"Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world; it is a hammer with which to shape it"

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Houston We Have A Problem! The Eagle Has Landed On The Red Planet!


And lo! It came to pass that I got the old bounce-back for the 'ubiquitous competition'. So, I just re-sent (not resent- I don't hold grudges against it) my submission to the Red Planet People. (Martian Men! Not very covert declaring yourself as such but, hey, now we know there's Life On Mars.)

My submission is a 'supernatural thriller'. When I'm feeling smug I think it's the best thing since the invention of the tea bag, nay, the opposable thumb. Ah, the opposable thumb, the only thing that keeps us safe from our Feline Overlords. When I'm feeling less smug I spot the major problem: the words. There's too many of them. ('Very good, my dear Mozart, but far too many notes.')

Actually, there are 3 possible problems, none of which work in its favour:
  1. Overwritten: too many words. Conjure up atmosphere sure but do I really require quite so many words to do it?
  2. Passive Protagonist: if it was up to me (and it is- see not only smug but also arrogant) this wouldn't be a problem. Moreover, the protag. isn't actually passive... they're actively seeking to be passive... and they're not very good at it! (Conflict too!)
  3. No Clear Antagonist: I shouldn't even have to explain why I'm annoyed at myself for thinking how bad this is: spot the antagonists in The Sixth Sense, Jacob's Ladder or The Station Agent and a herd of others.

I'm not going to try and sort these out for the time being. I have other things I want to be doing right now. To be precise, I want to write a 'conspiracy thriller'... with ordinary working class people in it. That in itself is surely controversial and political. Everything of this ilk that I see is full of people I find hard to identify with: love Enemy Of The State, Three Days Of The Condor, The Parallax View, The Pelican Brief, The China Syndrome et al. but I do find it hard sometimes to sympathize with the Lawyers, CIA Agents, etc. who populate these films and they all seem to come from rather rich backgrounds. So, I was thinking of doing something about someone from a more small-scale background: something about an underdog.

One of us.

Not one of them.

"This one's for the freaks, you're so beautiful." -Underdogs, MSP

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