All stories are supposed to have another behind them. All stories are supposed to have a muse. The muse drives the story, fuels it and sustains it. Now, these muses are of several types. There are those who have had a negative effect on the writer’s life. Then there are those who serve as nothing more than literary eye candy. These muses are often the epitome of physical beauty; a 10 on 10 if you please. Finally there is the quintessential plain Jane or average Joe. He/she is unassuming, down to earth, and often plagued with a myriad of problems. Yet he/she overcomes all hardships with love; love, which has been every writer’s favourite word ever since the first pen touched paper.
It is this relationship between creativity, muse and emotions that I wish to highlight. I may not be old (thank god!), I may not have written several books but I sure as hell have read my fair share. It pains my heart to see the rampant ill-treatment of the muse and the murder of romance (yes, the sappy kind).
On this note, let me begin my diatribe starting with muses. They are no longer treated with the respect they deserve. They are used and often with a cruelty that makes the literary aficionado in me want to curl up and die. As I have come to understand from the classics of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and such is that the muse needs to grow. He/she is supposed to evolve within the pages. They are supposed to be overtly human and subtly superhuman. Not the other way around. It is imperative so as to hold the all important “attention” of the reader. Think of it from a reader’s point of view. It is like watching a child grow up. You involuntarily reach out when they stumble; you want to soothe them when you cry. You may have no personal attachment to the said child but you still watch over them attentively. Why is it so? Because humans inherently respect growth, be it in a book or in real life.
This is where most modern books fail. They are meant to be the instant coffees of the literary world; providing momentary gratification but no lasting taste. Stories today are maelstroms unlike the caressing breeze of the classics. They whip you about like a dog’s chew toy leaving you battered, bruised and dazed. Books today are just a quick read; nothing more, nothing less.
Romance today has been replaced with lust as the driving force. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the portrayal of lust. It is natural and needed at times but even an overdose is wrong. Books are increasingly, alarmingly becoming baser, more primal. This regressive trend has got to stop or it will be the end of all creative writing. After all, you can only portray lust in so many ways. It is one thing to feel lust and quite another to read about it in disturbingly elaborate detail. They already have a name for that: Pornography. The authors think they are so smart if they hide it in the subtext. Well, here’s a newsflash ;it puts us off a book.
All in all, the authors need to take some time to introspect. The genre of fiction can still be saved. We just need to go back to the basics.
All the opinions mentioned within this article are solely mine and do not represent any group or organization. None of what I have written is meant to hurt a person in any manner. If anyone is hurt by any of my statements, I apologize in advance.
Please let me know your comments and reviews. You can reach me via the comments section or you can drop a mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credits: http://www.Wikipedia.org