Saturday, April 5, 2008

All life's answers are in the movies...

I'm not in quite as much panic as I was the other day. The muse flits in and out, and I've had some productive days this week. And today, being rainy, is an easy day to write.

So on to other topics...

One of the cool things I love about seeing movies is that not only are they entertaining (I'm a huge movie buff) but they are reminders as to what works and what doesn't in terms of writing. Case in point--I saw "Nim's Island" yesterday. Great actors, great storyline, and I really liked some of Jodie Foster's interactions with her lead character, who only exists in her mind. Many of the scenes were quite true to life. She had sketches and collages of places and people near her computer. Many writers do this, and even use famous actor/actress photos as they "picture" them for the book. (Let's I look near my keyboard I have photos of Ed Begley Jr., James McAvoy, Gerard Butler and Linda Fiorentino.)

And in our minds, these characters ARE alive. We go through a mild sadness when the book is done because it means we say goodbye to the people we've kept alive for 400 pages.

In those ways, "Nim's Island" was quite good. However, this movie did what (unfortunately) so many are prone to do...they rushed the ending and left loose ends hanging. It was as if they finished 80% of the project, ran out of time and decided to wrap up the ending in a pretty red bow. I don't mind some questioning at a movie's conclusion, particularly if it encourages discussion and thinking. But leaving holes in the manuscript to the point it looks like Swiss Cheese simply....annoys me. I walked out feeling unsettled...and that's never good. Yet until the 80% mark, this really had potential.

Lesson learned. Don't rush the ending!

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