I just watched the movie “Thor” with my husband and son. My son was so excited. We checked the “Mommy” reviews, and I decided it would be okay for my oldest son to watch (The younger ones probably could have watched it too. It was no worse than cartoon violence in most cases, and no cursing, which I appreciate as a Mom.)
Anyway… I wasn’t expecting much. I really don’t know the story of Thor all that well, and I was just bracing myself for another really bad re-done super hero movie. Wow, was I in for a pleasant surprise.
Lately, after struggling with plot holes in my novel, I am reading novels and watching movies with a very critical eye. I knew this was going to lead into the “Avengers” so I figured that it would be open-ended. I also knew it was a re-telling.
Would they do a good job? Would they leave it open-ended? Would it have a concrete beginning, middle and end that left me satisfied that the story was over? If they do, will I be screaming for more?
Yes, Yes, Yes, and definitely Yes. (Can I buy my tickets NOW?)
Now, if you are a Thor fan, you might have hated this movie. Like I
said, I don’t know the original story… but looking at this as a stand-alone
story, I think it was great. Throw this Old God into our world with no power, and have him interact with “normal people”. Genius. I have to admit I spit my drink laughing a few times. There is one character, the Poly-Sci Major, who had me in stitches—and it was all very real… not forced humor… just natural and honest comments that you could relate too. Great, simple dialog… That is what made it funny.
So, My lesson learned from Thor? You can write a novel that’s the start of a series that has a CONCRETE ENDING, but that also has enough “open
holes” to suck you into the next installment in the series. The story is over, but it is “just open enough” that it can start up again in the drop of a hat (or a rainbow bridge, in this case.)
I’ve figured out what is wrong in my novel, now. And it took me all
but a few hours to fix. Yes, there are sub-plots that intertwine and draw the story forward into the next book, but I hadn’t made clear the ONE POINT that was the major driver, that DOES CONCLUDE in the first novel. It did conclude in my head all along, but now, after a little revamping, it does for the reader to. I just had to elaborate on one point that I did not make clear .
Thanks, Thor, for swinging your hammer and hitting me in the head.
Sometimes you learn things from the most unlikely places.
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I just LOVE those AHA! moments. SO glad you had the epiphany that closes out your book for your readers, Jennifer.
Since I write Contemporary Romance (non-category), I struggled with the growing appetite for series. Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t write for the market.
I don’t. My book will have the Happily Ever After. But, my AHA was the insight that my unsold ms also involved a setting in the Colorado Rockies and also involved a Confidence Game. I was in Atlanta for the M&M convention when it hit me. My quirky town is a CHARACTER. So, I can finish this book as outlined, pull the old ms from under the bed and rewrite it (using the craft I’ve learned since I wrote that one) and take the game to the same quirky town. Confidence Game trilogy just popped into my noggin.
Love your post. Love your blog. Love where we get our AHAs. G
Great review of the movie – I enjoyed it as well.
Great news on the book as well. I read Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series and felt that her books were like that. Each book sort of “concluded” it’s main plot but the overall theme continued so as a reader, the next book was MUST-have because the overall theme/plot hadn’t been answered yet. I loved it! It was a great reading experience so I am sure your readers will love this kind of set up!
Great review! glad it helped you with your writing too!
Great review of the movie. I enjoyed it a lot as well, though many of the original Thor fans didn’t. Sometimes you just got to enjoy the creative license that movie makers use. Can’t wait for the sequel, especially because the romantic side of me had a hard time with the ending (that was my only major complaint). I’m sure they’ll clear that up, or at least I hope they will?
I’m so glad Thor could show you the way! I, too, enjoyed the movie.