Thursday, October 19, 2006


Delicious & Nutricious: My $.02

Early last week, Lou Anders made a post on his blog about fun, entertainment, and art, and the subsequent conversation is still going on. It's been an interesting discussion to follow, and strikes at a more substantial role of writing that the perennial "movement" and "definition" debates usually do.

I don't spend too much time worrying about this, myself. I came to the realization early this year that what I'm writing isn't Art, but Entertainment. There's meaning and substance lurking beneath the surface of everything I write, though how successfully encoded or thought out is up to readers to decide, but my principle goal is to craft smart entertainment. To my way of thinking, though, a successful work can't have one without the other.

Entertainment without substance is nothing more than empty calories: it tastes good, but doesn't do you any good. Substance without entertainment is bitter medicine: it's good for you, but it's too often hard to swallow. A successful work-- one that provides both entertainment and substance -- is good and good for you: delicious and nutricious.

That's what I'm trying to produce. If I fall short of the mark, and end up providing something that is merely entertaining, then I've written the equivalent of a Twinkie. A smart Twinkie, perhaps, and a well-crafted one, but a snack cake nonetheless. But while my aim is always to strike a balance and blend the two extremes, if I have to err on one side or the other, I'd prefer to give readers a tasty snack instead of a bitter pill.

And while they're enjoying their empty calories, I'll just try that much harder next time to get it right, and slip some vitamins in there along with the confection.

It's now a law that everyone on the internet has to create a new metaphor about this stuff, and I really like this one. Where *is* our wholemeal candyfloss?
"Entertainment without substance..."

That's a great anology!
I've been trying to respond to this using some food analogy that doesn't sound utterly naughty.

I'm conceding defeat.

Damn you and your smart Twinkies, Mr. Roberson.

But I'll still keep eating them.


Bookseller By Night, Really Tired JOATAMON By Day

booksbynight at livejournal dot com
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