REPRINTED FROM BOOMACIOUS: November 2015
My good friend, also named Linda, doesn’t own a Kindle and her iPad doesn’t hold any novels. Reason being, Linda is a former librarian and her love for books runs deep. When asked how she thinks writers will communicate with readers in the future, she just shakes her head. Recently retired from more than 30 years spent in the preservation of books and their care, she loves nothing better than to crack open a real book and inhale the fragrance of a freshly published novel—preferably in hardback. Writing in the future is going to remain the same, as far as she’s concerned.
As an an indie author who, to date, hasn’t tried vanity publishing or the Amazon interpretation of a physical book, I have a different view of what writing will be like in the future. My friend Linda may or may not read my EBooks when they’re published (she probably will), but I fear that if she doesn’t get onboard the Ebook train, she will be missing out on some awesome future writers.
Today’s young writers are using both trad publishing and self publishing, and their work is rife with intellect, deep meaning, and skilled storytelling. They are poised to become the recorders of our lives, our chroniclers—the writers of the future. All indie writers are surging and telling their stories They’ve seen what traditional publishers are touting as best sellers and decided they can do as well and, in some cases, better.
What do I imagine future writing will be like in 50 years? It will be different! Ebooks sales will grow as will the mediums we view them on. Right now we have Kindle, Nook and iPad devices, but over the next few decades, other apparatuses will crop up because there can never be enough great ideas and App designers will invent ways to enhance the reading experience with moving pictures, animated sounds, and a hyped version of reader immersion.
My guess, based solely on supposition and conjecture, is that the FCC will attempt to bring the world wide web under the umbrella of regulated services. Users will have tired of hackers, identity thieves, predators, and foreign terrorists strong-arming the air waves. A segment of people, who want to tame their own frontier, will run an internet outside government control, but without a lot of money for refinement and regular upgrading. They will be the crusaders and defenders of writing and free speech in 2065.
Writing of the future will resort back to the written (pen and paper) version of what it was in the mid 20th Century for many people. Communication between and amongst people will have returned and technology and social media will take a backseat to social interaction where people actually meet and talk face to face.
However, the same fifty years could see Ebonics having taken control of language and communication in our inner cities. Facebook and 140 character Twitter lingo may have encouraged a form of modernist communication that will be spoken and written by only the technologically limited and the poorly educated.
Future writers of this ilk will have stories to tell but they will have no idea how to research them, sans the internet and sans Google. Over the years the internet will have eradicated the need for encyclopedias, dictionaries and thesaurases and left writers with no idea how to research information on their own.
Most public schools will have ruled out reading of the classics and, sorry E. D. Hirsch, Jr., “Cultural Literacy” will be an obsolete idea, meaningful only to the very wealthy. Consequently writing in the future by inner-city school children will be random, infrequent, or nonexistent.
Fifty years from now, illiterate citizens will head to city parks on heralded “reading nights” to be read the classics by those who remember how to read and to whom the skill was passed.
An excerpt from “Neon Houses”, my novel in the works:
Noel saw Eugene reach for the sky control but she touched his hand to stop him.
“Dickey will worry that we’re taking too long,” Eugene said, considering Noel’s husband.
“I know, but drive by the park, anyway,” she said.
They drove the autoplane on the pavement, slowly circling the park. Noel saw the crowds gathered around the readers and she asked Eugene to pull over so she could get a better look.
Noel smiled. She had initiated Reading in the Park years ago and she had been one of the first readers. More than eighty percent of the people in Gang Territory could not read, but they enjoyed gathering in the park on a warm night as the stories were read. They flocked to the parks to hear what they thought was amazing and utterly unattainable.
Tonight, adults were there in abundance as Iris Nelson, a popular reader and one of Noel’s favorites, read from a new mystery. Her reading assistant sat poised to pick up at Iris’s signal if Iris needed rest or drink.
Noel lifted a finger in salute to a few of her former students and they nodded with a subtle lift of their chins as they reclined in the arms of a lover or co-habitant. Others sat in small groups with their families and friends.
Guards patrolled the grounds and frisked people at the entrances to prevent weapons being brought into the park. The reading program was a few years old and so far no one had been killed. Noel knew as soon as one shooting occurred, her husband, the mayor, and their group would try to stop this activity.
Tonight, though, all was quiet. Minstrels played soft music and the smell of buttered popcorn clung to the air. Noel wished that she could sit and listen to Iris but she knew that Dickey and their guests would be anxious for her return to their home in the city, proper.
She twirled her finger upward and Eugene took them to the air. Noel composed herself to go back to the world she had left.
What Will Writing Be Like In 50 Years? I hope I’ve painted a dismal enough picture of what writing will be like in the future for some. If we get back to practices that are geared toward future writing, it will insure that our history will be recorded for sometime and that writing will become so advanced that people will be able to write in at least three different languages. They will speak their thoughts into the air and have them materialize as completed books.
I envision people listening to stories via internal chips that were implanted in their eardrums when they were just babies.—chips that turn on at just a silent suggestion. #Writing in the future. #Writing in the future. #Writing in the future,