NaNo Day 2: Ender’s Game

My goal word count for yesterday was 5,000–for NaNoWriMo, you technically only need to do 1,667 words a day to make it to 50k by the end of the month, but because I have so much going on this week, I’m trying to spend the weekend getting ahead.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of distractions yesterday, so I only made it to about 2,800 words.

The leasing office from my apartment next year approved my application and sent me the lease (and then we had to figure out how the heck you were supposed to tell them who you wanted to room with, because, you know, that’s kind of important and they never asked). And then I also had class, and a genetics seminar (followed by a write up on it), and working on an internship application that I want to send out before the weekend’s over. Plus figuring out a tentative schedule for my classes next semester (downside: three science classes; upside: no Spanish), and what I need to do to apply to the study abroad program I want to do over the summer, and yeah. A lot of stuff.

So, all that happened yesterday, and it definitely limited my writing time. But what more than anything else kept me from NaNoing was the fact that it was November 1st, which meant that not only was it the first day of NaNoWriMo 2013, but also the release day of theΒ Ender’s Game movie. And NO. WAY. was I missing seeing Ender’s Game opening day.

Hannah‘s a big fan of the book, and I read it over the summer and loved it, so last night we bundled ourselves into a taxi and took the trip out to the nearest multiplex.

I had a mixture of high and low expectations for this movie. Absolutely ALL THE THINGS happen in the book, so I wasn’t sure how that would translate into film story-wise, but I also knew from the trailers that the visuals would be good and it had a good cast.

My reaction coming out of the theater: Ender’s Game is incredible.

In order to fit the story into a two hour film, they cut the entire political side of the book that focused on Valentine and Peter’s manipulating the governments back on Earth. Because of that, Peter is in the movie for about ten seconds and then just mentioned frequently throughout the rest of it, and Valentine’s only in it a little bit more. They also majorly cut down on the number of scenes in the battle room–they actually fight in there probably two times, I want to say–and condensed the ending into a shorter, much more streamlined sequence.

The one problem I really had with all the cutting was the fact that, at the end of the day, after the final battle, Ender is supposed to be alone. The kids he spends so much time with–the kids who are the same age as him–only view him as their leader, not a friend. So while they all go off together, Ender finds himself completely and utterly alone. But in the movie, that doesn’t happen. Instead, Petra stays with him. Throughout the entire film, they’ve cut that part of the character arcs: Instead of the others feeling no actual connection to Ender besides functioning below him in battles, they maintain a sense of camaraderie with him and Ender never seems to get too lonely.

But that’s just one change out of many and, altogether, despite all the cutting, the filmmakers were able to maintain the integrity of the feel and meaning behind Ender’s Game. They even found a way to run with the same non-pacing of the book. I don’t even know how to describe it exactly, but neither the novel nor movie have an obvious dramatic structure, and while that doesn’t generally work well for maintaining a rapid, gotta-keep-going pace, they manage to make you want the story to keep going and going and going. While reading, I had to keep turning the pages, I had to see what would happen next, but I also didn’t want the book to end, because I was enjoying it so much. Same thing happened with the film.

What makes me like the story so much is all the tactical stuff constantly going on in it–trying to keep up with all the characters’ agendas, strategizing, and who’s manipulating who. They focused the narrative of the film on this, so it was basically Ender’s Game with the side plots cut out. The music, cinematography, and script were all fantastic. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend going to see it.

(But also: I just could not take Moises Arias seriously as Bonzo. Hannah Montana has ruined me for that kid. He will always be Rico to me.)


day 2Coolio white board design courtesy Hannah.



11 thoughts on “NaNo Day 2: Ender’s Game

  1. Congrats on your writing for yesterday 2800 is still a lot to write in one day and you should be proud. Also, I felt EXACTLY the same after seeing Ender’s Game. Although I was somewhat upset by the ending and inclusion of so much Petra so little Bean, the movie was better than I thought it could be. The cohesiveness with the flow of the novel was unparalleled by most book to movie transitions. πŸ™‚ So glad that someone else feels the same. Happy writing!!


  2. i am doing a nano where i still don’t know what to do, i am just developing cool characters that i can play with later. but it is coming together. i want to do a lot today cuz tomorrow i will not have any time and then i have class like all week why is there so little time. (i take that back there is just so much cool stuff going on it’s hard to do everything) good luck reaching your daily nano and blogging keep going julia you seem to be doing well


    • I can’t believe you don’t have a theater near you showing it! That sucks. Happy NaNoing to you too! (Not that you need my blessing, you super awesome already-wrote-HOW-much-? writer.) I’ll have to spend one of these 30 blog posts talking about la novela!


    • I’m restarting on THE END WHERE I BEGIN from Camp NaNo this past July. It wasn’t working the way I originally tried it, so I’m attempting a different method of writing it now, with more focus on the alternate realities and less on the time travel. πŸ™‚ How’s your NaNo going so far?


  3. I LOVELOVELOVE Ender’s Game as a book and I’m so excited to see the movie…have to get my butt to the theater ASAP. Huge fan of Asa Butterfield (I mean, how can you not like a name like that?!). Definitely agree with the whole non-pacing really makes the book it’s own unique flavor of scifi. I’m a bit sad that they cut out the politico stuff, but I’m actually rather okay (more than okay) with having Petra stay with Ender since I ship them πŸ˜€

    Good luck with your science courses!


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