1. MVP
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    Evolution of Story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MVP, Jan 23, 2012.

    I had some down time in a hospital last week, so I was reading and in between the reading I was people watching. I know its nothing new to say that people are glued to their smart phones, however, this got me thinking. The generations growing up now, are using google, Siri, Wiki, GPS units, and other methods to find information, instead of thinking for themselves. The efforts of the human brain are bypassed by technology.

    For example, several years ago, if a student had to do a book report, he/she had to read a book, and then research his topic using more books or magazines, and actually go to a library to do this, and cite his sources. Today, kids google away, they have a web based bibliography, and they are done in a short period of time.

    Do you think these advances in technology could impact the quality of stories to come? Will people grow complacent with the advances of technology, and not research as much, or restrict all their research efforts just to the Web? Or, perhaps stories may become more intriguing, with all the resources available on the internet. How do you think technology impacts the quality of writing?
     
  2. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    To be honest all books now are being transefered to screens hence ebooks and ipod and Kindles.
    At this rate if one is not careful the only mean of reaching out to language is via a screen.
    My partner for example has stopped bying books/newspapers to read. Everything is done online. Health wise,meaning eyes wise, it might have repercussion because the human eye is not used to look off a screen 24/7.
    When you think now even money(cash) is plastic. Things like cheques books and foreing currencies are beginning to disappers under one currency in europe whihc makes people dealing with cash quite difficult because you reach out for a bank card or a pinnumber.
    Learning in classroom is also taken up by technology meaning children would write less and less and would become reliant on a laptop to do everyhting. The meaning of what a pen mean and writing would become a thing of the past.
    I am not so keen on these changes. I much prefer a book to a screen and a pen to a keyboard and of course cash in my hand then a plastic card.
    As to seeking knowledge the best ways for me is to research through books/libraries/and of course people(communication is key).
     
  3. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I do a lot of my novel research online, and I have to say it is a frickin marvel of modern communication. You do have to be careful how you treat your sources as there is a lot of crap out there, but just being able to google and get the answer to a question in minutes is an absolute godsend. You can also look up visual sources easily, and find pictures of just about anything you want to write about, meaning that you no longer have to guess about the far off places or people you are describing. I don't think this detracts from the imagination required to describe them, it just provides better accuracy and inspiration. You can also contact people who are specialists in the field you're researching, and get quick responses to inquiries. It just makes knowledge and people more accessible, so I see the internet as a huge positive on writing, leading to people being more willing and able to research rather than detracting from it. However I don't think it will ever fully replace books, as there are somethings that are just not available on the web - but it can point you in the right direction via bibliographies etc.

    I probably do about 60% of my research online, 40% published sources.
     
  4. Baba Yaga
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    I find they're different kinds of research. Some topics, like for work, I need to know about instantly in the most condensed way possible to be able to produce work for a client. Enter Wikipedia. Who won the Le Mans race in 1976? I don't know, but I know I could find out in a matter of minutes.

    Other topics, like the work it takes to create a Le Mans winning automobile, what the crew go through in preparation and the thoughts of the driver over the course of that grueling 24 hours- that's not something you can learn from a few clicks and glossing over a few articles.

    The internet is also a great way for settling those stupid debates we all get into and often don't have proof for at the time. You know the ones, when your sister says, "I just loved Sally Field in Sophie's Choice" and then you have to have a two hour debate correcting her. With smartphones, the issue is resolved instantly and we can all move on with our lives. Great stuff.

    Edit- sorry, reread your post. I think it stands the chance of affecting the quality of the writing if that's the only form of input one relies on. Some of my favourite sources of research are real life interviews, you get to hear someone's story exactly as they tell it in stream of consciousness. If I had to omit those as well as books, I think my stories would be as shallow and as one dimensional as the research that went into them.
     
  5. MVP
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    This is what I am getting at. If children use plastic for money, they don't learn its denominations, or how to count it out. If they use a computer in their younger years, they miss out on hand written script. It makes me think about the elements of story, and what goes into developing a wonderful story. There is the author's voice, and the author's creativity tied with logic, that brings about a well crafted story. Will writers research what is easily found, and skip over the work it takes to pull out those touching nuances that aid in bringing a story to life? Will they settle for what they google in 5 minutes, instead of interviewing someone, etc., and if they do, will it change the quality of the work presented to readers?
     
  6. MVP
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    Yes. This is what I am thinking of. There is a difference between reading an interview, or searching for facts, versus sitting down with a person and asking the questions, or just listening to them tell you about a time in their life. When you are sitting with someone, you can see how the events affected them, you can see if they tear up, or laugh boldly. You can see the little nuances in who they are, like raising of eyebrows, or shoulder shrugging. I think little things like that are bypassed on the techno highway, and I'm curious to see how stories will evolve.
     
  7. Evans
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    I think that for the true writer, the story and the passion to write it are driven from within. I don't see a quality story as something resulting primarily from research of any kind. Moreover, the reader is more likely to respond to the genuine article than to something fabricated.

    Evans
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    On the plus side, one can find a source (human being) and contact them via email. This opens up a whole world of possible interviewees, most of whom one would never have known about before.

    Regardless of method, research is only as good as the person performing it. Some people will choose the easy route; others will really work it. The difference will be evident in their writing, just like always.
     

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