29 September 2014

What I was Thinking During The Maze Runner

My hubby and I went and saw The Maze Runner this past weekend.

I've read the book, he hasn't. We both enjoyed to movie but didn't gush over it. I felt pretty much the same way about the book. A few years ago I read the second book in the series, and by the end of it I was frustrated enough to not read the final installment of the trilogy, or the prequel.

Now I love Ender's Game. This story line is very similar-teenagers in an isolated place where the adults are testing them in ways that they (the kids) don't know about or understand. Actually there are dozens if not hundreds of plots that echo this same trope. Sometimes I enjoy them and sometimes I don't.

About fifteen minutes into The Maze Runner, I had a thought. One of those resounding things that surfaces and then pops, filling your mind with a certainty that you shouldn't question. It went like this:

"I will never write a story like this, where the characters in it have NO IDEA what's going on."

For the next few minutes I thought about this. Why? Mystery in a story is good, right? Characters having to discovering things is conflict as well as exciting, right? And not knowing what's going on builds tension, yes?

True. To all of the above.

So why, in my mind, had I just sworn off writing a tale similar to this?

I mulled over it through the movie, gritting my teeth each time a new mystery unfolded, only to be added on to the already extensive warehouse sized puzzle that was already in play. The characters never got answers, and if they somehow did, it was either a blatant lie or an outlet for a dozen more questions.

There are plenty of people who love this kind of a story. I get frustrated by it.

What about you? How do you react to a story that continues to ask question and rarely gives answers? When the hole for the characters gets deeper and deeper and their attempts at being proactive often make things worse because they have no idea what they're doing?

Next time I'm going to compare L.O.S.T with The Walking Dead. Two very different stories, both with massive followings.

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