Something’s wrong. I went to the Harvard Coop Bookstore and nothing interested me. For the past few years, I’ve found it hard to sit through novels, movies, and TV shows that wallow in the frustration and hopelessness all too common in everyday life. Why slog through hundreds of pages of suffering in the hope of merely restoring the status quo and the end of the book? Seems simpler not to take the journey at all.
Despite my disinterest, I liked movies and TV shows such as The Great Beauty, 20th Century Women, Florence Foster Jenkins, War Dogs, What We Do in the Shadows, The Assets, and Narcos. Some of this has to do with protagonists having at least a fighting chance but I have some other ideas for my fiction likes and dislikes in the following list. This is a personal list of my current preferences. Also, as with all rules about fiction, someone could break every rule, do it well, and write something truly outstanding.
|Intriguing mystery||Formulaic plot|
|Sense of wonder||Too many defeats|
|Capable characters||Dreariness/ hopelessness/ frustration|
|Goal that’s bigger than the status quo||Abuse of authority|
|Progress toward that goal||Overwhelming corruption|
|Logical sequence of events||Stereotypical characters|
|Characters I’d want as friends||Incompetent characters|
|Smart, open-minded characters||Pettiness|
|Insight||“inspiring” stories of sickness and handicaps|
|Peek into a forbidden world|
|For comedy have everyday people in the former.|