This is not a post of advice, or an explanation, or even a discussion concepts and ideas.
This is a request.
If you pay any attention at all to the newest forms of entertainment and media (and I certainly have), you have probably noticed a trend in the predominantly popular stories that are presented to us across a number of platforms.
In a short time and with little investment, these shows, miniseries, webcomics, books, movies, and other storytelling media introduce you to a number of characters who lead simple and relatively happy lives. Through a series of quick and unpredictable (and yet strangely devastating) events, their lives are torn to bits and never pieced back together until the last possible moment, if ever at all. Since most stories that are popular are also current, the average viewer has no possibility of happiness himself if he likes the characters of the various storytelling media that he consumes. The viewer who dares to enjoy a show and fall in love with the characters is a poor foolish sap worthy of pity.
I am one such sap.
Characters are my weakness. Of the assets of storytelling, such as plot, theme, motif, devices, setting, and characters, characters are a leading favorite. People in books, movies, and shows leap alive to me. They become my friends, or if not friends, they are at least people that I care about.
For instance, I recently (and finally) picked up the Netflix series Stranger Things to see what all the noise was about.
Those of you who have already watched the show to completion already know what happened to me, because it may have happened to you too.
I raced through two seasons of the show, absorbing conflict, emotional abuse, tension, angst, sorrow, joy, friendship, divisions, neglect, horror, terror, and waffles at the same rate as the characters, possibly ending in a worse state then they, since I am (presumably) more self aware than these created personalities.
This is not new for me. This happens every time I discover a new story that I like. It happened before and it will happen again. We live in an age of employed cliffhangers and emotional investment. The stories of today are crafted to involve our entire selves, wringing us to watch just one more episode.
My soul can’t take the mileage.
For the love of a good God in Heaven, will someone out there please write some happy stories?
To take Stranger Things as an example, I do not care if every citizen of Hawkins, Indiana is eaten by monsters, so long as the characters I know and love can lead happy and fulfilled lives in a postapocalyptic landscape. I am willing to make any trade if I can only see them live in harmony and peace with one another without deception or lies between them.
The trailer of Stranger Things’s third season has just been released. If the creators of the show are reading this, I want to let you know that I will be utterly happy beyond Utopian bliss if you will promise me that the characters I love will spend the season doing nothing but expressing their affection for one another and eating pizza.
And waffles of course. I’m not forgetting that.
As I said at the beginning, this is just a request. I realize there may be quite a few writers reading this post. So I beg you, for my own selfish sake, will you please write a story where your characters are not tortured beyond endurance? Can’t you let nice things happen to them once in a while? I would really appreciate it.
My soul needs a break.
Thank you so much for reading everyone! And seriously, will someone please write some happy stories for once? Just as a change of pace? -BW