Monday, 13 August 2007

Trick photography

Another weekend, another (semi-)productive writing session. 2,000 words at a sitting seems to be about my average at the moment. I've just had my main character torture someone, and I have to say, I think I might need to read it back in the context of the story to make sure I haven't lost my audience! It might be different if the main character was a bloke, or an anti-hero, but it's a woman that ideally the reader should be empathising with, so she can't suddenly go all unsympathetic. We'll see - at least I didn't have her puncture someone's eyeball or anything too Dario Argento.

The lovely boyfriend and I watched Stranger Than Fiction on DVD. I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen it, it's like a Charlie Kaufman film but only 80% as weird. Will Ferrell is a tax auditor who starts to hear a woman's voice in his head, narrating his life story. He plays it dead straight, but because it's Will Ferrell it's very funny anyway. It got me thinking though: could you write a book about the process of making a film? And the answer's got to be no, at least in the same way that this film is about the process of writing a book. Sometimes I think the movie makers are jammy - they've got the advantage of being able to use music to scare you or make you sad, or to use certain shots (like Michael Myers sitting up, or Carrie's hand thrusting out of the grave) to make you jump. I suppose as a book writer though, you have the very advantageous advantage of not needing a mega budget to blow up fifty Ferraris in a bizarre mineshaft explosion.

My favourite scene in Adaptation, which is a film written by Charlie Kaufman about a character called Charlie Kaufman who's hired to adapt a New Yorker magazine article about an orchid thief, is when his twin brother Donald tells him about the plot of his new script. There's a cop, a kidnap victim, and a serial killer. The twist is, all three are the same person, who has multiple personality disorder. Charlie points out the obvious problem with this scenario:

The other thing is, there's no way to write this. Did you consider that? I mean, how exactly would you show a character holding himself hostage?

Trick photography?


No comments: