The Age Old Debate

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by ethanx, Nov 20, 2000.

  1. ethanx

    ethanx New Member

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    I have been posting here for a few months now and i notice a rather disturbing and very childish trend. When you read this do take into account that I fully realize that this is a post board open to all types of debate on fantasy lit. One of things that disturbs me though is the need for people to say that one author is better than another. Whether it be for pure academic writing skills, storytelling or originality. Tolkien is the best, Jordan is king and on and on. Everytime I look back on here I see a new string of an already overdone topic. The thing that strikes me funny is that poeople actually believe that by bashing one author and praising another that this will change that person's opinion. If anyone has any background whatsoever in psych they will realize that this does not work. Everyone has their own opinion, and most people will become very defensive and less open-minded to the blatant disregard for something they believe to be true if this tact is used. Now I am not saying that I do not have opinions myself. Right now I am a huge fan of Martin's series and less than enthused with Jordan. The point of all this is that I will still read Jordan's work as well as Martin's, whether someone posts that Jordan's new book is garbage or Martin's new work is under par. The one thing that ties us all together and makes us post is our common love of fantasy in general. It gets to the point where the critics become so rude that you would think they owned stock in these authors. Until an actual published author gets on here and says that another author's books are terrible does anyone have more credibility than anyone else here? I doubt that if a bunch of authors got together on a message board that they would be sitting there like children saying that there work is better and the other author saying that his is. Something constructive that they might do is brainstorm ideas for books or to toss around new concepts. Now I know that people will read this and diregard it and still post new topics such as "Why Jordan makes me break out in hives" or "Goodkind can beat Tolkien in hoops", but I for one am rather bored with it. So instead of cutting down an author who makes his living of off writing, why not throw some ideas out yourself and we can have fun with that. String creative writing is a rather fun and interesting venue that people can have fun with and take some pride in. SO IMHO debates on who is better or the best will never be resolved here, but we can actually make this a place that an author would be proud of.


    (If anyone is interested in starting an open string story let me know.)
     
  2. mybeaker

    mybeaker New Member

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    Here here! I agree wholeheartedly. I think some people just like to look at their own words on a screen (the internet equivalent to liking to hear the sound of your own voice). I believe that there is no such thing as "the best" author, just a different style of writing that appeals more to some than others. And it isn't limited to just fantasy, all genres share this quality.

    I'm just glad to see someone that shares my opinion [​IMG]


    (Oh and yes I'd be interested in open story writing on the board)
     
  3. FitzChivalry

    FitzChivalry A servant of Lord Arioch

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    I'm sorry ethanx, when i read your post i became very defensive and less open-minded so i can't agree with you on that.
    j/k there.

    seriously, if people enjoy argueing about authors there's nothing wrong with that. the whole point of this board is having fun talking about fantasy. it's pointless because nobody will convince nobody else, but if someone enjoys it, be my guest.
     
  4. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    Having been posting on this board since there were about 10 other people, I have noticed this trend increasing lately. It is still fun to have an interesting discussion, just not a mindless argument.

    What annoys me though, is when people don't try to back up their argument with reasons. Saying "Goodkind sucks" is pointless. Saying "Goodkind sucks because " and giving out a few reasons is where these discussions make sense, because it is like minded people presenting opinions, not bashing each other mindlessly.

    Which is why I am considering stopping reading the reviews on this site. It seems to me that every Goodkind review goes something along the lines of "This book is great, and the series keeps getting better. Yay goodkind" (Sorry - not trying to single out Goodkind there - he was the first example to come to mind.)
    They don't say why the book is good. They often don't use grammar or punctuation or more than 3 sentences, and usually submit as Anonymous. Which in my mind doesn't make it a book review. I'm not sure what it makes it.

    So, in summary, when you are trying to put an opinion across, at least back it up with some reasoning, evidence or at least correct spelling. It makes for intersting discussion, not mindless arguments.

    [This message has been edited by Eventine (edited November 20, 2000).]
     
  5. Pluvious

    Pluvious Challenge Assumptions

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    I agree with Eventine. Eventine rules! Is that more than three sentences?

    Anyway, I too wouldn't mind some more in depth posts. I enjoy giving examples and explaining why or why not I like or dislike something. But I also realize some people don't think very deeply about why they like something. Right Goodkind fans! (ha ha)

    Arguing opinions rocks! Complaining about other people's lack of imagination or critical thinking is pointless. Give me a good topic to debat and I'm there...
     
  6. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    YOU ALL ROCK!! JUST BECAUSE!!

    Seriously, though I agree with Eventine about the reviews and people saying This author sucks, without back up, or the whole "Goodkind/Jordan rules" thing.
    I don't think this is a new problem, one of my first posts was
    Anything other than Goodkind or Jordan? back in May.

    Yes ethanx! People also should check other threads and topics before starting a new topic and read the previous comments in the thread they are posting, so as not to repeat.
    How many posts are there for recommendations now?

    Something else that has really annoyed me--People should also put SPOILERS in the topic line when a spoiler will be discussed or at the very top of their post if the post contains spoilers and give some blank space before the spoiler if the book is fairly new.
    The only person that is going to convince me if an author "sucks" (or to be PC if I don't like them) is the author themself, as Robert Jordan says--READ AND FIND OUT.

    BTW--Stephen is King, not Jordan or anybody else. j/k [​IMG]

    I think we can all agree that people need to think before the type and think again before they hit the SUBMIT button.

    I hope this hasn't come across too cranky.
     
  7. drakon

    drakon New Member

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    i would like to post an objection to what ethanx said ... but i can't 'cause i totally agree. i am a new member to this forum and i must admit that after first posting criticism about Jordan (which btw i backed up) i grew tired of all the "He's so gggrreeaattt" etc. posts and looked for more interesting subjects.

    I love the idea of starting an open string story!!! ( although i'm not sure i'll be very good at it as english isn't my mother tongue
     
  8. Liselle

    Liselle New Member

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    I agree with ethanx and Eventine both: I cannot stand those endless discussions about who's the best author anymore, but maybe we can give them a new sense adding a 'because' to every opinion we give. Of course, everyone has his own preferences and likes, but it can be quite interesting to discuss such things to earn new perspectives.
    A story to continue online would be great, though I think there'll be some difficulties such as: you have to read everything to know how to continue eventually (this means being online for ages), and you have to be fast with your version of the story, otherwise someone else might give the story a completely other direction and you have to order your thoughts and ideas again.
    Nevertheless I think it is worth a try!
     
  9. Lani

    Lani Guarded by the Moon

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    I agree with people who posted that some more depth in discussion would be definetely a plus. It does gets boring to read all those "Jordan rules!" type of things even if you believe that it is so.
    On the other hand about changing minds with arguments and such... Did you ever saw a person who, for example, stated that Goodkind suck and then after hearing even a reasonable argument against that started to tell people that Goodkind rules? I didn't and as long as I know 99% of arguments are just a waste of time because nobody is changing mind. So we argue just for fun. But anyway let's have a thoughtful fun!
     
  10. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    FitzFlagg has made a good point with the spoilers comment.
    A while back someone was revealing most of the Wheel of Time plot on a board. Having never read the series, but contemplating it, I didn't want to see the events of book 6 laid out before I could read the first one.

    (our moderator, if you're listening), is there anywhere where standard ettiquete for the board is posted? It's not obvious if it is...
    I's a pretty simple list:

    Check old posts before starting a new thread.
    Think before you write - offer a discussion point not an opinion.
    Respect others - don't flame and warn for spoilers.

    Any other suggestions?

    On another note - I am never going to not read an author because of what has been written on this board. I will read an author if I am convinced by a lot of good comments however. By reading a bad author once, I have cost myself a few dollars for a book. By not reading a good author, I've cost myself a lot more than a few dollars...
     
  11. Pluvious

    Pluvious Challenge Assumptions

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    Hmm...I'm noticing a disturbing trend.

    I have seen several people post that an opinion will not be changed by what someone else has said. What??? How do you think opinions are formed? Opinions are gotten by evaluating what you know about a subject and what other people (who's opions you may or may not respect) say about it. This is a fact of life. Sure, maybe if you are some supergenius that has elevated above everyone else you may not consider other's opinions; otherwise, you just can't help yourself-you're human.

    As far as the context of these message boards and influencing people from reading or liking a certin author (such as Goodkind or Jordan), people are being influenced until they finally do make up their mind and close it to the subject permanantely. Some people are still in the infant stages of their reading careers and may benefit greatly from some criticism or postitive comments about an author. And the more they hear-especially by people they can relate to or admire-the more they will pay attention to what is being said.

    And yes, many people no longer care if you like Goodkind or not; they already have made up their minds. But some havn't, and maybe they won't for some time. There is no way of knowing.

    By the way Jordan is a below average author with excellent fantasy and world-building skills. And Goodkind a notch below Jordan. I wonder if that influenced anybody?
     
  12. ethanx

    ethanx New Member

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    I agree with some of what you say Pluvious, yet if you read in full my intial post you will see that giving an opinion of an author is not what disturbs me. It is the bashing of one author to raise another, or the general lashing of an author without substantial backing as others have said. I do believe that if someone has not read an author's work their opinion will still be open, yet these are not the people who i am speaking of in this post. Also you just blatantly stated YOUR own opinion of Jordan and Goodkind as if it was fact. Yet that did not influence me in any way, especially since you stated no reason why you believe that. Now I am sure you have good and lengthy reasons, but honestly i am not interested. If you would like to talk of that start a new post and I am sure you will have all the Goodkind and Jordan fans whose opinions will NOT be changed replying in numbers. I have read both authors work and being a sentient being and not easily influenced (especially by a group of people from around the world that I know absolutley nothing about) I have formed my own opinions based on my own personal criteria. So even if my opinion differed, stating why and forcefully trying to make you see my view would not work, unless you are the blind sheep that will bleat in acquiescence at every word I say. I would like to hold a higher opinion of most of the people who post here so I give the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not.
     
  13. Lani

    Lani Guarded by the Moon

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    Ethanx,
    I guess you misunderstood me. The opinions that I stated ARE NOT MINE. It was just a handy example of what people sometimes write as their topic post. As for my opinions they are pretty different for both authors there and definitely I do not state them like that.
    Pluvious,
    I was talking about changing opinions when they are already formed on the subject, not about getting new ones about something you didn't know much about before.
     
  14. drakon

    drakon New Member

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    I think that posting opinions about authors
    is one of the great functions of this forum,
    it is the main reason that i logged on to here.The opinion should however,like ethnax said be an opinion and not a bashing of the author, in this way people can learn more about new authors and yes, slowly shape their own opinion.
     
  15. Macros

    Macros a.k.a slade

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    Ditto ................. Well what more do you expect? I'm only trying to up my status from junior member to member.
     
  16. ethanx

    ethanx New Member

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    Lani,I was making reference to Pluvious in my last post, not you. I agree with most of what you said.
     
  17. Giarc

    Giarc New Member

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    Hi all,

    Well, I do agree in part with most everyone ! [​IMG] Personally I think that nothing /should/ change anyones mind about an author except for that person reading the book for themselves. Anything else is grossly unfair to the author of the book. For all I have come to dislike Jordan's work (and have stated my reasons for this elsewhere) I would be appalled if someone decided, on the basis of my opinion, to not read Jordan's series. Let everyone formulate their own opinion based on their own experience.
    Perhaps the best point made on this thread is about people bashing one author to compare another author more favourably. I'm not sure if I am guilty of this or not. However, I believe I made a point rather similar to this on the 'praise goodkind' thread (can we also have a rule about not using all-caps for titles?). I noticed that after a couple of goodkind fans posted their enjoyment of Goodkind's series the 'anti-goodkind' brigade jumped in and started their goodkind-bashing routine. It annoyed me then and it annoys me now.
    If people like an author and you don't, this isn't cause to jump all over their opinions. However, if a larger discussion is started such as 'whom is the greatest author' then this is an appropriate place to make comparisons.

    Cheers.
     
  18. Pluvious

    Pluvious Challenge Assumptions

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    Well, I certainly agree that people shouldn't go around forcing opinions or bashing authors for no reason other than to try to force someone to think like they do.

    Anyway, I know I have changed drastically as a reader over the years and I like to see and hear what other people have to say about authors-especially those less known ones. Sometimes people see things I don't (amazing as that may sound!!!).

    Anyone who wouldn't mind posting a review of a book they liked (that isn't so well known) would be nice. I for one am skeptical about most fantasy, but could be persuaded to read some if I knew what it was about and it had the prospect of being good.