Monday, June 19, 2017

Will Social Media Kill the Novel?

Fascinating article in the Guardian by Andrew O'Hagen on the end of private life, that asserts, "Writers thrive on privacy, not on Twitter" and asks, "What does a world in which our interior lives are played out online mean for the novel?"

link to article

I have certainly seen authors get so caught up in the myth that one has to promote oneself on Twitter and other social media to succeed, that they end up having no time to write. (Or, more prosaically, just end up procrastinating on social media because getting likes is more fun than working on one's book.) And I'll concede that for some, telling their online audience the events that might have otherwise found their way into the novel could be depleting. But on the other hand...I have not infrequently had to edit out long passages from a novel that don't belong there and told the author, "stop venting! If you need to vent, go on Facebook. Rant all you want on social media, but keep this off-message rubbish out of your novel." When the space-suited hero puts down his blaster mid-battle with the alien hoards to complain about how the grade 3 teacher is assigning too much homework to his kid, I feel we may have allowed the intrusion of extraneous material...

Though, that's probably not the novel O'Hagen was referring to... :-)

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