Sunday, 6 May 2012

It must be time for Writer Idol

I just want to start this post by thanking everybody who helped me out by supporting my giveaway event. All that tweeting and Facebooking and blog posting definitely helped make it such a great success. In the end, Magnus Opum climbed well into the top 100 free listing on Amazon and spent most of the 2 days at #1 for epic fantasy. It should also have been #1 for humor as well but for some reason Amazon decided to remove that category. Go figure.

Anyway, the subject of my post today is reality television shows. They're definitely the big thing here in Australia at the moment and from what our media tells us, it sound like a similar story elsewhere. Our TVs seem to be full of little else apart from eager young contestants hoping to be singing or dancing superstars, or master chefs, or supermodels, or aspiring millionaires, or just famous for doing nothing in particular.

But, to my mind, there's one category of aspirants that has been sadly neglected in the throng of reality TV shows. What happened to all the wannabe writers out there? With the rise of indie publishing, surely the time is ripe to create a new reality TV show - Writer Idol.

Can you imagine how great this would be? The guy who writes action adventure would go around, picking fights with everyone. The romance writer would be having a steamy affair with the big, hairy epic fantasy dude. The scifi geeks would all stick together in a little corner, conspiring. And watch out for the spy thriller writer - he would definitely be hatching all sort of plots and plans.

Not only would it be great televisual viewing. Just think about the effect it would have on the viewing public. Every day, in workplaces across the world, water cooler conversation would no longer be about insignificant things like singing and dancing and fashion design. Writing would capture the world's imagination. Everyone would be talking about who split their infinitives, and whose modifier was left dangling. And as for typos - well that would be the worst sin of all - an immediate "you're fired".

And best of all, we could pit the highbrow literary critics, and the gatekeepers from the mainstream publishing industry, with the true voice of the audience in the most public way possible - a great chance to show how out of touch they really are.

So let's not just sit around, waiting for it to happen. Let's all get on the phone to the networks, and bombard their emails and Facebook pages. The time for Writer Idol has definitely come.

I reckon it will be a winner.


  1. Like all good ideas, Jonathan, it would get twisted into something horrible. They would cater for the lowest common denominator; they always do. The front runners would be the kind of populist fiction that already sells. Let the people have their say and they’ll demand more of what they know they like. Look at any Top Twenty lists that say they cover the last hundred years and 90% of those listed will be from the last ten years because that’s as far back as people can remember. Do any of the Harry Potter books deserve to be in the Top Twenty of all time? I can guarantee they’ll be there but really?

    1. Hi Jim,

      You're probably right. Just seems like as a creative form, writing is way under-represented in the media.

      Then again, given what you've said, maybe that's not such a bad thing.