|Lots of Sword Fights.|
I've not been reading much because I've been writing. Sometimes when you read a lot while writing a book you'll start to take on the style of the writer you are reading. That's no good. You want to have your own voice come through in your work, not the voice of another.
I have been watching movies. First I saw the new Fantastic 4. It's not that great, the story moves along just fine but then all of a sudden the climax happens. It's pretty jarring. I hear rumors that the movie was chopped up in editing, and that's why it seems to cut to the climax so fast. Who knows what the truth is?
Another movie that was chopped up badly in editing is Kingdom of Heaven. A Ridley Scott epic released about 10 years ago. I liked it at the time but apparently others did not. They've since released a director's cut of the movie and it's awesome. With another hour tacked on to the running time it's over 3 hours. Three hours of movie brilliance.
I recommend this movie to anyone that watched the theatrical cut and any fan of historical epics. I also recommend it to anyone wanting to see how a committee approach to creating art can often yield an inferior result.
If you are writing a book or creating something there is a danger in submitting it to a writing group or a development editor, or an agent. You will get feedback, sure, but it's tough to know which feedback to ignore. When in doubt stick to your own judgment only.
Remember the lesson of Kingdom of Heaven. Too many cooks can spoil the stew.