Are we facing the death of imagination? Roland Barthes once argued for the death of the author when studying literature. He argued that we should no longer look to the author’s identity for interpretation of that author’s work(s). Instead he wanted complete separation from the author. Now I fear we are facing the death of imagination. With the success of other authors, genres are becoming formulaic. I cannot yet tell whether this is the result of new authors simply wanting to get in the door on publishing and so they write something that imitates (here imitation not being the sincerest form of flattery) a widely popular novel, follows its formulae, and gets it published because it follows that previously laid out recipe for success. I have in the last month and a half given up on two different series of books simply because those books read too much like other, successful series I’d read in the recent past.
I now issue a challenge to authors:
Stretch the imagination, exercise the grey matter God gave you when you were born, think outside the box of the formula for success, and twist those stock images to something that is uniquely your own!