The Fifth Element, Sinfield, The Perfect Storm and A River Runs Through It

The Fifth Element, Sinfield, The Perfect Storm and A River Runs Through It

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The Fifth Element, Sinfield, The Perfect Storm and A River Runs Through It

Authors examine many different sources to become better writers. By drawing on the writings of another author one can enhance their current writing style and also learn new ways to write. The plot, conflict throughout the story and the relationships between the characters are some examples of the parts of a story that an author can look at.

Plot is the essence of a story. It is basically an outline of the flow of a story from one event to another. By examining the plot of a work, one can gain insight into another person's style of storytelling and from that style one can then learn ways to enhance his own writing. The movie, The Fifth Element, contains a plot that unravels very creatively. The screenwriter of the movie chose to tell his story from a future time when humans and aliens coexist. His goal is to explain to the moviegoer the idea that four elements, portrayed as rocks, make up life and one essential element holds these four together to create life and combat evil. He begins his explanation through a flashback sequence that displays the initial conflict, an ultimate evil, which will again arise later in the movie. After the flashback, the movie follows a chronological chain of events. The audience is introduced to the main characters, a man and a woman, and then to the rest of the good guys and the villains. Throughout the course of the movie the characters move through many emotions from fear to hate to sheer joy. In the end, the good guys gather the four elements and are able to combine them together with the essential element, love, to destroy the evil. The creator’s use of common elements such as flashbacks, conflict and the basic concepts of good and evil can be drawn upon to better ones own plot construction.

The Fifth Element uses the concept of a tangible evil as the major source of conflict. Sebastian Junger's book The Perfect Storm uses the natural phenomena of a storm as its ultimate conflict. The book takes place on a commercial fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, which gets stuck at sea during a terrible storm. The crew of the boat has to fight the storm in order to save their own lives. This causes a man verses nature conflict in which the man has little chance of winning.

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In the end the man does not win, the sea overwhelms him and the conflict is solved on somewhat negative terms. Examination of this outcome also gives insight into a case of conflict in which the "good guy" does not win. Although the reader knew this was to be the outcome from the beginning he is still surprised because it is a general preconception that the good guy always wins. Looking at this book shows one way that an author can use conflict and can also break

Sinfield is a show that humorously displays the fact that a weak plot idea can be backed by a strong plot and strong bonds between people. Sinfield's writer uses complex interpersonal relationships to show conflicts and harmony that exists between the characters in trivial everyday situations. In one episode, George is taking an IQ test to impress his girlfriend. It turns out George is really giving one of his best friends, Elaine, the test because she is a self proclaimed genius and he figures that she will get him a better score, thus impressing the girlfriend even more. This seems like a great plan until the girlfriend finds out what is going on. The show has a concurrent side episode in which Jerry, one of the stars, has a run-in with Baboo, a Pakistani restaurant owner. He tries to help Baboo out with his business and in the end causes him to loose a lot of money creating more conflict. The scriptwriters for the show find ways to utilize the friendships between the characters to make the show entertainingly funny. If an up-and-coming writer can master this art, he will have added one more tool to his tool belt of writing.

Family is one of the best places to examine for the depth of personal relationships. In Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, a father and his two sons grow and metaphorically learn about life through fly-fishing. The father is a religious preacher that believes that fly-fishing is as close to God as a person can get while still living. Throughout the story we learn how the two sons develop into men. One of the sons, Norman, grows up to be pretty much like his father who he has come to love and respect and the other of the sons has sunk down to become a hot tempered drunk. Although the sons are quite different the whole family is one that is very tight together. Within the course of the book the two sons have bouts of sibling rivalry, tolerate imposters that impeded on their fishing outings and deal with their stubborn aging father. In the end, Norman and his father also have to live with the other son's, Paul's, death. His death enhances their understanding of his beauty. These kinds of interactions exist in most literary works. By understanding what happens to the characters in this story, one can write better relationships between his own characters. Through examples of others works, some ways to interweave conflict, relationships and the flow of ideas in different ways can be drawn. This allows for better critiquing of an author's own work and a more in-depth feel for how writing works.
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