We’ve all seen it in books or in films – you get one main character who shines brightly while all those around him or her are two dimensional and not important – Trouble is, that can carry over into the plot, as well, so you get one bright storyline lacking definition or depth.
Some of that is done for speed, I’m sure of it. Generally, as a reader, I like to feel that the fictional world I am exploring is populated with realistic people. Sometimes, though, a short single-threaded story is fine – we all have different moods and want different entertainment at different times. Sometimes a light book and a short uncomplicated story is exactly right.
Then you get a fat book and the only reason it’s fat is because EVERYBODY tells their whole dang life story – all of them right from childhood. Some people will like that, too – hey, it takes all sorts, but some of the stuff that comes along seems to have nothing to do with the plot.
Okay, I confess, I’m a person who, as a kid watching Coronation Street with my mom, would wish that a spaceship would land in the middle of it. There didn’t seem to be any point to Coronation Street, yet it ran for years and was hugely popular – so don’t go by my standards.