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[SciFiNoir Lit] Re: Jane Yolen Highly Critical of J.K. Rowling

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  • Carole McDonnell
    Perhaps 300 short little books wouldn t be so hard to do. How big are these stories? 200 printed pages? Extended short stories probably. Most of us could come
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 4, 2005
      Perhaps 300 short little books wouldn't be so hard to do. How big are
      these stories? 200 printed pages? Extended short stories probably.
      Most of us could come up with about 300 little books if we had a long
      career. I tend to think that any good writer probably would spend a
      great deal of time on a few good books, but some prolific folks can
      still churn stuff out. Of course we'd probably duplicate and imitate
      ourselves. Kinda like all those Twilight Zone episodes which were so
      familiar and repetitive. Or have books which have patches of
      different sections of different books, like Stephen King. Although am
      not sure if that is formulaic or churning. More like an author who
      has particular issues and can't really climb past them, or who think
      of those issues as his trademark. (like Danielle Steele, who pretty
      much writes the same story over and over) or Joyce Carol Oates who
      pretty much deals with the same families in all her stories and
      novels.

      I still don't know if an idea can be so copied that it becomes a
      plagiarism issue. Most stories in a genre resemble other stories in
      that genre. That's what makes it a genre-piece. Little wizards always
      have to go through some kind of apprenticeship.

      I do wonder though, how I would handle it if A) someone accused me or
      plagiarizing. or B) I thought someone else had made tons of money
      plagiarizing me. It seems such bad form to whine about it in public. -
      C




      --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright" <ravenadal@y...>
      wrote:
      > Name me two authors who have written 300 books (heck, name me ONE) -
      -
      > whose books aren't formuliac and churned out like cookies from a
      > cookie cutter (Earle Stanley Gardner, for instance). Further, most
      of
      > these literary mills do not actually write all the words printed
      under
      > their names. Alexandre Dumas published hundreds of books but he
      > didn't write all of them. A famous quote has him asking his son,
      also
      > Alexandre Dumas, if he, the son, had read his, the father's, latest
      > book. To which Dumas the junior replied, "No, have you?"
      >
      > ~rave!
    • Kelly Wright
      Hello Carole, I am a great fan of detective fiction and when I discover a new writer (new to me), I tend to read them voraciously UNTIL THEY START REPEATING
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 4, 2005
        Hello Carole,

        I am a great fan of detective fiction and when I discover a new writer
        (new to me), I tend to read them voraciously UNTIL THEY START
        REPEATING THEMSELVES! And all serial writers eventually do it. I
        stopped reading Stephen King almost twenty years ago, when he hit a
        horrible rut and virtually published the same novel with a different
        title for five consecutive years (a haunted dog, cemetary, car, etc.).
        I stopped reading Robert B. Parker's wonderful Spenser novels when he
        repeated the first one almost verbatim.

        As someone who almost never rereads a novel by choice, I am extremely
        peeved when someone suckers me into buying a thematic reissue under
        the guise of a new novel.

        There are, of course, readers - romance readers for instance, who
        enjoy reading the same story over and over and over again.


        ~(no)rave!

        --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Carole McDonnell"
        <Oreoblues@a...> wrote:
        > Perhaps 300 short little books wouldn't be so hard to do. How big are
        > these stories? 200 printed pages? Extended short stories probably.
        > Most of us could come up with about 300 little books if we had a long
        > career. I tend to think that any good writer probably would spend a
        > great deal of time on a few good books, but some prolific folks can
        > still churn stuff out. Of course we'd probably duplicate and imitate
        > ourselves. Kinda like all those Twilight Zone episodes which were so
        > familiar and repetitive. Or have books which have patches of
        > different sections of different books, like Stephen King. Although am
        > not sure if that is formulaic or churning. More like an author who
        > has particular issues and can't really climb past them, or who think
        > of those issues as his trademark. (like Danielle Steele, who pretty
        > much writes the same story over and over) or Joyce Carol Oates who
        > pretty much deals with the same families in all her stories and
        > novels.
        >
        > I still don't know if an idea can be so copied that it becomes a
        > plagiarism issue. Most stories in a genre resemble other stories in
        > that genre. That's what makes it a genre-piece. Little wizards always
        > have to go through some kind of apprenticeship.
        >
        > I do wonder though, how I would handle it if A) someone accused me or
        > plagiarizing. or B) I thought someone else had made tons of money
        > plagiarizing me. It seems such bad form to whine about it in public. -
        > C
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright" <ravenadal@y...>
        > wrote:
        > > Name me two authors who have written 300 books (heck, name me ONE) -
        > -
        > > whose books aren't formuliac and churned out like cookies from a
        > > cookie cutter (Earle Stanley Gardner, for instance). Further, most
        > of
        > > these literary mills do not actually write all the words printed
        > under
        > > their names. Alexandre Dumas published hundreds of books but he
        > > didn't write all of them. A famous quote has him asking his son,
        > also
        > > Alexandre Dumas, if he, the son, had read his, the father's, latest
        > > book. To which Dumas the junior replied, "No, have you?"
        > >
        > > ~rave!
      • Carole McDonnell
        So true. They feel secure in a familiar theme. And when the familiar theme works well, it s usually phenomenal. (Boy meets girl, loses girl, wins girl. Rich
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 6, 2005
          So true. They feel secure in a familiar theme. And when the familiar
          theme works well, it's usually phenomenal. (Boy meets girl, loses
          girl, wins girl. Rich foreign princess loses money then moves to
          other country and rebuilds her own empire and gets handsome sexy
          financially-secure jock to boot. Ah Danielle.)

          And there are the "33 plots" that every story supposedly falls into.
          So I can deal with Romeo and Juliet or Romeo must die or Hamlet or
          West Side Story.

          But you're right. IF a writer always uses the same theme or plot,
          chances aren't likely that she's gonna be original. She won't write
          Rome and Juliet one year, or RMD or H, or WSS. Especially if they
          stick to one genre.

          I can also understand if a writer writes something similar ten years
          after writing a similar story. Maybe they feel they haven't done it
          well. Or maybe they want to explore some area they haven't. But if
          it's rutting or churning...then. For instance, I think The Stand was
          one of the best Stephen King Books. He doesn't have to write another
          end of the world book. Green Mile and Shawshank were both good
          prison stories that dealt with similar themes but were different. I
          can't imagine him writing another prison story ...WELL. But who
          knows? As for haunted dogs, houses, cars, etc, I tried to read Cujo
          (or was that pet sematary) and I saw Christine. They were horrible.
          He still writes some great stuff occasionally though. Don't give up
          on him. The boy who loved Tom Robbins was good. (Think that was the
          title) And there was Bag of Bones...okay, although I thought he
          should let Grisham do courtroom dramas.

          -C
          --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright" <ravenadal@y...>
          wrote:
          > Hello Carole,
          >
          > I am a great fan of detective fiction and when I discover a new
          writer
          > (new to me), I tend to read them voraciously UNTIL THEY START
          > REPEATING THEMSELVES! And all serial writers eventually do it. I
          > stopped reading Stephen King almost twenty years ago, when he hit a
          > horrible rut and virtually published the same novel with a different
          > title for five consecutive years (a haunted dog, cemetary, car,
          etc.).
          > I stopped reading Robert B. Parker's wonderful Spenser novels when
          he
          > repeated the first one almost verbatim.
          >
          > As someone who almost never rereads a novel by choice, I am
          extremely
          > peeved when someone suckers me into buying a thematic reissue under
          > the guise of a new novel.
          >
          > There are, of course, readers - romance readers for instance, who
          > enjoy reading the same story over and over and over again.
          >
          >
        • Chris Hayden
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 7, 2005
            <<Here is a partial (I guess, since it does not list 300 books)
            Yolen bibliography--I suppose that by inspecting closer we can see
            what patterns if any to her writing (series, repeated subjects, etc)

            http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/authors/Jane_Yolen.htm

            What gets me is how someone can author 300 books and be little known
            outside the genre--

            Is it quantity or quality?

            Chris

            --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Carole McDonnell"
            <Oreoblues@a...> wrote:
            >
            > So true. They feel secure in a familiar theme. And when the
            familiar
            > theme works well, it's usually phenomenal. (Boy meets girl, loses
            > girl, wins girl. Rich foreign princess loses money then moves to
            > other country and rebuilds her own empire and gets handsome sexy
            > financially-secure jock to boot. Ah Danielle.)
            >
            > And there are the "33 plots" that every story supposedly falls
            into.
            > So I can deal with Romeo and Juliet or Romeo must die or Hamlet or
            > West Side Story.
            >
            > But you're right. IF a writer always uses the same theme or plot,
            > chances aren't likely that she's gonna be original. She won't
            write
            > Rome and Juliet one year, or RMD or H, or WSS. Especially if they
            > stick to one genre.
            >
            > I can also understand if a writer writes something similar ten
            years
            > after writing a similar story. Maybe they feel they haven't done
            it
            > well. Or maybe they want to explore some area they haven't. But if
            > it's rutting or churning...then. For instance, I think The Stand
            was
            > one of the best Stephen King Books. He doesn't have to write
            another
            > end of the world book. Green Mile and Shawshank were both good
            > prison stories that dealt with similar themes but were different.
            I
            > can't imagine him writing another prison story ...WELL. But who
            > knows? As for haunted dogs, houses, cars, etc, I tried to read
            Cujo
            > (or was that pet sematary) and I saw Christine. They were
            horrible.
            > He still writes some great stuff occasionally though. Don't give
            up
            > on him. The boy who loved Tom Robbins was good. (Think that was
            the
            > title) And there was Bag of Bones...okay, although I thought he
            > should let Grisham do courtroom dramas.
            >
            > -C
            > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright"
            <ravenadal@y...>
            > wrote:
            > > Hello Carole,
            > >
            > > I am a great fan of detective fiction and when I discover a new
            > writer
            > > (new to me), I tend to read them voraciously UNTIL THEY START
            > > REPEATING THEMSELVES! And all serial writers eventually do it. I
            > > stopped reading Stephen King almost twenty years ago, when he
            hit a
            > > horrible rut and virtually published the same novel with a
            different
            > > title for five consecutive years (a haunted dog, cemetary, car,
            > etc.).
            > > I stopped reading Robert B. Parker's wonderful Spenser novels
            when
            > he
            > > repeated the first one almost verbatim.
            > >
            > > As someone who almost never rereads a novel by choice, I am
            > extremely
            > > peeved when someone suckers me into buying a thematic reissue
            under
            > > the guise of a new novel.
            > >
            > > There are, of course, readers - romance readers for instance, who
            > > enjoy reading the same story over and over and over again.
            > >
            > >
          • Kelly Wright
            An interesting tidbet about the darkest days of Steven King s career (the whole haunted pet, dog, car period)is that it coincided with the period during which
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 7, 2005
              An interesting tidbet about the darkest days of Steven King's career
              (the whole haunted pet, dog, car period)is that it coincided with the
              period during which his wife, Tabitha, who edited his novels, decided
              to write her own. In my opinion, Tabitha is a better writer than
              Steven is ("Pearl" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-
              /0453006264/qid=1126125987/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8914302-4516854?
              v=glance&s=books&n=507846) - though he is obviously the master
              craftsman. Her novels never sold anywhere near Steven King numbers
              and I always attributed Steven's rebound as an author to Tabitha's
              returning editor's pen.

              ~rave!

              --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Carole McDonnell"
              <Oreoblues@a...> wrote:
              >
              > So true. They feel secure in a familiar theme. And when the
              familiar
              > theme works well, it's usually phenomenal. (Boy meets girl, loses
              > girl, wins girl. Rich foreign princess loses money then moves to
              > other country and rebuilds her own empire and gets handsome sexy
              > financially-secure jock to boot. Ah Danielle.)
              >
              > And there are the "33 plots" that every story supposedly falls
              into.
              > So I can deal with Romeo and Juliet or Romeo must die or Hamlet or
              > West Side Story.
              >
              > But you're right. IF a writer always uses the same theme or plot,
              > chances aren't likely that she's gonna be original. She won't write
              > Rome and Juliet one year, or RMD or H, or WSS. Especially if they
              > stick to one genre.
              >
              > I can also understand if a writer writes something similar ten
              years
              > after writing a similar story. Maybe they feel they haven't done it
              > well. Or maybe they want to explore some area they haven't. But if
              > it's rutting or churning...then. For instance, I think The Stand
              was
              > one of the best Stephen King Books. He doesn't have to write
              another
              > end of the world book. Green Mile and Shawshank were both good
              > prison stories that dealt with similar themes but were different. I
              > can't imagine him writing another prison story ...WELL. But who
              > knows? As for haunted dogs, houses, cars, etc, I tried to read Cujo
              > (or was that pet sematary) and I saw Christine. They were horrible.
              > He still writes some great stuff occasionally though. Don't give up
              > on him. The boy who loved Tom Robbins was good. (Think that was the
              > title) And there was Bag of Bones...okay, although I thought he
              > should let Grisham do courtroom dramas.
              >
              > -C
              > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright"
              <ravenadal@y...>
              > wrote:
              > > Hello Carole,
              > >
              > > I am a great fan of detective fiction and when I discover a new
              > writer
              > > (new to me), I tend to read them voraciously UNTIL THEY START
              > > REPEATING THEMSELVES! And all serial writers eventually do it. I
              > > stopped reading Stephen King almost twenty years ago, when he hit
              a
              > > horrible rut and virtually published the same novel with a
              different
              > > title for five consecutive years (a haunted dog, cemetary, car,
              > etc.).
              > > I stopped reading Robert B. Parker's wonderful Spenser novels
              when
              > he
              > > repeated the first one almost verbatim.
              > >
              > > As someone who almost never rereads a novel by choice, I am
              > extremely
              > > peeved when someone suckers me into buying a thematic reissue
              under
              > > the guise of a new novel.
              > >
              > > There are, of course, readers - romance readers for instance, who
              > > enjoy reading the same story over and over and over again.
              > >
              > >
            • Carole McDonnell
              Pearl was one good book. I never read the sequel, though. Yeah, these writers benefit by having great wives with editorial skills. -C ... career ... the ...
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 7, 2005
                "Pearl" was one good book.

                I never read the sequel, though.
                Yeah, these writers benefit by having great wives with editorial
                skills.
                -C


                --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright" <ravenadal@y...>
                wrote:
                > An interesting tidbet about the darkest days of Steven King's
                career
                > (the whole haunted pet, dog, car period)is that it coincided with
                the
                > period during which his wife, Tabitha, who edited his novels,
                decided
                > to write her own. In my opinion, Tabitha is a better writer than
                > Steven is ("Pearl" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-
                > /0453006264/qid=1126125987/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8914302-4516854?
                > v=glance&s=books&n=507846) - though he is obviously the master
                > craftsman. Her novels never sold anywhere near Steven King numbers
                > and I always attributed Steven's rebound as an author to Tabitha's
                > returning editor's pen.
                >
                > ~rave!
                >
                >
              • Chris Hayden
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 8, 2005
                  <<Anybody would benefit from a good editor--this is interesting
                  about King. Apparently he was about to junk "Carrie" until his wife
                  encouraged him to keep it going and she contributed some advice for
                  changes that made it work--

                  This is a good thread too about prolific authors (how prolific? How
                  prolific to be?)

                  I notice this about Joyce Carol Oates. She makes a big deal about
                  writing 18 hours a day and churns out these books and there is no
                  soul to them. I notice many an author whose first works were the
                  best--H.G. Wells, comes to mind--he wrote about 100 of them and the
                  first half dozen were at least the most popular.

                  Dr. Asimov had maybe one or two hundred books to his credit, yet one
                  of the first stories he wrote, "Nightfall" when he was 21, was
                  usually cited as his best.

                  I think what happens is that since publishing is a business, an
                  author, especially one that gets a hit, is encouraged to churn out
                  books because he or she can count on so much automatic repeat
                  business--if you notice with popular authors their names are bigger
                  than the titles of the books on the covers--what is being sold is
                  not the book but residual good feeling or attraction for that author.

                  Chris

                  --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Carole McDonnell"
                  <Oreoblues@a...> wrote:
                  > "Pearl" was one good book.
                  >
                  > I never read the sequel, though.
                  > Yeah, these writers benefit by having great wives with editorial
                  > skills.
                  > -C
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Kelly Wright"
                  <ravenadal@y...>
                  > wrote:
                  > > An interesting tidbet about the darkest days of Steven King's
                  > career
                  > > (the whole haunted pet, dog, car period)is that it coincided
                  with
                  > the
                  > > period during which his wife, Tabitha, who edited his novels,
                  > decided
                  > > to write her own. In my opinion, Tabitha is a better writer
                  than
                  > > Steven is ("Pearl" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-
                  > > /0453006264/qid=1126125987/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8914302-
                  4516854?
                  > > v=glance&s=books&n=507846) - though he is obviously the master
                  > > craftsman. Her novels never sold anywhere near Steven King
                  numbers
                  > > and I always attributed Steven's rebound as an author to
                  Tabitha's
                  > > returning editor's pen.
                  > >
                  > > ~rave!
                  > >
                  > >
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