I think I’ve written about this before on Lamellae, but back when I was getting beta reader feedback on my sci-fi novel, one of my readers was dead keen on the idea that I should write short stories showing the background of some of the characters. He was the kind of guy who liked having lots of inter-related bits around a book or movie – like that graphic novel that sits between Firefly and Serenity – so I could see why it appealed to him.
It intrigued me as an idea.
The problem has been that I’ve wanted to work on other worlds, rather than go back into that one. (And the one time I toyed seriously with the idea I couldn’t see those stories at all.) Now I’ve spent time with the novel again, I’m interested to try it and I also think I’ve found what those stories could be.
Haven’t 100% decided to do it yet, but I am thinking of giving it a bash and seeing what happens.
I wrote this phrase the other day and thought – as I so often do – why ‘wax’?
To wax is an old, old way to say to grow and so you can grow more lyrical, or poetic, or indignant, or angry and you’ll be waxing lyrical, waxing poetic etc.
And if you think you’ve never heard wax used that way then just think of how we describe the moon. It waxes (grows) and wanes (shrinks).
I also love that he snuck ‘grok’ in there… ah, xkcd, you bring me joy!
Recently I picked up “the sci fi novel”, a project I finished a couple of years ago, and decided to read it. Fascinating experience!
It’s the first time I’ve had enough distance to experience the text as a reader would and the first time I’ve been able to get that view on how the chapters etc work. They do work! Well, I’m happy with the result and what more can you ask for?
The best thing was not feeling like it needed another draft, because there is that “novels are never finished” sense most of us carry around. There are some very small tweaks I’ll make here and there, but that’s it.
Ok I’m often excited about stuff, but this is a particular excitement… project excitement. That’s been a bit lacking since I finished PAR and moved to my troublesome novella. Not helped by sore shoulders, dragon training and other distractions, but mostly my draft has been refusing to come together.
However, daemon must have been flitting around thinking about it because today I had AN IDEA. It means re-writing a good chunk of the draft, but that’s alright because I can feel that it’s a GOOD IDEA! You know when you just know?
And that idea has birthed other ideas too so now I’m thoroughly excited about getting the draft into shape. It’s not there yet and I suspect these three novellas have plenty more trouble to bring, but I’m excited about this project in general; I think people will get a kick out of reading them.
It was interesting seeing Solo a few days after seeing Ocean’s 8, because they are both part of big franchises and… well… they both suffer from the same problem. I think I’d describe the problem as “the we have to make this work” checklist.
You know, they make a list of franchise ingredients and then they work to ticking each one off. It doesn’t make a bad movie, but it leaves you with a watch that isn’t satisfying.
That was how I felt about Ocean’s 8 and that’s how I felt about Solo. Solo was ok. It had funny moments, it gave solid backstory to some fav characters. It had the Millennium Falcon. It had Donald Glover and Emillia Clarke, who I love to watch. And did I mention the Millenium Falcon? 😉
Like Ocean’s 8’s under-utilising its awesome cast, Solo under-utilised wonderful plot opportunities. By adding too many distractions in the story, they sapped it of a lot of power.
My hat is off to Alden Ehrenreich for having to be a young version of something so memorably played by another actor and doing it well. He and Woody Harrelson were gold together.
Having said that… why is it that Emillia Clarke was the only female not to die? Why do they kill off the two most interesting side-characters? And, seriously, why not cut the love interest angle and have an excellent actor like Ms Clarke play the Woody Harrelson character instead?
I was thinking the other day that it must be weird for someone who’s a teenager right now because their entire life has been dominated by these never ending franchises. From Twilight to Fast and Furious, Mission Impossible, Ocean’s, Transformers, Star Trek and Star Wars. Not to mention all the DC and Marvel movies. It’s like we’ve forgotten how to make new things.
I didn’t hate Ocean’s 8 the way I hated the 2nd and 3rd of the original set. In fact it was an ok watch. A couple of laughs and a clever heist with an awesome cast. It was just a bit, bland.
They’d obviously worked hard to mirror Ocean’s 11 and that would totally have worked if they had mirrored what made that film truly great; comradery. The characters are supposed to have a history, but there are no in-jokes or coded language in Ocean’s 8. Phenomenal talent on the screen who could have carried off a similarly punchy, warm, jokey script were left with – for the most part – pedestrian dialogue and no “flavour”. It also led to less well rounded characterisation than in 11.
For me there are some gender issues too, but if it had the calibre of writing that 11 had then I could forgive them. Well, except for one; why did the one woman not actually a criminal have to use sex to bring home the con, and I don’t mean sexiness I mean actually screwing the mark?
I doubt it’ll get to a sequel, but if this Ocean’s does get a second shot then it has potential to reverse the fate of the previous franchise and have a better 2nd film.