Monday, November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 - Winner!

I have done it again! I have survived National Novel Writing Month will all -or at least some - of my brain cells still intact, and story that got wiggly in the middle but then got patched up in the end *completed*!

So, yay for me! I'm tooting my own horn. Haven't won since 2008, so this is my 2nd successful year with the project. For more on NaNoWriMo, see this link.

See you next year everybody. For now: go whip that novel/novella into sellable shape! Good luck to those still working away. Take heart! You too, can do eet!

2010 NaNo winner's badge!


Friday, November 19, 2010


Movie review: Fantastic Voyage, 1966

If I had a dollar for every movie that I’ve watched that didn’t live up to the story structure method…..but I digress.

What’s wrong with this film, you ask? Well, there’s the hero and his messed up call. And there’s the structure of the story itself – it’s a bit different. Does it work though? You be the judge.

[Opening Scenes]

A plane
Military guards
A V.I.P.
An attack!

The VIP is shuttled into another car and is shot at. Then we see the VIP in the hospital.

[Images of Big Technology]

At 5:25 the hero enters, getting dressed in the car, He doesn’t know where he’s going, or why. They don’t tell him.

[A very Big Secret]

He’s amazed to see that he is lowered – vehicle and all – into a secret underground chamber.

[Call to Adventure]

At 9:05 he gets the call to adventure. He learns he’s the man for the job. They want him as an inside security man. Because they are afraid of sabotage!

He resists, but goes to the meeting anyway.

11:00 he finds out that the Big Secret is that they know how to shrink things. Small. Very teeny tiny. Shhhh! They can shrink anything they want. They can shrink him! But there’s a [Ticking Clock] involved – they can only shrink them for 60 minutes!

[Goal] get to the clot in time and try to break it up with the laser.
[Motivation] if they don’t do it, patient will die.
[Conflict] the human body will try to stop them! Just wait and see!

12:00 [The Plan] is hatched. The hero balks. [Resists the call] Resisting the call is normal. It’s part of the game for the hero. He says no, and then something makes him change his mind. But in this case, we don’t ever see that. He just goes along with The Plan like a chump. He complains that he doesn’t like it to anybody that will listen, but he goes anyway. (?) Storyfail!

17:53 they enter the Sterilization area

18:13 the submarine [1st Threshold] [Tools]

21:50 Hero still has doubts, but goes along with it anyway. What a chump!

24:11 hatch is closed. Hero is [locked in] to the adventure. [2nd Threshold?] [PP1]???

25:30 here, Phase 1 miniaturization is complete. [3rd Threshold] (they are gonna get even smaller!)

27:53 They are now shrunk.
Giant and the Beanstalk story.

32:30 Dr. Michaels freaks out with a claustrophobic fit. Is this a way to deflect suspicion from him and make him seem more sympathetic than he really is?

32:20 after more shrinking they are even tinier. Very small!

[Ticking Clock Starts Countdown]

They have 60 minutes to do the job and get out, or else – death will occur!

More [Big Technology] stuff banded about.

37:10 our team is injected into the patient’s bloodstream. Off they go!

[Big Science]

More big science stuff. Medical stuff. Important, flashy looking stuff. Impressive. Corpuscles are floating by. Long sequence reminds me of 2010 a Space Odyssey, or the Enterprise fly-by scene in Star Trek movie #1.

Sigh. Fast forward!

40:00 Danger? Are those proteins out there? Or?

41:30 – Danger! Currents have them. A whirlpool! [RISK] [Obstacle]

43:00 They escape into another vessel. Safety.

44:04 but they are off course! Lost in a fistula? [RISK] [Obstacle] If they go forward, it takes them into the heart, which would be fatal to them.

45:22 Abort the mission? [Decision]

50:00 [Change of Plans] they decide to stop the heart so the team can go through it safely. There is some worry about restarting the heart, but all goes well in the end.

[More science-y stuff]

56:00 Danger! [RISK] [Obstacle] A problem with a leaky air tank has the sub low on oxygen. [Decision] They’ve lost too much to continue. Mission abort! [Decision] they jerry-rig a plan to go out into the lungs and gather the oxygen they need.

58:00 Why does everybody have to leave the sub other than the pilot? I don’t get it.

But they are still losing air! [RISK] [Obstacle]

1:04:52 our hapless hero goes through a wall and into a lung so he can suck up some air. Gee, I wonder if he will be in danger shortly.

1:05:08 The rope snaps! [RISK]

1:06:10 he is rescued. Ah!

1:07:10 They go to the back room and discover the laser is broken. Sabotage! [Obstacle] Mission abort!

1:08:14 [Decision] hero comes up with an alternative plan – use the radio parts to fix the laser.

[RISK] they are now on their own with no radio contact with the outside world.

@ 1:10:00 hero states that someone has tried to sabotage the mission twice! Is he starting to get a clue?

1:12:50 he ship is attacked by antibodies! [RISK] [Obstacle] Danger! If they fill up the air vents then the ship can’t move.

1:13:35 change of plans. They decide to head to the ear canal. [Decision] [RISK] if someone in the outside world makes a sound while they are in the ear canal, they will all be killed.

1:15:10 engines start getting hot. [Obstacle] the ship can’t move. The clogged vents have to be cleared. [Decision] hero will go out to clean the vents.

1:19:40 a sound! Oops! [RISK] Raquel Welch is trapped in the fibers [Obstacle] and hero has to rescue her.

1:21:52 but not before the antibodies attack her, clinging to her suit before they can get inside the ship. [RISK] she may die.

1:22:38 She screams!

1:24:00 she’s safe. Whew!

1:26:00 [Decision] they argue over whether or not to test the laser.

Now they are in the brain…making their way to the clot. They are past the danger of the inner ear.

1:28:12 They reach the injury site.

[Decision] more decisions and who does what and goes where. The hero turns off the power and locks them into the final course of action. I guess this might be considered [PP2] but for its placement in the story.

1:30:26 hero leaves the sub, leaving only the pilot and bad guy on board. Dumb move!

1:32:20 the bad guy makes his move. He turns the sub’s power back on and attacks the pilot, then gets in pilot seat and takes off in the sub.

1:33:20 [RISK] he’s going to ram the others. Kill them and make sure the patient dies along with them, his last hope of survival. The others aim the laser at the ship and disable it. [FINAL BATTLE]

1:34:11 white corpuscles attack the ship. [Obstacle] [RISK] Luckily, the hero lets them attack the bad guy while he and the pilot escape to safety. Why the bad guy doesn’t grow when the 60 minutes are up, I’ll never know.

1:35:34 the laser runs out of power. They can no longer use it as a weapon to defend themselves. [Obstacle]

1:37:53 They are in the eye and get rescued. Mission is completed.

1:38:31 they all start to re-grow in the chamber back to normal size.