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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    i was thinking about stories and what subject matter is commonly lumped under the term "literary criticism".

    in high school i read a basic book about analyzing fiction (patterns and tropes in fiction). i can't remember what the book was called, but at the time it clicked with me and was a big influence. i didn't read much besides manga in high school, and since then i've only read a couple of actual fiction books. a couple books by Stephen R. Donaldson, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear - a selection from the contemporary giants of sci-fi and fantasy fiction.

    i've been wondering about something along the lines of "how many stories is it possible to tell". i'm assuming the answer is nigh infinite, or as many as we have generations of people. in each generation there are new stories that correspond with the new social and technological developments of the day. an example would be a book my friend got me for my birthday, called "Ready Player One", which is a story set in the future and has to do with a video game. (i only read maybe the first chapter so far, so i can't comment too much on it.)

    i'm not sure exactly what i'm getting at - can anybody recommend any books about fiction (i don't plan on writing any fiction; just curious about stories)? or you could bring the meat of any books to the table here? the dungeon master's guide actually has a dice table with common story tropes for D&D. that's the kind of thing that i'm interested in i guess. since i don't read fiction and the only tv i watch is dragon ball i only really experience stories through my dreams. i'm very dream oriented and i even have plans for that once i'm dead, hopefully a while from now.
    check out my D&D-inspired video game, not done yet but you can listen to the soundtrack if you're bored: https://www.facebook.com/TheCityofScales/

    my game's soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-77807407...les-soundtrack

    i qualify for improved disarm! lol. though i have taken martial arts i don't think i actually have the feat though

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    Vinyadan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    The most important book about fiction ever written are Aristoteles' Poetics. Professional storytellers and script writers still read it a lot, in spite of it being 23 centuries old.
    Another one that is used a lot today is Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces.
    There also is Vogler's Writer's Journey. It actually is very nice to read.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" is rather strange, but in some respects quite interesting. (I could babble for some time about why.)

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    If you're interested in examining tropes specifically with regard to D&D, I'd recommend The Chatty DM's articles on the subject, from back in 2007-2011 (now hosted on Critical Hits, so some links or images may be broken).

    He did a bunch of in-depth examination of gaming tropes from a DM's perspective, and it was quite interesting.

    Bear in mind, that link goes to the latest articles in the series, and there are 4 pages of articles, so scroll down and click "Next Page" a few times if you want them chronologically.

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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    "On Writing" by Stephen King is probably worth a read.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    "On Writing" by Stephen King is probably worth a read.
    i did actually read that. i don't remember too much of it as that was a long time ago. i do remember being influenced by it at the time though, it increased my esteem for Mr. King.

    like i said, i don't plan on writing anything (besides my video game - already did the writing for that, it was mainly dialogue; i don't think it hurt my effort that i didn't have a huge literary background, interestingly). maybe the kind of understanding i'm looking for can only be achieved by reading a lot of fiction. too lazy to do that. maybe after death i'll achieve that level of understanding or beyond it as i play with dreams. i don't plan on dying anytime soon though. maybe i could do some fan fiction and probably not share it lol? i don't want to do anything too hard so i can focus on writing code for my job. what a life i'm looking forward to.... :|
    check out my D&D-inspired video game, not done yet but you can listen to the soundtrack if you're bored: https://www.facebook.com/TheCityofScales/

    my game's soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-77807407...les-soundtrack

    i qualify for improved disarm! lol. though i have taken martial arts i don't think i actually have the feat though

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    There is a book written by a publishing house editor called "The Story Grid" that you might find interesting.
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    D20ragon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forester is a collection of Foresters essays and lectures on the novel as a form. Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer is also a solid choice.

    Of course, let us not forget Nabokov's choice words on literary criticism: "The purpose of a critique is to say something about a book the critic has or has not read. Criticism can be instructive in the sense that it gives readers, including the author of the book, some information about the critic’s intelligence, or honesty, or both."

    He's also got a bit to say about "great novels": "I’ve been perplexed and amused by fabricated notions about so-called “great books.” That, for instance, Mann’s asinine Death in Venice, or Pasternak’s melodramatic, vilely written Doctor Zhivago, or Faulkner’s corncobby chronicles can be considered masterpieces, or at least what journalists term “great books,” is to me the same sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair."

    So, there's that

    But yeah, the Forester and Prose stuff is probably a good starting point. Particularly the Prose, it's likely to be more useful.
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    Quote Originally Posted by D20ragon View Post
    ...is to me the same sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair...
    .
    A little more detail on that chair please.

    No reason.

    Just, um... curious.

    That's the ticket, curious.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fiction Writing/Lit crit

    If you're dream oriented, I'd just go ahead and recommend Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. Almost entirely garbage for actual human psychology, but very important nonetheless. They way narratives emerge from the chaos of dreams is perhaps the most relevant.

    I'd recommend Lovecraft's essay on supernatural horror in literature, as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    .
    A little more detail on that chair please.

    No reason.

    Just, um... curious.

    That's the ticket, curious.
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