Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,

  • Music:

Narrative satisfactions

katekat1010 points us to this essay by Wax Banks on "What you want, what you need: fans and endings, and narrative satisfactions". This essay discusses the end of Angel, the end of Buffy, fan demands for continuation, and the continuation in the comics. As we all know, what readers/viewers/fans demand and what they secretly need are two different things. The job of the writer is to satisfy the unconscious needs.

The essay covers, among other things, the reason that Whedon had to, er, do what he did before the final battle in Serenity: the need to create the belief that maybe things won't work out this time. Maybe it'll be different this time. Eek.

Two points that caught my attention:
Complex storytelling increases the variety of ways that the audience can be satisfied, combines audience desires in new or untraceable ways, and (often) ends the story with still-suspended desires held in tension against those that've been satisfied.
So what makes an enjoyable story? That's the thing: tons of stuff. We dig allusion, momentum, rhetorical cleverness, sonority, relatability, simplicity, comfort, thrills, critical insight. The best stories, I think, combine a number of these pleasures and play them off one another.
Well. Let's see if I can make some tiny fraction of this happen in my spring_with_xan story. I wrote a story plan for it last night. I think I need to crank up the stakes considerably somehow. Hmm! Though if Mr Pedia is right, many fans are here for the prawn and consider it all wasted verbiage.
Tags: craft

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