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Sunday, October 6, 2013

I want to write for LMN

LMN, as every red-blooded American woman knows, is Lifetime Movie Network.

For years, I've watched their 'ripped from the headlines' telepics about murder, cheating spouses, domestic abuse (The Tracey Thurman story was horrifying. I saw it years ago and it still haunts me).

In the past I could always count on Lifetime to deliver the goods.

Not so much anymore, and that's why I want to write a movie for them because it would be sooooo freakin' easy. Plots no longer seem to be important. Character motivations are unnecessary. Common sense doesn't exist. It's as if the screenplays were written by a computer. A machine without real human emotions.

Having written over 30 novels, I've always sweated the plots, motivations, complications, wanting to make them as real and as compelling as I could. Takes a lot of work, hair pulling and swearing, at times. Frankly, it's exhausting. That's why I started to think about the advantage of writing one of LMN's movies. Far more pay with a lot less work.

The movie that brought me to that conclusion was on last week. It was a pretty blatant ripoff of Sleeping with the Enemy. I saw that movie years ago and thought the holes in it were monumental (didn't read the book so I don't know how faithful the screenwriter was to it). Anyway, in the movie, Julia Roberts has a sadistic husband who controls her every move and beats her regularly. However, he does allow her to go into town where she takes swimming lessons, without him. Hmmm. Now would a control freak allow that? Also, why is she taking swimming lessons, when it would make more sense for her to take karate and beat him to a pulp the next time he laid his hands on her.

Julia's character doesn't think of that. However, she does plan her escape. She decides to fall off the boat she and her husband are in during a storm. How she knows it's going to storm, I couldn't figure out. Maybe she also took weather classes during her swimming lessons. She then plans to knock out the lights on her husband's private beach with a rock so it's dark when she escapes back to the house. She's such a good throw she should be in major league baseball. She then grabs her stuff and makes a run for it (while he's searching for her in the water). However, she stops to take off her wedding ring and drops it in the toilet. Where he finds it. God. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

The Lifetime movie was equally stupid. The heroine plans her escape (pretends to fall down an incline in a cave, leaving hubby to believe she's dead). She goes to a new city and starts her new life. However, before she took off, she taped all of her documentation for that new life to the back of a picture in her hubby's house where he finds it. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

He locates her and starts making phone calls. She answers, and when there's no one on the line, it doesn't particularly bother her. Now really. She's an abused woman. Don't you think, she'd wonder a little about the heavy breathing on the other end of the line? And the numerous times the heavy breather called? I would. Then, she sees him passing by a window of a store she's in. Does she take off screaming? Call the cops? Hide?  Nope. She looks stunned for a moment, then just continues with her wonderful new life as if she simply imagined seeing the guy who used to beat her everyday. The phone calls continue. She's still not worried.

The husband goes to her new friend's house. The new friend opens the door without asking who's on the other side. You guessed it, he kills the new friend who is also TSTL.

At that point, I lost interest in everything except the possibility of slapping together a dumb plot with little effort and making a ridiculous amount of money for it. That's what I want for Christmas.

Okay, now on to some good and real stuff.

*** Book Four in my Appointment for Pleasure series with Ellora's Cave has just been accepted. Stolen Desire, Book Four in my Outlawed Realm series for Samhain, will be out next March. :)


Tina

Tina Donahue
“Heat with Heart”

ILLICIT INTENT (5 FLAMES - MY READING OBSESSION)  
ILLICIT DESIRE (4 STARS - ROMANTIC TIMES)
SENSUAL STRANGER (BOOK OF THE YEAR 2010)
DEEP, DARK, DELICIOUS (HOLT MEDALLION AWARD OF MERIT)


18 comments:

Polly McCrillis said...

That's so true about the LMN movies ridiculously lame plots, and the acting skills have slipped a few notches as well. I haven't watched anything on that channel in many months for those reasons. Booing the good guys because they have absolutely NO reaction to obvious frightening or tense situations is not how I want to be entertained. And the movie soundtracks usually suck too!

Melissa Keir said...

I never could get into the movies there. The drama was always too much. I like simple happy movies or at least movies where the bad guys get killed a lot with extra guns and firepower.

But Yea! on your new upcoming books! I can't wait for the next in the Outlawed Realm. :)

Tina Donahue said...

I hear you, Polly. I used to love LMN because the movies weren't only about car chases and other macho stuff. The plots had heart. They were about issues women faced. Too bad the quality has gotten so awful in the past few years.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Melissa - I like movies that move me - and yeah, make me mad, make me cry. I especially like movies that deal with women's issues. One of the reasons I loved The Millennium Trilogy (with the heroine Salander - aka know as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) was because the abuse she suffered was so god-awful. Yet, she never became a victim. Damn, she's my kind of woman. :)

Thanks for your congrats on my soon-to-be releases!

jean hart stewart said...

Don't these stupid successes make you want to spit? Can't imagine what some editors are thinking, or if they even think. Your new releases sound wonderful!

Rose Anderson said...

Your newest sounds great. :) Best luck with it.

I don't have access to LMN, but I worry sometimes what impact the weak heroine has on society's psyche. Especially for girls. Women have fought so hard and so long for the not-quite equal standing we have now. It seems counter-productive to me, like we're slipping backwards. I prefer the "Hermione-strong" character over the "Bella-I'll die if I can't have him" character. I'd rather see resilient heroines in film too.

Sandy said...

Congrats on your new releases, Tina. I like the covers.

I like Elementary; there is a guy who think with his brain.

My books are about empowering women, so I have little empathy for authors who have heroines who are too stupid to live.

Paris said...

Congratulations on the new releases! I know what you mean about LMN movies. You always know that the heroine is going into the dark basement when the lights are out and the serial killer targeting her is on the loose. I'd rather read a well-plotted book with characters that aren't TSTL!

Cara Marsi said...

Tina, I love it! So true. Sometimes I'll be watching a Lifetime movie or a Hallmark movie with my husband and I'll start screaming at the screen, "She's too stupid to live!" My husband tells me to just enjoy the movie but I can't when I see such huge plot holes and stupid non-motivated characters.

I do love the Hallmark Christmas romance movies. My dream would be to have one of my books made into one of their movies. The romance movies also contain plot holes but they're so warm and feelgood that I forgive them.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Jean - yeah, it puzzles me what readers see in some stories.

Tina Donahue said...

I'm with you,Rose. I watched the Twilight sagas and couldn't understand why any girl that age would be willing to die and become a vampire to be with a guy who, frankly, looks weird. I like strong heroines, like Salander. Wow, she's my hero. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Sandy. I always try to make my heroines strong. They have good hearts, they're fair, but they're not doormats.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Paris. Me, too. Every time a character does something really dumb, I lose interest in the movie, book, whatever. :(

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Cara. I like the Hallmark movies too. Generally, they're on a higher level than LMN. Maybe because a lot of them are adapted from books.

Suzanne Rock said...

When you first put LMN in the title, I thought it was some Law and Order spinoff, lol. I guess that goes to show you where my head is at. I love cop shows and see myself more as a Vampire Diaries or Law and Order writer. I could never really get into the LMN plots.

Congrats on your new releases!!!

Tina Donahue said...

LOL. Never thought of Law and Order.

Thanks, Suzanne! :)

Marianne Stephens said...

I agree about the movie plots...why don't they make movies about OUR books? At least we have "substance" in them: real plots, characterizations/ and no one TSTL in them! (OK...I've started reading a few with TSTL characters, but always never finish).

Tina Donahue said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Marianne. Generally speaking, books have much better plots than movies based on screenplays.

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