Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Another Three and a Half Meters"

All writers have days in which, overcome with frustration, they declare, "I've been writing/ querying/ networking for X months/ years and I've gotten NOWHERE!" If you haven't yet, then you must still be a newbie.

The path to success in publication is slow and arduous with many things to leave you discouraged. But whenever I find myself thinking my efforts of the last two years have been in vain, I think of the movie, THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO. Other than being the best revenge film ever (Loved the novel, by Alexandre Dumas too) it is incredibly inspiring at times. 

Edmond Dantes is framed for treason and imprisoned, but with the aid of a fellow prisoner they plot to escape by tunneling out at the painstaking pace of three and a half meters a year. Dantes laughs at first, but the inmate asks him if he has anything else to occupy his time. In return for Dantes's aid, the inmate offers him an education in everything from languages to sword fighting.

The jailers whip the prisoners on every anniversary of of their captivity. As his back is strapped raw every year, Dantes says in different languages, "Another three and a half meters."

As Stephen King says, every written work is created "one word at a time." When we feel like we're going nowhere, we must remind ourselves that as long as we keep writing, every little word is progress. Also, we're getting a priceless education along the way.


  1. oh brook, great post. I had no idea he was saying that in a different language! LOVE the movie and I will now see it as a different reason for inspiration - because you know before it was inspiring toward my goal of finding a long lost treasure and returning as a princess!

  2. Well, that would be fun too. Another thing I love about the movie is Dantes's transformation. He was so dorky at first, then halfway through the movie my mom and I looked at each other and said, "Wow, he's HOT now! How'd they do that?"

    It reminds me that my characters need to grow.