Slow motion is awesome. Whether you're walking away from an explosion, or just jumping a school bus over a robot; slow motion makes everything take an appreciably radical amount of time. Now, you could argue that the one thing books have over movies is the pacing: You can always
read at your own pace, right?
Well, yeah, but that means you have to do stuff! Fuck that!
A good director does everything for you, leaving absolutely no room for confusion. Good movies have characters sum up, in astoundingly simple terms, the entire plot at the end of the movie. If there's a twist, it usually takes 20 minutes of montage to show you exactly why it's a twist, and how. Hell, truly great movies will even have one of the characters say the title of the movie in dialogue, just so you know why a movie is called that, or indeed, simply to remind you of what movie you're actually watching. So why do we have to do things like mentally pace a scene while reading?
The best director in the world... according to the above criteria.
A good author could take a cue from the movies and draw a passage out in slow motion when something's particularly awesome. For example, here's what the Matrix could
be like, in novel form:
"Whoa," said Neo, his black trenchcoat flapping at a perfectly reasonable speed in the wind, "this is the Matrix and I can jumpkick for like a day and a half."
"Yes," said Trinity, "I am wearing black leather that makes me look hotter than I actually am, and I too can kick for hours."
"What's that? AN AGENT WHO IS A BAD GUY!"
Neo gets a running start towards the sinister agent--who you can tell is sinister because he's wearing a suit. He takes a step, and then another and another. Now there's another step. Now it's only half a step, and he starts to lift off the ground just a little bit. Now he's kind of in the air but not really. Now he's more in the air. Now he's totally
in the air and seriously about to kick a guy in the face.
Neo is kicking a guy in the face.
Neo is still kicking a guy in the face.
His trenchcoat is flapping. Flap. Flaaaap. Flaaaaaaaaap.
Now that guy that Neo kicked is flying all around everywhere and it seems way too fast but it's really just normal speed that you're not used to right now.
"I love you, Neo," says Trinity, her leather jumpsuit falling off just a little. Now a lot. Now a little more. Then it's all the way off and there's tits.
"Whoa," Neo responds, then flies away.
The sunglasses are a metaphor for our caged emotions, the coat is a metaphor for our trailing ambition, and the flying is just because flying is awesome.
You can thank me later for saving the written word, English Literature. I accept payment in Gin and hot female grad students who are easily impressed by manifestos about socialism (I googled some stuff). Redheads and Seagram's, if you've got 'em.
Find Robert on Twitter
and his own site, I Fight Robots
, where he will gladly critique your thesis if you know what I'm sayin'.