1. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Are all slices of life - about families?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aguywhotypes, Aug 25, 2015.

    Doing a little soul searching today. Trying to find out what I really want to write about. I was looking back in my past and was asking myself what do I like to watch? What are my favorite movies? They are all Slices of Life. Crooklyn, Pieces of April, Avalon - all about families.

    So are all slices of life of families? I'm sure there are some that are not.
    thoughts/examples?
     
  2. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Generally, yes. Either they are the families we're born into, or the ones we build ourselves, or they are conspicuous by their absence. I can't say that I've encountered a Slice story not about family or the lack thereof.
     
  3. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    Really, you both think it's always about families?

    Mhh, somehow this doesn't agree with me.

    What about short stories, which are in general slice(s) of life? Take Hemingway's A Clean Well-Lighted Place. Set in café, nothing special. A customer is being served. It's what lies underneath that makes the stories interesting.

    Though I agree that it is not a common genre with novels or movies. Probably because it is less exciting. A short story might get away with describing the work experience of a waiter, but a novel would need additional complications.

    Right now, I can only think of romance novels which could be described as slice of life as well, e.g. Memoirs of a Geisha (more or less) I assume that you need other elements to fill a novel, therefore it is either personal relationships between family members or lovers.


    I often dabble in different genre, methods, and forms, which is why I apologize for the following digression:

    I suppose the main reason why I am not comfortable with the notion that slice of life equals stories about families is because I know that this "genre" is very popular in Japanese manga.
    Slice of life manga are often about a character's work life, e.g. the work experience of a young maid, two newbie mangaka working together on a project, or a footballer's impressions during the peak of his career. Then there are seemingly random stories like Yotsuba& (I hope I remember the title correctly) which is simply the anecdotal retelling of the different adventures of the next-door-neighbour's child and the MC's observations. Like when the child goes shopping in a huge supermarket. Or when she pets a cat and is being scratched, and then is afraid of all animals for a short time.
    When I first heard about these popular slice of life manga, I was very interested in the narrative techniques behind them. Because, frankly, these "plots" are boring. We all are familar with "real" people's problems like deadlines or clumsy trainees. Yet these are very popular stories and many people love them. I remember that I was intrigued by their powerful simplicity.
    Similar to short stories, these slice of life narratives allow the reader to quickly identify with the characters. Even though the content itself is not exciting or clever or unique, you start to think about more complex issues behind the story. The simplicity leaves you the mental capacity to observe more closely, and therefore you feel the urge to figure out for yourself where the issues lie.
    The audience just wants it to be more than it is :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
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  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe we need a definition of "family." By the definition requiring relatives by biology, marriage, or adoption, I'd say that's not required, no.
     
  5. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    I would agree, not required but it seems that's the way most of them go
     
  6. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Family, like I said, can also be the family you build for yourself; your friends can be a family in that they are a close network of emotionally nurturing people. And romance is all about trying to start a family. Then, you have stories about loneliness, and the lack of family.
     
  7. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Hmm, I am more familiar with "Slice of Life" as applying to friends in school, often with minimal family interaction. Such as Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh.
     

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