Is The Ticking Clock Ticked Out?

A while back, on the written recommendation of Nathan Shumate, I bought a fascinating book on writing action scripts written by William C. Martell.  Martell is a professional screenwriter who has sold quite a few scripts, and purports to know (with excellent reason) what it is that the people who make films want to buy.  There are quite a few chapters of the book devoted to various tricks that the screenwriter can use to involve the audience in the narrative, among them the classic Ticking Clock.

A few days ago, I read Orson Scott Card’s review of the recently released Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time.  In a otherwise mildly positive review where he mocked the premise of the movie but praised its ability to interest the audience, Card had this to say about a scene where the mother of Timberlake’s character dies in his arms, as her time literally runs out: (more…)