Today I’m living proof–I forgot what day it is. As in, it’s Monday so it is blog day. Yikes.
Since returning from the death march I called the LUCKY BASTARD Shameless Self-Promotion Tour, I’ve had a hard time with re-entry into the “real” world….or at least my imaginary version of it.
So, yesterday, I shucked responsibility and went to a movie.
Although I love movies, I hadn’t seen one since last fall. I should know better. Stories reorient me, ground me, make me smile…and think.
We saw the new Star Trek movie (yes, I know it’s been out awhile, but it was new to me.) I am old enough to have cut my teeth on the original television series–yes, I watched every episode….hundreds of times. I’ve even been to a couple of Star Trek conventions, but don’t tell anyone….that makes me seem a bit geekier than my ego will accept:)
So, you can imagine my reticence to see a remake of such a revered classic. I mean, who can play Captain Kirk better than Bill Shatner? And Spock? Please, there is only one.
Well, I was wrong. Chris Pine is perfect as the Captain. And now there are two equally wonderful Spocks. Inf act, all of the characters stay true to the originals but add a uniqueness, a nuance all their own. I like that.
Since seeing the show, I’ve been mulling it over, dissecting it. Analyzing what made me accept the newer version with as much fervor as I did the original?
The characters. Plain and simple.
The adventure was fine, the special effects awesome. And bringing back Kahn, for the second time in the film versions, was okay…although not inspired. But the Star Fleet characters hooked me (and the writing was pretty brilliant…especially for a big-budget movie.)
The new writers stayed true to the heart of the series–they understood what created the show’s longevity. The relationships and the multi-faceted characters.
A good lesson for me as a storyteller. One I know in my heart and in my gut, but sometimes lose sight of in trying to create an interesting mystery.
And, for the record, I’ve NEVER had a reader ask me about the mystery. They want to know what happens with the characters…that’s it. Maybe my mysteries aren’t compelling, but I don’t think that’s the case.
That common human thread as played out by the characters in any story is what hooks us, what pulls us through the story. If the writer did her job, then we become invested in all these folks populating the story, they become our friends, and we have to discover what happens to them.
My favorites live in my heart and in my memory.
What are some of your favorite fictional characters? Why?