Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why stories connect (or don't)

Another dose from the GKC calendar:

Nothing is important except the fate of the soul;  and literature is only redeemed from an utter triviality, surpassing that of naughts and crosses, by the fact that it describes not the world around us, or the things on the retina of the eye, or the enormous irrelevancy of encyclopedias, but some condition to which the human spirit can come. - GKC in Introduction to 'The Old Curiosity Shop'

Also said as:
"The story of any one of us is the story of us all." - Frederick Beuchner.

At some point I was dwelling on what makes a story good or bad.  For me it comes to - can I relate to anything human about the story?

It's slightly past how believable a story is.  There can be wild fantasy elements or entire sci-fi worlds that work for excellent story telling.  Does it have that something that makes me want to fight for the character? Do I want the character to win?  Am I mad & frustrated when they are?

That's when I'm hooked.

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy with either a strong dislike or like for a character. It's when I feel "meh" about them that the story fails (for me).