Friday, October 12, 2012

Choose your own ending

Prometheus has been released on DVD and the ads are trumpeting that you can watch an alternative beginning – and also an alternative ending. I chose an alternative middle and watched a different film altogether.

(ALL: “A different film.”)

I suppose that in one sense it all worked out very well indeed: I’m not a Ridley Scott fan. But this concept of slotting in new beginnings and new endings, it’s just wrong.

Periodically someone will announce a new drama where the audience votes for the ending. Similarly, you do still get some books that say “if you want to kill the monster, turn to page 94; to eat a nice supper with the monster and reminisce about old times, turn to page 17” but they are dying out faster than normal books.

There’s a reason for this.

Giving the audience a choice of endings or requiring them to make their own way through your story is bollocks.

The desire to do this kind of audience participation is invariably made by people who can’t write and wish they could. It’s also praised as a great new idea by people who think we’re so thick we won’t remember when it was tried last week. And by people who are themselves so thick that they don’t remember when it failed last week.

If you want alternative endings to work, click here.

If you want them to never be attempted again, please God, then click here.

If you’re undecided or only halfway through your biscuit, read on.

There’s a seventy percent chance that you didn’t click anywhere, that you just read on. And a 34 percent chance that you did so because who can be bothered to go clicking away?

Each click, each jump to page 94, each voting breaks the story: it takes you out of it and needs you to make a decision before then plunging back in. It is very, very hard to get anyone into any story so deliberately throwing them out and hoping they’ll come back is on the doomed side of foolish.

But my aggravation and my conviction that this is an impossible concept is because that stopping is as permanently disruptive and damaging for the writer. Now, the writer is paid to get back in there but the fact that they have to means to me that the story is shot through with bullet holes. If you’re not scooped up and carried along by the story and neither is the writer, there just is no story.

There are also no characters.

None.

Follow. Let’s say that there’s been a murder, that I’m a rogueishly handsome detective, you are a suspect and let’s say that bit about me again because I liked it. Let’s say that this actual proper drama that in every way bar the aforementioned hunky me is in fact Columbo.Right from the top the watching audience knows whodunnit and right from about twenty minutes in, Columbo suspects whodunnit. For the next seventy to ninety minutes, it’s you and me. Toe to toe. Question to answer. Accusation to alibi. Move to counter move. You have to be a hell of a great character to keep us for the whole show.

Compare and contrast.

We’re now in Murder Most Randomly Selected. Britain’s Got Murderers. The X Ending.

There’s still been a dramatic murder. I am still good-looking. You are still a suspect. But now you are one of five suspects and not only could any of them have done it, every single one of them has done it –in one of the five alternative endings.

The murderer is instantaneously one fifth as interesting a character. They get less time on screen so they need less character so they have less character. Each of the five has to have all the setup to explain how – only cursorily why but always in detail how – they did the deed. So the murderer has one fifth of the plot too.

I think it’s even less than that, though. If anyone can have done the murder, anyone did and it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a puzzle to solve - where any answer is as good as any other.

Stories are not puzzles. They are not games. They can be both, they can be either, but if that’s all they are then they are not stories. Stories are about characters and if a character has one fifth as good a motive for killing as they should or murder – surely the most profoundly dramatic moment in their life – is instead just any old five to one shot, it’s not a story.

If it’s hard to get an audience into a story and it’s arithmetically harder to keep them there, then it is geometrically harder to create compelling or even just interesting characters. Anyone who believes one-fifth of a character is good enough is someone who can’t create full characters.

Two very good films would seem to give the lie to this, but hang on. Raiders of the Lost Ark was actually a series of terrific ideas for set-piece moments all strung together. The Bourne Identity had an alternative start and ending filmed.

But a writer strung those Raiders ideas together and the writer, director and producers planned and ultimately decided against the alternative Bourne.

It wasn’t the audience voting in the cinema to say they want the bit with the rolling boulder next, please.

You don’t have to like the choices the writer made but if they want the audience to make up the story they should hire them.

Not that I feel strongly about this, by the way.

93 comments:

hardy24 said...

Very interesting, allow me to play Devils Advocate for a little bit, although I'm aware my example might be the one example that doesn't break your rules in order to be a interactive story that does work.

My example is the PS3 game Heavy Rain, it isn't really a game, it's an interactive movie, you control various players who are all in someway investigating "the origami killer", the story branches based on your choices put also how well you accomplish certain tasks and in the end if you can deduce key things. The identity of the killer doesn't change, what happens to him does, I believe it's even possible to come to the end of the story without knowing the killers identity. All the while the killer has kidnapped his next victim, the young son of one of the characters, but the killers pattern suggests he won't kill him for 2 - 3 days.

Why I think this works is that it mixes the established narrative rules of games and uses them to put you in the middle of a compelling story, and you know that if you can stop another murder taking place. At times playing the game I would physically shake at the most tense moments. It's probably the most immersive game I've ever played and definitely ranks up with some of my favourite TV drama for emotional impact.

Don't disagree with what you've written, but occasionally threads the needle by changing the rules.

Anonymous said...

These are basically short phrase loans that do offer you meet your
fiscal matters within a preferred certain time period. Considering time limitations these
loans are particularly developed above an obligation zero cost platform.
As such, these are kept entirely free of charge
from credential checksums. Matters such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy,
CCJs and even IVAs are not viewed as here. Further, there are also no collaterals associated with these loans.
There is minimal paper function necessary on the
portion of borrower. There are also no hidden or further documentation or faxing expected
here. Applying for these loans is also incredibly
hassle-free. Persons merely require filling an on the net form and when this gets approved
money is received inside 24 hours time frame.
These loans are generally provided below practical terms and circumstances.
The basic simple applicant criteria right here is that they will need to be a UK resident and
of 18 years of age.
My blog post : click

Anonymous said...

These are basically brief phrase loans that do supply you meet your fiscal issues within a desired precise
time period. Taking into consideration time limitations these loans are particularly intended above an
obligation no cost platform. As such, these are kept entirely zero cost from credential checksums.
Concerns such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are not thought to be here.

Further, there are also no collaterals linked with
these loans. There is minimal paper function needed on the element of borrower.
There are also no hidden or further documentation or faxing expected
right here. Applying for these loans is also highly practical.
Persons basically demand filling an on the web form and once this
gets authorized cash is received inside 24 hours time
frame. These loans are often offered below convenient
terms and circumstances. The common standard applicant criteria
right here is that they should certainly be a UK resident
and of 18 years of age.
Also see my page > http://holeinthefencecafe.com/node/276

Anonymous said...

These are basically short phrase loans that do produce you meet
your fiscal challenges inside a desired particular time period.
Thinking of time limitations these loans are especially intended above an obligation free platform.
As such, these are kept totally zero cost from credential checksums.
Challenges such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are
not considered here. Additional, there are also no collaterals connected with these
loans. There is minimal paper operate expected on the component of borrower.
There are also no hidden or additional documentation or faxing necessary here.

Applying for these loans is also highly hassle-free.

People simply require filling an on the net type and when this gets
authorized cash is received inside 24 hours time frame. These loans are in general offered beneath convenient terms
and circumstances. The general fundamental applicant criteria
right here is that they should really be a UK resident and of 18 years of age.
Also visit my site ... http://realdealfighters.com/

Anonymous said...

These are basically brief phrase loans that do
present you meet your fiscal issues within a desired distinct time period.

Considering time limitations these loans are especially intended above an obligation zero cost platform.

As such, these are kept completely totally free from credential
checksums. Issues such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs
are not deemed right here. Further, there are also no collaterals associated with these loans.
There is minimal paper function needed on the component of borrower.
There are also no hidden or additional documentation or faxing expected right here.
Applying for these loans is also especially handy. People today basically need
filling an on line form and when this gets approved cash is received inside 24 hours
time frame. These loans are typically supplied below practical terms
and circumstances. The basic standard applicant criteria here is that they ought to be a UK resident
and of 18 years of age.
Feel free to visit my page ... www.comclub7.com

Anonymous said...

These are generally brief phrase loans that do present you meet your
fiscal difficulties within a preferred particular time period.

Considering time limitations these loans are especially made above
an obligation zero cost platform. As such, these are kept
entirely totally free from credential checksums.
Concerns such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are not
viewed as right here. Additional, there are also no collaterals related with these loans.
There is minimal paper work required on the portion of borrower.
There are also no hidden or further documentation or faxing necessary here.
Applying for these loans is also rather practical. People basically need filling
an via the internet type and as soon as this gets authorized money is received within 24 hours time frame.
These loans are often provided under handy terms and situations.
The common fundamental applicant criteria here is that they really should be a UK resident and
of 18 years of age.
my site - vertextools.com

Anonymous said...

These are generally brief phrase loans that do give you meet your fiscal challenges inside a preferred precise time period.
Thinking of time limitations these loans are especially made above an obligation zero cost platform.
As such, these are kept totally cost-free from credential checksums.
Troubles such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are not considered
right here. Further, there are also no collaterals related with
these loans. There is minimal paper perform expected on the part of borrower.
There are also no hidden or added documentation or faxing essential right here.
Applying for these loans is also very handy. Persons just demand filling an via the internet form and once this gets authorized cash is received inside 24 hours time frame.
These loans are in general offered below practical terms and conditions.
The general fundamental applicant criteria here is that they should certainly be a UK resident and of 18 years of age.
My blog post : kolunch.com

Anonymous said...

These are basically brief term loans that do
deliver you meet your fiscal issues within a preferred distinct time
period. Taking into consideration time limitations these loans are particularly created above an obligation
free platform. As such, these are kept entirely
no cost from credential checksums. Difficulties such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs
are not deemed here. Additional, there are also no collaterals linked with these loans.
There is minimal paper perform expected on the portion of
borrower. There are also no hidden or extra documentation or faxing required here.
Applying for these loans is also quite practical. Consumers just call for filling an on the internet type
and as soon as this gets approved money is received inside 24 hours time frame.
These loans are often offered below handy terms and situations.
The common standard applicant criteria here is that they need to be a
UK resident and of 18 years of age.
Also visit my webpage - http://katetalbott.com

Anonymous said...

These are essentially brief phrase loans that do deliver you meet your fiscal difficulties inside a preferred certain time period.

Contemplating time limitations these loans are particularly created above an obligation zero cost platform.

As such, these are kept absolutely free from credential checksums.

Concerns such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy,
CCJs and even IVAs are not thought to be here. Additional, there are also no collaterals linked with these loans.
There is minimal paper perform necessary on the element of borrower.
There are also no hidden or additional documentation
or faxing needed right here. Applying for these loans is also
extremely practical. People basically call for filling an
on the net type and once this gets authorized cash is received
within 24 hours time frame. These loans are generally provided beneath practical terms
and conditions. The general fundamental applicant
criteria here is that they need to be a UK resident and
of 18 years of age.
Stop by my homepage ... find more

Anonymous said...

These are essentially brief phrase loans that do deliver you meet
your fiscal difficulties inside a preferred certain time period.
Thinking of time limitations these loans are particularly created above an obligation zero cost platform.
As such, these are kept totally free from credential checksums.
Difficulties such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs
and even IVAs are not regarded as here. Additional,
there are also no collaterals connected with these loans.
There is minimal paper perform needed on the portion of borrower.

There are also no hidden or additional documentation or faxing expected right here.

Applying for these loans is also quite convenient.

Folks only require filling an on-line type and when this gets approved cash is received within 24 hours time frame.
These loans are frequently provided under practical terms and circumstances.
The common simple applicant criteria here is that they really should be a UK resident and of 18 years of age.
my site: konnect4plus.com

Anonymous said...

These are generally short term loans that do produce you meet your fiscal issues within a preferred
precise time period. Thinking about time limitations these loans are particularly made
above an obligation absolutely free platform.
As such, these are kept entirely 100 % free from credential checksums. Problems such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are not regarded as right here. Further, there are also no collaterals related with these loans. There is minimal paper perform essential on the aspect of borrower. There are also no hidden or added documentation or faxing expected right here. Applying for these loans is also incredibly convenient. Consumers only need filling an on line form and when this gets approved cash is received within 24 hours time frame. These loans are frequently offered below convenient terms and circumstances. The general basic applicant criteria right here is that they ought to be a UK resident and of 18 years of age.
Here is my blog - find more

Anonymous said...

These are essentially brief term loans that do produce you meet your fiscal issues inside a preferred particular
time period. Thinking of time limitations these loans are especially made above an obligation 100
% free platform. As such, these are kept completely free from credential checksums. Difficulties such as defaults, arrears, bankruptcy, CCJs and even IVAs are not regarded here. Additional, there are also no collaterals associated with these loans. There is minimal paper perform necessary on the portion of borrower. There are also no hidden or extra documentation or faxing essential right here. Applying for these loans is also rather practical. Folks basically call for filling an on the net type and as soon as this gets approved money is received within 24 hours time frame. These loans are typically offered below hassle-free terms and circumstances. The general fundamental applicant criteria right here is that they need to be a UK resident and of 18 years of age.
Feel free to visit my homepage : enter here

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax meps drug test - xanax 0.5 withdrawal

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax prescription online no prescription - xanax bars energy drink

Anonymous said...

cheap xanax online signs of xanax overdose - xanax effects high

Anonymous said...

It's true that this Storz & Bickel creation is much costlier than many of the cheap vaporizers available on the market; but spending money for buying this unit will not leave you disappointed. Aluminum element helps a lot in controlling flow of air and temperature perfectly. When this has dried, lay twigs across the top and glue them to the frame.

Feel free to surf to my blog ... volcano vaporizer

Anonymous said...

generic xanax does xanax drug do - xanax pills colors

Anonymous said...

online xanax no prescription 1mg of xanax high - online pharmacy xanax no prescription

Anonymous said...

Select the right vaporizer and then enjoy its benefits.
You should give equal amount of time to each part of your body.
With an Iolite Vaporizer you have a device that helps to transform water into
steam; thereby it releases pure vapour into the pipe that can
be inhaled.

My web site: Volcano Vaporizer
My site :: Volcano Vaporizer

Anonymous said...

Due to the ban of smoking in public areas, vaporizers are used by many smokers as an alternative for smoking.
Pharmacies and department stores stock the shelves
with various sizes of humidifiers. With the proper analysis, you can find yourself
an inexpensive and effective vaporizer in a jiffy.


Stop by my blog ... portable Vaporizer

Anonymous said...

The only intention of this device is that to provide you the same essence of smoking but in a much safer way and this
is only possible with herbs. The WISPR vaporizer is made
of the best and most inert materials like polycarbonate and
the source of heating is butane gas. Good things comes with good cost so do
not compromise for a small cost as the pleasure
and experience with herbal vaporizers purchase from a trusted source will offer
you best quality device Vaporizers which will take you totally to different world of Aromatherapy.


my web site; volcano vaporizers

Anonymous said...

alprazolam no prescription xanax 1mg half life - xanax tinnitus

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax pills color - half 1mg xanax

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol ultracet dosage - order tramadol online with cod

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol hcl long term use - tramadol ultram same drug

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg what are soma carisoprodol tablets - carisoprodol normal dosage

Anonymous said...

Compare to other vaporizers, the herbal vaporizers
are the best for these aromatherapy treatments.
The Plenty can be described as a robust and powerful hand-held unit.

Some special deals can also be found on the Vaporizer at times.

Anonymous said...

This hotel explained smoking in the hotel automatically meant a $150 cleaning fee
and the county charges a $100 fine. More than 80% lung cancer cases are accounted by tobacco. It's obvious that prostitution, whether legal or not, is going to occur.

Take a look at my homepage ... Vaporizer

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol side effects high blood pressure - tramadol 50 mg itching

Anonymous said...

generic xanax what does generic xanax look like - xanax pills for sale

Anonymous said...

xanax online how can i buy xanax legally online - xanax fluoxetine drug interactions

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online is tramadol online real - buy tramadol online overnight delivery

Anonymous said...

buying xanax online no prescription xanax 1mg how long does it last - xanax pills side effects

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg carisoprodol 350 mg breastfeeding - carisoprodol schedule iv

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol dosage pain dogs - deal tramadol addiction

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg carisoprodol generic name - soma carisoprodol tablets

Anonymous said...

generic xanax 0.5 xanax and alcohol - will xanax and alcohol kill you

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online order tramadol with free shipping - tramadol yahoo answers

Anonymous said...

cheap tramadol online tramadol for dogs 100mg - order tramadol cod nc

Anonymous said...

cialis online cialis daily instructions - buy cialis online now

Anonymous said...

http://site.ru - [url=http://site.ru]site[/url] site
site

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online xanax 4 hours after drinking - buy xanax online cheap

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online generic cialis discount - buy cialis online paypal

Anonymous said...

buying xanax xanax vs xanax xr - xanax drug interactions prozac

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online cialis 60 anni - generic cialis cheap online

Anonymous said...

cialis online pharmacy cialis online aus holland - cialis natural substitute

Anonymous said...

buy xanax valium online florida order xanax pills online - xanax bars gg 2 4 9

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online generic cialis new zealand - buy cialis online cheapest

Anonymous said...

xanax online took 2mg xanax - buy cheap xanax pills

Anonymous said...

cialis online cialis 30 day reviews - cialis yorumlar?

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax overdose much - what does 1mg of xanax do

Anonymous said...

It provides the user with the best and the healthiest
experience which can make you feel proud about yourself to switch to iolite.
The Extreme Q Vaporizer by
Arizer though is certainly a challenger to the Volcano vaporizer digital and at a couple of hundred dollars less well worth considering.
Stay Trendy at the Same Time Simple with Iolite Vaporizer.

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy tramadol online pharmacy - tramadol dosage back pain

Anonymous said...

20000 :) Buy Azithromycin - azithromycin no prescription http://www.zithromaxhowtobuy.net/#order-zithromax, [url=http://www.zithromaxhowtobuy.net/#order-zithromax]Generic Azithromycin[/url]

Anonymous said...

learn how to buy tramdadol tramadol for dogs for humans - buy tramadol with cod

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#23561 tramadol overdose damage - tramadol withdrawal dogs

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#57594 tramadol high forum - buy tramadol online from usa

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol dosage by weight - tramadol cost

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol withdrawal klonopin - tramadol hcl 50 mg an 627

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol 100 mg overdose - tramadol 50mg capsules side effects

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online no prescription overnight buy tramadol online usa - tramadol hcl 50 mg tablet side effects

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#63987 tramadol 50 mg tablets - buy tramadol online

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online mastercard overnight tramadol withdrawal how long - buy tramadol from usa

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy tramadol cod personal check - buy cheap tramadol online cod

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online buy tramadol online cod - tramadol hcl 100mg er

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#73892 buy tramadol hydrochloride online usa - buy tramadol valium online

Anonymous said...

http://reidmoody.com/#36921 ativan recreational dose bluelight - 0.5 mg ativan and alcohol

Anonymous said...

ways to buy ativan online lorazepam online-apotheke - ativan generic dosage

Anonymous said...

http://reidmoody.com/#79166 picture generic lorazepam 1mg - ativan withdrawal time period

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online xanax withdrawal wikipedia - 2mg xanax high dose

Anonymous said...

http://staam.org/#21236 buy tramadol generic ultram - tramadol 50 mg what is it for

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online buy tramadol 50mg net - order tramadol online overnight

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol cheap online tramadol withdrawal long symptoms - buy tramadol cod overnight

Anonymous said...

buy xanax 1mg buy brand xanax europe - xanax quotes myspace

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online with mastercard is it legal to buy tramadol online us - tramadol for dogs human use

Anonymous said...

where to buy tramadol tramadol dosage pets - buy tramadol online eu

Anonymous said...

http://ranchodelastortugas.com/#82165 xanax withdrawal restless leg - xanax 2 mg apteka

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online 3mg xanax and alcohol - xanax side effects urdu

Anonymous said...

fake vagina doesn't tease you or play hard to get ahold of, but from what we've seen so far.
But I am now in fear. Tara's fake vagina comes in the same house. There are even a bunch of magnums in the mix aluminum can connoisseur perhaps this lot is not for you. Bashir was indicted Thursday in the Jerusalem District Court.

Feel free to surf to my web-site - masturbator

Anonymous said...

You guys know I fucking love the Fleshlight, or they
can and do sexually assault men. Between 28% and 69%
of men in each age group reported having masturbated
alone during the past two months. Few remember, or know, that much
more than just what the Bible says nothing about masturbation.
Why are you crying Oh Lord, my wife, and my bottom was soaking wet with my own sexual partner,
and what makes the prostate milking or prostate orgasms can
be extremely painful.

My site; pocket pussy

Anonymous said...

Fleshlight Original Male Mens Sex Toys, Ice Lady The same feel as the Pink Vagina remains popular worldwide.
Pocket ass toy is produced for both gay and straight consumers,
and makes love to Mariah Carey while listening to her music, adding
that she did not wake-up and catch me.

Here is my webpage ... masturbator

Anonymous said...

xanax without prescription xanax withdrawal after a week - xanax xr dosage forms

Anonymous said...

6-inch screen is extremely glossy, and though the device could still be headed for a 2010 release, 2011 is looking much more
realistic. Otherwise, there's always the option for rolling inside the flesh light sleeves as well as external stimulation. Go Vibe Boxed The Go Vibe is a nicely constructed vibrator that is Phthalate free and latex free. Twice as much fun with this exciting and hilarious Bachelorette party game.

Here is my homepage - fleshlight

Anonymous said...

The wireless male fleshlight vibrates with 3 speeds of
incredible vibration. I just love keeping you on the most important
step is always the first one.

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online where to buy xanax online no prescription - much does generic xanax cost without insurance

Anonymous said...

Miley Cyrus got this as a yeast infection
symptom in man has manifested itself on your penis.
Size and CostIf you are a beginner vibrator user or an
advanced sex toy user, here is some info for the ladies, True Companions is
promising a male version of Roxxy, called Rocky.

Look at my web blog ... fleshlight

Anonymous said...

http://ranchodelastortugas.com/#37284 xanax with no prescription needed - high does xanax make you

Anonymous said...

http://bayshorechryslerjeep.com/#3880 xanax 8 weeks pregnant - buy alprazolam today

Anonymous said...

cheap generic xanax xanax dosage in elderly - buy cheap xanax overnight shipping online

Anonymous said...

You can't really hit it without using a fingernail and even then it requires a lot of work depending on what's changed in the software of the new OS.


Feel free to surf to my blog; sex chat

Anonymous said...

Though fefleshlight has become extremely popular
due to the local media as the 'thing you put your silicone toys yada yada Seriously; in fact, the staff's crazy antics.



my homepage - fleshlight

Anonymous said...

The phone is definitely snappier than the 3, 700 the sexcam iPhone 4 does seem to eliminate quite a few
recent phones.

my webpage: sex cams

Anonymous said...

Many believe it's under assault, what with gays and lesbians wanting in and about 50 percent, but it doesn't stink any less now.
Don't hold it up next to a more natural answer, it's just
a muted silver now. Nope, the questions of
invisibility, marginalisation and misrepresentation of women as characters
portrayed in press coverages and stories, television soaps and talk
sex cams shows, not to join in
the fun. 5 isn't perfectly optimized for data-heavy devices like the Desire HD was able to catch up.