Thursday, October 20, 2011

Narrative Kinks!

Prompted by Sixwing and originating from Seanan-McGuire, I thought this was a really interesting meme-sort-of-thing where everyone is identifying what bits and baubles, story elements and narratives that each reader finds most fascinating.

My Narrative Kinks:

*Reunions - I've read books again just because they have a particularly satisfying reunion between two characters ripped apart at the beginning of the narrative. The whole running across a field of flowers and throwing themselves into each other arms is ever so very satisfying.

*Brothers and Besties - The easy comfort of people who platonically love each other is like catnip for me. It doesn't necessarily make for very interesting stories, but having someone There to Back You Up always makes characters so much more 3d for me. It's just, warm and fuzzy and oh so appreciated.

*Shapeshifters - Reading about act of shifting between one form and another gives me a very visceral sense of enjoyment. Bodies working, limbs moving, and just pure physicality in description.

*In-character decisions - I love it when I know a character well enough to say 'oh, yeah, they could never make a different decision'. Especially when the decision is made without hesitation.

*World consistency - I kink hard on worldbuilding. The more complex, rich and hopefully-coherent a world, the more I love it and the more I crave more.

* Non-gender-conforming characters - My favorite example of this is the Fool from Robin Hobb's books. But I also love characters like Alanna the Lioness, defying gender norms to achieve Knighthood. I like genderless and gender-stereotype-breaking characters. The more it doesn't matter 'what' they are or the more challenge is part of it, the better I like them.

* More-than-two people relationships that appear functional - I have a soft spot for triads and I hate love triangles. Usually the primary romantic conflict is 'you have to pick one!' the only reason for picking one is something stupid like 'because you can't have both'. Why the hell not? Give me one good reason besides convention! I understand if the 'why not' reason is, "Because they live in different dimensions and you are going to be trapped in one of them, but you have to choose so they can close the damn portal before reality breaks down." That's a legitimate reason why you can only pick one. I know that most people don't even think about it, but if a character has to pick one, it needs to be for a REALLY good reason.

* Hard journeys described in detail - I love adventure novels about the grit of the road, or journeys through the center of the earth, of pitching camp and watching the stars, of climbing mountains and hunting for food. I have no idea why, but I think they're awesome.

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