Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Willamette Writers Author Series Features Crispin Young


Willamette Writers Author Series:

Crispin Young


The Willamette Writers Author series continues with Crispin Young speaking about her novel, Heart of the Current</b>.

From Amazon:

Annie is having one of those days: two hours late to work, hung over, and grouchy. As a video game designer, she is used to creating perfect worlds, but lately she's noticed a darkness creeping in to hers. She feels her life spinning wildly out of balance. Just as she is beginning to wonder how much more she can handle, an emergency broadcast alert tells her that America is under nuclear attack. As she frantically plans her escape, she wakes up in Tahldia, the strangely familiar world from her video game. When a scarred and grizzled knight, Hakayatas, saves her from a zombie attack, Annie has no choice but to team up with him to discover her destiny.

The Google+ Hangout interview with Ann can be found on the Willamette Writers YouTube page.

Born and raised in Texas, Crispin Young grew up on a steady diet of video games, comic books, cartoons, and watching Star Trek with her dad.

In 2001, she wandered off to the northwest in search of adventure, and received her degrees in Journalism and Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

One night when she was a college freshman, she looked up at the thick blanket of stars above her campfire and saw the characters of Tahldia clearly in her mind. The memories and creative inspiration of that evening followed her like a shadow through the next eight years, evolving and growing into an enormous, bittersweet trilogy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

As Above, So Below, And Plot Above All


As Above, So Below, And Plot Above All

by Bill Johnson

This movie offers a good example of what happens when a movie is mostly plot with very little story. Story, in most successful Hollywood films, revolves around a character who embodies some issue of human need, with the character set in motion to resolve that issue by a story's plot.

As Above, So Below takes just a few moments to introduce something that drives the main character, a young woman, who has conflicted feelings about her father's suicide, and seconds to introduce the young man who helps her and his unresolved guilt over a younger brother's death. Then it's off to the crypts under Paris and about 30 minutes of a group of people trying to find a hidden chamber. There are a few 'boo' moments, but mostly its just more of the same as minor characters die in turn.

Toward the end of the film, the young woman comes across the hanging body of her father and she reconciles with him by hugging his hanging corpse. Her helper, also in a few moments, reconciles with his dead younger brother.

What drives these characters is resolved in seconds, leaving in its wake people walking through tunnels, crawling through tunnels, or running through tunnels, with the minor characters dying at a predictable rate.

The Descent, a film about some women cave diving, showed how this kind of plot could be in the service of a story.

It's oft repeated that a film generally needs to have a main character the audience chooses to feel invested in or care about. Films can violate that if they offer something else. As Above, So Below doesn't.

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