Monday, February 18, 2013

By The Time You Read by Linda S. Glaz

So…by the time you read this, Downton Abbey’s final episode of Season 3 will be over.
Are you happy? Raging mad? Writing letters to the the UK, screaming objections?

A few years ago, okay, more than a few, in the sixties and seventies, it was wonderful and very chic to have extremely unhappy endings. Love Story, anyone?

Do you write what people want to read, or do you step outside of the box? Are you one for having your reader scratch his or her head and say, “Huh? What was that supposed to mean?” Or do you like closure? Like to tie up all the loose ends including whether or not the tertiary character, the guy begging on the street corner who was only in scene one, got a girl as well, or if a car ran over him? How important is it to you to have happy endings? Thought-provoking ideas?

Do you prefer to write genre fiction with a specific format that MUST be met?
What do you like to read? Like to write? Happy or sad, righteous or bad?

By the time you read this, Downton Abbey will be over for the season. What did you think?


Jennifer Major said...

After this line "What do you like to read? Like to write? Happy or sad, righteous or bad?" I had "or by comma when the feeling's not as strong".
Can I get an 'amen' for Schoolhouse Rock?
Yeah, I know, "SQUIRREL!"

People are angry for poor Matthew, but umm, you know he's FAKE,right? And everyone knows the viewers will return to see what happens to poor Mary and the baby! And is he really dead? Or did he lose the ability to blink?

Myself and a few writer friends are lamenting the rigidity of certain genres in relation to their formulaic constraints.
I write historical fiction, with a deeply painful and emotionally taxing love story. I daresay, it is not quite the perfectly predictable romance, simply because of the subject matter.
That being said, I prefer closure, so I try to tie up the loose ends. I dislike encountering characters who serve no purpose. The adage "make each word count" should, in my humble opinion, be said as well for characters.

Linda Glaz said...

I couldn't agree more, Jennifer. And yes, they'll still tune in. I, too, like closure. It doesn't have to be every teeny detail, but I like the overall questions to be answered. And I don't even mind an extraneous character or two IF they serve a purpose, even if it's just a sprinkle of salt to intensify another character. Couldn't agree more on genres that don't push the edge. I LOVE for there to be more characters than simply him and her! And I like additional povs as well. As long as it adds significantly to the story.

Jennifer Major said...

Brag moment-I managed to tell a whole chunk of back story and set up a life or death confrontation by using one small scene with a shopkeeper, who we never met before and is only mentioned one other time in the story.

And I named her after a friend of mine who evangelizes her people for Christ. Hey, she saved the heroine ;)

Sarah Thomas said...

All I can say is that the actor playing Matthew clearly wanted out of his contract. I mean, that was just a cheap shot ending. I was disappointed, not that they killed him off, but that they made it so cliche. And after doing everything else so well!

Anonymous said...

I think it must be terribly difficult for the writer (Julian Fellowes in this case) to labor over the development of a believable and engaging character and then have to drop him from the story because the character wants to leave the story. This happens to fiction writers who have characters take charge of their stories, but probably when the author and character are alone in a room with only a keyboard between them, and with more time to discuss the matter and lay down a red carpet for the farewell walk.

Meghan Carver said...

We bought Season Three when it became available on DVD last month, so I had already seen the last episode and was wondering how everyone would react. I didn't know the actor wanted to leave, and I'm glad we don't have that problem as novelists. I felt jipped! For our family, he was one of our favorite characters, and I'm guessing he was a favorite with most viewers. If all the writer wanted to provide was some tension or angst, that could have been done in so many different ways. But killing him? Not fair to the viewer/reader.

Davalyn Spencer said...

I will admit this only in writing: I've not seen Downton Abbey, but I empathize with everyone's angst. I'm a huge NCIS fan (Gibbs, anyone?) and several years ago when they killed off one of the main characters, Kate, I felt mortally wounded. Almost gave up the whole show. How could they? No one would ever replace her.

Well, life went on as life does, and yes she was replaced but not really. Not totally, and connections to beloved Kate have shown up in several shows since.

Hopefully for the DA lovers, there will be life after Matthew.

Linda Glaz said...

It always happens when an actor wants to move on, but it still makes a person sit up and shout, "Huh? What just happened?" and unless his long lost identical twin returns just as she's about to marry the second "love of her life" then we won't see Matthew again. Ah, the life of actors and writers!!!