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Old 12-08-2012, 10:08 AM   #31
DuckieTigger
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I stopped reading the charlaine Harris books for that reason. The only book series i have enjoyed all the way through were planned fully from start to finish. Harry Potter and Dresden Files come to mind. Those have a known lifespan. We know in advance the Xth book will be the final. When things are open ended, that's when things get formulaic
Right on. As for Dresden Files, I do not mind at all that the series got a little longer than originally planned - by a few books more or less. Even both Harrys (Potter and Dresden) change throughout the series and evolve as do all the other characters involved.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #32
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Jeffrey Deaver is another author who does that. Characters who are the protagonist in one series of novels show up as minor characters in others. As you say, it adds to the "richness" of the fictional world. I've never read a novel by Deaver that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed.
So is Anne Rice. I like how her Vampire Chronicles (old and new) interweave with Mayfair Witches. They are seperate, but loosely connected.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #33
Ralph Sir Edward
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I've noticed this in all arts. It falls into 4 categories - I like to call them Elvis stages.

1. Beginner/apprentice - Sun Elvis. (Just starting out, lots of enthusiasm, inventive, but still learning how to apply the talent.)

2. Journeyman - Middle Elvis. (Talent has been channeled with skill, still lots of creativity, period of high productivity. Most of the best works created here.)

3. Master - Fat Elvis. (Skills perfected, creativity waning to gone. However there can still be a burst of creativity, leading to a creative gem. But don't bet on it.)

4. Empty husk - Dead Elvis. (Creativity dead. Talent dead. Skills meaningless, with nothing to work with. In the writing world, collaborations between Big Name and Little Name, which actually are Little Name ghostwrites of Big Name stuff.)

It holds across all arts...

I've learned over the years that when a artist reaches Fat Elvis, just write them off and go look for a new beginner/journeyman...
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:44 AM   #34
kennyc
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
I've noticed this in all arts. It falls into 4 categories - I like to call them Elvis stages.

1. Beginner/apprentice - Sun Elvis. (Just starting out, lots of enthusiasm, inventive, but still learning how to apply the talent.)

2. Journeyman - Middle Elvis. (Talent has been channeled with skill, still lots of creativity, period of high productivity. Most of the best works created here.)

3. Master - Fat Elvis. (Skills perfected, creativity waning to gone. However there can still be a burst of creativity, leading to a creative gem. But don't bet on it.)

4. Empty husk - Dead Elvis. (Creativity dead. Talent dead. Skills meaningless, with nothing to work with. In the writing world, collaborations between Big Name and Little Name, which actually are Little Name ghostwrites of Big Name stuff.)

It holds across all arts...

I've learned over the years that when a artist reaches Fat Elvis, just write them off and go look for a new beginner/journeyman...
It's life, eh?
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:55 AM   #35
Ralph Sir Edward
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It's life, eh?
Yes, indeed. And eventually we all become back issues...

(I'm off to buy my Geritol...)
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #36
Andrew H.
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For those of us who grew up watching the Apollo landings, "LEM" will probably always have that meaning.

I really see no need to make up silly words like that for the concept of disliking a book.
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The other genesis of "Lem" came from Veronica Belmont on the "Sword and Laser" podcast and YouTube show. They were reading "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem and Veronica could just not get through it. "LEM" became a verb for a book you just stopped reading in the middle. I prefer "LEMming" for things that jump over a cliff or a book that is so awful you should toss it into the ocean.
I think Harry's right about the word being silly. More to the point, using lemming in this way doesn't really work. Lemmings aren't animals that are thrown over a cliff; by reputation (although apparently not in real life), they are animals that mindlessly follow each other over a cliff. When we describe someone as a "lemming," we mean someone who is a mindless follower.

I mean, it's fine if someone on some podcast made a pun of sorts based on a book by Stanislaw Lem, but that hardly makes it a common term, and given the damage it does to existing uses of the word, it's not a useful addition to the language.
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