Jul 14 2011

Green Lantern Was Good for Something (Learning How Not to Write)

Published by at 3:22 pm under Green Lantern,Plotting

Novelist Jami Gold has two articles about learning from the Green Lantern movie: How Not to Write Characters and How Not to Plot a Story.
I’d also use Green Lantern to show why scenes should usually have some transition explaining why a character goes from doing A to doing B.  One of the transitions between a scene of GL talking with his geek friend and a scene of GL talking with his love interest is the geek randomly asking “Hey, doesn’t a superhero always get the girl?”  First, the line comes out of nowhere–they hadn’t been talking about romance or the lady until the geek tossed that line out.   Second, the line probably doesn’t work well as a transition because it doesn’t create a good reason why GL would want to go talk with his love interest.
There are so many easy ways to switch a scene without anybody noticing the seams.  For example, the protagonist-geek conversation could have been interrupted by a phone call or a text from the love interest.  Then it would have made sense for the geek to start talking about romance and it would have given GL a good reason to talk with his love interest.  Additionally, depending on what she said in the call/text, it could have added some urgency to the impending protagonist-love interest scene.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Green Lantern Was Good for Something (Learning How Not to Write)”

  1. Jami Goldon 14 Jul 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the link! And I really like how you point out that a tiny plot tweak could make the transition smoother *and* add depth to the plot.

    *sigh* It’s such a shame what they did to that story.

  2. B. Macon 14 Jul 2011 at 5:31 pm

    “It’s such a shame what they did to that story.” I keep telling myself that a month or two of rewriting the script could have gotten it to 3 stars. PS: If you’re a jet pilot that frequently spaces out whenever you are reminded of your father, I’d recommend not keeping a picture of him in the cockpit.

  3. Jami Goldon 16 Jul 2011 at 10:18 am

    @B. Mac – LOL! Yes, that P.S. exactly! 🙂

  4. Wingson 17 Jul 2011 at 8:18 am

    Me, I was skeptical about Green Lantern: it looked like a more hardcore sci-fi- than my usual taste, and I’m a Marvel. Unlike the other superhero movies this year so far, I was going to wait for the reviews. One hurricane of failure later…

    – Wings

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