Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Developmental Issues

You know the problem with movies like the Avengers ones (including 2.5, aka Civil War), Batman v Superman, and all the X-Men ones?  There are so many characters it becomes hard to really focus.  And when you only have 2 1/2 hours (or less) and you have to dedicate a lot of that time to fighting, there's really not much time for any characterization.  You get maybe one scene per character at the beginning, middle, and end at most, though even that's usually weighted towards whoever the most popular characters are.

Even in the original comic books you only have about 23 pages per issue  and again you have to dedicate a lot of that to fighting and one splash page at the beginning for the credits and one at the end to set up a cliffhanger usually, so it's more like 20 pages.  That doesn't leave much space for the characters to do much more than go from one fight to the next.

I was thinking that was the good thing when I wrote the Scarlet Knight and Girl Power books.  Since they were books and as long as I wanted them to be, I had time to explore the characters a little more than a movie or comic book would.  And since the Scarlet Knight series was 8 books (plus a full prequel, a short prequel, and a short midquel) there was a lot of time to flesh out Emma and her whole crew.  Mostly because when it comes to series I don't hit the reset button.

Any series of connected stories I do always snowballs so that the characters grow and change over time--literally in cases like the Chances Are series.  It's not like comic books where a writer does a run on Batman or Superman or Spider-Man or whatever and then another writer comes in and loses a lot of the continuity of the last writer.  Nor are there big wholesale reboots.  It's more like dramatic TV series like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or whatever where you don't just reset from one episode to the next like The Simpsons or Mike & Molly.

The good thing (and bad thing) is that everything sticks.  When Emma Earl loses her job she doesn't just get it right back in the next book; she has to actually find a new job.  When her friend has a baby in one book, in the next books that baby grows up (and in real time, not like some TV series where one day the kid is a toddler and the next day a teenager).  The point being that the good thing about those books is since there was all that time and space, the characters could become a lot more rounded than those in movies or comics.  So at the end of the series it really does feel like she and her crew have all lived pretty full lives--far fuller than mine will ever be since it's not like I'm going to save the world any time soon.

Not to go all book snob on you (because you know I watch a shitload of movies) but there are still some things books do a lot better than other forms of media.  I'm just saying.

1 comment:

  1. When the new Star Trek Beyond trailer came out a lot of people were complaining about too much action in the last one. I have to agree with them. Action can be overdone and characterization is important.

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