The Writing Journal #56

With two young nieces, there was only one thing I was going to be doing this weekend. When Frozen came out in 2013, I didn’t get around to seeing it at all in the cinema (despite working in a cinema at that time). Fast forward to 2019, and I was in the cinema at 10am on the second day of release for Frozen 2 – such was the excitement built in our family for the Frozen world in the past six years!

Sequels are always dangerous territory, particularly for films that were hugely popular, as they have to tread the fine line between staying true to what made the first film a success and just repeating them in a slightly different way, which can often lead to convoluted plots, repeated jokes, and, at worst, a lazy rehash or the original in the hope that the same recipe still works a second time around. I had a small fear walking in to the screen that could happen with Frozen 2 (merchandise sales can always do with a boost!), but I’m delighted to say that was not the case at all! This sequel did what the best sequels do – it took the elements of the original that worked so well and used them in an adventure that felt like the next natural progression within the overall story world. The characters were the ones we had come to know and love from the original, but in the next phase of their journey with new challenges to face. The songs were not only catchy in their own right, but fit each character and furthered the story (including one “ballad” in particular that had me howling with laughter from start to finish, much to the chagrin of the nieces…) to keep the right balance of light-hearted fun and some of the darker themes that were being explore. To top it all off, the animation was beautiful as well, and at times was so authentic and clear that it looked live-action in places. Every element came together to make an uplifting, entertaining feature film, which with a U certificate here in the UK, genuinely makes it a film for all the family, which I’m sure will be reflected in a very strong box office return throughout the holiday period and I would happily see again…and again…and more than likely, again…

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing the novel

I’m not entirely sure what happened with the novel this week. I was quietly confident that I’d done a fair bit towards it, and it felt like I had at least passed the 10-hour mark, but in checking the clock this morning it only stands at 9hrs 51mins. With one week of November left and over half the target left to go, it’s going to be a very tall order to meet the novel’s target this time around, even before I factor in other commitments that need to take priority this week. I’ve thought that way in the past, however, and been able to somehow pull the rabbit out of the hat, so we’ll keep the faith and see what happens by this time next week.

Target Number 2: Write the Poor Uncle Dave Christmas Special

The story is mapped out for the Poor Uncle Dave Christmas Special, and has largely been written on the page now, too. This time around, I’ve found it easier to write the episode in blocks to get a feel for the main story beats without getting lost in the connections. There’s only so long you can evade those connections, however, and so hopefully this last week can be spent knitting the story together, ready to make some tweaks and edits ready for recording in early December.

This coming week has suddenly become very busy and hectic, partly because of some new opportunities, partly because of ongoing projects, and partly because of a Christmas trip to London. Hopefully having so many plates to spin will focus the mind and benefit all of them heading into December, but one thing’s for sure – now is now time to get Lost in the Woods…

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