I was feeling a little rammy at 4:30am. A perfect, wonderful time of the day for writing and thinking and deciding on stories. My fingers and hands have been dying to make something and I was thinking about research. A carry over from last week. My story has stalled a little. The momentum is gone and I’m floundering. I decided a little Science Fiction infusion was in order. Just a couple of hours then on to the writing.
So I watched Event Horizon.
This space horror has absolutely terrified me for 22 years. But today, in the dark, alone, I chose to watch it differently. Today it was research. I found myself comparing it to Alien, my normal inspiration and the only other real space horror movie that’s moved me.
I was watching Dr. Weir, played by Sam Neill, tell the crew of the Lewis and Clark about the Event Horizon at the beginning of the film. He didn’t load them with information, he didn’t dump every bit of everything on them. They responded naturally. The crew moved around the ship like they were born there and reacted to each other in natural human ways. I kept watching Weir. He is the key to the entire mystery of the Event Horizon.
Weir didn’t tell the crew of the Lewis and Clark exactly how he designed the Event Horizon. He didn’t tell them about his sad life story or how magnetic fields work or gravitational fluctuations. There was already a certain amount of understanding between them since they all lived in the same world, the same fictional universe.
The audience and crew are given bits of information throughout the story. Dr. Weir explains a few aspects of the ship’s mechanics and whatnots. But we’re never given exactly where the ship goes when it folds time. It didn’t take long before I noticed something about my own work.
I’m trying to write two stories and make them one. Yes, I as the author need to know the entire backstory of the E-scape One. I need to know how the soul element works and I need to know the political climate around it. But really, deep down, the reader doesn’t. They can make their own assumptions, connect their own dots.
In the story I’m trying to tell with Tasha the MaD, very little of that information, that history, is necessary. It’s filler, fluff. The scene that I’ve been stumbling over for weeks doesn’t actually need to be there. The scene that I tried to add to the stuck-scene doesn’t need to be in the novel, either. All the novel and the reader needs is the bits of information, the hints, the crumbs.
It’s liberating. I breathed, sighed, felt relief and freedom. There’s no reason to jam all that story into one novel.
Now there’s even more room for Tasha and Ny-ello to explore, grow, and thrill.
Thanks Sam Neill for reminding me that only this present, this story, is what matters in this moment.
Image Credits -https://fanart.tv/fanart/movies/8413/movieposter/event-horizon-5786d5755bbba.jpg, http://moviemezzanine.com/netflix-instant-picks-8913-81513, http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies.event-horizon/41976/event-horizon-from-doomed-ship-to-cult-gem