Now, I come to the table on this well versed. I have scores of Captain America comics and I have the story line that the movie was based on (sort of). That being said, I wanted to come at this from the perspective of a writer. For those three people that actually read these and care, I write on superhero movies because that is the genre of novels that I will write. Blackson’s Revenge will be that vein as well as the other two novels in the trilogy.
Three key elements I believe novelists can learn from the movie to help them in their writing.
Captain America: Winter Soldier is a much more true to character movie than the first. Notice I said that it stayed true to character, not true to origin. The first Captain America was true to origin for the most part, but it was weak in staying true to character. Which brings me to the first lesson: know who you are writing about. That means building backgrounds and detail files on each of the major characters in your novel, especially the protagonist. You should have a firm grasp on who the characters in your stories are before you type a syllable in the novel. This does a few things, the main one being making your job easier in writing. If you know your characters, it makes it easier because you will know how they will act and react, what they will and won’t do in the story. That tends to help the story write itself in many respects.
Another plus for the Captain America: Winter Soldier it staying true to the source material. Now, you may be wondering how can you stay true to source material as a novel writer. You are, effectively, creating the source material. True. But once that is created, you don’t deviate from it for some storytelling gimmick. You stick to it. This is especially true for novel series. Science fiction and fantasy writers have to be concerned about this a little more than novelists in other genres. Consistency is the key. Fans will notice inconsistencies not only in characters but also in settings. If the evil lab was at the abandoned army base suddenly shows up in the basement of the oil conglomerate, there better be an explanation in between. Take your universe seriously by knowing it inside out. It would do much good to write out key locations and landmarks with their descriptions and history just like your characters and what changes happen to them in your story and where that can be found in the continuity. It’ll save some headache later.
Where I believe the movie excelled however was in story pacing. This is where the previous movie failed and
failed miserably. The pacing in CAWS was done very well. I never felt underwhelmed nor overwhelmed with a particular aspect of the story. There was just enough time spent on each scene though some of the banter was predictable and tried to be a little too humorous. For a novelist, this can be measured and more precise. Editing can help in the pacing as well as the amount of dialogue and whether we’re showing or telling.
I highly recommend going to see Captain America: Winter Soldier, noting the pros and cons from a writing perspective. You’ll enjoy the movie as well because, to put it in slang vernacular, it was off the chain.