Sunday, November 23, 2014

Breaking the formula.

Saw a crazy Spanish movie last night, Witching and Bitching.  Loved it.  Over the top humor and some interesting satirical ideas on the battle between the sexes.

Anyway, a review of the movie caught my eye.  From Matt Donato; We Got This Covered.

"Witching & Bitching is a perfect example of how Video On Demand horror movies are making Hollywood's mainstream titles look like bargain bin garbage in comparison."

I think this is exactly right.  I consistently find more interesting movies on Netflix than are at the theaters.  Many of these movies never made it to the theaters, but are way more fun than many of the formula Hollywood movies.

I keep going back to my experience at writer's group of a new member who insisted that there was only ONE way to write a book, and it was by THIS formula.  He was absolutely convinced that any other way of writing was a waste of time.  Whereas I couldn't imagine doing it.  I mean, I love writing my stories because of the way they just happen, without regard to any pre-concieved standards.

It was like we were living on two different planets.  

I think that the new media is going to end up creating more creative material than the old media ever could.  Because you can write a crazy book, make a crazy movie, and find an outlet for it.  It doesn't have to make millions of dollars to be valid.

I've always thought that comics are consistently more creative than any other media I consume.  I think it's because it is such a small medium, there is not as much at stake.  People just let it go.  It's no accident that so many movies -- and not just superhero movies -- are made from comics.  They break the formula all the time.  (Don't get me wrong -- the vast majority is formula, but there is still much more acceptance of non-formula material.)

I think traditional book publishing also operates by formula, more or less.  No matter what they say.

But indie publishing is going to bring out a lot of fresh, original ideas because there isn't anyone who's going to say, "You can't do that."

I'm not saying my own books are incredibly different; I think I've absorbed many conventions by osmosis, by my reading.

But I don't set out to write a book by some formula.  I write what I want to write.  The story has to be internally consistent, not bent to meet some outside standard.  That is creativity to me.

I admire people who can write formula well.  Any Star Trek or Star Wars or Doctor Who or any other licensed property is going to be formula, almost by definition.  There are people who can take the formula and be brilliant.

But I couldn't do it.  I have to write what comes to me and it doesn't fit the formula, well...I can't do anything about it.

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