kites in books
Re: kites in books
Fiction, non-fiction, or all of the above?
I hate to say this, but I'm not entirely surprised. It's easy to work a car into a story. 'Detective Moylan jumped into the car, turned to his partner, and said, "Hit it!"' It's just as easy to work a TV or a toaster into a story. 'Even the sound of the toaster popping couldn't pull Detective Moylan's eyes from the TV, where footage of last night's arrest was being spread all over the city.' These are minor descriptive elements that are commonplace enough to be used like glue. It used to be common for typewriters to show up in stories in much the same way. These days it's more common to find computers.
It's harder to work a kite into a story unless it's an active plot element. In Mary Poppins, it represents the fun that society was crushing out of their lives. In The Kite Runner it represents everything hopeful in the protagonist's life, but also his greatest shame. In "A Christmas Memory", the kite and the kite line represent happiness that the protagonist and his cousin made for each other to offset the dismal reality around them. In each case the kite is a major element in the story.
Kites really aren't a common enough sight to be used as a descriptive element the way they could in the 1920s and 1940s. At most you could work one into a story once, likely to signal "the season is spring!" without mentioning flowers or the temperature. But for a kite to be mentioned in any sort of prominent way, it has to be a major plot element or symbol.
Three ways to fix this: Kites become a common enough sight to be used as descriptive glue, OR get more writers into kiting so they want to use kites as major plot elements, OR more kiters turn writer and start making stories of their own. I honestly think option #1 has a lot of merit, but it would take a lot to make it happen. Option #2 depends on writers having copious amounts of free time. Despite shows like Castle, which show a writer following a police detective around New York far more often than it shows him writing, most writers work long hours and tend not to have too many hobbies outside of writing. I like the idea, but don't count on it.
Which leaves option #3: Kiters writing stories about kites that readers want to read.
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