Tell Parents Go to Hell

A movie based on the most beloved children's book opens this weekend. I remember reading Maurice Sendak's book Where the Wilde Things Are.  I was taking a short break at work and saw this picture: maurice-sendak-wild-things-little-bear-gay-nigh-kitchen-art-author-illustrator

In an interview, Sendak was asked what he'd say to parents about the movie being too scary for kids.  His response?

"I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate."

I love that.  Not that I want people to go to hell.  Nor do I believe in a hell, but one that we create for ourselves.  That's a topic for another post.

I'm tired of parents, or people, telling an author, film maker, or storyteller what their story should or shouldn't include.  First of all, it's not those people's story to tell.  Second of all, authors usually don't know where their inspiration come from.  What they do know is they have to be loyal,honest, to the stories that are given to them.  Any conformity the author makes, outside of story structure, can destroy the story itself.

J.K. Rowling has been bombarded with upset parents and church groups for writing her Harry Potter novels.  Her books have been on many banned book lists.  A sign that an author has made it. Her response has been the same when questioned about her dark material.  She's told them not to read her books.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain has been banned.  And that has been considered a great American novel.

If a parent, or anyone, who finds a movie, book, TV show, anything offensive, then ignore it.  Time is too precious to focus on what you don't like.  Focus on what you do.

Even when a story comes to a writer, and it goes against traditional story structure, then the writer should go with their intuition.  Take the hit book to movie Slumdog Millionaire.  It uses flashbacks to tell most of the story.  I can't tell you how many books, teachers, and professional writers state flashbacks are a big no no.  It simply takes the threat of death away.  But it worked.  It worked so well that tension was still a driving force in those flashbacks.  That's because other's died.  But still, it worked!

Follow your passions.  Follow your intuition.  Great thinkers and leaders do.