So last night, I was reading in my bed to relax a little for sleep. My chihuahua, Foxy, was fast asleep and having no problems with the sleep gremlins. I put down my book (well, kindle exactly) and closed my eyes.
My eyes popped open, all by themselves, and I reached for the kindle again and read until the last word. I am not telling you the title… just go to Simon R Green and read a bit.
The point is there are books that the characters are so real that they catch our imagination and drag us back into that world. Now for a mini-rant. I tried to watch a bit of TV this last week. My sweet pup hurt her paw and needed cuddles to feel better so I watched what was on the tube. I am not too impressed. One of my favorite shows has taken the main character and twisted her into this person who doesn’t take orders, who doesn’t listen to advice, and screws up all her personal relationships. It doesn’t matter to me that she was raised as an adopted daughter in a loving home. Some of us have had worse beginnings. *rant over.
So I am finding that I really dislike most of the comedy TV shows and now some of the crime shows that used to be my staple when I was watching TV. So what has happened?
I like story. I like to get involved in a story that grips me and won’t let go. The Brits have some really good shows that have gripped me to the point that I took three days out of my life to just watch them. (Berkley Circle).
So what is the difference? When I am in the middle of the story, I don’t want to be bothered with overt messages. Let me mention one: Gamergate. So what, I enjoy the occasional game. I have been to tournaments and watched the guys (and a couple of girls) play. I have never been treated as an object. So that little episode was enough to take me away from a show that I had watched for years.
I also notice that military men are the target of shows now. That hits a real hot button for me because both my late-husband and I served in the Navy. My late-hubby was a Vietnam combat vet. May he rest in peace. Isn’t it enough that so many of these men and women are coming home broken? Do we need to turn them into the bad guys as well?
So messages– should be kept in the background and should be in service to the story… never the story.
Gray slush… I don’t like stories that have no plot. No clear hero. Yes, a hero will have some weaknesses… but to make them an anti-hero over and over? The only group I know that has made successful anti-heroes lately is Marvel– Constantine, Daredevil, etc.
This also includes angst. When there is too much, I refuse to finish the movie or show. Plus no plot or story… There is no point in watching.
I find books are the same. Give me story, give me plot, and give me a hero that will overcome and make the world better in some way even if it is his own family, lawn, or corner of the coffee shop.
(I used his as a universal pronoun as it has been used since language– no genderless pronouns here as well.)
If you write a transgender who is more interested in being a good guy and girl, in a good story, heck yes, I would read that. If it is another woe is me story… it get’s thrown through the TV.
So get writing boys and girls. I’ll be doing my best to write a good story as well.