Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts On "Padding"

Last night we watched "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" as a family. The one from 1979.

It's SO boring!

The movie could have easily been an hour-long television episode, complete with commercial breaks. The makers spent an unbelievable amount of time on special effects. I mean unbelievable. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. It made me say, "What on earth were they thinking???"

The plot (when you could find it among the special effects) was thin and had no tension, as if even the cast knew they were in a boring movie.

It got me to thinking about my "completed" manuscript that is suffering from neglect, needing revision/editing. I think one of the reasons I'm reluctant to dust it off and work on it is that I'm not sure if I really have enough story for a whole novel. It's too short. I've got some ideas for added scenes, but I don't want to add padding.

It seemed to me as if the Star Trek movie creators took an hour-long television episode and padded it out with special effects to make it movie-length. (According to the Wikipedia entry, that's more or less what they did.) The padding was very boring, and it made the whole movie seem boring.

I don't want to do that with my novel.

I hope I can think of something. If not, I may seriously need to shelve it and focus on one of the other four ideas competing for my attention.

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