On writing

I like it when an author takes a story in a different direction, but …

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?

I enjoyed Big Hero 6, but there was a moment in the movie—where Hiro is turning everyone into superheroes—where I went, “What, get out of my movie. You’re spoiling it.”

The first part of the movie was everything I wanted it to be. Heartwarming, with smart, entertaining characters and a good story.

And then … Hiro takes all these great characters out of the lab and turns them into common, garden-variety superheroes.

Nooo. Disney, you didn’t need to. Couldn’t they have worked out of their lab? Couldn’t they have simply used their brains instead of putting on klutzy costumes and gimmicky weapons?

I know, of course, that was the whole point of Big Hero 6. It’s a Marvel comic. They’re superheroes. This is their origin story. But still.

That same week I received a novel I’d had on pre-order for months. I’d read the initial excerpt of the book, loved both the story and the protagonist, and was looking forward to reading more. I dived in, only to discover that a quarter of the way in the book turned into a run-of-the-mill ‘lost heir will save the kingdom’ story.

Normally, I love it when an author takes a story in a direction I’m not expecting. And half-way through a story you’ll follow where the author takes you. Most times you enjoy the ride, too.

There will be some people who adore the novel I put down three-quarters read. There will be some people for whom creating the superheroes was the best part of Big Hero 6.

I think that for me, both of these stories were going well until the writers got to where they ‘had’ to be, and then the story fell apart. “Plotline says we turn them into superheroes here. Let’s do it.” Or, “My plotline says he discovers he’s the heir to the kingdom now. Make it happen.”

To be fair to both stories, I don’t think either of them were badly done. It was more that the stories were chugging along nicely, entertaining and refreshing. Then suddenly they seemed to be pulled back into the mundane.

This particular reader/viewer found it jarring.

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