Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Entertainment: the intersection of art and commerce

I've been thinking a lot about fiction as pure art versus fiction that sells. I do think authors need to be aware of these issues. Creating a story for a particular market is very different from creating a story for yourself. If you're writing for yourself, anything goes. You can explore all kinds of themes, topics, structures. You could have a story based purely on setting, or whatever other idea you can come up with. A story you'd like to sell, on the other hand, must be a story--by which I mean there is a protagonist who has some kind of problem/conflict and acts to solve it. A story must be entertaining. Thus, you could say entertainment is the intersection of art and commerce.
I recently read InterWorld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. I really enjoyed this novel. In fact, it might be my favorite of Gaiman's work. I'm surprised there isn't more buzz about it. Gaiman claims it originated as an idea for a TV show. Could this be the reason why it isn't more lauded? It's too commercial?
What do you think?

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