joiedecombat: (psst!)
[personal profile] joiedecombat
If you're going to use a work of fiction to deconstruct and criticize the conventions of a genre - especially if you set up a fake-out by presenting it initially as a standard example of the genre and then doing a "gotcha" reveal fifteen minutes in and proceeding from there - it's kind of a requirement to actually deconstruct those conventions and not just have the characters complain about them while unironically acting out those exact same conventions.

I mean, if it's done well I'm a great fan of having the story I'm reading turn out to not be the story I thought I was reading. And I frequently love it when characters turn out to not be the people you thought they were, especially when it gives me the opportunity to revisit the whole thing from an entirely new perspective once the reveal occurs. But not when the reveal takes the form of "The story you set out to read is shallow and fake. Were you getting to like those characters? Guess what! They're all actually nothing like that. See, this guy's name isn't even Pierre, it's Josh!" Without actually being any less predictable or shallow than the original genre.


Date: 2012-06-15 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
At this point I've just grown to feel that a work of fiction should figure out what it wants to do and do that, rather than trying to pander to every demographic the creators think might be interested, play with clever meta-narrative tricks in order to show off for the critics, and only after all that is done remember to half-ass a resolution to its initial premise.

I mean, if you want to be a shameless melodrama full of fluff and cliches, own that. More power to you and I will probably enjoy it. But if you want to tear apart the foundation of cliched melodrama with your brilliant deconstruction, don't market it to the damn fans of cliched melodrama no matter how clever you think you are.

Date: 2012-06-15 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that is really what my feelings boil down to in fewer words.

Because trying to tear apart cliched melodrama with your brilliant deconstruction and then marketing it to the fans of cliched melodrama mostly just makes you a dick.

Date: 2012-06-15 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, this.

See also my beef with the sort of "fantasy" where it all turns out to be aliens or whatever, because: no, I got into this thinking it was fantasy. Don't dick me around, author.


joiedecombat: (Default)

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