Countdown to NaNo – Stranger Than Fiction

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileIn preparation for NaNo, I need to get back into a writer mindset. In the past I just read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and I was set. Due to my disability, I have to do a lot more work to do it. I actually did this yesterday, but ran out of time to write it up.

Stranger Than Fiction is one of my five favorite films of all time. It is a great movie that really explores writing, not a practical sense, but a mechanical one. It demonstrates a lot of the processes that we writers deal with, and some of the moral questions as well.

 

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Personally, I never thought I would love a Will Ferrel movie. I hate all of his other movies, though with his work on SNL for Celebrity Jeopardy, I always thought he was a great actor. Hearing about this film, I knew that it would be good because Will Ferrel wasn’t acting like a jackass.

Of the many great things this film does, notable is the act of character development and characterization. Sounds like the same thing, and generally you don’t see character development in a film or book, or believe characterization to be character development.

Character development is when a writer designs their character and modifies them as they write the story. Characterization is the result of that, what we see of the character in the book or movie. They do cross over into each other.

The film also shows that a writer has to be true to their story. Karen Eiffel, having met Harold, realize that the character was not who she thought he was. This often happens to me, that my characters surprise me and I think of them one way and as I write them, they become something else. For Karen, she couldn’t kill a character who would knowingly die because it was the right thing to do. She could have had a masterpiece, or she could have maintained her humanity. It’s not so much about killing the man, though she did grapple with that, it was writing the right story.

I also like that Karen didn’t know how to end her story and she spent a great deal of time trying to figure it out. Often, when a movie shows a novelist with writer’s block, we see them sitting in front of their typewriter/laptop trying to come up with ideas. Karen went out and watch the world to generate ideas, and even pictured how things would look if they went a certain way. More importantly, the idea came to her by accident. It provided the answer she was looking for to get the best ending.

As I mentioned, I really love this movie. It is a fantastic movie. Something I noticed this time watching the film that I don’t think I noticed before, but that each time a character gets a good idea, you hear a ding, then it cuts to them leaving an elevator. Check it out to get inspired to write. There is more this film gives than I have covered.

Help Keep This Site Running

This site is a great achievement for me, but due to being unable to work, I may not be able to keep this site running. With your help, I might be able to.

I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-madness-worldbuilding-continue

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