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Dorizzit
2008-05-04, 06:47 PM
Just like the title. I've been hearing a lot of hate for Eragon and Paolini, however I am yet to hear a coherent, well thought out statement explaing why. So please, would someone explain to me just what is so terrible about Eragon?

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 06:49 PM
oh gods, oh gods, oh gods, this is going to be a very very very funny thread

Look at anti shurengal. And Swanki's essay. I'll get my summary of the books soon
from
EE

Jayngfet
2008-05-04, 06:51 PM
So many things, heres a hint for one, it starts with "s" and rhymes with "karwars ripoff"

Heres another, vegan elves, leather catsuit.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 06:53 PM
So many things, heres a hint for one, it starts with "s" and rhymes with "karwars ripoff"

Heres another, vegan elves, leather catsuit.

in a word, hack
from
EE

Edit
As said before


This has been done to death, does my option even matter any more?


Ah Eragon (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheInheritanceTrilogy?from=Main.Eragon)
"The writing was okay, I guess. But I couldn't take it anymore after Harry returned from his first run-in with the Dementors to find the Ring Wraiths had burned the Lars Homestead."
I highly disliked the writering (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/epistle2.htm)
I hated the characters, Eragon is a mary sue (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue), the best at everything (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheMinnesotaFats), a boring may character, and apperently a sociopath as show here, credit goes to the Epistler




Eragon Shadeslayer: Ye Olde Faux-Medieval Sociopath



Mary Sues are quite common in both original fiction and fanfiction. However, Eragon also bears the less common distinction of apparently suffering from antisocial personality disorder. The Epistler did a little research and uncovered the most common traits of sociopathy, which are as follows:



1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. This may seem a little shaky at first. The Epistler had difficultly analysing it, since it would appear that, in fact, Eragon is perfectly law-abiding and has never been arrested.

But after pondering on it for some weeks, the Epistler suddenly had a revelation. Eragon is a criminal of the first order – he’s a member of the rebel army, guilty of repeated acts of high treason against the ruler of Alagaësia, not to mention disturbing the peace, ignoring a peace offering, using dishonourable tactics in battle, breaking out of prison and freeing a known supporter of the rebels who was guilty of smuggling stolen goods.

Yes, Galbatorix is ‘the bad guy’. But he’s still the King, and legally speaking he has authority over everyone who lives in Alagaësia – including our righteous hero. Eragon grew up under his rule, and by all accounts had a fairly peaceful childhood. The Empire did not harass him or his family, he had enough to eat and a roof over his head – from all we’ve seen so far, the most evil thing Galbatorix has done is (gasp!) make people pay taxes. But we must remember that the much-maligned King is trying to fight a war against the Varden, and that wars are expensive. The fact that he got his throne through violent rebellion does not change the fact that he is the King and Eragon is his subject. If one looks at it from an unbiased perspective, the Varden are nothing more than a group of terrorists. The Epistler urges his readers to consider this. If the Varden did not exist, there would be no war. The Empire’s citizens would be able to live peacefully, and there would be no armies wreaking destruction on the landscape. War profits no-one – once the Varden wins (there is no doubt whatsoever that they will), they will place their own candidate on the throne and so will begin a new Empire, which will have no essential difference whatsoever from the previous one. It will still be a dictatorship, it will still have been placed there by bloody and violent rebellion, and the common people will still have to pay taxes.

Eragon, of course, is completely unaware of any of this. However, by this logic, once the glamour and black-and-white morality has been stripped away, we can see that he is, at bottom, a criminal. The Varden stole Saphira’s egg from the King, probably murdering a few people in the process. Once Eragon found it and became a rider, his duty should have been to pledge himself to the Empire and use his newfound power responsibly. However, since the King is just so evil (we shall ignore the fact that Kings generally rule Kingdoms and that Empires have Emperors), he does not do this. Instead he joins the Varden, and during the course of both Eragon and Eldest he commits numerous criminal and terrorist acts, without showing the slightest trace of remorse. He kills Imperial soldiers – men who were merely doing their duty – destroys property, lies and steals, refuses all offers of clemency, and in general does his best to create chaos wherever he goes. And we know perfectly well that he will not at any point be brought to book for any of this, because God – otherwise known as Paolini – loves him too much for that to happen.

2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure. Eragon is a poor liar, but is one of the most self-centred individuals the Epistler has ever had the displeasure of reading about. Consider this… has he at any point achieved anything notable during the course of either book, on his own?

….not really. He escapes from prison only because Murtagh and Saphira help him. He makes it to the Varden because of them and Brom. He only kills Durza because of Saphira and Arya’s intervention – without them he would have been killed. Not a single one of his ‘heroic’ exploits succeeded because of his own cleverness, strength or daring. Eragon is a pathetic child who calls himself a grown man yet needs someone to hold his hand every step of the way. He takes no pride in doing anything himself.

And yet he never appears to notice this. He takes his friends absolutely for granted, expecting them to wait on his every command and indulge the childish tantrums which invariably take place whenever someone does not rush to help him at every turn. He is also utterly ungrateful – witness his ‘grudging’ thanks to Brom after the aforesaid makes him a saddle, his constant whining to Saphira, his outright rudeness to Oromis, his pathetic bewilderment and emotional blackmail when Arya rebuffs his sickly-sweet romantic approaches, the hysterical abuse he throws at the already much-abused Murtagh, his brother and apparent whipping-boy, his sulky rage over Vanir’s refusal to kowtow to him, and his generally condescending and overbearing behaviour toward every other character in the book. The Epistler admits that Eragon does not lie or deceive to get his way – but he does not have to.

Eragon is a spoilt brat wearing a hero’s armour and carrying a sword. He treats every other character in the book like his personal entourage, and yet accepts the respect he gets as if it is his due. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the Epistler is rooting for the Empire to win?



3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead. This is no contest. Even other characters remark on Eragon’s rashness and stupidity. He constantly rushes into things without a second thought (only to be miraculously saved every time, but this is beside the point). This trait is probably supposed to be endearing – our hero is meant to be a hot-headed but courageous lad who has a lot to learn… blah blah blah. The Epistler has a better way of putting it: he’s a moron.



4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. On numerous occasions in the books, Eragon has temper tantrums, usually over something trivial. It is a little unfair to add that he constantly fights and kills people as a solution to his problems (i.e. he would rather not work for the nasty ol’ King), given that he is a fantasy character and that is what fantasy characters do… but the Epistler used up all his charity a very long time ago.



5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others. This has already been covered more or less in point 2, but the Epistler will recap. Eragon is constantly putting himself and other people in danger, usually because he is too stupid to think about anything for more than two minutes together. He is extremely reckless, and this cannot be overlooked given that he lives in a world where danger is ever-present and real, and the consequences are, frequently, death (or, at least, they would be if Paolini knew anything about a little thing called ‘realism’. Let us interpret it the way he apparently wished us to)



6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honour financial obligations. If you will indulge the Epistler for a moment… he just had an hilarious mental image of Eragon trying to obtain a job at McDonald’s.

To return to the topic at hand, Eragon is indeed irresponsible. In spite of the fact that everybody is relying upon him, he constantly does stupid and irresponsible things which get himself and other people into trouble; his apparent inability to think ahead only compounds the felony.



7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. Now this is the real killer. One day, perhaps, in the far distant future, some deranged person will go through the trilogy-to-be and make a tally of all the people Eragon kills, but for now it is safe to estimate that it stands at at least a hundred.

Now… in Eldest, when Eragon’s cousin Roran is forced to begin fighting and killing people, he keeps a mental count of all his victims and angsts about it. It is lame and unconvincing, but at least in this case Paolini made an attempt at showing some realism – Roran is shocked by the fact that he has killed people. Eragon, however, has no such reservations. At no point in either book does he truly feel remorse for anything, even something as heinous as killing another living soul. In Eragon, when he first kills a group of urgals, he has no reaction beyond (to quote Ivy), “OMG I gotz magick??!!”. He pats himself on the back for having discovered his magical abilities, but doesn’t pause for a second to consider the fact that he has just become a killer. Yes, the victims were evil, beastly urgals, but they were still, technically, people. And yet Eragon feels nothing at having killed them. Later on he kills human beings with a similar lack of reaction or human feeling. Where is the disgust? Where is the guilt? Where is the horror? He acts like a robot. In the, uh, glorious final battle of Eldest, he uses the uber-speshul magical death words (the Epistler has a name for these: cheap cop-out) to instantly kill dozens of Imperial troops, and his only real thought is ‘geez, this is just too easy’. And this is after he’s been told that there is no life after death and that this life is all anyone gets.

…Does anyone else see the internal contradiction here, or is the Epistler hallucinating?

This is not all. After Murtagh ‘dies’ at the beginning of the book, Eragon feels (or rather, thinks) sad for exactly a paragraph, and then forgets about him for the rest of the book. When he reappears at the end and reveals that he is now working for the Empire, Eragon screeches at him about how he was ‘mourning’ for him (liar), and goes on to be a complete ******* toward him – taunting him about the scar he got from his violent father, and continuing to hurl abuse at him after it is already clear that he has been coerced into his current position and is now more of a victim than ever. Once the fight is over (and Eragon has been soundly defeated, much to the reader’s pleasure – this reader, at any rate), he continues to feel sorry for himself and barely spares a thought for Murtagh at all – after he has discovered that they are brothers, no less.

There are even more examples to be had of Eragon’s selfishness and lack of remorse. Elva is an excellent one. When he discovers that he unintentionally cursed the child instead of blessing her, he is dismayed for approximately one minute before he moves on to other things and forgets all about the matter. He suffers from no lingering guilt or anxiety whatsoever, and when he finally meets his victim face-to-face, he briefly apologises and promises to try and remove the curse before he wanders off and forgets about her again for the rest of the book. Somehow, the Epistler is not taken in by this display of remorse.

Strangely, however, he goes to pieces over having killed a few rabbits.



The diagnosis is now complete: Eragon is a sociopath. He fulfils every single one of the criteria. As a bonus, he also displays a few of the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, namely:

1. A grandiose sense of self-importance

2. Requires excessive admiration

3. Strong sense of entitlement

4. Takes advantage of other people

5. Lacks empathy (again)

8. Arrogant affect (he accepts being the Last Hope of pretty much everything with scarcely a pause. One would expect some feelings of self-doubt or at the very least embarrassment, but apparently Paolini thinks otherwise)



From the accounts he has read, it would seem that narcissists, far from actually being special, have very little personality to call their own. Instead, they create a false personality from bits and pieces of the personalities of other people whom they regarded as an authority. They adopt other people’s tastes and opinions as if they were their own, they have sterile inner lives and resent having to do anything for themselves, and they don’t talk about their feelings…

…does this sound at all familiar?

Eragon is a blank slate of a character. He never thinks for himself. Instead he mindlessly repeats things which other people have said, has no real opinions or beliefs of his own – he has no individuality. Everything he is is a quotation of some sort; he becomes a vegetarian atheist like Oromis with little or no resistance, and never shows any resentment over the fact that he is being changed by powers outside of his control. Narcissists also show an inability to change as a person based on their experiences, which, again, is true for Eragon. He begins as a selfish, immature brat, and stays that way right to the end of Eldest, in spite of all the huge changes that have taken place in his life. His view of the world changes not one iota.

(For more information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, see www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/howto.html)



The Epistler does not pretend to be a qualified psychologist, but it is easy to see from this that Eragon has some serious issues. He is a Gary Stu of the first order, with Sociopathic and Narcissistic Personality Disorder thrown in as a bonus.

What is even more hilarious about this is that Paolini almost certainly does not know it. The Epistler will refrain from making cruel comments about how author and protagonist may have a lot in common – he has no right to say such things, and nor does anyone else who does not know Paolini personally.

However, the Epistler feels he is able to safely say that it is unlikely that Paolini put as much thought into his works as went into a single one of the Epistles written thus far. He speaks of ‘searching introspection’ as if he were a literary mastermind, but there is no way he can have applied much of it to the works that have made him so wealthy and famous. If he had done so, he surely would have realised that his beloved hero has a mental disorder and urgently needs psychological attention. Meanwhile those who read his books must suffer through an endless string of Eragon whining, Eragon throwing tantrums like a four year old, Eragon magically getting stronger without doing any work, Eragon being praised to the skies by a bunch of yes-men other characters, and Eragon doing stupid and irresponsible things and getting away with it without so much as a slap on the wrist.

…and this is the character whose name is currently being shouted from the rooftops and whose exploits have made his creator a hero to children all around the world.



There will be no further Epistles. The Epistler is now going to seek out a good exorcist to help him commit suicide. Fare thee well, readers.
credits to the Epistles, he does infact come back from the dead


He also meets up with Arya, (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?p=40) his Faux Action girl (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FauxActionGirl), Brom (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?p=35), the mentor (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MentorArchetype) knock off, meets the Murtagh the anti hero (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AntiHero), who's father is the dragon (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheDragon?from=Main.Dragon)

who later does a face heel turn (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FaceHeelTurn). The hero then goes on his many adventures with his dragon (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/epistle4.htm) fighting the evil empire (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheEmpire), which by the way, i don't really understand why it is evil (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?p=38)

However, what annoys me most is how black and white the story is (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/epistle6.htm), how bad the characters are (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/characterdevelopment.htm) and the issues with stealing the plot (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/epistle7.htm)


In case you haven't read the book, here is a brief description of Book 1 (http://swankivy.com/writing/essays/info/inheritance/eragon.html)
and book 2 (http://swankivy.com/writing/essays/info/inheritance/eldest.html)
I feel so obsalite, now, what is my option worth:smallfrown:
from,
EE

Dorizzit
2008-05-04, 06:59 PM
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Star Wars has an extremely universal plot. Just because a book bears numerous similarities doesn't mean that it was copied from an extremely universal plot.

averagejoe
2008-05-04, 07:00 PM
I believe this (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/prose.htm) and this (http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/plagiarism.htm) spell out the most common complaints with the series. I've never actually read it, so I can't say one way or the other.

However, I have read the poetry in Eragon, and I will say it was godawful. I mean, I've tried to write bad poetry and it wasn't this bad. It's like a talent or something. The badness of that, however, seems pretty self evident. I would challenge you, rather, to find redeeming features of the poetry. Because I'm pretty sure no one can do it.

Edit: The Star Wars plot has universal themes in it; however, if the events of Eragon really are how their detractors say, then it is indeed treading dangerously close to being a Star Wars ripoff. There's a difference between using archetypes and making events exactly the same.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 07:01 PM
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Star Wars has an extremely universal plot. Just because a book bears numerous similarities doesn't mean that it was copied from an extremely universal plot.

Except Star wars brought something new to the table. If star wars is Rear Window, Eragon is that badly made move who's name i can't recall
from
EE

BRC
2008-05-04, 07:04 PM
The fact that it is, for the most part, a Cliche storm.

Iv'e read it, and the writing itself is not that bad as fantasy works go, oh it's not great writing, but it didn't make my eyes bleed.


Let me put it like this, Fantasy (Any by extension Sci Fi) Ran out of new ideas a decade or two ago. Think of it like a giant set of stencils, you can put the stencils in different places, you can color them differentally, but in the end there are some basic concepts that you are using.

Paolini grabbed the pretty basic fantasy stencil set, Evil Empires, Dragons, mountain dwelling dwarves, hippy elves that are better than you at EVERYTHING, a wisened old mentor, magic swords, and big ugly always chaotic evil monster mooks. Now, This dosn't make the books bad, everybody does this.

The problem is that, as they said above, he basically used these to make Star Wars in a fantasy setting. Farmboy's house get's burned down by imperial troops, raised by his uncle, local wierd old guy happens to be the last of an order of people with mad powers that were destroyed from within. Trains young farmboy, who goes off and rescues some chick, dies. Young Farmboy turns out to be the son of the second-in-command of the traitors that destroyed the good guy organization. Old guy trained said second-in-command. And then you end it with a classic helms-deep rip off.
It wasn't that there was anything individually bad about the series, it was just that when put together, you got one giant walking cliche.

Mind you alot of the hate is from the fact that the books actually became preety popular before people realized what they were. So it's kind of saying that Paolini didn't deserve the succsess he recieved. If the trilogy had remained airport fantasy, it wouldn't have attracted much in the way of hate.

Dorizzit
2008-05-04, 07:10 PM
So basically, it can be put down to 2 complaints:

He writes badly: all a matter of taste, so I won't go in to this one.

He rips off Star Wars: Great, almost everything has elements from star wars. Moreover, the first book has many deviations (specifically towards the end) and the second book has no bearing whatsoever.

LBO
2008-05-04, 07:10 PM
In a word, drivel. In a lot more words, disgustingly derivative, bordering-on-plagiarism generic fantasy drivel couched in eye-bleedingly bad writing from a talentless, unimaginative hack who wouldn't know character development if it shot him in the face and treats his thesaurus like a checklist, lucked out and made it to the very top because readers are, basically, morons.

antishurtugal.com has plenty of what you apparently want. Do not pretend that there are no "coherent, well-thought out" statements against Eragon, though if you're the kind that tries to defend Eragon's DIRECTLY RIPPED OFF plot by saying "star wars was generic too", you probably don't actually want arguments, well-thought-out or not, and this entire thread was rhetorical/futile.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 07:13 PM
So basically, it can be put down to 2 complaints:

He writes badly: all a matter of taste, so I won't go in to this one.

He rips off Star Wars: Great, almost everything has elements from star wars. Moreover, the first book has many deviations (specifically towards the end) and the second book has no bearing whatsoever.

1) writing is still bad
2) Ther is difference from using elements rather than being a hack. This book is the work of a hack

Another question, why is the empire evil? The collect bloody taxes
from
EE

averagejoe
2008-05-04, 07:16 PM
He writes badly: all a matter of taste, so I won't go in to this one.

Very untrue. I cannot, again, go into the specifics of Eragon, but this is a Wrong statement.

Dorizzit
2008-05-04, 07:17 PM
In a word, drivel. In a lot more words, disgustingly derivative, bordering-on-plagiarism generic fantasy drivel couched in eye-bleedingly bad writing from a talentless, unimaginative hack who wouldn't know character development if it shot him in the face and treats his thesaurus like a checklist, lucked out and made it to the very top because readers are, basically, morons.

antishurtugal.com has plenty of what you apparently want. Do not pretend that there are no "coherent, well-thought out" statements against Eragon, though if you're the kind that tries to defend Eragon's DIRECTLY RIPPED OFF plot by saying "star wars was generic too", you probably don't actually want arguments, well-thought-out or not, and this entire thread was rhetorical/futile.

Ironically, I've heard that Eragon fans were the ones foaming at the mouths.

I'm going to ignore the top half, since it is basically entirely based on personal opinion.

Very well, I shall look at that site. I merely meant that I have not seen any, not that they didn't exist.

Also, is what you're saying that by attempting to defend Eragon, I am clearly incapable of any kind of debate?


Very untrue. I cannot, again, go into the specifics of Eragon, but this is a Wrong statement.

If you've never read it, how could you conceivably know?

BRC
2008-05-04, 07:20 PM
Another question, why is the empire evil? The collect bloody taxes
from
EE

Because they are an empire, and you know the first rule of powerful governments, Evil until proved Highly Benevolent.

Apparentally the fact that they killed the dragon riders makes them evil, but what made the dragon riders good? Also, it's very difficult to dictatorize and empire over the long term. A nation, it's possible to keep the millitary happy enough to rule with an iron fist, but with a massive empire you just don't have the troops around to keep people scared witless. You need to keep your troops happy. Mind you, if your the Villain with Good Publicity you can do it, but whatshisname was described as more out-and-out evil.

Supposibly he was evil for working with the orc-ripoffs, but maybe he was just trying to form a diplomatic relationship that would further peace and stability.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 07:21 PM
Ironically, I've heard that Eragon fans were the ones foaming at the mouths.

They are kinda infamous for that actually


I'm going to ignore the top half, since it is basically entirely based on personal opinion.

Based on truth actually


Very well, I shall look at that site. I merely meant that I have not seen any, not that they didn't exist.

Oh come on, try this on for size http://swankivy.com/writing/essays/info/inheritance/eragon.html


Also, is what you're saying that by attempting to defend Eragon, I am clearly incapable of any kind of debate?

I don't, however i will say defending Eragon is like defending Dominic. It is possible i suppose, but you lose your soul


If you've never read it, how could you conceivably know?
He read the poetry. And learned there was no god
from
EE

averagejoe
2008-05-04, 07:21 PM
If you've never read it, how could you conceivably know?

I meant your statement about bad writing being a matter of taste, not your comment about Eragon's writing. Ignoring statements about writing quality simply because it's "A matter of taste," ignores most of what good writing is, and besides being, again, wrong, is annoying and evasive.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 07:22 PM
Because they are an empire, and you know the first rule of powerful governments, Evil until proved Highly Benevolent.

But the British, while not nice, are normally shown in a good light, oh my head hurts


Apparentally the fact that they killed the dragon riders makes them evil, but what made the dragon riders good? Also, it's very difficult to dictatorize and empire over the long term. A nation, it's possible to keep the millitary happy enough to rule with an iron fist, but with a massive empire you just don't have the troops around to keep people scared witless. You need to keep your troops happy. Mind you, if your the Villain with Good Publicity you can do it, but whatshisname was described as more out-and-out evil.
Also the Dragon Riders were certainly racist dictators in their own right



Supposibly he was evil for working with the orc-ripoffs, but maybe he was just trying to form a diplomatic relationship that would further peace and stability.
Considering some of the stuff Eragon pulls, i'm not surprised
from
EE

LBO
2008-05-04, 07:30 PM
Also, is what you're saying that by attempting to defend Eragon, I am clearly incapable of any kind of debate?
Basically, yes. You seem to think bad writing is a matter of opinion. That's not debating, that's plain ignorance.

The Eragon books are really, really crap. That alone doesn't make them deserve the NERDRAGE directed at them - the entire fantasy genre is redolent with derivative crap - but the fact that between self-publishing and blind luck a talentless hack struck the motherlode is frustrating to every unpublished writer, good or not, and the fact these awful books are being held up as good by half a generation of stupid kids is depressing and monumentally frustrating.

tl;dr may as well close the thread, you plainly don't want to consider unpleasant views about precious Eragon, and there's nothing that hasn't already been said about how goddamn awful the books are. Further discussion is futile, regardless of whatever oh-so-clever "you just don't want to debate this with me" evasive crap you choose to reply with.

MeklorIlavator
2008-05-04, 07:31 PM
The British are an exception: They have a Queen. Countries ruled by Queens are highly Benevolent until proven Evil.

Jayngfet
2008-05-04, 07:35 PM
The British are an exception: They have a Queen. Countries ruled by Queens are highly Benevolent until proven Evil.

Double standard (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoubleStandard) much

LBO
2008-05-04, 07:36 PM
The British are an exception: They have a Queen. Countries ruled by Queens are highly Benevolent until proven Evil.
But when a King is running the show, you can lose that fluffy benevolent-monarchy nonsense. (Sample state visit to India by Edward VII (http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/8899/warhammermonthly58016lh6.jpg))

BRC
2008-05-04, 07:40 PM
The British are an exception: They have a Queen. Countries ruled by Queens are highly Benevolent until proven Evil.
This calls for a sorting matrix.


Elderly King/Queen: Benevolent.
Young King/Queen: Benevolent
Middle Aged King/Queen: Evil
Baron: Evil
Duke: Good
Count: 50/50
If both a King and a Queen:
Younger Queen: King evil, Queen good.
Same Age: King not so evil, Queen is Lady Macbeth.
Council: Benevolent
Ascended through Regicide:
If regicide occurs: Before, or early on in the book: evil
If regicide occurs: Later on in the book: Good.

Seraph
2008-05-04, 07:41 PM
the books are poorly written, but that's not the real problem. the major issue is that paolini is an arrogant **** convinced of his own mastery, and he absolutely refuses to improve.

BRC
2008-05-04, 07:50 PM
But the British, while not nice, are normally shown in a good light, oh my head hurts

Funny you point that out, ive read some of the Temerie series, it's the napolonic war with dragons. It's rather intresting as things go, not the best written, but still fairly good. The Values Dissonence is kinda prevelant, most of the characters (Either being dragons or being raised in the airiel corps, which as things go is fairly liberal in terms of how the view dragons) are fairly liberal in terms of their viewpoints. The protagonist however, originally being in the navy, holds abunch of viewpoints on society in general that, while normal for the time period, chafe against us. Off-topic I know but it's intresting. (especially when the dragon comes back from China, where dragons are given alot more respect, to europe where they are treated more-or-less as animals.)

Rogue 7
2008-05-04, 07:52 PM
Dorizzit- it's not that they take from Star Wars. It's that they copy the plot almost to the letter. Let's run through it.

Farmboy finds a macguffin that is vital to the rebellion against the evil empire. Soon after this, he meets an old mentor who just happens to be the last of an ancient order of do-gooders who once ruled the realm/galaxy. This old mentor takes the farmboy under his wing and begins to teach him the ways of old. The empire's troops show up searching for said macguffin and burn the farmboy's home to the ground, killing his uncle in the process. The farmboy and the mentor then set out with the macguffin to join the rebellion. At the same time, the mentor gives the farmboy an ancient, powerful sword. Next, they meet up with something of a rebel and a loner who assists them in rescuing a princess from the teeth of an enemy base. The mentor is killed by the servants of the empire. The farmboy, princess, and gruff loner now set off to find the rebel base, arriving just in time for an attack from the empire designed to wipe them out. The farmboy pulls some magic out of his ass and manages to save the day with one well-placed shot/sword strike. Next, he's hailed as a hero and begins to take on a leadership role in the rebellion, but he is called away to train with the second remaining old master, a wise, venerable creature who trains him in the ways of magic. He then leaves to go rescue his friends from mortal danger, where he finds out that his father was/is the servant of the evil emperor. Now, which one am I talking about?

But that's not what turned me off from the series. It's how blatant a Stu Eragon is. He learns to read and write in a week, suddenly becomes the best swordsman around, can use magic like it's nothing, etc. And that's book 1, when it didn't bother me much. In book 2, because the elves are so magically much better, he suddenly becomes superhumanly fast, strong, and tough. He's able to kill a yak...from 200 yards away...with mind bullets! That's telekinesis, Kyle (sorry, I'll stop that. Point is, he can kill people as easy as breathing), he sees into the minds of just about everyone around, somehow becomes a decent poet (and don't ask me if it was good or not, I didn't read it), he's got a magic, intelligent DRAGON for a companion who's completely devoted to him that he regularly has to console and advise, you know he's going to get the girl in the end, and how many people has he killed? It got really bad, and I have a fairly high tolerance for that sort of thing.

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 08:21 PM
I'm going to say something weird:

I don't hate the series. I don't really love it, but I don't hate it.

I'm maybe a fifth through the first book (I keep having to borrow it) and I'm underwhelmed but I don't see anything to loathe about it. Actually, I rather like some bits. I like how Galbatorix hasn't shown up and done anything yet because he's so hated and loathed that it builds up an image in the mind that would be dispelled if he appeared in the flesh. I like how it was a local, Sloan the butcher who betrayed the lovable Eragon. And I like Sapphira.

And no, I haven't lost my soul.

MeklorIlavator
2008-05-04, 08:23 PM
It starts out mediocre and gets worse from there, especially if you actually think about it(Vegans wearing leather catsuits....:smallconfused:)

Dorizzit
2008-05-04, 08:38 PM
however i will say defending Eragon is like defending Dominic.

Oh come on...at least Paolini never put tights on his characters.


I meant your statement about bad writing being a matter of taste, not your comment about Eragon's writing. Ignoring statements about writing quality simply because it's "A matter of taste," ignores most of what good writing is, and besides being, again, wrong, is annoying and evasive.

Fair enough. Give me a SPECIFIC COMPLAINT about his writing other than "it sucks" and I'll address it.


Basically, yes. You seem to think bad writing is a matter of opinion. That's not debating, that's plain ignorance.

Fair enough. See my previous comment.


-snip-

Actually, this is specifically what I wanted to avoid. I don't want to hear about how stupid I am for liking Eragon; that's basically been what your posts have been.


Farmboy finds a macguffin that is vital to the rebellion against the evil empire.

Sort of...the Death Star schematics were important for taking out the empire's biggest weapon. Then you just need to deal with legions of storm troopers, the vast fleet, numerous weapons, etc. Saphira could literally turn the war around for the Varden.


Soon after this, he meets an old mentor who just happens to be the last of an ancient order of do-gooders who once ruled the realm/galaxy.

The Jedi didn't rule; they were a prominent force of peacekeepers who worked with the senate. They were opposed by the Sith, a group which has no parallel in Eragon.


The farmboy and the mentor then set out with the macguffin to join the rebellion. At the same time, the mentor gives the farmboy an ancient, powerful sword.

Eragon gets Zar'roc after he and Brom had already left after fleeing the Ra'zac (who also have no parallel), while Luke gets his lightsaber before the Storm Troopers even attack.


Next, they meet up with something of a rebel and a loner who assists them in rescuing a princess from the teeth of an enemy base. The mentor is killed by the servants of the empire.

Oh yeah, I forgot about how they needed Murtagh's help to get out of the country, and also how he had a magic bear as a sidekick. Also, for the purposes of this we'll assign Durza the position of "Darth Vader"


The farmboy, princess, and gruff loner now set off to find the rebel base, arriving just in time for an attack from the empire designed to wipe them out. The farmboy pulls some magic out of his ass and manages to save the day with one well-placed shot/sword strike.

Except that magic had nothing to do with Eragon's attack, and he killed Durza, our "Darth Vader", rather than the Death Star, which has no real parallel in Eragon.


Next, he's hailed as a hero and begins to take on a leadership role in the rebellion, but he is called away to train with the second remaining old master, a wise, venerable creature who trains him in the ways of magic.

He was already hailed as a leader except by some skeptics. He was actually sent to train with the Elves in general, he finds out about Oromis after he arrived there. He was also in the middle of the elven capital, rather than isolated wilderness.


He then leaves to go rescue his friends from mortal danger, where he finds out that his father was/is the servant of the evil emperor. Now, which one am I talking about?

Fair enough. Yes, except Han Solo didn't turn into a Sith, and Eragon's father was killed by Brom years ago.


Snip Marty Stu Snip

Yes, that is one of the problems with the series. Do you want a list of other at the very least decent books with this flaw in Alphabetical or Chronological order?

BRC
2008-05-04, 08:45 PM
From reading through this thread I have reached a final conclusion.


The series has problems, but perfection is just somthing that only has problems you don't care about. Therefore, it's entierly a matter of taste. The problems it has are problems that more people dislike, but that dosn't make people who don't mind them stupid in any way.
The problem is that the flaws in the series happen to draw response from an above-average number of people, nothing more, nothing less.

Rogue 7
2008-05-04, 08:46 PM
You miss the point- Eragon is not "Star Wars" word-for-word. But the degree of similarity is so striking it's hard to justify it. And Eragon is such an over-the-top Stu that I dislike him. He's got no real flaws (at least none the author calls him out on)- I can tolerate Stus to a point, but Eragon was so blatant that it turned me off. The setting is generic, the plot's ripped off from Star Wars, and I'd like nothing better than for Eragon to just die.

And saying that, I don't hate the books- I'll probably pick up the third book at the library to see what happens if nothing else- I just recognize their massive flaws.

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 08:52 PM
It starts out mediocre and gets worse from there, especially if you actually think about it(Vegans wearing leather catsuits....:smallconfused:)

Ah, so the book will enforce my intense loathing of elves. I'm really going to like this book. :-P Sarcasm, but not unexpected.

comicshorse
2008-05-04, 08:59 PM
Posted by EE

But the British, while not nice,

We're not, why did no-one tell me this ! Goddammit I'm going to have to buy a black cloak now


are normally shown in a good light

Do you want me to list all the Hollywood movies in which the british are the bad guys, because I will you know

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 09:04 PM
Ooh, what's that movie about the American Revolution where the main villain is some British officer who kills prisoners?

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 09:07 PM
Funny you point that out, ive read some of the Temerie series, it's the napolonic war with dragons. It's rather intresting as things go, not the best written, but still fairly good. The Values Dissonence is kinda prevelant, most of the characters (Either being dragons or being raised in the airiel corps, which as things go is fairly liberal in terms of how the view dragons) are fairly liberal in terms of their viewpoints. The protagonist however, originally being in the navy, holds abunch of viewpoints on society in general that, while normal for the time period, chafe against us. Off-topic I know but it's intresting. (especially when the dragon comes back from China, where dragons are given alot more respect, to europe where they are treated more-or-less as animals.)

Yeah, i've heard good things about it


Also napoleon is a great subject for Moral greyness. I mean dispite the fact he was an selfish tyrant, he was still a great man who inspired the loyalty of France

I can't agree with this however



Let me put it like this, Fantasy (Any by extension Sci Fi) Ran out of new ideas a decade or two ago. Think of it like a giant set of stencils, you can put the stencils in different places, you can color them differentally, but in the end there are some basic concepts that you are using.
That simply isn't true i'm sorry. There are still original unique fantasy ideas out there.


But that's not what turned me off from the series. It's how blatant a Stu Eragon is. He learns to read and write in a week, suddenly becomes the best swordsman around, can use magic like it's nothing, etc. And that's book 1, when it didn't bother me much. In book 2, because the elves are so magically much better, he suddenly becomes superhumanly fast, strong, and tough. He's able to kill a yak...from 200 yards away...with mind bullets! That's telekinesis, Kyle (sorry, I'll stop that. Point is, he can kill people as easy as breathing), he sees into the minds of just about everyone around, somehow becomes a decent poet (and don't ask me if it was good or not, I didn't read it), he's got a magic, intelligent DRAGON for a companion who's completely devoted to him that he regularly has to console and advise, you know he's going to get the girl in the end, and how many people has he killed? It got really bad, and I have a fairly high tolerance for that sort of thing.
Read the essay i put in my second post, not mine but that person has a real idea



Oh come on...at least Paolini never put tights on his characters.
The elf



Fair enough. Give me a SPECIFIC COMPLAINT about his writing other than "it sucks" and I'll address it.
I did. here



Eragon Shadeslayer: Ye Olde Faux-Medieval Sociopath



Mary Sues are quite common in both original fiction and fanfiction. However, Eragon also bears the less common distinction of apparently suffering from antisocial personality disorder. The Epistler did a little research and uncovered the most common traits of sociopathy, which are as follows:



1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. This may seem a little shaky at first. The Epistler had difficultly analysing it, since it would appear that, in fact, Eragon is perfectly law-abiding and has never been arrested.

But after pondering on it for some weeks, the Epistler suddenly had a revelation. Eragon is a criminal of the first order – he’s a member of the rebel army, guilty of repeated acts of high treason against the ruler of Alagaësia, not to mention disturbing the peace, ignoring a peace offering, using dishonourable tactics in battle, breaking out of prison and freeing a known supporter of the rebels who was guilty of smuggling stolen goods.

Yes, Galbatorix is ‘the bad guy’. But he’s still the King, and legally speaking he has authority over everyone who lives in Alagaësia – including our righteous hero. Eragon grew up under his rule, and by all accounts had a fairly peaceful childhood. The Empire did not harass him or his family, he had enough to eat and a roof over his head – from all we’ve seen so far, the most evil thing Galbatorix has done is (gasp!) make people pay taxes. But we must remember that the much-maligned King is trying to fight a war against the Varden, and that wars are expensive. The fact that he got his throne through violent rebellion does not change the fact that he is the King and Eragon is his subject. If one looks at it from an unbiased perspective, the Varden are nothing more than a group of terrorists. The Epistler urges his readers to consider this. If the Varden did not exist, there would be no war. The Empire’s citizens would be able to live peacefully, and there would be no armies wreaking destruction on the landscape. War profits no-one – once the Varden wins (there is no doubt whatsoever that they will), they will place their own candidate on the throne and so will begin a new Empire, which will have no essential difference whatsoever from the previous one. It will still be a dictatorship, it will still have been placed there by bloody and violent rebellion, and the common people will still have to pay taxes.

Eragon, of course, is completely unaware of any of this. However, by this logic, once the glamour and black-and-white morality has been stripped away, we can see that he is, at bottom, a criminal. The Varden stole Saphira’s egg from the King, probably murdering a few people in the process. Once Eragon found it and became a rider, his duty should have been to pledge himself to the Empire and use his newfound power responsibly. However, since the King is just so evil (we shall ignore the fact that Kings generally rule Kingdoms and that Empires have Emperors), he does not do this. Instead he joins the Varden, and during the course of both Eragon and Eldest he commits numerous criminal and terrorist acts, without showing the slightest trace of remorse. He kills Imperial soldiers – men who were merely doing their duty – destroys property, lies and steals, refuses all offers of clemency, and in general does his best to create chaos wherever he goes. And we know perfectly well that he will not at any point be brought to book for any of this, because God – otherwise known as Paolini – loves him too much for that to happen.

2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure. Eragon is a poor liar, but is one of the most self-centred individuals the Epistler has ever had the displeasure of reading about. Consider this… has he at any point achieved anything notable during the course of either book, on his own?

….not really. He escapes from prison only because Murtagh and Saphira help him. He makes it to the Varden because of them and Brom. He only kills Durza because of Saphira and Arya’s intervention – without them he would have been killed. Not a single one of his ‘heroic’ exploits succeeded because of his own cleverness, strength or daring. Eragon is a pathetic child who calls himself a grown man yet needs someone to hold his hand every step of the way. He takes no pride in doing anything himself.

And yet he never appears to notice this. He takes his friends absolutely for granted, expecting them to wait on his every command and indulge the childish tantrums which invariably take place whenever someone does not rush to help him at every turn. He is also utterly ungrateful – witness his ‘grudging’ thanks to Brom after the aforesaid makes him a saddle, his constant whining to Saphira, his outright rudeness to Oromis, his pathetic bewilderment and emotional blackmail when Arya rebuffs his sickly-sweet romantic approaches, the hysterical abuse he throws at the already much-abused Murtagh, his brother and apparent whipping-boy, his sulky rage over Vanir’s refusal to kowtow to him, and his generally condescending and overbearing behaviour toward every other character in the book. The Epistler admits that Eragon does not lie or deceive to get his way – but he does not have to.

Eragon is a spoilt brat wearing a hero’s armour and carrying a sword. He treats every other character in the book like his personal entourage, and yet accepts the respect he gets as if it is his due. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the Epistler is rooting for the Empire to win?



3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead. This is no contest. Even other characters remark on Eragon’s rashness and stupidity. He constantly rushes into things without a second thought (only to be miraculously saved every time, but this is beside the point). This trait is probably supposed to be endearing – our hero is meant to be a hot-headed but courageous lad who has a lot to learn… blah blah blah. The Epistler has a better way of putting it: he’s a moron.



4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. On numerous occasions in the books, Eragon has temper tantrums, usually over something trivial. It is a little unfair to add that he constantly fights and kills people as a solution to his problems (i.e. he would rather not work for the nasty ol’ King), given that he is a fantasy character and that is what fantasy characters do… but the Epistler used up all his charity a very long time ago.



5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others. This has already been covered more or less in point 2, but the Epistler will recap. Eragon is constantly putting himself and other people in danger, usually because he is too stupid to think about anything for more than two minutes together. He is extremely reckless, and this cannot be overlooked given that he lives in a world where danger is ever-present and real, and the consequences are, frequently, death (or, at least, they would be if Paolini knew anything about a little thing called ‘realism’. Let us interpret it the way he apparently wished us to)



6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honour financial obligations. If you will indulge the Epistler for a moment… he just had an hilarious mental image of Eragon trying to obtain a job at McDonald’s.

To return to the topic at hand, Eragon is indeed irresponsible. In spite of the fact that everybody is relying upon him, he constantly does stupid and irresponsible things which get himself and other people into trouble; his apparent inability to think ahead only compounds the felony.



7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. Now this is the real killer. One day, perhaps, in the far distant future, some deranged person will go through the trilogy-to-be and make a tally of all the people Eragon kills, but for now it is safe to estimate that it stands at at least a hundred.

Now… in Eldest, when Eragon’s cousin Roran is forced to begin fighting and killing people, he keeps a mental count of all his victims and angsts about it. It is lame and unconvincing, but at least in this case Paolini made an attempt at showing some realism – Roran is shocked by the fact that he has killed people. Eragon, however, has no such reservations. At no point in either book does he truly feel remorse for anything, even something as heinous as killing another living soul. In Eragon, when he first kills a group of urgals, he has no reaction beyond (to quote Ivy), “OMG I gotz magick??!!”. He pats himself on the back for having discovered his magical abilities, but doesn’t pause for a second to consider the fact that he has just become a killer. Yes, the victims were evil, beastly urgals, but they were still, technically, people. And yet Eragon feels nothing at having killed them. Later on he kills human beings with a similar lack of reaction or human feeling. Where is the disgust? Where is the guilt? Where is the horror? He acts like a robot. In the, uh, glorious final battle of Eldest, he uses the uber-speshul magical death words (the Epistler has a name for these: cheap cop-out) to instantly kill dozens of Imperial troops, and his only real thought is ‘geez, this is just too easy’. And this is after he’s been told that there is no life after death and that this life is all anyone gets.

…Does anyone else see the internal contradiction here, or is the Epistler hallucinating?

This is not all. After Murtagh ‘dies’ at the beginning of the book, Eragon feels (or rather, thinks) sad for exactly a paragraph, and then forgets about him for the rest of the book. When he reappears at the end and reveals that he is now working for the Empire, Eragon screeches at him about how he was ‘mourning’ for him (liar), and goes on to be a complete ******* toward him – taunting him about the scar he got from his violent father, and continuing to hurl abuse at him after it is already clear that he has been coerced into his current position and is now more of a victim than ever. Once the fight is over (and Eragon has been soundly defeated, much to the reader’s pleasure – this reader, at any rate), he continues to feel sorry for himself and barely spares a thought for Murtagh at all – after he has discovered that they are brothers, no less.

There are even more examples to be had of Eragon’s selfishness and lack of remorse. Elva is an excellent one. When he discovers that he unintentionally cursed the child instead of blessing her, he is dismayed for approximately one minute before he moves on to other things and forgets all about the matter. He suffers from no lingering guilt or anxiety whatsoever, and when he finally meets his victim face-to-face, he briefly apologises and promises to try and remove the curse before he wanders off and forgets about her again for the rest of the book. Somehow, the Epistler is not taken in by this display of remorse.

Strangely, however, he goes to pieces over having killed a few rabbits.



The diagnosis is now complete: Eragon is a sociopath. He fulfils every single one of the criteria. As a bonus, he also displays a few of the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, namely:

1. A grandiose sense of self-importance

2. Requires excessive admiration

3. Strong sense of entitlement

4. Takes advantage of other people

5. Lacks empathy (again)

8. Arrogant affect (he accepts being the Last Hope of pretty much everything with scarcely a pause. One would expect some feelings of self-doubt or at the very least embarrassment, but apparently Paolini thinks otherwise)



From the accounts he has read, it would seem that narcissists, far from actually being special, have very little personality to call their own. Instead, they create a false personality from bits and pieces of the personalities of other people whom they regarded as an authority. They adopt other people’s tastes and opinions as if they were their own, they have sterile inner lives and resent having to do anything for themselves, and they don’t talk about their feelings…

…does this sound at all familiar?

Eragon is a blank slate of a character. He never thinks for himself. Instead he mindlessly repeats things which other people have said, has no real opinions or beliefs of his own – he has no individuality. Everything he is is a quotation of some sort; he becomes a vegetarian atheist like Oromis with little or no resistance, and never shows any resentment over the fact that he is being changed by powers outside of his control. Narcissists also show an inability to change as a person based on their experiences, which, again, is true for Eragon. He begins as a selfish, immature brat, and stays that way right to the end of Eldest, in spite of all the huge changes that have taken place in his life. His view of the world changes not one iota.

(For more information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, see www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/howto.html)



The Epistler does not pretend to be a qualified psychologist, but it is easy to see from this that Eragon has some serious issues. He is a Gary Stu of the first order, with Sociopathic and Narcissistic Personality Disorder thrown in as a bonus.

What is even more hilarious about this is that Paolini almost certainly does not know it. The Epistler will refrain from making cruel comments about how author and protagonist may have a lot in common – he has no right to say such things, and nor does anyone else who does not know Paolini personally.

However, the Epistler feels he is able to safely say that it is unlikely that Paolini put as much thought into his works as went into a single one of the Epistles written thus far. He speaks of ‘searching introspection’ as if he were a literary mastermind, but there is no way he can have applied much of it to the works that have made him so wealthy and famous. If he had done so, he surely would have realised that his beloved hero has a mental disorder and urgently needs psychological attention. Meanwhile those who read his books must suffer through an endless string of Eragon whining, Eragon throwing tantrums like a four year old, Eragon magically getting stronger without doing any work, Eragon being praised to the skies by a bunch of yes-men other characters, and Eragon doing stupid and irresponsible things and getting away with it without so much as a slap on the wrist.

…and this is the character whose name is currently being shouted from the rooftops and whose exploits have made his creator a hero to children all around the world.



There will be no further Epistles. The Epistler is now going to seek out a good exorcist to help him commit suicide. Fare thee well, readers.



The Jedi didn't rule; they were a prominent force of peacekeepers who worked with the senate. They were opposed by the Sith, a group which has no parallel in Eragon

Taking a minor edit and claiming that makes a series original doesn't make it so


Eragon gets Zar'roc after he and Brom had already left after fleeing the Ra'zac (who also have no parallel), while Luke gets his lightsaber before the Storm Troopers even attack.
as i said, minor details.


Oh yeah, I forgot about how they needed Murtagh's help to get out of the country, and also how he had a magic bear as a sidekick. Also, for the purposes of this we'll assign Durza the position of "Darth Vader"
No, Darth Vader is Eragon's dad


The series has problems, but perfection is just somthing that only has problems you don't care about. Therefore, it's entierly a matter of taste. The problems it has are problems that more people dislike, but that dosn't make people who don't mind them stupid in any way.
The problem is that the flaws in the series happen to draw response from an above-average number of people, nothing more, nothing less.
By that standard Mookie is a good writer


We're not, why did no-one tell me this ! Goddammit I'm going to have to buy a black cloak now

As i am a total Anglophile i say that Great Britain could so retake their empire with black cloaks


Do you want me to list all the Hollywood movies in which the british are the bad guys, because I will you know

compared to the Germans? My people (native American, Southern). I know that there is a lot, but not as much today


Ooh, what's that movie about the American Revolution where the main villain is some British officer who kills prisoners?

which is funny, because the British really weren't that cruel in revolution
1) The Boston Massacre is not a massacre
2) And we attacked during Christmas
from
Ee

BRC
2008-05-04, 09:12 PM
I can't agree with this however


That simply isn't true i'm sorry. There are still original unique fantasy ideas out there.
__________________________________________________ __________________

which is funny, because the British really weren't that cruel in revolution
1) The Boston Massacre is not a massacre
2) And we attacked during Christmas
from
Ee
Oh there are, but when people think Fantasy they usually think Orcs n' Elves n' Dragons. I oversimplified.



Alh, an example of what I call the Tactical Double standard.

An army sneak attacks an enemy's supply train, disrupting it and leaving the enemy army without supplies.
If the attackers are Good, it was a "Cunning Tactic"

If the attackers are Evil it was a "Dastardly and underhanded attack"

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 09:17 PM
Oh there are, but when people think Fantasy they usually think Orcs n' Elves n' Dragons. I oversimplified.

True but there are thousands of way to do that in an original way



Alh, an example of what I call the Tactical Double standard.

An army sneak attacks an enemy's supply train, disrupting it and leaving the enemy army without supplies.
If the attackers are Good, it was a "Cunning Tactic"

If the attackers are Evil it was a "Dastardly and underhanded attack"
which is why i like song of fire and ice
from
EE

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 09:25 PM
Also napoleon is a great subject for Moral greyness. I mean dispite the fact he was an selfish tyrant, he was still a great man who inspired the loyalty of France

You would like Napoleon. XD



which is funny, because the British really weren't that cruel in revolution
1) The Boston Massacre is not a massacre
2) And we attacked during Christmas
from
Ee

Ah, but Hollywood is in the U.S. Erego the British become villains in all big revolution movies.

And who the heck is the Epistler anyway? He sounds very smart.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 09:28 PM
You would like Napoleon. XD

do you think we have something in common:smallwink:
check out the thread about my soul on friendly banter

Ah, but Hollywood is in the U.S. Erego the British become villains in all big revolution movies.
don't forget, all rebellions are good

A good anime would be the french revolution, democracy to dicatorship



And who the heck is the Epistler anyway? He sounds very smart.
He writes for anti shurengal I wouldn't know who he is >> <<
- -
nope
from
EE

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-04, 09:38 PM
Ooh, what's that movie about the American Revolution where the main villain is some British officer who kills prisoners?

The Patriot.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 09:40 PM
The Patriot.

Ug, it is like Braveheart, and over rated waste of time........reminds me of something
from
EE

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-04, 09:41 PM
Ug, it is like Braveheart, and over rated waste of time........reminds me of something
from
EE

usually reminds me why I don't usually watch Mel Gibson movies as a general rule...

Mr.Silver
2008-05-04, 09:44 PM
compared to the Germans? My people (native American, Southern). I know that there is a lot, but not as much today
Ee

Most Germans in Holywood films are played by British actors anyway, so you can basically combine the two. Put it like this, if there's at least one British actor in a Holywood film, odds are at least one of them will be playing a villain.


don't forget, all rebellions are good
Not entirely true, there are a number of 'bad nobles/officers trying to overthrow the kingdom/country' plots out there. Oh, and anything involving the Russian Revolution. In fairness, I don't think any of them are typically called rebellions on screen though.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 09:45 PM
usually reminds me why I don't usually watch Mel Gibson movies as a general rule...

smart move there.Can't spell it, but the one about the battle in Turkey with the Australian runner was good, and Mad max. Everything else was awful


Most Germans in Holywood films are played by British actors anyway, so you can basically combine the two. Put it like this, if there's at least one British actor in a Holywood film, odds are at least one of them will be playing a villain.

I thought it was because villains were cool and the British tend to be good actors. Damn you old Hickery


from
EE

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-04, 09:49 PM
smart move there.Can't spell it, but the one about the battle in Turkey with the Australian runner was good, and Mad max. Everything else was awful

Gallipoli. Haven't seen it, probably won't.



I thought it was because villains were cool and the British tend to be good actors. Damn you old Hickery


from
EE

Well, that and we seem to think that many British accents lend themselves to sounding evil.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 10:00 PM
Gallipoli. Haven't seen it, probably won't.


He doesn't direct it, so it isn't totally awful



Well, that and we seem to think that many British accents lend themselves to sounding evil.

And also damn cool. All i have is a Brooklyn/Southern (which everybody thinks is British for some reason)
from
EE

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 10:04 PM
The Patriot! That's it!

And I greatly enjoyed Gallipoli. Of course keep in mind that the actual campaign lasted for the better part of a year rather than a few days.

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-04, 10:05 PM
He doesn't direct it, so it isn't totally awful

Been let down by too many movies, I suppose. And I have this infuriating habit of unknowingly inserting characters/events/whathaveyou from books, movies, and TV I've watched over the years into my own work. The last thing I need is one of his characters finding their way into my stuff.



And also damn cool. All i have is a Brooklyn/Southern (which everybody thinks is British for some reason)
from
EE

heh, midwestern boy here. I alternate between no accent and country accent when I'm not thinking about it.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 10:18 PM
Been let down by too many movies, I suppose. And I have this infuriating habit of unknowingly inserting characters/events/whathaveyou from books, movies, and TV I've watched over the years into my own work. The last thing I need is one of his characters finding their way into my stuff.

I tend to do that too, but i do so knowingly. But it is still a pretty good movie



heh, midwestern boy here. I alternate between no accent and country accent when I'm not thinking about it.
North Carolina all the way here.

And Mr. Scaly, i think the arrived in the last days of the battle, but i might be wrong
from
EE

Gamiress
2008-05-04, 10:24 PM
I'm a Canadian, and my grandfather was English, born in Blackpoole. I have a really strange accent.

Cristo Meyers, you don't happen to go to Youmacon, do you? I swear I met someone who was wearing a costume that looks just like your avatar.

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 10:28 PM
North Carolina all the way here.

And Mr. Scaly, i think the arrived in the last days of the battle, but i might be wrong
from
EE

I have a really weird accent actually...from Ontario here, but people keep thinking I'm from Europe.

Huh. They sure were slow then. The best parts happened during the first week or so, when the British figured they could just charge right through a heavily fortified area and carry the day. Heh...history is really funny if you like that kind of humour.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 10:41 PM
I have a really weird accent actually...from Ontario here, but people keep thinking I'm from Europe.

Huh. They sure were slow then. The best parts happened during the first week or so, when the British figured they could just charge right through a heavily fortified area and carry the day. Heh...history is really funny if you like that kind of humour.

1) Odd
2) I do actually and i love history
3) i need to deiced my avater, please check out the thread on the friendly banter
from
EE

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-04, 10:52 PM
1) Odd
2) I do actually and i love history
3) i need to deiced my avater, please check out the thread on the friendly banter
from
EE

1) Actually, I think it might be inherent to geekery. I met a couple friends of a friend the other day who sound pretty much like me.

2) Cool!

3) Er, I would have but it seems to have been quarantined.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 10:52 PM
1) Actually, I think it might be inherent to geekery. I met a couple friends of a friend the other day who sound pretty much like me.

2) Cool!

3) Er, I would have but it seems to have been quarantined.

1) Ah
2) unite
3) arts and craft now
from
EE

Fri
2008-05-05, 12:48 AM
Not saying that the book is a master piece, but a lot of people just hated it because the author.

He wrote a mostly mediocre book, but his parent had a publishing company and he got hyped advertising as a young fantasy author. He got successful, and that bittered a lot of author wannabe/ fantasy book lover/struggling author.

That's my humble opinion anyway.

Rockphed
2008-05-05, 01:01 AM
Not saying that the book is a master piece, but a lot of people just hated it because the author.

He wrote a mostly mediocre book, but his parent had a publishing company and he got hyped advertising as a young fantasy author. He got successful, and that bittered a lot of author wannabe/ fantasy book lover/struggling author.

That's my humble opinion anyway.

They owned a publishing company and didn't bother to hire an editor who would tell their hack son that he needed to rewrite his entire book so it made sense? Truly they must be destroyed:belkar:

As to the whole "There is no New Fantasy" bit. There is plenty. I personally know two people who write original fantasy, though neither has been published, and one of them is my kid brother, but still.*Shrug*

Fri
2008-05-05, 01:05 AM
*read my own post, and the post below it

Exactly :smallbiggrin:

(Actually, I'm also a struggling author/author wannabe. But I'm not bitter, no. For various private reason.)

Oslecamo
2008-05-05, 05:25 AM
As to the whole "There is no New Fantasy" bit. There is plenty. I personally know two people who write original fantasy, though neither has been published, and one of them is my kid brother, but still.*Shrug*

So why don't you incentive your kid brother and the other guy to publish their worck?

Paolini may be just an average writer, but he was sucessfull because he actually bothered to publish his worck.

Okay, he had the contacts to get his worcks published, but that alone isn't an excuse for you. J.K Rowlings hardly had money to eat and she still managed to get her book published after several companies rejected it.

Writing good isn't enough. You need to actually go out there and show your worck to the people. You can't expect people to come to your house and read your masterpiece by themselves.

This is, I saw several fanfiction writers that seem to be quite talented in the net, but they'll never go anywhere if they don't get the guts to try to get their writings published.

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-05, 07:25 AM
I'm a Canadian, and my grandfather was English, born in Blackpoole. I have a really strange accent.

Cristo Meyers, you don't happen to go to Youmacon, do you? I swear I met someone who was wearing a costume that looks just like your avatar.

No, afraid not. My hair could never be long enough to resemble Nikolai's (plus, I could never act that bloody goofy :smallwink:)

My overall opinion on Paolini's stuff is this: I read both, enjoyed them to a point, but their true value lies (in a comparison I'm sure EE will love) in the same thing as the Duchess of Ulmsbottom's Rules of Engagement: they are excellent treatises on how books (or battles) should never be written.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 08:40 AM
[OT]



Let me put it like this, Fantasy (Any by extension Sci Fi) Ran out of new ideas a decade or two ago.

:smallannoyed: You didn't just place Sci-Fi as a subcategory of Fantasy. You didn't do this.:smallamused:

BRC
2008-05-05, 08:46 AM
[OT]



:smallannoyed: You didn't just place Sci-Fi as a subcategory of Fantasy. You didn't do this.:smallamused:
I most certainly did not. I prefer to think of them as subcatagories of Speculative Fiction.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 08:51 AM
I most certainly did not. I prefer to think of them as subcatagories of Speculative Fiction.

*phew*.

Gotta agree with you there, although I might put fantasy on the allegorical or 'has a message' side, if not just in escapism. That said, sci-fi's not dead; Neal Stephenson's still writing, for example.

BRC
2008-05-05, 08:55 AM
*phew*.

Gotta agree with you there, although I might put fantasy on the allegorical or 'has a message' side, if not just in escapism. That said, sci-fi's not dead; Neal Stephenson's still writing, for example.

Oh, by running out of new ideas I didn't mean it was dead. There are still lots of things somebody can DO with those ideas, still lots and lots of stories, but most of the components for those stories have already been thought up

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 09:02 AM
Oh, by running out of new ideas I didn't mean it was dead. There are still lots of things somebody can DO with those ideas, still lots and lots of stories, but most of the components for those stories have already been thought up
I'd say that cyberpunk, together with its attendant discourse on identity and stuff, which, while not a new subject, is certainly addressed from a new and fresh perspective.

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-05, 09:10 AM
Especially as the ideas of what constitutes your identity change. Depending on how the author views identity, an entirely different and many times relatively original story can be woven.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 09:14 AM
Exactly - and it's not just the author's views. In The Diamond Age, the whole discussion of whether a complex system can mimic human interactions is predicated on there being such complex systems - computers, the internet, mass communications - in the first place.

EvilDMMk3
2008-05-05, 09:44 AM
Isn't that the one with Vegan elves in leather armour and cloaks of feathers?

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 09:48 AM
Isn't that the one with Vegan elves in leather armour and cloaks of feathers?

No, it's the one with the nanotech-wielding steampunk Victorians of the future!

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-05, 09:53 AM
No, it's the one with the nanotech-wielding steampunk Victorians of the future!

Now that would make for a much more interesting read.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 10:19 AM
Good that it exists, then.

Archpaladin Zousha
2008-05-05, 12:35 PM
I'm ashamed to admit that I'm one of those amateur, unpublished writers that is bitter that this kid got a big break with next to no effort. His parents published the book for him. If he had sent it to a more reputable publisher, and actually revised it a little it might have become passable. But nooooooooo, his parents published their little boy's work. Unless your parents are English professors or professional editors, their criticism is not useful. It's too nice. It has to be, they're your parents! Paolini may actually have some potential, but he's got to be able to do things the hard way, having someone with a decent track record publish his work instead of giving it to his parent's private company. And getting off his homeschooled high-horse and taking some classes in Creative Writing. God knows the one I took this semester helped me bigtime!

I keep thinking that I could write better stuff than Paolini. But then I look at my writing and I'm too scared to have people look at it. I have absolutely no confidence in my writing ability whatsoever. I recently wrote a short story for a Creative Writing course. One of my classmates wrote in their criticism that they stopped reading it as soon as they came to the word "elves".:smallfrown:

Blayze
2008-05-05, 03:21 PM
I keep thinking that I could write better stuff than Paolini. But then I look at my writing and I'm too scared to have people look at it. I have absolutely no confidence in my writing ability whatsoever. I recently wrote a short story for a Creative Writing course. One of my classmates wrote in their criticism that they stopped reading it as soon as they came to the word "elves".:smallfrown:

I wrote a book myself. Had it published with Lulu (There's a reason that site has no quality control). I told the people I work with and let my boss read it. I told my friends about it, too. At the time, I believe I was absolutely terrified.

EvilElitest
2008-05-05, 03:35 PM
My overall opinion on Paolini's stuff is this: I read both, enjoyed them to a point, but their true value lies (in a comparison I'm sure EE will love) in the same thing as the Duchess of Ulmsbottom's Rules of Engagement: they are excellent treatises on how books (or battles) should never be written.

Nice catch


Zousha Omenohu
My mom is a proffesonal writer, so i tend to get good feed back

Personally i'm trying to write a book. My goal is to make it better than Eragon. Us young aspiring writers need to get together and edit other's ideas/work
from
EE

Mr.Silver
2008-05-05, 03:36 PM
I keep thinking that I could write better stuff than Paolini. But then I look at my writing and I'm too scared to have people look at it. I have absolutely no confidence in my writing ability whatsoever. I recently wrote a short story for a Creative Writing course. One of my classmates wrote in their criticism that they stopped reading it as soon as they came to the word "elves".:smallfrown:
That's your classmate's fault not yours. If he/she can't bring themselves to read anything containing elves then they aren't really the audience you should be aiming for if you're going to be sticking with fantasy. It is difficult to write well, and very hard to judge your own work accurately but having some good constructive criticism helps a lot. (I wonder if it'd be worth trying to get some kind of writing support group up and running here for such a purpose?) Ninja'd by EE!

Cristo Meyers
2008-05-05, 03:39 PM
Nice catch

Thought you might like it.



My mom is a proffesonal writer, so i tend to get good feed back

Personally i'm trying to write a book. My goal is to make it better than Eragon. Us young aspiring writers need to get together and edit other's ideas/work
from
EE

Indeed. I've got a horror/suspense one going (part of the game over in Structured that's linked in my signature). Finding decent criticism is getting really bloody hard.

EvilElitest
2008-05-05, 04:31 PM
That's your classmate's fault not yours. If he/she can't bring themselves to read anything containing elves then they aren't really the audience you should be aiming for if you're going to be sticking with fantasy. It is difficult to write well, and very hard to judge your own work accurately but having some good constructive criticism helps a lot. (I wonder if it'd be worth trying to get some kind of writing support group up and running here for such a purpose?) Ninja'd by EE!

yes i finally ninja'd somebody

I might start a thread when i find the time

However if anyone wants an honest option on their piece, PM me details

How do i qualify

1) Massive family that is interested in such stuff
2) I was the head writer/editor for my school paper
3) I love reading and writing and am known for a very professional option
4) I have a napelon avater, just how cool is that


Thought you might like it.

Thanks, a rather unexpected funny statement


Anyways, honest criticisms is something i'm very good at. sadly, i'm best when people can communicate to me via talking, but i will try my best via writing.

from
EE

Turcano
2008-05-05, 08:01 PM
I keep thinking that I could write better stuff than Paolini. But then I look at my writing and I'm too scared to have people look at it. I have absolutely no confidence in my writing ability whatsoever.

That's ultimately what separates you from Paolini; lack of self-confidence is what drives an artist or writer to do better. If you can look at a sample of your work, and there isn't a little voice in your head telling you it's crap, you have no future as a writer.

Jayngfet
2008-05-05, 08:06 PM
That's ultimately what separates you from Paolini; lack of self-confidence is what drives an artist or writer to do better. If you can look at a sample of your work, and there isn't a little voice in your head telling you it's crap, you have no future as a writer.

Or as any sort of professional whatsoever.

EvilElitest
2008-05-05, 08:07 PM
That's ultimately what separates you from Paolini; lack of self-confidence is what drives an artist or writer to do better. If you can look at a sample of your work, and there isn't a little voice in your head telling you it's crap, you have no future as a writer.

True if your writing is in fact crap, you ahve no future of a writer anyways. THati s directed at Paolini not you. Anyways, if you want an honest option of yoru work, just PM me
from
EE

Mr. Scaly
2008-05-05, 08:51 PM
Just to nitpick: though Paolini's writing is...not glamorous (I'm way too polite for my own good) he's still had two books published and is working on the next. Thus his future as a writer seems well under way. :-P

The moral? Even the best talent can use some help from connections.

TheEmerged
2008-05-05, 08:56 PM
Just like the title. I've been hearing a lot of hate for Eragon and Paolini, however I am yet to hear a coherent, well thought out statement explaing why. So please, would someone explain to me just what is so terrible about Eragon?

In a phrase, that it got published instead of [the person complaining's work]. Remember, this a site for pencil & paper gaming, which tends to attract frustrated writers. I disliked it myself, but I think the source of the HATE I've seen generally has its root in the questions of how the series got published and promoted.

EvilElitest
2008-05-05, 09:09 PM
In a phrase, that it got published instead of [the person complaining's work]. Remember, this a site for pencil & paper gaming, which tends to attract frustrated writers. I disliked it myself, but I think the source of the HATE I've seen generally has its root in the questions of how the series got published and promoted.

The writing is overrated and crappy however
from
EE

Jayngfet
2008-05-05, 09:15 PM
In a phrase, that it got published instead of [the person complaining's work]. Remember, this a site for pencil & paper gaming, which tends to attract frustrated writers. I disliked it myself, but I think the source of the HATE I've seen generally has its root in the questions of how the series got published and promoted.

also offending anyone who tries to work with skill or attempt to keep a consistent, original story.

Lord Seth
2008-05-06, 01:14 AM
Eragon is disliked because:
1) It's blatantly derivative.
2) The writing style is seen as bad.
3) The fact the author comes off as rather arrogant and cocky.
4) The fact that it's trumpeted as "amazing" because he got published at a young age. That might have been a bit of a feat if he had actually gone through the usual process of finding an agent, and if you manage to do so the agent will try to sell it. Instead, he zipped straight to publishing, because of who his parents were.

See, the book publishing industry has a few "filters" put in to try to filter out bad books. First is the agents: You have to get an agent to represent your book. (Random word of advice: NEVER use an agent who charges a reading fee) That's step 1: If the book is fairly bad or just isn't marketable, agents will pass on it.

If you get an agent to accept it (and assuming it's a decent agent), then they'll try to show it to publishers to see if they'll like it. That's step 2, which again prevents a lot of crud from getting published.

Of course, this isn't perfect. Bad stuff gets published and some good stuff doesn't. Which brings us to the random topic change of...

POD. Print On Demand. Long story short, if you just don't want to go through the above hassle (or have tried to and can't make it), you can find a POD publisher. It works differently than how standard publishers do it. A standard publisher will give you a certain percentage of the profits of the books, plus a flat advance on it; for example, if the advance is $5000 and the percentage is 10%, you would get $5000 no matter what, but wouldn't start getting more than that until after $50,000 is made. (those are random numbers and do not necessarily reflect the actual percentages or advances). PODs work differently: You pay THEM to publish. You still get a percentage of the profits, but that means if it doesn't sell well you'll wind up in the hole. Additionally, many book stores tend to dislike selling books made by POD publishers, hampering profits further. Also, POD publishers will not provide services such as editors and marketing like standard book publishers do (or if the POD publishers do provide them, you have to pay extra!) POD publishers understandably usually have very low standards on what they publish. If you're willing to pay the money, you can get published through them.

I'm not entirely certain what the point of all that musing was, but the bottom line is that Eragon in its current state would have likely only been publishable by a POD publisher if he didn't have such strong inside connections to start with. Just as getting published via POD doesn't prove much other than that you wrote a book and paid to get it published, getting published because of your parents' influence doesn't prove anything either, especially if the book isn't even that good.

Closet_Skeleton
2008-05-06, 11:10 AM
Do you want me to list all the Hollywood movies in which the british are the bad guys, because I will you know


Most Germans in Holywood films are played by British actors anyway, so you can basically combine the two. Put it like this, if there's at least one British actor in a Holywood film, odds are at least one of them will be playing a villain.

Many Hollywood villains are portrayed by British actors but that doesn't automaticaly make "the British" villains in any of those films. The Empire in Star Wars is all British actors but isn't meant to represent Britain at all, Alan Rickman plays a German in Die Hard and many British villains are terrorists or criminals rather than honest patriots.

Arioch
2008-05-06, 11:54 AM
Many Hollywood villains are portrayed by British actors but that doesn't automaticaly make "the British" villains in any of those films. The Empire in Star Wars is all British actors but isn't meant to represent Britain at all, Alan Rickman plays a German in Die Hard and many British villains are terrorists or criminals rather than honest patriots.

Oh, Hollywood doesn't usually portray Britain as villains. It's just that, if there is exactly one person with a British accent in the cast, it's a fair bet that he will be the villain.

I accepted that a while ago. Villains are usually the coolest characters anyways. If only they'd stop making elementary strategical errors...

Archpaladin Zousha
2008-05-06, 01:02 PM
The day villains stop making elementary strategical errors is the day I start a snow-shovelling business in Hell. . .:smallamused:

Mr.Silver
2008-05-06, 01:35 PM
Oh, Hollywood doesn't usually portray Britain as villains. It's just that, if there is exactly one person with a British accent in the cast, it's a fair bet that he will be the villain.

No, Britain (if it gets portrayed at all, which it generally doesn't) is shown as the quaint old place where everyone uses 'funny' swearwords, are a bit stuffy and 'keep a stiff upper-lip' and doesn't 'get' the whole hip, cool and unreserved American attitude. Only two accents are ever associated with the British: refined pronunciation (aka 'standard/the Queen's English) and cockney. While the gist of Scottish is known to Hollywood, it gets left out because they think British = English. It's probably for this reason that Hollywood Britain consists exclusively of London and a patch of countryside containing either a rustic village or a castle/manor house (occasionally both).

LBO
2008-05-06, 02:17 PM
Hell, at least our existence gets acknowledged occasionally, unlike most of the rest of creation.

Mr.Silver
2008-05-06, 02:44 PM
Hell, at least our existence gets acknowledged occasionally, unlike most of the rest of creation.

Speak for yourself, I live in Wales.

Blayze
2008-05-06, 02:56 PM
Ah yes, Britain. An American construct consisting of London and a large area of grassland inhabited by goblins, terrorist Leprechauns and a small tribe of Mel Gibsons.

And you were half-right about the accents, Silver. There's Toff and there's Mockney (Most likely BBC Cockney is to blame for this).

Turcano
2008-05-06, 03:39 PM
True if your writing is in fact crap, you ahve no future of a writer anyways.

I think you may have misunderstood me. A self-critical attitude is critical not only for improving, but for maintaining a standard of excellence. (This is why quality tends to drop once a creator gains Protection From Editors (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ProtectionFromEditors).) If you're not your own worst critic, there are hundreds of people out there who will be more than happy to take up that mantle.


POD. Print On Demand. Long story short, if you just don't want to go through the above hassle (or have tried to and can't make it), you can find a POD publisher. It works differently than how standard publishers do it. A standard publisher will give you a certain percentage of the profits of the books, plus a flat advance on it; for example, if the advance is $5000 and the percentage is 10%, you would get $5000 no matter what, but wouldn't start getting more than that until after $50,000 is made. (those are random numbers and do not necessarily reflect the actual percentages or advances). PODs work differently: You pay THEM to publish. You still get a percentage of the profits, but that means if it doesn't sell well you'll wind up in the hole. Additionally, many book stores tend to dislike selling books made by POD publishers, hampering profits further. Also, POD publishers will not provide services such as editors and marketing like standard book publishers do (or if the POD publishers do provide them, you have to pay extra!) POD publishers understandably usually have very low standards on what they publish. If you're willing to pay the money, you can get published through them.

Certain circumstances notwithstanding, this is a bad, bad, bad idea. If you don't get published, you improve your work and make the rounds again, or hire a printer if you're really desperate. Going to a vanity press is just about the worst thing you can do.

comicshorse
2008-05-06, 05:49 PM
Oh, Hollywood doesn't usually portray Britain as villains

Well apart from Braveheart, The Patriot, Rob Roy, Last of the Mohicans and U571 (okay the last one doesn't really fit but I hate it the most)

Rutee
2008-05-06, 06:56 PM
Certain circumstances notwithstanding, this is a bad, bad, bad idea. If you don't get published, you improve your work and make the rounds again, or hire a printer if you're really desperate. Going to a vanity press is just about the worst thing you can do.
Consider me ignorant but interested; Why is going to a vanity press bad?

Compared to a printer, anyway.

OOTS_Rules 2
2008-05-06, 07:33 PM
The one thing that could make the series worse would be if the next Dragon Rider was Jar-Jar Binks and Drizzt's lovechild. I had the misfortune of watching the first five seconds of the movie! The movie was basically "We are walking through the forest!" for five hours, a couple of Imperial attacks defeated by Power-In-A-Can styled magic, and flat-as-cardboard characters with the flavor of burnt toast and the depth of a lake you can walk in. And the protagonist was on too much brain steroids. Here is a simulation

Day 1: Life is good, I am just a humble peasent.

Day 8: AWESOME! In one week I learned how to ride dragons, cast spells, and swordfight better than anybody in the world!

Day 15: I met some elves. At least I am better than all of them! Owned!

And its all fluff. Without Saphira or his other friends he treats like
crap, he would have been dead.

Turcano
2008-05-06, 07:45 PM
Consider me ignorant but interested; Why is going to a vanity press bad?

Compared to a printer, anyway.

Hiring an independent printer typically costs less, results a better finished product, and avoids the stigma of a vanity press (which is a lot like putting a webcomic on DrunkDuck or ComicGenesis: no matter what the quality, people will look down on it). And you should really only do that if you're catering to a niche market that a publisher will find unprofitable no matter what the circumstances.

warty goblin
2008-05-06, 07:53 PM
The one thing that could make the series worse would be if the next Dragon Rider was Jar-Jar Binks and Drizzt's lovechild. I had the misfortune of watching the first five seconds of the movie! The movie was basically "We are walking through the forest!" for five hours, a couple of Imperial attacks defeated by Power-In-A-Can styled magic, and flat-as-cardboard characters with the flavor of burnt toast and the depth of a lake you can walk in. And the protagonist was on too much brain steroids. Here is a simulation

Day 1: Life is good, I am just a humble peasent.

Day 8: AWESOME! In one week I learned how to ride dragons, cast spells, and swordfight better than anybody in the world!

Day 15: I met some elves. At least I am better than all of them! Owned!

And its all fluff. Without Saphira or his other friends he treats like ****, he would have been dead.
Ah yes, the Mary Sue life-cycle. Generally it follows a predictable pattern. Best yet, the number of options available for Mary-Suedom are pretty low. Wanna make your own? Here's Warty Goblin's Mary Sue Creation Kit to save the day! Just add time, water, the blood of furry woodland creatures and abandon all self-respect at the door*!
*See below for important safety and liability information

Instructions for Mary Sue generation: Simply pick one of the options and insert it into the provided frame. Iron out any consistancies by talking about the power of plot- I mean magic.
Book 1: Part 1:
Mary Sue is a humble
A) Kitchen hand working in the royal palace.
B) Farmhand working on a farm, shockingly.
C) Apprentice something or other. It really doesn't matter, because it will never come up again. This allows you complete freedom to choose a meaningless detail, and saves you having to do research!
One day, Mary Sue wants to go have fun with its (note: the pronoun 'it' will be used throughout, because gender is pretty much irrelevant except where noted. Also, using 'it' conveys Mary Sue's complete lack of humanness) friends at the market and possibly go pick up some power converters, but their kindly yet strick father figure will tell them to go do chores instead. This provokes the: Argument This is a key section, because if you screw it up, you lose a massive potential angst source. The basic course will be that Mary Sue will moan and eventually shout at the parental figure "My real father wouldn't make me do this!" and storm off to do the chores, while brooding on the injustice of the world that it never got to know its mother and father, who vanished under 'mysterious' circumstances just after it was born, or possibly hatched, you never can be sure with Mary Sues.

While performing their routine menial backbreaking and pointless labor and generating a cloud of generic angst big enough to be seen from nearby galaxies, the Mary Sue will catch sight of themselves in a mud puddle, which provides an uncannily perfect reflection. Take this opportunity to create your Mary Sue's appearence by choosing from the handy options presented below:
Its eyes were a vibrant:
A) Violet. Yes you are allowed to use the words vibrant violet just like that.
B) Deep Green.
C) Piercing Blue
which contrasted strikingly with its hair, which was a pure:
A) Red
B) Red
C) Red
mared only by a single lock of vibrant:
A) White
B) Black
C) No streak. Be forwarned, if your Mary Sue does not have a weird lock of hair, all of the other Mary Sues will laugh at it and call it hurtful things.
Its skin was a pure, vibrant:
A) White
B) White
C) Off white, tanned dark from working outside
under which rippled powerful muscles, which deliniated an attractive, well built body (note: if Mary Sue is female, take this opportunity to remind your reader that as such, she has breasts, which will be 'high and well formed.' We also suggest using the phrase 'thin and supple as a willow around here as well.)

After finishing with the physical description, it's time for Mary Sue to spend a few minutes doing something menial, before overhearing a group of Evil People talking about Evil Things. This will cause Mary Sue to get a Terrible Forboding, and rush off home, where they find their humble foster family murdered. The foster father has either:
A) Just died, preferably with his arms around the Foster Mother figure, who may or may not have actually uttered a single line in the story
B) Lives long enough to forgive the Mary Sue, dies speaking the words "your father..."
This is your first chance for major angsting, so use it! If you are feeling really angsty, we recommend using 'a single bitter tear traced its way down Mary Sue's the well formed cheekbone and attractive chin"
After that, it's time for Mary Sue to flee into the wilderness, where it meets the Obligatory Follower:
A) A slightly dirty but fundamentally good rogue-ish character, who will have been wronged by the Evil Overlord in the past.
B) An exiled servent of the Evil Overlord, who will have been banished for refusing to be the night manager at the Overlord's puppy-mashing factory, and is now determined to seek justice for the wrongs he has committed. Feel free to make these characters as annoying as you want
Mary Sue uses its keen mental powers concerning the death of its foster family and the wrongs in the past of the Obligatory Follower and a childrens' poem (helpfully printed in the front of the book so your readers know it is important), puts two and two together, obtaining five. The Obligatory Follower proves his worth by pointing out that two and two is four, then they go off to kill the Evil Overlord.
They then infiltrate the Evil Overlord's Evil Fortress, which will be protected by Fearsome Traps and Easily Fooled Guards, where they find out that the Evil Overlord is invading a nearby Land of Goodness, ruled by a Good Young Ruler (make sure the Ruler is the opposite gender to Mary Sue). They then sneak out of the Evil Overlord's Evil Fortress, and bring this knowledge to the Good Ruler.

At this point you can either:
A) End the book on a 'suspensful' note
B) Insert a 'thrilling' battle between the Defenders of Good and the Vile Oppressors of Freedom, culminating in Mary Sue killing the Evil Overlord
C) Realize what you have done, purge your hard drive, then attach your computer to 75 pounds of plastic explosive and drop it off of a cliff, before going and begging for forgiveness.

Important Safety and Liable Information about using this Guide:
Warty Goblin is not liable for any self-loathing, lost innocence or personal suffering caused by use of guide. Do not use more than zero times per lifetime. Keep out of the reach of children. Keep out of the reach of adults. Consult a physician if more than three people write lurid fanfic about your character. Consult a psychiatrist if you read the fanfic. Consult a priest if you liked it.

EvilElitest
2008-05-06, 10:24 PM
I think you may have misunderstood me. A self-critical attitude is critical not only for improving, but for maintaining a standard of excellence. (This is why quality tends to drop once a creator gains Protection From Editors.) If you're not your own worst critic, there are hundreds of people out there who will be more than happy to take up that mantle.
Oh i know, i'm just making another attack on the hack who wrote Eragon


Also WG, what would this thread be without you
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