Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swept Away On A Sunday

I don't talk about Sweeps often enough.

Being #1 in 2 different categories--that's very nice.   It's selling well, exceedingly well any other month and it's dragging Fling with it.  I will always be ambivalent about Fling and its relationship to the world.

There's a review up at Amazon for it and the person targets what I think is a fairly important scene but I suppose if you're just reading as fast as you can and you don't tear it apart, then it's indeed nothing more than walking blocks in the rain to have a 3 sentence conversation as she puts it.

So either one must I assume I am a stupid writer and just made a really bad choice, or I knew what I was doing and there's a good reason Ariel was forced out of the office in horrible weather to go have a cup of tea and a couple dry biscuits with the man who had fallen in love with her.  What could that reason be?  (Scratching head in total bafflement)

Isn't that the answer?  A phone call is impersonal but if you want to connect with someone you do it in person.  I think we learn quite a bit from this scene (or it wouldn't freaking be there!).   You make the effort to get to this "3 sentence meeting" because that says "I have time for you.  I will go out of my way for you.  I will be in a wet and steamy heavy wool sweater in a sleet storm to accommodate you."

You pick up clues from facial expressions.  Is someone nurturing?  Does he help you off with your coat?  Did he order in advance to make things more pleasant?  But we can see Dorsey is not a slick character.  Whatever he says, she takes it the wrong way.  Whatever she says, he takes the wrong way.  He made the effort to connect but it didn't work.  That sets the stage for other incidents.  

We know...well, not all of us, there is something personal going on between them that Ariel is going to resist mightily.  But the forces of matchmaking are working against her.  We know there are 2 warring factions at the studio.  We know Dr. Rees is just another burden in the juggling story task the overwhelmed Ari faces.  This seems like a lot of info in a couple pages.

Maybe this scene isn't needed.  Could it be cut?  Well, if time and space is at a premium, sure it can be cut.  The more you cut these quiet personal scenes from your work, the less texture you have.

When my book Will The Real Renie Lake Please Stand Up was bought to be made into a TV movie, I asked to do the script and the producer said no.  Writers don't know enough about their story to turn a book into a movie.
Whatever time passed and by then I was working with P&G on their show Texas or something when Renie Lake aired.  The P&G liaison with a background in the theater came to me and said "They missed every dramatic set-up in the book."  Yes, they did.  As stupid as they perceived me to be, I couldn't have done worse than they did with all their "wisdom".

This is the problem when you mistakenly think that everything has to be big and hot and action filled.  Taking time for a quiet scene which reveals character and foreshadows the future is also important.

Know what you're doing and why you're doing it.

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