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Writing 101

Spoilers Below

Don't read this if you haven't yet watched the season finales of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and/ or LIFE ON MARS. I've finally seen both (we are TIVO junkies, so we don't always watch shows the night they air), and... well...

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ends with "God Did It." Looks like somebody skipped Writing 101, when you learn that a deus ex machina is a crappy way to end a story.

And now LIFE ON MARS ends with "It Was All a Dream." Curiously, I actually found that a bit more satisfying than the end of BSG. But still... really??? C'mon. Writing 101.

Oh, and while I'm at it, let me spoil the new Nicholas Cage movie, KNOWING. I actually enjoyed that one, mostly, although everyone else I know who has seen it hated it. But the ending... this time it was space angels who did it. And when the little kids starting running through the alien grass toward the glowing alien tree, I almost thought the boy was going to say, "My dad used to call me Caleb, but my real name is Adam," and then the little girl would say... oh, wait, you've seen it?

Yeah, yeah, sometimes the journey is its own reward. I certainly enjoyed much of the journey with BSG, parts of LIFE ON MARS, and even some stuff in KNOWING. But damn it, doesn't anybody know how to write an ending any more?

Writing 101, kids. Adam and Eve, God Did It, It Was All a Dream? I've seen Clarion students left stunned and bleeding for turning in stories with those endings.


(I sure hope those guys doing LOST have something better up planned for us. Though if it turns out to be They Were All Dead All Along I'm really going to be pissed).


Apr. 5th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Except the LIFE ON MARS ending wasn't really "It was all a dream", or at least, I didn't get that at all. I think it was clear from the start that his experiences were tied to his coma and that he wasn't hopping in some delorean with a flux capacitor, but at the same time it was clear in the end that whatever he experienced was something beyond simple hallucination or dreams; the characters were too real, too continuous, and many things in that world were strangely tied to present-day events. Gene Hunt and his gang were almost guardian angels of a sort. Also see ASHES TO ASHES for a direct continuation of the story post-Sam.
Apr. 6th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
I think GRRM is referring to the American remake of LIFE ON MARS, which has a totally different (and far whackier) ending to the UK version.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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