A bold opening gambit I know but stay with me. I had this epiphany the other day. Recently, I blogged about the reasons I write and they were varied and relatively sane. And then I saw the new trailer for Avengers Endgame and realised something new. I’ll warn you now, I love the MCU (not all, but let’s not get into that minefield of angry debate here) so if you’re not a fan, go read about Todd the Supervillain’s Assistant instead. 🙂
I love superhero movies. But why? What is it about superhero movies that has become all consuming? Let’s be honest, 15 years ago, the film scene looked very, very different. There wasn’t this plethora of comic book adaptations and, other than the Batman films (always Keaton for me), none were really taken seriously in the mainstream. Now? Now they are a guaranteed box office hit. Is it the CGI? No-one can deny that film technology has come so far in such a relatively short space of time, however, I don’t think that’s it. They aren’t more popular just because they look more convincing. Is it because the world feels like a dark place at the minute? Perhaps…
I heard someone reading an Obama quote the other day saying don’t believe the negative hype. Yes, there are bad things going on in the world but don’t believe everyone telling you this is the worst it has been. Problem is they are doing a good job of convincing us. Here in Britain we are so past confused about Brexit, a lot of us have given up and are hoping it will just disappear and are surprised to learn it still isn’t over yet. But what do we love when times are bad? Escape. And how better to escape than go on a journey with superheroes who are making the world better. For that 2 hours you can pretend that humanity rocks and we have epic heroes leading us. And am I the only one that feels that adrenaline when they do something spectacular? I doubt it. Am I the only 30-something that comes out of the cinema wanting to be a superhero and to make a difference and find myself lamenting that maybe, just maybe I could be better, more excting, more brave… Probably not, but I imagine it’s a smaller group. As in probably more kids than adults.
Sometimes I come out of the cinema, remember that I have to cook dinner that evening and buy toilet rolls on the way home and the magic is shattered by the drudgery of reality. I know, I know, that stuff is important, you know the whole adult thing, but who doesn’t want to fly and have super-strength? Go on admit it, you’ve played the the Led Zepplin track from Thor Ragnarok in your head when you marched down the street or walked out of the cinema with a swagger as it played on your exit.
So how does writing come into this? Yes, I checked the title and remembered where I was going with this. Well for me, writing does the same job of Avengers films. I can write a better version of me, a version who is brave, a version that makes a difference. All my MC’s have an aspect of me in them, not that that is intentional, I just can’t help it. I live vicariously through them. It’s the closest I can come to being a real superhero. And when I’m writing, I’m in control, I save the world and build up that adrenaline rush. That’s why the music I play has to fit the scene I’m writing. I was asked what song sums up my wip at the moment and I just knew it was Knights of Cydonia by Muse. All of a sudden that realisation gave the same surge of determination that the Led Zep track did.
And there you have it. That’s why I think writing is as cool as being Ironman. (Hmm…as cool? Ironman is pretty cool…) and yes Immigrant Song is indeed playing in my head right now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch the Endgame trailer again and pause it to see which characters are in the last shot.