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In a new interview, The Martian’s Drew Goddard discusses how to script a blockbuster with mass appeal—without dumbing down its science elements: trust that your audience is actually willing to learn, and put special emphasis on the story’s universally relatable emotional aspects. [Deadline]


Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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Odd, as it felt to me that it was a science text pasted together by overlong (but interesting) scientific situations. It was a book that was neither here nor there — not entertaining or thought-provoking enough to keep my interest or long periods of time and not educational enough for me to want to learn about the material.

The whole novel seemed to be: smartass guy gets into trouble. Smartass guy comes up with ten-page scientific solution that he explains directly to the reader. Smartass guy is safe for about ten minutes. Repeat until the end.

I appreciate that people like the book, but let’s not start interviewing Goddard (or Howey, for that matter) on the finer points of writing readable and compelling fiction.