Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Impressions

This isn't a blog post about first impressions in the business world -- although it would be a great subject: comparing first impressions in other areas to your writing. Not to self: get on that one.

Anyway, this is just my first impressions on a few things. First of all, I got to see the new Harry Potter movie over the weekend. It was absolutely phenomenal. In my opinion, it was the best one out of all of them -- leaps and bounds better than the last one. You can tell that the original writer is back after letting someone else take over for the 5th one. The diaglogue, pacing, action, all great.

I have two complaints off the top of my head. The final scene should have had Ginny in it. I understand that the scene was showing how the trio started together and would finish together -- sort of a symbolic scene summarizing their friendship -- but Ginny was built up so much in the movie, I felt she became sort of forgotten in favor of action scenes at the end.

And, there was one moment where the cutting from one shot to the other was a little abrupt and awkward. But other than that? Amazing. Absolutely breath taking.

And the man who did the score did a pretty good job. There were moments where I just noticed how fantastic the score really was.

The movie did a great job of getting me excited for Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2. Especially since Steve Kloves is writing this one, too, and John Williams is returning to compose the score for this one -- he was the man who composed the score for the first three movies. And David Yates really proved his chops with this one, so I can't wait to see how he pulls off the final 2 movies.

Anyway, and also, I've been trying out a program that I found and was very interested in a while back, but felt it was too big for me. It's called yWriter, and it's the free, PC answer to Holly Lisle's Scrivener. Everything that Holly says Scrivener does, as far as I can tell, yWriter does as well, and since I don't have a Mac, this is an answer to my prayers. Version 5 is actually the newest version out, but for some reason a run through Google only brought me the logo for the 4th version, but you get the gist.

I was hesitant about downloading it, not because it seemed like a bad software, but because it seemed way too much for what I've been focusing on. I've been trying to write short stories lately to practice my craft and my ability to tell a story before I work on writing a novel and this software just seemed like way too much. Great for novels -- long sprawling things that they are -- but just too much for a tiny, little short story.

I was wrong. This thing is great. In about 30 minutes I had worked out not only my main characters, I have my plot lined out, and it even has an area that keeps track of your writing goals. Input a start date and a finish date and the number of words you want in your story and it calculates how many you need per day to meet your goal.

Pretty user-friendly once you poke around a bit. It can be very simple -- offering just a bare-bones notes area -- or it can be amazingly complex in helping you remember subplots, side characters, locations, dates, items that you introduced that don't need to be forgotten. It'll even help you remember that a character that died in chapter 17 showed back up across the country in chapter 22.

All in all, I'm very impressed with this handy little piece of software, and look forward to using in all of my future projects. It may give me the kick in my pants I need to get writing sometimes.


Alyssa Goodnight said...

I took my boys to see Harry Potter last week, and we all really enjoyed it (they are 7 and 9). I told my husband I thought the effects were really amazing--unbelievable really.

I too was rather unimpressed with the 5th movie but didn't realize it hadn't been done by the same team. I also didn't know Deathly Hollows would be broken into two parts. All good info--thanks!

(And thanks, too, for the book rec. in the post above!)

Jason said...

Absolutely. That scene with Dumbledore in the cave was phenomenal. I'm glad your kids enjoyed it.

Yeah, I didn't either, which really explains a lot. And I can't wait to see what they do with the last two movies!

You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it.