Monday, October 01, 2007

Sea Biscuit

Posted by Lisa

I haven’t read the book. Which makes zero sense since I love the story and I rode horses for years. At one time in my life, I owned an ex-racehorse. Burns Cottage was her official name, but we called her Molly.

At home last week, I happened upon the DVD, and I popped it into the machine. I watched Sea Biscuit, and I can barely describe what happened. Suddenly, writing and story telling made sense to me. For the first time ever, I understood how character and plot work together.

This is what I learned from Sea Biscuit:

The owner, Jeff Bridges, and the trainer, Chris Cooper (incidentally a native of Kingston, MA) needed each other, each with their own sadness and history.

The dad who lost his son needed to love again, and be willing to let go of someone he loved.

The jockey was angry because of the decision his parents had made: to send him off to ride at a local track as a way to make money in the great depression.

The horse was angry for how he was treated.

Every one of them was broken in some way. Coming together and through the story, they were made whole again.

Plus, it was lovely, and effective, the way that history was dropped in background.

When the video was done, I picked up my laptop. I finally, truly, and wholly figured out the characters in my novel and the direction their stories needed to go.

I called my brother and spoke to him about my epiphany. His response... “You call yourself a writer and a horse person and you haven’t read Sea Biscuit? Geez! I’ve got two copies floating around here. I’ll mail one to you and soon.”


Trish Ryan said...

How cool! Don't you love it when inspiration comes at you from such an unexpected place???

Hubby and I watched "We Are Marshall" this weekend, but I'm sad to say that it was not at all epiphany-producing. Perhaps I'll revisit Sea Biscuit...

Larramie said...

Everything happens for a reason and this was Sea Biscuit's weekend to show you that reason, Lisa.

Lisa said...

I love the way film can show us so much in a span of two hours, give or take. I've had a number of epiphanies that were precipitated by movies over the last few months.

Karen L. Simpson said...

It is one of my favorite movies. The movie is wonderful.
The book is so much better than the movie. History brought to life