21 June 2013

Game of soaps

Good stories, according to me, have a point. A moral, even if it isn’t a particularly moral moral.

Soap operas are simply about keeping the story going. There is no point except for continuing. Soaps can only hold my interest for a time.

(If you’re thinking of a soap opera that doesn’t meet that definition of a soap opera, then that’s not what I’m talking about when I write “soap opera”.)

I haven’t read any of the Song of Fire and Ice yet. The TV series isn’t selling me on it. I suspect the TV series of being a soap opera, although there are hints of a possible point or two. I’m afraid it won’t actually get to any of those points.

Why? Because I read this quote from GRRM, which I’ve edited for spoilers. (The original with spoilers)

I knew it almost from the beginning. Not the first day, but very soon. I’ve said in many interviews that I like my fiction to be unpredictable. I like there to be considerable suspense. I [SPOILER] in the first book and it shocked a lot of people. [SPOILER] The next predictable thing is to think [SPOILER]. And everybody is going to expect that. So immediately [it] became the next thing I had to do.

Unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability doesn’t make for good storytelling, IMHO. And, ironically, unpredictability becomes predictable after a while. If this is his primary reason for these events, then I’m not inclined to care.

1 comment:

KenHR said...

Hear, hear!

Fiction - all writing, really - is about structure, whether that structure is achieved through plot or other literary device (skillful deployment of imagery, for instance, or even a pattern to shifting POVs). Too much fantasy fiction these days is endless, formless and pointless. (Having spent two tortuous years suffering undergrads read their fuzzy journal entries as if they were fine literature in an "exclusive" writing program at college, I know a lot of folks don't agree with/understand this opinion.)

And you're entirely correct about unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability.