Sunday, June 23, 2013

Writing Tip From David S. Goyer

I came across an insightful interview with David S. Goyer on writing Man of Steel. This excerpt is what caught my eye:

Goyer: Yeah, and it was a really difficult script for me to write. I remember when I sat down to actually start writing page one. I'd written maybe twenty pages of notes and outlines and things like that, but I just got severe writer's anxiety. I was like, "Oh, my god, I can't take the pressure!" The first scene I wrote was the scene in which Jor-El and Lara give up baby Kal. And I said, "Alright, I'm going to write it initially as if they're not on Krypton. I'm going to write it generically as two parents that have to give away their son. The kid could be saved from the concentration camps... whatever." I just wrote it like that. And from the emotion of "What would it be like to give birth to your son, and then half an hour later have to put him in a pod and hope that he won't get killed?" I wrote that scene, and it felt emotionally right to me. And from that point onward, anytime I was writing something that was heavy science-fiction or involved crazy superpowers, I would write the scene as if Krypton didn't exist first, and then I would go back in and add the science-fiction stuff. That was the way that I found that I could make it make sense and relatable, I guess. 

I guess it really does comes down to writing what you know. Stripping away the fantastical and focusing on the heart of the story. 

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Rains of Castamere

Despite the fact that I’ve been a loyal viewer for the past three seasons, this is actually my first Game of Thrones post. It only took one of the most shocking scenes in television history to get me off my butt and start blogging. The season finale is tomorrow but I’m still chewing over the now infamous Red Wedding. George R.R. Martin is a cruel, cruel man. He creates these likable characters, gets us to root for them, and just when it seems like they’ll triumph--BOOM! They’re dead. He especially seems to relish punishing the Starks for their bad decisions.

Here’s a good interview with Martin in Entertainment Weekly explaining why he wrote Red Wedding. He’s all about suspense and defying expectations. If anyone can die at any moment, we can’t take the outcome of any scene for granted. Sounds like good advice. Check out this snippet from a recent Conan appearance:

The beauty of television is how we can see characters grow and change over the course of many episodes/seasons, as opposed to a two hour film. Watching that all change creates emotional attachments. Twitter went berserk when those deaths occurred. Viewers can be so indifferent because some stories are so predictable, it’s fun to see them lose their frickin’ minds when the writer pulls a fast one on ‘em.

Game of Thrones has taught me a few things: no good deed goes unpunished, a just cause doesn’t guarantee success, and don’t mess with the Lannisters (or cross Walder Frey). It’s impossible to predict how this series will end, and I imagine that’s exactly the way Mr. Martin likes it.


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