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Lizzie Bennet Diaries: The New Literature

I’m sad that the 100th webisode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries—a clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—has aired. It was developed by Hank Green—brother of the award-winning YA novelist John Green (who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, also amazing!)—and Bernie Su. And they are pure genius (the creators as well as the product). I have been watching these twice weekly, 5-minute YouTube episodes since last April and I have been very impressed. At every turn the writers have created a modern twist to the classic novel so that you want to root for Lizzie, Charlotte, Jane and Lydia, all modern 20-somethings with graduate school projects, first-job stresses, and even, in the case of Lydia, an online scandal so big that Twitter and Facebook were on fire earlier this year as we fans all watched in horror. You think that George Wickham can’t possibly be updated for the 21st century? Pullease! A scoundrel is a scoundrel in any era. What could the modern William Darcy do to be filthy rich? Start a successful computer-related production company of course. We viewers came to know all the characters and followed their Tweets on the non-video days. And the actors, especially Ashley Clements (Lizzie), are now so well-known we hope to see them in movies. Fans are so avid that two weeks ago when Green and Su began a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a new series—and to pay the cast—they far exceeded their original goal of $60,000. At last count they had raised over $354,000! Why do I share all this with you? One, because I’m a fan of the series. And two, because as writers we need to be aware of the developing avenues through which we can tell our stories. So start from the beginning here and let me know what you think.

Liza N. Burby
Liza is an award-winning journalist for some of the top publications in the country, a magazine editor, parenting speaker, children's book author and a motivational speaker/expert on getting your work published.

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September 2020
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