wNov 9, 2008

Audience Participation

Which books do you read for comfort? These are not necessarily your favorite books (although they are probably among them), but ones you pick up when you don't know what else to do. When you feel like reading, but don't feel like reading something new. When you feel lonely and want to feel something familiar, without having to bring the awkwardness of another person into the equation. They're the books you've had for years which you will never disavow.

Mine are:
The Bible (especially Job, Ecclesiastes, James)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Sailor Moon series by Naoko Takeuchi
"Evangeline" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Which things do you love in storytelling? I was reading the comments to this post by , and started formulating a list of my own, which is by no means complete. But maybe it will be interesting to the audience!

Girls who dress as boys
Nice guys brought to their breaking points
Men with glasses
What happens after "the end"
Political intrigue: nothing is as it seems
People building families that aren't blood-related or romantic
Hidden weapons, preferably blades, preferably hidden in clothing
post-apocalyptic societies
Competent characters
Loyalty, people who have each other's backs
Someone doing the wrong thing for the greater good, and understanding the sacrifice they're making
Craftsmanship - people who make sensible, needed things, and take pride in their work. Violin makers, farmers, bakers, carpenters, whatever.
Layered storytelling
Multiple plots
Futile choices: Person will never love you back, you will never win the fight, but you lay it all down anyway
Men being domestic, especially cooking (I HEART KEITH MARS FOREVER)
Consistency in character. An asshole is always an asshole, even if he falls in love (Logan Echolls)
Growth in a character. Give me a nerdy librarian and make him into a shotgun-toting badass mother-fucker, make it a believable transition, and I'll love you forever (WESLEY WYNDAM-PRYCE)
Geeks with social skills
Self-aware characters
Dogs, wolves
Gunfights (I get bored with descriptions of swordplay. I just want a fucker to get stabbed. But with guns, I appreciate long-distance capabilities, etc.)
Stories that DON'T use a Church as a symbol for all that is corrupt an evil in the world. Sorry, guys. That's just lazy storytelling. Tell me a story about MEMBERS who are corrupt, but also show me members who are pure in their true faith, and don't take crap from people who tell them to give up and be disillusioned like everyone else.)
Collared shirts
Moral ambiguity
Ensemble stories (the plot affects everyone, not just the protagonist)
Not glorifying violence, but making it clear how brutal and damaging it is
Reluctant heroes
Blurred lines of sanity/insanity
Unreliable narrators - they hide shit, you figure it out, you feel betrayed but also respectful of the writer's ability to manipulate you
Characters actually dealing with the aftermath of things often used as plot devices that really suck (death, esp. suicide; mental illness; broken relationships, etc.)
Breaking societal norms, but not so much so that it becomes annoying or improbable
Girls who are allowed by the writer/etc. to get angry


scribbled mystickeeper at 6:40 PM

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