Thursday, August 26, 2010

Piling on the Drama

A few weeks ago I had a total "escape from my day moment" that lasted two hours. I intentionally got lost in a movie...in the middle of the day. The movie? Nights in Rodanthe.



I never read the book by Nicholas Sparks so I had no idea what to expect. The house where the film was shot was unique...the characters fairly well developed and interesting...the chemistry believable...but then...

****DISCLAIMER...MOVIE SPOILER ALERT...STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE AND YOU REALLY WANT TO...BUT BELIEVE ME...IT ISN'T WORTH WATCHING.****

Let your eyes lift to the title of this post. Read it. I called it "Piling on the Drama" and good, sweet mama does Mr. Sparks pile on the drama. He had me going for a while with the characters finding each other and then finding themselves. All compelling and romantic. But then...

****THIS IS YOUR SECOND SPOILER WARNING...SO DON'T GET MAD AT ME.****

...but then he freaking kills the main dude...Richard Gere. Now, I'm not opposed to a good cry in a movie or read. Believe me. But I swear to you that I said, out loud, "Oh, come on!" when Diane Lane's character found out he was dead. It REALLY felt like Mr. Sparks was simply piling on the drama for the sake of piling on the drama. The movie (and book, I suspect) would've been so much stronger if the characters reunited at the end and continued growing and falling in love. It was the dumbest thing ever that he died. Drama for the sake of drama.

After the credits rolled and I silenced myself from shouting obscenities at the TV, something dawned on me. An ah-ha moment if you will. I needed to do a read through of my one manuscript to be sure I wasn't piling on the drama for the sake of piling it on...thinking it would resonate and make my readers feel. Was the drama real and authentic and not ridiculous overkill? I never want my books to come off as sappy. Or have anyone say, "Oh come on!" while reading them. Or shout obscenities.

I want my drama real and necessary. Perfect example...when Dumbledore was killed in the 6th HP book. Did I want the man to die? Hell no. I loved him. But it was real and necessary drama. Harry had to face Voldemort completely alone in book 7. He had to.

Having the Richard Gere character die while she sat waiting for him at a candlelight dinner she made. Clee-freaking-shay. Ohh, it made me so mad.

Thoughts? Feelings? Opinions?