Sunday, March 11, 2007

Whats wrong with colloquial writing?

I've been itching to get a hand on JR Ward's latest Lover Revealed. I managed to get out of the house yesterday and lay my hands on a copy, along with MJD The Royal Pain (for some reason every time I saw it I was $$ strapped - yesterday I wasn't, but hell it was released 2 years ago).

Liked it. Liked it for all the reasons lots of people dislike the Brotherhood series (yet still buy them anyway).

I'm not going to wax on about character growth, or how Marissa really had a voice, or how certain things seemed a bit 'convenient'. Instead I want to congratulate Ms Ward for creating a book for the '00 generation - what are we gen Y or something? For people like me who get the pop culture references, who understand the dialogue, who are part of today’s broad, disposable, technological, and possession orientated society.

I see on many blogs, in how to write books, articles and the rest - don't date your manuscript with current/trendy colloquialism. It's right up there with don't use other people (stars) to describe physical characteristics of your players (which I heartily agree with).

Has no one else ever had to break out the dictionary/encyclopedia/google when reading the classics because you had no clue what the writer was referring to?

Yet, these are classics. We are supposed to come to great realizations about our life and worth from reading them, even though they have very little social relevance to our lives now. Psychological? Sure, but not a hell of a lot of practical reality in this century.

What’s so wrong with creating works for the here and now? Stories that appeal to this generation - the techno-savy, we want it, hip-hop emo rock generation? After all, what is the one thing that all publishers are saying? The younger generation is not buying books in the volume that their older generations do/did. They want their entertainment with the ADHD rapid eye movement speed of Lost and 24 that only to be found on the big or small screen.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but publishing companies aren't expecting mass reprints of most of their books in 50 years time. So what’s wrong with dating ourselves with current terminology and slang if it sells books? After all, in 75 years time I doubt I will be around to enjoy my royalties.

Are we all here to make a great psychological impact to be felt through the next 5 generations, or provide our readers now with quality entertainment?

Some days I feel that I might have the next 'Ohmigawd, you changed my life' epic hidden deep down waiting to be found. And I know some people believe that writing is all about the almost religious, ethereal, dignified nature of literature; that at the end of time literature will be the one thing left standing, that bards and information keepers will rule the world.

And chances are they’re right - no matter what happens, if we have books, we have knowledge.

But what’s so wrong about wanting to make a buck today while entertaining the masses? After all, it's one thing to starve for your art and find your muse through self denial, but has anyone forgotten these guys only became famous once they were dead (and their revelations found through the haze of delusion) - you can't bank your royalty cheque when your six feet under.

So I say good on you Ms. Ward, this hip-hop emo pop rock chick enjoyed your book - hell, the whole lot of them - not just because they're damn good, but because they suit the times.

(PS: please dawg, don’t bring out the fo shizzle. That would be taking a Ferragamo shod step too far.)

(PPS: I’m guessing the chances of Butch, Marissa and V getting together are slim? Go on, I dare ya, make it a mmf lover triangle for us m/m ménage fangurls. That would so take my Brotherhood got-to-have-it-right-now factor through the roof! Hell, I’ve said that I hate buying hardback, but if you bring it hardback fashion, I’m so there baby!!)


Isabella Snow said...

Dunno, I think if you write a good point, people will read it regardless of the language used.

I don't mind colloquialisms at all - though slang can be fairly annoying at times. Groovy, hip, etc are enough to make me stop reading sometimes!

Amanda Young said...

OMG! I think you channelled the very thing I was thinking through the last half of the book. My dirty mind kept begging for a three way. The possibility was so there, and she didn't touch it. Now that would have been awesome. :)