July 26th, 2010

Sketch from My Reading at Confluence

Here's a cool sketch of me reading my short story "The Ontological Factor" at Confluence, done by a very talented member of the audience. Usually I only get to see sketches of myself when I'm the defendant (those charges are bullshit, by the way), so this was a nice change of pace.

Sketch of David Barr Kirtley

Vonnegut on Writing and the Inception Trailer

Here's the awesome trailer for the new film Inception, which I hear is quite good. I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet, since I've been busy with Alpha.

It seems to me that the emotional center of this trailer is the part where Leonardo DiCaprio says fervently, "I think I found a way home, and this last job ... that's how I get there." Without that, the trailer would just be a lot of guns and exposition and gravity-defying stunts -- which is all cool, but it's that emotion that really makes the whole thing click. I'm reminded of one of Kurt Vonnegut's rules of writing, which is, "Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water." I almost talked about that rule in my lecture at Alpha, but in the end I left it out because I had too much material already and that rule wasn't really relevant to the topic under discussion, but now I sort of wish I'd mentioned it and showed the Inception trailer and said, "See? See how much more powerful that one line makes it? Characters who want something are compelling."