Discouraging :(

Every once in a while, a movie or book comes out that the general population  embraces—they overwhelmingly feels it’s great.

A lot of the time they’re right. But sometimes—let’s face it—they’re wrong.

When such stories are laden with clichés, plot holes, and overall laziness, it’s discouraging for me to carry on writing.

If I even try to delicately point out a few plot holes to one of the many people that thought it was the best thing evar, the response is usually akin to “It’s FICTION, dumbass!”

Okay, fiction. Right. That thing I wholly embrace, study, and want to evolve.

I guess it’s not only okay, but expected for fiction plots to make little-to-no sense. And it’s fine for the writers to assume audience stupidity at every turn, too.

Take note folks: Unless the story is a 100% true account, us writers don’t have to give a crap about the suspension of disbelief.

And when I’m surrounded by applause in a theater after just such a movie  played, it makes me genuinely worried for the future of literature.

That applause sends a message to Hollywood: As long as there’s lots of explosions, hot girls, and high-level special effects, the execs have no need for copy editors. The execs don’t need to wait for a quality script or even pay decent writers to achieve the sales they’re aiming for.

Why do directors even bother to do partial script rewrites during filming? Why do writers bother to fix plot holes in their books? Who cares if the character in this scene was just halfway around the world in the last? It’s obvious the average popcorn-munching citizen won’t appreciate your efforts, anyway. Just add more action scenes. And be sure to include random internet memes.

All I can do is take comfort in knowing that somewhere out there, writers do exist that care about story consistency and gladly take the extra effort needed to write at a professional level…

Meanwhile, I can get over it and continue writing my book, hoping nobody brings up those particular books and movies around me.

9 replies on “Discouraging :(

  1. I hope you’re not talking about Star Trek. I haven’t seen it yet.

    But I agree with you. If hubby and I spend the entire movie pointing out logical holes, well, that’s 2.5 hours of my life I want back.

    There’s a limit to suspension of disbelief, sometimes dependent on the skill of the writer, and sometimes just because the basic premise is flawed.

  2. I’m going to stay a little ambiguous with this one because
    A) This isn’t a review site.
    B) I think most writers experience this phenomenon with at least one book or movie at some point in their lives.

    Yes, opinions are subjective.
    Yes, I realize my favorite movie is somebody else’s least.
    And yes, I’m blowing off some steam.

  3. Too bad you’re staying ambiguous. I’d love to know what this is about. Because I can safely name you all the terrible stories I feel the very same way about. Eragon and Twilight are on the top of the list at the moment for me.

  4. ^__^
    You know, I even got an email from someone asking me specifically what book or movie this post was about, LOL.

    I haven’t seen or read Twilight. It’s in my Netflix queue, though.

    Eragon isn’t too bad of an example, but it’s YA, so we’ve got to consider most of the recycled tropes in it that you and I are so familiar with are very new to the young readers picking up what may be their first fantasy novel.

  5. Hey, you could tell me in an email what it’s about! killernager@gmx.de

    Yeah, the fact that Eragon’s author is so young is the only reason I don’t hate the story but simply find it so ridiculous that it gives me hiccups. And even though Whatshername who wrote Twilight is 35, she writes these books for a very specific audience – girls between 10 and 15, and they’re happy. So I guess each to their own. Still, that isn’t an excuse. Making kids dumb by showering them in bad literature can never be excused.
    Still, I think it’s just dumb luck: you and I will be fighting our way to be published, while a douchebag like the author of Eragon doesn’t even have to lift a finger for that. Don’t you wish your mum and dad owned a publishing company, too?

  6. My two cents:

    From a teacher’s point of view, at least Stephanie Meyer’s drivel is actually ushering in an entirely new crowd of people into literature, especially those who never thought to pick up a book before.

    As it stands, over 1/3 of the population (whether it’s U.S. or worldwide I cannot remember) is illiterate. And of the 66.67% of people who CAN read, only 1/3 of them actually do. So, if we need Twilight and Eragon to change this demographic, then I am all for it.

    Also, not all YA lit is rubbish :D

  7. @christopher: I only mentioned it was YA to denote the age demographic it was going to, not to imply that it was rubbish ^_~.
    I always try to show support for any fantasy stories that find themselves the center of attention of the masses.

    @packsister: While it may not seem fair that sometimes good ideas with bad execution get published, we can only keep creating for ourselves. Forget about other people’s fortunes and do this for yourself.
    No, I won’t Email you with what this post was about! xD.

    To quote the aforementioned Email: “…but for how difficult it is to get published you would like to think that the bar would be a bit higher.”

  8. @ Christopher: True, heh. As I said: there is a very specific target group and they’re happy with it, so maybe this is better than nothing, maybe some of them will pick another book after they’re dine with this one. I personally hope it would be a better one.

    @ Nick: Yeah, we can not and will not stop writing just because some other story we consider bad got published and we haven’t yet. For me it isn’t a competition, I don’t write to outdo somebody. And I was just being sarcastic about the dumb luck. My own opinion regarding the whole publishing thing is that when I do get published, I will look at myself and be proud of how far I’ve made it all by myself, with my own efforts. A guy who gets published by his parents at his very first attempt to write just never gets to know what it really is like to bite your nails with nervousity when you send out your exposee to a publisher, he’ll never know what life really is like. And I’m actually proud to say that I wouldn’t have it any other way than the way I have it now: ALL by myself, so that one day I can be proud of what I’ve done.

  9. Pingback: Encouraging :) | Five Rings

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