Today I found myself looking at my recent story and poems and thinking: “Do these belong on my blog?” After all, this is a blog for Science Fiction and Fantasy writers, right? Did any of this come close to Sci Fi/Fantasy writing?
In looking at Discourse Communities and Intertextuality I would have to say, yes…this writing belongs. But let me back up a little bit.
What the heck is a Discourse Community? This is a title for the different communitites that we operate in. Discourse is the language we use, actions we take and the nuance of our community. An example of this is when we tlk about some of our favorite shows or movies. Most people would know who the Hulk is if we brought him up in conversation. But fewer people would understand if we made an off-handed comment like “Puny God” to be a reference to the Avengers movie and the scene right after the Hulk tossed around Loki like a rag doll. Most people who seek out comic books and know the stories and understand the characters would understand the reference because we all belong to that Discourse Community.
At this point you might be thinking: “Aannndd, why does this matter?” It matters because I am staring at my story and realizing that in the eyes of the reader (my audience and discourse community) Norm’s New Family, has nothing to do with Sci Fi or Fantasy writing. When I go to a blog about Science Fiction I expect to find Science Fiction on that blog…if it is not there, then why is the blog called a Scifi blog? Now, in my head, Norm’s story is rooted in science fiction. The story I posted is just a small part of the novel I am writing, but I realize that this was not made clear to my readers. This kind of situation may have the people reading my blog wondering why this story is posted here.
This week, though, I had the benefit of reading an article by James Porter (Intertextuality and the Discourse Community). In this article, Porter explains that people need to understand the Community that they communicate within and be able to use intertext with that community. Intertextuality is the ability to use different references to be able to speak to a wider audience. I write Science Fiction but I can include references that may engage people with other interests. I also write personal narratives, but I also include references that people from a science fiction perspective would find amusing.
I know, I know…Why does this matter? I guess you can see this as an apology and an explanation. I think that Norm’s story is connected enough, through references, to be included on my blog. I also think that my blog is geared toward more than just people looking for SciFi/fantasy, I think that it is geared toward readers and writers in general. Intertextuality binds us all together so we can see that there is value to the writing even though it is light on the SciFi/fantasy elements.
Now, I would also say that I also understand that I need to put more of these elements in the coming stories…or change the name of my blog. Never Fear…I will get you covered. =)
The next installment of Norm’s story if forthcoming. You won’t be disappointed.