Thursday, August 9, 2012

Modern Folktales?

Last week I read an article that io9 published about remakes and folklore. It kind of blew my mind. I highly recommend it, if you've got a moment. I'll wait.

(If you don't have a moment, Annalee Newitz posits that movie remakes are our latest version of folktales, and that they are a good thing.)

As this is Thursday, there is a question involved. It's not a "what if", though. It's more something to contemplate.

Are we too focused on originality? There is comfort in having an idea of where a story is going. Why else would the same formulas work on TV shows time and time again?

What are our modern "folk tales"?


  1. On the idea of originality, I think it has to do with your market.

    If a person doesn't have a lot of life experience, then rehashing old tales for them doesn't instill the same kind of hatred from them as it does me. I want to fill my life with new experiences.

    So I think that if you are retelling stuff, then I'm going to hate you for it. I won't buy your book. I won't be your consumer. But the thing is, for every one of me (I consider myself well-read and because of that a lot harder to impress) there are ten people that have read only one book. That have never seen the original movie that appeared in theaters 20 years ago.

    So it's about profit. Who do you write for? You write for the people that will shell out the most bucks. The people who haven't heard the story.

    As I get older, my economic power is increasingly becoming less and less despite the fact that I make more and more money. This is because people don't want to write for a 40-year-old demographic. It's too hard. IT requires too much originality.

    So I'm going to disagree with the io9 article simply because what I WANT is originality. But the fact is, I'm part of a smaller and smaller group of people.

    IN capitalist America, write for the largest audience that you can. Make a grab for that cash.

    I do feel put out though that my group is dismissed. "Feed them remakes," seems to be the mantra followed by "their kids haven't seen em...thus we'll get their money anyway."

  2. Interesting article. It makes me hate remakes less and agree that there can be a place for them - but I can't live on remakes, I still need something new, something unique.


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