Midnight Shadows Distraction & Recreation The Moonlight Cliché Plotlines = Bestseller Books?


02-23-2010
08:42 PM
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02-23-2010, 08:42 PM
A lot of your first post mentions Twilight, and I think this is a mistake. The whole idea of Twilight is a wish fulfilment book. If you have your awkward girl, who, despite her flaws is loved, she feels like an outsider, moans a whines about pretty much everything, and yet she still gets the perfect* man to run around after her. It's taking the insecurities that every teenage person has ever felt and gives it a big "it's going to be ok."

Meanwhile you have the likes of Harry Potter whose creativity and depth actually sparks essays and professional works of critique. Most stories can be boiled down into Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. I think the creativity of telling the story is where the difference lies. I think there's a huge difference between cliche stories and cliche storylines.



* Perfect isn't how I'd describe Edward given is outwardly down-right creepish behaviour, but the books seem to think he is.
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02-24-2010
08:16 AM
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02-24-2010, 08:16 AM
Originally Posted by Six Degrees

I feel that the reason why these plotlines have become clichéd and overused is because they are tried and tested storylines which have worked in getting more readers to buy the books. There are probably a lot of people there who find solace in these fantasy-like "happily ever after" endings. Real life can be too harsh and difficult, and some people just find it nice to be able to immerse themselves in a "perfect world". (I have to admit that I sometimes get to caught up in these beautiful storylines too! )
I think part of this working is also the reader's wish to just "keep" reading. Stay in that world, escape reality a little longer into a word where the apparent ugly duckling gets the hot guy (*choke*), where it's ok to trade in your mortal life for something unreal and amazing looking without ever having to worry about the consequences. It's escapism in its purest form and sadly enough it works because people ask for it.

Originally Posted by Six Degrees

It's kinda like the movie Avatar, where it was reported that many movie-goers experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after watching the movie because the Avatar world was too beautiful and they ended up being disconnected from reality.
Holy ****! Seriouyl! that worries me. Yeah, blah, I'll admit I did have a pang or two of that 'wishing we could live like that' when the movie was over. But that's where the reality button should actually be pushed back in! Because seriously ... who of us would wanna live without the convenience of fast-food, microwaves, pizza delivery and all those other little unimportant things that make our lives what it is. I love my computer, and the idea to be able to write and RP ... in a world like Pandora I couldn't do that It's like people wanting to be knights and live in the medieval times, or even happily switch our current societies (with all its good and bad sides) for a feudal system like EC (or many books) have. End the end, no one is thinking of the fact that there are way more peasants at the bottom end of the latter than Knights, royalty or even dragonriders.

Originally Posted by Salvation

I mean I haven't read a stand alone book where the leads aren't in happily ever after land
And that's sad. I mean, a book with no happy ending does leave me in a "wanting" state too. But seriously, an open ending is really that much more fulfilling even if it's not satisfying - if this makes any sense. I mean, personally I appreciate having an ending that makes my head continue to spin the tale, or go back and think about the plot etc. and why it led up to the given ending. A happy end usually closes the book and there's no need to think about it. Those stories don't stay with me as much as the previously mentioned ones do.

Originally Posted by Ares

A lot of your first post mentions Twilight, and I think this is a mistake. The whole idea of Twilight is a wish fulfilment book. If you have your awkward girl, who, despite her flaws is loved, she feels like an outsider, moans a whines about pretty much everything, and yet she still gets the perfect* man to run around after her. It's taking the insecurities that every teenage person has ever felt and gives it a big "it's going to be ok."
But does it really? In the end it gives the big ok to the part where the teenage girl commits suicide. And that's really not ok in my mind. I mean in Twilight Bella gives up her mortal life out of choice. In German we have a translation for suicide that is "Freitod" (which is kinda boils down to an understanding of willingly choosing death). And what she does is nothing else really. That's not a heroine that inspires. She's a heroine who is weak, and gives in to the temptation. Yes wishfulfilling this is most definitely, and I certainly wouldn't have minded having the first or even second book ride on that wave. But Meyer never managed the proper jump off of this thing, in which she'd have smacked sense into Bella and made that silly girl realise just what she's willing to throw away. That's the heroine that one ought to write a book about for young adults; the kind that eventually takes her life into her own hands and fights her own battles.

Originally Posted by Ares

Meanwhile you have the likes of Harry Potter whose creativity and depth actually sparks essays and professional works of critique. Most stories can be boiled down into Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. I think the creativity of telling the story is where the difference lies. I think there's a huge difference between cliche stories and cliche storylines.
I don't think anyone criticised the good vs. bad angle. I agree, in the end, pretty much every story boils down to it because it is the way in which humans distinguish. Light and dark. Good and evil. One defines the other. Comparing Harry Potter to the kind of story Twilight poses is however like comparing a massive chandelier with a few lousy candles. I think comparing Rowling to Meyer is very unfair to former
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02-24-2010
10:55 AM
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02-24-2010, 10:55 AM
Originally Posted by Imzadi

But does it really? In the end it gives the big ok to the part where the teenage girl commits suicide. And that's really not ok in my mind. I mean in Twilight Bella gives up her mortal life out of choice. In German we have a translation for suicide that is "Freitod" (which is kinda boils down to an understanding of willingly choosing death). And what she does is nothing else really. That's not a heroine that inspires. She's a heroine who is weak, and gives in to the temptation. Yes wishfulfilling this is most definitely, and I certainly wouldn't have minded having the first or even second book ride on that wave. But Meyer never managed the proper jump off of this thing, in which she'd have smacked sense into Bella and made that silly girl realise just what she's willing to throw away. That's the heroine that one ought to write a book about for young adults; the kind that eventually takes her life into her own hands and fights her own battles.

You do not want to even get me started on how Twilight is possibly the most dangerous book in terms of subversive ideas to young people, totally different thread. While I agree with you the book itself does not deal with the issue that you brought up, it glosses over it, because it's OK Bella gave up her life for a 100 year old creep, because they're in TRU LUV! and now they can spend eternity together! YAY!

Wish fulfillment. Maybe not for the jaded like yourself and I, but, certainly for the main target of teenage girls.

Originally Posted by Imzadi

I don't think anyone criticised the good vs. bad angle. I agree, in the end, pretty much every story boils down to it because it is the way in which humans distinguish. Light and dark. Good and evil. One defines the other. Comparing Harry Potter to the kind of story Twilight poses is however like comparing a massive chandelier with a few lousy candles. I think comparing Rowling to Meyer is very unfair to former

I agree, I was just trying to say how most stories, from the ancient greek epics to modern day stories all, generally, have very similar themes, good vs evil, true love, etc. etc. That even though the stories, when boiled down to it, have cliche backbones, it's the originality of the story that does allow for bestsellers.
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02-25-2010
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02-25-2010, 07:50 AM
Originally Posted by Ares

A lot of your first post mentions Twilight, and I think this is a mistake. The whole idea of Twilight is a wish fulfilment book. If you have your awkward girl, who, despite her flaws is loved, she feels like an outsider, moans a whines about pretty much everything, and yet she still gets the perfect* man to run around after her. It's taking the insecurities that every teenage person has ever felt and gives it a big "it's going to be ok."


* Perfect isn't how I'd describe Edward given is outwardly down-right creepish behaviour, but the books seem to think he is.
Have to agree with Aod here. When I read those books, it did kind of give off that feeling that yes, things will be ok. Its easily translatable to me into Real Life for not only female but male teenagers, where as things will get better, in one way or another.

Also agreeing that Edward, so not perfect. In looks or behaviour
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06-04-2010
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06-04-2010, 02:32 PM
I'll have to disagree on the looks thing. Men and women have expected looks in the media. Bella [at least in the movies] fits that. So does Edward although Jacob's more my type. Bella is very skinny but still has sizable breasts. Edward and Jacob are tall with decent sets of muscles. The story of Twilight is more the hot outsiders meet and fall in love. Usually, hollywood sends the message that hot chicks get the guys. Average men can get hot women but never the other way around unless there is a magic spell (Shallow Hal anyone?). Women are still valued based on appearance.

Drop Dead Diva (a show on lifetime I quit seeing) MIGHT be different because a size 14 has a crush on a fit attractive man. Yet, the size 14 used to be a size 2 but was transplanted into the 14. So they have a past history.

The media will NEVER show a size 14 woman getting a hot, athletic guy. It just won't happen. Of course, that would be true wish fulfillment for many teenage girls.
06-04-2010
03:11 PM
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06-04-2010, 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by Titus

I'll have to disagree on the looks thing. Men and women have expected looks in the media. Bella [at least in the movies] fits that. So does Edward although Jacob's more my type. Bella is very skinny but still has sizable breasts. Edward and Jacob are tall with decent sets of muscles. The story of Twilight is more the hot outsiders meet and fall in love. Usually, hollywood sends the message that hot chicks get the guys. Average men can get hot women but never the other way around unless there is a magic spell (Shallow Hal anyone?). Women are still valued based on appearance.


This is why Bella looks like she does.

Originally Posted by Titus

The media will NEVER show a size 14 woman getting a hot, athletic guy. It just won't happen. Of course, that would be true wish fulfillment for many teenage girls.
You're actually so wrong right now. There are 100s of examples where female leads who are not traditionally attractive end up with attractive men.
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06-11-2010
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06-11-2010, 07:09 AM
Aod I'm gonna state the obvious and ask if that is Stephanie?

And I find that majority of people when writing either a book or RP will model the image of the main character, or in RP case our character around some one they either admire and find attractive, or themselves.
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06-11-2010
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06-11-2010, 07:21 AM
Indeed Jono, tis Stephanie!

I'm not sure I agree with people will model a character on someone they find attractive, or even admire. I find a lot of people want to play characters they find to be 'fun' to play, however I will concede that that may overlap into people they do find attractive. E.g. They think it will be fun to play an attractive character.
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02-05-2012
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02-05-2012, 12:55 AM
I think a writer should write mainly for themselves and for the story they want to be told (or the story that demands to be told) and not write for the public masses. I mean, writing a bestseller for writing-a-bestseller's sake will certainly make the work suffer and also the pleasure writing it. When the story is cliché and you liked writing it, there is nothing wrong about it. Clichés are clichés for a reason, it can attract a great public. By the time I will finish writing a clichéd book, however, the cliché will surely be "out of fashion" and something else will be on the menu of popular books.


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