Original post by paul8585
Don't like Dickens characters? I guess you can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think.
Above is a joke in good spirit, exercise is close, but exercises prepare for, this is a way to do.
I read on another post you were looking for a writer, you, who does not like Dickens characters, in charge of writers, say it aint so.
To be fair, classic literature can be unrewarding if not read in context. I was going to put in a one-line teaser for my book-in-progress, but that would be unfair, so...
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in London and the nearby county of Kent, so I'm well aware of the historical contexts behind Dickens' writing. (Incidentally, Dickens primarily wrote serials for magazines that were only later collected in novel format. He would actually modify future chapters according to the reception of his earlier instalments; interactivity in his favoured medium was not yet dead!)
Shakespeare is another example of context making a huge difference to understanding his works.
Shakespeare's writing can be bloody hard to follow at times because he wrote at a time when the very language itself was in flux. Worst of all, however, is the way teachers tend to approach him as a playwright first and foremost, assuming that plays were performed under a proscenium arch. This does Shakespeare a massive disservice: he was an *actor* before he became a writer, and he was acting for much of his life. If you haven't seen the Globe Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare's most famous theatre, it's incredibly difficult to see just how interactive the acting process was at the time. There was no curtain. No proscenium arch. Few sets. It was surprisingly close to improvisation. Some copies of Shakespeare's plays mistakenly included dialogue that was clearly ad-libbed between actors and the audience.
We see linearity in Story today as axiomatic, but this was not the case until very recently. Oral storytellers frequently adapted their stories to their audiences. Harpists (in pre-invasion Ireland) taught through song and story, spreading news and gossip across the land -- the original gossip columnists! Even early theatre was closer to pantomime in its level of audience participation than to today's formal staged plays. Shakespeare would probably be stunned to see just how much reverence we put in his words. Heaven forfend that someone changeth a single jot or tittle of his plays!
It was not until printing presses, radio and finally movies and TV that an author's written word became entombed in amber forever by modern media. The computer has merely restored the interactivity our ancestors already enjoyed, but with the potential to take it so much further.
If Sunandshadow doesn't like Dickens or Shakespeare, this is no reason to insult her writing abilities. One does not need to have read widely in the fiction genres in order to be able to write well enough to make a living at it. Fiction is about the *people*, not just the words on the page. You can pick up characterisation and plotting pointers from TV, film and radio, not just books.