Porous, holey, and welcoming to a most annoying extreme.
Any prose of um, let’s say, 5K+ words in “let me tell you a story” form is sucked up into my brain and processed for style and plot points.
The characters are often kicked out undigested. (I have enough of them already running around my head).
The ending, be it happy or cry-me-a-river, is equally dismissed as inconsequential. (When you negate the characters from the plot who really cares if they live happily ever after or just rot?)
What is not tossed, however, are the mechanics of the piece. All the cogs, wheels, and what-nots churning away to make the story move are what my imagination is hungry for.
For example, let’s turn to our classic Jack-and-Jill-up-the-hill case. My imagination would leave the story munching on how the author constructed the drama. How much emphasis was put on the up-the-hilling? The dynamics of sentence structure (i.e. the long or short of it) would be particularly tasty as well. How much credit is given to the readers? Are they treated like dolts or scholars?
Take or leave this discourse as you like. I don’t understand either.