Friday, February 6, 2009

Expert Opinion

A writer friend of mine sent me an email today with a link from some supposed expert who says that the concept of conflict in literature is a myth. This literatus (or literata as the case may be since I don’t know his or her gender) contends that powerful and successful fiction is about journey, transformation, detachment, and attachment. He cites everything from The Godfather to the Harry Potter books as proof of his hypothesis.

I at first had several questions about this proposal. Wouldn’t a journey, in and of itself, be a “conflict?” Why would one need to take a journey if not to conquer some fear or to test oneself? Transformation, now if that isn’t conflict, I don’t know what is. If ones moves from one emotional state to another, by definition there must be a reason, otherwise it’s simply called “multiple personality disorder.” I could go on ad nauseam, but why. The punch line is this simple 188 page writing “formula” can be your (or mine for that matter) for $199.00. Ah…now it all makes sense.

Remember, “expert,” those who can do. Those who can’t…