It took me a couple of days to mull over this, trying to figure out how I failed so dramatically to bring across my message about Fanfic in the original post.
Today it struck me.
Somehow, via elegant argumentation, the conversation derailed my meaning to have been intended to bash the actual creative process and the way language – or a genre – evolves.
There is nothing to be criticized about the creative process. It is what it is. People either plan carefully (some do, so I hear) or brainstorm, or simply pour their ideas out on paper or canvas or other medium (keyboard) any way they want to tumble. I’d indeed be extremely arrogant to want to bash how people develop their ideas.
Also, some outstanding improvisational artists were “flung” at me, and yes, I agree, for instance Beethoven apparently was a treat to listen to when he improvised. That is not to say I’d necessarily like to listen in on the improvisation of someone who has not even grasped the basics of music yet. (Any mom who has to listen to such attempts will agree with me.) Except, perhaps, in the capacity of teacher and adviser, to improve what is delivered.
Is this arrogance?
Can you compare this
and say they are of equal artistic value?
Clearly, to get to (2), humanity has to evolve through (1). But isn’t it rather cheeky to criticize people for saying (1) is a lot less sophisticated than (2)? And calling them arrogant or traditionalist when they air the opinion that (2) is better art than (1)?
I have deliberately picked these two examples, because they make it rather clear. The fan fiction I was criticizing, is generally the equivalent of an author’s first steps. Nobody denies that there are outstanding writers (one was mentioned extensively in the comments, haha, now you have to read them) who experimented with the creative process itself by deliberately doing the equivalent of what computer teccies call a “dump”, simply “outing” everything that is “in there”. And they made a major success of it. Then again Leonardo invented the camera obscura. It is called genius, and the definition of genius is that not everybody has it.
Dear reader, I’ll be offensive now. The chances are that neither you nor I are genii. (If there is a genuine genius among my readers, a deep bow to you, and I have to wonder why you’d even bother reading this rather average blot. I mean, blog.)
So unless you are a genius and can prove it (Mozart could, btw), please take a deep breath and concede that the average author can most definitely benefit from revising and editing his/her own work.
Because while you may be “evolving” the language (down from 2000 to 50 words, I think it’s actually called devolution), others who use the same language more extensively might actually think you uneducated and infantile for misspelling those 50 words you elect to use, for being unable to tell the difference between “they’re”, “there” and “their” and for being unable to use a thesaurus – or for having no desire to, because it “interferes with your creative process”.
This is not snobbery; lauding the failure to make an effort would be pure hypocrisy coming from an experienced writer who him/herself uses every linguistic device he/she has available to keep his/her prose exciting and interesting for the reader.
Expecting the reader to dumb down to one’s failure to complete the creative process, is not the answer.
Certainly the internet is a playground.
It is a playground for semi-literates, too.
To expect the literate reader to bow down to the semi-literate writer and fake admiration for their first efforts (that should have been kept home for mommy and daddy to evaluate and help) is reverse hypocrisy and artistic snobbery.
I stand by what I said:
Create any which way you like. But then edit your manuscript! Or prove to your critic that you’re a genius.
Failing both, don’t be surprised if people who have been around the block are unwilling to feign admiration for your work.
(*breaking blogging convention by using “evolved” internet language)
(*Apparently, breaking the rules is just fine – hence the images have been sourced without checking if they are creative common.)