Amph J. K. Rowling writing a new book!

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mar17swgirl, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I agree with all this. I also wish to point out that anyone can sit in judgment about how good or bad a writer is because it is completely and utterly subjective. How great a writer is Rowling (or Lucas, for the matter?). They got their stories to millions more people than any of us have. I think if we spend more time learning about what they did right than bitching about what they did wrong, we might find a similar measure of success.
  2. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    How are accessibility and readability bad?

    I think that's the mark of a good author.

    She's also great with characterization, plotting, very imaginative with setting, and her books have a good sense of humor.

    She's not perfect, a bit heavy on exposition (which is an issue with most authors), and while I get the story is Harry Potter it might have helped to get more points-of-view. As solojones said, she didn't create a whole universe like Tolkien or Lucas, but she never tried to do that. These things aren't big flaws.

    Too much detail and description is awful, and there are authors who think everything should be described and every description should be some kind of elaborate simile or metaphor as well as being symbolic of something else or some kind of allegory to real life. [face_sick] Many authors overdo it, thinking that's what a good author does, but it just makes their stories unreadable. Clarity in writing isn't as easy as it seems, it takes skill and practice... a book where you have to twist your mind to make sense of every sentence isn't smart writing, it's horrible writing. Like with most things, you need moderation in storytelling. Which I think JK Rowling is very good at.
  3. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Disagree that she's more derivative than Lucas. Star Wars it the king of totally derivative material pulled off freshly enough to seem new.
  4. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I think she's referring to worldbuilding.

    Rowling used elfs, trolls, giants, mermaids, and used existing locations in the real world... she took from existing legends, and she didn't make them all fit into a grand mythology like Tolkien did.

    Lucas created Hutts, Rodians, Gungans, Wookiees, Ewoks, Geonosians, Jawas, Sand People, Naboo, Kamino, Tatooine, Coruscant, Endor, Mustafar, Hoth, Cloud City, the Death Stars, X-wings, hyperdrives, lightsabers, droids, the Force, etc.
  5. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Lucas is derivative, but not so much from fantasy and sci-fi. His combination of things winds up seeming more unique and original because he stole more from the real world, samurai films, eastern philosophy, and old war films. Things people aren't quite as familiar with, that are more unusual at least to westerners. Everyone steals, and that's fine. It's just that Rowling is stealing elements from people like Tolkein and even Lucas, things that are already more familiar in the west. So the similarities come to mind more easily. Rowling tends instead to present her own take on centuries old wizard lore and such, which is fine. It just invites more comparison when you do something like that verses, say, drawing from Kurosawa.



    -sj loves kevin spacey
  6. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    Read Dune?
  7. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Cause Lucas sure did.
  8. AmiraMalicious Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2011
    It would be an overstatement to say she is a genius writer and an understatement to say she is a terrible writer. Her concepts were decent but her books as a whole had a lot of down time.
    I believe when her new book comes out, it will go unnoticed.
  9. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    i won't go so far as to say that rowling is a bad writer, i reserve that for the stephanie meyers of the world. but she is a far cry from a good writer. i defy you to come up with ten instances in the entire series where the writing itself made you want to re-read it multiple times simply because it was a pleasure to read. i can't even think of a single time to be honest. her writing is far to basic to illicit such a reaction, which given her intended audience is as it should be i suppose. but i have trouble seeing her being able to elevate her writing above what she's already done, but i'll wait until i see some samples of it.

    what rowling is, is a superlative storyteller, and this shows in her characters and the fact that the story resonated with so many people of so many varying ages. it isn't often that you find someone who is both great storyteller and great writer, usually one is decent at one and great at the other.

    really the question we should be asking ourselves is this: will rowling be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice? that depends on if she truly is a great storyteller or if she just found one story that was great and told it in equal fashion.

    to me one of the few people that was truly great at both was flannery o'connor. a joy to read her prose, but also with stories that made you actually want to read them. ursala k. leguin is another person i'd consider to have that quality of having both in above average measuer. jim butcher is another, because i have yet to read a single book of his that i didn't greatly enjoy the writing, characters, and the ultimate story that resulted from them. sure, he may not ever be considered a "great" writer by literary critics, but he is a great writer in that he makes you care and can turn a phrase that is quite memorable.

    anyway, this is just one creative writing majors opinion, so take it for what you will.

    EDIT

    i have to say that is very unlikely brian. not many people find that measure of success in writing, and it sure won't happen by attempting to copy what someone else did. the next time it happens will be something new, and hopefully better than the twilight mess. really, i have trouble seeing similarities in what they did there, and yet their success is pretty similar. find something new, do something different, and you're far more likely to make it like that than mere imitation.
  10. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Dune is drawn from in SW, I agree, but it really only relates to Tatooine, and honestly only really in superficial ways. The culture of Tatooine is nothing like that of Dune. Not at all. The bigger things were always drawn more from history and eastern culture in particular. So it at least seemed more new, even when it wasn't really.


  11. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    i'm with rachel on this one. there really is very little similar to dune, and yes i've read the first five. seriously, how hard is it to imagine a desert planet? especially if you're treating worlds as essentially continents/geological areas like lucas did. seems to follow pretty well. i mean, hoth and dagobah anyone?
  12. Cobranaconda Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 7
    Zahn created Coruscant anyway. [/EU ftw]
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Lot of dubious entries on this list. As has been pointed out, single biome planets are a pretty common trope in soft science fiction. The idea of a ocean planet, forest planet, gas planet, desert planet, city planet, and ice planet had all been done several times over. I'll admit that I'm not aware of anyone that had, in a professionally published work, done a "the core is hollow and also part of the ocean" planet. I think, though, that this has more to do with authorial discretion than inability to conceive of it. Because that idea is stupid.

    As for the Force, it seems largely a mish-mash of all the (family friendly) Western stereotypes about Asian religions: wandering monks, without many formal rules but filled with a bunch of sayings that hint at profundity while being largely opaque to Western audiences, its practitioners are skilled in the martial arts, etc. Taking that and tacking "in space" to it is not really that original at all.
  14. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/8/87/Luke_whining.jpg]



    You must be joking.



    You know what, I think I can come up with ten instances. Admittedly, 9 times out of 10, I would give a sample not because it was beautiful prose, but it was certainly still a pleasure to read. I find this true for a lot of the smaller moments in the series, like when Rowling sets the scene or changes the season from winter to spring or fall to winter (something Austen did a lot of, by the way). Her writing is still basic, which is understandable because of her target audience, but I can still see where she's holding back. I find it surprising that you don't think Rowling will get better with her first adult-targeted book.
  15. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Yeah, I was going to mention about taking her target audience (pre-teens and teens) into account. I'm not going to rule out getting her adult book. It depends on subject and reviews. (If it's something like a romance or cozy mystery it won't interest me.)
  16. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    cor: you kinda proved my point by admitting that ya know.

    i will admit it has been some time since i read them, so it would probably help to re-read them. i might revise my opinion of what i think she is capable of. but nothing really stood out to me as though she was holding back.
  17. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I only read the Harry Potter books as an adult and I thought they were great. And while I think the last couple books were clearly for young adults or adults and not kids, I still don't think Rowling has yet had a fair chance to write a purely adult-focused novel that you could compare to other writers who've aimed at that group. Just in terms of reading level and such.


    -sj loves kevin spacey
  18. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    This. Really hard to judge how this new bok will be, especially since we don#t even know the subject matter or genre. I'm certainly willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, though.
  19. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I thought I was the only one who thought JKR was a poor writer. (even taking into account her target audience is 8-14yo).

    But then again, from a technical standpoint, H.P. Lovecraft is a horrible writer. But he created the foundation for modern horror stories that almost everyone quotes or refers to, (when they aren't using judasim/christianity/zorasterism as a basis) and the source of lore for many geeks and geekish.

    I wonder what obscure mediocre movie she's going to take names from this time. (If you need an explanation, IMDB "Troll".)

    Dune did not come from StarWars. Star Wars borrowed from Dune. Or just coincidentally resonated it.
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I guess I don't understand the position of those of you who claim she was "holding back" because it was a children's book. She's a novelist, not a martial arts warrior on Dragonball Z. There are plenty of classic stories for children that are also noted as being well-written. I would expect that the audience more guided the sort of content she could put in the books than the quality with which she could write them.
  21. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I wasn't trying to imply that anyone should copy what they did, but rather learn what they did. My point was not that their particular brand of success was replicable. It was people should stop spending their energy trying to tear down artists who have achieved incredible success. She is very good at what she does and she wrote an incredible set of novels that helped an entire generation of kids read. That's laudable. I don't care how "good" a writer she is by some random, completely subjective standard.
  22. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    So popularity is more important than quality? That sounds pretty Twilight / high-school to me.
  23. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    don't get me wrong, i'm glad she got so many kids to read. i'm even glad that twilight has achieved the same thing. what i don't like is that they're going to think that kind of writing is actually some of the best out there, and when something that is actually better doesn't "measure up" they're opinion will be severely skewed. i know people that have done that with twilight. it bothers the hell out of me.
  24. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Why?

    I mean, how does a person's taste in literature affect your life in the slightest?
  25. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    When something gets kids to read that is a good thing. Period.