Thursday, June 30, 2016

Contemporary: Advantages

The contemporary genre has drawbacks. Which genre doesn't? And like all the other genres, contemporary fiction has much to offer us:
  • We can discover a sense of community and belonging.
  • We are reminded that we aren’t alone; for if someone can write a story that matches my world so well, they too must know what it is like.
  • We begin to see the value in the ordinary and the mundane
  • We remember that we’re all valuable and have something to contribute—just as we are reminded by film It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • We get the chance to see the long-range impact of our daily choices. For all of us are stuck in the middle of our story, not knowing what the end of our story will be. But contemporary fiction gives us a chance to see how today’s choices can impact tomorrow’s life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Contemporary: Drawbacks

The contemporary genre might look pretty benign on the surface. After all, how dangerous can it be to read about the “real world”? Yet overindulging in this genre can bring its own set of problems too:
  • It can overemphasize the small stuff.
  • It can cause us to lose sight of the big picture
  • It can make our problems look much bigger than they are.
  • Because the focus is on the mundane, the contemporary genre can cause us to overlook and even dismiss completely the special, the unique, and the miraculous.
  • It mirrors reality so closely that it can make life feel suffocating.
  • It can cause us to feel trapped in our lives rather than help us appreciate what we have.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Contemporary: Characteristics

The contemporary genre focuses on the real, everyday world. Therefore, common characteristics of the genre would include:
  • Characters who are "ordinary people"—the mom, the businessman, the student, the teacher, the grocery clerk, the mailman.
  • Character-driven plots which center on the mundane.
  • Conflict which is internal, dealing with common struggles like discontentment and the desire to keep up with the Jones.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Contemporary: Definition & Examples

The contemporary genre is defined as stories about the real, everyday world. Keep in mind that the term contemporary refers to the relationship in time between the story and the writer, not between the story and the reader!

Examples of the contemporary genre in television:
  • 7th Heaven
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

Examples of the contemporary genre in literature:
  • Heidi
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Little Women

Friday, June 24, 2016

Humor: Heart Hole

The heart of hole of humor can be a little tricky.

Most people think the reason we need the humor genre is because we need to laugh and not take life so seriously. This is a definitely a need. However, the need for laughter doesn’t fully explain the genre. After all, many of the subgenres, like satire or black comedy, don’t necessarily elicit laughter.

Rather, the primary heart hole for humor seems to deal with the clarity of vision. For each of us are stuck within our own mind and body. Therefore, at best our perceptions are limited, and at worst, they’re completely skewed. We all understand this on some level, because we have all misunderstood another and have been misunderstood ourselves at some point. But humor takes us outside of ourselves and allows us to see ourselves. This genre makes us aware of our problems and does it in a way that doesn't make us defensive, for we reason that we aren’t as bad as the characters, at least. So the heart hole which humor fills is our need for an outside perspective.

Therefore we need to read humor to remember that we need an outside perspective from God’s Spirit, who is a Spirit of truth, and He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Humor: Advantages

Despite the potential problems, the humor genre offers a variety of benefits:
  • It provides us clarity of vision, enabling us to see human folly for what it is and therefore deterring us to from following suit.
  • It reminds us to not take the small stuff so seriously.
  • It encourages us to laugh frequently.
  • It gives us practice spotting logical fallacies, a skill which is quite helpful in a culture where figures may never lie, but liars definitely figure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Humor: Drawbacks

The humor genre is based on exaggeration, yet to make that exaggeration work, the protagonist will often seem to lack a few brains. So the reader will often see what the protagonist does not. This means common drawbacks of the humor genre include: 
  • the development of a superiority complex
  • the belief that anyone who thinks differently than you is stupid, because they "obviously" can't see the ridiculousness of their actions/beliefs.
  • mocking a person or God, rather than an action.
  • losing the respect we are to give others.