I’m pretty sure I’ve written this before; I’ve thought it before and a goodly share of what I’ve pondered gets typed out eventually. But it happened again just now so I thought it again just now.
People who use pull quotes from certain things to make their work seem more thoughtful and ponderous often make their work seem more like derivative drivel. In this specific case I’m talking about pulling from Lord Of The Rings. Somebody just posted a link to a blog entry on Facebook and the lead graph was a LOTR pullquote. My first thought was “no thanks, I’ve already read the bookmark spinner at Barnes & Noble.”
There’s an art to pull quotes. The best authors I’ve seen at it are Stephen King and George R.R. Martin. They know how to get at something from a song or a poem that underscores the mood they’re trying to set. J.K. Rowling is pretty good at it too.
There should be a general rule governing this:
Do not use Lord Of The Rings Or Winnie The Pooh. Period. Ever.
The poignancy of both of these works has died from overexposure. Of course, given my latest tantrum about rules, you just do whatever you like.
Edited To Add:
Oh yeah. The next joker who tries to argue against the death penalty by quoting Gandalf is going to find themselves exiled to the Lonely Mountain.