Today I find myself with an unexpected snow day off from work. Since my brain is a little slushy working on my new story, I thought I might as well go ahead and share another influence on my writing and even a little bit on my personality. It is a movie beloved by several of my co-workers and almost every student that I have taught: The Princess Bride! If you have never read the book, I suggest that you give it a try. It is quite good. If you have never seen the movie, what is wrong with you! Run out and buy a copy immediately! I watched this movie dozens of times as a child, but the VCR tape that we had it on (no age jokes, please!) was damaged, so I never saw the ending until I was in college. The Princess Bride is not especially hilarious, it isn't especially action-packed, and it doesn't bring tears to your eyes. Sure, it has a few memorable lines (Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya...), but there are other movies whose lines have become more of a part of our culture. Nevertheless, this is one of the most beloved movies that you'll ever watch. Inconceivable? Not really (see what I did there?). If you watch this movie, you will get done with it and then go on with your day wondering why I thought it was such a big deal. Then the next time you see it on television, you will watch it. It doesn't matter what else is on, you will decide to watch The Princess Bride. You won't be able to explain why, but you will do it every time. And you will thank me for it.
So what influence did I receive from this movie? Chemistry. I learned about chemistry between all parts of the story. The Princess Bride may not have one characteristic that sets it apart from other movies, but all of its individual characteristics combine to gel into one story that is so memorable and so instinctive to appreciate that you will watch it over and over. So your story doesn't have to have one unbelievable character or event, it just needs to coalesce into one unbelievably good tale. The individual parts might be junk, but put them together and you have a story, and it will keep flying in people's minds if you have an audience even half awake. If you recognize that paraphrased last line, then you might guess my next influence. Want me to tell you later? As you wish!