I had considered several titles for this post. Leaning toward the way I write in my blogs, I found this one to be most fitting.
It is the goal of the writer to create a story that so resonates with the reader that they want to live it. The reader finds themselves “friends” with the characters and cheers for their successes and cries at their failures. No matter how or what you write, you want the reader to hunger for more. It just never occurred to me until this morning that, even screen writers seek to achieve the same.
Let me digress in the open for a second. (Ya, I know, boo. Get over it.) If you have ever experienced the death of a loved one that is very close to you or witnessed a murder, the days and weeks after that event are…unreal. There is really no way to describe the feeling of loss, (at this point I sat here blinking at the cursor for a good FIVE minutes before I could go on,) anger, anguish, and “floating” that a person goes through after something like that. For a writer, to invoke feelings like that over the death of a character is pure Nirvana.
Not so easy to achieve.
The reason I came to this epiphany was at the death of Jax Teller in the popular show Sons of Anarchy. I know TV is not something I watch often but there are shows that I have been sucked into pretty much like a good book. While I may not “just die” if I miss an episode when it comes out, and I may not even have watched every single episode while the show was currently running, I did watch enough to keep up with what was going on. I imagine for a screen writer it may be a bit easier to invoke a wide array of emotions in their fans. After all, the DO have the visual segment integrated into their work. Its not as hard to paint a picture when you have a TV director painting the picture from your words. This third party person can fill in the blanks that are missed. While I have not tried my hands at screen plays, I imagine this to be one of the “benefits” of that area of writing. Background done, I give props to Kurt Sutter for invoking feelings that only few writers can invoke in people.
If you have not watched the season finale of SOA, I apologize for the spoiler and suggest you go watch it anyway. You have to know what is going on for the season finale to even make sense for you or for you to even revel in the last scene. This character had been through so much and done so many awful things over the course of the story and for it to end like that was just….wow. Personally, it brought me as close to the feeling someone must feel after witnessing the murder of someone you know or the death someone close to you. Never have I had any book or movie bring that to me. It is not a feeling I wish to relive, however, I am also in awe of the talent of the writer to end his story in such a way that all you can say when the credits roll is:
No, you wont scream it to the heavens, but just sit there and stare at the screen for a moment and say it out loud. Dayum. I guess I feel this way because I am also impressed with Kurt Sutter in that he was able to end a great story and the people were still hungry for more. Only…there is no more…Maybe. Remember, Jax had 2 boys. One of them was having personal issues with his world and they showed him flipping the Sons ring on his finger at the very end. Sure, the story itself…the one of Jax Teller is over. This means that his legacy still lives on. Should the writer want to pick up and just write more for the sake of not exploding (TRUE writers block, no, not the one where you CANT write but where you MUST,) he certainly could. There is enough of the original story for him to pick up and possibly bring Abel back to Charming and join the club, etc.
I imagine this series is as close to a good book that a screenplay will ever get for me. I have read books that made good screenplays and the screenplays have been similar to what I imagine them to be while I read the book. That is something (in my opinion) only Stephen King can do. THAT, my friends, is a whole another rant. Anyway, this WAS a good story. It left me hanging. It left me wanting more. It shocked my senses in every way. and it left me thinking as I closed the back cover.
The ultimate goal for any writer is to achieve that. Also, to invoke feelings that are hard to bring about. Cheers to you Kurt Sutter, you have been placed very close to the top of the list as an artist for me.
What do YOU think?