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Old 07-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #61
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I love "The Three Musketeers" (which is, as I'm sure you know, a rather small part of the truly gargantuan work known in its entirety as "The D'Artagnon Romances").
Harry:

I do indeed. And mayhaps I simply wasn't in a good head-space for it last year. {shrug}. Who knows? I've plowed through a lot of other books that were "classics" because I think it's important to read them for myriad reasons. I was, as I said, really surprised that I was so put off by it.

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Old 07-15-2013, 04:08 PM   #62
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I think that it's important to remember that books like "The Three Musketeers" were written the way they were because people had to rely on the text to tell them a lot more than a book written today does. There were no video feeds or even photographs to fill in details like now days. When an author set the scene back then he/she had to go into a lot more detail than we'd think to include. Lew Wallace's "Ben Hur" is a good example. He describes the lay of the land (literally) in great detail. Maps weren't common back then and most people would never be able to travel to the area where the book was set so the book runs longer. Now days we also tend to live faster paced lives than people did back then too. It took weeks to cross the Atlantic ocean not so many generations ago and now we do it in a matter of hours.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:54 PM   #63
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I think that it's important to remember that books like "The Three Musketeers" were written the way they were because people had to rely on the text to tell them a lot more than a book written today does. There were no video feeds or even photographs to fill in details like now days. When an author set the scene back then he/she had to go into a lot more detail than we'd think to include. Lew Wallace's "Ben Hur" is a good example. He describes the lay of the land (literally) in great detail. Maps weren't common back then and most people would never be able to travel to the area where the book was set so the book runs longer. Now days we also tend to live faster paced lives than people did back then too. It took weeks to cross the Atlantic ocean not so many generations ago and now we do it in a matter of hours.
crich70:

I'm actually one of the few who likes a lot of descriptive detail. I don't skim over that. I tend to skim info dumps and exposition that is indicative of lack of skill on the part of the author. I'm fond of Michener, et al. I don't have the attention span of a two-year old. My issues with TTM were a bit different than that. Can't say further than that, as I put it down last year, as I said, to my own surprise, but mostly, I found the "heroes" sort of loathsome; obviously, that's viewed in a more modern-day context, as I wasn't alive then, but even so...{shrug}.

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Old 07-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #64
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crich70:

I'm actually one of the few who likes a lot of descriptive detail. I don't skim over that. I tend to skim info dumps and exposition that is indicative of lack of skill on the part of the author. I'm fond of Michener, et al. I don't have the attention span of a two-year old. My issues with TTM were a bit different than that. Can't say further than that, as I put it down last year, as I said, to my own surprise, but mostly, I found the "heroes" sort of loathsome; obviously, that's viewed in a more modern-day context, as I wasn't alive then, but even so...{shrug}.

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Hi Hitch,
I wasn't trying to pick on you in particular, just say that in general that's one thing that a lot of people see about the old classics today.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:40 PM   #65
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I'm about to DNF a contemporary romance, because nothing happens in it - two nice people get to know each other, have some misunderstandings, talk it out, and fall in love. No conflict, really, no reason to keep reading. It's well written, great descriptions, good dialog, but it's boring. nothing really happens.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #66
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I'm about to DNF a contemporary romance, because nothing happens in it - two nice people get to know each other, have some misunderstandings, talk it out, and fall in love. No conflict, really, no reason to keep reading. It's well written, great descriptions, good dialog, but it's boring. nothing really happens.
Sounds like the author didn't do their homework on it Becca. How such a story got published is a mystery. Was it an indie or through a regular publisher?
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #67
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it's indy. I'm giving it up to read another indy author, Courtney Milan, who never disappoints me.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #68
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it's indy. I'm giving it up to read another indy author, Courtney Milan, who never disappoints me.
Does the author whose book you're giving up have other published books? You have to wonder if they have written anything worth the purchase if they made such a hash of this one.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:55 PM   #69
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Does the author whose book you're giving up have other published books? You have to wonder if they have written anything worth the purchase if they made such a hash of this one.
Y'know, it doesn't really sound like a "hash;" just not compelling. Becca said it was well written, good dialogue, etc.--just boring, LOL! Nothing much happens. (I occasionally feel this way about "highbrow" films, in which characters sit around and contemplate their navels and discuss the meaning of life.) I think it's hard for readers to engage when there's no challenge--however small--for the protagonist(s) to overcome, no change, nada, zip, zein, zilch. I mean, let's face it, we don't really normally sit around and watch other people date on a series of predictable, nice dates while they fall in love; if we have friends/acquaintances in a fiery, volatile relationship, now, that may be entertaining, as taxing as it is. But the usual dating scenario? Not so much. ;-)

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Old 07-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #70
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Well maybe 'hash' isn't the right word but no matter how well written a book is if there is no real story tension it's going to fall flat as far as I can tell.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:48 AM   #71
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crich70: The fact is that different people enjoy different things. To admit that the book is well written, but that you personally didn't enjoy it, is not to say that there may not be others out there that will enjoy it. There are other, very popular, books out there that have been accused by some of having nothing happen.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:05 AM   #72
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crich70: The fact is that different people enjoy different things. To admit that the book is well written, but that you personally didn't enjoy it, is not to say that there may not be others out there that will enjoy it. There are other, very popular, books out there that have been accused by some of having nothing happen.
True. Everyone has got their own opinion of what is a good or bad book/movie/piece of music etc. Of course sometimes I imagine it is possible to overlook the particular type of tension that is in a given work. A Christmas Carol is an example where I imagine it might be easy to do. Scrooge isn't often in any prolonged direct conflict with other characters. Instead usually the conflict seems to be internal as he faces up to the decisions (good and bad) that he has made over the course of his life.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:49 AM   #73
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True. Everyone has got their own opinion of what is a good or bad book/movie/piece of music etc. Of course sometimes I imagine it is possible to overlook the particular type of tension that is in a given work. A Christmas Carol is an example where I imagine it might be easy to do. Scrooge isn't often in any prolonged direct conflict with other characters. Instead usually the conflict seems to be internal as he faces up to the decisions (good and bad) that he has made over the course of his life.
I think this is one of the reasons why people do and don't enjoy different genres. If you're not into romance then the tension of the relationship(s) is something that may simply pass you by as unimportant. If you're not into Sci-Fi then the tension of discovering the technological consequences may leave you unmoved. And so on.

This highlights the importance of not relying on just one element of tension in your story. By having multiple lines of tension you get to play them off against each other in ways that highlights each to the reader, and that sometimes creates something quite different. (The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.)
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