort of retired..


Incorrect. He decided to check out he prisons in any towns he went though but made no real effort to find or save the "princess". After being captured he happens to be taken to the same prison that the "princess" is in and when he is escaping he decides to drag her along as well.true, indeed this is what happens in the book..I mixed it up with the movie, where it happens like I said..



The old master was already dead at that point.same answer here, If I'm right old Brom died like I said, in the film version



The evil guys already knew where the rebel hideout was, the princess was unconcious for the whole trip there, and the rebels were going to let him die.movie again..aniway, the situation does end the same way, with the resistance retiring



The protagonist was beaten, twice, and only managed to kill the Shade because the Shade got distracted when the ceiling was destroyed and a dragon charged at him. The protagonist won though shear, dumb luck and the fact that the badguy was ordered not to kill him under any circumstances.Luke Skywalker excaped from Lord Vader in the nick of times a couple of times and lost a hand in one of them... and "his dad" was ordered to try and get him to the dark side (not to kill him)... quite similar



Yes, and this is a common theme in 99% of fantasy literature. of course you are right... but at this point the coincidences start to pile up a little bit too much not to take it into due consideration



Forgotten? No. The emperor prolly knows exactly where he is. He jsut suppresses that knowledge. can't say I remember...but the feel is a bit the same, isn't it?



Actually that isn't guaranteed. The "young bloke" believes his father to be one of the baddest villains of the empire.I can't see much of a difference, but then it's late and I've had a long day..I guess you are right, however

I've only just now found out that the trilogy is actually going to become a ...uh... poker?...four books anyway.

while I had enough patience and curiosity to go and read or even buy the third volume, I doubt I will do so, given this information. buying a third book with the consciousness that the answers will be in the fourth...might just be a little bit too much to swallow. I think I'll pass on this one... being a fun read and a decently told story is not enought, when the standard is barely above the minimum required.

Turcano
2007-11-16, 07:32 PM
The Emperor shouldn't be evil just because the hero says he is; that reduces the Emperor from the status of 'being a person' (and thus possibly having some reason to be evil) to merely 'being a plot device'--a soulless creature not good enough to be on the PC's side, and yet not evil enough to warrant a description of what he does that's evil, or even elevation to Supernaturally Malevolent status. Its like the main villain isn't important enough of a character to warrant actual backstory.

Exactly. The reader is told that King of the Fatsos is, like, the evilest person ever and stuff, but he never actually does anything objectively wrong. To steal a line from Mark Twain, good writing "require[s] that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the [Inheritance Trilogy] dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together."

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 09:01 PM
The worst thing is that the kid's been more successful than writers who have struggled their whole lives... Some of them with pretty good ideas.

I'm 18 and I feel like everything I've accomplished in life has been surpassed by a child who is younger, AND less talented than me. :smallannoyed:

I believe getting a very large number of people to listen to your story out of the millions of stories in the world is a talent.
I'm sure this kid is just a hack and those base and ignoble masses are showing their bad taste and killing art again, though, like they did when they liked Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, or Lord Byron.

TheEmerged
2007-11-16, 09:11 PM
Oh look, somebody's on this rant again. That's at least the third time I've seen it come up on this board.

Understand, I disliked the book (which I tried to read and gave up on mid-way). The movie was, well, hey the actress who played the love interest was nice to look at.

But I cannot help but wonder how much of the vigor with which people pursue this comes from people being jealous at the "undeserved" nature of his success due to advantages he had getting it published. Because it is not THAT bad of a work to deserve the level of venom I see thrown at it.

Turcano
2007-11-16, 09:38 PM
I believe getting a very large number of people to listen to your story out of the millions of stories in the world is a talent.

Yes, confidence trickery is a talent.


I'm sure this kid is just a hack and those base and ignoble masses are showing their bad taste and killing art again, though, like they did when they liked Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, or Lord Byron.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I will not stand to see Oscar Wilde insulted in my presence.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 09:54 PM
That, my friend, was sarcasm. Oscar Wilde was derided by elitist critics as a foible of the masses that was destroying art at his time, as were the other artists I mentioned. I'm mocking the most common comeback to the argument that one is probably fairly talented at an art form if they are able to make a living, let alone become famous, in that art form, which is that the masses are tasteless slops who eat offal out of the hands of these hacks masquerading as artists. The same argument was made against a good number of the most well-regarded, and rightly so, in my opionion, literary figures throughout history.
I don't really care for Eragon, but he's certainly not talentless. He's a good writer, or people wouldn't read it. There's no such thing as bad taste, and you can ignore history in your elitist ivory tower as you will, but the kid's got something. Not something I go for, but he deserves everything he has.

Turcano
2007-11-16, 09:55 PM
That, my friend, was sarcasm.

As was that.

doliest
2007-11-16, 10:06 PM
Oh not another one:smallfurious:! HOW MANY OF THESE ARE GOING TO POP UP!? Well atleast it's not invading a thread but is the basis of the thread. Really it seems like people who knock 'eragon' seem to forget that even if you consider it 'crap'-that is an opinion that doesn't need to be brought up-Your not 'Oprah' what you say won't change any opinions, your likely to get alot of people agree with you, some people say they agree but don't think it was that bad, & some people who argue you, but your not going to change any minds so unless your looking to start an arguement, these threads need to stop.

Executor
2007-11-16, 10:12 PM
You know, a lot of people tell me to go easy on Paolini because he began to write Eragon when he was fifteen. I am also fifteen and writing a fantasy novel. I posted the basic story idea in a thread a while back, you can still find it. And though I am of the same age he was, my story is a HELL of a lot more original than the Inheritance series.

No, bad writing and outright plagiarism isn't excusable based on age. I prove that a fifteen year-old can write something original and interesting. People have been acclaiming Paolini as the "21st century Tolkien" First of all, Tolkien is my favourite fantasy author ever. The amount of love and detail put into the lush world of Middle-earth simply cannot be equalled. Calling Paolini a new Tolkien is an insult to Tolkien's memory in my opinion. Though Tolkien was long-winded at times, the world-building ALONE would've made him one of the greatest fantasy authors of all time, and the sheer consistency of Tolkien's world is never equalled by Paolini. Like, for example, when it is stated that Eragon's family is too poor to buy meat, but a little later they are shown eating chicken. No, Paolini is NOT a new Tolkien, isn't even a good writer. He's a hack and I cannot understand his popularity.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 10:26 PM
Turcano: That's. . . nonsensical. You will stand to see Oscar Wilde mocked, or you do not believe I am entitled to my opinion. Or, do you mean you consider it an insult to be grouped with one of those other two writers or, possibly, Paolini from a purely historical and sociological basis stating nothing about his popularity, only his critical derision in his own time compared to his popularity and his critical regard now?

Executor: Original does not necessarily equal good. Some stories haven't been done before because they are terrible. This is something those who bemoan cliche should remember more often. I haven't read your plotline, so I'm not attacking you, specifically. I'm just saying.
You're entire cited basis for him being a hack is a continuity error and him not being as good as another writer who very nearly created a genre. You're essentially arguing anyone who is not as good as the best, and has made a mistake, is a hack. In that case, I'm pretty sure that you, sir, are a hack.

doliest
2007-11-16, 10:27 PM
You know, a lot of people tell me to go easy on Paolini because he began to write Eragon when he was fifteen. I am also fifteen and writing a fantasy novel. I posted the basic story idea in a thread a while back, you can still find it. And though I am of the same age he was, my story is a HELL of a lot more original than the Inheritance series.

No, bad writing and outright plagiarism isn't excusable based on age. I prove that a fifteen year-old can write something original and interesting. People have been acclaiming Paolini as the "21st century Tolkien" First of all, Tolkien is my favourite fantasy author ever. The amount of love and detail put into the lush world of Middle-earth simply cannot be equalled. Calling Paolini a new Tolkien is an insult to Tolkien's memory in my opinion. Though Tolkien was long-winded at times, the world-building ALONE would've made him one of the greatest fantasy authors of all time, and the sheer consistency of Tolkien's world is never equalled by Paolini. Like, for example, when it is stated that Eragon's family is too poor to buy meat, but a little later they are shown eating chicken. No, Paolini is NOT a new Tolkien, isn't even a good writer. He's a hack and I cannot understand his popularity.(Didn't the black smith buy them that? OR you know, they are farmers, maybe I don't know thats one of there chickens?)

Tolkien most likely stole his ideas from a jumble of sources anyway. I mean fairy tales, a friend, something his dad wrote-how do we know tolkien didn't steal ideas?

Executor
2007-11-16, 10:35 PM
If they were farmers with chickens, wouldn't it be more productive for poor people like them to gather the eggs to last them for many days rather than just one meal of chicken. And speaking of meat, how the HELL was that butchershop so clean. I've been in a butchershop, and though the equipment is kept up to industry standards, it's still a filthy, blood-stained place. There is NO way that a medieval butcher could keep his shop so clean. What Paolini sorely lacks is called internal consistency. Simply put, Inheritance doesn't make much sense. And speaking of not making sense, why the HELL is the word 'Hyperrealism' used on page 118 of Eldest!?!

Come to think of it, Tolkien wasn't really writing fantasy. Lord of the Rings was intended to be mythology. The rules for writing fantasy and for writing mythology are entirely different. Anyways, Tolkien may seem tired and cliche know, but mostly because authors like Paolini have ripped him off so blatantly and so much. The Lord of the Rings was original for it's time, and it remains the granddaddy of modern fantasy, from which many of its time honoured conventions (wizards, magic rings and swords, mithril) are derived.

doliest
2007-11-16, 10:37 PM
If they were farmers with chickens, wouldn't it be more productive for poor people like them to gather the eggs to last them for many days rather than just one meal of chicken. And speaking of meat, how the HELL was that butchershop so clean. I've been in a butchershop, and though the equipment is kept up to industry standards, it's still a filthy, blood-stained place. There is NO way that a medieval butcher could keep his shop so clean. What Paolini sorely lacks is called internal consistency. Simply put, Inheritance doesn't make much sense. And speaking of not making sense, why the HELL is the word 'Hyperrealism' used on page 118 of Eldest!?!

Come to think of it, Tolkien wasn't really writing fantasy. Lord of the Rings was intended to be mythology. The rules for writing fantasy and for writing mythology are entirely different. Anyways, Tolkien may seem tired and cliche know, but mostly because authors like Paolini have ripped him off so blatantly and so much. The Lord of the Rings was original for it's time, and it remains the granddaddy of modern fantasy, from which many of its time honoured conventions (wizards, magic rings and swords, mithril) are derived.
I specifically used sources that he could have stolen from for a reason-tell me if you can prove he didn't cobble fairy tales together-or find something someone else wrote?

Executor
2007-11-16, 10:42 PM
Anyways, all fiction is deriative of someother, older thing. But the act of making an original story is much about putting new flesh on old bones. The best analogy I can think of is Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. It starts out as very LOTR-y, but as you read on it becomes more original, it gains a life of it's own. Terry Brooks' Shannara series also started very LOTR-y, but similar to the Wheel of Time, it evolved into it's own unique narrative. I'm perfectly fine with an author taking inspiration or deriving elements from other works, but when you descend to the point of ripping off other works, such as Paolini has blatantly done, that's when I start seeing problems.

Anyways, how about when Paolini described as dress, an inanimate object, as demure. How about when he said a sunset was fermented. Let us not forget the aformentioned use of the word "Hyperrealism". This is but a sampling of Paolini's love affair with the Thesaurus.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 10:48 PM
I can nitpick just as much on Tolkein or anyone else as you can Paolini. A butcher's shop being clean is more likely than Dragons. Suspend your disbelief. What's wrong with hyperrealism? It's a valid word.
EDIT: Ah, I see. You're criticizing him for having a large vocabulary and using it in unconventional ways. I take it you never stray down the path of remotely alternative fiction.

Executor
2007-11-16, 10:56 PM
Yes, but the word "Hyperrealism" used in a book for CHILDREN! Please, do tell, have you ever met a 10 year old who knows what hyperrealism is? It's exactly the sort of overwrought prose that infects Paolini's work.

Yes, I can suspend my disbelief in order to include a great deal of things. Dragons, magic, wizards, etc. But the basic laws of the world should still be realistic and consistent. Unless the butcher has some form of magical cleaning system, which I highly doubt, than a clean butchershop in a medieval world is simply impossible. Similar to how Eragon became literate, a swordsman and a mage in just a few months. In the real Middle Ages, learning swordsmanship was such an involved process that training began at ages like 7. This is due to the sheer complexity of duelling. A prospective swordsman not only had to learn the moves, but also intergrate footwork, ancipating the blows and improvisation. It's like chess played at 100mph, and you still have to be 10 moves ahead to win. Eragon, despite any natural talent, simply could not become a good swordsman in a few months.


Ah, I see. You're criticizing him for having a large vocabulary and using it in unconventional ways. I take it you never stray down the path of remotely alternative fiction

No, a large vocabulary is not a bad thing. I'm critizing his overwrought and needlessly complex prose. Oftentimes the simplest word works best in fiction. Why does it have to be "Moisture" or "Condensation", why can't Paolini just call it dew?

doliest
2007-11-16, 10:59 PM
Besides-ignoring sources drawn LOTR isn't that well thought out on the evil side-I mean 'WHY' is sauron evil-we get more info on why the villian in eragon is the villian-He went insane.Sauron-Why did he join Melkor? The orcs-even things breed to obey won't obey forever.How did the black gates stand? I mean walls that big would be pretty hard to service for...how long has it stood?

Woot Spitum
2007-11-16, 11:04 PM
"No novelists any good except me. Sovietski-yah! Nastikoff-bah! I spit me of zem all. No novelists anywhere any good except me. P.G. Wodehouse and Tolstoy not bad. Not good, but not bad. No novelists any good except me." ~Vladimir Brusiloff (Excerpt from the short story The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse)

This pretty much sums up my thoughts on writers who diss other writers.:smallbiggrin:

Executor
2007-11-16, 11:06 PM
Besides-ignoring sources drawn LOTR isn't that well thought out on the evil side-I mean 'WHY' is sauron evil-we get more info on why the villian in eragon is the villian-He went insane.Sauron-Why did he join Melkor? The orcs-even things breed to obey won't obey forever.How did the black gates stand? I mean walls that big would be pretty hard to service for...how long has it stood?

Melkor turned evil because he was proud and arrogant and sought to control, when Illuvatar wanted him only to contribute to Creation, whereas Melkor wanted Creation to be his alone. He wanted to create things of his own, a power that was God's alone. So, when he couldn't create, he corrupted and destroyed. Elves became Orcs, Ents became Trolls, etc.

Sauron was seduced by Melkor's promises of power. Pretty typical "Seductive Power" sort of thing. Similar to how Lucifer won over a great many angels with promises of power in Milton's Paradise Lost. Later, Sauron sought to rule Middle-earth, to dominate, to control. Ever read Ender's Game? You know how Peter requires control of something in his life. Sauron is similar, only he wants to control everything in the mortal world.

All those impossible buildings in Mordor are held up by Sauron's will. All LOTR magic is based on the willpower. Mind over matter sort of stuff. Sauron's strength of will is such that he can make the Universe rewrite it's rules to suit him and his buildings. This is why Barad-dur and the Black Gate collapsed when the greater part of Sauron's power was lost with the destruction of the Ring.

All of that information, except the explanation of LOTR Magic which I supposed from Tolkien's descriptions of magic, can be easily discovered by reading the somewhat interesting history of Middle-earth published in The Silmarillion

doliest
2007-11-16, 11:10 PM
So Control freak is the reason he's evil....insane is just as well thought out, the walls I take....and the orcs?

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 11:12 PM
Yes, but the word "Hyperrealism" used in a book for CHILDREN! Please, do tell, have you ever met a 10 year old who knows what hyperrealism is? It's exactly the sort of overwrought prose that infects Paolini's work.
I knew what realism and hyper meant when I was a kid. Putting them together isn't that hard. Plus, I think, by ten, one knows how to use a dictionary. Increasing the vocabulary of youth isn't so grave a sin, if you ask me.


Yes, I can suspend my disbelief in order to include a great deal of things. Dragons, magic, wizards, etc. But the basic laws of the world should still be realistic and consistent.
The laws of the world like "Wings as thin as those should not be able to lift so massive a body." Or minute, un-important details like whether or not a butcher's shop is clean. Is the shop specifically described as clean, or simply not as bloody. If it's described as clean, it's probably speaking relative to the average to establish a character trait. If it's simply not described as dirty, maybe Paolini assumed his readers could figure the relative nature of a medieval barbershop without describing excessive gore and organ-meat splatters in what, as you have so recently reminded, is a book for kids. If you're referring to the movie, that's a pretty common rating-dodge to allow in a wider audience. Welcome to Hollywood.


Similar to how Eragon became literate, a swordsman and a mage in just a few months. In the real Middle Ages, learning swordsmanship was such an involved process that training began at ages like 7. This is due to the sheer complexity of duelling. A prospective swordsman not only had to learn the moves, but also intergrate footwork, ancipating the blows and improvisation. It's like chess played at 100mph, and you still have to be 10 moves ahead to win. Eragon, despite any natural talent, simply could not become a good swordsman in a few months.
First, he's some sort of super-duper chosen one, right? The rules are different for them. Second, this is a fantasy novel. A fable. Without any magical aid and a lot of sheer badass, Beowulf holds his breath for a good day underwater in the original poem. Unrealistic things happen a lot. If you can accept that a creature of the weight and bone-density of a dragon is able to fly on wings that thin though a chicken is much less dramatically designed against flying and cannot do so, then you can believe a kid's really good with a sword. Honestly. You're nit-picking because you want to feel superior or want to find some factual basis to prove your opinion, which is impossible. It's an opinion.


No, a large vocabulary is not a bad thing. I'm critizing his overwrought and needlessly complex prose. Oftentimes the simplest word works best in fiction. Why does it have to be "Moisture" or "Condensation", why can't Paolini just call it dew?
Why can't you just say something akin to "There was this kid called Eragon, who grew up and became a hero. He saved people. He later died, presumably happy and well-off."
That's the simplest way to tell the story. More detailed and varied language makes a story more interesting, the same way details in general do. You used the word "overwrought," when you could've just said "needlessly complex," or even avoided the whole formal sentence structure for "I don't like it when he uses too many big words." You didn't.

doliest
2007-11-16, 11:18 PM
Yes, but the word "Hyperrealism" used in a book for CHILDREN! Please, do tell, have you ever met a 10 year old who knows what hyperrealism is? It's exactly the sort of overwrought prose that infects Paolini's work.

No, a large vocabulary is not a bad thing. I'm critizing his overwrought and needlessly complex prose. Oftentimes the simplest word works best in fiction. Why does it have to be "Moisture" or "Condensation", why can't Paolini just call it dew?

Didn't Tolkien use advanced language in what he intended to market to children?

Turcano
2007-11-16, 11:21 PM
Turcano: That's. . . nonsensical. You will stand to see Oscar Wilde mocked, or you do not believe I am entitled to my opinion. Or, do you mean you consider it an insult to be grouped with one of those other two writers or, possibly, Paolini from a purely historical and sociological basis stating nothing about his popularity, only his critical derision in his own time compared to his popularity and his critical regard now?

It's counter-sarcasm combined with I Take Offense To That Last One (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne), if it needs explaining.

Executor
2007-11-16, 11:23 PM
No, the Hobbit was marketed for children. The Lord of the Rings was more for adults and older teenagers.

And if you have to consult a dictionary while reading a book, I believe the author has made a cardinal sin of writing. Hemingway, I believe had the right idea. You see, There was a famous exchange between Hemingway and Faulkner on this subject. Faulker said that Hemingway “had never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary.” Hemingway replied, quite rightly, “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.” Hemingway has the right idea. Because writing isn't about showing off your vocabulary, writing is about relating a story to an audience, and oftentimes a simpler word works better and makes it easier for the audience. Don't get me wrong, complex language can be used very well in fantasy, but Paolini doesn't do that now does he?

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-16, 11:52 PM
No, the Hobbit was marketed for children. The Lord of the Rings was more for adults and older teenagers.
How many children know the word "ettercap" which Bilbo uses to reference the spiders, exactly?


And if you have to consult a dictionary while reading a book, I believe the author has made a cardinal sin of writing. Hemingway, I believe had the right idea. You see, There was a famous exchange between Hemingway and Faulkner on this subject. Faulker said that Hemingway “had never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary.” Hemingway replied, quite rightly, “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.” Hemingway has the right idea. Because writing isn't about showing off your vocabulary, writing is about relating a story to an audience, and oftentimes a simpler word works better and makes it easier for the audience. Don't get me wrong, complex language can be used very well in fantasy, but Paolini doesn't do that now does he?
First, Hemingway is arguing a different point than you are. Hemingway is arguing the "I Love You," principle, with which I agree. You are arguing that writing should be based around the lowest-common-denomenator of readers. The worst that can happen is they learn a new word. A very large number of people seem to think he does use it well, by the way. Maybe you don't, but they disagree and you're not more right than they are.
The "I love your" principle, for the record, is the idea that the simplest way to say things is the most profound because it lacks the detachment of more complex wordings. It is more raw, however, more direct, and very dangerous to use. Hemingway got away with it because he was damn brilliant. Playing with it wrongly is the fastest way to make your book a piece of trash with the relative profundity of a bland rock, zen buddhism aside. Because, in overusing simplicity, you can also say absolutely nothing.

It's counter-sarcasm combined with I Take Offense To That Last One (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne), if it needs explaining.

I refuse to regard a television idiom as a valid linguistic phenomenon. Elitism defeats me again.

(Actually, the problem is I believed you were making a counter-argument, rather than a joke, so I looked for the intent behind the remark.)

Executor
2007-11-17, 12:01 AM
I am not arguing that writing should be the lowest common denominator for the readers. It may not have seemed so, but I was thinking of the "I love you" principle this entire time. Anyways, I still believe that a complex vocabulary is a fine thing indeed, but Purple Prose, as overly flowery and ornate prose is called, is a thick and distracting way of writing that often seems to choke out plot and point in favour of fancy words. Inheritance is rife with it, and readers are "treated" to passages such as this.

"Layer upon layer of pregnant clouds blanketed Palancar Valley, clinging to the mountains with tenacious arms and filling the air with heavy, cold mist. From inside, Roran watched as cords of gray water pelted the trees with their frothing leaves, muddied the trench around Carvahall, and scrabbled with blunt fingers against the thatched roofs and eaves as the clouds disgorged their load. Everything was streaked, blurred, and hidden behind the torrent’s inexorable streamers"


And that is how to say it rained in the longest possible way. I can understand writers wanting to create a lush, enchanting atmosphere for the reader. But, like Hemingway believed, it is oftentimes the simplest words that have the most profound effect. Here's an analogy: A good book is like a cake, the prose is the icing. Too much icing and you get sick of it without even tasting the cake.

Setra
2007-11-17, 12:07 AM
And if you have to consult a dictionary while reading a book
So... what does it count as if you have to read an entire other book just get the whole story?

Edit: To clarify, I was referring to The Lrod of the Rings. Yes, you can read the Lord of the Rings, but you still won't understand the entire story, gotta read that other book.

Silsomethingoranother?

Unless this is incorrect? I am only remembering something my stepmother told me.

Executor
2007-11-17, 12:16 AM
No, that's fine. The books are a series, you need to read all of them to understand it. I muscled my way through Eragon and Eldest and did not enjoy the experience, but I did it anyways because, if you don't read the entire book, you have no right to an opinion.

But if you actually have to go out and look up a word used in a novel, than that novelist has made a deep, deep mistake.

Inyssius Tor
2007-11-17, 12:17 AM
I actually kind of like his style. I don't need to check a dictionary every five sentences, so I can just sit back and enjoy the rolling cloud of polysyllables.

One thing, though. Paolini: you can copy storylines with the best of them, but you are not Tolkien! You are not a freaking linguist! Dear god, stop bragging about the pathetic "language" you made up! Seriously. It hurts my brain. I made an equally good conlang when I was eight.

Rogue 7
2007-11-17, 12:20 AM
Didn't he basically just take english grammar and invent new words? Not much of a language in my mind.

Inyssius Tor
2007-11-17, 12:31 AM
He even botched the "invent new words" part. First step: don't take them, completely intact, from one or two existing languages.

Turcano
2007-11-17, 12:48 AM
Didn't he basically just take english grammar and invent new words? Not much of a language in my mind.

This was Paolini's language-building procedure:

Copy words from an Old Norse dictionary.
Disregard syntax and case congruence.
????
Profit!

Infernal Undead
2007-11-17, 12:53 AM
Yes, but the word "Hyperrealism" used in a book for CHILDREN! Please, do tell, have you ever met a 10 year old who knows what hyperrealism is? It's exactly the sort of overwrought prose that infects Paolini's work.


Eragon might have been but thiers no way Eldest can be called a childrens book unless you consider elf porn ok for a childrens book.

averagejoe
2007-11-17, 12:57 AM
How many children know the word "ettercap" which Bilbo uses to reference the spiders, exactly?

That's, "attercop," which Tolkien explains is a word which is insulting to spiders. I remember, because I was eight-ish when I read it, and I didn't know what the word, "attercop" meant, but then he was like, "This is what attercop means, because you probably won't know, 'cuz it's a word I just now made up." (Actually, it came from an old/middle english word for "spider," but it sounds like the sort of thing Tolkien would say. :smallwink: )

The Extinguisher
2007-11-17, 03:45 AM
(Actually, it came from an old/middle english word for "spider," but it sounds like the sort of thing Tolkien would say. :smallwink: )

Except it would take three paragraphs to do so :smalltongue:

dehro
2007-11-17, 06:03 AM
So Control freak is the reason he's evil....insane is just as well thought out, the walls I take....and the orcs?

we could sit here and quote stuff from tolkien and material and sources to the end of times, explaining why tolkien did this and that, where he took it from (of course he didn't invent dragons, of course elves existed before him...)
the fact is that almost every fact and description he has written are the result of the work of a lifetime and painstakingly accurate "sourcing" albeit invented sourcing.
orcs have an explanation as well..you want to know which one? read the books..
it should also be noted that over the half a century Tolkien has made mistakes and has tried to correct all of those he found... and that only 2 books of his have been printed while he was alive, and he was still polishing them up even after they'd hit the market.
all of the other works are edited and worked on by his son Christopher..If they are imprecise or incomplete on certain details it's because the precision and intended reason and "final design" rest with Tolkien in his grave.

just accept it, tolkien wasn't perfect but as of fantasy and worldbuilding he was dang near perfection..as much as you can get in half a century, at least.
I say this not as a tolkien fanatic (though I am one of sorts)...but because it's true... there are books where his sourcing is pointed out, books where we can read from his own words where he got certain ideas, his comments with other well established authors where they analise "facts" narrative, rendition, style and general scope of the tale... it is all very well thought out, by a professional in literature and mythology, by world experts in epic, tradition, ancient languages and so on... and double checked by even more of them, (C.S. Lewis, for one)...people who gave their live to literature and language... If you want to find plotholes or weak points in Tolkien's work you will have to come up with more than just halfbaked sarcasm and observations that are not backed with a tiny bit of sourcing..and no, Tolkien and Paolini just can not be compared..on any level
but all of this is a bit OT... I realise now that I'm re-reading...so I'll just stop here...sorry for the rant...

DomaDoma
2007-11-17, 09:23 AM
Paolini is definitely of the ten-dollar-words school of writing, but my main problem with his diction is that words like "hyperrealism" and, worse, "biosphere", have no place in a fantasy-medieval setting.

Originality is not in itself a virtue. For instance, I'm pretty sure that there has never before been a vegetarian soapbox in a fantasy novel. But if you want to cast off the title of "hack", say something worth hearing that hasn't been said a hundred times.

Rutee
2007-11-17, 09:26 AM
Except it would take three paragraphs to do so :smalltongue:

Five. 3 for the word, and then 2 more of describing the trees and grass as the characters run or walk through it.

Why no I couldn't get past.. oh the halfway point of The Two Towers >.>

As to the thread topic..My brother read the Inheritance Trilogy. Seeing as our tastes are hyper similar, and our opinions often are as well.. I'm pretty sure I'm never going to bother. I have Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings (The latter on DVD), if I feel like re-watching them. When you get /him/ ranting about a lack of technical ability (and TVTropes' rather amusing comments on Designated Hero/Villain.. doesn't Eragon go around mind-crushing people? 'cause I know Scirocco doing it to Kamille in Zeta Gundam was /damn/ evil.

Also "Wat?"@ the Elf Porn comments. Don't explain, I don't want to know. Just, 'wat'.

ray53208
2007-11-17, 10:20 AM
some people love crap. like lil piggies they wallow happily in it all day, every day. they do not discern. they do not ponder. they just roll around in the crapulence and smile little porcine smiles and oink gleefully when more is poured on.

this is what i tell myself when books/movies like eregon get made and see some success. i feel the same way about pro wrestling, nascar, most anime, jerry springer, the saw movies, mind of mencia, ect...

then i sit patiently and wait for the sun to go nova so that i can finally get off this crazy ride.

Winterwind
2007-11-17, 10:28 AM
Inheritance is rife with it, and readers are "treated" to passages such as this.

"Layer upon layer of pregnant clouds blanketed Palancar Valley, clinging to the mountains with tenacious arms and filling the air with heavy, cold mist. From inside, Roran watched as cords of gray water pelted the trees with their frothing leaves, muddied the trench around Carvahall, and scrabbled with blunt fingers against the thatched roofs and eaves as the clouds disgorged their load. Everything was streaked, blurred, and hidden behind the torrent’s inexorable streamers"
Okay, since I haven't read Eragon, I was posting in this thread so far only to defend fantasy sagas I know and care about. I had no opinion about Eragon whatsoever so far.
But this passage Executor quoted here is a paragon of bad writing. It is just plain cumbersome, and it has about twice or thrice as many adjectives as are healthy for anything related with human language.


Silsomethingoranother?

Unless this is incorrect? I am only remembering something my stepmother told me.Silmarillion. And no, it's not necessary to read the Silmarillion to get the Lord of the Rings at all; much less than the prequel trilogy of Star Wars is required to comprehend the original trilogy.

....
2007-11-17, 11:42 AM
I HATE CHRIS PAOLINI! Honestly, how can anybody read such... such... DRECK! It's dreck, unoriginal, uninspired dreck. The only reason Eragon was published was because Chris' friggin DAD was the publisher! Eragon is just a bunch of rip-offs. Of Star Wars, of the Dragonriders of Pern, and of Lord of the Rings. Aragorn - Eragon, OH the originality [/sarcasm]. How about Arya - Arwen and Urgals - Uruks. People, face it, his work sucks. And what's worse, is that everyone I know is heaping praise upon praise on this crap. Hell, people are saying Chris Paolini, a 15 year-old PUNK, is better than the likes of C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, or even the master himself, J.R.R. Tolkien. Chris Paolini is not better than any one of them! Hell, comparing Paolini to Tolkien is like comparing a candle to a bonfire! Look at the plot of Eragon as compared to that of Star Wars:

Star Wars
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Jedi off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Eragon:
Poor, naive farmboy discovers he has mystical powers, and follows an old Dragon Rider off on a quest to rescue a princess and defeat the Evil Empire

Does anybody else here join me in my distaste for this arrogant prick that calls himself a writer?

I wholeheartedly agree and suppport you.

zeratul
2007-11-17, 11:52 AM
Now guys I didn't like Eargon either, by think of it this way. He started when he was 15. For something 15 year old wrote that's actually pretty damn good. It's badish, but I've seen much worse stuff published my considerably older people. So cut the kid some slack 'eh?

Moral Wiz
2007-11-17, 12:01 PM
That seems to come up from time to time. But it dosn't hold water. The first draft was when he was 15. He then started rivising it for 2 years, and then another year under profesionalls. And the second book? He wrote it in his 20's. He has no excuses for the writing.(correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. Can't recall where I it from, possibly earlier this thread)

I havn't actually read the book, so can't coment on how well it's actually written. But the "age" thing is not related to that, and one that keeps on coming up.

And the utterly pathetic nature of the short extracts I have read leaves me hopeful, I might get my own work out yet.:smallamused:

Emperor Demonking
2007-11-17, 12:10 PM
When reading the inheritance books, you have to read it too fast to realise the words and the structure.
If you do that, you can have a pleasent afternoon reading them.

averagejoe
2007-11-17, 12:41 PM
Except it would take three paragraphs to do so :smalltongue:

Em, what? No he wouldn't. I believe his exact words on the matter were something like, "Spiders hate being called attercop..." It's been awhile since I've read The Hobbit, but I'm fairly sure that's close to accurate.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-17, 12:54 PM
No, that's fine. The books are a series, you need to read all of them to understand it. I muscled my way through Eragon and Eldest and did not enjoy the experience, but I did it anyways because, if you don't read the entire book, you have no right to an opinion.

But if you actually have to go out and look up a word used in a novel, than that novelist has made a deep, deep mistake.

The problem with this advice is that not everyone has the same vocabulary. I know plenty of high-school graduates who would have to look up a fair number of words that are, I think, fairly common. So, what reader, exactly, should not have to look up words. Should you, an older writer with a wide vocabulary, or the nine-to-ten-year-old reading this book, not have to look up words?
I read the Fellowship of the Ring when I was six years old. It Tolkein a failure because I had to look up some words?


That's, "attercop," which Tolkien explains is a word which is insulting to spiders.
Yes, but the word it's referencing is ettercap. Look it up in your OED. It means spider.

I remember, because I was eight-ish when I read it, and I didn't know what the word, "attercop" meant, but then he was like, "This is what attercop means, because you probably won't know, 'cuz it's a word I just now made up." (Actually, it came from an old/middle english word for "spider," but it sounds like the sort of thing Tolkien would say. :smallwink: )
Well, it's a modern English word, too, it just gets used very rarely. But it's okay, then, if a writer uses a word his reader wouldn't know but explains it (a process that is usually rather awkward) in context, rather than making them look it up. The distinction seems rather silly to me. Now, granted, Tolkein's explanation wasn't awkward because he is very, very good at what he does.

DomaDoma: Why don't those words have any place in a fantasy setting, exactly? They're compound words of words that existed for a very, very long time, and they could only be an anachronism if they're in dialogue, anyway, since it's an omniscient narrator. Secondly, there's nothing worth saying that hasn't been said a lot more times than that, before. It's finding a new or used-but-interesting way to say it.

I don't really care for Paolini. I'm just saying that most of your criticism of his work is wholly subjective, however many "facts" people seem to cite to support their opinion. Someone said "That is just bad writing," and this is false. It is just writing you do not like. Your fury over someone whose taste is different than your own and your need to knock him down is petulant and inane. There are a good number of popular authors I don't like. Yet, I do not feel the need to make a thread specifically instructing them sent to hell. Wait, my apologies, to HELL. I think, given the area and some posts, a lot of your are fantasy writers angry you weren't published when he was.

Justin_Bacon
2007-11-17, 12:55 PM
And I would like to point out that D&D also takes from Star Wars

Star Wars: Poor Naive farmboy discover mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.

D&D: A group of poor naive farmboy/girls discover Mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.
So you might want to come up with a more substantial argument other than reuse of a trope, otherwise you might as well hate most fantasy.

:smallconfused:

D&D: 1974
Star Wars: 1977

Gary Gygax: Time-Traveling Rip-Off Artist

Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net

(What about Dave Arneson? Who do you think invented the time machine?)

averagejoe
2007-11-17, 01:23 PM
Yes, but the word it's referencing is ettercap. Look it up in your OED. It means spider.

Isn't that what I just said in the quote just below this? Well, I suppose I was a bit ambiguous about it, apologies. My whole point was, however, that not knowing "ettercap" when I was eight didn't take anything away from my reading experience. That knowledge later gave me a deeper appreciation for the whole thing, but you can still enjoy the book fine lacking this knowledge.


Gary Gygax: Time-Traveling Rip-Off Artist

He must be friends with Terry Pratchett. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OlderThanTheyThink)

Paragon Badger
2007-11-17, 01:31 PM
D&D: 1974
Star Wars: 1977

Gary Gygax: Time-Traveling Rip-Off Artist

Star Wars is not the first story with 'humble begginings'

Hero with a thousand faces, anyone?

Yes, everyone rips off of everyone else....... but Paolini makes it so blatant.

...Where you can make a passive untrained literary critique check and still succede the DC by at least 10. :smallamused:

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-17, 01:41 PM
Isn't that what I just said in the quote just below this? Well, I suppose I was a bit ambiguous about it, apologies.
No, you did say it. I just have a terrible habit of responding to things before they're finished, and then not editing it. This was my fault.


My whole point was, however, that not knowing "ettercap" when I was eight didn't take anything away from my reading experience. That knowledge later gave me a deeper appreciation for the whole thing, but you can still enjoy the book fine lacking this knowledge.
Oh, in that case, we're actually in agreement.

Badger: Critique is a matter of opinion. The only way one can fail the check is by using the wrong skill. Many people here did just hat by trying to make it a fact.

Setra
2007-11-17, 01:42 PM
Everything is a ripoff of something.

Said something's often originated from legend.

Legend tends to be people's stupidity.

I am a people, and I can be stupid.

I demand my royalties.

The Extinguisher
2007-11-17, 02:21 PM
Now guys I didn't like Eargon either, by think of it this way. He started when he was 15. For something 15 year old wrote that's actually pretty damn good. It's badish, but I've seen much worse stuff published my considerably older people. So cut the kid some slack 'eh?

One, that's not true at all.

And two, age is no excuse for suckiness.

Morty
2007-11-17, 02:50 PM
I don't really think that releasing anything you wrote at the age of 15 is good idea, exactly because it tends to be unoriginal, not well thought-off and prone to including Mary Sues. Maybe Eragon is exception from that -I didn't read it- but that's what I consider general rule.

Setra
2007-11-17, 02:54 PM
One, that's not true at all.

And two, age is no excuse for suckiness.
Well unless he's like.. ya know, younger than 8 or so.

Paragon Badger
2007-11-17, 02:55 PM
I don't really think that releasing anything you wrote at the age of 15 is good idea, exactly because it tends to be unoriginal, not well thought-off and prone to including Mary Sues. Maybe Eragon is exception from that -I didn't read it- but that's what I consider general rule.

Yep. Looking back- Anything I came up with at that age was heavily derivative. A few years ago- I decided I would stick to historical quasi-fiction until I had developed enough of a pallete to take old ideas and make them seem original.

Sadly, writer's block had struck me about 10 chapters into my historical quasi-fiction. :smallfrown:

Worse yet, I got artist's block at the same time. <_<

Turcano
2007-11-17, 05:21 PM
Now guys I didn't like Eargon either, by think of it this way. He started when he was 15. For something 15 year old wrote that's actually pretty damn good. It's badish, but I've seen much worse stuff published my considerably older people. So cut the kid some slack 'eh?

Eldest came out two years ago, and it was even worse than Eragon.

Sewer_Bandito
2007-11-17, 05:43 PM
Wow, I had no idea that there were people that actually thought this book was decent. By chapter five the entire book seemed like a star wars with all of the characters converted into a mideval fantasy setting. I put the book down by chapter six and haven't touched it since then. Chances are, the dictator of the evil empire was probably Aragon's father. Here's a direct quote from me to mother.

"Mom, I'm thinking I should probably be a writer when I grow up."

"Why's that?"

"Because I could definately write a better book than this."

Moral Wiz
2007-11-17, 05:49 PM
Wow, I had no idea that there were people that actually thought this book was decent. By chapter five the entire book seemed like a star wars with all of the characters converted into a mideval fantasy setting. I put the book down by chapter six and haven't touched it since then. Chances are, the dictator of the evil empire was probably Aragon's father. Here's a direct quote from me to mother.

"Mom, I'm thinking I should probably be a writer when I grow up."

"Why's that?"

"Because I could definately write a better book than this."

Even better, the dictator's right hand man was his dad. (apparently)

Logic
2007-11-17, 06:41 PM
Ignoring the story and plot points, the books are poor because his writing style is erratic at best.

He will go on and on for several paragraphs describing some completely worthless character/item/location, then hurry it up when it looks like the reader should be getting bored. The worst example I can cite at the moment was when he was talking to the "princess of the rebellion" and there was a long descriptive dialouge between the two of them, and all of a sudden it cuts short to something like "she tells him where Murtough is." The quoted sentence is paraphrased, but that is pretty much how the whole book goes.

dehro
2007-11-17, 07:03 PM
I don't really think that releasing anything you wrote at the age of 15 is good idea, exactly because it tends to be unoriginal, not well thought-off
you might want to tell that to mozart...then again... paolini definitely is no mozart.

and no, it's like with music... young age does not provide bonus points.
you can be admired for having reached success at an early age (though in this case having your dad as a publisher might help)... but that has nothing to do with the value of what you do, play or write....

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-17, 07:44 PM
Sipping my midday wine, I thought I'd purchased a bad vintage.
I was mistaken, it was the large grapes of this thread that were sour.

Copacetic
2007-11-17, 08:09 PM
<snip>

Does anybody else here join me in my distaste for this arrogant prick that calls himself a writer?

Hey, have an idea! Lets watch you put alot of time and effort writing something while you could be doing other, fun, teenager things, and when you are through with all your hard work and editing, lets sit here on our lazy butts and call YOU a prick. Who's that sound to you?

Turcano
2007-11-17, 08:35 PM
Hey, have an idea! Lets watch you put alot of time and effort writing something while you could be doing other, fun, teenager things, and when you are through with all your hard work and editing, lets sit here on our lazy butts and call YOU a prick. Who's that sound to you?

You have very esoteric definitions for "effort," "hard work," and "editing."

Rigel Cyrosea
2007-11-17, 08:38 PM
I liked the Eragon books. Sure, they're not the best written stuff out there, but still, I liked them. I'm honestly not bothered by the Star Wars references. Star Wars was a great story, and when reading Eragon you kind of get to experience it again, in a different format. I don't really understand the hate for Paolini... there are lots of writers out there who get published who are worse than he is.
As for comparing it to LOTR, Song of Ice and Fire, etc... anything will look bad when compared to the classics of it's genre. Doesn't mean it isn't worth reading. If your standards are so high that you can't enjoy any book that isn't "almost as good as LOTR!", then I pity you. You're missing out on a lot of fun books.

Setra
2007-11-17, 08:43 PM
I liked the Eragon books. Sure, they're not the best written stuff out there, but still, I liked them. I'm honestly not bothered by the Star Wars references. Star Wars was a great story, and when reading Eragon you kind of get to experience it again, in a different format. I don't really understand the hate for Paolini... there are lots of writers out there who get published who are worse than he is.
As for comparing it to LOTR, Song of Ice and Fire, etc... anything will look bad when compared to the classics of it's genre. Doesn't mean it isn't worth reading. If your standards are so high that you can't enjoy any book that isn't "almost as good as LOTR!", then I pity you. You're missing out on a lot of fun books.The thing is.. they're not 'comparing' them to Star Wars, or LotR.

They're stating flat out it's a rip off.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-17, 08:57 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

Your free to criticize Paolini all you want but I seriously doubt any of you have produced better. By the age of 25 he sold over 3 million books. He isn't Faulkner or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Shakesphere or Wilde. But he sells books that are well enough liked that he has a contract for 2 more books, his second book sold 500,000 copies in a week, and a movie was made of his first book.

The sales on the first book can be ascribed to people trying out the series but at least 1/6th of the people who bought the first book went back and bought the second in the first week of the seconds release.

So how many of you have a work that 500,000 people like well enough to pay 30 bucks for the sequel?

Turcano
2007-11-17, 09:03 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

By your logic, only film directors could be film critics.

The_Snark
2007-11-17, 09:20 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

Your free to criticize Paolini all you want but I seriously doubt any of you have produced better. By the age of 25 he sold over 3 million books. He isn't Faulkner or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Shakesphere or Wilde. But he sells books that are well enough liked that he has a contract for 2 more books, his second book sold 500,000 copies in a week, and a movie was made of his first book.

The sales on the first book can be ascribed to people trying out the series but at least 1/6th of the people who bought the first book went back and bought the second in the first week of the seconds release.

So how many of you have a work that 500,000 people like well enough to pay 30 bucks for the sequel?

As someone acquainted with several authors both successful and unsuccessful, I have to tell you that a book's sales are not necessarily all that related to how good a book it is.

Obviously, good is a matter of opinion to some degree, but there are many, many great books by good authors that hardly anyone has heard of, simply because they didn't catch public attention.

I'm not really sure why Eragon did catch so much attention. I don't hold any particular hatred for the book, but it wasn't all that original, I didn't think it was particularly well written, and it didn't really capture my interest much. Clearly, a fair number of people liked it enough to buy the sequel, so by some people's definitions of the book it was at least a fair book.

But certainly don't say that Paolini is a better writer than other, less famous authors simply because his book sold more copies.

My personal hypotheses as to why the book did well:
Factor 1: Timing. It came out around the same time the Lord of the Rings films were finishing up, and the Harry Potter books were somewere midway through the series. There were a lot of people who'd never been all that into fantasy who were suddenly more interested. Very good time for fantasy in general, in fact.

Factor 2: The familiar elements. People do tend to like familiar, understandable plots, particularly the casual readers likely to pick up the book. The original Star Wars movies are something that nearly everyone has seen and liked. The same casual readers mentioned above are unlikely to be tired of cliches about dragonriders and evil empires. If it's a little like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, well, they liked those movies.

The part I'm still baffled by is why it spread so widely.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-17, 09:28 PM
Oh, you can criticize anything you want. I just won't take it seriously.

How many times have you heard people say "X is so great" or "Y is so bad" and then seen/read/played X or Y and disagreed?

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-17, 09:42 PM
As someone acquainted with several authors both successful and unsuccessful, I have to tell you that a book's sales are not necessarily all that related to how good a book it is.

Obviously, good is a matter of opinion to some degree, but there are many, many great books by good authors that hardly anyone has heard of, simply because they didn't catch public attention.

I'm not really sure why Eragon did catch so much attention. I don't hold any particular hatred for the book, but it wasn't all that original, I didn't think it was particularly well written, and it didn't really capture my interest much. Clearly, a fair number of people liked it enough to buy the sequel, so by some people's definitions of the book it was at least a fair book.

But certainly don't say that Paolini is a better writer than other, less famous authors simply because his book sold more copies.
Oh I agree on all counts.

Why do most people read books? Pleasure. Apparently over 500,000 people found Eragon pleasurable enough to go out and blow 30 bucks on the sequel in its first week out. So Paolini manged to produce a work that pleased 500,000 people and kept them entertained (assuming 1 page per minute) for over 8 hours. Any author who can do that is considered good enough in my opinion because they accomplished their job very well.

Are they a great writer? Not necessarily.
Is their work original? Perhaps.


My personal hypotheses as to why the book did well:
Factor 1: Timing. It came out around the same time the Lord of the Rings films were finishing up, and the Harry Potter books were somewere midway through the series. There were a lot of people who'd never been all that into fantasy who were suddenly more interested. Very good time for fantasy in general, in fact.

Factor 2: The familiar elements. People do tend to like familiar, understandable plots, particularly the casual readers likely to pick up the book. The original Star Wars movies are something that nearly everyone has seen and liked. The same casual readers mentioned above are unlikely to be tired of cliches about dragonriders and evil empires. If it's a little like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, well, they liked those movies.

The part I'm still baffled by is why it spread so widely.

I agree with both of these points as well.

I will say that Eragon's sales were shear dumb luck but if you assume that everyone that bought Eldest has read Eragon (a very fair assumption) then 500,000 people found Eragon good enough to buy its sequel in the first week.

The first book published by an author is almost always dependent on luck. Even if you write a great book it might not be noticed. Or the publisher might have some other cash cow series that happened to come out at the same time and your book wasn't properly publicized. The real test of how well an author or series is liked is how well later works of theirs do. Especially with series of books. If a million people buy the second book and 20 million bought the first then its a fair assumption that 19 million people weren't that impressed with the book or series.

Sewer_Bandito
2007-11-17, 09:45 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

Your free to criticize Paolini all you want but I seriously doubt any of you have produced better. By the age of 25 he sold over 3 million books. He isn't Faulkner or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Shakesphere or Wilde. But he sells books that are well enough liked that he has a contract for 2 more books, his second book sold 500,000 copies in a week, and a movie was made of his first book.

The sales on the first book can be ascribed to people trying out the series but at least 1/6th of the people who bought the first book went back and bought the second in the first week of the seconds release.

So how many of you have a work that 500,000 people like well enough to pay 30 bucks for the sequel?


You're assuming here that popularity=quality. This is clearly not true. Just look at todays mainstream music :smallfrown: There's some extremely bad mainstream music, but some extremely brilliant underground music I've randomly came across. In my opinion, Paolini is like the Gwen Stephanie of writing.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-17, 10:01 PM
You're assuming here that popularity=quality. This is clearly not true. Just look at todays mainstream music :smallfrown: There's some extremely bad mainstream music, but some extremely brilliant underground music I've randomly came across. In my opinion, Paolini is like the Gwen Stephanie of writing.

No. I never said Eragon was quality work. I never said popularity equaled quality.

I said that if a second book in a series sells X number of copies its a fair bet that X number of people liked the first book in the series. When said second book costs 30 bucks this becomes more pronounced as that isn't a splurge purchase.

In the case of Eragon/Eldest at least 500,000 people liked Eragon well enough to spend 30 bucks on in its sequel in said sequels first week on sale.

So whether or not Eragon is "quality" work doesn't really matter. Paolini pleased at least 500,000 people. He did his job very well.

Little_Rudo
2007-11-17, 10:22 PM
This discussion is sorely lacking a TV Tropes link...

For the people who are saying that all literature is derivative, so the Star Wars similarities are excusable, it's not just that they both follow the archetypal hero's journey. I think the TV tropes entry for Eragon puts it best.

Spoilers for the Inheritance Trilogy!






The novels feature the tale of a farmboy who discovers a Plot Coupon sent to a wise old mentor by a captured princess, and has his uncle who raised him killed by the impenetrably cowled servants of the Evil Empire. The two set off for revenge. The mentor just happens to be a former knight, who teaches the farmboy how to use his mystical powers and gives him a magical sword that belonged to his father before buying the farm. Luckily, the farmboy meets up with a badass Anti Hero, rescues a princess who also is a major player in the Rebel army, and joins the rebellion, becoming a key member before going to train further with a half-mad old hermit in the forest. After this, he discovers that his father was the Empire's right-hand man and he's been betrayed by his own family.

Somehow, people think this sounds familiar...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheInheritanceTrilogy

I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. Although I really am not a fan of Paolini's prose, I do think that he has the potential to be a great writer someday. Maybe after Inheritance, he can try out some new things and work on his prose a bit, and the resulting work will be better written. After all, as much as I disliked his writing style, I am probably going to read the third book (did they confirm Empire as a title?), if not just to see how far he takes the Star Wars parallels!

Turcano
2007-11-17, 10:23 PM
Oh, you can criticize anything you want. I just won't take it seriously.

How many times have you heard people say "X is so great" or "Y is so bad" and then seen/read/played X or Y and disagreed?

Even direct experience doesn't have any bearing on this. Anne McCaffrey seems to think well of the Inheritance Trilogy, even though she is a much better author than he is (not to mention being a victim of his "borrowing").


No. I never said Eragon was quality work. I never said popularity equaled quality.

I said that if a second book in a series sells X number of copies its a fair bet that X number of people liked the first book in the series. When said second book costs 30 bucks this becomes more pronounced as that isn't a splurge purchase.

In the case of Eragon/Eldest at least 500,000 people liked Eragon well enough to spend 30 bucks on in its sequel in said sequels first week on sale.

So whether or not Eragon is "quality" work doesn't really matter. Paolini pleased at least 500,000 people. He did his job very well.

I know that some people find Paolini's work to be entertaining. I'm just mystified as to why.

Cyclone231
2007-11-17, 10:54 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.
Just out of curiousity, how many people criticizing the [name of a specific real-world genocide] have ever participated in a conspiracy to commit murder? Much less a whole genocide. Or massacred dozens of victims who were hiding out in churches or school buildings with just a machete? And, in the end, organized the successful murder of at least 500,000 people?

Hmm, I think I see a problem in your logic, here. :smallconfused:

EDIT: Removed name in order to avoid politics.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-18, 12:41 AM
By your logic, only film directors could be film critics.

This is not altogether fool, my lord.


He isn't Faulkner or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Shakesphere or Wilde.

I approve of the Fitzgerald love. He doesn't get the respect he deserves.

Cyclone: No, your logic is invalid; the comparison doesn't follow. He can state that he does not believe that genocide to be morally right on the grounds he does not believe genocide to be morally right, on the whole. You can say you don't like Eragon based on your hatred of books, as a whole. However, he cannot say, unless he has perpetrated a genocide, that that particular genocide was poorly done, by his logic. So, while you can say you hate books, or even that you hate fantasy, you can't say this is a bad book without a grain/truckload of salt swallowed with it unless you, yourself, have written one.

Paragon Badger
2007-11-18, 12:52 AM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

I wish my dad owned a publishing company... :smallredface:

Then again, writer's block and depression hit me in the middle of my book, so it probably woulden't have helped me anyway. :smallannoyed:


In the case of Eragon/Eldest at least 500,000 people liked Eragon well enough to spend 30 bucks on in its sequel in said sequels first week on sale.

So whether or not Eragon is "quality" work doesn't really matter. Paolini pleased at least 500,000 people. He did his job very well.

"Oh boy... That Lord of the rings is a biiiiig book...

Oh look at this! It's called... Eragon...and underneath it says 'Lord of the rings for dummies!'

"And underneath that... it says... The Pepsi to George Lucas' Coke"

Just a wild guess; I've never read any of them- but I know the whole plot (:smallamused: ) and have a few friends who have read it and it bassically sounds like the plot of Star Wars transplanted to a dumbed down middleearth.

Cyclone231
2007-11-18, 01:13 AM
Cyclone: No, your logic is invalid; the comparison doesn't follow. He can state that he does not believe that genocide to be morally right on the grounds he does not believe genocide to be morally right, on the whole. You can say you don't like Eragon based on your hatred of books, as a whole. However, he cannot say, unless he has perpetrated a genocide, that that particular genocide was poorly done, by his logic. So, while you can say you hate books, or even that you hate fantasy, you can't say this is a bad book without a grain/truckload of salt swallowed with it unless you, yourself, have written one.It's called an analogy. The purpose of an analogy is not to propose that the two sentiments are identical, but rather to show flaws in the opponent's reasoning by altering the context of that reasoning.

"Criticism of something isn't worth listening to unless you've done it yourself."

"So criticism of a genocide isn't worth listening to unless you've done one yourself?"

But fine, here's a new one.

Let's suppose that the following image has been published in a book. You can't criticize the following image unless you've had your art published, and have your opinion mean anything to me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.png

Honestly, I should have said this first, but...

The whole thing is an ad hominem argument - just because I can't write a published novel doesn't mean my argument is non-functional. It's attacking the critic, not the criticism.

Turcano
2007-11-18, 01:14 AM
This is not altogether fool, my lord.

So the idea of, say, Uwe Boll as a film critic pleases you?

(Admittedly, it pleases me more than the idea of Uwe Boll as a director.)

Seraph
2007-11-18, 01:31 AM
Hey, have an idea! Lets watch you put alot of time and effort writing something while you could be doing other, fun, teenager things, and when you are through with all your hard work and editing, lets sit here on our lazy butts and call YOU a prick. Who's that sound to you?

Paolini was homeschooled, which, in America, usually means that "fun teenager things" are not an option anyway.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-18, 01:37 AM
Paolini was homeschooled, which, in America, usually means that "fun teenager things" are not an option anyway.

The most fun I ever had was the 3 years I was home schooled. Worst decision of my life was going to high school.

Kjata
2007-11-18, 02:25 AM
The most fun I ever had was the 3 years I was home schooled. Worst decision of my life was going to high school.

High school only sucks if you take the moral high ground, and care about your grades:smalltongue:

And so im not off topic: Paolini sucks!:smallamused:

The Extinguisher
2007-11-18, 03:06 AM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

I don't need to be a pilot to figure out it's crashing.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-18, 10:40 AM
It's called an analogy. The purpose of an analogy is not to propose that the two sentiments are identical, but rather to show flaws in the opponent's reasoning by altering the context of that reasoning.
The problem is you have stated to wholly dissimilar contexts which cannot be accurately compared. His reasoning is that one cannot state the relative quality of one work in a field compared to those around it with any credibility unless one has knowledge in the field oneself. He never said one couldn't have a moral opinion, or one couldn't have an opinion on the totality of the field, and neither of those go against the logic he proposed. The problem is not that the sentiments are not identical, but that you've changed the path and scope of logic from his propisition. I know very well what an analogy is. Do you know what a strawman is? It's taking your opponents argument and twisting it invalidly into a way that's easy to argue with.


"Criticism of something isn't worth listening to unless you've done it yourself."

"So criticism of a genocide isn't worth listening to unless you've done one yourself?"
The problem is he is speaking towards criticism of quality, not morality, and of something specific, not a concept.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.pngLet's suppose that the following image has been published in a book. You can't criticize the following image unless you've had your art published, and have your opinion mean anything to me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.png

Honestly, I should have said this first, but...[/quote]
Yes, because it's logically valid as an analogy.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.pngThe whole thing is an ad hominem argument - just because I can't write a published novel doesn't mean my argument is non-functional. It's attacking the critic, not the criticism.[/QUOTE]
Yes. Note that this is an opinion-based argument, however, and thus a valid basis to counter you with. In your opinion, something Paolini does makes his books bad. In his opinion, one does not have credibility to judge quality until one has first undergone the experience oneself. Neither has any factual evidence whatsoever behind it, unless Paolini doesn't do the thing you cite, or you have been published and met the other criteria. Secondly, I believe he was pointing out the hypocrisy of many arguments against Paolini rather than their validity, but I could be mistaking his tone.


I don't need to be a pilot to figure out it's crashing.

That is a factual matter with factual evidence. This is an opinionated matter with perceptive evidence. They are wholly different things. A plane may be objectively measured to be crashing when factual evidence thereof presents itself. A book may not be objectively measured to be bad, because factual evidence will never prevent itself.

Wizzardman
2007-11-18, 03:19 PM
Someone said "That is just bad writing," and this is false. It is just writing you do not like. Your fury over someone whose taste is different than your own and your need to knock him down is petulant and inane. There are a good number of popular authors I don't like. Yet, I do not feel the need to make a thread specifically instructing them sent to hell. Wait, my apologies, to HELL. I think, given the area and some posts, a lot of your are fantasy writers angry you weren't published when he was.

Funny, but I was one of the many who accused Paolini of poor writing, and yet I was basing that less on 'writing I do not like' so much as 'ineffective writing strategies'.

My swollen, bulbous beef with Paolini is based entirely on his lack of proper training and experience--and his resulting books reflect this lack of experience very well. His writing is filled with contraditions (see the great Leather-Clad Vegetarian as an example), he tells the story more than shows it, his main character is an obvious Mary-Sue creation without any natural personality (which Paolini desperately tries to hide with derivative teenage angst, without providing any explanation as to why the kid is suddenly angsting out) who everyone loves despite his inane ability to cause half the problems he fixes, and his antagonists are left as soulless automatons without motivation or reasoning capability. All of these problems are problems I've found to be common in writers before they take a Creative Writing class, and all of these could have been fixed if he'd just gone to college and taken the class! And, you know, maybe acquired some more experience before launching his foray into novelwriting. I'd imagine that obvious flaws in writing style, with no structural support for his modifications and no overt storytelling reasons for the flaws, counts as factual evidence.

Now again, you're welcome to love his books if you wish--numerous people do. Then again, numerous people also enjoy violent films without coherent plots, and many people enjoy books and movies with inherently-superior protagonists that lack personality or realistic reaction to their surrounding environment. My only argument is that, by current accepted forms of 'good writing', as supported by the dozens of authors that actually understand their art, as well as Hemmingway, Faulkner, Melville, and others, you can't call his writing 'good writing.' You can call it 'fun and enjoyable.' You can call it 'popular.' You just can't say 'well-written'--and before you make the argument that he's somehow "the forerunner of a new style of writing," I argue that you have to understand the old style before you can decide to change it, and that thousands of other people have written works with exactly the same amount of quality and skill as Paolini has shown. Most of them are fanfiction writers--though many fanfiction writers produce better work than Paolini does.

Turcano
2007-11-18, 03:40 PM
The problem is you have stated to wholly dissimilar contexts which cannot be accurately compared.

I agree; as bad as Paolini's writing is, comparing it to genocide is a bit much.


Yes. Note that this is an opinion-based argument, however, and thus a valid basis to counter you with. In your opinion, something Paolini does makes his books bad. In his opinion, one does not have credibility to judge quality until one has first undergone the experience oneself.

Ad hominem (and by this I mean a real ad hominem, not an internet ad hominem*) is invalid in all circumstances, even in matters of opinion. Even accepting for the sake of argument the notion that having objective standards is elitism, holding the view that one can only critique what one has experienced is, at best, replacing one form of elitism with another. As Bob Dylan once said, "you don't need to be a weatherman to tell the way the wind blows."

*The term ad hominem is thrown around the internets to mean any sort of personal attack or insult; to properly qualify as an ad hominem, the statement must be irrelevant to the matter at hand.

PirateMonk
2007-11-18, 05:00 PM
As Bob Dylan once said, "you don't need to be a weatherman to tell the way the wind blows."

That is because, as VeisuItaTyhjyys has repeatedly stated, which way the wind blows is an objective fact, not a subjective opinion.

Cyclone231
2007-11-18, 05:32 PM
That is because, as VeisuItaTyhjyys has repeatedly stated, which way the wind blows is an objective fact, not a subjective opinion.Art isn't objective, eh? So why are there tons of books published on how to write well, classes on similar subjects, et cetera?

I guess that by your logic there is no difference in visual quality between the images seen in Order of the Stick and those seen in Kingdom of Loathing?

There are objective aspects to art. In visual arts, the most obvious one is correct anatomy and consistency. While a style can have a skull-to-body ratio can cause the skull to become disproportionately large, it cannot allow the body to become disproportionately large without being obviously ugly. And the legs and arms have to be the same length proportionate to eachother every time they're drawn (barring explained instances, such as a character aging or whatever), and they have to be within the correct spectrum of real-world lengths (unless the character in question is malformed or an alien, obviously).

In novel writing, it's the quality of prose, the reality of the world itself, the audience's ability to empathize with the characters, the pacing, et cetera. You can objectively say "the pacing is terrible here," or "the prose needs to be cut down an awful lot," or "yeah, he's a vegetarian over here but then he's eating a chicken over here, for no apparent reason."

I mean, really, is there nothing objectively wrong with this image (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.png)?

Turcano
2007-11-18, 05:41 PM
That is because, as VeisuItaTyhjyys has repeatedly stated, which way the wind blows is an objective fact, not a subjective opinion.

Okay, allow me to make an analogy based on another field of subjective opinion. Saying that someone's literary criticisms are invalid because the individual has not been published is like saying that someone's criticisms of governmental policy are invalid because the individual has never held public office. It's completely asinine.

EvilElitest
2007-11-18, 06:09 PM
Your point? Every story in all of mankinds existance has been ripped off of something else. Little things get changed over time like settings, names, and the like. Chris has done nothing different then any other author, past, present or future. It's the same with every "Earth gets attacked by Alien's" Sci-fi movie in that mankind always wins. And most of the time we require the Alien's technology. Indipendence Day, Battlefield Earth, Species (to a lesser degree). The list goes on forever. Or how about love stroies? They're all a rip off from the Tales Of Genji(or Epic of Genji I can't remember), the first known book ever written. Yet people don't rant and rave about the 'injustice' of the copying of the oldest book written.

I ask again what's your point? Why complain about some's not to blatant coping of material when 'all that is old is new again?'

Anybody go to anti shurgengal? They make a better argument than anyone else


Oh and that is blantently not true, don't be foolish. Taking the basic idea but changing it is orginal Take J.R.R. Tolkien, he borrowed a lot from old Norse myths, but the characters, the world, the plot, and the story was his

D&D: A group of poor naive farmboy/girls discover Mystic powers, goes on to fight evil.
So you might want to come up with a more substantial argument other than reuse of a trope, otherwise you might as well hate most fantasy.
What game have you been playing? Not mine i know that. You seem to referencing to general fantasy stories, but that discription does not fit any games i run, naive farmboys have an annoying tendency to be naive and get themselves killed.
from,
EE

laszarus
2007-11-18, 06:14 PM
Trying to get this back on topic ...

I really didn't think Paolini's work was much good. My brother bought and read both the books (But he'll read anything, seemingly the worse the better), so I had a flick through. I found that it was much like many poorly-written books - you can skip paragraphs and even chapters and not miss a single thing. It wasn't so bad in Eragon, where there was a sort of drive to the story, but even then Paolini's Elf-obsession was getting me down. Eldest was just nausea inducing. WHY do I need to know how many toes a dwarf has? WHY do I need more than half the book filled with a stagnant wet-dream of Paolini's about Elf Powah? WHY do the (previously unequivocally evil) beast-men suddenly turn out to be cool, dude? It's not the heavily influenced plot or bad writing that gets me down so much as having to read through Paolini's garbled logic and personal wet dreams. For me, translated into l33t-sp33k from a 12 year old, it would hold the same meaning and depth: "l0l! Dud3z, t3h 3lfs is t3h hawt! I wantz 2 B 1!". It inspired in me a depth of hatred for the pointy-eared gits I had thought impossible.

Of course, this is all subjective, so to you it may be completely wrong. But it can't be proved or disproved. That's what subjective means.

Turcano
2007-11-18, 06:24 PM
Oh and that is blantently not true, don't be foolish. Taking the basic idea but changing it is orginal Take J.R.R. Tolkien, he borrowed a lot from old Norse myths, but the characters, the world, the plot, and the story was his

To give a specific example, the character of Kullervo from the Kalevala served as the inspiration for two authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and Michael Moorcock, who created the characters of Túrin Turambar and Elric of Melniboné, respectively; both of these characters are quite different both from their inspiration and each other.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-18, 06:49 PM
Funny, but I was one of the many who accused Paolini of poor writing, and yet I was basing that less on 'writing I do not like' so much as 'ineffective writing strategies'.
I'd argue that the large number of people purchasing his novels, more than one of them, would indicate that it is not so "ineffective," as you believe.


My swollen, bulbous beef with Paolini is based entirely on his lack of proper training and experience--and his resulting books reflect this lack of experience very well. His writing is filled with contraditions (see the great Leather-Clad Vegetarian as an example),
1. I'm a vegetarian and wear leather.
2. Reading "swollen, bulbous beef," I can't help but ask again whether you dislike his writing, or are aroused by it.


his main character is an obvious Mary-Sue creation without any natural personality (which Paolini desperately tries to hide with derivative teenage angst, without providing any explanation as to why the kid is suddenly angsting out) who everyone loves despite his inane ability to cause half the problems he fixes, and his antagonists are left as soulless automatons without motivation or reasoning capability.
None of this is "ineffective." This is all "writing I do not like." He has achieved his desired effect, selling books and gaining readership, with his writing.


I'd imagine that obvious flaws in writing style, with no structural support for his modifications and no overt storytelling reasons for the flaws, counts as factual evidence.
No. Because they are not, objectively, flaws. They are something you do not like. I don't like books where the good guys win, because I find them unrealistic and wholly lacking in versimilitude. That does not mean I may criticize any book with a happy ending as "flawed" and it become a statement of fact.


Now again, you're welcome to love his books if you wish--numerous people do. Then again, numerous people also enjoy violent films without coherent plots, and many people enjoy books and movies with inherently-superior protagonists that lack personality or realistic reaction to their surrounding environment. My only argument is that, by current accepted forms of 'good writing', as supported by the dozens of authors that actually understand their art, as well as Hemmingway, Faulkner, Melville, and others, you can't call his writing 'good writing.' You can call it 'fun and enjoyable.' You can call it 'popular.' You just can't say 'well-written'--and before you make the argument that he's somehow "the forerunner of a new style of writing," I argue that you have to understand the old style before you can decide to change it, and that thousands of other people have written works with exactly the same amount of quality and skill as Paolini has shown. Most of them are fanfiction writers--though many fanfiction writers produce better work than Paolini does.
The problem is that there isn't really an "accepted" form of good writing. There's a lot of different opinions. If people enjoy his books, then that person perhaps thinks they are "good," and therefore the writing that produced them is good. Stating their opinion is less meaningful than "those who understand their art" is elitist and cannot be any more factually backed than the opinions itself.


Art isn't objective, eh? So why are there tons of books published on how to write well, classes on similar subjects, et cetera?
Publishing a book about something doesn't exactly make it factual. Those books and classes are the teacher's opinion on how one should write. If you get a teacher or author who's really into Keats and one who's really into Kerouac, the classes are going to be totally different.


I guess that by your logic there is no difference in visual quality between the images seen in Order of the Stick and those seen in Kingdom of Loathing?
There is which image one prefers.


There are objective aspects to art. In visual arts, the most obvious one is correct anatomy and consistency. While a style can have a skull-to-body ratio can cause the skull to become disproportionately large, it cannot allow the body to become disproportionately large without being obviously ugly. And the legs and arms have to be the same length proportionate to eachother every time they're drawn (barring explained instances, such as a character aging or whatever), and they have to be within the correct spectrum of real-world lengths (unless the character in question is malformed or an alien, obviously).
My favourite painter is El Greco. Your argument loses.


In novel writing, it's the quality of prose, the reality of the world itself, the audience's ability to empathize with the characters, the pacing, et cetera. You can objectively say "the pacing is terrible here," or "the prose needs to be cut down an awful lot," or "yeah, he's a vegetarian over here but then he's eating a chicken over here, for no apparent reason."
The only one of those things you can objectively say is the last one, and you can't objectively state whether that is a good or bad thing. Maybe someone else happens to enjoy that pacing. Perhaps I enjoy my prose flowerly on a level you find gratuitous.


I mean, really, is there nothing objectively wrong with this image (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Cyclone231/Win.png)?
No. I don't really like it, but that's my opinion.


To give a specific example, the character of Kullervo from the Kalevala served as the inspiration for two authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and Michael Moorcock, who created the characters of Túrin Turambar and Elric of Melniboné, respectively; both of these characters are quite different both from their inspiration and each other.

Wow. It's not everyday (well, it was when I lived in Finland, but that's cheating) I see somebody else who's read, or even knows about the Kalevala. Props to you, sir.

Wizzardman
2007-11-18, 07:35 PM
I'd argue that the large number of people purchasing his novels, more than one of them, would indicate that it is not so "ineffective," as you believe.

And, once again, the number of people who purchase his novels is not an indication of quality of writing, as you seem to think it is. Mark Twain was never, throughout his lifetime, a very rich or popular writer; are you arguing that he's not a good writer?

For that matter, the vast majority of the people who read or purchase Paolini's works have been twelve year olds. No offense to twelve year olds, or his older readers, but measuring status based on how many people of that age category have bought his books is ridiculous--at least because tastes for the quality of writing changes a lot in the pre-teen and teenage area. I used to like the Hobbit at age 12, and still read it occasionally, but I also used to like Goosebumps, and I now find them badly written.

Your argument so far has been "we cannot criticize his works if we have not walked the same number of miles he has in his shoes." How many of his readers are published writers? How many published a novel at age 20? Under your argument, if "buying a book" means you "think its good", can we really accept their purchases as a statement of "its good" or even "its effective"?



1. I'm a vegetarian and wear leather.
2. Reading "swollen, bulbous beef," I can't help but ask again whether you dislike his writing, or are aroused by it.

1. No offense intended, but I find that statement oddly comical. However, this is not the place for such a discussion.
2. ...The former, I assure you. The analogy was there to indicate that I think his writing's [expletive deleted].



None of this is "ineffective." This is all "writing I do not like." He has achieved his desired effect, selling books and gaining readership, with his writing.

If that's your definition of effective. Mine was "producing a good quality work that will be popular with both adults and children, will be easily understood for a long period of time, and will be considered a good quality work by his established peers (other successful authors)". You may use the economic definition if you wish, but generally critics measure quality based on the skill it shows, rather than its monetary success--especially since monetary success is determined mostly by luck, the attitude of the customers at the time, and what's popular. Eragon was produced in the middle of the trend of Epic Fantasy. If it had been produced a few years earlier or later, it wouldn't have received half the popularity it has.


No. Because they are not, objectively, flaws. They are something you do not like. I don't like books where the good guys win, because I find them unrealistic and wholly lacking in versimilitude. That does not mean I may criticize any book with a happy ending as "flawed" and it become a statement of fact.

The difference being that you're criticizing the story itself, whereas so far I've been criticizing his delivery. You can't argue that an actor is a 'bad actor' if you don't like the role he plays; you can argue he's a bad actor if he flubs all his lines. Its quite difficult to provide objective reasons for not liking a story (versimilitude and realism are statements of opinion in fantasy), but storytelling method and construction are objective (in that consistency with these methods has been shown to create more coherent and cohesive storylines). If there weren't, why would there be creative writing classes?



The problem is that there isn't really an "accepted" form of good writing. There's a lot of different opinions. If people enjoy his books, then that person perhaps thinks they are "good," and therefore the writing that produced them is good. Stating their opinion is less meaningful than "those who understand their art" is elitist and cannot be any more factually backed than the opinions itself.
Which goes precisely against your argument earlier that 'only those who've walked in his shoes can make criticize'. Moreover, people can think a book is good and not think the writing technique involved is good. I have no problems with people saying "this book is good" or "this story is good", and it would be elitist for me to say "this book isn't good because major authors don't like the ending"; its not elitist for me to say "this book has poor writing style" as writing style, unlike story, popularity, atmosphere, rhythm, meaning, and use of metaphor, has an objective basis on what encourages consistency, continuity, and overall legibility. Writing style isn't there to enforce some immense, elitist scheme to allow only the things a few special people like will be published; its there so that the overall populace, both present and future, will be able to understand what you're saying, and not think you're an illiterate git.

I'm not saying there is an 'accepted, one true form' of writing. I'm saying there's an accepted, one true form of producing legible and understandable stories in the English language. This one true form is often mutated, yes; authors who understand the form often change it to chase after a particular style, particular symbolism, or just because they think it helps flow (they rarely change everything at once, however, and usually provide a reason for the change). However, if there was no objective form to base writing on, all your English classes were for naught, and grammar is a useless triviality subjected on the masses by cruel English teachers. Its for the writer's benefit, as well as for the audience's benefit. Again, I argue he needs a class in Creative Writing.

Cyclone231
2007-11-18, 08:05 PM
My favourite painter is El Greco. Your argument loses.First of all, that's irrelevant. Second of all, I'm fairly certain you're misrepresenting El Greco here.

No. I don't really like it, but that's my opinion.I drew that image in five seconds using my laptop's touch keyboard in appleworks with my off hand.

Any line of reasoning that doesn't allow you to, when looking at an image where the eyes barely resemble eyes, both in shape and in location, that the limbs are totally out of proportion, that the head looks stupid, and there's not a straight line in sight and say that these things are objectively bad is not just annoying to have a conversation about, but it is useless.

We need ideas of objectively good and objectively bad in order to critique something. There can be things we like which are objectively bad, or things we dislike that are objectively good. For example, I'm not a big fan of the book Frankenstein, and I really don't want to read it any further than I already have (the prose is far too flowery for my taste) but that doesn't mean I think that it's a bad book. On the other hand, I go to Sluggy Freelance every day even though I know it is a ridiculous* webcomic that has ten years of backstory and no helpful "new readers" guide.

* And I mean that in the worst way possible. I mean, it has a character who was introduced in an Alien parody (as the Xenomorph) do some soul-searching.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-18, 08:31 PM
First of all, that's irrelevant. Second of all, I'm fairly certain you're misrepresenting El Greco here.
No, it is not. His limbs and heads are infamously different from normal human proportions. In fact, modern critics often believe he was afflicted with glaucoma or macular degeneration because of how disproportionate his figures are, while others believe it was a stylistic choice of emotion over realistic accuracy that led to the expressionist movement/ideal-since-it-wasn't-really-a-movement-per-say.
Thus, he defies your instruction to pay attention to proportions and whatnot. However, he is my favourite painter, therefore, your "objective" standard does not apply.
If you want a more defined example, take Picasso's cubist works.


I drew that image in five seconds using my laptop's touch keyboard in appleworks with my off hand.
I don't care if you drew it with your genitals (actually, that would impress me very much, so I suppose I would care), that doesn't make it any better or worse, objectively.


Any line of reasoning that doesn't allow you to, when looking at an image where the eyes barely resemble eyes, both in shape and in location, that the limbs are totally out of proportion, that the head looks stupid, and there's not a straight line in sight and say that these things are objectively bad is not just annoying to have a conversation about, but it is useless.
Your opinion of the ideal of art is a human being taking hours to do what a camera does in second. That, to me, seems really stupid. It's not, however, objectively bad. You, clearly, like it. Mine highest value of art is expressing an emotion through images. I don't care if it's realistic. I like Abstract Expressionism, which usually doesn't even resemble shapes, let alone people.


We need ideas of objectively good and objectively bad in order to critique something. There can be things we like which are objectively bad, or things we dislike that are objectively good.
This argument is officially useless. You clearly do not understand what the word "objective" means. I cannot apply to opinions. Period. If it cannot be proven, it is not a fact. One cannot prove something is good or bad, because what defines good varies from person to person. Without a definition of what is to be proven that may be agreed upon, the proof is pointless, and the facts will never arrive.

EvilElitest
2007-11-18, 09:26 PM
May I point out that I find the rest of LoTR unbearable as well.

Shrug, your loss, though i find Inheritance abhorrent, Mr. Tolkien was at least a good liginist.
from,
EE

EvilElitest
2007-11-18, 09:38 PM
Dude, it's like everyone's right of passage to copy of each other for writing. Look at World of Warcraft for example. It's been one of the top rated games for the past 5 years yet you cant find ANYTHING in that game which doesn't come from DND. So my point? Everyone copies evryone else for writing it just happens. CALM DOWN

The plot? That is pretty orginal. The nature of the monsters (i mean they are orcs, but very different form the D&D type), the world, history, land, the characters, the gods, or the magic system?

Oh and the biggest difference between Inheritance and Warcraft is that Warcraft is generally well written and that a few three dimensional characters.
from,
EE

Cyclone231
2007-11-18, 09:52 PM
This argument is officially useless. You clearly do not understand what the word "objective" means. I cannot apply to opinions. Period. If it cannot be proven, it is not a fact. One cannot prove something is good or bad, because what defines good varies from person to person.Therefore, one can't prove anything, because some people don't believe in objective reality.

Without a definition of what is to be proven that may be agreed upon, the proof is pointless, and the facts will never arrive.I don't agree with this statement.

:smallyuk:

EvilElitest
2007-11-18, 10:11 PM
Tolkien most likely stole his ideas from a jumble of sources anyway. I mean fairy tales, a friend, something his dad wrote-how do we know tolkien didn't steal ideas?

How......uneducated. I'm sorry, i really want to find some basis for your argument, but their just simple isn't one, anymore than hearing myself say "Christ most likely made up the story based on a drunken interpretations of Star Wars". no basis for ether one. If you researched Tolkien only the tiniest bit you will see where he got his story, and i have no basis at all for where Christ got his story, though there is a good deal of evidence that points to plagiarism.


Besides-ignoring sources drawn LOTR isn't that well thought out on the evil side
If you re-read the story, i think you'll find the evil side rather sympathetic. I mean, Saruman, Denathor, Gollum, Boromir, a few of the orcs, Shelob, and the Ringwraiths are all given motives for their deeds, and you feel sorry for them at times.



-I mean 'WHY' is sauron evil-we get more info on why the villian in eragon is the villian-He went insane.
Sauron's sainity is debatable, he is not human so he can't be held to the same standards.

Sauron-Why did he join Melkor?
That is adressed

As for Sauron's motives, Tolkien noted that "it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall...) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction." Thus "it was the apparent will and power of Melkor to effect his designs quickly and masterfully that had first attracted Sauron to him"
Sauron is pretty loyal to his boss, from his wiki

After joining his new master in Middle-earth, he proved to be a devoted and capable servant: “While Morgoth still stood, Sauron did not seek his own supremacy, but worked and schemed for another, desiring the triumph of Melkor, whom in the beginning he had adored. He thus was often able to achieve things, first conceived by Melkor, which his master did not or could not complete in the furious haste of his malice”.
"Nothing is born evil, not even Sauron was so" is a good view on Tolkien's view on evil. And Sauron is actively, King G just kinda sits around and demands taxes.




The orcs-even things breed to obey won't obey forever.
Grammer, i can understand. But if you mean why are the orcs evil, Tolkien was a devout Cathlic and didn't publish his notes while alive because he was pondering this very question. Until his death, he was trying to find out the reason for this race being evil without making them all evil


How did the black gates stand? I mean walls that big would be pretty hard to service for...how long has it stood?
The Black Gate is held up by the shear force of Sauron's will (magic in Tolkien's world) it breaks when he dies i belive. Or is that the dark tower.
for all we know that gate could just be a normal gate.

First, he's some sort of super-duper chosen one, right?
Ah chosen ones. Orginal idea that.


The rules are different for them.
Translation- It is a lot easier for the writer to get away with blatantly unbelievable things by offering vauge explanations such as "He is chosen". Just because you can wave that around doesn't make you a good writer.

Second, this is a fantasy novel.
Good fantasy should be as believable, or more so than real life. A good writer shouldn't relay on "It is fantasy" to justify his abnormal actions



A fable. Without any magical aid and a lot of sheer badass, Beowulf holds his breath for a good day underwater in the original poem.
1. Beowulf is an epic, not a novel
2. Beowulf has been establish as a godly badass from his introduction, Eragon just some farmboy


Unrealistic things happen a lot.
To an extent. I accept magic, dragons, elves, as long as it is used in a logical and understandable mnner

If you can accept that a creature of the weight and bone-density of a dragon is able to fly on wings that thin though a chicken is much less dramatically designed against flying and cannot do so, then you can believe a kid's really good with a sword.
no i don't. I can belive in dragons in a story, i just assume the fly through magic (dragons are said to be magical and so i can believe that), because dragons don't existence in real life, i just take what hte writer gives me assuming he is consistent. However i know about swordplay and i know that it doesn't work that way. Unless the laws of phyics have been fundamentally changed, swordplay can not be learned in a few weeks



Honestly. You're nit-picking because you want to feel superior or want to find some factual basis to prove your opinion, which is impossible. It's an opinion.
Ok i write a story were a farm boy learns sword play and kills a million dudes. Is that realistic? When you ask how he does this, i respond "Magic".

from,
EE

Runa
2007-11-19, 02:48 AM
That is a pretty high standard... I don't know about you, but many books I read have slightly dull beginnings, because I don't know the characters yet. I'm not sure if you've tried writing yourself, but writing an interesting opening to a novel is a very tricky thing to manage.

I will admit to having never read Paolini's books (by the way, it wasn't that his dad was a "publisher" that got it published, folks; it's that his parents actually had it self-published, and helped him promote the hell out of it independently, which caught the eye of a traditional non-vanity publisher. I know, because I'm actually geeky enough to read Writer's Digest :smallbiggrin: ), so this statement I'm about to put forth here is not a judgment of the books, but rather in response to your comment, and to EVERYONE in the thread who said "not liking the first chapter doesn't mean the book is bad".

I write myself, so I know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to openings being difficult to pull off well so that the reader wants to read more.

BUT I AM STILL PICKY.

And I reserve the right to be picky, and for EVERYONE ELSE to be picky if they want to! :smalltongue:

Something some people are forgetting here (not so much you, but others in the thread) is that books are very, very personal things. And, your level and type of experience with reading and writing, your age, your life experience - all of this will factor into your enjoyment of a book.

It used to be that I could watch or read just about anything. Hell, I used to read the Baby-Sitters Club books, even!

However, I'm 21 now. I'm 21 and I've read a lot more since then, and experienced more, and I'm trying to write and make my OWN short stories, and novels, and films, and comic books.

Which is why I outgrew Harry Potter as anything other than "nostalgia from the last era of my childhood". Which is why I cannot STAND to read the Baby-Sitters Club books anymore. Which is why even the book series I really like, like The Young Wizards Series, I tend to pick the writing apart every so often with such ridiculous things as "why would you bother to use 'argent light', when you could just say the light was silver? It doesn't fit with the informal tone!" or "why is Diane Duane using a colon like it was a semicolon!?" - even though most of the time when I read them, I enjoy them for the plots and characters.

Is it a painful, less joyful way to live, being so picky about media, especially books, when I used to consume it like mad so happily? Generally, yes actually.

But can I help it that my standards have become so high?

No. And I refuse to even accept the possibility that I'm really that much worse off - after all, all it really means is that when a truly great little series comes out, I appreciate it even more for being a diamond in the rough! What it means is I can really appreciate The Dresden Files for being so wonderfully unique a mashup of fantasy concepts with such enthralling writing and characters; or Artemis Fowl, for being so original, funny and smoothly well-written (this and Dresden Files are the only two book series I can consistently reread only days or weeks after finishing it the first time, and not usually nitpick just about anything at all); or changing media for a moment - I can appreciate even more Firefly for its beautiful attention to detail, its great dialogue and characters and beautiful cinematography, and Wonderfalls for its similar but quirkier brilliance, simply because I've seen a lot of stuff I felt was crap, but this stuff obviously had a lot of thought, and care, and wit, and effort put into it.

And, of course, being that picky translates into a frustrating but ultimately better perfectionistic approach to my own work, which ostensibly can't hurt, right?

Some of us have just simply outgrown some or most media out there. DEAL WITH IT, please and stop complaining that we're being "too picky". When it comes to TV or film or books, there is no such thing! It's ALL personal opinion, and will ALWAYS differ from person to person!

For instance, I like watching House sometimes for its characters, dialogue, and fun, interesting plots - but I've heard of more than a few doctors that WINCE at the occasional error, enough that it turns them off; but that's based on their experience and knowledge, so you can't possibly fault them for it without, technically, implying that they basically shouldn't be a doctor. I know even more people that hate Heroes because of the wonky evolutionary science and physics it employs for its plots - but I'm still addicted to it, even though I know how "off" it is. I treat it like a fantasy, and I just happen to enjoy the characters and the twisty plots.

Meanwhile, I can't stand to watch the new Battlestar Galactica. For a while, I was even ranting "It's just a soap opera in space! And not a good one! And they can't even keep the camera still! And it has absolutely no sense of humor about itself!" - and then I realized... it's not worth it. Yes, there are conscious reasons I dislike it. But, since I like some "soapy" shows like Desperate Housewives and Heroes, I realized - really, it's just that it didn't jive with me. It just didn't. It jives with other people, and that's great for them. I just won't watch it, is all.

It's ALL relative, folks. Just take the zen approach of "I like what I like, they like what they like", and you'll be much happier and the world will be a better place, I've found. :smallsmile:



As other people have noted, I've read many books wherein the opening felt uninspired, including some extremely famous ones and several I'd count among my favorites.

That said, there's a difference between finding an opening dull and vehemently disliking it, and if it was the latter, you're probably justified in putting the book aside.

Despite what I said above about being picky, I'm actually one of those people that will give a book or a story quite a while sometimes before I'll give up on it, because I really do understand how hard it is to write a good opening that leads well into the main plot, and I know a lot of times there are writers that are good or come up with some really interesting concepts, but who are not necessarily good at openings. There have been times when this even paid off - for instance, the first of the Codex Alera books starts out pretty slow, but ends up being a great pageturner, so I was glad I stuck with it.

I agree with you, though, that if it really strikes you that badly, you should put it aside -because you probably won't enjoy the rest of it, if it provokes that bad of a reaction! ;) I've had bad reading experiences myself, trying to push on through horrid-feeling openings. I've learned my lesson, needless to say.

Sidenote: I don't read Tolkien much, but I did see in a documentary on his life that he basically meant for his work to be a sort of mythological history for the British people, who didn't have the kind of rich literary myth-histories of the Germans or Norsemen or Greeks and so on; this is why the appendices are so freakin' huge, why it's so slow and takes time out to list songs and poems that have nothing to do with the plot. Because, folks, that's the way a lot of old literature and myths were and what he was trying to emulate. He was trying to create an entire mythological backstory for the English people, and so that involved a lot of side-tracks. And of course, he loved him some linguistics, too, hence all the fictional but full languages, so that also got tossed into the mix. I think now that I'm in college, and have heard all of this, I could probably appreciate the books more than I did when I was 12, heh. We shall see, someday, I suppose.

And, going back to the topic at hand again for a moment: I think a lot of people here are missing why some people complain about Paolini's supposed derivativeness. And yes, I CAN say this without having read the books, and here's why:

The difference between "overly derivative" and "not overly derivative", aside from often being pretty much subjective, lies entirely on how well the writer uses the tropes they utilize. The Dresden Files, for instance, borrows from everywhere - myths, Irish folklore, basic concepts of other fantasies, you name it - but what makes it original is not the tropes, but how they are used in the context of the story. The Dresden Files explains most fantasy tropes with a set of unifying rules that instantly make it all make a lot more sense, for instance - Black and Red Court vampires are vulnerable to crosses not because they're crosses, but because their bearers by having faith in the symbol imbue it with magical power from their own emotions, creating a type of power that hurts the magically corrupted bodies of the vampires. This is actually pretty unique; and even though emotion-based and belief-based magic isn't all that uncommon in modern fantasy, the usage is still unique in the context of the story. Plus, the plots and overall flavor are very much like urban noir in a lot of ways, with a clever but very imperfect and likable, snarky hero with a sense of humor and a weakness for femme fatales narrating - except, the books are fantasy, and instead of a normal PI, he's a wizard. Who advertises in the Chicago phone book and does house calls for the local police when crime goes really weird.

Which you have to admit, is an unusual combination, and comes off feeling very original, despite the fact that he pulls concepts in ranging from Paladins (though he doesn't call them as such, tell me the Knights of the Cross are anything but!) and Fallen Angels, to "elder gods", and the Fair Folk and pretty much every vampire and werewolf variant imaginable (there's more than one type of either in the story, which you have to kind of admit is an interesting way of addressing the inconsistent canon of both in modern fantasy).

So, even though he pulls from many sources, it feels original, because the way he uses it all is unique, and written with a cast of characters that are appealing and a sense of humor that's equally appealing. Plus, even though Harry shares a number of traits in common with "chosen ones" (such as being an orphan, having a meaningful middle name, etc.), it's pretty clear he isn't one. He's just a reasonably clever, reasonably but not extremely powerful wizard who manages to get into way too much trouble trying to make a living or do the right thing. So, it feels even fresher, because you can't find yourself truly able to predict every single thing that happens in the plot.

Apparently, with Paolini, the matter of debate stems from some people feeling he didn't do enough to make it stand out from the crowd. Thus, making it feel to them as if it were... let's just say "overly derivative", because that's the more neutral way of putting it. :P

But, this is pretty subjective. Picky people probably agree with that take a lot but there are people who are quite happy not being picky, and to them it might feel a little fresher.

Think of it that way, and you realize how much more subjective it is. :smallsmile: And why no one should be yelling unpleasant things to each other. Ahem.


-Runa

Setra
2007-11-19, 03:04 AM
1. I'm a vegetarian and wear leather.
One has to ask though, what is the nature of your vegeterianism(Is that a word)?

In Eragon, he becomes a vegetarian when he (I can't actually recall this correctly, but it is something similar) kills a rabbit to eat, and feels its soul slip out of its body or somesuch, or he became one with the animals.. who knows.

Either way, he's more like a vegan than a vegetarian, so he shouldn't wear leather...

Off topic: Do vegans wear wool? Cause while it IS an animal product, they don't hurt the animal to get it...

The Orange Zergling
2007-11-19, 03:11 AM
Sorry if this has been mentioned, but I think Chris said somewhere Eragon was his practice book, and while writing it he never intended for it to get published. I couldn't tell you where, though. *hides*

Turcano
2007-11-19, 04:45 AM
1. I'm a vegetarian and wear leather.

As has been pointed out, the motivations for vegetarianism matter a great deal. In Paolini's case, the elves are vegetarians on philosophical grounds (inexplicably, due to their partnership with carnivorous dragons -- try to wrap your head around that one) and if you abstain from eating dead animals for moral reasons, it makes little sense to wear dead animals.


My favourite painter is El Greco. Your argument loses.

If El Greco's proto-Expressionism is intentional and not due to jacked-up eyesight, I would argue that his work fits with the adage that you have to learn the rules before you break them.


The only one of those things you can objectively say is the last one, and you can't objectively state whether that is a good or bad thing. Maybe someone else happens to enjoy that pacing. Perhaps I enjoy my prose flowerly on a level you find gratuitous.

I think that the whole argument is due to a misunderstanding between the existence of objective flaws and their perception. In my mind, good writing is a balancing act between dynamism and staticism and maintaining verisimilitude at the same time; anything that has the potential to bring the reader out of the narrative or to bore the reader is an objective defect. These defects can be on several different levels, from word choice to narrative flow to thematic elements and characterization, among others.

Here comes the subjective part. People react to a given set of flaws in different ways. You might not care about derivative elements, but the misuse of certain words might drive you up the wall (or vice versa). On a personal note, Nathaniel Hawthorne has the arguably unique ability to bore me to such an extent that I can only read two dozen pages or so before my brain rebels against the enterprise; if it were possible to actually engage the material, I might be able to explain why this is the case.

Skilled writers try to keep flaws to a minimum, or to mask them through their writing strengths. And some combinations of flaws just work together for some reason.* However, unskilled writers (and I would include Paolini as he now stands in this category) don't know what the hell they're doing, and their work is consequently practically encrusted with flaws, which is simply too much for many readers to handle; I would posit that this is why fanfiction is so reviled. (Incidentally, I wonder what the correlation is between perceptions of The Inheritance Trilogy and perceptions of fanfic; that would make a very interesting study.)

In summary: your liking of a given story depends on what you're capable of overlooking (hopefully with some help from the author).

*There are a lot of people on this forum who don't care much for Tolkien. I would argue that Tolkien's work is a lot like an Islay Scotch: the flaws give it character.

Runa
2007-11-19, 04:53 AM
I know I've already commented in a "can't we all just get along?" type post, but I can't resist here - this thread wasn't as long when I started writing my post, or at least I don't think it was, because I missed about three pages in the middle there.



The laws of the world like "Wings as thin as those should not be able to lift so massive a body." Or minute, un-important details like whether or not a butcher's shop is clean.

You know, as someone who is a great lover of fantasy, and is writing a fantasy story that's set in a slightly alternate version of the 18th century, I'm going to go out and say it:

Yes, the "un-important" details sometimes ARE more important.

Dragons are magic. We know how they work - not just by physics, but by magical manipulation OF physics. Also, they don't exist in real life - but they fly all the time in myth, fairy tales, folklore and old artwork. Flying dragons aren't real, but they're a part of our cultural background. It is easy to suspend your disbelief when it comes a dragon being able to fly in a fantasy story, without any other explanation, simply because it's a fantasy story, and it's a dragon.

However, if you take real-world concepts into it or introduce details that should present certain effects... you should abide by it.

For example: In the story I mentioned, that I set before the 19th century, human travel is done by horse or boat or foot, because that's what's available to the average person in the 1700's. Surgery that doesn't stand a good chance of killing you is done in the story by an advanced people that the protagonists come into contact with and is regarded with wonder, because of the things that altered from real history, human medicine is really not one of them, as even "healing magic" is insanely complex and difficult to do right, especially given how little humans understand of biology (magic won't get rid of a virus, for instance, in part because humans don't know they exist yet). Five and a half foot tall woman = regarded as a supertall beanpole amongst the normal humans, and food is grown or raised locally, with meat or animals like cows and chickens that can continually produce food, being very valuable. On the other hand, there is sorcery, which is nervously accepted by most people because sorcerers are handy to have on your side and tend to end up wealthy in the setting. But because of this, there's an awkward class difference - action, reaction. Change, reaction.

I realize that's a rather rambly collection of items there, but I hope it somewhat illustrates what I'm trying to say, which is: if you use real-world things, you need to treat them as such, instead of just randomly sticking them in there and then ignoring them; and things, whether from the real world or not, must always be internally consistent, and make sense in context, especially if it's just little "insignificant" stuff, because the big stuff, you can at least think to yourself "maybe it'll be explained, or something" - the little stuff though, is never seen again, and enough inconsistency prompts fits of the dreaded Fridge Logic (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FridgeLogic).Things like "meat is expensive, and this poor family can't afford it... and now the poor family is inexplicably eating chicken despite this previously-established fact and with no explanation" can be really distracting for the reader. Don't sniff at internal consistency of the world; it's a valuable asset for every writer to keep track of!



First, he's some sort of super-duper chosen one, right? The rules are different for them. Second, this is a fantasy novel. A fable. Without any magical aid and a lot of sheer badass, Beowulf holds his breath for a good day underwater in the original poem. Unrealistic things happen a lot. If you can accept that a creature of the weight and bone-density of a dragon is able to fly on wings that thin though a chicken is much less dramatically designed against flying and cannot do so, then you can believe a kid's really good with a sword. Honestly. You're nit-picking because you want to feel superior or want to find some factual basis to prove your opinion, which is impossible. It's an opinion.

I'm going to disagree with you - tentatively, since I haven't read Eragon before. I'll acknowledge that this is an opinion, sure, but my logic's not any less sound than yours on this, given the context I don't think:

Dragons are magical. We assume they are, unless the story's labeled "science fiction". They need no other explanation.

Swordplay, however, IS NOT magical, unless otherwise stated. So is any skill gained in it, ESPECIALLY if it happens after puberty, since it is much easier to learn just about anything (language, dance, and yes, swordplay dueling) before puberty than after. If Paolini fails to state this as the case, then it is not really illogical at all to say it's "unrealistic", because there isn't any explanation. Because, you see, swords have existed in real life for countless years - and they are NOT easy things to handle, I know, because I've tried picking them up before, I have friends that collect them and even one that's tried learning to use them. They are long, heavy, lethally-sharp objects that, again, are difficult to manage without at least some experience. Let alone be proficient in dueling with one.

If the hero, who has NEVER picked up a sword in his life, is given a sword and becomes entirely proficient in it within only a few months, without any explanation other than "he's the hero, that's why", then is IS unrealistic, and to me would be distractingly so.

Beowulf wasn't 100% human - he's a horrible example for what you're trying to argue here, as the comparison just doesn't work. Last I checked, the hero of the Inheritance books was supposed to be fully human. So, at very least, even if there are unseen mystical forces at work here... his friends should be surprised. Nobody's said if they were or not, but I get the distinct impression that they weren't, somehow.

Just saying... it's kind of silly to say "just because you can accept the dragons means you should accept other things you find ridiculous or unrealistic in the books", considering that comparing flying dragons to the absurdly good swordplay learned in a super-short amount of time thing, is basically comparing apples to oranges.



Why can't you just say something akin to "There was this kid called Eragon, who grew up and became a hero. He saved people. He later died, presumably happy and well-off."

That's the simplest way to tell the story. More detailed and varied language makes a story more interesting, the same way details in general do. You used the word "overwrought," when you could've just said "needlessly complex," or even avoided the whole formal sentence structure for "I don't like it when he uses too many big words." You didn't.

I think what that person you were responding to was actually trying to say - but which failed apparently to get across well (though it's not 100% his fault, because I certainly understood it; and no, the difference in connotation between "overwrought" and "needlessly complex" is huge - "overwrought" implies more melodrama, for one) - is that he found Paolini's prose to be too purple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_prose).

I'd say describing a sunset as "fermented" definitely counts as purple. WTF? :smallconfused:

Now I'm GLAD I don't read them, or at any rate that I didn't buy them (I'll probably eventually check them out from the library to see what the fuss is about though). I'm quite vocabularily-endowed, but there is usually a time and place for certain words. And when it comes to "fermented", describing a sunset isn't one of them... I would get so distracted by things like that, and the fact that I write and wrestle with the wording of things all the time would only make it worse. "Fermented sunsets". Those kinds of things really pull me out of a story.

Anyway, purple prose is if nothing else, a valid point to bring up during a literary discussion, and not entirely invalid a negative if it's genuine purple, not just "a little flowery". I feel sorry for the original poster you were responding to, because they weren't very good at expressing what it was that was bugging them about the word choices and why - then again, most people I've found don't know the phrase "purple prose", which makes such explanations much easier. :smallwink:

-Runa

Ozymandias
2007-11-23, 08:29 PM
Okay, I think we get it, criticism is subjective ergo meta-criticism is subjective ergo meta-meta-criticism is subjective ad nauseam.

This entire thread can basically contain two things:

1.) Opinions, generally about the book series Inheritance and it's author.

2.) Socratic debate about whether or not the aforesaid things are legitimate or not, and all derivatives thereof.

Let's stick with the former point, shall we? I understand that being non-judgmental is neat (and I generally try to act that way), but most often attacking people for making objective statements about subjective things (which could generally just be altered by adding something like "I believe" or "In my opinion") is really silly and just sparks page long discussions in which one is able to use Latin and words like "thereof". So I guess, if that's your thing, go for it. It doesn't seem particularly relevant to the actual point of this thread, but that's just my opinion, eh? There's no objective point to this thread. (I'm sort of a nihilist, but I don't let it bother me).

P.S. Kudos for quoting Kent. Most underapriciated (is that a word?) Shakespeare character.

EvilElitest
2007-11-23, 09:44 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing Paolini have ever had a book published? Much less a whole series. Or written a work that has sold over 2.5 million copies? And then had its sequel sell 500,000 copies in its first week.

well
1.i'm not a writer
2. i don't have parents who are willing to publish it for me
3.I don't have one of American's largest publishing companies willing to do all the advertizing, disbruting, the publicity, the interview, the agrantments, you know, all the things that not so lucky authors don't get. if you were willing to handle all of the marketing and pay for everything, then sure, i would gradly take on that challenge




Your free to criticize Paolini all you want but I seriously doubt any of you have produced better.
1. well i'm not a writer, hell i'm only 16, so that doesn't make a difference
2. You point? that isn't hypocritical. I don't like the movie 300 but could i direct a better version? well, yes i probably could, but you get the point. i don't really like Jonny Dept, but he is a better actor than i am, doesn't stop me from critizing him. I don't like certain senters or congress men, but does that mean i could do better. No, but that isn't hypocritcal. being a hypocrite means that i don't only bash them, i claim that i could do better, and i make the same mistakes. Or if i say somebody is bad for doing X and i do X when not in public you see



By the age of 25 he sold over 3 million books. He isn't Faulkner or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Shakesphere or Wilde. But he sells books that are well enough liked that he has a contract for 2 more books, his second book sold 500,000 copies in a week, and a movie was made of his first book.
just because some kid is lucky enough to have an entire publishing company that is willing to do all the selling for him does not make him a good author.

The sales on the first book can be ascribed to people trying out the series but at least 1/6th of the people who bought the first book went back and bought the second in the first week of the seconds release.
so people like him, your point? People like the movie 300, that doesn't make it a good movie. People like Olando bloom, that doesn't make him a good actor. People like many thing in masses, that doesn't make it good
from,
EE

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-23, 09:49 PM
how do you define a good writer? I define it as an author who writes a book that achieves whatever goal he wants it to achieve.

For most fantasy authors those goals are generally: please a large number of people and make me a lot of money.

Paolini achieved both of those goals by a very large margin (especially compared what he expected to achieve when actually writing Eragon).

The Extinguisher
2007-11-23, 09:59 PM
I'd say that's the definition of a succesful writer.

Green Bean
2007-11-23, 10:08 PM
For most fantasy authors those goals are generally: please a large number of people and make me a lot of money.

When you get right down to it, you can ignore the first one. I'll be honest; I'd anger half the fantasy fans in existence if it meant I made a big wad of cash. :smallbiggrin:

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-23, 10:11 PM
When you get right down to it, you can ignore the first one. I'll be honest; I'd anger half the fantasy fans in existence if it meant I made a big wad of cash. :smallbiggrin:

For enough money I would anger every one of the fantasy fans who ever have or ever will exist. (it would be a lot of money)

Green Bean
2007-11-23, 10:17 PM
For enough money I would anger every one of the fantasy fans who ever have or ever will exist. (it would be a lot of money)

For enough money, I'd end the life of every fantasy fan in the world. It isn't as bad as it sounds: millions of people; about 50 lives. :smalltongue:

Jc1991
2007-11-24, 01:48 AM
Therefore, one can't prove anything, because some people don't believe in objective reality.

Correct. "Proof" is simply a kind of stronger opinion, or a model of the way things appear to be to most people. Nothing can be proven, but some things can be "proven" such as the shape of the Earth or the composition of water.



I don't agree with this statement.

Congratulations, you have realized that logic is as subjective as anything else; it is simply the most commonly used standard because it works the best, as far as we can tell. (By our definition of best, of course. You are free to use a different one, though everyone else will ignore you.)

(I was not planning to post, but people with no understanding of philosophical concepts irk me greatly. On another note, I greatly prefer modern art and primarily read Tolkien for his prose and general writing style. In addition, all of the things mentioned above are entirely and subjectively my opinion. :smallsmile:)

Wizzardman
2007-11-24, 02:01 AM
I'd say that's the definition of a succesful writer.

Only if that's the only reason why you're writing. Most writers you have to study in High School and College will tell you that writing's about communicating an idea, rather than making a bunch of money. Heck, most writers who are considered truly great never make much money off of their works--mostly because their skill isn't recognized until after they're deceased.

Honestly, I don't think making a bunch of money is as great as you seem to think it is.


For enough money, I'd end the life of every fantasy fan in the world. It isn't as bad as it sounds: millions of people; about 50 lives. :smalltongue:

Says a man posting on an internet forum. :smalltongue:

The Extinguisher
2007-11-24, 02:08 AM
I agree. But a skilled writer and a succesful one a different things.

A successful author is one who gains a lot of attention and popularity.
And skilled writer is one who communicates thier message to the auidence.

The often overlap, but don't need to.
This is why, as often as you'll hear Poe described as a skilled author, he'll never be successful.

Wizzardman
2007-11-24, 02:12 AM
I agree. But a skilled writer and a succesful one a different things.

A successful author is one who gains a lot of attention and popularity.
And skilled writer is one who communicates thier message to the auidence.

The often overlap, but don't need to.
This is why, as often as you'll hear Poe described as a skilled author, he'll never be successful.

True. So would you consider Paolini a skilled writer? That seems to be the spirit of what the OP was asking.

The Extinguisher
2007-11-24, 02:30 AM
No. Because it's hard to communicate your message when the writing is bad.

Of note: You can be a good writer and not be a skilled one. But it's hard to do it vice versa.

Hallavast
2007-11-24, 02:50 AM
For enough money I would anger every one of the fantasy fans who ever have or ever will exist. (it would be a lot of money)

Ah, but I don't think that was Christopher Paolini's goal, eh?

:smalltongue:

slight strider
2007-11-25, 04:03 PM
I actually liked the book... somewhat, I did notice how he took the Star Wars plot and put it in a fantasy setting, but it was a good read. The plot, despite being copied was enjoyable.

I also have to say that comparing him to Tolkien is absolute crap. I don't think any modern author of fantasy is that good.

Also some say that he is just doing what all other authors do by ripping off other authors, well J.R.R Tolkien, and C.S Lewis did not rip other authors off. Not in the least.

Cyclone231
2007-11-25, 05:58 PM
Also some say that he is just doing what all other authors do by ripping off other authors, well J.R.R Tolkien, and C.S Lewis did not rip other authors off. Not in the least.
Apparently you don't know the difference between "ripped off" and "drew on". Since fiction is so old, and draws on a collective body of ideas, then yes, pretty much everything will be "ripped off". Fortunately, being that language is designed to be useful, we don't use the concept of "ripped off" to refer to the sort of vague "ripping off" that Tolkien did to various mythologies.

We could use it to refer to what Lewis did, with Jesu— I mean, Aslan.

Congratulations, you have realized that logic is as subjective as anything else; it is simply the most commonly used standard because it works the best, as far as we can tell. (By our definition of best, of course. You are free to use a different one, though everyone else will ignore you.)

(I was not planning to post, but people with no understanding of philosophical concepts irk me greatly. On another note, I greatly prefer modern art and primarily read Tolkien for his prose and general writing style. In addition, all of the things mentioned above are entirely and subjectively my opinion. )If this is "philosophy", explain what "epistemology" is, please.

Oh wait, it's just mysticism. It's interesting to consider that it can't be disproven until you realize the reason it can't be disproven: it denies the concept of "proof", as that concept can only be earned via empiricism (which relies on objective reality) and reason (which relies on logic).

Also, logic is objective. It is such mind-numbingly undeniable facts as A=B, and B=C, then A=C. If all A's are B's, and all B's are C's, then all A's are C's. BY DEFINITION.

There are things that don't rely on logic and yet are valid, 100% true statements. It is objective fact that in euclidean geometry, a right triangle with legs a and b, and hypotenuse c, that a^2 + b^2 = c^2. It wouldn't matter if I were in the matrix right now, that is and always will be true.

warty goblin
2007-11-25, 06:07 PM
Also, logic is objective. It is such mind-numbingly undeniable facts as A=B, and B=C, then A=C. If all A's are B's, and all B's are C's, then all A's are C's. BY DEFINITION.

There are things that don't rely on logic and yet are valid, 100% true statements. It is objective fact that in euclidean geometry, a right triangle with legs a and b, and hypotenuse c, that a^2 + b^2 = c^2. It wouldn't matter if I were in the matrix right now, that is and always will be true.

Assuming a non-hyperbolic Matrix yes. And the Pythagorian theorem is a provable proposition in Euclidian space, provable using rules of logic, hence it is not independant from logic.

Sir_Norbert
2007-11-25, 06:37 PM
Apparently you don't know the difference between "ripped off" and "drew on". Since fiction is so old, and draws on a collective body of ideas, then yes, pretty much everything will be "ripped off". Fortunately, being that language is designed to be useful, we don't use the concept of "ripped off" to refer to the sort of vague "ripping off" that Tolkien did to various mythologies.
Correction: it's the "some say" in slight strider's post who don't know the difference. Slight strider was pointing this out.

Green Bean
2007-11-25, 07:02 PM
Says a man posting on an internet forum. :smalltongue:

Pretty much. :smallamused:

Jc1991
2007-11-25, 07:38 PM
If this is "philosophy", explain what "epistemology" is, please.

Oh wait, it's just mysticism. It's interesting to consider that it can't be disproven until you realize the reason it can't be disproven: it denies the concept of "proof", as that concept can only be earned via empiricism (which relies on objective reality) and reason (which relies on logic).

Also, logic is objective. It is such mind-numbingly undeniable facts as A=B, and B=C, then A=C. If all A's are B's, and all B's are C's, then all A's are C's. BY DEFINITION.

The definition of logic is entirely arbitrary, as is anything else you care to bring up. While I abide by the rules of logic because it appears to best explain the universe as it appears to be to me, that doesn't mean that logic is objective. If A=B, and B=C, then A!=C is equally valid, it simply isn't logical. Humanity as a whole generally makes the arbitrary choice to base its thinking on the appearance of what we call reality because it's much easier for us to do so, similar to how it's much easier for us to communicate if we use similar definitions for words.

(And yes, the concept of relativism denies true proof. I've already said that.)

As an example, we can all generally agree that murdering someone is wrong, yet the opposite belief is equally valid. (Please note that this doesn't imply that I would let a murderer run free; my personal system of ethics regards murder as wrong, and has no problem with stopping people that murder, regardless of whether or not murder is right within their personal system of ethics. Society in general functions in this manner, given that nothing would work if it didn't.)


As for epistemology: I'm a relativist, and thus pretty much by definition disagree with Platonic philosophy and the related theories of truth. Mind you, I'm not a complete relativist (I hold the Earth to be objectively round, but have no problem with you holding otherwise, as long as you don't bother me in doing so) but I'm close enough for this issue.

Foeofthelance
2007-11-25, 09:47 PM
I think part of the problem facing those trying to defend Paolini is who they are trying to defend against. This is a site based on a fantasy webcomic based on a fantasy game. Most of the people who frequent it are seriously addicted to SF, Fantasy, and the various means of entertainment that tap into those categories. We enjoy debating and arguing what is good and what isn't good SF/Fantasy, and most of us have the experience to be good at our arguments.

What Paolini suffers from is, well, he's self promoted hack. A rich, successful self promoted hack, but a hack nonetheless. Compare his books to the Harry Potter series for instanse. HP has gotten just as much flack on the boards for being cheaply written and containing plot holes large enough to park freight trucks side by side. Yet for the most part an overwhelming number of people are willing to defend it, whereas Paolini faces much harsher criticism. Why?

Because Rowling did something Paolini didn't. She took ideas, borrowed freely, and wrote with just as much skill as Paolini did. Yet she still managed to make her world unique. Yes, Harry is an overly angsty protagonist. Hell, he could almost be the star of any mecha anime. But he exists in a world with its own rules, and he plays by them. Where that world crosses our own, he crosses well. Yes Voldemort is as cliched a villian as they come, yet he does it convincingly enough that we hate him. Paolini basically took Star Wars, took lighsabers away from everyone else but the main character (think about Luke for a moment. He's not much of a swordsman either...his blade just cuts through anything it touches) added a few dragons, and spent mommy and daddy's money. That's why he gets so much grief. Not because he's a success, but because there is no reason for him to be a success. His world is stale, mostly unoriginal, and shamelessly imitates others. The only character who seems to show any emotion is the MC. And you know what? I fully expect him to find out that he's really Elf Chick's long lost cousin/brother in the third book.

Turcano
2007-11-25, 10:02 PM
Compare his books to the Harry Potter series for instanse. HP has gotten just as much flack on the boards for being cheaply written and containing plot holes large enough to park freight trucks side by side. Yet for the most part an overwhelming number of people are willing to defend it, whereas Paolini faces much harsher criticism.

I would say that, while Rowling isn't a top-tier writer, she has nothing on Paolini when it comes to shoddy writing and plot.


That's why he gets so much grief. Not because he's a success, but because there is no reason for him to be a success.

Preach it, brother.


His world is stale, mostly unoriginal, and shamelessly imitates others. The only character who seems to show any emotion is the MC.

Except shedding a single tear and then completely forgetting about the event in question fifteen minutes later barely qualifies as emotion in the first place.


And you know what? I fully expect him to find out that he's really Elf Chick's long lost cousin/brother in the third book.

I don't think this is the case, but the third book is almost definitely going to follow Return of the Jedi; in the published excerpt, they've already gone to rescue Han Solo and have been captured by Jabba.

Cyclone231
2007-11-25, 10:12 PM
Correction: it's the "some say" in slight strider's post who don't know the difference. Slight strider was pointing this out.
Firetruck, many apologies to slight strider.


The definition of logic is entirely arbitrary, as is anything else you care to bring up. While I abide by the rules of logic because it appears to best explain the universe as it appears to be to me, that doesn't mean that logic is objective. If A=B, and B=C, then A!=C is equally valid, it simply isn't logical. Humanity as a whole generally makes the arbitrary choice to base its thinking on the appearance of what we call reality because it's much easier for us to do so, similar to how it's much easier for us to communicate if we use similar definitions for words.Oh really? So then cite a way for an variable a to equal variable b, and variable b to equal variable c, but for variable a to not equal c... oh wait, it's not possible, by the definitions of those aforementioned words.

(And yes, the concept of relativism denies true proof. I've already said that.)Oh wow, you totally missed the point. Sure, I can't disprove your viewpoint, but it's like trying to disprove solipsism. Of course I can't, it's designed to be undisprovable.

Tip: if an idea can't be proven, disproven, and supplies no additional cohesion to the world, chuck it out. Especially if it takes away from the cohesion of the world. Which is more reasonable, that gravity is constant OR that it's random and it's just coincidence/luck?

As an example, we can all generally agree that murdering someone is wrong, yet the opposite belief is equally valid. Yeeeeeeeeeeah...

No, sorry.

As for epistemology: I'm a relativist, and thus pretty much by definition disagree with Platonic philosophy and the related theories of truth. Mind you, I'm not a complete relativist (I hold the Earth to be objectively round, but have no problem with you holding otherwise, as long as you don't bother me in doing so) but I'm close enough for this issue.What? You think that the Earth is objectively round but you don't think that logic is objective? Try building a system where a=b=c does not, by definition, mean a=c. Go ahead, I can wait.

Relativism gives up so many key ideas that we have and gives us nothing in return.

Tell me, when was the last time that you acted in a way determined by relativism that could not be determined by libertarianism (besides getting into arguments like this)?

EvilElitest
2007-11-25, 10:58 PM
Another notable difference between Christ and J.K. Rolwing is that mrs Rowling was dirt poor and rose up through the books quality alone, where as Christ had a lot of help from the publishers
from,
EE

Ozymandias
2007-11-25, 11:01 PM
Another notable difference between Christ and J.K. Rolwing is that mrs Rowling was dirt poor and rose up through the books quality alone, where as Christ had a lot of help from the publishers
from,
EE
While I agree, Christ's book was written two thousand years ago and remains a bestseller today - will Rowling have that kind of staying power?

Edit: Cyclone, a lot of your views are based on intuition, which is rather contrary to the logical viewpoint you seem to hold. And "you can't come up with a better system" is not a valid argument, especially using empiricism and the scientific method. The fact is that some things must be defined and assumed to be true, and those must be based on nothingness. It's sort of silly to argue about it, and doesn't really mean anything to most people, but eh.

My philosophy - it's true that nothing has intrinsic meaning, it's all strings in a void, etc. People create meaning. Even if it doesn't objectively exist, it's probably more important to me than the sixteenth decimal of the Chandrasekhar limit or whatever.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-11-25, 11:24 PM
Cyclone:
A=B=C
Means:
A=B, B=C

If: A=/=C
Then: B=/=B
Thus: B has multiple values.

It's a system wherein each variable does not have only one possible value. That was pretty easy. Glad you didn't have to wait so long.

Jc1991
2007-11-25, 11:37 PM
Oh wow, you totally missed the point. Sure, I can't disprove your viewpoint, but it's like trying to disprove solipsism. Of course I can't, it's designed to be undisprovable.

...and yet solipsism is still regarded as a valid philosophical standpoint.



Yeeeeeeeeeeah...

No, sorry.

Ok. That's still my philosophical stance, since there's no objective reason for murder to be wrong.



What? You think that the Earth is objectively round but you don't think that logic is objective? Try building a system where a=b=c does not, by definition, mean a=c. Go ahead, I can wait.

The earth is objectively round within any philosophical system that is based on logic and observation. The problem is that any philosophical system must be based on something and that something, not itself being based on something, is arbitrarily chosen.
A system in which A=B=C, A!=C requires illogical values for those variables, which cannot be expressed in a language suited primarily for fully expressing logical concepts.



Tell me, when was the last time that you acted in a way determined by relativism that could not be determined by libertarianism (besides getting into arguments like this)?

Every time I've further defined my ethical stance on any issue, actually. Furthermore, Libertarianism posits an inherent right to ownership of self, for which there is no ultimate non-arbitrary basis.


My system of thought is based on logic. I have through logic determined that, because all systems of thought must be based on something or some group of somethings, and because those somethings are not themselves based on something, those somethings are arbitrary. Thus, all systems of thought based on those somethings are themselves arbitrary. Of course, this statement itself is based on logic, and thus arbitrary, but it is my philosophical stance based on my use of logic. You are welcome to have a different stance, but I will act based on my stance, and my belief that the only rational standpoint within a logical system is that of relativism. In the end, it's mostly irrelevant, but I still have to have some kind of philosophy, and I have chosen the one that seems the most correct to me. Libertarianism is identical to my philosophy from the standpoints of its effects, but I am not a Libertarian because I disagree with the underpinnings of Libertarianism, and will not change that stance unless you can justify assigning anything objective value.

Turcano
2007-11-25, 11:39 PM
Cyclone:
A=B=C
Means:
A=B, B=C

If: A=/=C
Then: B=/=B
Thus: B has multiple values.

It's a system wherein each variable does not have only one possible value. That was pretty easy. Glad you didn't have to wait so long.

Wait a minute, isn't that the syllogism for equivocation?

Jc1991
2007-11-25, 11:42 PM
Wait a minute, isn't that the syllogism for equivocation?

It is. But equivocation is only logically invalid; it's perfectly serviceable outside of logic.

Turcano
2007-11-25, 11:50 PM
No, equivocation is both a formal fallacy (i.e., pertaining to deductive reasoning) and an informal fallacy (i.e., pertaining to the misuse of language).

EvilElitest
2007-11-25, 11:55 PM
While I agree, Christ's book was written two thousand years ago and remains a bestseller today - will Rowling have that kind of staying power?

Ummmmmmmmmmm what? Eragon wasn't written thousands of years ago, wahat are you talking about?

from,
EE

Turcano
2007-11-25, 11:58 PM
Ummmmmmmmmmm what? Eragon wasn't written thousands of years ago, wahat are you talking about?

Re-read the bolded word in your previous statement:


Another notable difference between Christ and J.K. Rolwing is that mrs Rowling was dirt poor and rose up through the books quality alone, where as Christ had a lot of help from the publishers

"Christ" is not usually considered to be an acceptable shortening of Christopher.

Jc1991
2007-11-26, 12:02 AM
No, equivocation is both a formal fallacy (i.e., pertaining to deductive reasoning) and an informal fallacy (i.e., pertaining to the misuse of language).

Isn't language usually based on a set of rules, that are generally related to logic? (Not formal Logic, but logic.) In the end, it's all violation of a set of arbitrary rules that are adopted for convenience.

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 12:10 AM
Then: B=/=B
Thus: B has multiple values.

It's a system wherein each variable does not have only one possible value. That was pretty easy. Glad you didn't have to wait so long.

B=/=B?

B can't not be B, that's just how it works.

That's like saying "we" isn't plural. It is plural, by definition.


Cyclone, a lot of your views are based on intuition, which is rather contrary to the logical viewpoint you seem to hold.There is a reason things like this are intuitive - it's because they are excellent descriptors of the natural order. There's a reason euclidean geometry is intuitive, and it's not just random luck. It's that, regardless of whether we exist in a euclidean space, it is extraordinarily useful for describing it.

And "you can't come up with a better system" is not a valid argument, especially using empiricism and the scientific method.Wait, what?

There's a reason why newtonian physics was accepted until einsteinian physics came along: nobody had anything better.

I have through logic determined that, because all systems of thought must be based on something or some group of somethings, and because those somethings are not themselves based on something, those somethings are arbitrary.Why does something need to have a basis in order to be objective? What basis do you have for supporting this claim?

Turcano
2007-11-26, 12:14 AM
Isn't language usually based on a set of rules, that are generally related to logic? (Not formal Logic, but logic.) In the end, it's all violation of a set of arbitrary rules that are adopted for convenience.

Language is based on sets of rules, but said rules don't have any relation to logic. (Despite claims to the contrary, a double negative never means a positive.) The problem with equivocation is that it assumes that B(1) and B(2) are the same premise, when they are in fact separate premises. This makes the premises unconnected, and you can't arrive at any conclusion from them.

xanaphia
2007-11-26, 02:01 AM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OlderThanTheyThink

Hmm. I think this will explain a bit about the Tolkien stole off Hidden Fortress thing.

Turcano
2007-11-26, 02:09 AM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OlderThanTheyThink

Hmm. I think this will explain a bit about the Tolkien stole off Hidden Fortress thing.

No, that's Lucas, not Tolkien. And Lucas did claim influence from The Hidden Fortress. It's just not a direct rip-off like some people seem to think.

dehro
2007-11-26, 03:57 AM
aren't you guys showing off instead of sticking to the topic of the thread?

Ozymandias
2007-11-26, 08:21 AM
B=/=B?
B can't not be B, that's just how it works.

Don't be so closed-minded.


That's like saying "we" isn't plural. It is plural, by definition.

Your definition. To some people it means other things.


There is a reason things like this are intuitive - it's because they are excellent descriptors of the natural order. There's a reason euclidean geometry is intuitive, and it's not just random luck. It's that, regardless of whether we exist in a euclidean space, it is extraordinarily useful for describing it.
Wait, what?

That's not what we're arguing. Rather, that's not what I'm arguing. Sure, almost all of science is effectively, practically true in that it predicts with extreme precision phenomena. That doesn't mean it's the absolute truth above all truths. Besides, a lot of quantum mechanics is counter-intuitive.


There's a reason why newtonian physics was accepted until einsteinian physics came along: nobody had anything better.


Yeah, and that reason is not a valid scientific argument for it. Scientists aren't allowed to just say "it's the best thing we've got and it works out for pretty much everything we know" like Plebians can. That's why string theory isn't accepted scientific fact (yet). Large amounts of rigorous testing are needed.


aren't you guys showing off instead of sticking to the topic of the thread?

Yes. The subjectivity of reality hasn't really much to do with Chris Paolini. At least, not more than anyone else. For the record, I've never read the books; the negative hype has scared me away.


Ummmmmmmmmmm what? Eragon wasn't written thousands of years ago, wahat are you talking about?

from,
EE

Just my little joke - don't mind me.

DomaDoma
2007-11-26, 08:36 AM
Scientists aren't allowed to just say "it's the best thing we've got and it works out for pretty much everything we know" like Plebians can.

But it's a better shot than throwing up your hands and saying, "How can we possibly know the truth anyway?"

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 09:24 AM
Don't be so closed-minded.Please say you're joking?

In order to communicate, we need a framework; for humans, this framework is language. I don't know, maybe aliens communicate via farts or telepathy. But the point is, we need to agree what the words in this frame work mean; we need to agree what B mean, otherwise our entire concept of B is useless and nonfunctional, not because we have destroyed what is objectively defined, but because we have destroyed what is arbitrarily defined.

Your definition. To some people it means other things.Not "my" definition. The english definition. To some people it means other things, yes, but those people aren't speaking english. Either that or they're speaking english extremely poorly. It is a system, an arbitrary one, and if you do not obey it's rules than it becomes useless because it's words mean nothing. That's like saying that sometimes, in normal math, 2+2=5. 2+2 will never equal 5 in good old regular math. Period. Because that is how 2+2 and 5 and normal math are defined.

You want to give up definitions, fine. Just know that without definitions there is no language so you can't respond to my posts.

That's not what we're arguing. Rather, that's not what I'm arguing. Sure, almost all of science is effectively, practically true in that it predicts with extreme precision phenomena. That doesn't mean it's the absolute truth above all truths. Besides, a lot of quantum mechanics is counter-intuitive.Hey, what's the difference between quantum mechanics and relativism?

Oh right, one of them is a model of reality based upon observations. And one of them is a model of reality in spite of observations.

Even if I came to you with a 100% bulletproof argument disproving relativism, it wouldn't matter because you could just say "that argument is arbitrary."

Foeofthelance
2007-11-26, 01:06 PM
Hey, what's the difference between quantum mechanics and relativism?

How did a topic on the merits of a scribbler's creations turn into a conversation on the application of quantum mechanics to philosophy? And yet, somehow I think the question might be its own answer...

Ozymandias
2007-11-26, 04:34 PM
But it's a better shot than throwing up your hands and saying, "How can we possibly know the truth anyway?"

Oh, definitely. This entire argument (on my end) is farcical, technical, irrelevant and ridiculous.

It's also, strictly speaking, true. Reality is pretty subjective, it's just a really silly about which to argue.

I'm not going to respond in-depth to Cyclone's rebuttal (not that it's a bad one or anything), but I'll just say this - we're not arguing the same thing.

And I sort of am joking. I am kind of a nihilist, though.

Edit: So, yeah, this thread was created to be critical of the author, so let's do that (positive or negative) instead of arguing about whether that is morally wrong or impossible or ill-defined or anything.

Seraph
2007-11-26, 05:18 PM
hes just a troll with an intro-to-philosophy handbook, cyclone. don't feed him.

Jc1991
2007-11-26, 07:52 PM
Why does something need to have a basis in order to be objective? What basis do you have for supporting this claim?

There's a reason the statement "truth is relative" is itself relative. The statement applies to all truth, given that I can no more truly prove it than anything else.



Please say you're joking?

In order to communicate, we need a framework; for humans, this framework is language. I don't know, maybe aliens communicate via farts or telepathy. But the point is, we need to agree what the words in this frame work mean; we need to agree what B mean, otherwise our entire concept of B is useless and nonfunctional, not because we have destroyed what is objectively defined, but because we have destroyed what is arbitrarily defined.

"We need to agree to communicate" doesn't mean that what we agree on is objectively true, it just means that what we agree on is useful to us. The point is that there's no objective reason for any of the rules of language, or anything else, not that agreeing to follow those rules anyway isn't useful.



Hey, what's the difference between quantum mechanics and relativism?

Oh right, one of them is a model of reality based upon observations. And one of them is a model of reality in spite of observations.

In spite of your observations, perhaps. My observations of reality are perfectly compatible with relativism. (Also, his point is that something being intuitive has nothing to do with it being correct, objectively or otherwise.)



Even if I came to you with a 100% bulletproof argument disproving relativism, it wouldn't matter because you could just say "that argument is arbitrary."

If you can argue against relativity without basing your argument on something arbitrary, I'll listen. Until then, any argument you choose to make is arbitrary. (Of course, I've yet to see a good argument against relativity based on logic. "It isn't useful" is hardly equivalent to "it's wrong".)


Regardless, I see little point in continuing this argument, given that it's mostly irrelevant. I think that most of us can agree that Christopher Paolini is a bad writer, so let's leave it at that.

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 08:32 PM
If you can argue against relativity without basing your argument on something arbitrary, I'll listen. Until then, any argument you choose to make is arbitrary. (Of course, I've yet to see a good argument against relativity based on logic. "It isn't useful" is hardly equivalent to "it's wrong".)If you will excuse me for a moment, let us depart to look at another statement: "All property is theft." Now, this sentence is incorrect for a very specific reason: the idea of "theft" relies on the prior idea of "rightfully owned property." If all property is theft, then there is no such thing as rightfully owned property, so the sentence is meaningless.

Alright? Simple and clear enough? Certain concepts rely on prior concepts, like, for example, "orphan" relies on the prior concept of "parent", otherwise it's a nonsense word. No matter what word I have, if it is defined as the opposite of something that has no meaning, it does not exist.

So, let's examine the definition of arbitrary, as in this situation:

"capricious; unreasonable; unsupported." (from Dictionary.com)
or
"Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle." (from Dictionary.com)

So, let's go back to your idea that reason is arbitrary. If reason is arbitrary, then arbitrary is a meaningless word, since arbitrary is, by definition, a thing decided on without reason. You cannot claim that reason is arbitrary any more than you can claim that light is dark or wet is dry.

Ozymandias
2007-11-26, 08:37 PM
snip

I think the idea is that you can claim anything you want, and your opponents, while their viewpoints may be much better corroborated, are not, per se, more correct.

Imagine two old men arguing over the definition of a word. Now extrapolate that into the rest of reality. That's sort of the contention, I think. As I've repeatedly stated, it doesn't imply anything particularly novel, but it's there.

Really, not worth arguing about.

So, how about that Eragon? Dragon with an E, am I right guys?

Dorizzit
2007-11-26, 08:50 PM
Does anyone else find it odd that there is an entire thread of disgruntled writers and critics flaming a perfectly nice guy who happened to get lucky?

Wizzardman
2007-11-26, 08:54 PM
I think the idea is that you can claim anything you want, and your opponents, while their viewpoints may be much better corroborated, are not, per se, more correct.

Imagine two old men arguing over the definition of a word. Now extrapolate that into the rest of reality. That's sort of the contention, I think. As I've repeatedly stated, it doesn't imply anything particularly novel, but it's there.

Really, not worth arguing about.

So, how about that Eragon? Dragon with an E, am I right guys?

Naw, its definately a contraction of the phrase Era-gone, indicating the end of an era (such the era of crummy character development, or the era of how long it took for people to stop debating philosophy and start debating the book). Paolini's book is really a statement against this new trend of 'quality writing.' :smalltongue:


Does anyone else find it odd that there is an entire thread of disgruntled writers and critics flaming a perfectly nice guy who happened to get lucky?

Nope. But the fact that Paolini brags about his writing skill so much isn't helping.

BlackStaticWolf
2007-11-26, 08:55 PM
If you will excuse me for a moment, let us depart to look at another statement: "All property is theft." Now, this sentence is incorrect for a very specific reason: the idea of "theft" relies on the prior idea of "rightfully owned property." If all property is theft, then there is no such thing as rightfully owned property, so the sentence is meaningless.

I've tried so hard to stay out of this thread (because I haven't read the books... they got panned by friends whose tastes are similar to mine)... but I just can't resist.

There's actually a much more basic reason why the statement that "All property is theft" is both incorrect and incoherent. Theft and property are both nouns. In English, you can't modify a noun with another noun.

I think the word you meant to use is "stolen." :smallwink: In which case, you'd be right. Just like everything else you've said in this thread.

Ozymandias
2007-11-26, 08:59 PM
I've tried so hard to stay out of this thread (because I haven't read the books... they got panned by friends whose tastes are similar to mine)... but I just can't resist.

There's actually a much more basic reason why the statement that "All property is theft" is both incorrect and incoherent. Theft and property are both nouns. In English, you can't modify a noun with another noun.

I think the word you meant to use is "stolen." :smallwink: In which case, you'd be right. Just like everything else you've said in this thread.

I don't think you are actually right, id est, I do not believe you are the victor.

Even if you are, Proudhon was French, and probably spoke French, so it's likely a translator's error.

Foeofthelance
2007-11-26, 09:27 PM
Does anyone else find it odd that there is an entire thread of disgruntled writers and critics flaming a perfectly nice guy who happened to get lucky?

Who says we're a bunch of writers or critics? (OK, I am a writer. But I'd at least like to finish one book and get rejected before I get branded disgruntled!) What most of us are are readers. If I wanted to critic him as a writer, I'd give two quick lines to how his plot is unoriginal, and spend the next three or four paragraphs picking apart his word choice (overly complex), skill (Mediocre. Not bad, just mediocre), and comprehensiveness, though that last one really falls on his editor. (His work might have benefited from a real editor. As far as I can tell, the distributor that picked him up assumed that it had been gone over. If they had given him one they might have caught such errors as "We're too poor for meat, so lets eat chicken!")

As a reader though...those things are unforgiveable. I have a backlog of about half a dozen books at the moment, ranging from gothic mysteries to military SF. Why would I spend my time reading through dreck when there are better things out there? Would it have been that hard for him to hand the manuscript to someone else and say "Be harsh?" There's a term running around called Willing Suspension of Disbelief, where basically a reader becomes so absorbed in a book that either A) they can't put it down and/or B) they are more then willing to overlook minor flaws.

Now, have there been some books that I just haven't read, for what ever reason? Sure. I simply lost interest in them. Admittedly, I've also gone back and put more effort into most and enjoyed them. But of three books that have thrown me, Paolini wrote two of them. (The third was a rather campy SF alien abduction save the world type. Only the author made the mistake of describing one of his fight scenes, and a I quote "as looking like something out of Dragonball Z." {Second side note: the line made sense in character. The books is a First person narrative being told by a geek.}) Now, I've read more books by the other author, and I've generally enjoyed them to the point where I pick them up in hardcover as soon as they're out. Will I read book three from Paolini when it comes out? Probably, but if I do it'll be on someone else's dime. And that is really the harshest critique I can offer.

Sequinox
2007-11-26, 09:31 PM
I enjoyed them. Call me insane and pass me over to the men in white coats. If you want to read a really ----ty series read Ranger's Apprentice. I read it at the reccomendation of a friend. It was a complete ripoff of Magician. (The first books by Raymond E Feist)

Now the movie, on the other hand... That made me cry myself to sleep... (Okay, that was an exagguration) and even if the first book wasn't very original, Eldest pwned. (At least in my opininion.)

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 10:10 PM
In English, you can't modify a noun with another noun.

My car is a piece of ****.

Legendary
2007-11-26, 10:43 PM
That's like saying that sometimes, in normal math, 2+2=5. 2+2 will never equal 5 in good old regular math. Period. Because that is how 2+2 and 5 and normal math are defined.

Actually, you can make this happen in normal math.

Ex: 2.4+2.4=4.8

When rounded, it's 2+2=5.

Remember kids, decimals aren't your friends. They're all bastards, like that 9.99999999999999999999999999999 guy.... Always acting like he's equal to 10... JERK. :smallbiggrin:

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 10:58 PM
Actually, you can make this happen in normal math.

Ex: 2.4+2.4=4.8

When rounded, it's 2+2=5.I'm talking about whole numbers obviously.

Remember kids, decimals aren't your friends. They're all bastards, like that 9.99999999999999999999999999999 guy.... Always acting like he's equal to 10... JERK. :smallbiggrin:
Wait, are you talking about 9.999~? Because that guy is ten. Don't let the funny mask fool you. 10/3 = 3.333~. 3.333~ * 3 = 9.999~

Therefore, 9.999~ = 10.

Legendary
2007-11-26, 11:05 PM
I'm talking about whole numbers obviously.

You said normal math, actually. Decimals are totally normal.


Wait, are you talking about 9.999~? Because that guy is ten. Don't let the funny mask fool you. 10/3 = 3.333~. 3.333~ * 3 = 9.999~

Therefore, 9.999~ = 10.

I know he's 10. I know the proof. I was joking around about how completely illogical math can SEEM to be.

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 11:12 PM
You said normal math, actually. Decimals are totally normal.Rounding numbers isn't, though.

Legendary
2007-11-26, 11:17 PM
Rounding numbers isn't, though.

I will pray that you never encounter pi or e in your journey towards mathematical enlightenment.

High-Chancellor
2007-11-26, 11:21 PM
I don't hate the Eragon books... I may dislike paolini as a writer and person, but I don't hate his books... even overlooking all the ripping off and how horrible he is at naming things...

I just recognize the fact that they're really REALLY really badly writing. It's just fanfiction... fanfiction to a trope fantasy setting that is obviously a blend of his favorite stories, with his own faux-intellectual philosophies thrown in in a bad attempt and shoving down peoples throughts.

That, and all of his characters have pretty much the same maturity level...

Oh, and also http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/ is cool.

Cyclone231
2007-11-26, 11:22 PM
I will pray that you never encounter pi or e in your journey towards mathematical enlightenment.Okay, fine, you're right. Rounding rational numbers isn't part of normal math.

Legendary
2007-11-26, 11:44 PM
Okay, fine, you're right. Rounding rational numbers isn't part of normal math.

Ok, I feel mean now.

About Eragon:

Poor farmers with dressers.
VEGANS who believe in the sanctity of life... and wear leather (well, some do) and have no issues killing species EVERYONE agrees are sentient
Urgals are only despised because they're ugly. Of all the reasons for racism (not that there are any GOOD ones), this is the worst.
Eldest suddenly develops the "thee" speeches.
Besides destroying a military dictatorship led by vegans and associating with carnivores who feed on humans, what evil did Galbatorix do, exactly?
An absolute hatred of religion is really annoying in a book, and it makes Arya seem a bigot and ignorant.

Turcano
2007-11-27, 12:10 AM
Besides destroying a military dictatorship led by vegans and associating with carnivores who feed on humans, what evil did Galbatorix do, exactly?

He levied taxes. I guess that Paolini's infantile college-freshman philosophy includes libertarianism in the mix, because apparently taxes are TEH EVAL.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-27, 12:28 AM
Ok, I feel mean now.

About Eragon:

Poor farmers with dressers.
If you already have the tools a dresser is easy to make. And if you have teh tools to build a house then you have the tools to build a dresser, it's not difficult. An ax and a knife are all you really need.

VEGANS who believe in the sanctity of life... and wear leather (well, some do) and have no issues killing species EVERYONE agrees are sentient
There are a lot more human beings who deserve to be shot than there are dogs. If I could save your average person on the street or your average dog, odds are I would go for the dog. The elves are of the opinion that you shouldn't kill for pleasure or without need. They don't need to kill for food so they don't, if one was starving then they would kill somethign and eat meat. As for wearing leather, if the animal dies of natural causes they are perfectly willing to cut it up and use it's skin. And if someone offers an elf leather armor they won't refuse, the animal is already dead. As for why they don't eat meat when with the Vardan, perhaps they just don't like the taste, having never had it before.

Urgals are only despised because they're ugly. Of all the reasons for racism (not that there are any GOOD ones), this is the worst.
Urgals aren't despised because they are ugly, they are despised because they gleefully slaughter humans and elves and were for a time working for Galbatorix.

Eldest suddenly develops the "thee" speeches.
Yeah I don't really like those either.

Besides destroying a military dictatorship led by vegans and associating with carnivores who feed on humans, what evil did Galbatorix do, exactly?
Committed genocide for starters. He killed all but 18 dragons and their is only 1 female left alive in the whole species. He destroyed the government that had kept the peace for over a thousand years. He puts people to death for telling historically accurate stories. His servants have killed whole towns worth of people for no other reason than that they were in the way. He restarted the slave trade. He makes deals with Shades (evil spirits who have taken over people).

An absolute hatred of religion is really annoying in a book, and it makes Arya seem a bigot and ignorant.
Why, because she chooses to let logic and reason take the place of blind faith? That's all I will say because of this boards rules about discussing religions, PM me or contact me over AIM if you want to debate this point in more detail.

Legendary
2007-11-27, 01:08 AM
If you already have the tools a dresser is easy to make. And if you have teh tools to build a house then you have the tools to build a dresser, it's not difficult. An ax and a knife are all you really need.

It's only the tip of the iceberg. Read the Anti-Shurtugal on inconsistencies for a better list.


There are a lot more human beings who deserve to be shot than there are dogs. If I could save your average person on the street or your average dog, odds are I would go for the dog. The elves are of the opinion that you shouldn't kill for pleasure or without need. They don't need to kill for food so they don't, if one was starving then they would kill somethign and eat meat. As for wearing leather, if the animal dies of natural causes they are perfectly willing to cut it up and use it's skin. And if someone offers an elf leather armor they won't refuse, the animal is already dead. As for why they don't eat meat when with the Vardan, perhaps they just don't like the taste, having never had it before.[\QUOTE]

Given the choice, I would save the human being. Furthermore, they wouldn't have offered an elf leather clothing, the Varden had plenty of homespun clothing, and are probably polite enough to NOT offend their guests. And the bit about not eating meat with the Varden is a little irrelevant. I don't care that they're Vegan. I care that they're not ACTING like Vegans.

Furthermore, Arya shoots a bird rather than doing a little magic to heal its broken wing. She ends its existance when she could have simply cured it.

[QUOTE]Urgals aren't despised because they are ugly, they are despised because they gleefully slaughter humans and elves and were for a time working for Galbatorix.

Um, the humans and elves gleefully kill them as well. We only know that Urgals followed the Elves, but we don't know who started it. And they actually seemed reasonably civil.


Committed genocide for starters. He killed all but 18 dragons and their is only 1 female left alive in the whole species. He destroyed the government that had kept the peace for over a thousand years. He puts people to death for telling historically accurate stories. His servants have killed whole towns worth of people for no other reason than that they were in the way. He restarted the slave trade. He makes deals with Shades (evil spirits who have taken over people).

Genocide- A necessary consequence of destroying the military dictatorship- all dragons EXCEPT three eggs and the fourteen on his side were working for the Riders.

Government- They kept people at peace with a sword. Furthermore, they never actually attempted to draw the ENTIRETY of sentient Alagaesia into their highest ranks. The dwarfs were deliberately left out of the loop. The Urgals too.

Stories- We don't know if they're that accurate. The author says so, but the author also said that phosphorous and water explode when exposed to each other, and that DOESN'T happen. And Arya cast teleportation magic in the Elven Forest. It's hard to believe him if he can't get facts right.

Servants- One town, and correct me if I'm wrong, but did it ever definitely confirm that Galbatorix ordered the destruction himself, or if it happened for other reasons?

Slaves- America had slaves. Did that make it evil?

Shades- He's so far only worked with Durza. Perhaps it was the exception, not the rule.


Why, because she chooses to let logic and reason take the place of blind faith? That's all I will say because of this boards rules about discussing religions, PM me or contact me over AIM if you want to debate this point in more detail.

More that she doesn't believe anyone should have the right to choose faith when it makes very little difference, but that EVERYONE should be atheistic.

Hallavast
2007-11-27, 01:19 AM
If you already have the tools a dresser is easy to make. And if you have teh tools to build a house then you have the tools to build a dresser, it's not difficult. An ax and a knife are all you really need.
Unless you are a skilled carpenter with a few more complex tools, why bother with a whole dresser? I'd just make a box or chest to put my clothes and trinkets in. I think it more likely that any expensive furniture in the farmhouse would have been left by Eragon's mother (who was an important person of sorts. I wouldn't be surprised if she could afford such things).



There are a lot more human beings who deserve to be shot than there are dogs. If I could save your average person on the street or your average dog, odds are I would go for the dog. The elves are of the opinion that you shouldn't kill for pleasure or without need. They don't need to kill for food so they don't, if one was starving then they would kill somethign and eat meat. As for wearing leather, if the animal dies of natural causes they are perfectly willing to cut it up and use it's skin. And if someone offers an elf leather armor they won't refuse, the animal is already dead. As for why they don't eat meat when with the Vardan, perhaps they just don't like the taste, having never had it before.
See, here's where I must disagree with you. I actually value human life over that of dogs'. And if you shouldn't kill for pleasure without need, why is it ok for the elves to harvest plants? Since their magic users feel the bond just as much with plants as with animals.




Why, because she chooses to let logic and reason take the place of blind faith? That's all I will say because of this boards rules about discussing religions, PM me or contact me over AIM if you want to debate this point in more detail.

I don't think it's her specific beliefs that make her appear narrow minded. It's her intolerance and patronization of other beliefs that make her so.

Legendary
2007-11-27, 01:28 AM
How would a pregnant runaway from Uru'baen have been able to carry a fancy piece of furniture with her?

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-27, 01:34 AM
It's only the tip of the iceberg. Read the Anti-Shurtugal on inconsistencies for a better list.
Link?


Given the choice, I would save the human being. Furthermore, they wouldn't have offered an elf leather clothing, the Varden had plenty of homespun clothing, and are probably polite enough to NOT offend their guests. And the bit about not eating meat with the Varden is a little irrelevant. I don't care that they're Vegan. I care that they're not ACTING like Vegans.
Who knows? And you are assuming that they are something like real life vegans.


Furthermore, Arya shoots a bird rather than doing a little magic to heal its broken wing. She ends its existance when she could have simply cured it.
She said she couldn't heal it. She then shot it to save it from suffering. I would have done the same.


Um, the humans and elves gleefully kill them as well. We only know that Urgals followed the Elves, but we don't know who started it. And they actually seemed reasonably civil.
Reasonably civil? One of them freely admits that they gleefully kill humans and elves. And if the elves wanted to eliminate the Urgals they could have, so could the dragon riders. Neither group chose to.


Genocide- A necessary consequence of destroying the military dictatorship- all dragons EXCEPT three eggs and the fourteen on his side were working for the Riders.
No, he slaughtered the wild dragons as well. It was/is considered his greatest crime. As for it being necessary to get rid of the military dictatorship, he replaced a government led by many hundreds of wise, intelligent, virtually immortal beings with himself. It's not like he made the situation better for the people.


Government- They kept people at peace with a sword. Furthermore, they never actually attempted to draw the ENTIRETY of sentient Alagaesia into their highest ranks. The dwarfs were deliberately left out of the loop. The Urgals too.
The dwarfs didn't want to be in the loop. So you think the riders, elves, and dragons should have forced them to? As for the Urgals, they may not have shown any interest either. They are currently a pretty big unknown. All we know is that they haven't been wiped out, something that the Elves or Dragon riders could do easily.


Stories- We don't know if they're that accurate. The author says so, but the author also said that phosphorous and water explode when exposed to each other, and that DOESN'T happen. And Arya cast teleportation magic in the Elven Forest. It's hard to believe him if he can't get facts right.
Maybe science is different in his world? As for the teleportation thing, the book said that you can teleport out of the elven forests but not into them. When did Ayra ever teleport anything into the Elven forests?


Servants- One town, and correct me if I'm wrong, but did it ever definitely confirm that Galbatorix ordered the destruction himself, or if it happened for other reasons?
Two towns at least and others are mentioned. Most happened because he ordered the Urgals south through the human lands and they destroyed everything in their path.


Slaves- America had slaves. Did that make it evil?
America was also the first country to ban them. When the US had them they were no more evil than any other nation that had them.


Shades- He's so far only worked with Durza. Perhaps it was the exception, not the rule.
He has worked with 100% of the Shades mentioned in the book and very likely the only shade that existed at the time.


More that she doesn't believe anyone should have the right to choose faith when it makes very little difference, but that EVERYONE should be atheistic.
She never said they didn't have the right to believe whatever they want. She said that their beliefs were illogical and stupid. Again, if you want to debate this point PM or IM.

Hallavast
2007-11-27, 01:37 AM
How would a pregnant runaway from Uru'baen have been able to carry a fancy piece of furniture with her?

I don't doubt she was without the means to do so. I don't have any way to confirm this, of course, but I think there is way more to her story than we now know. She was more than just some pregnant runaway, obviously. It has been forshadowed that she was an important leader of the resistance, and it is my guess that she led a double life. I don't have the books for reference, so I can't help you that much if you want to know the specifics.

Eita
2007-11-27, 01:38 AM
America was also the first country to ban them. When the US had them they were no more evil than any other nation that had them.

Hahahahahaha! Hahahaha! Oh my god that is just so wrong! Compared with many other nations, we were some of the last nations to completely ban slavery.

@Eragon: I always thought it was rather obviously that Chris stole the name from Aragorn. Most people don't even notice the second 'r'.

Legendary
2007-11-27, 01:42 AM
Link?
Maybe science is different in his world?

I'm just gonna deal w/ these two because I don't have much time.

http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?cat=9

And, it doesn't appear to be. They produce a vacuum experiment PRECISELY as it would be done in our world. And phosphorous doesn't resemble our phosphorous at all; it blows up in water and doesn't mind air above room temperature. This means its chemical properties are different. If the properties are different, he should have just made up an element.

Hell, he shouldn't have had EITHER of those scenes.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-27, 01:43 AM
See, here's where I must disagree with you. I actually value human life over that of dogs'. And if you shouldn't kill for pleasure without need, why is it ok for the elves to harvest plants? Since their magic users feel the bond just as much with plants as with animals.
Who knows? Perhaps its that plants aren't sentient in sense of the word.


I don't think it's her specific beliefs that make her appear narrow minded. It's her intolerance and patronization of other beliefs that make her so.
See thats the thing. She doesn't have beliefs. None of the elfs do. In fact when Eragon asks his teacher elf what would happen if a god came down or they actually saw a miracle preformed the elf justs says that they would reevaluate their position to incorporate thsi new information.

She isn't deriding them for their specific beliefs, merely for the fact that they are making unsupported assumptions and believe things to be true that they have no evidence or logical reason to believe exists.

Attacking someone who follows a religion or belief system without any evidence that their religion or beliefs are real is not bigoted. Anyone who willfully follows someone or something out of blind faith can rightly be called a fool.

Now thats as far as I will go on this forum. If you want to debate it PM or IM me.


Hahahahahaha! Hahahaha! Oh my god that is just so wrong! Compared with many other nations, we were some of the last nations to completely ban slavery.
What nations did it first? And if I'm wrong, thanks for educating me.

@Eragon: I always thought it was rather obviously that Chris stole the name from Aragorn. Most people don't even notice the second 'r'.[/QUOTE]

It's Dragon with the D replaced with the next letter in the alphabet.

Legendary
2007-11-27, 01:46 AM
Gah! Must go away soon!

The first nation that springs to mind is Canada, which was a refuge for American slaves for at least... forty years? I think....

Hallavast
2007-11-27, 01:53 AM
The dwarfs didn't want to be in the loop.

Eh? None of them wanted a part in the powerstructure of the known world? I find this hard to swallow.


America was also the first country to ban them. When the US had them they were no more evil than any other nation that had them.

So, assuming this is accurate (it isn't), how does this make slavery any less evil? "everyone else is doing it, so it's ok if we do it." I don't think it's any more justifiable. If you want to say slavery is evil, then fine, but please realize the fact that America's rendition of it was no less heinous.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-27, 02:00 AM
The dragon riders left the dwarves alone and the dwarves left the dragon riders alone.

As for slavery, I just said the US was as evil as anyone else who still allowed slavery. It's not a defense or rationalization. In Eragon however the king brought back slavery after it had been ended. In the RW it has been around for several thousand years and has only gone away in any large way in the past 200 years or so.

Hallavast
2007-11-27, 02:36 AM
The dragon riders left the dwarves alone and the dwarves left the dragon riders alone.

As for slavery, I just said the US was as evil as anyone else who still allowed slavery. It's not a defense or rationalization. In Eragon however the king brought back slavery after it had been ended. In the RW it has been around for several thousand years and has only gone away in any large way in the past 200 years or so.

I see little difference between the two. :smallconfused: Especially when you consider the particular diction in the declaration of independance. Americans new damn well it was wrong and continued to do it anyway. I don't our forerunners having much advantage of moral highground over old Galby on this issue. You are splitting hairs, it seems.

Emperor Tippy
2007-11-27, 02:42 AM
Oh I don't think they have much moral high ground either. Galby was just worse. It would be like someone overthrowing the US tomorrow and re instituting slavery.

High-Chancellor
2007-11-27, 02:44 AM
You realize Tippy, that a lot of your responses of "but it says it's for THIS reason in the book!" don't necessarily help much... because it's quite obvious that Paolini sets things up in his book to be preachy for that particular agenda in the first place (for some reason you can teleport OUT but not IN *cough*Deusexmachina*cough*, "ROCKS ARE ALIVE BECAUSE OF CORAL!" "NO THEY'RE NOT!" *cough*strawmen*cough*)

I do recommend everyone to read the Inconsistencies section at anti-shur'tugal though, because it's rather... obvious after doing so.


But yeah, america was definately one of the last places that slavery was allowed in the modern world... another place slaves escaped to was to the spanish border to the west. Although, it's true, HALF of the US roughly had outlawed it by that point...



The problem with Galbatorix, is most of his evil that we've seen is of the "told, not shown" variety.



I'm telling you people... fanfiction. Paolini is simply a really bad self-insert fanfiction writer, who built a blend of his favorite worlds to help preach his various agendas (and also boost his ego, because of ageless yet forever young elf girls in leather)

horseboy
2007-11-27, 03:38 AM
Wow, you know, I've never even heard of this guy until this thread. That doesn't really speak well for his abilities. I come from a family of readers, and if none of us have "found" this guy, that can't be a good sign.

dehro
2007-11-27, 05:04 AM
Slaves- America had slaves. Did that make it evil?


:smallconfused: ...uhmmm, yes?!:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin:

sorry, too easy to let it pass...

anyway, may I remind you that segregation is the direct consequence of slavery and that that phenomena ended so recently in america's history that there are still people around who have experienced it firsthand?... Why don't we drop subjects that are too easily put in relation with modern politics and recent history, and are therefore directly prohibited by the rules of the forum?
let's keep the slavery in Eragon where it should stay..in the books and in no relation with our society, ok? please?

DomaDoma
2007-11-27, 07:32 AM
Hahahahahaha! Hahahaha! Oh my god that is just so wrong! Compared with many other nations, we were some of the last nations to completely ban slavery.

Odd; I thought we were the second, after Britain and associates. But if you'd care to link me to a page that chronicles when each country banned slavery, I'd be better-informed and we can get back on topic.

Normally, I'd raise my hackles that you're equating bad writing with fan fiction, but in this case, it really is pretty much an Airy Ooh-focused mega-crossover. (Still know plenty of knock-your-socks-off ficcers, though.)

Actually, you know what? The Roran subplot was pretty dang good. This guy should have been the main character from the beginning, and Galbatorix's forces should have started out as oppressive as they were to Carvahall in Eldest. There's your story.

dehro
2007-11-27, 08:42 AM
slavery spin off (OT)
I got curious and this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_slavery_timeline) is what I found

puppyavenger
2007-11-27, 05:38 PM
Odd; I thought we were the second, after Britain and associates. But if you'd care to link me to a page that chronicles when each country banned slavery, I'd be better-informed and we can get back on topic.


May I point out that Britan was associates with pretty much the entire world at that point?

BlackStaticWolf
2007-11-27, 09:05 PM
My car is a piece of ****.

In that sentence "piece of ****" is an adjective, not a noun. Some words and phrases can be multiple parts of speech. Theft, however, is only a noun. :smalltongue:

DomaDoma
2007-11-27, 09:23 PM
I've never heard of the adjective that was preceded by an article.

steelwire
2007-11-28, 03:15 AM
I think the Arya-Arwen thing is a bit of a stretch. However, it is worthwhile to note that acclaimed fantasy author George R. R. Martin (because you can't be an acclaimed fantasy author without that double-R in the middle! ) had a character named Arya. Also, I believe Eragon is dragon with the D exchanged for an E. stainless steel pipe (http://www.cn-SteelPipe.net) stainless steel wire (http://www.cn-SteelPipe.net)
stainless steel strip (http://www.cn-SteelPipe.net) motion detector (http://www.heiman.com.cn/alarm.asp) gas detector (http://www.heiman.com.cn/alarm.asp)

Ossian
2007-11-28, 10:14 AM
Uh...did I miss smthg. in the above post? It's linked to stuff in chinese? Whatever...

I once had a chat with a very good friend of mine. She is really into "fantasy cycles". Those with fancy names that pop out on the bookshelves of your local library near holidays. Like "the 45th book of the Cycle of [insert two opposites, e.g. fire and ice / antynomes]" or "Another chapter in the [insett dynasty with randomly picked consonants, e.g. 'Zondarks'] saga".
Well, perhaps I should not open my guard to a "but tolkien wrote 50 books", but still...

I really thought that most of that stuff is there just for you to pick it when you have a long travel on a train/boat/airplane and you have to read something which isn't a magazine. I did read through some of those volumes, Gemmel, for example, and thought it was just so packed with clichee and stereotypes. There are many things that make a book a good book. The style, the contents, the structure, the ability to come to life. It's not enough to make a D&D plotline into prose to call it a novel (a book? yeah, a book could be, just print your papers and you have a book).

Anyway, much as it takes mora than a 15 to 19 homeschooled son of an editor to publish a good novel, even a youngling could surprise me, why not? Asimov wrote fantastic short stories (and planted the seeds for his Foundation) when he was in his late teens and early 20s. Most of that stuff he re-wrote with a more mature technique and a better refined taste, but good ideas were good to begin with.

Now, one does not have to be I.A. to have the right to be published. in fact, there is a happy medium between flooding the market with a ton of trash rip offs and publishing only acclaimed geniuses of 45 that worked for free writing stories in instalments on magazines. It makes room for young talents (not Paolini) to get known, to work, to improve and eventually emerge. So, CP, you have a story? you loved it? you think we'd love it too? or, your daddy says so? Go ahead man, publish it and see what happens.

Summing up, my point is more that his success is really weird, as good marketing and ever deteriorating taste can get a pile of "buy it at the station and read it on the train" books a long way. The teenager that finds himself and his destiny while meeting cool characters and riding dragons and gets named after Aragorn didn't entice me for a second.

That girl I mentioned earlier once told me this story of Neber and Thulièn, or something THAT outrageous, and another book where the main antagonist was an evil god, all black and scarred, that was imprisoned in chains into the Void and was called.....roll the drums....RAKOTH MAUGLIR!!!! (yeah, Morgoth Bauglir is suing this guy from Middle Earth). :smalleek:

Ah, Chris Paolini, basically a nerd DM (as many DMs are not nerds, IMHO) who got to publish what we have all written: our first campaign at age 15 with plagiarism from all the stuff we had read and seen on TV until then. I bet that he even speaks Klingon :smallbiggrin:

Life is ironic....

O.

PS
From pag. 1 on Tad Williams: the dragonbone chair is not bad at all. Sure there are cliche there too, but very well written. I did enjoy it, a while ago.

And no, you shouldn't discard a book only because the story won't take off in chapter 1. "A 100 years of solitude" (G.G. Marquez) is an absolute m.piece that takes off slower than B52, and still....if you are a "trained" reader you should be able to tell before page 300 if a book is trash or not.

EDIT
Did "Galbatorix" live in Lutetia with the gaules....or is he just one of the Decepticons?

dehro
2007-11-28, 11:55 AM
about rip-offs...
there was this book, virtually unknown italian written fantasy...(maybe you ossian know of it) ... It had a portal to "our world", locked in a castle...defended by a country of dedicated warriorlike "defenders" (yeah, I'm short of appropriate words for it)... who guarded the portal against a host of tribal enemies, thousand times stronger than those manning the walls... the entire point was that for some superstitious reason the assaulting tribes thought that they'd end up in paradise by passing the portal... and that the defenders knew this not to be true but still wanted them out.
and guess what? there is one big hero defender, who is actually renowed and revered by his enemies and sports... two axes...no, really...:smalleek:
and of course he dies heroically...

you must also realise that it is not written all that bad, and that by that time I knew nothing of Gemell, Druss and so on...so I was quite engossed by it.
untill I read the source roman "legend", of course...
sooooo much better!.. in retrospect I'm so disgusted with the blatant spoofing done by this bloke that I begin to understand why fantasy writing will never really have a chance, in Italy (except for a few franchises which are not bad).

Ossian
2007-11-28, 01:45 PM
Ah, now you must tell us the name....(for the love of Bifrost's colors, I could not find who that guy was). Anyway, as I was reading on someone's blog, one of the problems with fntasy (at least in Italy, but it applies 300% to Chris P) is the lack of a well structured color palette that they can use to draw what is more than just a plotline of fantasy stuff.
It all boils down to the fact that fantasy authors mainly read fantasy. So, since I read ALL Tolkien, Lewis, Brooks, de Camp, Gemmel, Eddings, Jordan and the Book of Kells, I can write fantasy novels with depth and meaning.
I have read ALL Asimov, Pohl, Silverberg, Sturgeon and I have seen all the series of Star Trek, and 'll be damned if I am not able to write something at least AS good. Same goes for Horror.

The best fitting examples were actually in the blog, and they went like

Only because I have read Amber, I know how it feels like being a God.
I have read Frank herbert's Dune, thus I know the desert

While Paolini has lived his entire (and thus far only 25 years long) life in Montana, and had done nothing but being himself until he wrote Aragorn, more prestigious (and well within reason) names come from much more complex backgrounds, and from a life of research, of "stealing" details, faces, emotions, theories and characters from the world around them.

Two of the best philologists of the XX century (Tolkien and Lewis) spoke 7 dead languages and knew quite a bit about what was the origin of fantasy, the well where you had to go for archetypes, the source that originated all the famous "7 stories" (some say 5 or 11). The anglosaxon epic, the world of classical mithology, what those authors were trying to convey through allegory and metaphors and what all that material was supposed to mean for the readers (or "audience") of their times.

R. A. heinlein (Starship troopers just to name the best known one), the INVENTOR of power armors and of what was going to become an endless stream of Manga stereotypes and genres, was a man of many talents, who travelled the world, lived his times and had something to say through his novels.

And Fritz Leiber (fencer, actor, chess champion, seminarist)? Anyone out there loves the cycle of Lankhmar? I find it brilliant!

O.

Archpaladin Zousha
2007-11-28, 02:57 PM
My two bits:

Paolini's work is probably tolerable, if only that, but it definately could be a lot better with a little more practice and revision, and if the book hadn't been published by his own parents. Make him work a little, and he'd probably have something better than what is there. I personally think I could publish something just as good and more original but I'm just too lazy to do so.