Jun 25, 2010

Friendly Friday - David J. West

Hello all, I am David J. West, I write adventure fiction with a bit of both historical and fantasy thrown in--shaken not stirred.
My first novel, Heroes of the Fallen is the first in a series set toward the end of the Book of Mormon. I am also going to have some short fantasy stories published in anthologies later this year.

Anyway back at the ranch.

I took my son to the dollar theater today, we saw Clash of the Titans. Visually it was pretty good but ultimately the story fell down the stairs and broke its hip.

OK, why didn't it work?

I ask because I analyze everything I like and don't like and think (as I am sure most all writers are prone to) what would I have done to make this better?

In a perfect world I was the absolute demographic for this movie and yet I'm not raving because it just didn't have the emotional impact that even a straight sword-swinging action fan (like me) needs.

As Dave Farland always says, "We need resonance." We need to feel these characters and want to cheer them on.

The movie could have been saved if we felt for these characters more-the leads especially, in contrast why are people like me partial to Gladiator? Because we had the resonance with the character-we wanted him to succeed, we liked him and knew why we liked him. Titans left us wondering and just threw us in the thick of it hoping we would figure it out or just ride along for the visual spectacle.

But that won't carry a classic and I hope to write classic's-sword-swing classics.
I do my best to remember that every character is a lead in their own mind and thus has their own real motivations and needs, this helps flesh out better characters that feel real. And the realer they seem to the reader the stronger emotional impact you will have and in theory the more you will love (or hate) the story.
I'm all about the story.

My blog is http://david-j-west.blogspot.com/
and you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/David_JWest
Things being what they are, Amazon is perhaps the easiest place to get my novel.

***You are so right, David. Both about what makes a character come alive and about picking movies and books apart. My husband hates it when I start telling him all the parts that I'd do differently. But you have to admit, it's good practice for editing your own work--and for others. Thanks for being my guest and for letting us get to know you better.

My guest next week will be Kathy O. Peterson.


  1. Nice post, David. I think characters we can connect with are so important.

  2. Thanks Angie, my fav characters in the movie were the supporting ones who actually seemed REAL = Draco.

    Thanks again Christine for having me and my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-ways.

  3. Good points! I haven't seen that movie yet. Maybe I'll wait until it comes out on DVD.

  4. Great points! I haven't seen that movie yet. Maybe I'll wait until it comes out on DVD.

  5. I haven't seen it and from what I've heard I may not. BTW, the review of Heroes of the Fallen is not forgotten. I've sent it to a review site and am waiting to hear back from them. But if they don't run it I will run it on Razored Zen.

  6. Thanks Charles, and I think its worthwhile for DVD Nichole.