Some of what I write makes a hollywood movie made by michael Bay seem like an intelectual debate on the merits of non-violence. its not all like that but sometimes I feel like I write generic action movie plots. Is it just me?
If you enjoy what you are doing then why feel shallow about it? And if it makes you feel that way then why are you doing it?
I feel that way trying to write for SEO sometimes, but at the same it’s a job. And when it comes to the job part of writing, you do what you have to do. I have other outlets for creativity and more meaningful writing.
Just enjoy what you are doing, that's all that matters. Some of the worst writing ever is the turgid stuff you read when someone has tried (and failed!) to be deep!
If you're not happy with what you write, then the solution is in your own hands - write something else!
I can understand the fear for two very important reasons. The first is that writers are usually very critical of their own work. I've written stuff that other people tell me is good, yet I still slave over it trying to make it better because I don't think it's good enough yet. The other reason is that our culture gives a lot more credit to literary fiction (the stuff they usually make you read in schools) than it does the more popular genre fiction. I spent a great deal of my college career trying to fight against the notion that fantasy/science fiction/horror weren't worth writing. Well I'm here to tell you that they ARE worth writing (and reading). Think about it, they reach a larger audience and have more power to influence them. Look at the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. These are Sci Fi/Fantasy and yet people are obsessed with them. You don't see Great Gatsby conventions (no offense to F. Scott Fitzgerald). And anyone who thinks that genre fiction is any less intellectual than literary fiction, needs only to read books like 'A Game of Thrones' or 'Ender's Game' to see that every genre has the same potential to be intelligent and well written.
So anyway, after that long rant, the short answer is that you should never be ashamed of your own writing. No matter how good it is, someone will always hate it; accept that notion right off the bat. And no matter how poor a first draft is, never think that it isn't worth writing. You can never get to that final product without starting somewhere. Add all the explosions, cliches and nudity you want just to get the pen moving. That is the most important thing in writing; keeping the pen moving. And just as important is to write for yourself, not anyone else.
I came up against the same problems in my own college experiences. My personal opinion is if you like to write Sci-fi and other people like to read it why not? Not everyone likes to write poetry and not everyone really wants to read the next Great American Novel. So if your book is available on the drugstore rack instead of doing book signings at Barnes and Noble and lectures at universities, who cares? You wrote what you wanted to write and it was fabulous!
You can either right formulaic genre that simply repeats the same tired tropes or you can use a science fiction setting to explore humanity and human relationships and/or the implications of social, philosophical, medical and technological trends. One is shallow (but can be entertaining) and the rest can be great literature if you can pull it off.
Science fiction and fantasy are settings. Art is art. Don't feel shallow. Just write.
by dust2dusk 6 years ago
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by Brian Middleton 5 years ago
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