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Changing standards of good writing

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1Changing standards of good writing Empty Changing standards of good writing on Sun 07 Apr 2019, 10:52 pm

One fairly modern development is an obsession with 'realism'.

Now I can buy it to an extent. A work is perhaps more engaging the more 'realistic' it is - which appeals to today's desires for escapism, on one hand; and a desire for basal appeals to the adrenaline rush, 'wow' moment after 'wow' moment.

Alternatively, it seems at odds with prior standards.

One example: 'anybody can die' (like in rl!). It's basically used as a selling point for every other TV show these days. Any character can die, and they are liable to die when you don't expect it - in other words, when it might not actually serve the plot.

The latter point is significant. It's fine to kill a major character, but to do it in such a way that comes across as spontaneous is really just bad writing.

Characters are supposed to serve a purpose in the art, and good art does well to conceal that purpose - hiding the 'wiring' or whatever.

Of course, if the purpose of your 'art' is simply to serve occasional adrenaline shots, then characters may well exist purely as one part 'red herring plots' that don't actually resolve but exist to mislead the reader/viewer to allow for the second part, 'shocking death'.

Still it comes across as shite to me tbh.

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2Changing standards of good writing Empty Re: Changing standards of good writing on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 9:20 am

I think you mean "lowering standards". Big Grin

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3Changing standards of good writing Empty Re: Changing standards of good writing on Fri 17 May 2019, 7:10 pm

I think this video explains the problem with modern 'realist', Sawardian trends in storytelling.

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4Changing standards of good writing Empty Re: Changing standards of good writing on Mon 16 Sep 2019, 1:17 am

The worst example that keeps coming to mind for me of issue-led drama, is the Eastenders' Kat and Zoe storyline back in 2001. The one where the two sisters are revealed to really be mother and daughter, because the family didn't want the shame of Kat's teenage pregnancy to become public.

But almost nothing that takes place in that story feels like it happens for any other reason than to raise an issue.

Why does the revelation about Kat's abuse by her uncle lead to the entire family ignoring her, apart from her father banging on her bedroom door to know if it's true?..... well because they need the family to ignore the fact that Kat's driven to commit suicide (and probably to make a point of the father's 'toxic masculinity').

Why, despite Kat and Zoe's reconciliation early after the revelation, does Zoe decide to become a runaway? Well because they want to raise the issue of teenage runaways and homelessness? Why does Zoe not decide after a few days of this crap that she was better off home and at least giving talking to Kat a chance? Because they want to keep raising more issues of homelessness, including prostitution. Why after Zoe escapes her pimp, does she decide to start begging on the street rather than running back to her family? Because they want to make a point about homelessness.

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5Changing standards of good writing Empty Re: Changing standards of good writing on Mon 16 Sep 2019, 2:05 am

The problem isn't realism, it's the conflation of realism with sensationalism.

Nothing wrong with the latter either. It's only a problem when it becomes the sole raison d'ĂȘtre of a text.

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