Hello Reader. I have finally managed to finish The Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae. I was waiting on a friend of mine's criticisms of the novel, and she's handed them in. They're soooo good. And that leads me to believe that there's a real beauty to peer review.
When someone who's your age is reviewing your work, and I'm specifically talking about novels here, then they are privy to the same cultural touchstones that you are. These things are the centerpieces of your fictional work, your storyline. Every story is dated in one way or another, very few truly transcend time. Of course, there are novels that address themes that transcend time, but each one has a cultural item that is particular to its time. Mine is a disproportionate influence by J.K. Rowling.
There seems to be a trend, starting from the '90s I guess - but remember that's when I was born so it could've started earlier - of a triumvirate of friends: two guys and a girls. There was a show about it. Cory, Topanga, and Shawn. Those three names are like, the Trinity of sitcom for '90s babies. And, king of them all, Harry, Hermine, and Ron. I've got Briok, Proteus, and Kara. Influence number one. Cultural touchstone number one. Dated book.
I'm not sad about it. It's something I can't avoid. My point in bringing it up is that peer review allows the author to see his/her reader enjoy these cultural influences. My friend immediately recognized the dynamic, and she said she liked it. That's an amazing feeling, when your reader sees the idea you're trying to get across, or enjoys the relationship you're portraying. It's fulfilling and makes the ordeal of writing a novel worth it.
Another cultural touchstone in my novel would be the use of religion. It was interesting to see my friend's reaction when she saw that religion, especially the three large monotheistic faiths, all existed in my far-flung future. But again, it was an awesome sight to see her appreciating my idea that religion still exists a thousand years from now. If you look at today's world, religion plays a huge role in geopolitical events. I'm not going to say moreso than ever before, but religion has certainly become a part of the global conversation. It's another cultural touchstone that I allude to, and another aspect of my novel that can only truly be appreciated by someone of my own age.
All in all, it was good sitting down and reviewing my book with her. It made me feel better, see things I wouldn't have otherwise, and receive objective opinions about my novel from someone who isn't as attached to it as I am. So, here's my weekly question to you, whoever reads this. What cultural touchstone do you think has become a part of the world, or America's, zeitgeist? A part of our national, or international, conversation? Leave comments below. Until next time then.