Reflection: A Good Story

When you watch a movie, what do you like?  Maybe you like the big special effects.  Maybe you’re more a fan of the actors who star in the movie.  Or maybe you’re like me, who just cares about a good story.

No matter whether it’s a movie, book, TV show, or video game, what keeps me going is a good story.  I don’t care about the special effects too much, so long as they don’t look too bad (though I used to always try to figure out how some of them were done).  I don’t really care about the actors, so long as they’re good enough.  As far as I’m concerned, when I’m watching the show, they’re not actors, they’re characters.  Deep down, all I care about is a good story.

Well, okay, I love a good action scene as much as the next person, but I still care more about the story.

In gaming, I’d go so far as to say that the excitement of discovering what happens next in the story can keep me playing through a part with rather dull gameplay – and for those of you who aren’t gamers, games do indeed have some really amazing stories, and that’s a subject I have planned for a future reflection.

Now, most people do care about the story (though I suppose there are gamers who might find the story a distraction from the game), but with me, it takes most of my attention.  I like to get into it, and by experiencing the story, it helps me focus my own stories.

Exactly what makes a good story is very much subjective, but I’ve learned to appreciate a wide variety of types of story.  I’ve watched many different genres of movie over the years and read many different types of books.  In recent years, I’ve become more focused to my favorite genres, but I still feel that having exposed myself to many different types of stories helps me to be a better writer, especially considering my favorite thing to write these days is science fiction.

There’s serious science fiction, dystopian fiction with its exaggerated depiction of every day issues, or something sillier, like technology being used to parody everyday issues.  There might be a futuristic romance, or a detective mystery set in the future.  In a way, science fiction’s more a setting than a genre, so science fiction stories can be very diverse in tone and subject matter.  Thus, I feel that being exposed to a lot of different stories helps.

I love a good story, and a good way to make my stories better is to expose myself to a lot of them.  In the end, I’m able to overlook any gaping flaws in a book/movie/video game/whatever, so long as the story’s good.  If you can recommend me any good stories, I’d appreciate it; I’m always looking for a story to enjoy!  White Rakogis is signing off!

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