Back to the Basics

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"Who ya gonna call? .... Ghostbusters" 

Though this quote is undeniably an excellent attention getter to begin this chapter, it fails as a timeless story association.  It is true that "people in 100 years" may not be "conversant with this film comedy of the 1980's."  In fact, if the majority of our grandparents were asked to relate that question to a tv show, they would more than likely not guess the correct answer.  

Though current film and television shows may work fine as a frame of reference, this is an extremely time-limited approach.  If an author wants to make a lasting impression on readers for many years to come, he must take a more traditional approach.  As Foster says, "kiddie lit" is perfect for writers to use for parallels, analogies, plot, structures, and references.  

I find that many authors of today fail to take advantage of this practically flawless method.  Books like "Gossip Girl," Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs," and "Summer Boys" are just a few of many current day, forgettable novels.  Without using infamous analogies, these are, in fact meaningless works.  If authors truly want to make timeless novels, they need to go back to the basics and forgoe whimsical analogies.          

4 Comments

Chelsie Bitner said:

I think you are 100% right about the meaningless works. Everything is about sex, drugs, and alcohol with a lot of authors and really there is no point to that besides pushing people to go out and do it because books are written all about it. Catchy lines like "Who ya gonna call?... Ghostbusters!" work well in the media because you're right it does catch people's attention. Anytime I hear someone say "Who ya gonna call?" I always think Ghostbusters. And that is what they want you to t hink. They don't want you to forget something. "Kiddie lit" as you said is an easy way to start a story because all books are from the basics.

Rachael Sarver said:

Your point is completely driven home by the Gossip Girl example. What are those books about anyways? Does anybody know? Whats scary is that books like that are pretty much right next to the fairy tales on middle school shelves. Sex sells. That's about as timeless as you can get.

Andrew Adams said:

So basically what you are saying is that people in today's society cannot create any novel of worth unless they use an analogy? I don't agree with that at all. While books like that may get some notoriety, their are plenty of authors who push to create original plots that will probably be around for a long time. Stephen King is an obvious example. Works like It, Storm of the Century, and countless others are original works that came from the hard work of one respected author in our time. Honestly, I feel like making an elaborate analogy of some past text is just an excuse to not create an original plot.

hahaha I have to say that this didn't make perfect sense to me the first time around, but now that you used the Gossip Girl and Summer Boys novels as examples, I understand. I guess I never really thought about how those novels, while entertaining to today's tween marketing groups, aren't really going to be famous or known for their 'fantastic achievements in literature' a hundred, or maybe even ten years from now. It's really weird to think about how true that really is. Look at music and movies and books from the 1980's. A lot of them are probably still known, because for the most part, our generation is from the late 80's and early 90's, but as we grow older, we'll be referring to the ghost busters, and our kids will think we are insane, because they'll be talking about things that are yet to come. They won't even be referring to Hannah Montanna...she'll be a thing of the past once we have kids. wow.

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Andrew Adams on Back to the Basics: So basically what you are sayi
Rachael Sarver on Back to the Basics: Your point is completely drive
Chelsie Bitner on Back to the Basics: I think you are 100% right abo