Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 26 - Character Discussions

Today was Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You). Also, Kent State Day (for those of you younger than I am, you may want to look that up if you don't know what I'm talking about).  By the time you read this, though, the calendar will have moved on to Cinco De Mayo. (Which is not actually "Taco Day," so while you're looking up Kent State, you might also look up Cinco De Mayo.  History -- it's a magical place.)

The Fourth was with me today, as I had a nice brunch and a good writing session, etc.

Today's Progress: 1233 words on In Flight

And interesting scene I didn't expect: Chef and Reef go over the facts of the case.  Here's the thing, though: they are going over information the audience already knows.  Which sounds like a bad thing, but it really is a staple of mystery, suspense and adventure, when you have a detective tracking down someone on the run.  Sometimes it's investigation scenes.  Tommy Lee Jones and his team going over evidence on the trail of Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. Or Harvey Keitel interrogating Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.  Or it could be like a Greek chorus, highlighting and commenting on what is happening, such as in Burn After Reading, where we have these dry funny scenes where a CIA underling reports to his boss what is going on with the other characters.

Those kinds of scenes have overlapping purposes. They're informational -- not only do they give the audience a second shot at information they might have missed, but they get a different perspective on it.  They're also an opportunity for more character development, as we see the motivations of the detecting characters as well as things they notice or have researched about the main character's motives and nature.  Finally, it can create a sense of tension and suspense as the pursuers either get closer or get sent off the trail.  (And if the pursuer is benign, it can even be a sense of comfort and hope for the audience.)

I might well do a little more tonight, but I'm trying to shift my sleep schedule back closer to normal.  (I normally sleep 2-10 am, but I've been pushing it later and later lately.)  Blogging tends to keep me up later than I want, so I'm doing this earlier than I meant to.

Eating, Watching, Reading:

Had dim sum for brunch, but since there were no interesting movies opened this weekend, I went and got some pop and wrote all afternoon.  But then I crashed and took a nap.

Tonight, I watched Union Station (Paramount, 1950) with William Holden and Barry Sullivan and William Bettger as the badguy.  It had a very clichéed script about a kidnapping and the police strategies to catch the bad guys, but the performances pulled it out of b-movie territory.  William Holden can read a dry, sardonic line like nobody else.  It also made great use of the Chicago settings.  I watched it on Amazon Instant Video, but it's also available on DVD I believe.

As for reading, I've moved over to listening to the audiobook for The Family Vault.  Amazon/Audible had a deal for those who have purchased the ebook to get the Whispersync audio for cheap.  I don't actually use the Wispersync aspect.  I didn't like the narrator at first, but she's growing on me, and now I'm enjoying her interpretation.  I'll go back to Murder Must Advertise for my reading time.

See you in the funny papers.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love going over the facts of the case. I think that half the time, they keep *me* straight on what's happening, too!

Familiar with the Kent State shootings, but didn't realize they were on May 4...hmm. Wouldn't school have been nearly out there? Think today is the last day of school for most NC colleges.

The Daring Novelist said...

In those days more colleges were on the term/quarter system. Started later in the fall, ended later in the spring.