I don’t know if this is typical for pansters, but I personally have a hard time with editing. I just couldn’t see how to do it. After all, the words are there, written out in the way that seemed most appropriate at the time. How do I change them for the better?
The answer to that has been my quest for the past two years. And I have learned much. It even appears that some of it is has made an impression. Maybe even usefully so.
A couple of the things that are currently stuck in my head to watch for:
- Does the characters’ actions flow naturally from their natures?
- What’s the conflict in this scene? This question has some subsets about where the conflict is, is it external or internal, is this the moment when the protagonist has their call to action? Or the moment from which they can’t turn back? Things like that.
- Logical fallacies or other plot failures.
These are great things for me to watch for, things I need to work on in my own novel.
But now they’re in my head. I’ve been infected!
There I am, cheerfully enjoying the, let’s face it, relative mindless entertainment of a movie, and what does my brain do?
Oh, look, there’s the protagonist’s save the cat moment. Ah, and now the training montage. And it’s about time for, oh yeah, the stakes just got raised.
I’ve turned into a dissector of movies, books as well, but for some reason it strikes me more with the movies. Maybe that’s because it’s that one step removed from the novel-writing process (where obviously novels, aren’t).
My friends are sitting there enjoying (or not, but that’s the movie’s problem, not mine) the flick, and I’m sitting there debating the strengths and weaknesses of its plot and characters. Was that realistic? Did the writer force that situation or did it flow so naturally that you believe that it couldn’t have gone anywhere else? Could they have made that conflict bigger? The stakes higher?
So much for watching the movie and just enjoying it.
I feel like I have passed some barrier, that I have entered a new stage of my editing skills.
But will the joy in movies return? Or will I always have the little voice in my head deciding the quality of the writing? It’s very distracting. And it’s not like I need another voice in my head. 😀
For now I’ll take the change in my editing perspective. Maybe I’ll just need to start watching a better class of movies.
Nah, I just love watching things blowing up too much to ever give the action flicks up completely. Guess I’ll just have to enjoy picking them apart, too.