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Has the world really changed that much in 20 years? Good. - Elf M. Sternberg
Has the world really changed that much in 20 years? Good.
A friend of mine reminded me that I had a copy of 20 Master Plots on my bookshelf, and I pulled it down to riffle through it once more.

It amazes me just how weirdly out-of-date the whole section on romance and love is. The book was written in 1993, only 18 years ago, and yet the passim treatment of homosexuality (mentioned only in "Forbidden Love," naturally), the nouveau of "Girl romances boy," shows just how archaic it is. The whole kit and kaboodle of the past 20 years' worth of love and affection and romance (gads, some of which I helped shape) is just missing from this book. I didn't expect the world to change that fast, and yet it has.


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5 comments or Leave a comment
mikstera From: mikstera Date: November 1st, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Elf, if you were asked to edit the next edition of "20 Master Plots", what would you add, and what would you change or remove?
elfs From: elfs Date: November 2nd, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know that I would remove anything. It's not a flawed book, in the sense that there's anything wrong with the catalog of plots.

What I would change, however, is the sensibility of the book. Like I said, the section on romance feels really archaic; it's not so much that love and sex have changed, as the way we write about them have changed so much that the book feels out-of-date.

Also, the book gives some short shrift to comedy. Tobias discusses how many of his plots work as drama, but never how frustrating them could work as comedy. Many comedies are based upon being the underdog, discovery plots, poor pursuit and bad revenge. Think of how revenge-driven The War of the Roses is, with each escalation being so over-the-top that you have to laugh despite the ugliness of it.
resonant From: resonant Date: November 1st, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whitmancezy's LJ was created October 22, 2011. Never updated, 102 posts made, all variants of "I'm bookmarking your blog and I'll be back" - even in LJs written in Cyrillic. Odd, since most such spam usually has a user name like "Discount_Vi4hgr4" and links to a spam site.
elfs From: elfs Date: November 2nd, 2011 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I noticed that. I figured I'd wait and see what happens. It's damnably peculiar.
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: November 2nd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I got a similar one today, commenting on how nice my blog post was, and wouldn't it be better in a beautiful new dress.

They provided no way for me to order a new dress from them, so I'm a bit bewildered as to what their scam was.

I deleted the comment anyway.
5 comments or Leave a comment