Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Mon May 14 22:48:03 EDT 2007

Sally Odgers wrote:
> Elizabeth said:
> is Mark arguing that children's books don't need to be as intelligent, 
> well-written, or non-stereotypical as adult books need be?
> I don't think so. I think he meant that  stereotypes don't bother 
> children as much because they have not experienced as many of them. 

Good save!  Thanks!  Not really want I was saying, but I did think of 
that while I was reading other posts.  Children, as you say, must learn 
their stereotypes at some point.  :)

> only children, but adults who have read no fantasy since childhood and 
> then approach HP or any other series tend to think it original because 
> they have never encountered the source material.

As you say, by the time children are adolescent, they will have 
encountered the cliches and learned their stereotypes (and -isms, e.g., 
racism).  Adults, though, are notoriously unreliable, and have already 
had time to forget a lot of it.  :)  I am one of those sad creatures of 
which you speak.  I am woefully underread [if that's a word]. 
Under-exposed to the classics, for instance.  I did read a large bit of 
the Odessey in high school, referring to your next point.  I have 
forgotten large swaths of it.  It's been too long.

> A writing exercise I give my fantasy-writing clients includes writing 
> down everything they "know" about a specific fantasy creature, and then 
> writing down WHY they know it... i.e. mermaids sing sailors to their 
> deaths - because that's what happens in the Odyssey. It's especially 
> interesting with vampires and dragons, which have more than one trad.
> Sallyo

I thought that was the Sirens, not mermaids.  Or do mermaids do that too?

--Mark A.

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