Sorry Shakespeare, poetry is gone. At least in the form that you knew it. There are a million and 1 stories yet to be told and over 100 ways to tell them. Below I list and discuss the most popular.
I’m a millenial (those born between mid-80s to early 2000s), and when people ask me why I read so much, I have a few answers. One, because I wanted a form of story besides television, which is where I largely got all of my stories as a teen and pre-teen. And, two, quite simply, I LOVE STORIES!
Here I’ll list and briefly discuss the storytelling I grew up with and what I see for writers and readers as far as storytelling in the future:
25-min TV shows and 15-25 minute cartoons
- Secret World of Alex Mack
- Hey Arnold, Rugrats, Doug
- Boy Meets World
- Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
I think I spent too much time watching these short shows with their double commericals. I do believe it has something to do with how I was, not clinically, but I felt ADHD in high school and college. However, I enjoyed them, I laughed with them, and I was excited to when a new episode would come out every week.
- Dawson’s Creek
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Gilmore girls
- The Net
I was a huge WB (now CW) watcher growing up. I briefly watched Dawson’s Creek, but regullary watched , Roswell, Buffy, Charmed, Gilmore Girls, and The Net (USA Network) in high school. The Net was the only one on a network other than WB (CW). I watched Charmed all the way until college . It’s a show about three 20-something urban sister witches living in San Francisco. It was relevant to how I was growing up and heading for my 20-something life after college. It ended in 2006 the year I gradated from my Alma Mater. The magic element kept me entertained.
Daytime Soap Operas
- Days of our lives
- The Bold and the Beautiful
- General Hospital
During summers in high school, I would be bored and needed something new to entertain me every day. Living in Florida, it was too hot to play outside. So I would watch daytime soaps like Days of Our Lives, Passions (new soap in 2001), and sometimes General Hospital or The Bold and the Beautiful.
- Independence Day
- I, Robot
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
In 8th grade I wanted to see a Rated-R film called Bride of Chucky. I thought I was some rebel, unlike my goody goody Indian friends whom I’m still in touch with! They’re great =) Anywhoo, I walked right up to the ticket box and asked for an admission ticket to this rated-R film. They said I had to be 17 and to show me some ID. I didn’t answer the question — something I always do because I’m a good kid. I don’t have one, but can I still get in? He refused. I thought my friends would agree to sneak into the theater Chucky was playing it, after buying Pleasantville (PG-13). We didn’t. But it was my boldest move to date in all of middle school. Except when I told my homeroom teacher I was late because “I didn’t know.” And the entire class of 30 kids laughed as if I’d told some joke. I felt a little cool and popular for a second. The teacher almost wrote me a detention.
My favorite movies that stayed with me are Independence Day, and Titanic– a movie which was popular for its time. There was no way to fangirl about it, since Twitter and Instagram and Facebook were still not developed. I still appreciate the special effects which were advanced for its time.
- Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
- The Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chobskey
- Feed by M. T. Anderson
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
I was not a big reader until after high school, nevertheless. Last year the I read first two novels and are amongst my favorites. Today, I can never get enough of a really well written and well-thought out novel, and am planning on publishing my own sometime around when I turn 40.
- Spy Gear
- Sweet Valley High Senior Year
- Nancy Drew
These are the chapter books I grew up reading. They were quite amusing for me as a kid, however I do believe they are losing their appeal. There may still be room for chapter books for elementary school students, but I feel the trilogy and series will trickle down to elementary-age kids as kids are becoming more keen, discerning, and precocious earlier on.
News shows and newspaper
- Orlando Sentinel
- Osceola News Gazette
My Dad was a secular democrat. So I grew up watching a lot of CNN. And I didn’t read the newspaper until I moved to Florida from Ohio. So I cut and pasted articles from The Orlando Sentinel for my middle school world cultures class and wrote things I learned from reading it. The Osceola News Gazette doesn’t usually have interesting stories unless it’s about a murder or drug raid, or the occasional fishing event at Lake Toho or Bingo night at the Elks lounge.
Video and computer games
- Super Mario world
- Animal crossing
- Club Penguin
Another one of my favorite ways of “reading” stories was by role-playing, or controlling where the story went. So I played Super Mario world on my Super NES, Zelda on my N64, Simcity on my desktop computer, Animal Crossing sneakily on my brother’s GameCube when he was at school, and I didn’t have class. My little sister, who’s 10 years younger than me, explored social network gaming through Club Penguin.
- Mariah Carey
- Backstreet Boys
- Christina Aguilera
Today poetry is consumed through music. The American music industry, like it’s movie industry is flourishing. Ain’t no one does it better. I listen to Spica sometimes — which is a Korean girls group, and some acapella Bollywood songs like Jai Ho or Jiya Re covers done by Mike Tompkins and Alaa Wardi. I will also listen to acapella religious music like Radtui Billhi Rabba by Maher Zain, Love is All we Need by Zain Bhikha and Son, and How can you Deny by No Beats Necessary, But nothing can top the American music industry in my opinion as far as storytelling prowess, creativity, and enjoyability. Maybe I’m biased because English is my primary language, but, nah, I think it really IS the best. However, since Bollywood is incorporating American melodies, they’re becoming a close second for me.
Some artists were great at story telling through their albums as I was growing up. The one that stick out in my mind are:
Charmbracelet by Mariah Carey in which there are songs about finding love, finding peace through Christ, and helping those who need help (Bringing on the Heartbreak).
TLC’s Fanmail about their love life, their adoring fans that make them who they are, and being beautiful without people, especially the snobby, arrogant girls, writing a strict decree on what is “pretty.”
Monica’s self-titled album about being independent, opinionated, and staying committed to your loved one.
Eminem and Nelly are also memorable. Both wrote and produced songs that tell the modern prince and pauper story, or Cinderella story. The one about someone going from rags to riches regardless of coming from poor families, or drug-filled homes.
I didn’t start listening to more popular music like Taylor Swift, until last year, I even listened to some Bee Gees after Nysnc did their tribute at the 2008 Grammys.
Short stories, Biography and Fan fiction were a part of my fiction life, however, not quite as memorable. The biographies I read were Benjamin Franklin, Helen Gurly Brown (editor of Cosmopoltian), and lately I Am Malala by Malala Yousufzai.
So what about stories for tomorrow? Novels will be popular for centuries to come, but they are increasingly becoming films and TV shows, so which formats will be the most popular for tomorrow’s industry of storytelling?
Reality Shows, Instagram stories, Twitter stories
I was never a fan of reality shows. I feel like they got their start on MTV (eg Road Rules), and were primarily about sleeping with each other’s friends and causing drama and fights. I did watch two reality shows, one called Making the Band, and another called Pop Stars — both about forming and voting off members for a new pop band.
Reality shows, I think will continue to be popular. Unlike All-American Muslim, which got canceled, shows like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Steve Irwin’s The Crocodile Hunter, My Five Wives, Nun, The Sisterhood, Duck Dynasty, and Off the Map with Holly and Shannen will continue to gain viewers.
Spotify or YouTube Mash-up Stories
Two of the best mashups I’ve seen yet are Trouble and Shake it Off — songs originally both by Taylor Swift.
Trouble / As Long As you Love Me (Mike Tompkins cover) has gotten over 7 million hits, and it’s great to listen to, but it’s contradictory. It sounds like it’s telling the story of a person who dumped his boyfriend/girlfriend, and yet still wants him to love her??
Acapella by Karmin and cover by Mike Tompkins is not a mash-up, but it tells the story of a girl who dated a guy who was rich, but selfish and so she decided to go solo.
There still needs to be work done to create great story songs and and follow the English tradition, like Sir Patrick Spens, of ballad narrative poetry.
We the Economy
Short informational films about 10-minutes long, I think will be quite popular given how businessmen, teachers, and students have less and less time on their hands and more and more information is thrown at them by parents, teachers, and bosses. I personally love the Economy Now series. My Little Pony and the The Fedhed being my favorites.
- Mistresses (ABC)
- The Flash
- Once upon a time
- House of Cards (Netflix)
- A Game of Thones (HBO)
Drama will always be popular as it’s entertaining and actually de-stressing to watch a show where the character’s lives are more messed up than yours. I’ve seens clips of, Mistresses, on ABC and two of my sisters’ favorites: The Flash and Once Upon a Time, and a politically oriented show I briefly watched House of Cards on Netflix. Drama, much like the Sopranos was, is a sell for mass audiences.
The Huffington Post, YouTube News shows: TYT
TYT CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks
Two liberal news stories like the ones above, are fantastic for getting domestic and world news. Huffington Post has over 5 million followers on Twitter, and The Young Turks, has over recently gained over 2 million subscribers on YouTube. Both are quickly growing.
Instagram & Twitter
If a person can construct an interesting story, using the Inverted Check mark, or the Freytag diagram as a model, they can create an effective story to sell their stuff, or market their service, or sell their written stories.
Further effect of storytelling, like Harry Potter and others stories (whether real or fiction) have as far as life decisions readers make is yet to be seen. I am working on a blog post currently about how Harry Potter has affected the decisions of my generation. Feel free to respond down below in the comments if you feel I’ve overlooked any. Thank you for reading and have an awesome Monday!