Thursday, 14 April 2011

In the home straight...

I can't believe I've managed to see my little percentage progress bar (see right) on the current book go from 15% to 70% in 20 days!

Just shows how fast I can write if I have to. And, despite the fact all the research and planning for this book slowed me down at the beginning, I wouldn't have been able to go this fast without it.

If I can, I prefer a more lesisurely pace - time to let the next scene 'brew' in my head for a few hours, rather than having to rush straight on. But sometimes the ideas that fall out of the subconscious are the best ones.

In my 'down' time, I'm trying to work out why a film I really wanted to like didn't work for me. I was very disappointed with Letters To Juliet. Great idea. Great cast. But the romance didn't fly for me. Not quite sure why yet (partly because I got up from the sofa half way through and wrote my shopping list instead), so I'll have to watch it again to find out.

Any films you've been disappointed with? Come and share!


Janet said...

Letters To Juliet sounds intriguing

"Aspiring writer Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and her fiancé go to Verona for a pre-wedding/business trip. He's obsessed with work and leaves poor Sophie to sightsee alone. She visits Juliet's famous house, where for generations lovelorn women have left letters asking for advice in Juliet's brick wall. The locals who answer the letters on Juliet's behalf invite Sophie to join them and her response to a 50-year old letter will change several lives forever." From an Amazon review.

I think I might watch this later. Will report back :)

Fiona Harper said...

I've only watched half the film again, but the theme seems to be very clearly stated: it's all about believing in true love (which is what Juliet represents, after all).

Sophie already seems to believe in true love at the beginning of the film, so that's obviously not her journey, but I'm not sure what is, though.

Apart from the fact she's clearly with a man who's passion is for food/his restaurant and not for her. But I don't know why, if she's looking for true love, that she's ended up with him. There's not explanation so far on why she's willing to settle for less than her ideal.

And I don't like the hero when we first meet him. He's very rude to her (about being American!) and I get the feeling it's one of those cases of bickering to create conflict.

Will be interested to see what you think, Janet.

Cara Cooper said...

I haven't seen it myself. I think though it's one of the issues with being a writer that you start to look on all books and films in a slightly detached way and it can really jar if characters' motivations don't seem to ring true.

Fiona Harper said...

So true, Cara. But the plus side is that when a book/film really does work, it's a joy to be able to see the skill and artistry behind it.

I love watching films, especially the ones that are considered 'light' or 'fluffy', like kids' movies or rom coms, that employ all that skill into making an unforgettable story. Just because it's commercial, doesn't mean it can't be good!

Janet said...

Got a copy from library yesterday and plan to watch it today :)

Donna Alward said...

I liked Letters To Juliet, but more for the "older" love story. And I thought they missed a great opportunity for story symmetry (ie following through on foreshadowing) with Sophie's romance at the end.

I liked When in Rome better, which is kind of surprising to be honest considering the casting. But weeks later, that's the one that resonates with me more. Maybe because it was quirkier.

Janet said...

I watched Letters to Juliet and enjoyed it--but only because I loved Vanessa Redgrave's Claire and wanted to see her happy ending. Sophie was far too bland. And that misunderstanding at the end - she's not my girlfriend she's my cousin!

I wonder if the Dara Marks-type theme is Sophie's words to Claire in her letter from Juliet: "Seize true love."

Or Claire's line: "when we're talking about love it's never too late."

Then the moral premise would be something like: Having the courage to follow your heart and seize true love leads to happiness, but delay or denial lead to yearning and sadness.

Claire didn't know what to do about her attraction all those years ago so delayed seizing true love, jilted/left him behind and ultimately became unhappy and restless.

Sophie has the same lesson to learn yet doesn't take the advice she gave in her letter to Claire. She can't acknowledge Charlie is her true love and almost leaves it too late to do something about her attraction (becoming very unhappy when she thinks he has someone else and lacking the courage to confront him or fight for him)

Her fiance's true love is his job he's acknowledged his passion for work and is happy.

Sophie has a passion for journalism but needs the courage to go out there and do something about it.

Maybe the theme/life lesson is more about seizing true love than believing in true love -- and everyone in the story is dealing with that in some way.

What are you watching next Fiona?--I love playing spot the theme :)

Janet said...

"Apart from the fact she's clearly with a man who's passion is for food/his restaurant and not for her. But I don't know why, if she's looking for true love, that she's ended up with him. There's not explanation so far on why she's willing to settle for less than her ideal."

I couldn't find any explanation for that. He doesn't represent anything she needs or even thinks she needs.