First a quick Birthday message for myspokenheart.
And we’re off…
Tip 10. Don’t do a hollywood ending.
Kill the main character. Don’t do the “they’re dead, they’re dead, oh, no, wait, their coughing, oh crap, they’re going to make it.” That is so bloody annoying. Just kill the little shit.
Having been forced through the torture of The Amazing Spiderman (aka TAS, possibly the worst “reboot” of a franchise in history) – I saw every awfulness imaginable in this Hollywood massacre.
[WARNING – SPOILERS]
[This movie is shit]
[There… spoiled it]
Spiderman’s dead uncle is forgotten in moments, his powers come almost immediately (he ‘learns’ his powers by skateboarding! Awfulness everywhere!), there is no ‘battle with himself’, anywhere… ever. He’s a twat.
I can’t remember many character names, perhaps due to the trauma of watching TAS, and no way in hell am I exposing myself to any more of it, so you’ll have to interpolate.
The last five minutes of TAS are a tearing car-crash of everything that can go wrong with hollywood. In the Toby Maguire Spiderman, we see him struggle with his love for the girl over almost the entire three movies. He is bumbling, he misses dates, he comes to realise he can’t be with her because she would be endangered. He is hopeless as Peter, heroic yet tortured as Spiderman. At the end of Movie One he walks from the cemetery knowing he will be alone with his responsibility. You can feel his torment. It was actually really good.
At the end of the soulless and unnecessary ‘remake’, having got the girl within eight seconds of the opening credits and revealed his identity within 12, Spiderman has to promise her dying father he will give up his ‘true love’, so she isn’t endangered. This is near the end (no, not the climax, relief maybe, but not climax – unless you enjoy hating yourself and crying while you orgasm).
Spiderman promises. Good boy.
She is heart-broken to lose him and some of the first and only moments of emotional connection enter the film. Despite all the crap that has gone before we care a little – such is the power of forbidden love. Then she calls on him after her father’s funeral and says “I needed you, how could you abandon me.” Spiderman cannot tell her, the pathos grows. She turns and leaves, but stops and turns back. “He made you promise, didn’t he?” she says, at which point I’m yelling at the screen, no, NO, NO – don’t say it, don’t burst the one precious emotion this puss-fest of a movie has managed. She goes on, “My father, made you promise so I wouldn’t be in danger.” Oh WTF WTF WTF WTF!!! REALLY?! You needed to totally spell it out?! I thought the 12 certificate on the cover was the minimum age! Damn.
Now she knows and so the power of his gesture is empty, because the only nobility came from her not knowing the nature of his sacrifice.
BUT IT GETS WORSE!
Cue final scene. Parker enters classroom, sits behind ‘forbidden love’. Teacher tells Peter Parker he is late. Parker promises not to be late again. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep” says teacher. “But those are the best kind,” Peter whispers to his forbidden love, who smiles – knowing she gonna get some after all.
Spiderman’s promise to the dying father will be broken – and she smiles!
WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF!!
By now I am writhing on the floor smearing myself in my own faeces such is my pain. So she is okay with loving a guy who A) breaks promises to dying men, B) thinks generally that the best thing about promises is breaking them, and C) would rather get laid than keep his loved one safe? And we’re supposed to want to watch this hypocritical and libidinous arsehole in another movie?!
Horse shit. I would rather spend a year smeared in my own excrement than see such awfulness again.
Kill the hero. Kill him now and damn it, leave him dead. Destroy the marriage and let it stay bent and bleeding on the kitchen floor. Let the lover leave and LOCK THE F*KING DOOR!
You are a writer. You are to write of the human condition. Perhaps you have fallen in love with your characters and want them all to live happily ever after, writhing naked and ecstatic in a giant bowl of jelly. I don’t f*ing care. Kill them, or at least hurt the bastards – leave them broken and miserable.
Wrapping your story in a bow is as good as putting it in a coffin.
(Man, if this isn’t turned into a famous quote I’ve been robbed.)
I hate stories that just stop. “But what next,” I cry, “but how will she, what will he, where will they…?” Hate them. But these are also the stories that haunt me for weeks afterwards, because I can write a thousand possible endings, because yearning stays with you. Be honest, you remember a stab in the eye longer than a chocolate fudge-sundae, right!
Leave them wanting more…
A neat book is a dead book. Kill them, hurt them, leave them half way through a sentence. Pierce your reader, break their bloody hearts, because that is life and that is what we want.
More important than any of my other tips though, is