johncabrera replied to your photo “Filming Charles Baxter talking about the craft of plot at Hugo House’s…”
Plot is the unpopular kid in fiction, these days. Character is the current darling.
So much of the literary fiction I’ve read lately is lacking character too. I’ve heard both derided so much in favor of style that sometimes it’s hard not to despair over the state of literary fiction (of course, there are books that are full of great examples of both, some that I’ve been lucky enough to read this summer, but they’re still so sneered at.)
One person, who went through a very elite literary MFA program, told me she’d never read Shakespeare and didn’t intend to because it’s only considered literary because it’s old, and that contemporary critics of Shakespeare pointed out his plays were too plot driven (screw you, Ben Jonson.) She then turns around and asked if I’d read David Foster Wallace and went on about the beauty of the incomprehensible in his works, and I just stood there dumbfounded. She had actually been through seven years of higher education and not read Shakespeare, but been instructed instead in Joyce and Wallace (I love their work, but come on. Start with the fundamentals.) The thought that today’s writers are being taught that Shakespeare is too plot-focused and that style should be praised above all nauseates me.
Fortunately, the other night’s event was fantastic. Charles Baxter said so much great stuff, ripping at the literary establishment for eschewing plot and then diving into a master class on developing good, character-driven plot.
One of my favorite quotes that night was:
"Secrecy leads to plots. [They] contain massive amounts of negative energy. The narrative reveals and heals." -Charles Baxter
I love that. “The narrative reveals and heals.”
badooney replied to your photo “Lilo and I share a trait of being both small and large depending on…”
I’m glad you wrote this list. It’s always nice to hear what you have to say. I appreciate your insights and I hope things are going well. : )
Thanks. I appreciate that. Depression is hard to write about, but for whatever it’s worth now that he’s gone, when Robin Williams talked about his, it helped me as a kid and was something I thought of often as I grew up. Being affected by that kind of transparency creates a responsibility, no matter how awkward, to be transparent yourself, even if I’m not writing about things like this as much as I could be in order to fulfill that responsibility.
Things are going well, though. The funny thing about depression is that it strikes irregardless of whether things are going well. I think writing about it (as well as reaching out) is helpful, and hopefully might be helpful to read. All this is to say, I am really thankful you left your comment.
razadeluna replied to your photo “Vasant and I are both sick today with a bad cough. Luckily, Lilo…”
caffeinatedcephalopod replied to your photo “Vasant and I are both sick today with a bad cough. Luckily, Lilo…”
*hugs* i love you so ♥♥♥ xoxoxoxo
palmtreepalmtree replied to your photo “Vasant and I are both sick today with a bad cough. Luckily, Lilo…”
Aww, feel better!
helms-deep replied to your photo “Vasant and I are both sick today with a bad cough. Luckily, Lilo…”
So are we! Ugh. This September cold sucks! Feel better soon, friend.
jennhoney replied to your photo “Vasant and I are both sick today with a bad cough. Luckily, Lilo…”
sending esoup! get good rest <3
Thank you all!!! I’m feeling a bit better today. The cough I’ve got has been kicking my butt all week, but it’s not as severe today. I might even have enough energy to go looking for the aurora borealis tonight (we’re supposed to get a chance to view them tonight and tomorrow!) I hope all of you are feeling good. Change of season colds can be the worst.
Hopefully I’ll turn a corner soon. Until then, keep sending all the e-soup you can, light on the e-cumin.