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Friday, November 16, 2012
12:00 AM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
An argument for the mash up of all mash ups.That was one interesting movie! And I understand it was a book first. One I may need to read. What’s not to love? Six stories, with reoccurring souls, over six time periods, which dance a mad polka back and forth across time and space.
No, it doesn’t involve Dr. Who.
Though it wouldn’t surprise me if it did.
This is the sort of movie, and I’m sure book, that would drive a great many people insane. Convoluted, dropping one storyline to explore another, boomeranging back to it, then gone - hinting at connections, teasing that this part is history, this part is fiction…this part is…??? Philosophizing all the time about how we continue to meet the same people over and over as we are born again and again.
It’s a long movie, nearly three hours long. I sat in the theater and figured I’d need a few pee breaks. Then, the movie was done, credits rolling. Granted, I found myself fascinated at seeing the same actor playing different parts, different races and guessing who was who. The make-up people had a job to do! And thank God, we only had to see a blond Tom Hanks for a very short time.This move appealed to me because I have a very skewed view of history and how people relate to each other. And, Terrio can bear witness to this, I love to mess with linear time when I write. Hop and skip and back and forth…that is me. The swing-set of keeping a straight timeline.
I’m not that big a fan of the flashback, but I will take a reader backward. I was quite pleased to attend an Angela James workshop a few weeks ago where she talked about this technique and how to do it so that you don’t make your reader dizzy. I do what she suggested! Big smile for me!I like how electronic books are pushing the evolution of the reading experience. I can foresee a time when a writer can assist the reader in keeping storylines straight with using different fonts, or font colors or…offering options. And before you all run screaming for the gangplank, remember that the readers coming behind us have different expectations and attention spans. Nothing would surprise me.
Look at the prose of decades past and see how little you can tolerate how they wrote then. I bet it will be the same thing in the decades to come. Writing has become a very fluid thing. No, it’s always been that way. But the speed at which that current flows is speeding up.
I sat in the Angela James workshop and listened to her talk about the concept of rules, even inasmuch as they pertain to grammar. She kept saying never say never. You can break rules if you can do it well. That the reader is not so hung up on the particulars as the copy editors and as the popularity of e-books shows, the story can overcome the shortcomings of the prose.There were a few copyeditors in the audience who died that day. A little bit.
A part of me considered the perception that the language is being dumbed down…but…I bet every generation has thought this. Will I recognize the novel in fifty years? If I live that long? Will it be filled with text-speak and references that are totally alien? Will the cross-genre and POV shifts grow so convoluted and commonplace that the readers of tomorrow will be groaning about how they wrote things in the past?
Me, I love a good twisting in time and space yarn. I just wrote in my newest WIP, as my character considers the realities of traveling through time… She accepted that there was no line between truth and fiction, history and story. The two bumped up against each other, swapped DNA, fell apart, came back together… None of it made a lick of sense.
But I realize that I am not the normal reader, or writer, in this sense. So, I watched Cloud Atlas and didn’t fight the drifting from one story/time to another. The reading experience is different. And I am as resistant to some things as the next person. Not a fan of alternating first person POV, for example. But someone will do it well and I’ll be convinced it can work!
What do you find gives you the worst willies as a reader? Misspellings? Or new spellings? Time skips? Flashbacks on flashbacks? Genre mashups too unbelievable? Text speak? What do you think will sneak in first? What has already slipped in that gives you the willies?