So a good story has one of two things. There is either some extraordinarie character and his actions drive the plot, or there is some extraordinarie set of circumstances and this makes the plot thrive.
And it is true… for the most part. There are novels I know that don’t fit the theorie and they work sort of like this. You have a character who clearly isn’t ordinarie, yet doesn’t quite fit in the extraordinary categorie. And you have a set of cirsumstances that isn’t quite extraordinarie, but certainlie doesn’t meet the criteria for ordinarie.
And these stories… well… they blow the mind.
Say there was a boy. He has a job, and pays his bills, for the most part. He has friends and a girlfriend. He works hard and then comes home, feeds his pets and watches TV or plays video games. Normal right? But he’s not. And the point of the good storie is to make you see that without telling you. You mention the mundanities, but you don’t harp, and you point out the genius, but your not bragging. And suddenlie, Joe is a hero. He’s the kind of guy you go to the bar with, he stands his round, but he’s not part of the crowd.
And then you take Joe and you put him somewhere else. Somewhere he doesn’t belong. You take him out of his charminglie suburban citie and you put him, o I dunno… in space, or a war, or even just a different state. And the storie is Joe and he’s addapting. He’s fitting his specialities into a new niche. And this makes a storie, and people will want to read it. They’ll care about Joe. They’ll watch when he screws up with nail biting horror and applaud his sucesses louder than they ever will his own.
THe problem, the real issue is that the storie of Joe isn’t going to get told. People will never find out how he conquers space or fares in the war, they’ll never find out who cried over his death bed or who’s lives he touched. And that’s because, people, you’re just not paying attention.