Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

So - no words tonight (though I did write 400'ish words of the novel last night and a short story so not feeling too guilty) but I did finally get round to seeing "Stranger Than Fiction."

You've probably all heard of it but, if not, it's about a man who slowly realises that the strange voice he keeps hearing is a narrator's voice...and he's the main character in the book.

It's a fascinating film (more so if you're a writer) and I totally recommend you pop out to your local video/dvd shop and rent it.

Here's the Amazon link if you want to find out more:

As one of the reviews said "it's not perfect but it's close." The pace drags occasionally and there are a few moments when you think "hang on, would that character do/believe that?" but on the whole it's really very good. It's a quietly reflective film that makes you think...particularly about your characters.

At one point in the film, not giving anything away, the narrator gets upset when she thinks about how many people she's killed in her novels. I've killed two, but far, far more in my short stories. For example I've made:

  • a child die of leukaemia
  • an old lady die in a train crash
  • a singer die of throat cancer
  • a man commit suicide by hanging himself from his mother's bannister

and that's just off the top of my head.

So today's question is - how many people have you killed and how did you kill them?


Quillers said...

Oh I've killed dozens of people in stories. So many that I've lost count. Sometimes they're based on people I know who've upset me!

I haven't seen stranger than fiction, but I remember watching The Last Action Hero with Schwartzeneggar and how his character (who was a character in a film) talked sadly about how the writers had killed off his young child, and his realisation that it meant nothing to them to do so, yet caused him immense pain.

A. Writer said...

Of the one and a bit books I've written, I've killed no one off so far.

I have an idea in mind for a book (I think it'll be novel number 4!!!) and that'll involve me killing a character off. She'll die of heart failure or in other words, a broken heart.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I killed one in a flash on my blog this week. It was a useful exercise for discharging some anger I needed to deal with. I only kill one in my novel (and a few in the backstory, and of course the ones who have to die so that the main character can do their funerals, but I don't kill them, they don't get into the book until they're already dead). Don't know how many overall, though.

Kate.Kingsley said...

In the novel I'm currently writing, which is told in a series of flashbacks, one of my main characters will be dead in the present time, but I might not write the flashback sections as far as him dying, if that makes sense. I don't yet know how he dies, actually. Better think on that further.
To date I don't think I've killed anyone in my writing, but now that the thought has occurred to me I might try it and see what it feels like (and we're back to Kate Harrion's quote about the writer taking a god-like stance!)
Best wishes
Kate K

Cally said...

Me and Sally are the queen character slayers it seems! Although that obviously down to short stories - if you kill too many characters in your novel you wouldn't have any to write about!

Cally said...

p.s. Zinnia/Sally - Oooh what an interesting thought, killing ficticiously (is that a word?) when you're pissed off with someone. Might have to give that a go.

p.p.s. Zinnia - your book sounds fascinating. You've probably been asked this thousands of times but is it anything like Six Feet Under (which I loved)?