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Saturday, November 02, 2013

Important Things In Storytelling (To Me, At Least)

Image credit:Rosenfeld Media's Flickr

I managed to not post anything about Halloween this year. Oh, well. There's always next year. Anyways, we all have preferences when it comes to what we Watch Read And Play (WRAP). Here are some of mine.

  •  Good:Likeable characters. Can I feel sympathy for them? Do I want them to succeed in their goals? Would I care if they died (and not because I won't have to deal with them anymore)?
  • Bad:Annoying protagonist. Some heroes aren't so heroic, but I should still be able to like them most of time. Wanting to punch them is a bad sign. And if you're going to make him a jerk or an antihero, actually admit that he is one instead of pretending he's entirely justified.
    • Good:Threatening antagonist. Comedic and clumsy bad guys have their place, but I have to believe that the main villain is actually dangerous. He can't be too incompetent to successfully cause any harm.
    • Bad:Villain gets little backstory. Not all antagonists necessarily need an in-depth backstory, especially if you're going for a little mystery. But otherwise, tell us something. Why does he hate the hero so much? What inspired her to take up the motif she did? Don't leave us asking questions.
    • Good:Nice-looking visuals. This won't make or break what is being WRAP-ed. But if it looks good, that will count in its favor.
    • Bad:Unneeded dates.  This one's not a deal breaker, but it is a big pet peeve of mine. I'm talking about when the year the work takes place in is mentioned when it isn't important to the story. Pop culture references can have same effect. Maybe this is just a terrible attempt to stay current, but it doesn't work so well when your work becomes dated in just a few months. I prefer the year be left ambiguous.
      • Good:Replay value. Will I watch it once and then forget about it? Will it ever leave my bookshelf? Will I play it over and over or not bother to finish it? If it's really good, I'll want to WRAP it again and again.
      • Bad:Doing or talking about too much. You can talk about subjects like divorce, suicide, adultery, drug abuse, etc. Doing it all in one album is too much. Also, if you're adapting a book, do it one at a time. Don't try to cram three into one film. And there are only so many plot twists you can add before it becomes ridiculous.

      So how about you? What do you like (and not like) to see?

      Here are some more things I dislike seeing.

      © 2013 by M.R.R.

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