LETS TALK ABOUT GODZILLA (no spoilers, I’m not that much of a jerk)


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.


3 comments to LETS TALK ABOUT GODZILLA (no spoilers, I’m not that much of a jerk)

  • I will admit to being not so much a fan of the Great Lizard, and so I’m not that disappointed to hear that it didn’t rock you to your core. But I do like the lesson you’ve drawn from the movie. That’s something I try to do as well — with every book, every movie, every episode of every show I watch, I try to draw lessons for my own work. Character, narrative, pacing, setting; whatever. The lessons are there. Thanks for pointing out this one.

  • Razziecat

    Hmm, my mother was a fan of the original, and I still remember watching it late one night with her, when I was a kid. Well, more than once, I’m sure, but that first time sticks in my memory! Pretty sure no remake will ever be as cool 😉 As for the cost, here’s how I look at it: When I go to the movies, I GO TO THE MOVIES! Might as well enjoy the whole experience 😀

    Thanks for pointing out that even something as simple as “giant lizard smashes cities” can teach us a few things about telling a story.

  • Just a head’s up for magicalwords fans since I know a lot of us go to ConCarolinas – while walk-ins have been possible at previous ConCarolina’s the Convention is close to selling out. If you want a weekend pass or a Saturday only pass, you really should reserve now. There are less than 100 of the weekend pass and less than 50 of the Saturday-only.
    Friday only and Sunday only passes are still easily available.