Thursday, April 3, 2014
LET IT GO--- FROZEN writing tips
Okay, maybe not that many.
But it's close. Much too close.
I've even seen it once in French, because my eldest daughter is facinated with the language and has vowed to learn how to sing ALL the songs in French.
I can't tell you how much that excites me. (Insert sarcasm here)
For some reason, this movie has taken hold of the hearts of children and adults alike. While there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, what is it about the movie that has made store shelves empty of the DVD?
And what can we learn from that for our writing?
Well, the first thing we can't replicate. Frozen has some amazing songs that caused even some super fun weatherman to mimic.
But catchy music aside.... there were several WINNERS about Frozen that helped make it the HIT that it was.
1.) Comedy. While most Disney "princess" movies have a few slices of funny in them, Frozen had more than most. It was FILLED with them, even though the movie itself wasn't a comedy at all. Some of our families favorites:
Olaf. Need I say more?
Ana walking like a penguin in her frozen dress.
The talking Sven.
The adorable trolls trying to matchmake:-)
"What if you hate the way he picks his nose.... and eats it?" "EWwww" "All men do it."
Those are just a few:-)
Regardless of your genre (except maybe thriller...), putting a couple natural giggle moments is a fantastic way to retain your readers attention. Giggle moments stay in our head almost as much if not more than deep emotional moments.
2.) GREAT dialogue. I don't think there was one moment in the movie where the dialogue seemed unnatural. There were some GREAT lines in there...
"Just roll with it..." (Kristoff talking after the rocks rolled in and turned to trolls)
"If only there were someone out there who loved you..." (The turning point where we find out that the prince is not so prince-like afterall)
"Someone has to tell him..." (Kristoff talking to himself after Olaf's Summer song)
And probably my favorite... "Some people are worth melting for."
There were so many great lines in the movie, I couldn't possibly list them all.
Great lines are memorable. And we want memorable lines of dialogue in our books too!
3.) Romance. I've said this for years and I still remain true to this point. Romance makes every story just a little bit better. Obviously I write romance, so my books are going to have this as a central theme, with other things such as suspense and drama playing an important secondary roll. But even if you aren't writing romance, adding a sprinkle of romance to your novel can serve to be a wee bit of zing that helps your book be memorable.
4.) A takeaway. Spiritual theme. Frozen's theme was that an act of true love is more than true loves kiss. It is sacrifice. Risking ones self for the sake of another. That true love can thaw even the most frozen of hearts. While romance is a lot about love... love isn't all about romance. It's one of the things I loved about the movie, the hero's love didn't save the day (although he absolutely helped) but Ana's love for her sister is what saved the day.
5.) Speaking of heroes.... Kristoff was pretty cool. A GREAT example of an imperfect hero that you grow to love. He's an orphan and super rough around the edges. He begrudgingly helps Ana instead of being the over the top prince who dashes off to save her. (In fact, THAT guy ends up being a total dweeb.) He's real and has real issues... and loves his sled just a wee bit too much... but his redeeming qualities totally make up for it.
6.) A REAL heroine. She wasn't perfect. She's flightly and impatient and a bit cocky at times. But she's also fun and energetic and has charisma. And in the end, she lays down her life for her sister.
7.) A loveable villain. Elsa. A villain of sorts... but we love her. We don't want her to get hurt, but we want her to fix her mistake. She has a reason she is how she is, it's not really her fault, but then again, it is. If she'd just told Ana... then her sister would have understood and not provoked her, right?
8.) Suspense. Just like Romance, a little suspence, even if not the main thread, makes every story a little better. How were they going to stop winter? We thought we might know.. until we realized who the TRUE villain was.
9.) Body Movements. This is one of the things I noticed in Frozen that I don't remember in a lot of other animated movies. One moment in particular, when Elsa had just built her castle of ice, she was walking out to the balcony and her hips sashayed as she sang. That little movement told me more about what she was thinking than even the song itself. She was owning her power, her womanhood. It was her moment of throwing off everything she'd been taught and deciding she was her own woman.
That is something we can definitely do in our writing, and I confess. I forget about it myself. The importance of a flick of a wrist, a hand on a hip, a chest puffed up, shoulders sagging, or even a simple clenched fist. These all can SHOW our characters feelings without having to tell them.
10.) And yeah. Great songs. I think maybe I need to make my song-writing hubby write me a song for a book trailer or something. It probably won't be Frozen quality... but hey, never hurts to try, eh?
Let it go... Let it go......
Discussion: Did you catch the Frozen craze? What are some of your favorite dialogue or comedy moments? Any story-writing lessens you learned?