1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Writing Deconstructions?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Killer300, Oct 9, 2012.

    While many times deconstructions are unintentional, there are definitely cases where the writer originally set out to specifically deconstruct a genre.

    So I guess my question is how did they do that? Is it just like writing any other story in regards to the actual creative process, or does the process differ from a traditional part of its genre, because it's intentionally adding tropes of the genre to deconstruct them?

    Of course, at the end of the day, a deconstruction still needs to be a good story on its own merits, however I do wonder if writing a deconstruction needs to be done especially differently from a normal story because of its special qualities, when one intends to do so.

    Sorry if this was worded awkwardly at any point.:redface:
     
  2. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Can you perhaps give an example of such a deconstruction? I'm not certain I understand what you're asking.
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    A deconstruction, in my opinion, (or a reconstruction) is simply re-doing a common theme, stereotype, plotline, etc., with a different perspective - usually a more "realistic" one. For instance, if we take the normal fantasy cliche of the orphan girl (or boy - but I'll use girl in this example) who turns out to be the only heir of the last king who reclaims the kingdom from the evil dark lord, a deconstruction would simply be where the girl has to deal with the problems of actually reigning after the victory, and perhaps deal with nobles (and even commoners) who doubt her legitimacy (not to mention that she's a female ruler, heavens no!) and might lead rebellions against her or try to assassinate her. So usually in the cliche fantasy tale, they might not consider these.

    This has nothing to do with the actual writing of the story, but more so with the story itself. So perhaps you might have a deconstruction planned in mind when writing the story - say, you want to make sure your little Disney princess deals with the real problems princesses faced in medieval times, like rampant sexism and the fact she can't just marry who the heck she wants - but otherwise let the story naturally develop. There's no point in pidgeonholing it as a deconstruction if it wasn't meant to be one, and just because it's a deconstruction doesn't mean you have to turn every single little darn thing into a cynical comment on the unrealistic tendencies of the original.

    I personally enjoy reconstructions, which is where (I think) you acknowledge the faults in reality, but also try to see where the idealism might fall in, too. I guess that doesn't really make any sense.
     
  4. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, an example is Watchmen, and another example would be a Song of Ice and Fire, although the latter is perhaps an example of the deconstruction itself interfering with the plot, but I won't get into that here.

    The latter is deconstructing the fantasy genre through showing how horrible the medieval period could be.
     
  5. reviloennik
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    reviloennik Member

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    Not sure if it's deconstruction or just writing more realistic fiction - if that isn't a contradiction in terms. I doubt that George Martin stared his novel by saying he was going deconstruct the fantasy genre. I would think he just wanted to write a fantasy novel with a lot of realism and make it different from what went before. Similarly my feeling is Watchmen didn't set out to deconstruct superhero graphic novels, but Alan Moore just thought one day how brilliant it would be if we lived in a world with real superheros and some vigilanties and how that would all work. Sin City is probably another example of tackling a genre and making it more realistic.

    I think it's just a recent trend in writing to make novels more realistic and let the protagonists deal with real problems and emotions, whereas before you didn't know much about the main characters' feelings or thoughts.

    So in a way fiction is becoming more like non-fiction. People like to understand the people they are reading about. They no longer want instant gratification by reading about a lot of action, without the thoughts and emotions.

    I myself like to write more realistic fiction, or to be more precise science-fiction, rather than the sort of fantastic novels we're used to. It's a matter of doing a lot more research into what could realistically be possible in 50 years' time for example. Are we really all be using flying cars?

    You can apply the same thinking to other genres. George Martin must have researched the Middle Ages and battle strategies a lot to write an authentic feeling novel.

    Other than that, the creative process is very much the same I should think.
     
  6. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    I like what reviloennik said. I believe that deconstruction can include writing more realistic fiction. Take the techno-thriller for example. When an author puts up a techno-thriller that is realistic and accurate, the reader knows it. When an author puts up a techno-thriller that is not as accurate in the details and such, and lacks realism, the reader knows it too.
    If you can make the reader learn while at the same time entertain, you've done something wonderful.
     
  7. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    I don't quite think it as simple as being more realistic, although that definitely plays a part. While it's true a core element is taking a cliche and showing how it would play out in the real world, however, this runs into somewhat of an issue when one has a satirical deconstruction. While satires can be surprisingly realistic, thinking of Thank You for Smoking Here, they still aren't quite realistic in the same way the other types of deconstructions are.

    However, another core, I think, is playing with reader's expectations, or more specifically, wish fulfillment, something someone brought up above with reconstructions. Namely, a Deconstruction, I think, frequently shows how our wish may be horrible frequently. The positive side of this would be playing with a reader's negative preconceptions with a topic, and twisting to show it wouldn't necessarily work out that way, which goes back to the first.

    That, by the way, happens at points, but is often forgotten unfortunately because the most publicized deconstructions are the dark or satirical ones.
     

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