Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.
slithytove

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Having virtues is more important than not having sins

buymeaclue says:  "I believe that all stories are flawed, but the ones that I love the most are the ones that make me want to play up their strengths and ignore their flaws--they're the ones that make me want to make excuses for them."

After writing and reading and thinking for the last year, I've come to much the same conclusion: it is far more important that a story have virtues than that it be free from flaws. Stories stand or fall, are loved by readers or bore readers, based on the things they do right, not by what they do wrong. It's relatively easy to take any successful writer's work and find flaws in it, stuff that would be called out at any writing workshop. And no one cares.

It's funny. I find it a lot easier to identify flaws than to identify virtues. It's easier, for example, to identify said-bookisms or a patch of dull infodump than to say why, exactly, readers seem to love Southeast Jones, or why the section where the Marching Band and Chowder Society climbs the mountain in chapter 11 seems especially gripping. It's even harder to create a character of your own whom your readers care about (and whose fate moves them so that they keep reading), or to create gripping prose. The skills necessary to create fiction that is good are different, and superior, to those skills that merely keep you from writing bad fiction. Maybe this is what editors mean when they say your story 'didn't stand out'. They mean it didn't have major flaws—but it didn't have major virtues, either. You didn't fall in the tar pit, but you also didn't get to the castle.


 

JI
ni(ru)
meaning: resemble

似非 == ese- == (as a preface) false, would-be, sham, pretended, mock, spurious, pseudo, quasi
真似 == mane == mimicry, imitation, behavior, pretense


Left radical is 'person' (人). Right radical is 'starting point/means' (以), acting phonetically to express 'resemble'. Thus this character originally meant 'to resemble a person'. Now it means 'resemble' generally. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Starting point for person is to resemble one.'

Stroke order from Josh's Chinese Lookup Thingy (animated)
Stroke order from Taka Kanji Database
Other info from Taka Kanji Database
Gahoh kanji movie

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