So Many Books Are the Same
I crossed this blog the other day and thought about the first comment made. Essentially, the blog covers the idea of playing around with P.O.V. in writing. The comment made suggests writers, though they would love to 'play around', can't because they have to make money. This seems all too true.
In my latest creation, His Daughter, I toyed with P.O.V. and the structure of the plot. When I started the novel at of the end of my undergraduate career at Ball State University, I thought I was a creative genius. Never before had such a complicated structure brought such clarity.
And of course, I realized my first draft was far too confusing. I broke it down a little bit, but still held the mystery. Now in it's third draft, I feel it's definitely unique in style and reflects a certain competency, I realize there's a problem.
Almost every novel is in third- or first-person, with a main character narrating along the way. What happened to dual-protagonist narration? Where is the omniscient narrator? Why are so many stories linear. It's verse-chorus-verse in bookstores.
Certainly my new novel could be crap, but trust me, my point's not to justify it. As a matter of fact, it was just a catalyst to move on to my next point. So just forget about it now.
Instead, think about verse-chorus-verse. Usually this cliche refers to a Seattle-style repetition in music. But there're reasons so many songs follow this model:
1.) It makes money.
2.) It sounds familiar and works well with its structure.
So I'm not dissing on verse-chorus-verse.
But it's kind of watered down literature. And I know I sit here sounding unjustifiably pretentious when I say publishers no longer vary their materials. Sure, books can have a unique story or a strong selling point, but they want to stay close to what most people will buy.
And writers are left writing the same old thing, over and over. Sure, we could all try to force new ideas out into the marketplace. Yeah! Being broke, hungry, and humiliated sounds great.
I'm left perplexed. Is there a way to make both work - creativity and not-being-poor?
I'd say force new ideas out there. Take the hit. Maybe find a story with a more familiar story to put out there in the mean time. I'd love to hear some thoughts about this.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.