Recap: 16 November 2008

So, during NaNoWriMo, I’ll often get to a point in my writing where I’m struggling a bit but I’m still slogging onward, writing mostly crap, but at least still writing. And then, on occasion, it’s as if one of my characters finds a way to say something to another character when in reality they’re talking to me. Such a thing happened today.

I was writing a scene between one of the main characters, Emmaline, and her best friend, Vanessa. Vanessa’s trying to figure out what the hell’s going on, and Emmaline is hedging. After going back and forth for several minutes, Emmaline says to Vanessa, “You don’t understand.” To which Vanessa responds: “Then enlighten me! For fuck’s sake, Emmaline. You’re talking in circles.” To which I responded, “Oh. Right. Sorry about that.”

And then I decided perhaps I should step away from the computer and let my brain rest for a while. Which I did. It’s a little disheartening when your characters start ribbing you about your writing, but since I’ve written more than 43,000 words in the past 15 days, I suppose I should cut myself a little slack. As soon as I finish this blog post, I’m going to get to the writing again, and hopefully my crap:salvageable ratio will improve slightly.

In the meantime, here’s What I Watched:

  • Manhattan (2½ stars): I have trouble enjoying movies when there are no likable characters and/or there are no true character arcs. When every character starts and ends in the same place, I feel as if I’ve wasted two hours. Such was the case with this movie. The acting was fine, and the dialog was amusing. The whole thing was very Seinfeld-esque, really, but it was more like the series finale than, say, The Puffy Shirt or The Soup Nazi. This is apparently Woody Allen’s least favorite (but most commercially successful) of his films, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy his other works more.
  • The Red Balloon (3 stars): This is the only short film ever to have won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It’s a sweet film about a boy who strikes up a friendship with a red balloon, who follows him around Paris. I wasn’t blown away, but there are certainly worse ways to spend 35 minutes of your time.
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary (3½ stars): I imagine it’d be rather hard to go wrong with both Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, and luckily Bridget Jones’s Diary doesn’t prove that theory wrong. This is standard-issue rom-com fair, but it’s better than average thanks to the cast.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (3½ stars): A fairly faithful if superficial adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel. It glosses over the darker themes and avoids perhaps the most disturbing ones altogether, but that’s not surprising for a film made in 1945. While I enjoyed this version, it mostly just made me excited for the potential of the version coming out next year, as it looks to be tackling the glossed-over issues head on judging by the newly released promo posters.

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