and while thinking about the changes in Idol over the years I mentioned the shift from a place of non-fiction to one of fiction that a lot of people have in their heads.
Which led to the question being asked in the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/879055.html of
"I'm really curious about why it changed from non-fiction to fiction. You mentioned in the topic post that you know why because you saw it happening, but the change was well underway by the time I participated."
When you do something for nearly 10 years, the faces are going to change and sometimes things happen subtly so that even the people who have been around the entire time don't notice until it's in their faces. Hell, I'm sure there have been shifts over the years that I haven't fully noticed or know "the true meaning" behind why it ended up happening the way it did.
But the question has been raised, but I'll try to answer it.
First and foremost - I know the perception that Idol is a place of fiction now. I think that perception is flawed and ignores that there *are* some really talented people doing a combination of different kinds of writing. That's always been the case: from the guy back in 2007 who was doing Youtube videos as his entry (talk about being ahead of that particular curve!) to cartoonists to poets and people who write original songs inspired by each topic. I love the people who do their own thing and I hope that will always not only be a part of the culture, but that it will part of the perception of our culture.
As for "fiction vs non fiction". That debate started back in Season 1. There were people who used their LJ primarily for writing about their every day life and those people were writing a lot of non-fiction for Idol.
There were people who liked writing short stories in their LJs and those people wrote a lot of fiction for Idol.
A non-fiction writer (who ironically is and was more into fiction writing) won Season 1.... a non-fiction writer won Season 2... someone with a pretty good blend of the fiction and non-fiction (but known more for her non IMO) won Season 3.
The fiction writers were gaining ground though. People usually cite Season 5 as the breaking point of fiction, but I think it was probably bettybaker back in Season 3 who was the runner up. (and starting a proud tradition of the fiction writer as coming in second place)
The question was still "can fiction do well?" in Idol, but more and more it was being answered with what the answer always *should* be for any genre or approach: "Yes, if it's done well".
Season 4 everything exploded, on every level and I think people came out of that (myself included) with the "serious about writing" vibe mixed in with the "we're having some fun here".
Season 5 was probably the last great showdown between non-fiction and fiction where non-fiction ended up winning and after that the tide shifted slowly at first and then with a downpour. There have certainly been other internal battles between the sects in later seasons, with various results, but I think that's where it finally tipped.
People see someone being successful and that attracts more people who thought "I wasn't going to sign up, that place doesn't like fiction. But now it does, so I will..." Now it seems we have the other side of the perception problem.
That's internally. From my external standpoint I think that those events coincided with what was happening to Livejournal in general. The more "I want to talk about my life" folks ended up going to other social media outlets.
There were still some left, obviously, but the more LJ tried to compete, the more difficult it was made for them. Because they wanted to talk about their lives, but they didn't want it linked to every other aspect of their social media world and that's where Livejournal was going (and so Idol had to allow it, because you can't opt out even if we wanted to limit exposure)
So even those people were drawn further into the world of writing fiction, because they didn't want to risk their actual lives being exposed to rest of their world.
I'm sure there are a lot of things I'm not thinking of, but that would be my off-the-cuff answer for the morning.
What about YOU? Where do you stand on the "fiction vs non-fiction vs everything else" debate? What do you enjoy writing for Idol? What do you find yourself enjoying READING for Idol?