Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Let’s talk about consuming and creating media. I say media instead of art to avoid any quality bias. I might think my writing is art but others would disagree.
I have a rule, well more of a guideline, about consuming media. It goes like this:
“If you’ve gotten through at least 25% and you’re dreading continuing, it might be time to quit.”
I’ve applied this to most long form media like books, movies, comics, TV, youtube shows, etc. There’s a certain amount of relief that I get when I let myself give up on something.
I’ve often broken this guideline, the book I’m currently reading is only 250 pages so I figured I’d finish and critique it properly. I rarely quit a book, I won’t read the rest of the series, but I’ve quit reading 2 books in my life. One was Interview with a Vampire, and the other was a book about a murderer that somehow killed people using landline phone calls.
Series and TV shows are different. I’ll give a book series, one book, and a tv show at least 1 season unless it offends me in the first 2-4 episodes.
It’s really easy to give up on something that no one cares about, but it’s a completely different thing to give up on something that is a cultural phenomenon. When everyone is talking about something, or your group of friends are, there’s a sense of obligation in consuming that thing.
I’m of course talking about Game of Thrones, I’ve watched the first 4 seasons, and read the first 2 books and I just don’t like it. The plots are inconsistent, the characters are either despicable, boring, or dead, and I find it painful to read or watch. There I’ve said it. Revoke my geek card if you wish.
Other shows that are close to me giving up on are Grimm, The Arrow, and Supernatural. All because of inconsistent and downright annoying writing.
Creating it is completely different. That rule is:
“If you’re dreading creating something, you need to rethink your approach.”
I have been struggling this year with my novel, Everdome. Not just because of book itself. I caught 2 flu’s and the plague. I’ve also apparently been doing something wrong at work and I’ve been getting pain in my right arm. On top of that my work has lost a lot of employees and I’ve had to do more work than past years. (Ok, enough excuses.)
One of my major issues was that I had a beginning and an end, 6 character points of view, and one big cool concept. Unfortunately without character arcs, and a middle, I was having trouble putting words in front of each other.
Last week I stopped and thought about all the characters I had left and where I wanted them to be and how I could get them there. It helped me set things up and start writing freely again.
I think the concept and the characters in this book are awesome, but I’m not sure how good a book it’s going to be. I never am.
What popular media have you given up on?