About Writers, blogging, Uncategorized, world-building, writing technique

Tomorrow’s Challenge

Why do we continue to use digital media to mimic novels set in type? Linear stories presented word by word and scene by scene are analogs in a world that we are beginning to experience as quantum.

Changes are coming even if we ignore them. Digital e-readers are as capable of sounds as they are of words, so why bother describing the sound of a bell when you can make it? Two paragraphs appearing side by side can present two PoVs to the reader at the same time. Comic books do that now. Imagine what a creative writer of the future will be able to do.

But why wait? Are we all just old analogs stuck in a linear perspective incapable of conveying life’s simultaneity?

Just asking 🙂 What do you think?


9 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Challenge

  1. mimispeike says:

    Sounds transformed into word pictures are more than sounds. Toots, clangs, door slams, etc. are for delightful lyrics and for innovative first-grade readers.

    Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell (majestic peal-peal-peal); it (extra long quavering peal) for thee.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ROFL! Hilarious, Mimi! You speak for me: sound effects DO NOT belong in e-book fiction. Now, a non-fiction e-book: sure! Clickable footnotes that link to referenced music, speeches, video links, etc.–fine; these leverage the advantage of the electronic format.

      But sound effects in fiction . . . (:::shudder:::) I’d rather be provided snail-mailed scratch-&-sniff strips to accompany a novel’s reading than be subjected to–as you put it–“majestic peal-peal-peal; extra long quavering peal”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. GD Deckard says:

    For those not checking Facebook, here are some comments from other writers about this post.

    Robert Mariner You’re not thinking far enough into the future. With the rise of ever more sophisticated graphics and audio processors and virtual reality software, eventually we as writers will perhaps write words, but have the software produce a VR movie complete with appropriately-detailed scenes. We’d have to be sure we actually understood what we were writing, though –

    Ian Cap Formatting. It’s very difficult to imbed sound into text, you currently have to do it as an actual app rather than an ebook. Same for side-by-side text, the formatting it is too difficult for the screen ratio that ebooks use.
    I feel that everything you brought up is coming, but it’ll take the ebook publishers and ebook device/app designers some time.

    Charles Moritz I’m thinking VR will revolutionize storytelling…I just happen to like working the way I do…I’ve noticed I’m always a few years behind the next tech fad…but hey, text reading stories have been around for thousands of years and I’m sure people in the future (at least a certain niche) will still prefer that.

    E.M. Swift-Hook This is missing the point about a book. A book is played out in the ultimate VR theatre of your imagination. Sound effects, glorious technicolour surround-sound immersion may be the way for a VR entertainment future. But reading strengthens the imagination and offers an immersive experience unlike any other. It needs no technology, no headset, no internet. I think that means the humble, readable, book will have a future way into and beyond the advent of VR adventures….

    Jim Adams The day fast approaches where books will only be digital pamphlets filled with acronyms and emojis, with R2-D2 bells, whistles, and fart noises, and then Amen to humanity’s civilization, for Skynet or the equivalent thereof will not suffer such fools lightly. jmo 😢lol 🤣jkjkjk 😝rotf 😈smh

    Shane Thomas Some audiobooks have full production with sound effects, music, and a full voice cast.
    I am currenty focused on immersing the reader within a limited 3rd person point of view by words alone. I think that method presents the greatest depth into a story a writer can achieve.
    Perhaps an audiobook or film producer should capitalize on your intriguing insight.

    There are many more comments, but this seems to cover the gamut.


  3. https://i0.wp.com/writercoop.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/star-trek-tng-pic.jpg?ssl=1&w=450

    Caption: “Look, Captain! It’s a leather-bound tome from the 21st century!”

    I believe E.M. Swift-Hook has it exactly right–though where he writes “book” I mentally substitute the more ungainly phrase “book-length fiction”. For that matter, the novel-qua-novel will never disappear, as the particular itch it scratches is unique to the forms of both (1) the printed page, and (2) the physiology of the human brain. How many of us recall that only reading–as opposed to more passive forms of primarily visual-oriented communication–actively involves both hemispheres of the brain? And that in life-long readers, the corpus callosum (the connective band of tissue uniting both hemispheres of the brain) is measurably thicker? Reading literally strengthens brain integration, abstract communication skills and higher-level gestaltic thinking.

    Now, if the question is: Does VR have a future as a communicative medium alongside radio, film, TV and comic books? The answer is: Of course it does! It is an immensely powerful, immersive medium only just now starting out to build its tools and grammar. VR is akin to film circa 1900: everything lies ahead.

    Gene Roddenberry took pains to show books on shelves and in the hands of various Star Trek TNG characters in many episodes of that long-running series. His mssg was clear: even in a world of cosmic wonders and total-immersion holodecks, humanity would turn time and time again to the comfort and consolation of that most reliable, durable and flexible of all communicative mediums: the printed page.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. GD Deckard says:

    I agree, that the book experience is unique. It’s the book’s content, and its market, that I think will be heavily impacted by new technologies.

    Books incorporating new technologies will outsell plain old fashioned books because they’ll be more fun, fun itself being a valued component of entertainment and entertainment being a major motivation for readers. I believe even now, many apps outsell books.

    What all this means to writers may be close to what Robert Mariner suggested.
    “…eventually we as writers will perhaps write words, but have the software produce a VR movie complete with appropriately-detailed scenes.”
    That’s not too different from books being made into movies.

    I would note that story tellers have been around longer than books. We writers, as story tellers, will be providing content to the new industries until they, too, fade away. And I suspect we’ll be telling our stories for long after that.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. GD Deckard says:

    Mimi’s right, of course. Nothing will replace creative writing. The coming changes are not threats, they are opportunities. Personally, I would be delighted if, while reading Sly, that sly cat turned and winked at me.
    🙂 Or if I could also buy a promotional toy Sly that quoted Sly-quotes.

    Liked by 2 people

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