Monday, May 26, 2014

Off for Memorial Day

I'm taking the day of for the holiday. Enjoy your day and remember to take time to honor our fallen and currently serving heroes. Back next week!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Writing Tips From 24

The television series 24 has returned for one season, and once again I have a reason to look forward to Mondays, since it airs at 9 p.m. that night.

If you haven't already guessed, I'm a huge fan of 24!  During its original eight seasons, I picked up quite a few tips on compelling story telling, and the limited one season run doesn't disappoint!

The cliffhanger hooks are always exciting, leaving unanswered questions, the foreshadowing of an attack, or a love dilemma.  If you've ever had trouble formulating a hook to close a chapter, 24 just might inspire you!

As writers, in any story we look for goal, motivation and conflict.  In 24, the main GMC is as follows:

Goal: To keep the country safe from terrorism

Motivation: The safety of the American people 

Conflict: The terrorists want to terrorize, the federal agents want to stop them

But look for the GMC in the characters, as well:  
  • Who has to work with whom, and why is this a problem? 
  • Who has something to prove and why?  
  • Who has lost something significant and how does this affect his/her job performance?  
  • What is the conflict within the terrorist organization that will keep it from performing effectively?  
  • What conflict keeps the government in pursuit of the wrong lead? 
  • How detrimental will a past love be to a high ranking government official?
You can't have a good story without conflict, and 24 delivers! Are you a fan of 24? Also, do you have a favorite television show that's inspired your writing technique?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!     

Monday, May 12, 2014

Twist Endings: Can You Figure Them Out?

I'm hopeless when it comes to figuring out the twist ending of a movie, but my husband can tell me what it is less than half way through. "He's in on the scheme." "He faked his death." "She has a split personality." Sometimes he's wrong, but most of the time he's on the right track or nailed it completely.

I suppose our brains work differently.  I enjoy seeing the story unfold. I love being surprised, shocked and scared. I'm too busy being entertained to think about unraveling the plot. Also, I'm vulnerable and tend to take things at face value.

In Derailed, Jennifer Anniston pays for Clive Owens's train fare near the beginning of the movie. My husband started suspecting something right then. Not me! If I'd had an extra $9.00 and someone (like a stranger who didn't look suspicious) had forgotten his wallet, I would've been a good Samaritan and helped him out, too!

When the twist is finally disclosed, I'll rethink my way through the movie to make sure the screenplay was consistent and the conclusion realistic. And sometimes, once armed with the knowledge of the ending, I'll watch the DVD all over again.  Then I'll see information I missed the first time around, and understand little things I paid no attention to before.  Shutter IslandThe Sixth Sense and The Others all have to be watched more than once.

Despite my inability to figure out the twist, these types of movies are my favorites! Nothing like the element of surprise.

If you love a good twist ending, be sure to rent these if you haven't already seen them:  The PrestigeShutter IslandDerailedThe Secret WindowThe IllusionistThe Sixth Sense and The Others.

Can you figure out the twist before a movie ends? What are some of your favorites (books or movies) that have twist endings?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

This is another re-posting from November of 2010. Hope it was fun the second time around!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2: Really Amazing!

My youngest son celebrated his 13th birthday over the weekend, and one of the things he wanted to do was see The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opened May 2, and it really was absolutely amazing!

The movie is well acted and the special effects are incredible! If you love Marvel super-hero/action adventure, this is a must see!

I don't want to give away any of the plot, but I will say this, I did feel sorry for the villain, so did my oldest son. All Max wanted was a friend and to be needed. After his "unfortunate mishap", he did make some wrong choices, and well, then became a bad guy. But we still felt sorry for him...

That's all I'll say about the story line, but as for the special effects, I found this interesting article about what it took to make Jamie Foxx into Electro.

Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Did you feel sorry for Electro, or are my son and I the only ones who do?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!