60 favourite Disney songs
(#4) Be Prepared - The Lion King
“So prepare for a coup of the century. Be prepared for the murkiest scam. Meticulous planning, tenacity spanning, decades of denial is simply why I’ll be king undisputed, respected, saluted and seen for the wonder that I am. Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared, be prepared!”
Haha, I’m drawing crappy fan art. Imagine it and cry in horror!
Anonymous asked: What makes an outstanding story to you? Please be specific. How do you judge what is an amazing story? What characters are you drawn to the most?
PART ONE (Haha, you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into)
1) Interesting Premise - this is what makes me pick up the book/story or click open the link in the first place. I have found that I am quite often drawn to a fantasy edge, or some type of AU premise. Not necessarily elves and stuff, but different from normal, not gritty every day life as it is. I have a thing about dystopias. But there are a wide number of premises and story ideas which interest me, the point is that the idea has to be fresh.
2) CHARACTERS. This is the most important thing. Characters lead the plot, and they’re what I ultimately fall in love with. They have to be interesting, and realistic and I should be able to relate to them. There normally has to be a certain type of dynamic that I’m drawn to. A brilliant villain, if you have one, is an absolute must to me. The villain’s are often my favourite, I adore them - and they must have an interesting dynamic with the main character in turn. The villain makes the story for me, the dynamic between villain and hero. Also, the relationship between the hero/heroine and her friends is important to me too. They’re part of what makes it real and funny and heartbreaking, that makes the villain matter.
3) Plot. The plot has to grip me, otherwise it’s good, but not outstanding and I just sit there thinking why the characters and premise are being wasted with something cliche for example. I can’t stand those ‘dark fantasy’ stories going around where girl meets [insert supernatural creature here] and falls in love. It is overdone and boring. I particularly like it if the stories make me think, and I look at the world or something in a new way because of the story - that is amazing. Give me twists! Turns! Humour and moments where I can’t put the book down.
4) Writing style. If it starts too slowly, and isn’t fast paced in the current world, chances are I might get bored before I get to the good part. Also, excellent writing makes me happy. Like Ian McEwan’s writing style - I just sort of squeal and feel envious. Beautiful writing makes me want to write something, which I love, and has a very big effect on my views on the rest of the story. Good ideas and characters written clumsily make me want to gouge my eyes out.
Combine writing style, premise/plot and characters, and, in my opinion if all of these are good then that makes an outstanding story as a very rough guide.
But uh, you said specific and that’s the simple version, because honestly I can think books are outstanding, like Milan Kundera’s “Unbearable Lightness of Being.” That one has an exquisite writing style, and I like it because it makes me think about things in a different way.
I guess the biggest mark of an outstanding story is one that lingers after for some reason, hooks somewhere on my heart with the characters, and is told really well. An amazing story is one that I really enjoyed, to me. It’s not always one thing that makes a story, it’s a combination. But I am very drawn to characters. If the characters are unlikeable, no matter how pretty the writing is I won’t care.
PART TWO - CHARACTERS
Okay, characters I’m drawn to most.
VILLAINS. I’ve said this already, but I love villains so much. They’re often far more interesting than the hero, if they’re done well. I can’t stand black and white two dimensional villains, gah. It immediately makes half the story bad. It doesn’t matter if the villain is actually a person, or the hero’s darker side, but if you have an antagonist for the love of all things make him a memorable one.
However, that being said, I also notice I have a type when it comes to villains - I like them charming, I like them intelligent and dangerous - the type of villain that doesn’t apologize for being a villain. Examples of some of my favourite villains include Tom Riddle (or at least the description of him as a teenager, in reality in the books he was kind of a disappointment and not very brilliant and persuasive and charismatic at all). Hannibal Lecter, The Magician in Summerset Maugham’s ‘The Magician’ and I could go on but I’ll stop now.
Second point - outside of the villain as a character in itself, I need them to have a fantastic dynamic with the hero. I love it when they have banter together whilst trying to destroy each other, perhaps temporarily team up even, they have to be the foil to each other and equalized for an epic battle be it a literal battle or a perfect twisted little story of psychological mind games.
Unfortunately, I find a sorrowful lack of stories when this happens. There are a lot of good stories which have good characters, plots and writing, but outstanding stories always have a sort of flair to them.
I’ve also noticed that I’m drawn to the same type of stories which I really enjoy, but regrettably for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is, but I’m probably trying to get at the same thing in all of my own writing.
So, um, yeah. Hope some of that made sense even if it got very messy and tangled and probably didn’t answer much. I’ve talked a lot about the stuff that makes up an outstanding story to me, and I stand by them, but I suppose it comes down to stories that I really enjoy. Stories I remember, and those I fall in love with which don’t blur against the background of all of the other stories I read.
…I also think we look for different stories in different times of our life as a reflection of our own story and what we want, but that’s a different matter entirely.
I shall force myself to stop now before I write an essay and not a haphazard splodge of thoughts and points.