The Last Shift, Exposition, and Character-driven Storytelling


I recently watched a movie, The Last Shift, and it got me thinking about exposition and character-driven storytelling.

The Last Shift is a horror movie about an unfortunate rookie cop, Jessica, whose first night on the job is supposed to be really easy. The police station has moved to a new location, but some of the more…bloody and icky evidence bags haven’t been picked up by the Hazmat crew, so our protagonist gets to sit at the desk and babysit for the night.

Well, it should be an easy babysitting job but of course stuff starts happening. She starts seeing things, hearing things, and getting weird phone calls. There’s a reason this stuff is happening, and it has to do with something that happened a year ago when a Manson Family type cult was brought in.

It’s a well done indie horror, with a lot of creepy moments and slow build. Although the ending was disappointing when compared to the build up, I can still recommend it for creepy factor alone. In fact, I’m glad I saw the movie during the day time. I think I’d give this movie a solid “B” rating.

But, I’m going to talk about some of the things this movie did in regards to character development, plot, and exposition, and it’s going to be spoiler heavy. You’ve been warned!

Continue reading The Last Shift, Exposition, and Character-driven Storytelling”


Did I Miss Something? Or How Superman vs. Batman Did Not Impress


Do you ever feel like you’re the odd one out because you didn’t like something? I’m feeling that way with the new movie, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I watched it last weekend and was…well, frankly…bored. I can’t remember the last time I was at a movie theater watching something and just not into it. I was shifting in my seat, thinking some other things, once I even sighed.

I came back home confused by a few things in the plot and thinking to myself, That couldn’t be popular, could it? And the weird thing is, people seem to generally like the movie and I just can’t fathom why. I mean, it isn’t “Oh my god, cleanse my eyes with fire” bad, but it’s ultimately disappointing.

So, yes, I will explain what I mean, but the rest of this article holds some potential spoilers, so you have been warned!
Continue reading “Did I Miss Something? Or How Superman vs. Batman Did Not Impress”

Throwing My Hat Into the Ring — NaNoWriMo 2015

nanowrimo 2015

When I didn’t work 50+ hours a week, November was always a wonderfully creative time for me. And although it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to recapture that former glory of being able to create without worrying so much about adult things, I’m still trying. I remember when writing came like a cool river through my fingers and onto the page. Now, it’s more like a drying spring that comes in spurts and gurgles, and which I usually have to dowse for beforehand.

I’m starting late. It’s already November 3rd, and I won’t be able to truly start until tomorrow. But, my goal is not to reach 50,000 words this month. It’s just to recapture writing, to curb my inner editor, and to participate in a community of fellow writers (something I sorely miss). November is a good excuse to do all of that, you see. And, of course, try and blog about it.

So, anyone else doing NaNoWriMo 2015?

Come on romance genre, you’re above this

So recently, my favorite romance author came out with a new cover for an older book of hers. I hadn’t read this book, hadn’t even known about it, so I snapped it up (I’m a loyal reader, folks). And then I had my heart crushed.

I won’t name names as to the book, because you see, I was disappointed. Usually, I love her stuff. She writes strong women and men who aren’t that stereotypical “male alpha pounding his chest and protecting his woman” stuff I get so tired of in the romance genre. In other words, she writes character-driven romance stories. I can get behind that.

Except this one…this one… Continue reading “Come on romance genre, you’re above this”

Creating Instant Personality


An interesting article from Helga Scheir, over at Writer’s Digest, talks about creating instantly recognizable characters. But, I feel this is basically about giving the reader insights into a character’s personality before anything has been said — that whole pesky “show not tell” thing writing teachers are always harping about. The article interested me because of the example she gives: Continue reading “Creating Instant Personality”

I got ideas, but that ain’t a beginning, middle, or end.

So right now I’m struggling. With writing. Which makes me sad.

I’ve got ideas; I’ve got tons of ideas. I’ve got ideas coming out of my nose, because I can’t contain them all.

But they’re just ideas. I don’t really know the overarching stories, and definitely not enough to outline them. It ends up like this (taken from my idea folder on EverNote): Continue reading “I got ideas, but that ain’t a beginning, middle, or end.”