in an english class my first semester of college, my professor always told us to stick to the formula. “experimenting is for professionals,” she always preached, “you are amateurs.”
what makes someone a professional in writing, in regards to challenging technique and norms? taking a bunch of writing and literature classes? i’ve always resented that mentality, because to me, writing was an accessible way to express myself that didn’t require tons of money. a lot of famous writers didn’t go to college or take classes on how to write a story, so it’s naive at best, and suppressive at worst to say that trying new story telling techniques is “for professionals”. you don’t need classes or experience to subvert common literary formulas.
and those literary formulas deserve to be deconstructed. telling a good story, in the sense of trying to make their ideas fit into formulas, tropes, and cliches, is tired. i remember discovering studio ghibli movies and realizing that in most of their movies, there was no clear villain. in western media, that would be unthinkable. i want to learn more about story telling in eastern cultures.
this brings me to another thought: tropes aren’t necessarily a bad thing. once i realized that most stories are comprised of tropes, i became a better writer. before that, i struggled with making the most original story ever, and realizing that it was a meaningless fight was liberating. stories don’t necessarily have to be meaningful and full of symbolism either. sometimes, a good story could be just effectively catching a moment in one’s life, or speaking about your experiences or just making a connection through text. it doesn’t need to make a big political statement about society to be significant. that was something else that liberated me.
Undone (The Sweater Song) - Mac Demarco on AV Undercover
i got this from av club’s comment section