YY: its difference in China and USA

Right now I am watching Heroes, the laudable supernatural TV series about a few lay people who happen to possess supernatural powers and take the responsibility to save the world. I watched about half of the first season and did not quite comprehend the relationships among those characters – there are about 10 persons in the cast and the story does not develop linearly. Now it’s season 2, and one of the heroes, Hiro, the young jap, goes back to year 1671 and meets with Keisen, or the sword master (try to say it with some southeastern Chinese accent), and finds out this Keisen is a person just like him – A time traveler! He comes from British, speaks English and Japanese, hungers for drinking all the day, wears a mask to hide the true identity, and, it’s because of Hiro, who knows all the legendary of Keisen, that this alcoholic fights toward the road of greatest sword master in Japanese history. 

This, in my eyes, seems a lot like a mediocre beginning of a current Chinese YY "history" novel. These novels generally are written by young people, sometimes undergraduates, and published and updated regularly online. The authors might charge a cent for a chapter for every reader. Thus, it’s simple to infer the publishing style of these authors: The faster you update, the more readers you have, and the more money the author can collect. If you find a book that is readable and updating everyday, it is a real fun. However, these books are rare to see. Most of these books, at the same time, are written in a rush. The authors may be too young to have serious consideration of anything, the plot seems unreasonable, and the roles act without any sense. These are so called "fast food" fictions, that both the authors and the readers enjoy nothing more than the temporal thrill or orgasm (when the male leading actor having sexual intercourse with tons of beautiful women).

I don’t want to further this criticism of these YY fictions (or daydreaming fictions). As long as this is, I tend to believe, a necessary step for literate writing to develop in China and a reflection of the current world of most young people in China, it will survive. And, what’s important, there are always a few good ones that are really entertaining. Reading them keeps me feeling young and not distant with my mother tongue.

However, my time has changed and right now I enjoy more of the writing styles of American popular fictions, and of course, the story-telling techniques of US TV series. For example, Heroes.

The story of Hiro and Keisen is only a small part of the first 2 episodes of the 2nd season, and I did not pay attention to watch. I have noticed that the plot has twisted for several times already. Like the Keisen is a modern Caucasian and drinks all the day, and even get killed by the rascals. Those superheroes are not as charismatic and omnipotent and superlucky and super women-killer as in Chinese YY fictions. They have only limited powers, and are like us in any other areas. They do achieve great things or create great crimes with that supernatural power, yet these things sounds plausible with their super-abilities. And, what’s important, these superheroes are just normal people and they will not want to become king, emperor, or God-like existence once they have the powers.

Have a look at  Jim Carey’s 2003 movie Bruce Almighty. God gives Bruce almighty powers, with only three allowances including not to change people’s free will. And what does Bruce do with this superpower? To make his girl friend (Jennifer Aniston) happy by pulling close the moon, fulfilling her wishes, etc. A Bruce with fancies of having superhuman equipment and more than 100 most beautiful women only makes people disgusting.

So that is to say, the type of readers make the types of writing.


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