Category Archives: Film & Television

POLL: Is Your Protagonist Keeping a Secret?

Screenwriting was my “gateway drug” into novel writing.

I think this helps to explain why I’m so confounded by the topic of this post.

When writing a screenplay, it’s frowned upon to include what a character is feeling or thinking because it’s not considered “filmable.” Instead, the writer’s goal is to focus on what the character says and does, allowing for motives and plans to be neatly hidden beneath the surface. This can be tremendously useful when it comes to adding suspense and mystery to a film.

Novel writing on the other hand grants you the freedom of hearing the protagonist’s inner monologue, and in contrast to screenwriting, keeping your protag’s motives hidden is generally frowned upon.

So my question is: How can the protagonist be part of a reveal or “reversal of expectations” if the reader is INSIDE his or her head and knows everything they know? Even with an omniscient narrator who jumps in and out of the head of the character, it presents a challenge.

I’m not expecting a simple answer to this. My experience with novel writing thus far has taught me that there are no rules so much as guidelines and that ultimately you must do whatever it is that you feels tells your story best. Still, I’d appreciate the input of writers and readers alike:

 
 

Shark[nado] Happens

Hot diggity damn. I haven’t posted here since January!

Since my last entry, a few changes occurred in my life that took me by storm, and now, nearly eight months later, I’m finally getting my sea legs back.

For starters, I resigned from my graphic design job in Hell (Yes, I am implying that I worked for Satan — figuratively, I hope). This was a major release for me and put to rest some very deep psychological issues, the kind you would expect to stem from working for the Devil.

Within a week, I was comfortably adjusting to my new job, which allows my creativity to flow more freely, all the while not being so creatively draining that I can’t come home and still have the energy required to write.

In the midst of the shuffle, I also managed to do some work on social media phenomenon that is Sharknado 2: The Second One. My friend Anthony C. Ferrante, the film’s director, offered me the chance to design the opening titles for the film, to which I emphatically agreed. Like all things Sharknado, it was a bumpy ride, but the end result was that I could say I WORKED ON SHARKNADO. Also, it didn’t look half bad!

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And that, my friends, brings us to today.

I’m sitting at my computer, as I usually am, tinkering with ideas in Evernote; throwing in little seeds of story with the intent of having them sprout and develop into characters, chapters and even all new stories.

Oh, I almost forgot! I am now the proud owner of this beauty. 4K resolution, bay-bay! I’m entertaining the idea of using it to film my own book trailers in the future, but that’s wishful thinking until the first novel is complete. Still, it’s a fun idea and I can’t wait to experiment.

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Later, gators!

Sherlock Series 3: Two Theories on [Redacted]

BEWARE YE WHO ENTER HERE — SPOILERS LIE AHEAD.

 

Suffice it to say, Sunday’s Sherlock Series 3 finale left my head spinning. I wasn’t shouting at my television so much as I silently disappeared into a maddening spiral o’theories, and I’m going to assume that you didn’t fare much better, since, after all, you’re reading this entry in hope to gain some enlightenment.

Fair warning: You probably won’t find any here. Or anywhere else for that matter. Blame Moffat.

Originally, this was going to be a longer post offering a collection of all the various theories out there, but in the essence of time and sanity, I’m going to adhere to the two that stick out most in my mind. Everything else I’ve read seems far too elaborate and convoluted to be addressed here, anyway.

1. Moriarty pulled a “Fight Club”

Before you ask, no, I’m not suggesting that Moriarty and Sherlock are alter egos of one another — although that would be epic. Instead, I’m referring to the end of Fight Club, where rather than blowing his brains out, Jack/Tyler shoots himself through the cheek. It’s entirely convincing, and he looks like death after doing so, but soon rights himself and carries on.

Is it possible that Moriarty and Sherlock are so alike that they actually succeeded at faking suicide at each other? And Moriarty is only returning in full force upon discovering that he’d been bested?

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A variation of this theory is that Moriarty had a more elaborate rig set up to create the illusion of blowing his brains out, but I’ll side with Occam’s Razor on this one.

Supporting evidence: The soccer (football?) game that cuts off right before Max Headroom, I’m sorry — MORIARTY — takes over the airwaves. This is reaching, admittedly, but in the brief moments of the game, the player misses a crucial shot at the goal. Did Moriarty miss his crucial shot as well? And what was done with his body post-mortem? The issue is never addressed.

Damning evidence: Sherlock is a master detective. Wouldn’t he know a kill shot when he sees one?

2. Moriarty is physically dead, but his legacy lives on

This theory strikes me as the most likely, that is to say, the most realistic. To draw a comparison with another film, Moriarty’s death and subsequent “return” evokes the arc of Ra’s Al Ghul over the course of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Ra’s was truly well and dead by the end of the first film, but come the third entry, his legacy is running strong by means of his protégés, granting him a form of immortality.

Is Moriarty’s resurrection merely an illusion being perpetuated by a remaining member of his extensive “network”? Could it be the notably absent Sebastian Moran?

As an aside, one theory I’m not buying into is the whole Mary Morstan > Mary Mor[st]an > Mary Moran charade that’s going around. Her character has secrets that remain buried, but it doesn’t make narrative sense to drag John through the mud over this woman twice. I’m not saying it’s impossible, only highly unlikely. Also, she’s canon (minus the whole expert assassin thing. Eek.).

A variation of this theory has Sherlock and/or Mycroft planting the video as a means to avoid Sherlock’s MI6 involvement, which Mycroft believes will result in his brother’s death. This angle doesn’t hold much water, however, when you consider the frustration Sherlock displays when Mycroft tells him his exile is over.

Supporting evidence: Moriarty’s “Did you miss me?” viral video turns his face into the Nutcracker, where only his bottom lip down to his chin is animated. This suggests that someone has merely done some clever editing to a Moriarty headshot. Why not just film a legit, non-looping video if you’re still among the living?

Damning evidence: In the end-credits scene, Moriarty, in the flesh, turns to the camera and says the words “Miss me?” breaking the fourth wall and suggesting that Moriarty is truly alive.

moriartyMiss me?

Yes, as a matter of fact, we did.