Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Will Grayson: The Counter x5 Post

And so it continues here. I'm out of quotes at the moment.

"I also think that David Levithan should be the super famous one and not, as he told me when I ambushed him in a hallway at ALA, "The half of Will Grayson who isn't on TV all the time.""

David Levithan may correct me if he wishes, but I think he was just making a joke.

She then wrote "I never said that all of his characters and all of his plots are really alike"

Um, actually you did, "The summary of a John Green book: Somewhat nerdy teen with a specific quirk and lovable friends confronts an issue that is easily related to by teen readers through humor and character-recognized metaphor.
Either you like that plot line, or you don't. I do, and therefore I don't mind that the books are the same." and "Yes, Pudge, Colin, Quentin, and Will all share traits. They all sound somewhat the same within their minds."

"Really alike" is different from "can be generalized so that they can be summed up as one." 

Harry Potter books: Harry returns to Hogwarts after another summer at Privet Drive. He continues to thwart Voldemort's rise to power, while also trying to grow up as a normal kid.
Hunger Games: The Capital throws obstacle after obstacle at Katniss Everdeen, and she attempts to overcome them with the help of friends both from her District and others.
Tamora Pierce: Strong female character fights male-created stereotypes and kicks major butt in combat and intelligence.
Sure, those are series (with the exception of Ms. Pierce), but I haven't read a lot of authors who write only stand-alone books, so I can't really use them as back-up, can I?
Both of these quotes of mine--especially the second-- were in reference to voice/writing-style alone, and therefore do not apply.

I did not mean to diss Tiny Cooper and I also did not mean anything by saying that he was created by John Green. I was attempting to be snarky and funny and obviously my point was lost. I apologize.

I don't think you had much to apologize for there, so apology...understood. I can't "accept" it because I don't feel that you did anything to me that you need to apologize for.

If the main character is not likable and he was supposed to be then that is a sign of a bad author. I am not saying that Will was supposed to be likable, I was just making the point. And he was somewhat likable I just didn't like the way he treated Tiny.

Yes, if he was supposed to be. I'm just not sure that Uppercase Will was supposed to be likable at the onset of the book. Lowercase Will certainly wasn't. Perhaps UW just started out more likable to carry people through to the parts where LW becomes easier to sympathize with. 
To make a reference to Catcher in the Rye again, I found Holden to be incredibly unlikable throughout the course of the book, and Salinger is generally acknowledged to be a literary genius. Or at least, Catcher is well-liked across the board.
I haven't read it in a couple years, though. Maybe my opinion would change upon re-reading now.

""You keep blaming flaws within the book on John. David Levithan worked on this book as well, and you can't attribute only the good parts of it to him." I didn't/don't. I enjoyed the play stuff and John Green can be both laugh out loud funny and touchingly romantic but I believe that he is overrated."

He's a video blogger with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Of course those people are going to love his work more than they would otherwise. I am one of these people, therefore I know it to be true. There are a lot of inside jokes and references that endear the books to us that others don't get, for one thing, plus, as I said in my first counter post, we are biased.

Elfarmy concluded by writing "I will think about this and most likely see that you are correct once I've written those short stories for my deadline. Who has author credit now? I do. In YOUR face."

Ok, congrats on the deadline and whatnot but it is author cred, not credit.

I was under the impression that "cred" was shorthand for "credit." My mistake.

This is sort of unrelated, as it was a point I made in my last counter post. 
About how characters should be different from the author. 
That's true. However, the narrators are not necessarily duplicates of the author (although Pudge may debatably be so, as he won't admit to just how much of Looking for Alaska is true. The school itself is certainly very similar to his own boarding school, and he and Pudge share a fondness for famous last words.) When I write, I steal certain aspects of myself and apply them to my characters, and do the same to other people I know. You stole our names for The House
I am a big believer in the idea that writing novels is a fantastic form of psychotherapy. Some such novels are well-disguised and good enough that you can work through your own issues and still entertain others. Some (such as my own When the Sun Was In Your Hair) are most definitely not and should never see the light of day ever ever ever.
So maybe John takes "I have doubts about the afterlife" and writes a book about it.
Takes "Why can't romance be quantified?" and writes a book about it.
Takes "I have trouble imagining people complexly and apparently so does the rest of the world" and writes a book about it.
Takes "Sometimes I am a selfish coward" and writes a book about it.
Key word: Maybe.
He doesn't need himself as a character. Only the aspects of himself that involve those fears or worries.

Then there's the "If all the books are the same, why read the new ones?"

Why watch new episodes of Doctor Who? The Doctor arrives in a new place/time and is excited about it. Something bad happens. Perhaps evil aliens are trying to take over or kill all life on Earth. So he does something cool to fix it. (This is over-simplifying. I know there's so much more to each episode and the overall plot of the show than that. The point is that even when something is really predictable, we still enjoy it because there are uniquely enjoyable and/or interesting things within each one.)

I find it interesting that we've ended up agreeing on a lot of things.

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