I’d like to talk about what’s been going on with my latest editing forays and then I want to talk about the fricking childish screenwriting of “Zero” Dark Thirty*
First the good stuff, though!
I completed my revisions for my Fairwood Writer’s Workshop submission last week, a little ahead of schedule, in fact. It’s probably still not perfect, I’m sure if/when I get back to it again in a few months, I’ll find stuff that makes me wince and stuff I want to tweak or add in. (indeed, I already have something in mind for the next draft. Sigh) But on the whole, I’m very happy with it. It’s always nice when you read your own stuff and don’t hate it.
My ‘secret weapon’ for the revision? Reading it aloud. Yep, that’s pretty much it, Well there was initial spellcheck work and some stabbing attempts at cutting out the sex scene (I left it in, for better or worse) but the most effective use of my time was just reading it aloud and making corrections as I went. There is a place for thinking about the scenes, the intention and breadcrumb seeding but I caught a lot more errors reading aloud. It helped me rephrase dialog, caught missing words and helped me heighten the emotion in each thing.
But I do have to say that the Wordslinger’s critiques helped me a LOT, in pointing out characterization issues and my over-long love affair with the word ‘was’ and ‘looked’. Damn it.
So, editing. I still hate it but reading your work aloud really is the best way, for me at least, to catch errors and hone my prose.
Now on to the hate. Abbreviated.
Now I didn’t intend to hate “Zero Dark Thirty”. I paid full price for it, in theaters and I went into it with the expectations that I’d see a movie of quality, even if there was controversial portions. What I didn’t expect, with an Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter (Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal) was a Mary Sue story.
I was going to spend several pages and hours outlining just how many ways we’re told how the main character is: smart, pretty-but-not-having-sex-with-anyone-so-she-can-be-the-virginal-good-girl, determined, committed, paying a TERRIBLE emotional price for being involved with prisoner interrogation, confident, right about Bin Laden when everyone else is wrong and unable to see her brilliance, confident when everyone else in the intelligence community is cautious….sigh. I really, really could go on.
She’s terrible. Not to slam Jessica Chastain, she didn’t write this tripe, but she had to play it. She’s basically Bella from Twilight with a bigger ego and even less of a sex life.
I won’t even go into how poorly the actors portraying SEAL team six carry out the raid. Seriously, comparing these guys to the real thing in “Act of Valor”…sigh. Slow and silly.
I’ll stop there. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Unless you don’t care about bad writing and bad characters. And if that’s the case, why not just watch “Bad Boys” again?
*Can we start with the title? No one in the military calls it ‘zero’ dark thirty. It’s ‘Oh’ dark thirty. Idiots.