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Top Hat

Last night, PBS had replayed the Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers movie, Top Hat. It was wonderful - missed meetings, misunderstandings and, of course, Fred and Ginger dancing.

The movie's 74 years old, so the music was old-fashioned and so was the script. The advice that Ginger got from her friend - that she'd be hit on by all kids of jerks as long as she was a spinster - was, thankfully, from another world.

But the dancing was timeless and so was rooting for our heroes, Fred and Ginger. Of course I knew that they'd get together - I lost track of how many times I've seen this movie. But I still rooted for them.

And when they weren't on screen, when a comedic subplot was going on or when there were other people dancing, I wanted to see my heroes. Same thing happens with a novel - when the hero isn't front and center, there'd better be a reason.

There are good reasons why a hero can be off-screen in my novel, but even with a good reason, I'll need to be darned careful to make what is on-screen interesting enough to capture the reader's attention. Then, when our hero returns to the spotlight, reader will say "Oh year, what's been going on with him?"

Of course, if I could dance like Ginger, I might not bother with a subplot at all.


I always loved Fred and Ginger. Haven't seen one of their movies in ages though, I shall rectify that asap :) meaning post november 16th