I don't care how many cool monsters you have in your story.

Put me, a pretty girl in a toga, and a hero with an accent in your story, and you won't have to worry about anything else.

As I become more and more involved in the writing community I must admit, I have a hard time not analyzing everything I read and watch. I find that the typical bad boy just doesn't do it for me and a lot of cool special effects won't make up for a lack of characterization.

I can enjoy some aspects of almost any book or movie, and I always try to look for what was done right as much as for what was done wrong. I want to learn from both. But in the end I favor great characters over almost everything else.

This was especially apparent to me last night as I watched Clash of the Titans with my husband. I don't want to dissuade you from going to it. I love Greek mythology, and it was entertaining enough, not to mention the special effects were really cool. But I just found something lacking in the main character. He was so flat to me. His motivations should have been clear, but at times were confusing, and he did a lot of raspy-voice, tough-talking one-liners. Honestly, I like Hades more (played by the amazingly talented Ralph Fiennes). His character I understood. Even though he was doing bad things, in a way, I liked him more than the hero because his character was three-dimensional. By the end of the movie I wasn't sure if I was rooting for Perseus or the Cracken.

The whole experience felt like eating pancakes without anything on top. I was full, but everything was a bit dry going down and felt heavy in my stomach afterward. A little syrup or jam and a edible meal would have become a delight.


  1. I love pancakes but not when they are dry, you really do need that syrup!

    I agree with you on characters whether they are the good or bad guy they have to peak my interest and be entertaining enough for me to want to read them! I think my MC does that well!!

  2. Ooo very good pancake analogy...I might have to use that later!

    I was so excited for Clash of the Titans -- but all the reviews of it have been kind of eh. You think people would know how to make good movies by now. It's really annoying when they come out with bad movies anymore.

  3. Ha ha ha! I just finished three pancakes for breakfast - great analogy! It fits what you are saying perfectly. :-)

  4. Dry pancakes = yuk! Great analogy, though.

    I agree. If there's no story, all the special effects in the world won't make up for it.

  5. Oh yum pancakes. Good dinner idea. Now where is my maple syrup... I haven't seen Clash of the Titans. I'll have to catch that one on DVD. I love Ralph Fiennes whether is character is evil or good. Because of him, (not J.K. Rowling) I am a little in love with Voldemort.

  6. By the way-in the follower competition you are beating me by one. Feel special.

  7. Even as a child watching the old school version of Clash of the Titans, I was rooting for the Kraken. I mean, really, sea monsters? They just rock.

  8. Jen,
    I'm sure your MC does. I am so impressed with how many unpublished works I read that are so much better than what's out there!

    You can use any of my silly analogies you want! They're out there for the taking. ;)

    I wish I'd had pancakes for breakfast. I LOVE them. With syrup of course.

    What?? You've closed in on me. Now I'm going to stress about how to be more interesting and more witty in my posts.

    Oh, and the movie wasn't that bad. My husband loved it! It might be worth seeing in the theaters just for the special effects.

    I thought I was the only one who had seen the old one. People look at me so weirdly when I talk about it. More evidence of our twinness!

  9. I couldn't believe they re-made the old movie. It wasn't that good first time round. I suppose I should give the new one a go.

  10. You chose a perfect analogy! Your post makes the point I've always believed: all the hype, FX, and gorgeous actors can't replace good storytelling and believable characters. Great post!

  11. "The whole experience felt like eating pancakes without anything on top."

    Well said.

    I can live without much plot. But character? I simply can't do without it.

  12. As a fan of Mythology, I'm not sure I can watch that movie. The first version was bad enough. Release the Cracken just reminds me too much of Pirates of the Caribbean.

  13. If anyone needs syrup I have about 6 Costco sized bottles (thanks to my husband's obsession with syrup ever since the time several years ago that we ran out of it). Candi, I'm upset this movie isn't made of awesome. I've been wanting to see it forever. Grrrr.

  14. LOL... I like the pancake metaphor.

    I'm still going to watch it, because in the end everyone has their opinion and some people HATE it and others LOVE it. Therefore, who knows how I'll feel.

  15. I thought I commented on this before - sorry I did read it. Love that picture. I was excited for a Clash of the Titans remake - loved the first one. How would you compare it to the original? I don't really think the characters had much depth in that one.

  16. I haven't seen Clash of the Titans but I heard the main character is played by the main guy in Avatar. I understand what you mean about as we learn how to create good characters for our writing, we start to see good examples (and bad) everywhere. I think the main characters in Avatar were well-developed, and that's one contributing factor to the movies success, versus Titans, which I haven't heard much good about.

  17. Clash of the Titans worked for me. They took the one character that ruined the first Clash of the Titans and gave it about a 3 second part. (the owl) Obviously the director felt the same as I did and left it behind. For a moment though he had me worried when they pulled him out of the box.

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