(Week 11: March 10-16)
This week I started writing some new material for the novella. Had a brief panic when I realised that the changes I mad to the scene I was working on last week would mean I had to rewrite a bunch of stuff earlier in the novella … then realised I wouldn’t after all, and all was good in the world.
For the new scenes I’m trying out a minor cheat. The previous chapter ends on a cliffhanger; the subsequent chapter starts sometime after the cliffhanger has been resolved (in other words, we get the resolution as a flashback). I’ve done this because there are a number of ways to get from A-Z, and covering every letter in order can eventually get tiresome for the reader.
It’s a bit of a gamble, and I may well end up having to go back and rewrite it, but it’s a trick I’ve seen working on TV shows before. Either way, if you don’t try these techniques out, you’ll never know.
It’s been a busy movie watching week this week, so strap in and let’s get going.
First off, I took the Elderbeast to see Captain Marvel this week. It was a fair no-brainer than we’d see it, but given the film’s reception from a certain subsection of weeping, spineless men, I thought it important that I take my son to see a movie that placed a female hero front and centre. There’s never a bad time for some positive reinforcement.
And the film was pretty damn good as well. While the first act was a little clunky in parts (but never less than enjoyable) there were some pretty clever narrative tricks at play throughout. I won’t spoil anything, but one thing I liked was how the film managed to be tell an origin story without being an origin story. (As I mentioned above, you don’t necessarily need to go from A-Z in order for people to be able to follow).
For Friday Horror we watched Bone Tomahawk. This was excellent! For the most part this was a superb western (seriously, the script is genius) which escalates dramatically in the final act into some of the most full-on gore and violence that I’ve ever seen. More western than horror, but filled with the callsigns of the horror genre. The most remarkable thing, for me, is how the horrific scenes towards the end don’t clash with the rest of the movie. This isn’t mere torture porn; rather, this is the violent culture clash that the rest of the movie has led us to expect, and which the main characters fatally underestimate.
On Saturday I finally watched Avatar. Yes, I had somehow managed to not watch it up until this week. While I hadn’t actively avoided it, I hadn’t been much inspired to watch it following the reviews. The film more or less lived up to my expectations: gorgeous visuals, and a strong, classic, if highly derivative, narrative. My assumption is that Cameron’s focus was on the technology needed for the film, along with the best way to showcase that visually, and it therefore made sense to ‘borrow’ a well established plot so he wouldn’t get mired in extensive plot issues and rewrites.
The revelation for me was how engaging Sam Worthington was. I was kind of expecting him to steal all the life from the movie, but he carried things along pretty well (with a lot of help from Zoe Saldana). I also loved Sigourney Weaver’s character; it’s great to see her playing up the more cynical aspects that her previous characters have hinted at, but still provide a strong moral backbone to the movie.
I’m honestly intrigued, now, to see where the *four* upcoming sequels go. I’m hoping that Cameron has found a story worth telling over four films, and that the now well-established tech will take a bit of a backseat. We’ll see.
In audiobook world I’ve decided to take a short break from Dracula. No comment on the quality: it’s a great story and an excellent adaptation; I just feel I’ve spent too long in its company. I really need to start choosing shorter audiobooks …
While I’m in between novels, I’ve picked up the Second Corona Book Of Horror Stories. This has only happened because I’m considering submitting a story to the Third Corona Book Of Horror and figured that some market research would be prudent. So far I’ve enjoyed all the stories I’ve read, although they have a curiously common tendency to either stop or drift off, rather than end properly.
I will provide a summary of highlights when I finish consuming this particular volume …