Okay, I saw the big lizard this weekend.
It was good but not great.
Godzilla looks amazing, totally rocked that.
Here’s the thing that happened that moved what should have been the third best movie of 2014 (after Captain Americas Winter Soldier which is so amazeballs it should be illegal, and Gaurdians Of The Galaxy which will be a close second to CAWS in the amazeballs category) into just a good movie level….not dollar movie, but not full priced, more like matinee from 2000 priced movies.
(55 bucks for three tickets, popcorn and drinks when the Tucks went Damn)
Okay, how this relates to story.
Godzilla is an action movie. It’s a disaster movie. Those both come with tropes. They are loaded with audience expectations. Now these really often become very rote and we can see them coming from a mile away and that suxxors….so the makers of Godzilla avoided a lot of those.
But the problem is they didn’t replace those tropes with anything else.
And so the audience felt let down and the humans in the film came across as flat.
So the lesson to learn is that when you write genre you should understand that your reader probably comes with a set of preconceived notions about what they are going to experience. This is NOT a bad thing. I mean, when I sit down to a piece of pecan pie on Thanksgiving I have the preconceived notion that it going to be absolutely delicious. I do not want the pie to try and be clever and subvert this notion, especially if it isn’t going to replace that notion with something better like ‘oh, there is a thin layer of cheesecake under this pecan and pie goo layer that has exploded my tastebuds with awesome….. am now DRUNK on the ecstasy of deliciousness!’
And that is your task. As a writer of tales. Hit your reader in their preconceived notions with something BETTER, something tastier and more awesome than they thought they were getting. And if you avoid a trope then you need to put something better in its place or your reader will feel shortchanged.
Learn the lesson of Godzilla.
So it is spoken, so mote it be.