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Just the other week it was my boyfriend’s birthday, and all he really wanted to do (besides hiking) was watch The Hobbit. Honestly, since I really liked the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, I was kind of looking forward to this movie, and now that I’ve seen it I have to say that I’m…disappointed.

The movie added a lot of scenes that just slowed down the story. Besides the pacing being off, it’s like the movie couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to be an epic fantasy or some sort of cheap thrill ride, over the top adventure movie. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with either, but at least pick one and stay with it. At no point in time was I worried about the safety of any of the characters because of this, and nor did I care enough about the characters to be worried about them.

Normally I don’t like talking bad about anyone’s art here, no matter the medium, but I do feel that there are some good writing lessons that can be learned from this movie.

Lesson 1: Start with the action, or where the story really starts, don’t lead into it with some sort of unnecessary introduction scene. In the movie The Hobbit, it started out with old Bilbo writing his book and not with Gandalf painting a rune on young Bilbo’s green door. I think they added this scene to the movie to put Elija Woods in the credits, but all this really did was slow down the pacing.

Lesson 2: Action for the sake of action does not make a story more exciting. If it’s not raising the stakes, or moving the plot forward it probably doesn’t really have a place in that story.

Lesson 3: Do make sure that all your important characters are fully developed. It’s hard to feel committed to a story if you can’t really relate to any of the characters.

Final Lesson: Refrain from dumping the background story on your audience in the beginning…or really ever. The dreaded info dump definitely slows down the pace of the story.

Well, I hope that was somewhat helpful to everyone, even if none of this info is really new. So how about all of you, have you seen The Hobbit? What did you think of it? Also, what stories have you read or watched recently that have given you some things to think about when working on your own writing?

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