Friday, November 19, 2010

Some thoughts...

First off, an apology for the lack of creativity in the title. No excuse.

So the novel has been sitting on my hard drive for almost two days without any love from me, its beloved author.  Generally my only problem in writing comes from not knowing what to write next, but these days I know what to write, I know how to write it, I just don't want to.  Someone smack me upside the head, please.

As a slight excuse to the writing gods, I offer up the fact that I have worked 17 of the last 24 hours with three hours of sleep in there somewhere.  It's been pretty hectic.

On a different creative front, however, I have finished reading two books on screenwriting, and am slowly coming up with a plot to let me try my hand at screenwriting.  I think it will be a challenge for me in the sense that I write from a very emotional place, and screenwriting is a much more visual art form.  I am looking forward to how this new medium will challenge me and improve or change my novel-writing skills.  One of the books I have is entitled How Not to Write a Screenplay and the author points out some obvious mistakes that apparently novice screenwriters make.  Several of them are eye-opening to me regarding writing in general, particularly those dealing with overwriting and not leaving things to the readers imagination.  In a screenplay, obviously, this is derived from the fact that the director and actors will be interpreting the descriptions in their own way, but I think it has some correlations in standard prose writing as well.  It has been a fascinating and eye-opening journey through that book.

Often times I have wondered or pondered the difference between a thriller and a mystery.  Obviously some works fall distinctly on one side or the other of this line but often I've noticed some middle ground that seems a bit ambiguous.  The author of How Not to Write a Screenplay (forgive me, I'm too lazy right now to get up and grab the book to find out  his name) defines the difference as follows.  He says that in a thriller, the audience (or reader) knows what the hero or heroine is trying to find out.  Thus, they know who the bad guy is, where the bomb is, or who has the child before the protagonist finds out for him or herself.  In a mystery, the main character solves the problem or mystery before the reader does, and then reveals it to the reader or audience in some way.  I don't know how much this difference is accepted in literary circles, but it made a lot of sense to me and drew an interesting line between the way an audience or reader connects with the main character.  Given this definition, the audience would be protective or worried for the main character in a thriller, but in a mystery, they would identify with him or her more along the journey, and come out with more respect perhaps.  Just an interesting thought for me.

Other than that, I am discovering reading over this entry that I am highly contemplative on no sleep and too much caffeine.  And so, adieu. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

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