I am an internet citizen. Memes are out there. I see them and chuckle along with everyone else. The funny thing is that everything has become fodder for my mind these days. Why should memes be any different.
There has been one floating around for a while now and it stuck with me for a long time, because it relates to writing rules. It also relates to different ways of doing the same thing. If you're one of my regulars, you know I've been at this point before. I'm on the verge of an epiphany, but I haven't quite nailed it down. Sometimes I get clarity by writing about it.
If you stuck with me this long, I'll just jump right to it. This is the one that set me off:
I saw this a month or two ago and never gave it much thought. Last night we went to Guardians of the Galaxy II and it came screaming back into my mind. It actually took me a while to find the meme I wanted. Things on the internet don't have much of a shelf life.
Let's get the movie review out of the way, for those who expect such things… Awesome! I loved it, and so did the rest of my family. I'm sure there are hundreds of reviews in blogland, and this isn't the main purpose of my post.
This whole meme is just an extension of the DC vs Marvel thing that's gone on for generations. You know, Ford vs Chevy, Coke vs Pepsi, etc. I want to enjoy the contrast between the DC and Marvel films. The fact is, I enjoy them both. I can't wait to see the Wonder Woman movie.
This is a whole bunch like my reading habits. I bounce around in genres, and I like the tone of the stories to change from book to book. Truth is, I write this way too.
There were some lighthearted moments in Panama. The Playground had some dark moments. Practical Geology, in my last Experimental Notebook, was very dark. My first Notebook had one called The Soup Ladle of Destiny… lighthearted.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are older than the films, but it took the films to bring me to this point. Who the hell writes this stuff??? It's just batshit crazy. It's also brilliant.
Film has tools that an author doesn't have access to. I would love to have my hero walking in slow motion to a dramatic soundtrack. I'd love to use a sight gag, like when Rocket Raccoon was playing with his land mines. (Just see the film already.) As a writer, I have access to a lot of tools too. I'll just have to go about it a different way.
Last night it occurred to me. When I worry about how a story might be received, I might be holding myself back. Our world is so politically correct, so stressed about fitting within an ordained image, that it can influence our fiction.
Then it occurred to me that another internet meme could help me here:
If I put a governor on my words, I could be preventing myself from writing something brilliant. I even had this conversation with a prominent crime author last year. We discussed what a woman can write that a man cannot. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm working on it. Woman writes a grisly rape and murder scene, she's a woman and it's a serious concern. Man writes the same scene and he's a sick pervert.
She says there is no difference. I still worry about it, and I'll probably never get rid of my filter completely, but it's a great goal.
From now on, I think I'm going to daydream at the finished outline phase. I'm going to assess the insanity and darkness meters. What would a twenty percent adjustment do to the story. What if a dark story were twenty percent darker? What if a lighthearted tale were to go into insane territory? I may not write them that way, but by asking the question, I may be leveling up to a degree.
Help me out here. What do you guys think? Honey Badger might be onto something. The blog world has been kind of quiet, let's get some interaction going.