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February 11th, 2005 - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
I think I'm still on the same subject I started with my Morrison / Doom Patrol post, I just keep shifting the focus. I'm seeing lots of little posts about Morrison's JLA Classified run, and remembering a lot of talk when the first isssue hit about how slick and over the top it is, and how it's wonderful that it is these things*. I'm seeing, say, Couriers 3 reviews that say much the same thing about Brain Wood's writing. I saw it before with critiques of Morrison's run on New X-Men. I've seen it (and used it) in critiques of blogosphere darling Street Angel. I keep running across posts where some writers are praised for piling genre tropes into their work, while others are raked over the coals for, on the surface, much the same reason.

This isn't a bitter defense of one or more of those coal-raked victims. Rather, it's an honest curiosity. When is the writing "taking advantage of" cliches and when is it "relying on" them? I do, in fact, think there's a difference. I think the lazy writing of the latter is certainly less commendable than the cleverness of the former. I think, too, (probably because I'm just a self-important ass) that I can tell the difference. I think readers in general should be able to tell the difference. The thing is, for the life of me I can't quite articulate how.

I don't know that I'm looking for some kind of definitive answer. I'm not sure there is--or should be--one. I guess I'm just casting about for how others perceive / discern this. What makes it great writing sometimes and hack writing others?

*I'm remembering them, but I can't for the life of me find those posts. If someone has some handy links to a few, I'll be glad to edit them in here. Ditto if you want to go digging for some NXM or SA review links like I'm mentioning above. My google-fu is weak and my attention span small.

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