There's an old writing exercise for new writers that's all about copying great work. Before he became an established writer, Hunter S. Thompson would copy The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms, word for word, to try to better understand the writing styles of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, two artists he admired. It was important to him to know what it felt like to physically write down every word in Gatsby, in an attempt to understand what was going through Fitzgerald's mind when he wrote it. Certain phrases and sentences would take on a different meaning after Thompson had actually typed them out and watch them appear on a page.

Similarly, young screenwriters exercise their minds by watching a movie and then, based on the visuals, writing what they imagine the script looked like, including dialogue, action, descriptions- everything. By transposing what you see on the screen, you learn what was important to the director; you learn what information he/she wanted the audience to see, and how he/she wanted that information presented. It's a really neat exercise, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about visual storytelling.

I also have a few artists that I'd like to understand better, except mine aren't literary greats like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. The artist that is most important to me is the person responsible for the new Battleship movie, the name of whom escapes me at the moment. The trailer for this film, (starring The Blonde Vampire from True Blood, Riggins from Friday Night Lights, and Liam "For Some Reason I'm In This Movie" Neeson), was recently released and, in an effort to really get inside the mind of and understand the folks behind this movie, I decided to perform my own little writing exercise. Allow me to present to you...

BATTLESHIP THE NOVELIZATIONT OF THE TRAILER FOR THE MOVIE (BA5E0 01 THE GAME BATTLESHIP

The Folly of Man If today was the first day you'd gazed upon the Sea. you'd never believe there was a time when it wasn't a place of carnage, destruct

I remember staring up at thAT skyline, marveling at its beauty, and at the sheer arrogance of man for attempting to compete with it. How perfectly fit

Novelization of the Trailer for the Movie Battleship

This was the home I wanted. Our bed of sand, our roof of stars, our pillows of half-drunk bottles of wine, our soundtrack of the ocean breeze, and tha

What is wrong with you, Captain Liam Neeson growled. You went from enlisted to an officer faster than anyone in the history of the United States Na

Novelization of the Trailer for the Movie Battleship

There are moments in life when the daily struggles and concerns get stripped away. The things that were important to you as a child seem trivial as an

The Battleship Movie is About Aliens? For a moment, there was silence. darkness, and the waves. IfI could crawl into a moment and live there forever,

They jammed our radars, so we'd be essentially blind when firing upon them, like in the days before radar, or like the hit, Milton Bradley game Battle

Like most people, I often see the world as movie about my life. It's an odd, narcissistic bit of behavior. It stems from thinking so highly of yoursel


Daniel O'Brien is Cracked.com's Senior Writer (ladies), and even though he thinks this movie looks like a pile of shit, he will still go see it (Rihanna).

For more from Dan, check out A Series of Dispatches From Jersey Shore's New Intern and Why Spider-Man Is a Dick.

Join the Cracked Movie Club

Get your weekly round-up of the latest movie and TV coverage from Cracked and be entered for our digital projector giveaway!

Forgot Password?