How To Make Almost Any Narrative More Interesting
More women. So many women that the Smurfette on any five-person team is now a Smurf.
Relationships of every type between said women.
Less heteroromatic tropes.
Make people fall in love and stay in love. LOVE IS NOT BORING. It is spectacularly unlikely and thus really quite fascinating.
If there’s a larger mystery in play, solving part of it will not actually make your world collapse, so for fuck’s sake GIVE PEOPLE THE SMALL WINS.
Don’t be afraid that the audience has figured out where you’re going and thus change everything to produce a “surprise.” A surprising amount of people actually have no problem with suspecting where things will end up, so long as you give them the ending they feel they and the characters have earned.
Whenever possible, go with adults over children, children over babies, babies over pregnancies. You’ll never go wrong with this one simple rule.
NEVER present lying to people you supposedly love as any sort of a legitimate choice. Call that crap out if a character does it, and make them stop it.
Legitimate foe-yay and enemies-to-friends comes out of common goals, common interests (competence porn), common enemies and/or common moral meet-points. It’s not code for “I bugged [this person] until they gave in,” because that shit is gross.
Let more het, cis men and het, cis women be friends.
Let more people of every other type than het or cis be more than friends.
Less moral binarism. Let people be grey.
Let the standard be protagonists, not heroes. It makes the heroes stand out like they do in real life.
Let characters learn, grow and change. No take-backsies.
No fucking re-set buttons.