6 things I love seeing in stories

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(unlikely)/(female) friendships
  • enough said. I love friendships. I love strong friendships that are not in your face strong but strong enough to know that your two characters will have each other’s back no matter what. And I also absolutely adore unlikely friendships between people holding slightly differing values. A Crown Of Wishes, sure the leads became love interests, but I like how their friendship that was something unlikely turned into something necessary. And in Vicious, the relationships Victor forms with the girl and the other guy is just a little heartwarming. There’s something sweet about it.
  • and I totally love seeing loyalty. Acts of loyalty that are not in your face but just portrayed normally. God I love seeing loyalty. Duryodhana and Karnan in Mahabharatham. I don’t think there’s a better show of loyalty than that.
  • I also love seeing female friendships. Absolutely adored the friendship portrayed in Magalir Mattum and in Aruvi. I haven’t read much about female friendships though. And I’m not writing any on female friendships at the moment either. Oh well.
sadness from things other than death
  • death is sad but ooooooh are there things worse than death. A necessary death is always welcome for example in Aruvi, but a death that is just for emotion is not okay. Raja Rani. You didn’t have to kill people off, seriously. That’s just a cheap shot for your story. And also, if you are going to kill people, oh my god, a car accident is not the way. Don’t. No. NO. Even if it is a true story, for example in I Too Had A Love Story, I just… I’m sorry man. But then again I wanted more from I Too Had A Love Story.
characters that are grey
  • I’ve raved about these kinds of characters a lot. I love them. I love them so much. I mean I love reading about them and seeing them, won’t hang out with them but my do I love them. I love them because they have so much potential to do good and yet they choose to do something a little more questionable. And I love it that they know that what they are doing is a little more questionable. These are not villains. Villains don’t have much principles. They are just selfish and want everything for their own benefit. Grey characters have principles, no matter how morally ambiguous their principles may be, they have principles and values. They consciously choose to do what is questionable. They are aware of all their choices and yet. A character like that is awesome because bring on the backstory. Bring on what ruined them. I’m so invested to know why they have lost faith. I do not like Joker from the Batman. At some point, he’s just mental. Totally love Vedha from Vikram Vedha and Victor from Vicious.
  • I also totally love protagonists that are so normal they are grey. They don’t have to do questionable things but they make mistakes like everyone. Molly from The Upside of Unrequited, Park from Eleanor and Park (I didn’t state Eleanor on purpose).
characters that do good because it's just what they do
  • I personally don’t like ‘the chosen one’ trope. But what I really love seeing is a character standing up just because he/she has to do something since no one is doing anything. I mean they don’t have to succeed the first time they do, but they try. And I like to watch that goodness mould them through the rest of the story. And put in a few good friendships and daaaamn, I love that story. But this kind of story can easily become something I detest if the character has no idea how to deal with the repercussions of doing good. For example, in Tamil movies, a good guy goes against a bad guy and then the rest of the movie the bad guy is attacking the good guy and the good guy is losing. He loses his family, his reputation, he’s losing everything then the final boss battle and the good guy wins in combat. Don’t. Absolutely not. By all means, do good, but get ready for the repercussions. I want characters who know what they are doing and are not just doing good out of impulse.
protagonists without protagonist like qualities
  • in my opinion, the only thing protagonists have to be is active to some extent. Every other quality can be meddled with. You can have male protagonists that are not the alpha male, that are not the most good-looking, that are not the smartest, that are not the nicest. Ahn Min Hyuk from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon has some hero qualities like strength and courage but he is also hella cute. Kattapa from The Rise Of Sivagami. He might not seem like the protagonist but he sure carries the novel and being a slave in the book already makes his character unique. As for female protagonists, the default female protagonist can kick ass. The default female protagonist is physically strong. But of course, that doesn’t have to be the case. In The FYP, Sara can kick ass, Srishti can’t but when you read Srishti, you find that she’s just as strong, (her mouth makes up for it). I definitely do not think Eleanor in Eleanor and Park is a compelling character. She’s just too bogged down. But Fiona Maye in The Children Act, I think she’s an interesting character for a short book. Molly from The Upside of Unrequited, another interesting character.
red herrings and plot twists
  • who doesn’t like red herrings and plot twists? If done well, holy nuggets. Although I’ve seen it in movies more than I’ve read it in books. The most recent movie that I’d watched was Girls In The Dark. I mean Girls in the Dark took it to a crazy level but it was good.

 

And you? What do you like seeing in stories?

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