Writing is hard. Crafting a plot that delivers a punch is harder. You’ve heard me whine about how tough it is to think, let alone write. Is a tight plot really that important? Can’t I get by with producing something less than stellar?
Well, anything I produce will be less than stellar, that goes without saying! Still, after watching the movie Limitless, I am even more determined to chase after excellence. I will say again: A tightly-crafted plot is worth the work. Why bother to produce a book that will be read once and tossed aside?
Of course, with three sons doing the choosing we had to watch a sci-fi action movie. And I wanted to like Limitless, really I did. It’s about Eddie, an aspiring writer with a book contract, who suffers from writer’s block. (Talk about instant identification!) But his life changes dramatically when an old friend introduces him to NZT, a revolutionary new pharmaceutical that allows him to tap 100 percent of his brain’s potential. Wow! I cheered with him as he cranked out a novel in record time.
But the hyper-intelligent Eddie soon wants more. At this point the script becomes uneven and falters. Oh, there are thrills, chills, and chases aplenty—the film is visually captivating. But Eddie’s need for NZT overshadows everything. Somewhere along the way I quit rooting for him. Maybe it was because he was a fraud? And who wants to root for a drug abuser, anyway? I kept waiting for a point to the storyline, a message, a moral—anything! But the movie just kind of ended.
What? I’d invested almost two hours of my time, and that was it?
We’ve all read books like this, haven’t we? The author loses her way, the plot devices become increasingly improbable, the sweep-away magic is gone. And then comes the fatal moment when we realize that we no longer care. The story limps to a disappointing finish, and the book is tossed into the Goodwill bin. Sometimes with this grumbling comment: “Waste of good money.” Yikes.
It’s Presidents’ Day, and instead of teaching I’m buckled in to write. (Check the THB page under my name tonight if you’re interested). McGillvary is taking his wife to a shipboard ball, and for Elizabeth it’s an eye-opener.
I promise not to underwhelm you! (And Gayle has been pressuring me for ROMANCE.)