Survey: What is Story Memorable

(This is a generalized survey. Sure, every story is different, but generally, what do you think of when you recall, oh, The Hobbit? Stranger in a Strange Land? The Shining? Tailor, Tinker, Soldier, Spy? Snow Crash? American Gods? Old Man’s War? etc.)


60 thoughts on “Survey: What is Story Memorable

  1. Great characters become immortal, however, and move from plot to plot. Thinks Holmes, Bond, etc. You know a character is immortal when they hire other writers to continue the stories after the death of the original author.

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    1. Oh God, spare me. Some are good, okay, but that $#$%&^% who took over Spenser for Robert Parker? Hillerman’s daughter? Leonard’s sons? Shoot those motherfuckers. Sorry. Yes, the characters are immortal. I mean hell, who was Franklin W Dixon, anyway? Who cares, the Hardy Boys live on! Mac Bolan lives on! You know, we could probably all get a gig writing some of that serial shit. Seriously!

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      1. Dude, I never said the hired writers were any good! Did I? Show me where I even said I LIKED the phony replacements? I just said, “that’s what happens.” It’s like the sequels to great movies: they all suck!

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        1. Amen. Some of the hired writers are probably competent. Parker did a good job of finishing Chandler’s “Poodle Springs” but even with his success and talent and style apeing, he got no respect for the gig because he wasn’t Chandler. Like tribute bands. I don’t care where you went to school, you aren’t Yes. Or Zep or the Moody Blues or Metallica. I saw a great name for a tribute band the other day. Guns and Posers!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. While we’re here, and since I’m the big bad bully, “Paul used the din to converse with Akira:” WTF is a din? Some kind of metric crescent wrench for intergalactic conversation? MIDI is a 5 pin DIN plug. Rev 1 since 1982 and still in use. Are they using that? Controller 64 at 0 sends a stop talking command? Inquiring minds want to know.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Funny you should pick that passage: I actually googled the definition to make sure I had the correct usage:
              din
              [din]
              NOUN
              a loud, unpleasant, and prolonged noise.
              “the fans made an awful din”

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              1. So how do you use one to converse? You might use it as cover, one might talk over it but I fail to see in any definition of it as conversational device. You’re another one. Make sense, learn to use the language. Your stuff reads like an op manual translated in China. Happy now the not connection is properly angry. Jesus.

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                    1. Marshall Mcluhan…the medium is the message. Had your comment about my usage of “din” come from another source, chances are I would have understood a lot quicker rather than flying into the equivalent of ‘roid rage. My reaction, most likely, would have been…”Oh yeah, good catch. Thanks.”
                      EQ has always been my Achilles heel in soooo many aspects of my life…

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                1. “Your take on better content through marketing?” Not sure what that means. I’m not marketing anything. And if there are advertisements on the site, WP puts them there and profits, not me.

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                    1. Okay – don’t get your feelings hurt. “You” (literal) have a product, It’s neither new or improved, and perhaps it even has a coupla screws loose. But sales and management are screaming for the next big thing. So “you” give it a facelift, make pretty and sparkly and a colorful new box. It’s not a better product, its simply better product (content) through marketing. In certain businesses it’s a staple. One could also say Better content/product via rebranding. Much the same as the 4 or 5 cover designs that are currently en vogue. from the outside they could be lit or shit and it’ll cost you $5 to find out. Two-fitty at half price books.

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      1. I would have revealed Paul as the Messiah a helluva lot earlier had I not had your mocking voice in my consciousness. Jesus! So I go and go and go and go and wrote around it until the truth finally emerged! OMG! You’re like the high school bully here pickin’ on the Gay guy. Holy Christ you follow me from blog to blog…Okay, you’re the school yard muscleman, I get it!

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        1. Man, when are you gonna quit wearing your feelings on your sleeve and thinking you’re the center of the universe? You’d last 90 seconds in the real world of art for $ where nobody is your friend or blowing smoke up your skirt and raving on your genius. Jesus, man, get a sense of humor about yourself and your craft or you’re doomed to a life of feeling bullied. You ever dealt with a real editor or agent yet? I’m just fuckin’ with you, one closet writer who writes in circles to another. However, you do have three years on me with that hiway to nowhere business. Is weed legal where you are?

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          1. Dude, get a fricken clue: I AM the center of the Universe! The Universe is infinite, so no matter where you stand, you ARE at the Center! Everyone and everyone is the center of the Universe by simple definition of the word “Center:”
            center
            [ˈsen(t)ər]
            NOUN
            the middle point of a circle or sphere, equidistant from every point on the circumference or surface.

            We are all equidistant from the edges of the Universe because there is NO EDGE!

            Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, that’s been my premise. One remembers what happened more so than what was said. Yeah, the characters are recalled… generally unless they have truly outstanding personalities (good or bad). But it’s the events, I think, that when I put down a novel I can remember.

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      1. So you remember the history of Cuba from “Cuban Affair” or “Cuba Libre”? The Civil War from “Tishomingo Blues”? Gun running from “Djibouti”. Here you go, hint hint shit you’ll miss and why you’ll miss it from the king of dialogue –

        “Yeah, ESP,” Juvenal said. “You know how you do it? You listen to the other person instead of thinking of what you’re gonna say next. That’s all, and you learn things.” EL – “Touch”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mole, the only book where I can remember the dialogue is in the Church of England In The 20th Century series of novels written by Susan Howatch.

    Susan Howatch is the most brilliant writer of dialogue I’ve come across.

    Oh and Jane Austen of course.

    Jane Austen was a brilliant writer of dialogue.

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  3. Man I really can’t decide. I’ve been thinking it over but I can’t generalize. The most memorable event that popped into my head right away is the children’s murder/suicide in “Jude the Obscure,” but it’s pretty obvious why that would stick out. But it all really depends on the book. I have poor retention of plots so generally I remember impressions and emotions, or lines of dialogue here and there if it was meaningful in one way or another. Setting tends to be almost like still images in my mind. It’s a good question. I’ll have to spend more time thinking about this.

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  4. Hi A. Mole,

    My mind just doesn’t think like that. I remember books only insofar as the time and place where I read them and how they changed the way I acted, the words I stole from them, the absorption of themes and outcomes. Literature for me has always been sort of large-scale theft. I might get 40 years of someone’s life in a few hours of reading. What a great exchange. Great books are the next best thing to actually doing whatever it is they are talking about and I can remember a number of times when I first arrived at a country and people thought I had lived there for a long time, but no, I would say, I have only read about this place. I have only read about your jails and your wars, the way your people starve and riot. Of course, eventually, I’d come to know it first-hand, but the books never left my mind, even until this day. Thanks. Duke

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    1. So, you read some book a few years ago, pick one. What did the characters say? Do you recall that? If you do, I’m amazed. I would have thought you might remember what happened in the book, dramatic events, more often than exactly what people said. (This is an ongoing argument between me and PHuston.)

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      1. It depends on a book, of course. If it’s more plot-based (like the one I read last), it’ll be the events that I’ll recall most often. But if’s character-based (sth I’m currently reading and what I like writing myself), it’ll be most definitely them-their feelings, internal monologues, striking dialogues, settings esp.if they are symbolic.
        It’s the same with movies. I have so many striking sentences in my head, you wouldn’t believe.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I think I remember one quote “You shall not pass!” OK, two, “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”
          Because we’re visual creatures, movies, I think, give us more material to work with. Novels are only there in your imagination. Thanks for participating.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. For me, visualizing means picturing a world different than the one we’re in, day-dreaming at its best. So it’s still inside the head. But that’s just me.

            To quote a writer whose story I recently read, I envy the plot, plotting, plotters. I don’t know how to plot.

            Liked by 3 people

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