Day 22: January 22, 2017

Sunday, no writing day. Had a good day with the family. I watched the movie, The Girl on the Train, which was terrible. I didn’t read the book, so don’t know if the source was bad or if they botched the screenplay. I suspect the latter.

It was actually instructive on how not to tell a story. There were fractured flashbacks, a ton of exposition, and general confusion about what was going on. I kept expecting some dramatic twist at the end. I didn’t get it; instead, there was a fairly obvious gotcha. The story also had some weird, disturbing misogynistic undertones.

Anyway, it reminded how much stronger it is to tell a story straight, without gimmicks. I know suspense/thriller has somewhat different requirements, but even then strong characters and true emotional entanglement deliver will be the most engaging. Girl on the Train, the movie anyway, uses some lazy red herrings and frankly dishonest narrative before revealing true characterization late in the game.

Learn something every day about your writing. Try at least. Pay attention to how others approach storytelling. It’s okay to criticize because then we hold ourselves to a higher standard in our writing. Don’t fall back on “well, they’re professionals and if they can do it”. No. Good enough is not good enough.

I’ll update tomorrow on writing and word counts. Getting close to finishing the first draft of KINGDOM.


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