1. Joanna says:

    Yes! This is my biggest problem with those movies, and with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — everyone is way too emo. There’s no light and joy. Everyone is dour and depressed and exhausted and burnt out.

  2. Audie says:

    –As I thought about these differences, it seems to me that the movie was faithfully following the dictates of writing instructors who tell writers to make life hard for their characters and when it’s as bad as it can get, make it worse.

    I remember being at a writer’s conference and the leader of the seminar I attended pretty much saying that, taking a scenario from the book she’d read and creating ways to add difficulties to the. While I would have agreed that the scene she read was sappy and implausible–would a woman who’d just been told that the stranger who just presented herself to her was her long-lost child really buy into that and go right into the hugging and the crying?–the ideas for making things difficult didn’t seem to be much better.

    There can be realistic conflicts–the woman denies, even forcefully, that she’d ever had a child, for example–and those conflicts would come out of the overall story.

    But I can think of one possible exception. I say possible, because I haven’t watched this movie, but from what I’ve seen about it, “Grave of the Fireflies” is a movie about a bad situation that worsens and worsens and ends in tragedy.


    Maybe the advice I heard a jazz instructor give can also be kinda-sorta applicable to writing, too, “There are no wrong notes, just wrong resolutions”. Arbitrary conflicts don’t work well, because they don’t have good resolutions. The made-up conflicts in the LOTR movies stumble because they can’t be resolved as well as the conflicts in the original stories.

  3. What you mention is one of the main reasons I rarely watch movies any more. As my focus has become the reading and writing of redemptive fiction, I am more concerned than ever about the reality of the characters—the spiritual reality. Our relationships with the Lord are deeply personal. It should be that way with our characters also.

    The results of our lives are largely unknown at the time, and fruit is our character—how much are we like Jesus. Somehow we need to be able to show the rhema of the Spirit—those words He gives us targeted at the specific problem and at the exact place where we are in our growth. That’s what the Sword of the Spirit is: rhema, not Logos. It’s not about quoting scripture at the top of our voices (though that does happen upon occasion). The Lord knows enough to talk with us in the vernacular. He does that to me all the time—cracks me up, He does.

    What we need is spiritual realism. There’s enough drama there for almost any storytelling situation.

    • Every time I see your photo, brother, I am convinced you are my former editor from back in Versailles, Kentucky. I mean the resemblance is absolutely identical. Not sure if this Means anything or counts as a personalized revelation from the Lord to me or not!

What do you think?