Re: RARA-AVIS: Writing is Greatly Overrated; It's the story that counts.

From: Patrick King (
Date: 29 Oct 2007

But look how often a pretty good story with 2 dimentional characters brings down gold? THE EXORCIST, DAVINCI CODE, and JAWS come immediately to mind. On the other hand, a great character study like MILDRED PIERCE is not as compelling a read. And Cain said so himself. They had to add a murder to make a movie out of it. Certainly, great story, great characters is the right way to go from TOM SAWYER to HARRY POTTER. But if you can only do one of the two, get the story right. The dollar book bins are filled with great character studies and lame stories.

Patrick King
--- Jack Bludis <> wrote:

> A reply to Patrick and William, and a comment on
> Henry
> James:
> In the argument of whether Character or Story is
> more
> important, I have been converted to the school that
> says,
> neither works without the other, although some
> pretty
> popular works have made it with cardboard
> characters. Good
> writing, I still contend, is not a necessary quality
> for a
> good book, but it's nice if it's there.
> The idea that really bad writing can work? I'm
> afraid it
> can. Clive Cussler tells some pretty good,
> over-the-top,
> poorly-styled, fantastic stretches of story. His
> characterization isn't so hot either, but he drags
> you
> along.
> Now, that doesn't make Clive Cussler great, any more
> than
> THE DA VINCI CODE is a great book.
> On Hemingway? I think his most underrated book is TO
> AND HAVE NOT, which is far different from the movie.
> A
> MOVABLE FEAST, struck me as an old man trying to get
> even
> with everyone who ever wronged him.
> THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, a great story, but about
> twice as
> long as it should be.
> FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, look how good I can write,
> the
> master said. (Another book twice as long as it
> should be.)
> These are all long-held opinions.
> Cooper or James? I'll take the adventure of Cooper
> over the
> introspection of James.
> ULYSSES might be one of my favorite books of all
> time, and
> I do think there is a story, just like I think the
> movie O
> BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU was a pretty good story.
> Yep, we
> can give credit to Homer on both counts.
> I'm procrastinating on my WIP, now I'd better get
> back to
> work and try not to look at mail again until
> sometime
> Sunday evening.
> Jack Bludis
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