February 27th, 2010

we owl float on owl right

authentic fiction (that's just crazy)

a topic near and dear to many of us is the purposes and mechanisms of fiction, and what audiences expect from fiction. fiction is more satisfying when it could have happened [utilitarian generalization] -- even if it takes place in a world other than our own, that world should have coherent rules which operate consistently. i've discussed with friends why this makes heroes (and the superhero genre itself, generally) so unsatisfying to mature thinkers. first, the rules are unknown until described, and second, the writers generally fail to take into account the application of the different rules once described. hiro can go to any point in time, yet he never uses this power the best way he could. etc. the question is what amount and kinds of inauthenticities will be taken in stride, and which will evoke audience disapproval. the boundaries are far from clear. witness:

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so, when do you call bullshit, and when do you say 'just go with the flow'?

even writers attempting to maintain a high level of authenticity are going to make mistakes, so there will always be some amount of inauthenticity, and therefore it's a question that audience members are constantly answering for themselves.

why authentic fiction is more satisfying is beyond the scope of this entry. :p
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