Literary Terms – Walkervellianism

large_open_bookAfter the success of my A to Z Blog Challenge, I decided that I want to start introducing literary terms on a full time basis. As with my challenge, I look at terms you expect to find, and terms that you never thought about using as a literary term. But just added fun, I will sometimes make up terms all together to fit my needs. My resources will include Literary Terms, Psychology, TV Tropes, Mathematics, Science, and any other reference source that can take on a whole new philosophy when applied to plot.

Help Keep This Site Running

This site is a great achievement for me, but due to being unable to work, I may not be able to keep this site running. With your help, I might be able to.

I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

Walkervellianism…yes, it is a term I made up. But, it has importance to the literary world. Now the word sounds a lot like Machiavellianism, and that is by no accident. When I heard this term, I immediately thought of Machiavellianism.

A brief review of my Machiavellianism article: Is it bettered to be loved or feared? Machiavelli was referring to Monarchs and other types of leaders. He stated that if you could, you should have both, but if you had to choose one over the other, you should choose love. Most people in a position of power choose fear, and in that, leads to their own demise. As you will see below, it was that discussion that gave me the inspiration of Walkervellianism.

So what is Walkervellianism? It is actually named after Doug Walker, better known as That Guy with the Glasses. Of his many personalities, the one I think stands out the most (and the only one I watch) is the Nostalgia Critic. This term comes from the Nostalgia Critics review on the film the Lorax. He had mostly bad things to say about it, and by right he should.


Now, I want to point one thing out… Why did I name it after the person and not the character? Doug Walker has stated that the Nostalgia Critic is not who he is, and is simply a character he portrays. However, during the review of the Lorax, I do believe a big element of Doug was shinning through when he gave the specific speech. As I always say, there is truth in humor.


Walkervellianism deals with the idea of whether it is better to be Popular or to be Good. Now, I’m sure others have made this argument, and may have done it better. For me, I’m familiar with the merits of this discussion, but never have really heard it before in context of media. Like TV Tropes, when a name is formed for a trope, it is not necessarily when it is first experienced that it is named, but generally the most popular, such as the Chewbacca Defense. Also, Doug inspired me to write this article, so as a thank you, I name it after him.

So what is his argument? I give you his words (wish I had a video):

The popular way is not always the lasting way. Fad is just one letter away from fade, and that’s exactly what they (bad movies) do; they fade away. That’s why it is better to focus on being good rather than being popular.

If you can be both, great. But if you have to choose one over the other, always pick good over popular. Because once the people grow out of it and move onto the next popular thing; there is nothing of substance to bring them back. And the timeless message that you claim to fight so hard for, just becomes another passing trend to forget about.

Powerful words, with a lasting meaning. Now of course, he is talking about movies, and pandering to what is popular, rather than what I am talking about; writing. However, the message he has, can be for all media, not just visual media.

We all want to be successful, we want to live full time as writers and do nothing else but that. Not because we are lazy (maybe some of us), but because we have a passion for the written word, and no matter what technological innovation comes next, we always come back to books. Funny, as that was the happy ending of the Lorax review.

Sometimes, in our need to be successful, there is the temptation to cut corners and pander to a specific market to make money. Is this bad? Actually, no it is not. It’s perfectly all right to do. But in doing so, you need to realize the consequences. It’s exactly as the Nostalgia Critic described, that a fad is destined to fade.

Vampires in the last 10 years or so have reemerged as a fad in media. Vampires have always been popular, but in recent times, they have become more so than ever before. With Being Human, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Dracula… there’s some good stuff out there. Then there is ‘that which we do not speak its name’. I am of course speaking of Twilight.


Stephanie Meyer, in writing the series, catered to a very specific group, and gave them exactly what they wanted. It’s OK to do that, as she became highly successful, and even got movies made of her work. Why shouldn’t you do what she did? Seriously? Other than the fact when the bubble bursts and the fad fades away, what is left? The stories are not good, the characters are not good. There is no reason to turn back to these stories.

Unlike Harry Potter. Harry Potter had a very big fad, and I would say much bigger than Twilight. Unlike Twilight, is that it was both Popular and Good. Even when the fad of Harry Potter fades (which we are starting to see signs of that), people will still return to Harry Potter, as there is something to come back for. A Good book stands the test of time.


Machiavellianism asks us is it better to be feared or love, Walkervellianism asks us is it better to be Popular or Good? In the end, it comes down to, what do you want? For me as a writer, while I do want success and to be a full time writer, I also want my books to mean something. To take people to a new place that they want to go, to read it over and over again, to pass it on to future generations. To inspire. No matter how Popular any work is, if it is not Good, then it is destined to be forgotten.

I hope my work is popular, I really do. But when Popularity fades, I want more than anything for it to be Good.

Help Keep This Site Running

This site is a great achievement for me, but due to being unable to work, I may not be able to keep this site running. With your help, I might be able to.

I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

%d bloggers like this: