I’ve been busy with a writing course for some months now, with one key area constantly rocking my boat. And that is the classics. Much of the course work refers to them, and many of my fellow writers on the course can quote them or have read them, and or both. Me, well that’s a different story. Below is a post I’ve put on one of the course forums, and I’m interested to see what replies I get. If you have a moment, maybe you can tell me what you think.
I often feel I have origins of a distant planet when it comes to books. My taste being very different to so many people I know. Even at the book club I joined, the books I purchased were never read by the other ladies, with them much preferring the books, I felt, they had to say they enjoyed. It was almost beneath them to read Ben Elton’s, The First Casualty, which I had chucked into the pile.
As you know I’ve mentioned in several forums that the classics just don’t do it for me. Truly, many could be cut down to novellas by removing the waffle and all, and I might be interested.
But yes I have to agree, when they were written there was little or no TV, internet, movies, Youtube etc, and few had opportunities to travel and experience other cultures as easily as we can today. And yes one can argue there was then a need for bulk description as entertainment.
On the other hand, current day requires a different style of writing and we do so by telling stories with a faster, quicker, snappier pace and dialogue, which, not surprisingly, is great for me.
So bearing that in mind, here are 2 questions:
1. do you say you like the classics because you feel you have to, and by doing so project a more academic and/or well read image?
2. would you prefer to write in the style of the classics, or the snappier style of today