I know. This post’s title sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? Don’t get too excited….
Readers interpret the meaning of stories beginning with the opening line of “once upon a time.” In some cases, with stories that are intentionally transparent and simple so all audience members will understand them with limited focus, this is easy. For instance, a good comedy won’t make you think too hard about its intended meaning.
However, a good drama, suspense, thriller, and other complex story genres will require a significant amount of interpretation know-how. It get’s even more difficult when a story mingles multiple genres into one.
Most people probably think they are good at understanding story’s intended meanings. Most people are wrong (do you want to be like “most people?”). This is one reason why people can read a novel and come away with very different interpretations of the story’s intent. Some take it that Edward Cullen is arrogant and lazy. Other’s think that from reading Twilight that Edward is a perfect ideal in body and soul that is the perfect man (where people get this idea is beyond me).
If readers and movie watchers want to sound intelligent when they review fiction, they need to know the right way to go about interpreting fiction. It would be nice if fiction would just come right out and tell you what it means, but it doesn’t. So, over the next few posts, I am gonna cover tips to understanding/interpreting fiction better.