I haven’t read more than a few pages of fiction novels published after 2010. That was the year the world became untenable for me, beginning with my inability to accept the popularity of skinny jeans and yoga pants. I cannot believe that anyone with functioning eyes can put on a pair of leggings, look in the mirror, and genuinely feel good about themselves. C’mon, you deserve better than that. You don’t have to treat yourself like crap just because everyone else is doing it.
As a Millennial, I keep my hopes up that one day we’ll explode on the scene and break all the molds. We’ll tell the publishing world in no uncertain terms that we demand better than 50 Shades of Grey, and crappy literature will vanish along with microwave dinners and Styrofoam cups. We can achieve so much more out of life than what the previous generations handed down to us.
I know what Millennials are capable of. I’ve seen plenty of brilliant short stories and creative ideas posted around the internet, but I have yet to find the officially published full length novels that are of the same quality. Maybe my peers have yet to realize the value of what they have to offer, and never work up the nerve to really throw it out there.
I know I’m not alone. I know you’re there.
Write with unhindered creativity, pour your love of English into every sentence, and do your best to hone your talent. Be artistic. Be real. Be different. Be you. Don’t rewrite Harry Potter and Twilight because they were popular, write the weird and quirky stories that you secretly post on Reddit. Just make them longer. A lot longer.
Self-publishing has become readily accessible to everyone, so you don’t have to follow the old channels of appeasement and rejection anymore — you can reach your readers directly. Don’t be afraid.
Join me, and we can change the literary world.
I adore the first season of Stranger Things.
I wasn’t looking forward to season 3. WAY too much time had passed since season 2, and I had stopped watching Netflix entirely ever since they killed member reviews (I like to have an idea of what I’m getting myself into, especially when the kids are around (which is almost always)). But, as my husband and I were browsing through the new releases on our Nintendo Switch, we saw that a game had been based on season 3, and we asked ourselves, ‘When was that supposed to come out anyway?’
Apparently, July 4th, so we slogged our way through it. ‘Slogged’ is really the best word, since season 3 was terrible.
The general overview is that the characters were turned into bland props, all of the quirky nerdiness that made the show so appealing in the first season was gone entirely, and there was a heck of a lot more cussing all around in lieu of intelligent dialogue. Instead of existential Lovecraftian horror, the main focus was on everyone breaking up with each other for the sake of relationship drama. Gag me.
Whenever I take a gander at the hottest new releases on Amazon, I can’t help but feel like there really isn’t a place for me in the literary world. It’s not that I don’t believe that I have the skill to write, but rather, I think that society’s tastes have drifted too far for my novels to have much appeal.
I’m old fashioned, and I like sentences that flow well together as an easy thought, that can be read out loud to others. I like to focus more on straightforward storytelling, and I don’t particularly care about impressing anyone with my command of purple prose. I’m nothing like Game of Thrones, and I don’t feel any desire to erase my own voice in order to imitate the bestsellers. I don’t have any points to prove; I’m just make-believing because I like to, and savoring the process of filling up page after page.
I really couldn’t care less about what celebrities or the New York Times say about anything. Their opinions are more of a disincentive, to be truthful, and I will feel like an epic failure as an individualist if I gained their approval.
Sometimes I think that the real world is all about hyper-conformity, and trying as hard as possible to be “3 edgy 5 you” to prove how thoroughly you belong in the 21st century. Me? I’m enamored with the basics of True Love and Motherhood, and it doesn’t bother me that I don’t particularly belong to any century.
Ultimately, it doesn’t much matter. I’ve never been one for approval seeking, and in many ways I’ve lived my life to the opposite. As long as I’m happy and fulfilled, nothing else really matters.
I just kind of wish that I wasn’t so gosh darn weird compared to everyone else. Why can’t there be more weirdos in the world?
A trope that I see every now and then that drives me absolutely batty goes something like this:
The intro is all about letting the audience know how super awesome this character is, being the Chosen One and all, and you think that you’re in for some impressive ass-kicking all around, literally and/or figuratively.
Then, as the story progresses, it turns out that the character isn’t that awesome after all, because:
Any one of those three would put my teeth on edge, but for whatever reason I usually see all three of these together. I used to try to finish stories that pulled this trope, but experience has taught me that the ending never gets better.
So, let’s break down my bullet points:
I suspect that the writer is trying to be subversive with this one, but societal context has changed to the point that aspiring to be a mediocre nobody is par for the course — you can even decorate your home with quotes about how you will never do, say, or think anything unique or special. Personally, I have been heavily criticized every time I’ve taken on a new responsibility, often because others treat it as some sort of enslavement.
You have four kids? How on Earth are you ever supposed to do anything?
Oh, I don’t know. Occasionally the kids take off the shackles and I’m allowed a bit of sunshine; just enough to keep me going. So tell me, what do you do with your freedom? Work all day, then veg out on the internet?
Anyway, it would be far more refreshing to see a character who actually wants to be the Chosen One and takes the responsibility seriously.
I wish I could say that this is due to a lack of imagination, but I can’t shake the suspicion that it’s wish fulfillment on the part of the writer. Usually, the main character is no longer set apart, instead belonging to a tight-knit group where everyone knows everyone else’s pain, and never has to face the possibility of loneliness.
After the cadre has been formed, the enemies start popping up with even stronger powers to justify it all, and the hero is looking less and less unique and interesting. But at least the writer vicariously has imaginary friends!
This is the natural consequence of the previous bullet points. Even if someone is uncertain at first, they’ll naturally be drawn into enjoying ULTIMATE POWER when they realize what they can do with it, so in order to keep up with the mediocre aspiration, the ULTIMATE POWER can’t actually be all that seductive or useful. You also can’t make your friends feel bad by being obviously better than them, and the battles need more suspense by dangling the question of whether or not the entire group has what it takes to defeat the single bad guy. Working alone. Against all of you.
Wait, who was supposed to be the Chosen One again?
It’s a terrible trope, which unfortunately plagues the fantasy genre, so I keep coming across it. Le sigh.
Maybe we could try something new?
My heart stopped when I saw this.