Yesterday evening, my son was asking why the lines and actions in a certain television show had been written a certain way. He said it would have been much better if things had happened in a different way. I was impressed with his analysis because what he had suggested would have certainly made the show better. I told him so and said he would probably be a good writer on said television show.
It got me to thinking though. Why, in the world, have we accepted the lowest common denominator for our television shows and our books, for that matter? I know all of us who write have seen sales figures for certain books that we would never consider reading ourselves or that we would never consider writing. Conventional wisdom says that the reasons these books are written or that these television shows are made is that they are popular.
I think we, the general public, have more power than we think we do. Or at least the power to make it stop bothering us. 🙂 For television shows, we can stop paying for cable. My husband called the cable company the other day to see what date we could cancel our cable service. He found out the date and was also asked why he would be canceling. One of the reasons he gave was because of what I’ve discussed here. We both got a kick out of what happened the next day because apparently, his number was given to their sales department. He’s going to ignore all the calls, and we’re going to proceed with our plans.
For writing, it’s more tricky. Of course, we should not spend money on books that are not worth reading. But, should we write to the lowest common denominator? In my opinion, no, we shouldn’t. We need to write the story we were meant to write. I know it is frustrating to see low sales figures or even to be rejected. But, if I were to write something just for the sole intent of getting published, I believe I would always be disappointed in myself and know that I could have done better.
Hope everyone has a great day!