Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day One

I suppose I'm not quite sure what to say, perhaps because nothing I say hasn't been said before. A thousand monkeys typing for a thousand years might reproduce the works of Shakespeare, but a single writer most definitely will. Not on purpose, not even consciously. But it does happen. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. Not if the writer is good.

Back in high school, I was taught there were only five types of stories: man vs. man, man vs. himself (or woman versus herself...I'm a terrible sexist! and a bit lazy), man vs. society, man vs. the natural, and man vs. the supernatural. If I've forgotten one or more, forgive me. It doesn't matter anyway as my point is that reducing stories to man vs. anything is a gross oversimplification. You can say The Scarlet Letter is a person versus society and miss the point entirely, because it isn't about Hester bearing the punishment for adultery. It's about Hester. It's about morality. It's about love. And it's about a million other things.

There are other stories that are man/woman versus society. Are they The Scarlet Letter? No! Are they even in the same genre? Nope! Because the real story, the real writing, is in the details, not the one sentence summation. That's the reason why John Steinbeck could write the story of Cain and Abel and have it come out a book completely different from the book of Genesis.

So, how was this for the first post? Maybe once I get some followers, it will be a bit more impressive. Maybe.

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