I’ve Got a Problem

I’ve been suffering in silence for too long now. I need help. I need to tell someone about what I’ve been going through, even if it’s embarrassing, even if I think it’ll make people not want to talk to me anymore.

I’ve got Writer’s Snootiness.

Please, I beg of you, bear with me. This isn’t something I want to tell you… it’s something I need to tell you. I noticed the first symptoms when I went and saw Captain America at the cinema (NOTE – there will be mild Captain America, Brave and The Dark Knight Rises spoilers from here on in). It’s an awesome film, my favourite of the Avengers arc, but there were a few bits I found myself frowning at. I mentioned a few to my friends – “hey, wouldn’t it be more cool if they did this instead of this?” Like, when Red Skull self-destructs his own base, why don’t they show a segment of the portrait alluded to earlier, with the horror of his true face partially revealed just before it goes up in flames. That’d just have been plain awesome (NOTE 2 – I’ve not see any deleted scenes from that film, so if that’s one of them then bow down now before your new prophet!).

Needless to say I thought this was only a passing inspirational spark, and swiftly forgot the brief glow of smugness felt at the fact that I’d come up with something cool the scriptwriters hadn’t already thought of.

Then I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises.

Again, an amazing film. I’d been hyped to hell by both the reviews and my friend’s anticipation beforehand – this thing was going to blow my mind. And in many ways it did. Bane in particular has instantly become my 4th favourite all-time villain, after Davy Jones, Scar and Palpatine. His voice is ear-orgasmic. But, just as in Captain America, there were bits where I found myself frowning. At the end wouldn’t it have been so much more hard-hitting, so much more powerful to have just had Alfred’s facial reaction shot in the cafe, without ever seeing Christian Bale? It felt like that was what’d been set up for in the earlier scenes. Did the writers get cold feet at the last moment and throw in the shot of Bale to stave off accusations of an Inception-esq cliff-hanger ending?

I saw Brave a couple of weeks after that. Yet again, great film. By now however my condition was endemic. Throughout the showing I questioned the tightness of the plot, the relevancy of the main villain, the voice casting and even at one point the historical accuracy of having clan Dingwall talk about how they fought the Vikings (‘Dingwall’ is my hometown in the Highlands of Scotland – it was actually founded by the Vikings, and is Norse for ‘Meeting-Place’).

I mentioned none of my reservations to anyone this time, merely agreed – truthfully – that overall I’d enjoyed it. But inside I knew now what was plaguing me. I had The Snootiness.

Writer’s Snootiness, or just ‘The Snootiness,’ is when a writer has spent so many sleepless nights constructing everything from plot to dialogue to descriptive sequences that she naturally finds herself picking apart every single dramatic endeavour she comes across. I in no way think I could do any better than the original creators of the works mentioned, but I can’t help but feel I can see faults, faults which apparently no one else is aware of. I’m being a writing snob, and I don’t want to be, and I don’t mean to be, but I’m not sure I can ever view a creative work in the same way again. I can see the weld lines, the schematics. I can see the beams and the keystones and the foundation blocks that make up what everyone else views only as a beautiful, exciting construction. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten it out there.

I’ve cite films as the main sources of plot deconstruction because since going on my summer holidays my reading has been sparse. Once I get back into that… who knows what will happen? I think I may need to seek treatment, before I do something horrific like try to dissect and defame the apparent total lack of motive behind Shakespeare’s Iago in Othello


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