The “Purity” of Traditional Fiction?

I’ve really come to find I love writing stories. It’s just so to get personally involved and emotionally connected with characters and situations and just make interesting things happen.

I’ve gotten to know, through the power of Twitter, a fair few people who share my passion for fiction writing, however, a fair number of these people seem to have had modern takes on storytelling. One runs a role-playing series on Twitter which has been really successful, so much so his “normal” writing is pretty much on hold as he experiments with this format. Another plans to tell a story through the viewpoint of the protagonist’s Twitter account, and also wants to explore narrative through computer games. I’ve also seen plenty an iPad app that “supplements” a book with rich pictures, character bios and maps that don’t seem added on, but as part of the main package that’s expected to be explored to build the story. There are many more examples but these I can testify to knowing of personally.

All of these things are wonderful; however, none of them appeal to me as means for me to convey my own work. I just wanna, well, write. And I feel a tad anachronistic by holding onto the big block of text.

It certainly feels quite quaint and dowdy to aspire to just write paragraphs and paragraphs of prose for the reader to sit down and read. It’s not terribly “interactive”, to use the current buzzword, is it?

The opinion that crystallises in me is that these forms are all well and good, but allow the medium to become the focus, and the actual story takes a back seat or has to make compromises to accommodate the medium. The “purist” form of storytelling, I’ve come to think, is still the prose; nothing gets between the words on the page (or eInk screen) and the reader’s imagination.

Interactivity is nice, but ultimately I want to just get “into” a story and not have to focus on how I’m consuming the story. And you know what? In terms of “purity”, I think I prefer it that way.

How do you feel? Are you a traditionalist or modernist in this sense? And do you agree with my views here? Leave a comment; I’ll get back to you!

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