Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Learning from movies - The Second Turning Point

Turning points in Romance (with a capital R) are often the first kiss, the first lovemaking scene etc, but in Pretty Woman, these are not the turning point scenes, as Vivienne is a hooker, and lovemaking is her job.  Edward is completely different from her 'regular clients' . He is shy about sex, and orders champagne and strawberries to get her in the mood. He's focused on work, and is in no hurry to take her to bed, but eventually does.
At this point we learn that Vivienne will do anything, except kiss him on the mouth. Kissing on the mouth means something to her.
The next morning he's on the brick again, organising a business meeting. We learn that he's slept on the couch, but he's considerate. When Vivienne says she's leaving, he urges her to stay for breakfast, he's ordered everything on the menu from room service, because he doesn't know what she'd like.
~ And here comes the second turning point ~  When his lawyer urges him to take a date to a business dinner, he decides to make Vivienne an offer. She will be his companion for the week, for a total sum of $3,000.
Vivienne agrees. She tenderly ties Edward's tie for him, obviously falling for him. As he leaves, she follows him to the door (and at this point, I'm amazed that she's managed to dunk herself underwater in the bath, and still have perfect makeup). She's confident.
She says: "Baby, I'm gonna treat you so nice, you're never gonna want to let me go."
Edward smiles. "Three thousand, six days," he pauses for a beat, "and Vivienne, I will let you go."
Edward leaves, as Vivienne's face reveals her disappointment.
Then she grins. "But I'm here now."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Review just in for Catch Me A Catch

I've just received my second review for Catch Me A Catch from Seriously Reviewed, and would like to thank them for it! They gave the story 8.5 (their scoring scale states that a 9 – Lifetime Keeper to be read and reread. And an 8 – Excellent, solid storytelling. A book you can’t put down, so somewhere between these two!)
And the presentation scored a 9. That element covered the quality of the publisher. On their scale a 9-10 is for : Cover, editing and overall book is spectacular.

Here's the text of the review, or do visit Seriously Reviewed to see it in situ!

Review: What a cute story :)

Ms Clements really painted The Emerald Isle for me. I got a great taste of the flavor and an eye-full of the mystical view. The characters were real-to-life and popped off the pages. The plot was believable and interesting. Without a doubt an adorable read that was very hard for me to put down.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Learning from movies - the first turning point

This is my second lesson from Pretty Woman, and concerns the first turning point. Before this point we've learned a bit about Julia Roberts' character, Vivienne. She dresses in her 'hooker outfit' (well, okay, I know its not her, but her body double, but lets suspend disbelief for a moment). She sneaks out of the apartment that she shares with another, more seasoned prostitute, Kit, avoiding the landlord who they owe rent to, then goes back into the apartment to discover that Kit has raided the rent money. In the sequence that follows, we discover that she's new at the game, is responsible (she berates Kit for spending the rent money on drugs), and doesn't want to be a prostitute long term. We also get a hint here that Vivienne is a caring, nurturing personality (I reckon she's an enneagram type 2) in the way that she cares for her friend, Kit.

She has her inciting incident on her way to the club to find Kit when she discovers a prostitute has been murdered and dumped.

When Edward's Lotus Esprit pulls up she shashays forth to earn money. But Edward doesn't want a hooker, he wants directions, so she climbs in and offers to direct him to his hotel.

At the hotel, Edward thanks her for the ride. It's over. She says she's going for a cab, then sits at the bus stop. And here is the point where the story takes a different turn. The first turning point.

Note the difference also in the way that the characters speak. Edward is worldly, sophisticated, rich and well educated. His choice of words reflects that. Vivienne is uneducated, but with a natural wittiness that charms Edward. Her vocabulary is much simpler.

Edward thinks for a moment. Then walks over.
"I was thinking," he starts. "Did you really say $100 an hour?"
"Yeah," Vivienne replies.
"Well, if you don't have any prior engagements, I'd be very pleased if you would accompany me into the hotel."
"You got it." Vivienne drawls. She asks him his name, and discovering that it is Edward, says that its her favourite name in the whole world. "I'll tell you what, this is fate, Edward, that's what this is."
(We, the audience know it's fate, but the screenwriter cleverly rams it home at this point, making sure that we understand it.)
~And there it is, in a nutshell. The first turning point.~

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learning from movies - Personality & Internal Conflict

I've decided to do a series on posts on writing. I'm taking one movie (Pretty Woman) and using it to illustrate story structure and elements, and how they're portrayed through the medium of film, because I think its interesting, and hope some of you do to!

Now Pretty Woman has a lot of issues, but I'm not going into those. I'm just using it as an example. So forget about the body double, Vivienne being a prostitute with perfect teeth and no health problems, and Edward holding a brick to his ear throughout the movie, while we concentrate on the story elements.
~ Today I'm looking at the incredibly quick way that the screenwriter builds a detailed picture of the personality and internal conflict of Richard Gere's character, Edward.~

The very first line in the movie is: "You know what they say, it's all about money."
Given by a magician at a party, this could easily be the movie's tagline.
(Although it wasn't. The actual movie tagline was: "Who knew it was so much fun to be a hooker?")

It begins with Edward's odious lawyer at a party talking about Edward. Setting the scene for how powerful and rich Edward is. People refer to Edward as 'the guest of honour'. They ask 'Where's Edward anyway?' Then Edward arrives. He talks on the phone to his girlfriend. He's angry because she hasn't flown to meet him to act as his escort during a round of important meetings.
"I told my secretary to make the arrangements, didn't she call you?"
His girlfriend complains he never gives her any notice, just expects her to be at his beck and call. She feels used, and tells him she speaks to his secretary more than she speaks to him. When she tries to call his bluff by suggesting she should move out of his apartment, Edward calmly agrees. The sooner the better. It's all about him. Edward is uncompromising, always spoken to with respect, and emotionally unavailable.
As he leaves the party early, he bumps into an old girlfriend now married to someone else.
Now here's a hint that he's aware of his own shortcomings. He asks her "Susan, tell me something. When you and I were dating, did you speak to my secretary more than you spoke to me?"
Susan replies, "She was one of my bridesmaids."

So, in the very first scene of the movie, in less than 3 minutes of screen time, we have learned that Edward is rich, powerful and emotionally unavailable (and aware of it). He is at the party for scant minutes before leaving in his lawyer's new car, which he doesn't know how to drive. He doesn't care that he's expected to be at the party, he does what he wants. He considers it to be his right to borrow a car, and doesn't ask but demands the keys.

Edward drives off before the opening credits.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

But it's not all roses....

I've been shouting about the silver linings happening in the past couple of weeks, but neglected to mention the 'dark side'.

In the same time period, I also had:

A brief but pleasant standard R from Carina (on another story).
A brief but pleasant standard R from Woman's Weekly on a short story...
And, most sadly of all, a very nice R from the New York Agent who's been considering my first crime book since last November.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm driving 'em wilde!

The 'good week' continues! I've just discovered that I'm one of three finalists in my category in the Drive ‘Em Wilde contest sponsored by Savvy Authors.

I sent in the first 10 pages of 'Marrying Cade' my current book, the partial of which is being looked at by Mills and Boon, so I'm really hoping they love it as much as the judges do.

There were 87 total entrants and 3 finalists.  I also received detailed crit sheets from 3 judges, who gave individual scores which were averaged to provide my total score. One lovely judge (an editor) gave me 99 out of 100, thank you so much, Ms Bas! The other scores of 89 and 95 were averaged to give me a total score of 94.

The next round is judged by the final judge in my category, Angela James with Carina Press who will pick the overall category winner, announcing over the next couple of weeks.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Sale!

I'm delighted to announce that I've sold my second book, Bound to Love, to Embrace Books, and they've just announced it on the Embrace site.
More about it later, because I've got to go to the shops to buy lunch (ah, the romance of it, Tescos!) but couldn't resist letting everyone know asap!