Saturday, June 14, 2014
Lowest Common Denominator
Mostly, it ended with a bad taste on my tongue.
In the last twenty years or so, we've slowly but surely oozed into the dumpster of the lowest common denominator. It is possible that is one of the reasons I'm not very motivated to write. Why write when there's no challenge?
I read poorly written posts with multiple spelling errors--posts that mostly posed banal questions, loosely related to writing. Over the past year, the subjects have slithered from mildly interesting to not even close. Perhaps...I've just reached the point of saturation.
Or possibly, I'll searching for some meat in my rock soup. In the rush for popularity and sales, we've all jumped on the wagon of mediocrity. Publishers were the initial wave, imposing their 'thou shalt nots', but even though we have the freedom of self-pubbing, we're still adhering to the same rules.
Has anyone stopped to consider why? One author posted a short piece about HEAs and the absolute rules for romances. Does that rule matter if you're self-pubbing? Or is that supposed to be part of the definition of romance? At one time, forced seduction was the norm. Yet, we've mostly moved past that, seeking other story forms. Who says we have to have an HEA?
Actually, the most respected and beloved books over the past hundred years are those written by authors who dared to be different--dared to write stories that posed questions without answers.
Perhaps we should aim for the top instead of grubbing down in the mud pit. What if we used vocabulary above third grade level? Suppose we didn't tie everything up in neat little packages, but left something for the reader to consider and decide. What if we challenged our readers to think? What if?