A Writer Watching – Eternals, Part 1

Disclaimer: I know that some people really like this movie. In fact, some of my best friends really like this movie.

However . . . a balance must be struck.

Since the beginning of time, I’ve vowed that if there came an MCU film worthy of an absolute tear-down because its writing was a mess, I’d be as merciless to it as I have been to similar DCEU films.

And that time has come.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Eternals is a recent MCU film that does a few genuinely good things . . . and a ton of absolutely awful, nonsense things. It is a vehicle of bad writing to such an extreme that I want to dissect it here so that any young writers who enjoyed it can at least see the writing missteps in it, and thus avoid them in their own work. And so, here we are, with “A Writer Watching – Eternals,” my first “A Writer Watching” since Wonder Woman 1984.

This is going to be a very long post. But before I get started, I want to establish for any newcomers that this is not CinemaSins; the goal here isn’t to point out nonsense non-issues and editing mistakes in this film, but to approach it as a writer and editor. Comments will be more “Here’s why this scene doesn’t make sense,” or, “Here’s why this character’s motivations feel hollow by this act,” and less, “Oh geez—that character was holding a book in his left hand in the last shot but nOw It’S iN hIs RiGhT!” We are strictly here for the writing, and I will do my best to stick to that and not point out, say, weird acting choices (but real talk: I know I’m going to fail with Richard Madden’s Ikaris).

That said, the vibe here is more “a bunch of writers sitting down with a few beers and tearing apart the bad writing of a multi-million-dollar box office bomb” and less “Creative Writing Lab 203.” We’re here to have fun, but you’ll definitely have the most fun with this post if you’ve already seen Eternals and didn’t like it. If you liked it, however, I just ask that you stay open-minded and acknowledge that I’m not here to shit on the characters you love, but rather to vouch for them; I feel like the Eternals deserved a better movie, just as I felt Wonder Woman did in 2020. And, if anything is my mantra in these posts, it can be summed up as that: I am, and always will be, on the side of fictional characters I like, not the Hollywood executives who mangle them for profit.

Oh, and, of course, if you didn’t see Eternals, spoilers. Just everywhere, all over the place.

That said, let’s dive into . . .

A Writer Watching – Eternals

(3:30) – The exposition fight scene on a beach when the Eternals first arrive on Earth. At this specific time code, Ikaris hovers while using his laser eyes to blast a Deviant.

The exact point where I was like, “Ah. He’s evil.”

Because the Superman analogue is always evil.

Brightburn kid, Homelander, Omni-Man. Hell, Superman himself has been evil, in film, twice now. Him turning evil is one of the major inciting incidents in Injustice.

Seriously, just saying, if you want to write a super team story where a member of the team turns out to be evil, don’t make it the Superman analogue.

(5:31) – Afraid, the inhabitants of Earth run up on the Eternals with spears drawn. Druig uses his powers to make them drop their weapons.

Just wanted to mark this here.

‘Why?’ you ask?

We’ll circle around to it. I promise.

(7:22) – Sersi sees that the knife she just gave to a kid in the previous scene is featured in the promos for an exhibit at the Natural History Museum.

The framing is just strange here. Considering this is a comic book story and we haven’t heard of the Eternals in any MCU film before this, I genuinely thought Sersi stoicly snapping a pic and saying, “Shit!” meant that the dagger being used in an exhibit was a bad thing. Like maybe the Eternals have been hardcore about managing their secret identities (thus why we’ve never heard of them across 20+ films), and we were going to open with them trying to get that knife back.

But no, that “Shit!” was because an alarm popped up on her phone. The alarm flashed by so quickly that I missed it on my first viewing and thought she got a text from a fellow Eternal about the knife.

All of this is to say that man this moment confused the fuck out of me. It didn’t kill my viewing experience, but it is exactly the kind of hiccup I edit for; a simple miscommunication of vague emotion that gave me pause, which I always try to prune from my own work.

Making emotions clearer here would’ve smoothed this scene right out. If she looked “wistful” or “smug” or anything other than “possibly concerned,” all of this would’ve been as charming as it was meant to be.

I know this is veering toward an acting / directing criticism, but the point I want to make here is: passing character emotions are always super important.

Also, this is 100% what I do with my own manuscripts. I am just this neurotic.

(8:00) – Sersi, arriving late for work, tells a statue of Charles Darwin, “I know I’m late, Charlie.”

I just love this moment and wanted to say something nice. The idea that the Eternals know important historical figures is extremely charming.

Unfortunately, this is the only instance of such a familiarity popping up in the entire film. From here on out, the Eternals effectively act like normal people. Possibly because it would’ve been very hard / potentially plot-breaking if the Eternals acted like they’d experienced all of human history.

But, I mean . . . isn’t that part of the premise?

And wouldn’t that have been more interesting?

I guess not necessarily with the latter. If you wanted to write a fun, easy comic book adventure, maybe being hyper-faithful to the framing of 7000 year old protagonists wouldn’t be best.

But I can’t help thinking there’s room here for an extremely interesting story that was just left on the table.

(10:38) – Sprite makes herself look like a woman to flirt with a guy at a bar. The dude catches onto her illusion when he tries to touch her hand and his hand falls through it. Sprite tells him, “You’ve had too much to drink,” before walking ten feet away and dropping her illusion.

And all of this just feels super ham-fisted. Not much to note here, but I have to point out that there was a much subtler way to write this moment. As is, there’s no way the guy she’s talking to wouldn’t be asking her if she was a superhero immediately, shouting to the bar that, “This girl has powers!” or possibly just following her to try to get with the hot woman with superpowers. Or literally just seeing her from ten feet away as she transforms.

But no, Sprite proceeds to just walk into a hallway and drop the illusion with no consequence, and it all feels a little too convenient.

If I was writing it, maybe they’re laughing together when we cut to them. The guy asks if she wants to dance and Sprite smiles wistfully. “Yes,” she says, but then looks at the other people dancing, close, hand-in-hand. The guy reaches for her hand, but Sprite, having thousands of years of experience, pulls it away quickly. “Just give me a sec,” she says. “I’ll be right back.” And then, uncomfortably, “Don’t you go anywhere!” She gets up, hurries through the bar to a back door that her illusory hand phases through, her real hand grabbing the handle and pushing it back so Sprite, sans-glamour, can hurry out into the alley and slump against a wall with a frustrated sigh.

(12:00) – Sersi and her boyfriend, Dane, talk in a stairwell about moving in together. Dane asks her if she’s a wizard because when they eat out together and a waiter ignores them, their “water always turns to coffee.”

Dane is not that stupid.

No one is that stupid.

Again, extremely ham-fisted.

This is followed by Dane saying he knows Sersi broke up with her ex a century ago and that he could fly–because Sprite told him. And just . . . I mean, coupled with the last scene, how haven’t the Eternals outed themselves by now? Seriously, if they’re this flippant with their secret identities, they should’ve been public knowledge for hundreds of years—at least.

(13:20) Fresh out of the bar, the crew run into a Deviant. After Sersi uses her powers to trap it in the ground, they take off running only for Dane to shout, “I thought you killed them all!” to Sprite. She answers, “You believed me!?” and Dane answers, “I do now!”

Just a genuinely strange, unnecessary delivery of exposition.

I am all for more active exposition dumps, but this was just a strange batch of hoops to jump through. Protags are running from threat, but also protag C not only regularly experiences water turning into coffee around his girlfriend and was told she broke up with her ex one hundred years ago, but was also literally told that ex eradicated a race of killer aliens ages ago and . . . he still didn’t believe it, even though he lives in a world that got invaded by Chitauri, Dark Elves, and had half the population of the universe snapped away—and then snapped back.

It just feels like a lot to take in. A) We’re running from a Deviant, which are back? B) Dane is one of the dumbest characters of all time? C) Sprite fucking told a human the entire history of the Eternals because I guess she just doesn’t give a fuck?? D) Their secret identities are still intact somehow???

Not to mention how promotional material stressed that Kit Harington was playing Black Knight, so I was watching this saddled with the knowledge that, “Okay, Dane isn’t actually a hero yet . . . Or he is and he’s just pretending he’s not?”

And holy shit, I’m ranting, so TL;DR: that exchange was a bit much. And it was clumsy.

And unnecessary because, after this fight, we get the sa-a-a-a-ame exposition anyway.

(13:51) – Dane prepares to jump over a small railing so he can climb up a wall after Sersi and Sprite, but at the last second, the music cuts and he says, “No. Stairs,” like he isn’t Kit Harington, who’s already in great shape.

Just primo MCU cringe. Seriously, we’ve far surpassed the point where these moments are funny. The “triumphant music building up just to drop at the last second for a subversive joke” is no longer subversive; it’s just a tired trope and no one should ever do it.

(17:02) – After the fight, Sersi tells Dane about the Eternals. And . . .

Sersi: “We came here 7000 years ago . . . to protect humans from the Deviants. We thought we killed them all five centuries ago, but now they’re back.”

*a moment later*

Dane: “If the Deviants were eradicated a long time ago, why are you still here?”

Sersi: “We’ve been waiting to be told we could go home.”

Me: “Wait—hold on. Dane, she just fucking said they didn’t eradicate them all. You just saw one 2 minutes ago. Clearly they weren’t eradicated. Why did you even ask ‘If the Deviants were eradicated…?’ when they clearly weren’t!?”

Still Me: “And you, Sersi, you also just saw a Deviant! Why didn’t you say, ‘We were sent here to protect humans from the Deviants. We thought we killed them all five centuries ago, but clearly we were wrong. Must be why we were never called back home’?”

Seriously, this conversation just feels like a quick edit of a draft someone was not willing to let go. Possibly excised from a draft that didn’t have the last scene with the Deviant.

It’s the kind of dialogue you come back to on a later draft and drop a hard “Enter” on . . . Yeah, “Hard Enter” sounds weird, so what I’m saying is, you create a new line before this convo and just rewrite it from scratch. Because editing it is just asking for a loophole like this to stick around.

(20:40) – The first of many flashbacks to the Eternals’ past. Here, we see them fighting a bunch of Deviants in Babylon. And in this moment, we get a cool shot of Makkari knocking down a Deviant and then proceeding to punch it, like, 30 times.

Not jabs either—we’re talkin’, in the span of 2 seconds, she runs away, runs back, and punches this Deviant a ton of times.

Which is to say the speedster problem is really bad in this movie.

I love Makkari—she’s my favorite by far—but that might be why I noticed how bizarre it is that she’s just not ending this and every other fight immediately.

She’s usually shown saving people, which is fine, but because she’s also shown doing legitimately wild shit—like charging and punching one opponent 30 times in 2 seconds—it makes it extremely hard to not think, “Why doesn’t she just go pulp all the other Deviants’ brains in, like, 3 seconds?”

We will come back to this, but for now, if anyone doesn’t know, speedsters are easily the most powerful superheroes in any universe, and using them in one of your stories requires some adequate suspension of disbelief or strong internal story logic to explain why they can’t just end your story immediately.

For a great example of the speedster problem at work, watch the first season of the CW’s The Flash. In it, you’ll find that the Flash has the bizarre habits of stopping to talk to the episode’s big bad and/or fighting them at normal speed instead of running in and punching them before they even know he’s there. Particularly enraging because he has no problem knocking out petty thugs at the speed of sound during an episode’s exposition. But, oh man, the moment that big bad shows up, he just kinda forgets how so the rest of the episode can happen.

And once you see it, you can never unsee it.

(28:30) As part of a montage of Sersi and Ikaris “dating,” we get a shot of Ikaris awkwardly standing and watching as Sersi gets her hair done by a village girl and . . .

. . . I mean, it’s just so awkward.

You can feel someone struggling to come up with another shot for the montage, and ultimately, they just decided on this because the shot looked very pretty.

But man, part of your fucking date was having Ikaris stand over you, mannequin-silent, while a little human does your hair? Fuck’s sake, I’m single right now, and if my dream girl was like, “I will glandly stand here and watch while you get your hair braided,” I’d be fucking hyperventilating in 3 seconds. Like, “omfg she’s a lizard person abortabortabortabortabort.” My skin seriously crawls just imagining the silence.

Anything else would’ve been better. This only makes Sersi and Ikaris’ lack of chemistry painfully obvious.

Which is to say . . . man it’s easy to write characters into a relationship with no chemistry. Like, frighteningly easy. And I have no tips for it either! I guess if you have to write a date scene where one of your characters stoically watches the other get her hair did, shit ain’t workin’.

(28:47) During their date, Sersi gives Ikaris a stone that she makes jet black and tells him, “It matches your eyes.”

And holy shit, I would gather all the Infinity Stones myself if I could snap in the line, “Because it looks cold and dead and reminds me of the empty void of space, just like your eyes.”

(30:10) Just an actual sex scene. Like a full-on, they-went-for-it sex scene between Sersi and Ikaris.

I know this has nothing to do with writing, but man it’s just so painfully awkward. Now I have to die knowing that Ikaris is really bad at sex? Come on, man.

Also, Sersi says, “I love you, Ikaris,” to him, and, as if he’s powered by A. I. Dungeon, Ikaris takes a moment before parroting it back at her. “I love you, Sersi,” he says, in the exact same format.

Like, could he not say, “I’ve always loved you”? Something remotely different so he sounds like a real person?

(32:34) Back in modern day, Sersi, Sprite, and Ikaris find Ajak’s body. And Ikaris goes, “It was a Deviant.”

And maybe it’s because I was raised by manipulators, but holy shit was that an obvious attempt to control the narrative.

No lie, if I was there, I would not have turned around because my eyes would’ve gone deadpan. I would’ve thought, This motherfucker killed her. And then I’d put on the right face, get up and say something innocuous before leading Sprite away to tell her the first chance I got.

Like, seriously, at the beginning, when I thought Ikaris was evil, it was just my now-ingrained reflex to think that any hovering man with laser eyes is evil. But this line made me actually go, “Oh shit. He really is the bad guy.”

Framing this in writing terms, man that one line is basically a spoiler. Richard Madden even delivers it like he’s in the middle of trying to defend himself. I guess that’s a nice touch on the performance?

But again, ham-fisted. If I could’ve, I would’ve suggested he give commands, telling Sersi and Sprite to keep an eye out while he checked the body to confirm it was a Deviant. Or he would’ve asked them, “Was it a Deviant?” so they could confirm it themselves.

(38:30) A flashback where, after Thena attacked everyone, the rest of the Eternals talk about how she’s suffering from “mahd wy’ry,” a condition that afflicts Eternals, by which their memories overload their minds.

First, it’s obligatory. I have to talk about how stupid of a name “mahd wy’ry” is. It’s the result of the really bad Silver Age tendency to give something a name made up of normal words intentionally misspelled so they seem otherworldly. The original Captain Marvel’s name being “Mar-Vell” is a great example of this.

Of course, there’s no way to future-proof something like “mahd wy’ry”—the person who invented the term couldn’t predict that ‘mad’ would become slang for ‘very,’ and that eventually “mahd wy’ry” would sound like a hipster saying they’re tired, but here we are.

Regardless, I think we can definitely say the ‘misspelled normal words as alien names’ convention is . . . not great? At the very least, it’s always a contrivance, and whenever it can be done, I think it’s always best to cook up a replacement name.

(38:30) – Continued

It was also at this point when I started feeling really fatigued.

I’m a Fantasy writer, so I wasn’t thrown by a made up condition with a weird name.

But this is . . . the fourth time jump? The third flashback? And, look, it’s not like I was having a hard time keeping track.

But I really thought Thena turning on the other Eternals was the beginning of the intrigue. I thought that now, having seen Ajak dead, we were going to build up a strong case that Thena was her killer, possibly having escaped after being afflicted with mahd wy’ry.

But no. Gilgamesh agrees to watch her and the conversation turns from her to Ajak’s leadership pretty quickly. Ajak then tells everyone they can go their own ways, which seems like the exact opposite thing this group would do if Thena’s mahd wy’ryness was actually a concern and . . .

. . . I mean, it just sucked all the energy out of me. It made it feel like this story was 70% lore flashbacks and 30% characters talking about those lore flashbacks.

If I’m being generous, I liked the idea of a member of the team suffering from / ultimately learning to live with a disorder.

But considering the way this movie handles it, ‘mahd wy’ry’ should’ve been removed, or something else should’ve been done with it. Because what mad wy’ry ultimately provides the plot is not worth the time spent to set it up.

(41:20) Still in a flashback, Druig challenges Ajak’s leadership and ultimately decides to mind-control everyone fighting outside of their temple. He then just . . . walks away with them.

Just mentioning this for later. At this point, 1521 AD, Druig walks away from the other Eternals with a bunch of soldiers he’s puppeteering.

(44:33) Back in present day, the team seemingly just teleports to Kingo, who’s shooting a Bollywood film.

And holy shit, on this second viewing, I again have to ask myself, “Why couldn’t this movie just be about Kingo?” Why did they use Kumail Nanjiani so little when he brings so much personality and energy to the screen?

Sorry. Not a writing comment, but it’s just frustrating how charming he is when he gets screen time but it took 40 minutes to get him that screen time.

(46:39) On Kingo’s private jet he . . . has his valet Karun follow him around with a camera to shoot a documentary.

And here’s the point where I was like, “ . . . Okay, but not like this.”

Kingo is great. Next to Makkari, he’s my favorite.

But this scene where he’s shooting a documentary feels too much like ‘Marvel’s signature thing they do to make a character fun after Homecoming.’

Writing-wise, this whole scene feels like a might-delete-later. And no, I’m not trying to sound like a Zoomer—there’s no better thing to call it; it’s the kind of joke or funny scene that you write knowing it might be too cringe, and you’ll only be able to tell when you come back to it in edits. I seriously just edited one such joke in my current WIP three days ago.

I wish this scene had been edited the same way.

How? Definitely lose the camera. Seriously, Marvel, please quit it with the ‘fun video recording’ thing. It was absolutely painful in that one zombies episode of What If…?

But to be more constructive, off the top of my head, maybe Kingo sits down with a notepad and says he’s decided to write a movie script about this adventure. Maybe he literally starts writing what people are saying, telling them to slow down so he can get everything, and then pointedly not writing whenever someone says something boring. Maybe Ikaris keeps saying impressively boring shit so Kingo riffs on him for it. Maybe Kingo openly changes dialogue to make it more charming. I dunno.

What I do know though . . . is irony: I wrote a quick replacement scene for this moment while drafting this post, but when I came back to it . . . I deleted it! Because it was cringe! Ha ha! Being able to edit yourself is fucking great!

(47:59) Ikaris tells Sersi that Sprite said she’s addicted to her phone. Sersi replies by showing him himself, aged up on FaceApp or something.

When your characters have such little chemistry that you have to fill the silence between them with an app, something is seriously wrong.

(48:21) Kingo explains how he’s created a film dynasty for himself by pretending to be the youngest in a lineage of actors–something he’s done for generations.

I like this moment a lot and wish that the other Eternals had more interesting ways of ingraining themselves in human society.

But also, looking at these older pictures of Kingo made me realize . . . he and all of the other Eternals have had the same hair for 7000 years?

But no . . . because in the posters Kingo shows off, he has different hairdos.

Look, I know this is a super small thing, but man it really would’ve sold the timeline of these heroes if any of them had different hairstyles at any point. Like, I know Sersi gets her hair done by the human girl in the one horrifying date scene, but I feel like that just serves my point; even if these space robots wouldn’t think to change their own hair, humans would’ve thought of it for them. Probably at many different points. And if they had to live through certain time periods, they probably would’ve had to change their hair to fit in, right? Like, there’s no way a human in the 1970’s wouldn’t have suggested Sersi get a bob or something.

Again, small, but I’ve always been an advocate for characters getting evolving, changing looks as their timelines progress. And in this story, that approach would’ve done wonders.

(53:16) After the crew finds Gilgamesh, they sit down to a hearty dinner. And at this timestamp, Karun—Kingo’s Valet—looks up and notices Thena staring at him.

And I know that this is probably supposed to be her staring at the one human in the group, but if you are not aware, a bleach blonde, plastic-surgeried white woman staring at a brown man while menacingly eating . . . will send a very different message to some minorities.

I know the Eternals are a diverse group, but even on this second viewing, I’m like, “Ah. So Thena is racist. Got it.” This moment seriously just screams, “Meeting my white girlfriend’s parents for the first time over dinner at their house on Long Island.”

(54:03) Dinner conversation turns to the Avengers. Kingo says Thor used to follow him around when he was a kid but now won’t return his calls.

What a total self-own.

I understand that the vibe here was supposed to be, “This guy is older than Thor! Whoa!” but it feels like, “Thor used to idolize me but then he grew up and learned better.” Just, I dunno . . . Make sure your characters aren’t accidentally owning themselves?

(54:09) Still at dinner, Sprite asks who’s going to replace “Captain Rogers” and Iron man.

And I will never be able to unsee that Sprite actually said “Now that Captain America and Iron Man are both gone…,” but they ADR’d ‘America’ so she says ‘Rogers’ instead.

We’re not talking writing stuff here, but this ADR is super fascinating to me. Was it to appeal to overseas markets? Is it because, by this point, with Phase Four projects shuffled around, Sam Wilson became Captain America before Eternals was released and they had to account for it?

(55:29) Alone with Gilgamesh, Sersi explains that she was chosen to lead but can’t “even figure out to talk to Arishem,” their space boss.

And sound the fuckin alarms, because we’ve got ourselves a trope, baby! Not just a hero being uncertain about how to use their powers, but another character basically saying, “Maybe you’re doing blank . Have you tried doing the opposite of that ?” which immediately solves the problem.

It’s just a tired trope kept alive by comic book movies and TV shows. Never do it—let it die.

(57:20) Sersi gets in touch with Arishem, and he explains the film’s first plot twist in a totes frickin’ sweet 4D Experience. At this time code, he says that in order for the Celestial inside of Earth to grow, it needs “vast amounts of energy from sentient life.”

And it’s not explained a-a-a-a-any further.

What is this energy? Are we talking literal, like electricity? Does he just need a bunch of power plants on the surface to draw from? Or are we talking “life energy,” but exclusively from sentient life forms? Brain power then?

The point I’m getting at here is that this is just a contrivance that helps the plot make sense. But when you set a contrivance like this in the foundation of your story, it sits there—at the foundation of your story.

(59:07) During the 4D Experience, Arishem explains the twist that Olympia—the home planet of the Eternals—never existed. All of them are just mass produced space robots sent out to claim planets and then die.

First, the twist that Olympia never existed would’ve hit way harder if we’d actually seen the Eternals on Olympia at any point. As it is, the twist just didn’t land. When this movie tells me that an imaginary place I’ve never seen was never real, I just kinda shrug like, “Yep. And?”

Second, and super depressing for me . . . this is basically just the dynamic between the Silver Surfer and Galactus. Galactus sends the Surfer to prepare a planet to be devoured/destroyed, and the Surfer turns on him to save the Earth.

So I guess we’re never going to get a Silver Surfer movie in the MCU?

Cool. Thanks, Eternals.

(1:05:10) After learning about their true purpose on Earth, the Eternals go to the Amazon to find Druig. While walking into is village, Karun says, “It’s very nice here, sir,” to which Kingo says, “Don’t be fooled. Ignorance is bliss.”

#1 – I just hate the way the Eternals are seemingly teleported from location to location. This isn’t even the first time it’s happened; I mentioned it earlier when Sersi, Sprite, and Ikaris just kinda showed up on the set of Kingo’s film.

It’s very strange; they just kinda get shifted from scene to scene like action figures, killing all sense of motion and creating a fictional world that feels extremely fake.

It’s also extremely convenient; seriously, they get picked up from Gilgamesh’s home and immediately dropped into the exact town where Druig lives. I’m not saying I want to watch them trek across the Amazon trying to find him, but it’s strange and confusing when Sprite walks up to a random person and is just like, “Yo. Is Druig here?” and the guy’s like, “Yep.” Like, wait—what??? How did they know Druig lived in this exact town? Why is this so impossibly convenient?

#2 – “Ignorance is bliss” . . .  What the fuck does that mean in this situation exactly? That Karun is naïve for thinking that these people living in the Amazon are nice? That these people living in the Amazon are stupid?

No, seriously, what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

I seriously hate this movie.

(1:06:17) And here we have it. The last entry in this first part of “A Writer Watching – Eternals.” After Druig puppeteers a man so he can say hello to Sprite, he comes out, greets them, and then we cut to after the team has explained the plot twist to him. Druig, when asked if he’ll help them stop the Emergence, tells the others that he’s been “protecting these people for 20 generations.”

And by “protecting these people,” he abso-fucking-lutely means “mind-controlling them.” Because that’s the only power he has.

And he’s been doing that . . .

. . . for 500 years.

500 years.

Druig has been living in the Amazon, casually mind-controlling people without their knowledge or consent.

For 500. Fucking. Years.

How the fuck am I supposed to like these characters?

Seriously, we’ve already seen him puppeteer someone so he could fucking say “Hello.” In a few minutes, Druig mind-controls these people to make them fight a Deviant while he watches. And when he’s rightfully told to stop by Sersi, the people he controlled seem confused.

How in the world am I ever supposed to get behind the Eternals after they perpetrated this shit or just allowed it to happen for 500 fucking years? Like, if Druig used someone to say hi, what other inane shit does he make them do for him every day?

And how the fuck did this even make it into Eternals after WandaVision? That show clearly conveyed that controlling people without their consent is fucking awful—so bad that Wanda was logically portrayed as a villain for the majority of the show. So bad that after all of the blaring hero trumpets and laser battles of the definitely-not-great finale, it was still made clear that the people of Westview did not forgive her—that they feared her and will probably always fear all superheroes.

It’s just such tone deaf hero worship. It would be like if DC made a new Superman movie and had him tear ass through Metropolis, killing thousands of people again after Batman V Superman.

Okay. Okay. I’m breathing, breathing.

I like that these characters are complicated. I like that the people who made this film tried to skirt the line between good and bad with Druig.

But they completely failed and made a fucking monster. And it worries me that they didn’t have the tact to punish this character for doing something horrible.

I can’t control what anyone writes and I never would. But I will say that if you want a prime example of how to fail at making a character morally ambiguous, this is it.

~~~

And with that said, I just have to stop.

My doc for the draft of this post just hit 12 pages, one of my wrists is busted, and I hate this movie so I’m calling it here.

If you enjoyed this post, this is just the first part of a possible trilogy? We’re seriously only an hour deep and have an hour and a half to go. Whatever, the point: to be continued.

If you want to be here when that sequel comes out, you can give me a Follow via the button on the left-hand side bar (on PC) or the top-right hamburger menu (on mobile). I appreciate it because I am still trying to build a platform while working on my own writing projects.

Until next time, stay safe, stay hydrated, and just rewatch WandaVision. It wasn’t the best show ever made, but man was it brazenly experimental for a superhero show . . . Until the end, anyway. I think I might start a rewatch tonight now that I’m in recovery mode.

Anyway, bye!

A Writer Watching – Solo: A Star Wars Story

I made the mistake of watching Ant-Man and the Wasp a few weeks ago.

Which sucks, because, had I not watched it, that movie could still be whatever I’d imagined.

It could have, for example, been the awesome heist film I was imagining, heavily involving the Quantum Realm in an effort to rescue Janet Van Dyne. Not a full 2 hours with only 5 or so minutes spent there–no, it could’ve been a strange road trip into the void, reminiscent of a heist in the sense that the cast would have to manage a bunch of details, in both the normal world and Quantum Realm, to ensure their escape.

It could have also built on the narrative of the first film in interesting ways by advancing the cast’s relationships.

And it could’ve corrected the weird, casual racism of the first movie.

Watching Ant-Man and the Wasp, however, made it an inescapable truth that it was none of those things. It was, instead, a weird, boring mess that was massively disappointing even though I came in with low expectations.

At the end, I thought, “Man . . . I should’ve done a Writer Watching for this.”

And so, we have last Tuesday morning, when I was home, having thrown out my back, and thought, “Let me watch Solo, since my friends said it was good the other night.”

A minute . . . and thirty three seconds.

I got a minute and thirty three seconds in before I hit pause and said, “Yeah, I’ll do a Writer Watching on this shit for sure.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoy nerdy film crit, cause this one’s a heckin’ chonker. It’s A Writer Watching – Solo: A Star Wars Story:

  • (1:33) The inciting moment. Han Solo hangs up his stupid, golden dice on the rear view . . . of the . . . speeder he stole?
    . . .
    Does he do this with every vehicle he steals? Ya know, to make it incredibly clear that, “Hey, that one idiot kid who loves these stupid dice stole this one”?
    Sorry, but fan service that blatant and nonsensical infuriates me.
  • (3:45) Alien Thugs: “Han! You got our money!?”
    Han: “Uh . . .”
    Alien Thugs: “Whatever! This is a shake down! Search him!”
    They find nothing.
    “Hmmm. Okay! Whatever! Let’s go see Lady Proxima!”
    Logic: “You guys, uh . . . not gonna also shake down this other character who’s with Han?”
    Alien Thugs: “Lady Proxima, here we come!”
    Logic: “But, guys, like, that doesn’t make sense. That’s definitely not what–”
    Alien Thugs: “IT’S PROXIM-A’CLOCK, BABY!”
  • (5:54) Ah, yes. Finally. A good shot of Lady Proxima.
    . . .
    She looks terrible.
    Like, the idea of a sentient, aquatic alien crime boss is awesome . . .
    . . . but Proxima just looks terrible.
    And don’t @ me with that bullshit, Rogue One excuse of, “She’s supposed to be boring! She’s only in the movie for 5 minutes!” cause, just fucking no. Bad character design is never justified in any story.
  • (7:20) Wow. I actually have to say, this chase scene at least feels like a new scenario. I know we’ve seen people chase each other in speeders before, but this scene still feels unique. Like I’m actually watching a fun new Star Wars film.
  • (9:15) I’m a writer who focuses a lot on realism. Yes, I write fantasy, but within my fantasy stories, characters have to make choices that are realistic. When watching any movie, there’s usually a part where I say, “I could never write that,” about something that happened on-screen, because it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the world, scene, or characters.
    Han, with these dice, is a great example of something I could never, ever write.
    Because he’s attached to them, right? He clearly has a thing for them.
    Then why the fuck would he ever, in a million years, hang them up on a speeder he stole on a whim?
    Especially when that act results in him having to brave blaster fire to take them back not even ten minutes later?
    Realistically, the learned tendency would be to keep them in a pocket. Maybe to hang them up on his coat or something–not to proudly display them on a stolen vehicle that he abandons among his thieving peers moments later. Especially if doing so puts him in danger–even once.
    The idea that a criminal would treat an important momento the way Han is treating these dice . . . just doesn’t make sense.
  • (9:50) Am I the only person who’d like to see a Papers, Please-esque movie about the Empire’s strict immigration protocols?
    Or even just a movie about normal people living in the empire, trying to survive its corruption?
  • (10:39) When Han gives Qi’ra his lucky dice: I would give anything for Qi’ra to be like, “Ugh. Not your stupid fucking dice again.”
  • (11:51) When Qi’ra is being dragged away at the travel checkpoint, and we see that she still has Han’s dice: I would give anything for Han to be like, “No! Don’t take my dice!”
  • (12:16) “And for my next trick, I will pull a coat out of thin-fucking-air!”
    To be fair, I’m sure they filmed a moment when you saw him take whatever clothes off of a cart or something, but whichever editor decided to leave that on the cutting room floor made a bad choice.
  • (13:00) Wait . . . is the Imperial March actually playing on that in-universe propaganda?
    Really?
    It’s been the actual theme of the Empire this entire time?
    Well, shit, now I understand why people keep joining the Empire.
  • (14:00) Yeah, see, this whole stupid, terrible explanation for Han’s last name? You should’ve cut that instead.
    That was just high school fan-fiction levels of bad.
    If you ever have the opportunity to avoid a genuinely terrible explanation for something in your writing, stop to ask yourself, “Do I really need to explain this?” If the answer is “no” (i.e. “Han’s last name could just be ‘Solo’ for no special reason!”), then just don’t explain it.
  • (14:31) Han’s Commanding Officer: “Solo! Get up! We’re almost there!”
    Han: “Almost where? Where are we going?”
    Why is he screaming this like he genuinely has no idea? I understand that he might not have been briefed, but if that’s the case, three years of training as a soldier in the Empire would mean that he wouldn’t be at all indignant about not knowing where his platoon is headed. Either he would know where they were going, or he would know better than to question it.
    Instead, this moment is written like he just fell into this scene, experiencing the same cut the audience just saw. Because lol, what a funny, clueless rogue he is! That Han!
    Definitely dampens the idea that he served in the Empire for three years. And, if there’s some canon rule stating that Imperial recruits spend 2 years and 10 months training, then having him serve for only 3 years was an enormous mistake.
  • (16:48) Kinda weird how . . . Rebel-like all of these characters look.
    Like, for whatever reason, we’re getting a bunch of maskless characters fighting on foot . . . instead of Storm Troopers in high tech walkers, ships, etc., so it doesn’t actually feel like we’re watching characters in the Imperial Army.
    It’s disappointing, because I always thought it was really interesting that Han was in the Empire . . . But now it turns out that he was only in the Empire for three years and . . . wasn’t a Storm Trooper?
    I guess there’s a time paradox to look out for: Han can’t have crazy detailed knowledge of how the Empire operates because he never displayed that knowledge in the original trilogy. But eh . . .
    If only George Lucas were still in charge . . . He’d be able to add new, not at all glaring shots of a completely CGI Han saying things like, “Luke, at the Imperial Academy, we learned that the AT-AT’s armor is weak on it’s underside!” or whatever.
  • (18:40) Wait . . . He got kicked out of the Imperial Academy for having a mind of his own?
    . . . Then what the fuck is he doing in the Imperial Army?
    I don’t think that’s how the Empire’s supposed to work. I’m not sure that’s how any military works.
    “Well, he’s being super subversive, so we don’t want him flying ships . . . but eh, fuck it, give him a gun and put him on the front lines with our boys anyway.”
  • (21:41) I . . . hate this Han / Chewbacca fight.
    So . . . Han Solo . . . can speak Wookiee . . . and he knew that Chewbacca was a Wookiee when he came out of his mud hole to presumably eat Han . . . but, instead of immediately talking to this Wookiee . . . Han decided to . . . fight him?
    I . . . hate this.
    That entire fight was such a goddamn contrivance. No one in their right mind would ever decide to fight a giant monster before talking to it . . . if they knew it wasn’t just some brainless fucking monster.
    It’s the equivalent of a character from Star Trek being thrown into a pit with a Klingon, knowing about the Klingon, but . . . deciding to let the Klingon nearly kill them for a few minutes before talking to them.
    It’s just a classic case of plot twist fallacy.
    Writer A: “And ‘the monster’ is Chewbacca!”
    Writer B: “Genius! So Han and Chewie fight!?”
    Writer A: “Yes! Cause, like, Han doesn’t know Chewbacca; he just sees him as a monster!”
    Writer B: “OMG! So fun! How will he get out of the fight though?”
    Writer A: “Uh . . . Oh! Han can speak Wookiee!”
    Writer B: “Genius! No contradictions there! We can even have him call Chewbacca Kashyyykian, making it clear that he even knows the name of the planet Wookiees come from!”
  • (23:28) So . . . This new alien they’re introducing . . . is basically a talking monkey?
    Phew.
    Man . . . Yeah, the alien designs really do just suck in this movie.
    . . .
    WAIT.
    Hold on.
    Louis examines his star charts.
    Yes.
    Squints at an equation. “(Normal Animal + Human Voice) Pilot / Space =”
    Yep.
    He’s just a rip-off of Rocket Raccoon.
    This stupid monkey alien dude is pop culture’s first Rocket Raccoon rip-off.
    I would not be surprised if his early draft name was Missile Monkey.
    He’s even a pilot like Rocket. For fuck’s sake.
  • (23:48) Wait. Wait. So, this dude that Han tried to ingratiate himself with before . . . turns Han in . . . and Han runs back to him anyway?
    Why?
    That makes no–
    Okay. Ya know what? I need a break. At this point in the post, I’m stepping away, because I’m actually getting frustrated.
  • (24:10) Why the fuck does Missile Monkey keep pronouncing it as “WOO – ki”?
    It’s like if a new character showed up and started pronouncing it “jahDYE.”
    No. It’s “wook – ee.” It’s always been “wook -ee.”
  • (25:48) Originally, I had a rant here about Chewbacca not saying his name, creating a weird language paradox where there was a Kashyyykian word for “Chewbacca,” and how stupid that was.
    But then, I rewatched this moment . . . and Chewbacca literally says “Chewbacca” in Kashyykian. And it’s so well done that I genuinely didn’t realize it the first time.
    And, just like . . .
    . . . I understood Chewbacca.
    You guys, seriously . . . I know this is really, really stupid and probably one of the most fanboy emotions I’ve ever felt . . .
    But I’ve been listening to Chewbacca grunt for over 30 years without ever understanding what he said.
    But this time, I did understand. . . and I actually have feelings about it.
    Probably because there is no other experience I can compare it to.
    This movie is a mess, yes, but there’s something simple and wonderful about this one moment, when I finally, briefly understood this character I’ve loved my whole life.
  • (29:42) Woody Harrelson: “All you need to do is do what I say, when I say it . . .”
    Logic: “Oh, cool. Han has demonstrated that he’s really good at taking orders.”
    Also, what a lazy origin for Han’s blaster.
    It’s another thing that didn’t need an origin, but especially not when the origin is “Some dude gave it to me–cause I needed a gun, I guess.”
    Also . . . Could you, uh . . . give me the extra parts that make it a sweet sniper rifle, too?
    Kinda feel like those would be super useful.
  • (31:08) Woody Harrelson: “Or blow us all to Hell!”
    Hell exists in the Star Wars universe?
  • (31:21) I can’t wait for Missile Monkey to die. It literally can’t happen quickly enough. They tried so hard to pour so much charm into him that I can’t stand it.
  • (31:45) Okay. I gotta say . . . These action scenes are consistently good. Easily the best part of this movie.
  • (32:00) But this attempt at generating tension by showing Chewbacca in danger is funny.
    Oh no! <gasp> Will Chewbacca die, and then not be in all of the future movies he’s already in? The suspense!
    When you have a time paradox like this, you need to create tension in other ways. The audience knows Han and Chewie aren’t going to die, so you have to either create new characters who are likeable enough that the audience would care when you put them in danger (which this movie failed with, in my opinion), or, easier, you set up a villain the audience really hates, then create tension with the possibility that that villain will win. And, sure, they won’t, but, “Gah! It doesn’t fucking matter, ’cause, ugh, I just hate him/her so much!” This movie, at least to this point, has also failed in that respect unfortunately.
    You could relate everything to Han’s mission, or showcase a pre-established bit of lore in an interesting, enthralling way, but this movie dropped the ball in those regards as well.
  • (Sidebar) Okay . . . I took a day off, and something interesting happened.
    I’d paused during the heist scene, so when I hit “Play” today, I jumped right into the action . . .
    . . . and I just fucking loved it.
    That heist was fun, and pretty much all of the scenes after it were fun. There was even a moment where Alden Ehrenreich had such natural banter with Chewie . . . that I actually felt like I was watching a movie about a young Han Solo.
    At the moment, I’m enjoying this, which is great because I also have to cut down on the notes, or I’ll be writing this until April.
  • (Sidebar 2) Also, I was ready to hate whatever villain this movie threw at me, but I actually like Dryden Vos. He’s a great mix of normal and terrifying. He feels, at once, like an authentic, believable crime lord while also being a dude with weird scars on his face that get red when he gets angry because . . . the blood rushes to them first?
  • (51:04) Vos: “He is arrogant! And he is . . . hungry!”
    Me: Ugh.
    This is one of those lines you squint at after you’ve typed it. “Does that sound weird?”
    Yes.
  • (59:30) Okay. I also enjoyed the entire Sabacc game and every moment with Donald Glover’s Lando.
    But . . . here’s where things take a massive, massive dive.
    I’ve realized this weird tendency lately for issues of diversity to be pushed onto other races. Bright had orcs. Extinction (another meh Netflix original) had synths. Overwatch has omnics. And, while having these races and embroiling them in races issues isn’t a terrible thing, it leads to genuinely bad ideas and habits. For example, after I complained about Overwatch adding two new white characters last year instead of more ethnically diverse characters, some of my friends balked, “Yeah, and when are we going to get more representation for omnics!?” I remember blinking in that moment. I wanted to say, “Why the fuck does the race of robot people that doesn’t exist . . . need more representation that brown people like me?” There’s such a bizarre loss of priority there that my head is spinning.
    And I suspect that, no matter how innocent the intentions, it’s the fault of shit like this stupid fucking robot-rights character.
    Why the fuck is civil rights parodied in this movie? What is this fucking trend with trying to make racial tension a gag?
    I absolutely hate it. Like the Latin lover and the Hispanic drug dealer in every goddamn movie, this “goofy social justice warrior” bullshit makes me absolutely livid in its irresponsibility.
  • (1:01:57) This moment is so strange. We take a minute or so . . . for Lando to be upset that there’s a boot on his ship . . . Then Woody Harrelson says he’ll remove it, but reduce Lando’s cut . . . and Lando basically says, “Okay.”
    . . . That is prime cutting material right there. A solid 40 seconds that did not need to be in this story.
    [Edit: It’s weeks later, and I’m editing through one more time before posting this, and I have to say that, yeah, having finished the movie, there’s literally no payoff, whatsoever, for this scene. It’s a perfect example of a useless scene, and I will use it as such for the rest of my life.]
  • (1:14:18) Here, Qi’ra becomes every strong-female-character-in-a-male-driven-movie ever by exhibiting that she is not only hot but also a karate master.
    Seriously, they elected not to show her fight because either A) it was impossible to get anyone to move fluidly in that admittedly next-level-badass outfit she has on, or B) they did film it and realized it looked exactly like every other strong-female-character-in-a-male-driven-movie fight scene since the beginning of time.
    Seriously, if you’re worried you missed anything, here’s what happened:
    1. Qi’ra did a roundhouse kick.
    2. Qi’ra did a cartwheel.
    3. Qi’ra locked her legs around the alien’s head, leaned back, and threw him with her legs, striking a pose afterward. I have this reflex to link a YouTube video of the move I’m talking about, but you know exactly the move I mean, because you’ve seen it 40,000,000,000 times.
  • (1:20:26) Man, Wookiees look terrible without hair on their faces.
    Sure, I get that maybe this is some other race of Wookiee, or Chewie and his family have hair on their faces but not all Wookiees do.
    Still, these clean-shaven Wookiees . . . really just look like sasquatches. And it sucks.
  • (1:22:33) After Lando picks up L3, gets shot, and then get’s picked up by Chewie: I would give anything for Chewie to get shot in the leg so Han has to pick him up. But then Han gets shot in the shoulder so Qi’ra has to pick him up. Then Woody Harrelson picks her up, and so on, and so on, until we have a tower of Star Wars characters teetering toward the Millenium Falcon, with, like, Hoar at the very bottom, holding Baron Papanoida.
  • (1:24:03) Okay, I’ll say it.
    One of the things a lot of reviewers were really vocal about was their hatred for Lando’s romance with L3.
    And now, having watched it . . .
    . . . who cares?
    It wasn’t remotely obstructive or gross. It wasn’t played for gags. Hell, it wasn’t even definitively shown!
    Why were people so pissed about this?
    Also, L3’s a droid, Lando. You can just repair her.
  • (1:28:26) Man . . . They are just burning through all of the classic John Williams themes during this Kessel Run sequence.
    Seriously, there are samples of songs from the entire original trilogy in this one scene, and, for a soundtrack nerd like me, it’s incredibly distracting.
    And also a little shifty.
    They’re trying to work that nostalgia way, way too hard.
  • (1:38:53) Yeah, see, I would love a smaller Star Wars story that was just set in places like this weird, ocean-side, desert town.
  • (1:41:00) I’d heard this reveal of the marauder boss was weird . . . and it so is.
    The music swells like the reveal is going to be someone the audience knows. The staff made me think, “Wait, is this Darth Maul?”
    No. It’s a woman. For some weird reason, there was some huge build-up for the badass marauder captain being a woman.
    And, for a moment, I was seriously like, “Wait . . . Do I . . . know her? Is she a character from earlier in the movie . . . ?”
    No. Star Wars was seriously just like, “Look, fellas! He was really a dame the whole time!” and I was like, “Whoa, whoa–wait–why the fuck is that surprising? This movie came out in 2018, dude. The badass being a woman just isn’t a plot twist anymore! Women are badass!”
    It’s also just kind of weird that they went with the “still untouched” look for her. If I’d have designed this woman, she would’ve had the scar over one eye, grey hair. Maybe the eye with the scar would’ve been dead. I know those things are cliche, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a skilled fighter also being beautiful (see Qi’ra). But if I’d designed this character, I would’ve made her thicker, older, scarred, maybe all of the above because A) she just would’ve looked more badass, B) she would’ve been the first battle-hardened, scarred soldier lady in the entire Star Wars universe, and C) I probably would’ve loved her immediately.
    Don’t get me wrong–strength can absolutely coincide with perfectly permed hair.
    But it doesn’t have to.
  • (1:50:06) So, this reveal that . . . (fuck–I still don’t know his name) . . . Woody Harrelson is a traitor is very poorly composed. And it’s poorly composed in such a way that hints at different drafts crashing together at this point.
    He very easily could’ve come out and been like, “Kid, I’m sorry. I can’t run forever. There would’ve been no escape. I begged you not to betray Dryden,” etc. And his very first line when entering the room (“I am . . . sorry, kid.”) makes it sound a lot like that’s what he’s going to say.
    But then, he spouts the line, “You weren’t paying attention. I told you–don’t trust anybody,” which is a pretty cliche parlor scene line for a traitor . . . and which was also seeded earlier with a single line from Woody that didn’t fit at all with his previous actions (i.e. he’s working with two long-time partners at the beginning of the movie, one of whom he had an intimate relationship with, and then gets incredibly upset when they die–not the actions of someone who trusts no one).
    I would not be at all surprised if an early draft made Woody Harrelson’s character too redeemable, so whatever happens to him by the end seemed cruel, so, on a later draft, they went back, added the single, incongruous line from Becket (I googled it) about not trusting anyone, and then modded some dialogue here to make him easier to dislike.
    A little rough, yeah, but Star Wars has been using space nazis for over 40 years. The series just isn’t used to grey-area villains.
  • (1:54:30) I probably shouldn’t . . . but I love Dryden’s weird, stupid, goth rave daggers.
  • (1:55:04) Uh . . . guys?
    This, uh . . .
    This whole thing . . . with Qi’ra about to kill Han . . . and her mentor being like, “I know her well!” and her being like, “I’m now going to kill my enemy” or whatever . . .
    . . . Yeah, that’s the same thing they did in the throne room scene in The Last Jedi.
    Seriously, it is almost the exact same moment.
  • (1:57:00) Huh. Dryden’s corpse is all grey now. So he was an alien of some kind then?
    Also, seriously, Paul Bettany, baby, why does this keep happening to you? First in Infinity War, now here? Jeez. Greyscale Sean Bean over here.
  • (1:58:00) Okay.
    Okay.
    It is cool seeing Darth Maul again. Sure.
    However, what I actually love about this is the idea that there are former Sith out there, in the galaxy, being evil.
    If only this was what always happened with the Sith–canonically–the Star Wars universe would be way more interesting. Not like it isn’t already, but the idea of former (fallen?) Sith being left for dead–abandoned by their mentors–and so set loose on the galaxy, has so much potential.
    At the very least, it has more potential than the actual Sith rules (only two–a master and apprentice, the apprentice eventually killing the master to take his place and find an apprentice of his own), which we have only seen play out a single time, in The Last Jedi, the movie 50% of humanity hated anyway. I’d prefer having Count Dooku and General Grievous still out there. Not that I loved either of them, but there’s potential intrigue to be had.
  • (2:00:30) Oh yeah, Han shooting first would’ve just looked flat out evil if they didn’t make Becket look like a scummy, traitorous bastard, first.

And that–finally–is it.

I did not think this movie was two hours long, for some reason. I also didn’t think I’d have this much to write about it.

Overall, it’s a strange prequel story with some minor time paradox issues–still exciting if you let the moment and classic music sweep you up. Not the best movie I’ve ever seen, though.

From a writing standpoint, it’s a great case for opening in medias res; the exposition was mostly bad, giving a ton of set up that just didn’t need to happen–especially Han’s five seconds in the Empire. For a franchise like Star Wars, and a movie about young Han Solo, I’m sure they felt like they had to show every well-known bit of Han’s past, but this story would’ve been much tighter if it had just started with Han somehow falling in with Becket. Maybe Han could’ve been angrier and more sullen at the beginning, explaining his past with Qi’ra and Corellia to Becket and the others in their campfire scene, then changing when he met her again on Dryden’s ship.

Also, in the case of Becket and his “never trust anyone” line, it’s an interesting look at what quick, patchwork edits can do to a story. A reminder that if we ever decide to go back and make a minor change to a character’s tone, it’s always worth going back through the manuscript and making sure it fits.

And, finally, seriously, 1:01:57. If you have problems deciding what to cut out of stories–if you find you have a tendency to entertain every idea with no concern for their purpose–then jump to 1:01:57 in Solo: A Star Wars Story. This scene, which I’ve already dubbed “The Boot,” is the perfect example of a scene none of us should ever write.

~~~

Anyway, that’s it for me. If you read this far, thank you; I really appreciate it. Also, holy shit–you’re a trooper.

If you enjoyed this novel’s worth of film criticism, and you’d like to know when I post again, feel free to click the subscribe button on the left side of the screen. Or follow me on Twitter @LSantiagoAuthor.

Either way, take care, and write well.