S is for Stories

So many books!  They're everywhere.

So many books! They’re everywhere.

For me, it’s all about the story.

I don’t care what you’re talking about: books, movies, people.  I love a good story.

I’m more liberal than most people about what makes a good story.  I don’t really care if there are plot holes or if the story has been done before.  I just care about how well the story is told.  Ordinary can be interesting in the same way that extraordinary can be boring.

A lot of people complained that Avatar was a cliched story, but I loved it.  Even if it’s a story I’ve heard before, I liked the way it was told, and it had enough new and interesting elements to keep it fresh.  People complained that Twilight had poor writing, but if it did, I didn’t notice when I read it.  I was too drawn in my the story to worry about the fact that Bella and Edward have an unhealthy relationship dynamic.  The story was interesting and fun.

I like literature.  I like reading about psychological theories.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy things at the other end of the spectrum, and everything in between.  As long as there’s an interesting story, I don’t mind if it’s cliche.  I enjoy stories I’ve read before, and I enjoy reading them in different forms, from different perspectives.  But then, I’m also the person who can read the same book over and over again and still have emotional reactions to it as if I were reading it for the first time.  (Where the Red Fern Grows makes me sob every. single. time.)

Stories connect me to the past.  Growing up, I loved Cinderella and Snow White, and remembering those stories gives me warm memories of my parents and grandparents.  I love sharing stories (discussing books and movie plots) with other people.  We all see the same story in different ways, and it’s interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on a story.

I know people who love sitcoms and comedy memoirs, but it can be hard for me to get into those things because I feel like too often, they focus on the punchline rather than the story.  There are always exceptions, of course, but my favorite stories are the ones that make me feel deeply, that make me cry or touch my heart.  I love characters who feel so real to me that they become part of my life even after I’ve closed the book.  Harry Potter, The Fault In Our Stars, Watership Down, Me Before You, and Watchers are just a few of the books that made me feel this way.

What’s your favorite type of story?  Do you have a book whose characters feel like part of your life?


by The TV Guy

This top box office movie had never crossed into my viewing consciousness until recently. This ever so long movie of good vs. evil captured my eye and kept me drawn in for the entire film. The technology that made this film unique was easy to accept as movie reality. James Cameron of Titanic fame obsessively makes magic again with this jaunt through Pandora and the Na’vi tribe who calls this paradise their home. The greedy warlike Earthlings are there to upset the balance of these foreign people and get rich all at the same time. I recommend this one if you have not seen it. Based on the box office numbers I am likely the last human to see it. Enjoy!

But Wait! You Haven’t Heard the Whole Story!

I love movies, mostly because I love stories.  I love good stories and bad stories.  Sometimes, the worse the movie is, the more I love it.  B horror movies are a special love of mine.  The more overdone the gore and the acting, the more I love it.

I do also love more mainstream movies.  Take Avatar, quite possibly one of the best movies ever.  Not just because of the 3D or the beautiful world James Cameron created, but also just because I loved the story.  I know it was a little cookie cutter, but let’s be honest… most stories (books and movies) follow at least somewhat of a formula.  I haven’t met very many of either that really surprise me.  And I’m okay with that because I love suspending disbelief.  It’s an act of will for me.

What I don’t like about Avatar is that it’s going to be re-released about a million times.  Today, the Avatar edition with the deleted scenes is going to be released.  Now, I already bought the original Avatar.  Now I’m going to buy the one with the deleted scenes.  I saw that version in the theater when they re-released it, and I honestly don’t understand why they cut those scenes out.  Probably just so they could release it a million times.  There’s no date set for the 3D version, but I have to wonder how many times that’s going to be released.

It aggravates me almost as much as books and movies that have a “hanging” ending.  Tell the story!  Tell it the first time in its entirety.  Books don’t re-release with cut scenes.  Can you imagine Harry Potter this way?  Imagine that Harry Potter was released, and 6 months later, JK Rowling released a deleted scene.  I’d buy it; I’ll admit it.  But I’d be irritated, wondering why they didn’t tell the story right the first time.

I know it’s a marketing ploy to make more money, and I fall for it.  I want the whole story.  I crave knowledge.  Which is part of the reason that I the cashier at Barnes and Noble practically rubs her hands together when she sees me coming.  I’m an addict when it comes to stories and articles of a certain type.

So, you’re welcome, Mr. Cameron.  Because I know over two billion dollars wasn’t quite enough.  You need another $25 from me.