Is the Novel Dead?

Reference: https://damiengwalter.com/2019/11/17/i-stopped-reading-novels-last-year-i-think-you-did-too

Inflammatory title, poised to draw the ire of the crowd
Click-Bait’esque, don’t you think?

But it worked, kind of. I’m here at least, a handful of others it appears, too.

1) The market is saturated: true. Finding quality in the sea of schlock is nearly impossible.
2) We’ve become ever more discerning. Our acceptance bars creep up yearly. And, if you’re a writer, you can’t help but wear your /editor/ hat as you read. How many 1st pages have I read only to pass?
3) I have plausibility issues as I’ve grown older. I just cannot brook the impossible any longer. I used to read Fan-Sci-Fi all the time. Today? The reality of a scientific Universe dispells all possibilities of ghosts or magic.
4) Time, there isn’t any anymore.
5) Exercising the mind. I exercise mine all damn day. We used to do a lot more manual labor. But millions of us have thinking jobs today: knowledge workers, finance, IT/programming, data science, engineering. Give me some diversion I don’t have to unravel.
6) Diversions. Fifteen minutes on Instagram and I’m good for hours; my entertainment fix is mainlined and coursing through my veins.
7) At the end of it all, the day that is, I’m laying in bed, my digital master open to some library novel I’ve spun down, ten minutes later I’m asleep.

Surely good stories will continue to be written. Hell, I intend to write some myself. But I agree, the fundamentals of the novel have changed. Maybe, with literacy exploding in the third world, there will be a rebirth of story telling that we haven’t seen yet. Maybe.

Published by DaveCline

I like black licorice and smoked oysters. And dark beer, of course.

One thought on “Is the Novel Dead?

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