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Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific? (Read 3988 times)
C.N.Pitts
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #20 - May 02nd, 2012, 7:08pm
 
Testing -

To write "popular fiction," one must be a true politician. "Of the people, for the people." This is an absolute truth. Every single writer EVER who has enjoyed success springs from that truth. In other words, to be a success, a writer needs to not only be grounded in the human experience, but also reflect the human experience. This goes for all of us, from the extreme lunacy of an L. Ron Hubbard to the gentle whimsy of E. B. White.

A reader needs to feel a connection to the story. All of these authors, from the ones mentioned previously to the ones I just mentioned, have enjoyed tremendous success. And at their heights, they were not only in tune with their audience, but their audience was in tune with them. E. B. White became one of the most beloved authors who ever lived... because he touched people by being one of them and never stopped. L. Ron Hubbard became a punchline, because he gave up writing incredible science fiction stories for the masses and decided to make a push to be the messiah he believed himself to be.

Of the people, for the people. Once it becomes "Of the me, for the me," it all goes to hell. Anne Rice was a goddess, (who, in the wake of the turd that is the Twilight series must be kicking herself), found God and went on to write several unreadable books. S. King wasted a decade and a million words on a load of books that were PTSD therapy for him and agony for his readers. Barker came out of the closet at a time (the 80s) when that just wasn't done, and proceeded to crank out a zillion useless words to cope with it. (For the record, The Great and Secret Show is one of my favorite novels of all time. I've reread it a dozen times. Everville was pathetic. The gay sex scene was in the watchtower during the parade, and the book was so bad that it's all I remember from the one time I read it). And the less said about Dean Koontz since 1992 the better.

Writing absolutely must be personal... up to a point. The goal is to pour yourself into every word and feel it. BUT - There's a line... you can't be pushing an agenda. If you want to write popular fiction, don't cross THAT line. Once you stop talking to us and start talking to yourself... it's over.

And just for fun Moonbeam -  when I was a kid, I was at the hospital once and E. B. White held the elevator for me and my kid sister. Later on in life I got a job as a carpenter and I got to work on his house.

Grin
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Patrick
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #21 - May 3rd, 2012, 7:32am
 
Since I am new, and haven't posted on King or Koontz, I'll tackle both here.

I will disclose some bias for King, as he is my favorite author.  He has his flaws (some of you mentioned the getting-hit-by-a-van novels) and does sometimes tend to be a bit too folky in his delivery. But, he tells a darn good story, and at the end of the day that's what I want.

Koontz has his own flaws too, the worst of which is preachiness.  I try to turn the other cheek when this happens, but it can be difficult.  I really enjoy Koontz stories (he too can tell a hell of story), but I do find  Koontz to be a bit more formulaic than King: the uberconspiracy with an every man caught in the middle.  It's not a terrible thing (King has his own crutches...alcoholics and writers to name two), but I find that Koontz stories overall are more similar than King's.  That is my biggest complaint for Dean Koontz.

I think if we tried, we could find major flaws in the best of writers.  I do all the time (as an editor, it comes with the territory), but I try to look past it.  After all, I'm reading their book...they are certainly not reading mine (of course...I'd have to write more than 3000 words to accomplish that).  The 1 thing that I look for the most is the ability to tell a good story, and on top of that, the ability to write an original story.

So, on that score, King wins by a couple horse lengths.
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #22 - May 3rd, 2012, 7:33pm
 
Hello Patrick! Welcome to the Anotherealm clubhouse. Hope you enjoy it here as much as the rest of us denizens do.

-- Jean
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #23 - May 4th, 2012, 9:35pm
 
C.N.Pitts wrote on May 2nd, 2012, 6:32pm:
Is it just me, or are some of my late night posts getting dissappeared?


No they are not getting dissapeared, must be you, somehow..
I do not do that unless you piss me off.
In that case you will know why and how you offended me.
I will make a point of telling you why.
In your case, I have nothing to say, now that you ask.
Wink
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #24 - May 4th, 2012, 9:51pm
 
Belated but sincere -- Happy Star Wars Day!

Yeah, I didn't know it either until I read it in LOLcats, but May 4 is Star Wars Day.

So...Happy!

-- Jean
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C.N.Pitts
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #25 - May 5th, 2012, 9:55pm
 
I have a sneaky feeling I just keep clicking 'reset' instead of 'post,' lol. And Happy Star Wars day back atcha!
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #26 - May 6th, 2012, 8:17am
 
C.N.Pitts wrote on May 5th, 2012, 9:55pm:
I have a sneaky feeling I just keep clicking 'reset' instead of 'post,' lol. And Happy Star Wars day back atcha!



That would do it. <chuckle> I've done it myself on occasion.
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #27 - May 6th, 2012, 8:56pm
 
I just finished watching Joss Whedon's feature-length film, "Serenity." This is the film that continues, and concludes, the "Firefly" narrative. Am I alone in thinking Joss Whedon is enormously overrated? I haven't seen his "Avengers" yet, but I am sure it abounds with explosions, crashes and fasterfasterfaster CGI work.
   Sigh.
   IMO, Serenity-Firefly was incredibly annoying. Ordinarily, one would expect to find at least _one_ sympathetic character in a series. Not in this one -- again, IMO. And the stilted, fake-sounding dialog, patched together from 19th century constructions and created-for-the-occasion words plus Chinese expletives -- each an audience-repeller in its own right. Put them all together and...well, I can see why "Firefly" was cancelled.
    I know, Whedon created "Buffy" and some other things. Buffy was pretty okay -- at least not annoying -- but why this guy gets a standing ovation at ComiCon, I just can't see. It seems some people think he is the 21st century's answer to Heinlein-Bradbury-Sturgeon etc.
     If so, I can see why s-f is seen -- again by some people -- as a fading genre.
     Oh well, sorry if I have offended any major Joss Whedon fans. I just had to get this off my chest after spending two hours with him and Serenity this evening.
      On the brighter side -- Max Headroom tomorrow! (Yes, I am a devoted Netflix fan.)

-- Jean
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #28 - May 10th, 2012, 9:23pm
 
And furthermore...

here's an additional thought on s-f film/video. Today we watched (from Netflix of course) a film called "The Darkest Hour." It was billed as s-f, so of course we had to try it.

I thought it was pretty good. It was about some American young people who happened to be in Moscow when the space aliens invaded Earth. It turned out the aliens were not visible on our visual band, and they had some stunning weapons that turned humans into dust. Of course that resulted in a lot of running and hiding in Moscow, an extremely visually interesting place.

Well, I thought the film was pretty good, and looked to see if there were any sequels or other works by the same group. I looked on the "IMDB" review site and -- Some online gamer spam! I have rarely seen a film so savaged by reviewers! I mean all but two of them totally hated it, 'worst film ever made,' etc etc.

I still thought it was pretty good! (I've recently been watching 'StarGate,' which I would nominate as one of the 'worst s-f series ever made,' with cliche stories, trite dialog, etc., compared to which "The Darkest Hour" was "Dr. Zhivago.")

So, my question is, has anyone else seen "The Darkest Hour?" What did you think of it?

-- Jean
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #29 - May 11th, 2012, 1:00am
 
Haven't seen the film you mention but I do agree that critics seem to be increasingly out of touch. For example, one of my guilty pleasures is The Fifth Element--a movie universally panned by the critics. I rarely look at the critics take on any movie I haven't seen. Sometimes, I'll glance at their opinion after I've seen the film just to see if their rating is close to mine. Most times, it's not. As the old man said when he kissed the cow, "I know what I like." (And please don't take my opinion too seriously. I liked Battlefield Earth for heaven's sake.)
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C.N.Pitts
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #30 - May 11th, 2012, 5:34pm
 
I'll chime in for the Joss Whedon fans - I found Firefly in general and Serenity in particular to be brilliant. He set out to give the world a show based on the original dictate that Star Trek was supposed to be based upon, ie a Western in space. He stuck his heroes as members of the losing side, postulated a scenario where the two major cultures of our time became predominant (English and the Chinese) and intermingled, and blended the two visions into an absolutely fantastic and amazing universe.

He has got to be the single greatest master of character and dialogue working today. He is amazing at representing every facet of the human experience in his characters, and his dialogue skills are brilliant. Love him or hate him, you could shave your legs with his writing.  ;D
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #31 - Jan 14th, 2013, 10:14pm
 
C.N.Pitts wrote on May 11th, 2012, 5:34pm:
I'll chime in for the Joss Whedon fans - I found Firefly in general and Serenity in particular to be brilliant. He set out to give the world a show based on the original dictate that Star Trek was supposed to be based upon, ie a Western in space. He stuck his heroes as members of the losing side, postulated a scenario where the two major cultures of our time became predominant (English and the Chinese) and intermingled, and blended the two visions into an absolutely fantastic and amazing universe.

He has got to be the single greatest master of character and dialogue working today. He is amazing at representing every facet of the human experience in his characters, and his dialogue skills are brilliant. Love him or hate him, you could shave your legs with his writing.  ;D

Agree totally with everything CN Pitts says concerning Joss Whedon. To enjoy Joss, you have to have something called "a sense of humor". Every episode of Firefly had me laughing, from start to finish. The episode where Jane is immortalized in song? Pure genius. I am currently going through Buffy now. Didn't catch but a couple episodes here and there when it was on TV. And that was towards the last season, as I am finding out. Doll House was another stroke of Genius. Another show that had me laughing from beginning to end. If you haven't watched it, get through the first four or five episodes that the network made him film. When things kick in, they really kick in.

And "The Avengers"....? F'ING brilliant. But you knew Joss would do something special if you have ever read any of his comic work: specifically, "The Astonishing X-Men".  I know. After Grant Morrison, where can you go? Well, Joss takes it to another level and even made me cry, it was so good. None of the so-called novelists has ever made me feel that way. I foresee him doing some other comic movies. Right now, S.H.I.E.L.D. discussions are underway to be a network show. Joss helming it, of course.
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #32 - Jan 17th, 2013, 7:50pm
 
Love this thread!
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #33 - Jan 17th, 2013, 8:49pm
 
C.N.Pitts wrote on May 2nd, 2012, 7:08pm:
T
And just for fun Moonbeam -  when I was a kid, I was at the hospital once and E. B. White held the elevator for me and my kid sister. Later on in life I got a job as a carpenter and I got to work on his house.  ;D

Congrats on having a hand in building the White house.
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Re: Dean Koontz: Is he too prolific?
Reply #34 - Jan 21st, 2013, 2:55am
 
Gary A. Markette wrote on Apr 30th, 2012, 1:06am:
What's a snark? And how do you call one? I've tried googling a snark or two--can't find a cell number.  

I seemed to have previously missed this. Next time you do a search, think etymology of a word. Let me know if you need more help in your search for Snark ( Lewis Carrol trapped a Snark within a story, but that's a tale for another time):

sarcastic: sarcastically critical or mocking and malicious ( informal )
"a snarky remark"

Origin:
1910–15;  dial. snark  to nag, find fault with (apparently identical with snark, snork  to snort, snore, probably < Dutch, Low German snorken  to snore) + -y1


snarky (adj.) Look up snarky at Dictionary.com
   "irritable, short-tempered," 1906, from snark (v.) "to snort" (1866), from an imitative source akin to Low German snarken, North Frisian snarke, Swedish snarka.

Main Entry: snarky  
Pronunciation: \ˈsnär-kē\
Function: adjective
Etymology: dialect snark to annoy, perhaps alteration of nark to irritate
Date: 1906
1 : crotchety , snappish
2 : sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner <snarky lyrics>
— snark·i·ly  \-kə-lē\ adverb
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