Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tips From the Master -- Tolkien

I just discovered this wonderful article, examining techniques of Tolkien, and how ALL writers can learn from them.

Here's the link.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

"The Big Reveal"....Not Revealed

I was watching Young & the Restless today (don't laugh -- it's a habit from college days I can't break  :-).

Well, for months, a big secret has been kept, regarding one of the characters.  The audience has been aware of the secret, but many of the characters had not been.  This tension, regarding the secret, has been building and building.  And finally, when The Big Reveal came today?  We (the audience) didn't even get to SEE it.  That's right.  We weren't shown that scene at all.  It was entirely skipped over.  Instead, all we saw was the aftermath of the revelation.  Characters discussing the secret with each other after the fact.

The audience was completely deprived of that moment when the two main characters found out the secret.  We didn't get to witness their expressions, their shock, their dialogue, none of it.

How frustrating!  How anticlimactic!  I do think the writers had a purpose -- to be creative, to think outside the box, to move away from the predictable.  But in doing so, they deprived the audience of the pay-off.  Of MONTHS waiting to see.....this scene.  And we didn't get to see it.

As writers, I think it's great to be creative, to handle things in a new way.  But sometimes, the basics are necessary.  Sometimes, the expected is exactly what the audience wants.  What they've been waiting and waiting for.  And if it doesn't meet their expectations (or worse, it's not shown to them at all!), they will be disappointed.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Jesus Painter

I rarely post about religious matters on this blog, mostly because this is a writing blog, and I try to focus on the writing.  But, this is also a blog dedicated to all forms of artistry -- writing, music, painting.  And so, I had to share this today.

My church holds this huge Christmas extravaganza each year, and it's always amazing.  Well, this year, they opted for something a little....different.  At the end of the concert, the house lights went down, and a single spotlight shone on a HUGE white canvas.  A guy showed up -- disheveled, wearing a paint-stained shirt -- and started to paint.  As he did, the choir sang.  And for the next 4 minutes, we watched him complete his masterpiece.  I'll never forget it as long as I live.

We all stood to our feet when he had finished.  Yes, because his incredible talents deserved applause.  But also because, in those 4 minutes, he'd reminded us of exactly why we were there to worship, to sing, to celebrate.  It was Jesus.

I found his video online.