As readers, viewers and writers, we are keenly aware that stories are comprised of elements. Characters, settings, plot, themes, to name a few. That original story seems more and more elusive, as we visit (and revisit) stories which recycle and re-boot other stories. Some are are more subtle, but some are blatant re-imaginings, particularly in cinema.
I don’t mind revisiting story elements and seeing how they remix. I like to think of it as part of the adventure. Have you ever wondered what might have happened if you had made a left turn, instead of right? I still wonder how my life may have been different had I bought a Saturn back in 1994.
My husband and I are watching a television series based on a novel. But the author, the acclaimed Stephen King, has professed the television story will be different. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago, it was not known whether the series would end this summer or continue next summer. Based upon ratings (viewership), the series will continue. So in a sense, the audience played a part in determining the story’s outcome.
I for one am disappointed it won’t end this summer. I am afraid it will become like LOST, too many elements in the pot. There were blogs, theories, fandoms, shippers, etc. At some point, it all becomes vegetable soup.
Cataloging elements has been done before. Fairy Tale elements are so indexed. There exists an entire website collection of tropes- not cliche’s per se, but elements. The website is http://www.tvtropes.com, and it is not limited to just television.
As I ponder story elements, I have to wonder. Are stories systems? Is this why history often repeats? Is all of life but a sea of stories, intersecting and connecting?
What do you think?