Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things that bother me for no good reason at all

This post is going to make me very unpopular, but I'm going to post it for no reason other than the fact that I feel like it.

Note: I am NOT writing this for the sake of telling people to "stop doing these things." Everyone has his or her own style of thinking about their writing, and I have no problem with that.

Yet, for some un-explainable reason, these three things kind of bug me when other writers talk about them on their blog:

1. "Casting" your novel:

This is probably because people who "cast" their novel always pick really gorgeous actors and models, and most of the time, these people look significantly older than the characters they're supposed to portray. Yes, yes, I know that this is what Hollywood does, but I would think that, as writers, we could be a little more genuine.

That, and if my novel were ever turned into a movie, I wouldn't want super-famous people playing my characters--I would want unknowns. That way, when I'm watching the movie, I'm not thinking about the cover of Seventeen magazine--I'm thinking about the story.

2. Book trailers:

Hey, if book trailers are actually a successful method of advertising your book, then hail to them. But I don't really understand this: books are more of an imaginary medium, whereas audiovisual media is more concrete. It just seems weird to use one to advertise the other.

(Not that I dislike all book trailers. I like the more artsy ones, like Maggie Stiefvater's. But I can't stand the ones that attempt to look like movie trailers (ie, Cassandra Clare's book trailers). The acting is usually tacky and sub-par. And I hate background voice-overs.)

3. Blogging about your playlists

Notice that I don't have a problem with making playlists. I will even confess to having made my own list of tracks that somehow remind me of The Temple Well. (Though I don't listen to it very often--or anymore, since the computer with all those songs died last summer.) But I feel like "playlists" are a very personal (and sort of a guilty) thing for me, and it's weird when other people list them on their blogs (or in the actual book). Just because you associate those songs with your story, doesn't mean others will. Plus, the addition of "background music" to your book just seems sort of...emotionally manipulative, I guess.


I guess there are two sides to this argument (well, it's not really an argument, more of an opinion)

A - Art should be without boundaries; there is no reason we shouldn't combine words with audio and visual media.

B - Your book isn't a movie, so stop treating it like one. If words (or words and pictures, as in the case of graphic novels) aren't sufficient for you to tell your story, then you need to improve your writing skills.


Thoughts? (Feel free to disagree. I'm not trying to shame anyone for the way they write.)

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