Positive Stories

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  • #198844
    Suelder
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
    • Replies - 20

    Why are so many stories about dystopian societies? Why does a dark movie like The Godfather win the Oscar?

    I found this article, on a screenwriting website, that discusses positive psychology and wanted to share it:
    http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/2014/02/1st-hand-reports-lindsay-doran-story-tellinon-the-p.html

    Let me know what you think of it… Do you prefer positive stories? Or does the dark call you?

    #228134
    strigine
    Participant
    • Topics - 7
    • Replies - 19

    I lean strongly towards…positive-conclusion stories? Dark things happen but I need to come away from the story with a sense that the story’s world is a little better than when I started in it, or will get there by the end of the trilogy/series.

    #228135
    ErinMH
    Moderator
    • Topics - 405
    • Replies - 10,885

    I hate dystopias. If I want to read about people fighting oppressive regimes where everything is twisted and there’s little hope, there are plenty if real-world examples. Sure, there has to be darkness and struggle, but I’m not a fan of black, bleak tales — one of the very strong reasons I put down the first of GRRMartin’s Song of Ice and Fire.

    #228136
    ConnieCockrell
    Participant
    • Topics - 90
    • Replies - 946

    Sue, I clicked on your link and it’s broken.

    As to dystopian, I happen to love them because even though the story is dark, the protagonist is in some way making the world a better place. They’re fighting the good fight and to me, that’s the whole enchilada.

    #228137
    Anonymous
    • Topics - 16
    • Replies - 89

    I love a deeply tragic tale set in a world of suffering and corruption. To me, those stories are the ones that touch on what matters: who people really are when faced with the worst examples, the worst conditions and the worst situations. The triumph in those cases isn’t determined by the hero defeating the bad guy or the evil empire being overthrown, but rather by people–flawed, cold, bitter, even cowardly people–somehow managing to do what is right. To reject the chance to do nothing, to walk away, to act like all others. With that triumph, I don’t even need a happy ending (although I really do prefer one) because I know it will come in time. If I can know that the part of sentient life that makes it divine–the ability to choose compassion–still remains, then I know that it will come.

    #228148
    Magic Seeker
    Moderator
    • Topics - 81
    • Replies - 1,225

    I agree with Erin. I won’t even pick up a dystopian. Too much like watching the news. My nerves just can’t take them anymore. ;)

    Happy writing,
    Deb Salisbury
    The Mantua-Maker, Quality Historical Sewing Patterns and Books
    www.mantua-maker.com

    The Art of the Hoop: 1860 - 1869, Dress, Sewing, and Clothing Care Advice
    https://www.mantua-maker.com/a---1860s-fashion.html

    Dead Wizard's Loot: Wizard Whitewing #1
    http://www.djsalisburybooks.com/Dead-Wizard-s-Loot.html

    #228138
    cachance
    Participant
    • Topics - 5
    • Replies - 38

    Add me to the list of those who avoid dystopias. I also couldn’t manage to read Marten’s work. There clearly is a market and I suppose a lot of people nowadays see dystopia as the only direction we’re headed.

    #228139
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 561
    • Replies - 15,569

    I’m a mix. I like positive stories, especially in real life, but I like the deep, dark too, but only so I can watch the MCs work their way to a better place. I think you can wallow in darkness and dystopia, or you can work to overcome it. That’s what I try to do in my stories. The darkest ones all end with some measure of hope at the end…well, except for a few where that wasn’t the point ;).

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #228140
    Weird Jim
    Participant
    • Topics - 131
    • Replies - 420
    Suelder wrote:
    Why does a dark movie like The Godfather win the Oscar?

    Could be the acaademy voting members all received offers they couldn’t refuse.

    I think people are fascinated by the Mafia. Why did The Sopranos get such high TV ratings? One episode was plenty for me. How does such an organisation (The Mafia) get and keep its members.

    Are stories about Indians (native Americans), where the European interlopers always win, dystopias for the Indians?

    #228156
    Suelder
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
    • Replies - 20
    #228169
    Wandering Author
    Participant
    • Topics - 34
    • Replies - 369
    Weird Jim wrote:
    Suelder wrote:
    Why does a dark movie like The Godfather win the Oscar?

    Are stories about Indians (native Americans), where the European interlopers always win, dystopias for the Indians?

    If you are Native American, yes, I think you’d regard a story set in our real, historical world as dystopian – but that wouldn’t get it the genre label, because it isn’t usually Native Americans who assign those things. ;)

    #228141
    zette
    Moderator
    • Topics - 580
    • Replies - 887

    My biggest problem with dystopian science fiction is the view that nothing good is going to happen in the future . I want to believe we will actually get better instead of worse. Not that we’ll be perfect or there won’t be areas of trouble, but that the entire future is not dark, uncompromising misery. I prefer to read — and write — stories where people are working to make things better, which is difficult enough without all of society and the very infrastructure of life crashing down as well.

    #228142
    cachance
    Participant
    • Topics - 5
    • Replies - 38

    Zette, I’ve been on this planet long enough to see a lot of positive changes. Blacks and white are much more likely to be friends now, even marry. Women can hold high positions at work, not restricted to librarian, teacher or nurse as careers. Gays can marry. Car safety has improved. The dangers of smoking and drinking are much more apparent. Space flight. Computers in the home and pocket. The Berlin Wall is down. These are just off the top of my head with only half of my first cup of coffee ingested. So, I agree, the future is likely to be better. That seems to be the pattern. Could something disrupt it? Of course. But I believe that humans will overcome and make things better again.

    One of the major reasons I really avoid post-apocalyptic stories is that the devastation and gloom always seems to persist. I just don’t buy it.

    #228170
    ConnieCockrell
    Participant
    • Topics - 90
    • Replies - 946

    Thanks Sue.

    #228194
    zette
    Moderator
    • Topics - 580
    • Replies - 887

    Oddly, it’s not post-apocalyptic stories that bother me, because most of those are about survival against the odds and rebuilding. I think disasters can happen, man-made or otherwise. However, Dystopian is a different approach and darker attitude.

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