hello! I’m sure there’s a specific word for this kind of genre but i really do not know what, you know works like interview with the vampire or even boyhood? there’s not really a moral to the story, that I can see at least. it simply is, just a story, an adventure you go on from point a to point b and there’s no moral or /major/ arc or final showdown, it’s just a little adventure. is there a word for this? how do you feel about these stories? I’ve read many works of fiction like them and they
are honestly my favorite kinds of stories because I guess i feel less like a reader and more like I’m a part of the story maybe? anyway, just wanted to know your thoughts on them, and if you have any advice on how to successfully write a story like that I’d love it
What you’re thinking of isn’t actually a genre but a type of story. It’s called a character-driven story and they can exist in any genre. A lot of what you mentioned, though, are actually basic parts of a story. All stories should have them even if they look quite different from story to story. Let’s go through those now before we get more into character-driven stories. :)
Story Arc - all stories have an arc. This is just the sequence of related events that get the story from beginning to end.
Climax - while not all stories will have a “final showdown,” all stories will have a climax, which is where a final showdown would fall. This doesn’t have to be a cataclysmic battle between good and bad. It doesn’t even have to be a fight between the “good guy” and the “bad guy.” It’s just where all the pieces of the story come together in a big, intense way.
Point - not all stories will have a moral point, but all stories do have a point. The point of a story is the answer to the question “why is this story being told?” Even stories that seem “pointless” usually do have a point to them. They may be making a statement about the unruliness of the human heart, or how sometimes kids grow up and turn out like their parents even if they don’t want to. Sometimes the point of a story is merely to thrill the audience, as is the case with a story like Interview with the Vampire.
Character Driven vs Plot Driven
That said, not all stories are legendary conflicts between good and bad, big adventures, or epic quests. The type of story you’re thinking of is what we call a “character-driven” story. Stories with big final showdowns, good vs bad, big adventures, etc., are usually “plot-driven” stories.
In plot-driven stories, it’s the plot that moves the story forward. The events of the story happen to the character and they must respond to them.
In character-driven stories, it’s the character that drives the story. The character’s actions cause the events of the story to occur.
Some stories, like the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games series, for example, are a combination of plot-driven and character-driven.
Both character-driven and plot-driven stories can occur in any genre. In order to write a character driven story, you just have to decide what genre you want to write in, then decide what type of character you want to write about and why you want to tell this person’s story. Then, figure out what happens in this character’s life that’s worth writing about. :)
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subtitle: comparing Iemitsu and Reborn’s relationship to Tsuna, an undertaking which does not make the former look particularly sterling in any way.
Throughout Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, most of Tsuna’s focused relationships are on people near his own age. The majority of his guardians attend school with him, along with the Simon Family. His first major antagonist is a teenager as well. (What’s up with Xanxus, put into cryostasis around the same age? We just don’t know.)
There are two adults, however, who have quite an influence on Tsuna.
Funnily enough, despite being in similar roles- that of an adult male meant to be respected and (in the best case scenario) cared for- how they interact with Tsuna, their relationship with him, and ultimately how he treats them back are quite contrasting.
The main differences can be divided into four areas, more or less, with the first ultimately encompassing them all.
You’d think, as the man in charge of an entire division of the Vongola (CEDEF), that Iemitsu would be quite good at communicating with others. When it comes to his son, however, this is by far something he crashes and burns in.
[image: panel 1 on the right. Reborn: “You aren’t going to tell Tsuna about yourself?” Iemitsu: “I’m prepared to say it anytime, but it just won’t happen that smoothly.”]
[panel 2 on the left: Iemitsu “Well, just go along with it! I’ve already distributed what I had to anyway… Nana~. Food!!”]
…Although it would help if he would actually attempt to take the wheel and star the car instead of letting it slam straight into a wall more than half the time.
Does anybody know how the folks at Bethesda feel about the completely, irrationally passionate fandoms that spring up for their characters? How they feel about the 6 million works of fan fiction about Female Lone Wanderer (or Male Lone Wanderer, for that matter) and the inscrutable Charon? Or the amazing amount of lust that has poured out of the interwebs over John Fucking Hancock? Or the crazy passion that people have for the characters you not only can’t romance, but you can’t even have as a companion, like Elder Arthur “Who’s Your Daddy” Maxson????
kind of a broad question, what do you think it means for a character to have agency
i think “agency” is mostly shorthand. any fictional characters we create, by rule of the fact that they are characters we create and control in the first place, do not actually have agency. they do what we write them to do. agency in fictional characters does not exist, really.
agency, then, becomes shorthand for a larger discussion and analysis and just a general feel of “is what the character doing work for the character, or is this done for the thrill of the audience”.
i’ll give an example from comics. rogue is a pretty well liked member from the x-men, right? and black widow has her own pretty good share of fans, both from the movies and the comics.
in A+X #2, an avengers and x-men teamup book, chris bachalo writes a story where rogue and black widow have to team up and fight a sentinel. but, he writes a scene which feels pretty clearly not for the characters, but for the audience.
of all the ways for rogue to get natasha’s knowledge, there’s tons - nose to nose contact would have done it, and rogue herself knows her powers well enough that she doesn’t need to be told that she can just absorb the knowledge from natasha on how to fire a sniper rifle. what’s more, the info she absorbs/remarks almost immediately turns to natasha’s private romantic/sexual life, and rogue remarks on what a good kisser she is. the scene, the plot, was put together to get them to kiss, everything else be damned.
it’s a scene that breaks any illusion of agency, because it comes off pretty clearly “i wrote a scenario to get the two hot girls to make out”, and like, exists solely for that. it’s not for the characters, it’s for the audience and it feels like, to some degree, the author themselves.
this isn’t even going into the horrible Emma Frost/Black Widow team up, which is a million times worse.
natasha and rogue do not have agency, flat out. they’re fictional characters, and they do what they are written and drawn to do. however, a writer and artist can construct a story, a narrative, where what the characters do feel like they are doing for the characters, and not for the author, and much more pertinently, the audience. discussion of camera angles and focus in any medium would be useful here, not just story choices - what the camera focuses on and how it frames characters very much changes internal feelings and ideas about a character’s “agency”.
agency doesn’t exist in fictional works, but how media frames characters, how they setup their stories, actions, and reactions, determines whether we feel like the character is being themselves, or if the character is doing something that raps on the glass of the TV screen or the glossy pages of the comic book and makes it clear that they have no agency.
To be honest….what I think is so thrilling about Killing Stalking; is that everyone who reads it knows that there is the possibility this stuff could happen in the real world. Which makes the story all the more thrilling and terrifying to read.
It makes it easier for all of us (all those who read this story) to see ourselves in Yoonbum. Its easy for us to imagine what we would do in that scenario; how we would feel. Because for all we know; this stuff could be happening right next door to our own homes.
That’s what separates Killing Stalking from other gore-filled, abusive, stockholm syndrome stories. Something about it doesn’t seem like another fictional work….it feels real.
It has been several years since
they’ve last had to save the world. They still hunt regularly, but the
Winchester star in the hunter universe has diminished. They settle down in
Kansas, within an hour or two of the bunker, which stands empty most days. They
only return to it during initial research for cases.
Sam gets a big ass dog and falls in
love with a ridiculously tiny and adorable librarian with a wicked sense of
humor. She doesn’t bat an eyelash when he comes home from hunts bruised and
battered, and turns into their new Bobby, fielding calls from suspicious
officials and digging up new research while they’re away from the Men of
Cas and Dean finally give in to
their years of unresolved sexual and romantic tension, and move in together.
Dean builds a panic room in their basement so that eventually they can move
their hunting gear out of the back shed and actually have a place to put their
lawn mower. Cas bakes a lot of pie.
They’re happy, for the most part.
But there are always nightmares and flashbacks to deal with. There’s always
Dean’s nagging sense of failure and inadequacy. That’s the thing that makes Cas
want to rip his grace out and fling it into the ocean. He can physically feel
Dean’s dismay, his self-loathing, the desperation for a salvation he doesn’t
even believe in. It sits in the hollows of Cas’s heart, clawing at the sides.
It’s worst after a hunt that goes
poorly. It’s a thing that happens, no matter how hard they try, no matter how
good they get at working together. Dean stalks around in a black mood for days,
shrugging away from Cas’s touch and pouring bourbon in his coffee. Cas hides
the tequila and bakes extra pies, luring Dean out from under his dark cloud.
This week is the
worst one, though. A little girl died. Dean got to her about three seconds too
late, barely in time to hold her as she died. Cas distracted the witch long
enough for Sam to vanquish her, and they helped the parents bury their little
girl in the safest grave they could contrive. Sam had mentioned cremation, but at the look on
their faces, dropped the subject quickly.
Cas looks up from the pie pan he’s
washing in the sink—the apple pie is already in the serving dish—when Dean
stomps into the kitchen. “Hey,” Cas says.
Dean grunts in response, but Cas
feels the pinch of Dean’s desperation between his own shoulder blades. Dean
opens the fridge and glares at its contents, unimpressed.
“The pie is cooling,” Cas offers.
Dean lets the fridge door close and
stares at his feet.
GM the New Teacher: an episode which is partly about a narrow-minded principal who insists that a comic book isn’t literature and shouldn’t/can’t be studied as if it’s on the level with a classic novel…versus a teacher who says a comic book CAN be literature and studied as such.
Let it marinate for a moment that Michael Jacobs himself wrote this episode. GMtNT isn’t the first time a show of his has presented and defended the idea that a “lowly” genre can be literary. If Jacobs feels this way about other peoples’ work in “lowly” forms of fiction, what on earth makes anyone think he doesn’t feel the same way about his own work?
BMW certainly had its literary elements, but GMW takes it to a whole new level. A lot of the things I point out in the show are literary devices: allusions, dramatic irony, metaphors, etc. These devices are very basic tools in a professional writer’s toolkit (amateurs may use them as well, but pros ABSOLUTELY do—yes, even when the work is primarily targeted to young people).
One thing I am sick to death of in this fandom is watching adults tell young people that a show targeted to kids and teens can’t be literary and shouldn’t be looked at that way. Say what you will about me, I don’t have an account dedicated mostly to encouraging young people NOT to think. Not only is this pervasive anti-intellectual attitude in the GMW fandom an inadvertent insult to the writers and the craft of writing, it flies in the face of a long history of multilayered & literary works targeted primarily to younger people. From Dr. Seuss to J.K. Rowling, children’s media has a long history of being written with double and deeper meanings as well as a long history of appealing to adults as well as the target audience.
So, next time someone tells you not to think more deeply about GMW because there’s “no way” a kid’s show could ever be more than just what it appears to be on the surface…remember how Jacobs himself wrote Principal Yancy as the villain and Harper as the hero when it came to whether or not a “lowly” form of art like a comic book could be studied/analyzed like a work of literature.