October 18, 2013

The Face of Writing is Changing

Dear M,

I don't know how many of us have realised it yet - the phase (or face, as the case may be!) of writing is changing right before our eyes.

Think of all the books you have read: almost all of them will have the protagonist searching for information on something or looking for a place or trying to locate a person who had vanished from view or yearning for his/her lover. Imagine writing such a story in the present time, say, a tale set in 2013 - the reader would immediately ask, why didn't the dude Google for information? Why didn't he/she check out the person's online profile? Why didn't he/she call the person's mobile number? Why didn't the detective get in touch with the cell service provider and track the villain's phone? Why didn't they keep an eye on their Facebook or Twitter stream to know their whereabouts? Why didn't they hack into their accounts??

See? All the fun is going from the Quest, the Hunt, the Uncertainty that we love to write about. And fast. A few years ago I read about two lovers being connected through Orkut and sending each other scraps (It was the time when the Orkut craze was setting in the horizon). Another blog I read recently had people finding and messaging each other on Facebook. Then there are hours of conversation on mobile. While there is romance and excitement in it, I miss the old Romance. The longing, the yearning, the uncertainty, the waiting, the missing, the unexpectedness. The same holds for adventures. If good old Indiana Jones could Google for all the information he needed, the movie wouldn't have been half as good (or long).

As long as we don't have cell phone towers or television in outer space, we can probably set our plot out there in the farthest reaches of the Solar System!

(Luckily for us, real villains will be at least one step ahead of technology, so there is still hope.)

So, writers, watch out: Your time is running out. If you want to write old fashioned romance or adventure or a thriller or a mystery novel, better make it quick. Soon there will be nothing left to write about. Everything will be at our fingertips. Your protagonist will sit at home and type or gesture or mouth a word or yawn, and the problems will be solved. Alas - the novel is over in two pages!

Think about it!!


Like this post on Facebook!

No comments :

Post a Comment