Okay, so this is more Sci-Fi than it is fantasy, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it. J Anyway, “Prometheus” is intended as the prequel to the “Alien/Aliens” series of movies from the 80’s and 90’s, you know, the ones with Ripley, her cat, and the nasties that crawled out of people’s chests and stomachs?
The story begins with a tiny bit of backstory: a pair of archeologists/anthropologists find a cave painting with a specific configuration of stars on the wall associated with seemingly gigantic beings. They note that it is the same configuration they’ve found in the ancient artwork of several other human civilizations separated by thousands of years and untold miles. That’s the hook. It could have been developed more, but from there the movie goes straight to the voyage of the space vessel Prometheus, a human space ship containing the two archeologists/anthropologists, a crew of other scientists, and, of course, an android. The Prometheus is en route to a planet from the system depicted by the artwork. It arrives, the android wakes every one up from cryo-sleep, and the fun begins.
The ship lands on the planet and the crew begins to investigate some ruins. Soon enough, however, various members of the crew are killed by… various things/events/methods. Then, it becomes apparent that all life on Earth is threatened by what these scientists have discovered and they must act quickly before their lovely home world is doomed.
That’s the brief summary.
Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good, but not fantastic. The first half of the movie was really good, although, like I said, I wish they had taken more time to develop the backstory some more. In fact, I almost kind of wish someone would make a movie, a good movie, but not a horror movie, with that kind of plot… Ancient Aliens visited us in our past, and we now undertake a mission to meet them. Anyway, with respect to “Prometheus” I jumped—I admit it—several times during the movie, which is good for a horror movie. The suspense throughout was good. But about halfway through the movie things just stopped being as appealing for me. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe I’ve just seen too many of these stupid things to really get full enjoyment from them.
In the final analysis, I’ll give it three and a half out of five stars.
Writing books for aspiring writers are chock full of rules… okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it seems everyone is bent on giving advice to the newbie writer. Some of this advice is right on the mark, but other times it flies astray. The most important rule to remember, I think, is the fact that every writer is different. What works for one writer, might not work for another. For example, one of the most quoted aphorisms for the aspiring writer is “Write every day.” I wish. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m not supposed to be a writer, but I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. And I can’t write every day. I’ll go through phases and write consistently for several weeks at a time, then burn out and be unable to function for a week or so. I think, perhaps, the better advice is the advice a writerly friend once gave me: “Do something writerly every day.” Write on those days you can. Read on those days you can’t. Or take a look at poetry to study the economy of word usage. Set a day aside for world building. Another day for development of your craft. Having a varied approach to the discipline can be quite effective. This works much better for me, if for no other reason that it alleviates the stress that comes with the utter conviction that I must write every day. I’ve learned to pace myself somewhat. Keeping that in mind, I’d change the rule to “Write as often as you can.”
The next rule is: “Revision. Revision. Revision.” Don’t ever stop revising. The first draft is never the final draft. You will always be able to improve a piece through revision. And besides, this will probably take up as much of your time as writing, or very close to it. I know it takes me about an hour to complete a rough draft of three pages or so. A typical chapter measures fifteen pages in length, which gives me five hours of typing. Then, I revise the chapter at least four times at about an hour or two for each revision. These are all rough estimates, but it is clear that the time spent editing and revising is comparable to, if not greater than, the time actually spent writing. And that’s a good thing. The more you edit and revise, the more you improve your craft… that’s where the real learning the ins and outs of writing happens.
The next rule is: “Get feedback.” Ideally, you should join a writing group of people whose writing ability is at least comparable to your own, if not superior. That’s the best way to learn—from those who know. Even if you live out in the country, the Internet can provide access to a great deal of writing talent. Just do a search for on-line writing groups.
Next is: “Patience.” If you are going the traditional route, expect to be rejected. Over and over again. It happened to me so often, I just said to heck with it and decided to publish on my own. If you are like me and want to go the self-publishing route, you get to do all the work from writing the manuscript to marketing it. If you don’t have the skills, you will have to develop them.
The final rule is: “Build your reputation.” It can be a little overwhelming at first. Begin with a blog and/or a web-site. Consistently provide value to your site and the followers will come. It’s a time consuming process, but you should devote a certain amount of time each week to marketing and building your reputation. As a general rule, I try to write all my blog entries in advance so I’m not running around like a chicken with its head cut off when it comes time to publish them. It saves on the stress and blood pressure.
Well, those are five (or is it six?) of the most important rules of writing. Follow those and you’ll be on your way.