Thursday, April 15, 2010
Less Is More
Another email about writing:
"This is what I mean when I say that authors must first do no harm. I think authors can write about anything, as long as they do it in a way that helps their reader become a better person in some way. Nothing should go into your book merely for prurient interest, or to shock, or to be edgy. If nothing else, it's just bad writing. Less is often more. Hitchcock is much more suspenseful than Freddie Krueger. The movie romances of the 40s and 50s with their subtlety is much more romantic than most of today's romances. Of modern films While You Were Sleeping is one of the most romantic, and the furthest they go is a kiss at the end.
Edgy will also lose you sales.
So, if you're writing hard things because you want to help kids going through serious issues to get through them and come out on top, great. Books like that are needed.
But if you're doing it for any other reason, you might risk having a more poorly written book that doesn't sell as well as it could. And there's a chance you might encourage attitudes in kids that would actually harm them. And you don't want that."
Here's an interesting list of top grossing movies in the U.S.(in no order): "Avatar", "Star Wars", Pirates of the Caribbean", "Lord of the Rings", "E.T.", "Titanic", "Dark Knight", etc. With the exception of "Titanic" (a few scenes could have been cut and not hurt the movie) there was no sex and few innuendos in those movies. If the movies can make money on "less is more" why can't books?
And most of my favorite romantic movies that I like to watch and again and again are clean. Why not books?
What do you think?