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Esper September 17th, 2012 8:29 AM

Simple stories or complex stories?
Which are "better" stories: simple ones with recognizable archetypes, easy to sympathize with characters, and unencumbered plots; or complex stories with unreliable narrators, huge casts of characters, and surprising plot twists? (Use your own definition of "better.")

For something else to chew on: are some stories better suited to different media? Are television shows better if they're complex and movies if they're simple?

Kura September 17th, 2012 11:34 AM

I think simple and innovative is always best. Complex can often get too muddled and at least for me.. just spoils my enjoyment of something.
It's fine to slowly introduce new characters or sitautions over time, but all at once and there is no time to develop everything fully so I can't submerge myself into the story.

Mr Cat Dog September 18th, 2012 11:56 AM

I don't think that one is inherently better than the other... but I have a tendency to prefer more complex stories. It's a case of big-risk-big-reward, and while a lot of them end up falling flat on their faces due to plot holes or just swallowing their own metaphorical tales or just becoming too convoluted for their own good, it's really thrilling to watch something inventive and groundbreaking and to see it pull it off without a hitch!

Having said that, the story isn't everything when it comes to narrative entertainment. If the most satisfyingly complex story in the world doesn't have characters that you can relate to, or is filled with bad acting, or it just looks bad from a technical point of view, that can sour your experience of what should be a great story. Lots of my favourite films/TV shows fall into the 'complex narrative' camp, but a great deal of others are just 'simple stories, well told'. That's why I said one isn't necessarily better than the other.

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