Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Writing for One's Viewing Audience?

TIME Magazine recently compiled what the writer's to be the "100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present." Most have been made into movies making it easier for high school and college English students to explore these classics from their sofa. The spine remains unbroken.

My second creative writing professor told me my style was more movie tie-in and less literary after reading my first story for the class. My characters, he said, were flat and stereotypical. The story was plot-driven like an action movie, and ended without any change to the central character. He went on to lecture the class on the importance of character development, something that cannot be accurately depicted on the big-screen. My entertainment RSS feeds and history say the opposite.

Now showing, Everything is Illuminated and Jarhead. Coming to a theater near you in '06 and '07, Running With Scissors and The Corrections. Nothing about these books is action-packed. Their plots rely soley on the audience's relationship with narrator. Someone is pulling off the impossible in Hollywood if this style of writing cannot be visually portrayed.

This literary visualization, while bringing the larger, movie-going, non-reading audience into the new writing movement could be a step ahead of the writers of the movement.

As the media start to look, sound, and read like each other, writers could be writing for a potential viewing audience instead of readers. The use of language and description could fall through the cracks. The literary cult will run and hide inside coffee houses among other elitest and punks. Hopefully, they can scatter in groups and revolutionize the future two steps ahead of itself.


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