My First World Writer Problem

The expression “First World problems” is interesting. It serves as a reality check for certain complaints. To get someone to examine all the comforts of their life they may take for granted.

It’s a common enough thing in America. I am certainly guilty of overinflating my grievances. Of being dramatic.

This is one of those times.

Because I can’t simply enjoy media anymore.

I just can’t.

It’s my “First World writer problem.”

With books, movies, television shows and stage plays, I often can’t get into them.

I have viewed how they make the hot dogs, and now I see the trees and not the forest.

I’ve studied story form for years. In my spare time, I watch videos on cinematography. I’ve read countless articles on structure and narrative. I use the terms “meta” and “dystopia” and “deconstruction” and forget people might not know what those mean.

I am pretentious.

And it is making it harder to read. I’ve been going through The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer for like the last three months, and I enjoy the books–it’s a lovely series if you want to try it–but I also end up stopping and rereading sentences because I have worked with enough words to not just be able to read a story. I have to examine the flow of sentences: how a piece of dialogue is structured, why the artist must have made that decision. It’s great for learning as a writer, but bad for enjoyment.

I can spot a Chekhov’s gun in the first moment it appears. I can see plot holes coming. I figured out Jacob’s Ladder was about drugs in the first few minutes.

Some would call this a good problem. And perhaps it is. But I can be annoying. I cannot, no matter the level of complaint, “turn off my brain.”

I have spoken to the men behind the curtain, and I am happy to meet their acquaintance, but there is a reason they prefer to stay behind that curtain.

Because God help me if I try to talk about a movie or book with just a casual enjoyer of media.

Special thanks to: Bob GerkinCollin PearmanDylan AlexanderJerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd. 

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