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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why Sagas are so Popular

Take a Southern tale and wrap it around a big Southern family that never moves and has been there for generations and then have the world change around them....that then is a saga. Downton Abbey. Lonesome Dove. Gone With the Wind. Tobacco Sticks. These are all sagas. Big changes coming down with the wind that blows over the established family and their traditions and if it is a good saga then all those traditions get blown away.

It is delicious. As a kid I read Gone with The Wind all the time. I love Downton Abbey. I love Dr. Zhivago. I love anything with the sweep of history because it tells so much about the time and the people and our humanity. Big stories demand big characters and these characters hack it out against the changing times and they are tested over and over. This is why sagas are so interesting. We love to see people tested because we are always being tested.

And because most sagas are historical they are interesting. We loved to see how other people lived. Be there Southerners or Englishmen. We love a story with a lot of detail and historical facts to fill it out and then all the little idiosyncrasies of their time. Why else does Downton Abbey spend so much time with the servants and their routines. We are in awe of all those people just running a house.

Writing a saga takes a good amount of time. Research. Getting it right. But the payoff is a place and a time and a people who are of another world.

www.williamhazelgrove.com
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Books by William Hazelgrove