Thursday, July 2, 2009

Predictability

Like most people my age (firmly in early thirties with life ahead of me), it hasn’t escaped my notice that the Where the Wild Things Are movie is coming out. The trailer alone is enough to prick my eyes with tears, but that’s only because I can now no longer stand movies with death or hurting to kids in them. I know instinctively that Where the Wild Things Are is going to have Max hurting, because that’s obviously at the heart of the story.

That being said, I’m not sure I like this look of this special-edition film adaptation book for the movie-- the "furry edition":

That’s just put me off my dinner. I am not touching a book that looks like it belongs to the movie Evil Dead rather than Where the Wild Things Are.

The point of this post is to say that some things are predictable. Take the movie out now with Sandra Bullock: The Proposal. I know from the previews I’ve seen on telly that it’s about a mean Canadian lady who is being deported, so she forces her assistant, who hates her, to marry her. They then have to spend time together. Here’s my guess: they end up liking each other after all and then they either actually get married for love, and/or she’s allowed to stay in the country on her own merit. Oh, and she has a personality change too, and is no longer a biotch.

I’m fairly sure I’m right on that without watching it.

There’s nothing wrong with that per se. Most commercial films and books are predictable because we want them to be that way. My own novels are guilty of this. My beta readers tell me they know who the heroine will end up with, and who she won’t. Because I hate trends and predictability, I constantly want to twist it up and make it a surprise, but there’s no way to get the guy AND keep it a surprise. As in, my characters aren’t going to decide to go for the unsuitable guy instead. I seriously doubt my own cleverness in making that happen. That would be like The Last American Virgin, a movie I’ve never seen but which Ken feels is a fantastic movie purely because the guy does not get the girl at the end. True, that’s good, but I just don’t want to watch or read that kind of story. The reason I write women’s fiction is because I want the girl to get the guy she dreams about and wants. Most women want that, as book sales for women’s fiction shows.

What do you want?

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