Thursday, June 6, 2013

" I can't remember to forget you."

I seem to have been confused about days - yesterday was not Thursday, today is.  Today I will not post about Magnum, that's for tomorrow.  But I will honor my error with a title qoute from a movie that is all about memory.

I submitted my entry for the Quest Initiative.  Heady stuff.  Did that when I still thought today was Friday.  Probably a good thing, gave me one less day to worry about it.  I settled on my two best, most commercially viable ideas.  I know, that sounds oxymoronic.  How can a commercially viable film be based on a good idea?  Well, if you read the scripts behind the movies, you will find - often - a depth that is sometimes missing in the film itself.  You are not distracted by everything else.  It isn't that there is anything wrong with the movie - just that the experience is different - sort of the difference between watching a band perform in an arena or at a private club, the script experience is more intimate.

My eldest son had his wisdom teeth removed today. I expect we now have our own YouTube quality video of the "coming out of anesthesia" stage that has become so popular.

I was reading a discussion about writing escape sequences recently and it struck me that in all of the discussion of the technical skill, or the crafting of the path out versus dues ex machina, there was no mention of the importance of the STORY surrounding the escape.  That seems to be the most important element to me.  I could write twenty stories about escaping from handcuffs and while the escape technique would be the same in each, I don't believe you'd realize it unless you were specifically looking.

I think that's because as the author, you're telling a tale, first and foremost, and the fact that the protagonist escapes is what's important in the scene.  A fancy, new-fangled way to escape is a nice bit of clever work, but it's not going to carry the story.  However, if you have a really good story, a "classic, done a hundred times can't believe we're seeing it again" escape works perfectly well.  Why?  Because it isn't the same escape they've seen before, this time it's your characters in your story.

In Star Wars, Leia escapes a locked room (cell) because somebody else opens it for her.  Just a few short minutes later, Leia escapes another locked room (trash compactor) because... somebody else opens it for her.  The story around the method changed so nobody notices or cares that the same device was used.  We don't care about it, only that she gets out.  Unless you somehow draw attention to the method, or fail to draw attention away from the method, the how is lost in the why.  Our emotion is invested in the character, not the device.

You can try to argue, but there's no escaping my logic.  Escaping.  You're not laughing.

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