[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #45 - September 2007 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 9 00:11:12 PST 2007

On Nov 9, 3:07 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Nov 8, 1:59 pm, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > Anyway, I personally prefer writing ensemble pieces, but there's
> > always the danger of course that a couple of characters are going to
> > get short shifted in terms of development and somebody is going to
> > accuse them of being "interchangable". :)
> :-P
> I think actually that's more of a danger with a heavily plot-based
> ensemble piece.  My general feelings about ensembles have been largely
> negative because they so often undercut suspense, certain characters
> are poorly-developed, and, especially in filmmaking, they're an easy
> way out-- it's a lot easier to fill up ninety minutes if you're
> telling ten people's stories rather than just telling one's.

What I saw of the movie "Love Actually" was entertaining.  Sometimes
stories tend to drag, especially if you come to a point where you find
you just don't care about the character(s) anymore.  Telling ten
people's stories gives the writer the opportunity to cut from one
story to the other and is a cheap way to establish the passing of time
between scenes.  It also creates a lot of extra work though because
the writer has to continuously remind the reader who these characters
are and what their relationship is.  (I remember there was one former
long time RACC poster who used to post stories consisting almost
entirely of five different pairs of characters talking amongst
themselves all completely void of context.)  Ultimately though, done
right, I think that there is a big pay off in that the reader gets
exposed to a good variety and isn't following a single character every
where.  It is, of course, also a good way to drag serialised stories
on for months (See Heroes, Lost, daytime soaps and night time dramas).


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