Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

August 10, 2009

Seven Pounds and Agent Feedback

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Watched the movie Seven Pounds this weekend on the tube. *Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t seen the movie yet, there will be secrets given away, so please flee right now.

Yes, I know, the movie came out like years ago in the theater, but I don’t go to the theater except for really big blockbusters anymore, and even then it’s a struggle. It’s simply so much easier to throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and hit the buy button on the remote. I realize that this is all a cable company conspiracy to keep us under control, at home in our houses, but what can I say? It’s working. *grin*

So back to the movie. I didn’t really like it. It starts out with a pretty gut-wrenching scene with Will calling 911 for his own suicide. Cool, that was well done. It provided enough tension to get me into it. But I think that was also part of the problem. It seemed that the tension was on high for so long that I didn’t really care what else was happening, I wanted to figure out what the heck was going on so I could understand the rest of the story.

If it was a book I probably would have been skipping forward, or maybe read the last chapter.

Tension without showing me something more interesting or a stress relief, can make a movie, or book, difficult to stay with.

So what would have made it better? That’s a tough one. This is why agents have a hard time providing feedback to writers on their books.

I guess having another stressful scene with a different character, and a tension reliever to soften the feeling, may have taken away some of the stress, but how would that story have fit with the main story? Would it have completely changed what the writer was trying to accomplish? Would it have diminished the impact the writer was trying to bring to the main plot? I don’t know.

I can see how an agent experiences the same quandary. Without knowing what you are really trying to get across, the feedback may take you in a completely wrong direction, leaving you worse off than you started.

It could be like adding more romance in Lord of the Rings, or adding more humor to Pulp Fiction. Bad for the story.

While Seven Pounds wasn’t a horrible movie, it wasn’t great either, and don’t ask me how to make it better, because I honestly couldn’t tell you.

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