For those of you who don't know, my favourite literary genre is science fiction. "Literary genre?" some might ask. Despite rather popular opinion, science fiction is not a subgenre, it is a supergenre. Many writers deal with more complex issues than alien invasions and such popular themes.
Lately, my laptop has been broken, so I took out my two favourite books and started re-reading them. They were written by the Strugatski brothers during the period of the Russian communism. The stories are full of satirical portrayals of the situation back then and philosophical issues.
In one very interesting and amusing episode, the main character travels into the future described by literature. However, everything in that place was as real and credible as how well the author had described them. Most characters were transparent, some were doing very ridiculous things. Some were wearing only the few articles of clothing the narrator had mentioned. The entire atmosphere was very comical and unrealistic.
Imagine that for a while. Now imagine all the cardboard characters you have noticed in some less well-written books and stories. Writers, imagine your stories in such a world. I also wonder how see-through my own characters are.
It makes you think though. How about us real people? Would we be solid and believable or transparent ghosts?