Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Deep Thoughts Courtesy of Star Trek

I'm about to commit heresy in certain circles. The new Star Trek left me ice-cold.

Last weekend Child #2 was my Friday night date. Dressed in an Avengers t-shirt, shorts and Crocs with a little bit of marker on his face he was, well, dressed like many other men in the audience.

We settled in for an epic adventure complete with popcorn, fruit snacks and water (cause I'm a mean, mean mom and always no to soda).

Child #2 was full attention on the screen the whole time, but I was somewhere else altogether...namely in Oakdale, which is the setting for the book I'm editing.

It was a welcome two and half hour time capsule that allowed me to work out the exact thing I was attempting to say at the end of one chapter. Every now and then I emerged from my thoughts long enough to note Klingons, explosions and women with tails.

Afterwards, I started thinking, not about the movie because it didn't give me much to think about, but about entertainment in general.

Is it up to the movie or book to suck us in, even when we're dragging our feet or is it incumbent upon us to meet entertainment halfway?

My attention (and I'm sure yours as well) is fractured in hundreds of different ways. Because of all this breakage I need things to reach out and grab me. Glue me to my seat. Shake me. Forcefully demand my attention by saying "You! Over there! PAY ATTENTION."

The trick about this, because there's always a trick, is the thing that glues me to my seat isn't the thing that glues you or you or you to your seat.

There are a couple of take aways from this, the first being write what you love because you never know what's going to be seat glue. The second, is that throwing lots of plot gimmicks (the literary equivalent to Klingons and Tribbles) into a book is no guarantee you'll produce something of quality.

As for reviews, they're almost always going to be mixed.

Case in point, Child #2 said Star Trek was SO TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!

As for me, I'd probably need to see it again to give it a fair review, but fortunately I don't hang out with sadists so I think Kahn is safe from my wrath.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No one thing appeals to everyone and if we try to make it appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one.
And I'm with Child #2.

Connie J Jasperson said...

I confess I LOVED it too! But not every moment is the right moment to sit through a movie. I've got to be in just the right mood to sit through a movie, or I won't enjoy it. But I'm not really a movie person, so there you are!

ilima said...

So true. You will NEVER please everyone. Which is kind of cool, when you think about it. I love that we are all so different.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I haven't seen the second Star Trek, but I did see the first one; I didn't really like it, except for the parts with the young Spock and the original one.
You're right about mixed reviews; everyone has different tastes. I don't think anyone would agree with my tastes, especially since I watched parts of Liz and Dick and thought that Lindsay Lohan wasn't that bad.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the second Star Trek. It even made me cry. =)

Unknown said...

I loved it! I was glued to my seat and will probably see it again this weekend.

Nicki Elson said...

Right, if we write what we love, then we know at least one person will be glued.

I do think we need to meet entertainment half way by giving it our focus (which is why so many movies I want to see go unwatched), but chances are you already knew Trek wouldn't be your thing, so even if you'd given it your focus you probably wouldn't have loved it.

Johanna Garth said...

Alex, exactly! And it appears I'm in the minority when it came to the Star Trek movie.

Connie, I love movies, but this one just didn't hold my attention.

Ilima, that's totally my take on it too!

Neurotic, see, exactly my point!

Rashelle, really? I'm trying to think which part.

James, that is true Star Trek dedication.

Nicki, I thought I was going to like it because I loved the first one, but it just didn't do it for me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

As my son was growing up he and I saw quite a few movies I wouldn't have chosen to see if he hadn't been with me. Some he raved about and I couldn't rave, lol! But we always found sections we both liked and some of the movies I thought I wouldn't like at all and did.

When it comes to writing, thankfully there are all sorts of tastes out there. We have to write those things we can bring our passion to and our sense of fun.It's what makes our stories breathe. No, not everyone will feel the same passion about it but there will be like minded loving what we wrote.

I haven't seen Star Trek 2 but I like Star Trek to begin with so I know I'll enjoy it. Even with the first one they did I had to get used to them changing the timelines and events. I imagine I will with this one too.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE said...

I'll consider your input, and not Child 2's, since I'm not interested in that movie anyway.

Regarding plot gimmicks, too much of that hurts my brain and compels me to put the book down or toss it out the window.

Be well, Johanna.

M Pax said...

I thought Star Trek was totally awesome, too. :)

But you're right. What appeals to one may not appeal to another. Whatever you write, it pays to learn something about your potential reader, though.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I loved the movie but I just love Star Trek. LOL. And you're right about writing what you love. ;) Glad you were able to work on your book.

Unknown said...

I thought the best part about Star Trek was the Tribbles. I wanted one after seeing them. But alas, my parents didn't share the same love for them.

Chuck said...

Hey sounds like a fun "date" night with Child #2...for both of you!

Irishredfox said...

I'm with you. I thought the action was good, but the rest of the movie was lacking. Every time they referenced Wrath of Kahn I couldn't help but compare the two. Whatever I guess.
And the whole "I need my attention grabbed" is why I don't read as much as I used to. The whole thing makes me wonder how to do that with my writing.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I liked it, but then again, I was never a fan (or even watched) any of the other Star Trek shows or movies, so that could be a part of it, too.

Gwen Gardner said...

I haven't been to the movies for about 2-3 years, LOL. And before that it was probably 2-3 years. I was never a Star Trek fan, though, even when it was a series on TV with William Shatner. But you're right, movies are very subjective. I go for the Harry Potter type movies :)

Tonja said...

Clearly you weren't doing a review of the movie - at least I think you weren't . . . I got excited when I saw the picture of the Tribbles. :)

Rachel Shields said...

I blame you! I will force you to watch all episodes back to back (like waterboard torture for you) and then make you rewatch it. You'll love it then.

Elise Fallson said...

Oh, I skimmed your post because I really want to go see this in the cinema. It comes out in France next week. I have high hopes for it, hope I'm not disappointed!

jaybird said...

I am so guilty of sitting in a movie seat and squirming, not really paying attention to what's on the screen, because my head is somewhere, far, far away.

I loved the line about your son being dressed, well, like a lot of other men in the movie theatre! LOL