From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Friday, January 8, 2010

Movie Review: Star Trek (2009)

This movie has been out for a while, and I've wanted to see it since then, but tonight I actually got to. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here is what I think creative writers can learn from J. J. Abram's success.

Pull no punches: Give your characters everything you've got. As I heard somewhere, chase them up trees. Then throw rocks at them. I don't think I could count on one hand the number of times Kirk was nearly throttled to death, every time by someone new. Because no punches were pulled in this movie, there was never a dull moment. Something important was always going on, and the characters will always in significant, meaningful situations. Make sure every moment in your book is meaningful. If it can get worse, make it worse. If its too easy, it won't be that big a deal to your character, therefore, not that big a deal to your reader. Make your characters work for everything they're worth, and then when they finally emerge victorious in some way, then they and your reader will feel that they've truly had a meaningful experience.

Show the inner marshmallow: On the outside, Spock is completely intellectual, stoic, and apathetic. After all, he's Vulcan. But he's also part human, and we see this in his break down moments, and moments of romantic affection. This is why the emotionally driven human audience can relate to him as a character. Whether your characters are human or not, we need to be able to relate to them in some way. Even some human characters aren't completely "human". Think of Ebeneezer Scrooge. But even then, by the end of the book, we see how utterly human he truly is. And this is why we love him.

Hit the cultural core: Imagine you're a lifelong trekkie, devoted to the show since the beginning. Now, almost half a century later, yet another Star Trek movie comes out. As you sit there watching, the one and only Leonard Nemoy appears on the screen. Not only that, but the ending sequence of the movie is Nemoy himself, reciting the infamous Trek monologue. Those kind of things makes the movie mean that much more. Its a bit of art that has already proven itself, so much so in fact it has become part of our culture. Use it! Pull in bits of art and culture that already mean something to people, and when you do it right, you pull in those people.

So what do you think of this movie? What did you learn from it?

Sarah Allen

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