Loose Threads

22 Dec

I continually find it strange how writing penetrates every aspect of my life. I realized the other day that I now watch movies with the critical eye of a writer. I’m constantly analyzing the characters and plot to see if they stand up to what they could be. Two nights ago, I watched a movie titled Ballet Shoes, which was a wonderful film in concept. Three poverty stricken sisters vow to make something of themselves. I have kind of strange tastes so, that sounds interesting to me.

My problem came with all the introduced threads that were simply left to dangle. These should have been snatched up like hot rolls and maybe the film would have left its watcher with a full stomach. But no. I’m left at the end, wondering when they’re going to pass the carrots.

Here were my problems. Towards the beginning of the film, the family runs out of money and decides to take on boarders, letting out three rooms. One to a man who plans to open a garage. One to two women academics. And one to a dancer. Three rooms, three sisters…hmm. The dancer convinces the girls’ guardian to send them to an arts school known for taking on charity cases. The academics offer to school the girls from home. And the man offers one girl part time work in his garage. What happens? All three girls go to the art school and the other offers drop of the face of the plot earth. I found that incredibly disappointing, mostly because the offers weren’t even rejected. They were simply ignored, never mentioned again. Had the man encountered some financial trouble and couldn’t open the shop, breaking the heart of the girl, that would have been one thing. But that didn’t happen. Instead I was left wondering if all this somehow happened outside of the shown plot. And that’s something I don’t think I should be wondering.

Don’t think I completely hated the movie. I actually kind of enjoyed it. The characters were well done with the three sisters having vastly different personalities and the feeling of hopelessness throughout was remarkable. Everything they did was for their family, just trying to make it through.

I think part of the reason I’m starting to notice loose threads is because I’ve recently begun finding them in my own work. Just small snatches of dialogue that could be turned into so much more and the stories would probably be better for it. That doesn’t mean let the story ramble off on tangents unrelated to anything, but if it’s something that develops the characters or the plot let it run.

Just my two cents.


Posted by on 2009/12/22 in Movies, Writing


2 responses to “Loose Threads

  1. Joy

    2009/12/22 at 19:39

    Thanks for the visit, Candice!

    Yup, at the end of the movie all the plot threads should have been tied up, leaving the audience satisfied. But it is things like this which makes us better writers. In fact, we become neurotic in ensuring that every little thread is neatly stitched in by the time we get around to sending out submission – thanks to movies and books that don’t quite get the job done as well as they should. Sometimes, it’s after many, many edits that I catch obvious things that need wrapping up.

    • Candice Beever

      2009/12/22 at 20:11

      I think I’m beyond neurotic. I’ve recently discovered that writing a synopsis after each draft is helpful. Since I don’t outline beforehand, it helps take out the fluff to show just the threads. Plus, should that draft be “the one” my synopsis is finished and no longer a dreaded task.

      Thanks for the read.


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