I’ve recently found myself in a well of cynicism, where the crap of the everyday can become darkly funny if you skew your view slightly. It is amusing for a while and helps a bit because you can stand back and judge things while not including yourself in the mix.
However, when I read books with a relentlessly cynical hero/heroine, after a while it starts to grate a little. I don’t think anyone, myself included, wants to be that person. Despite the romance of the hero against the world, to always be on the outer frankly sucks. It is an awful thing to feel left out of normal interactions, so why is this position held up to such esteem?
Becuase the perky person makes a lousy story and is frequently ridiculed as idealist and naiive and they’re the first person to be offed by the serial killer (along with the virgin). Arguably though, remaining positive in the face of adversity and not cutting yourself off takes a lot more courage than withdrawing into a protective shell.
Still, cynicism is funnier and easier to laugh along with. While it would be great to reclaim positivity for fiction as a whole, it is currently being held hostage by the self-help section of the market and I don’t think they’re going to let go without a fight.