Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lowest Common Denominator

After two or three days of spotty Internet service, it took me a while to scroll through posts on Facebook, Yahoo, and a few of the other sites I check out. When you take a writing sabbatical, you have time for other stuff. Lot's of stuff. So maybe, I read more than I would otherwise.

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?

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you, Anny. Well said. And I honestly believe that some of those self-publishing books are going to help loosen up the rules---especially the rules within the romance genre. Every time a title that is a little different--or a lot different--gets noticed, more and more authors are going to feel encouraged to write more than just what the rules allow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it! Best wishes! May we start a rebellion based on good writing!

      Delete
  2. You should read journalists! Horrible proofreading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yeah. I do a lot of head scratching!

      Delete
  3. Everyone benefits when the proverbial bar is kept high.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, they do, Tessie. Lowering bar serves no one.

    ReplyDelete