Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Challenge - like a teenager telling you a movie plot

For those of you who have or have had teenagers this will be a familiar scenario. Your teen gets back from the movies and if you are still awake you ask, in all innocence "what was the movie like?" at least the first time. After that first time, if you ask again, it is because you are sleepy or believe that an occasional dash of psychological torture is good for one.
Why? (ask the folks who have never had or been near a teenager)
Because they will tell you the plot and it will be a dreadful series of the most boring sentences starting with 'and then'. You will want to rip your own head off and fling it at them but you won't because you are a nice person. You will smile and nod while thinking about a recipe for Charlotte Russe or Creme de Brule. And they will go on and on and on. The Ancient Mariner has nothing on the tediousness of a teenager telling you a movie plot. Nothing.

Which brings us to this week's challenge. Because I am mid-query and mid-synopsis and because I've been here before and know the intense difficulty of writing a good one and the immense importance of doing so - well I'm going to do what suffering folk like to - bring you along on the ride!

The Challenge: wherever you are on your writing path I want you to practice telling the story to someone or someones. Not writing, telling. Ask people that perhaps already love you, if you can tell them the story of your story. And then pay attention while you do it. Pay attention to signs of imminent head throwing, genuine amusement, concern about your mental health and so on. I'll be doing it to. The thing is that before you are allowed to put pen to paper and write your synopsis you must tell the story FIVE times. It could be five times to the same person, I'll leave that up to you. But at least tell the person you told the story to the first time - an improved telling! It is only fair.
Good luck and report back!

11 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great challenge, Jan! I like doing this kind of thing--sort of like thinking up back cover copy like the marketing dept. does...making it sound fascinating. :)

Dorte H said...

Not in my home! (My closest relatives have already heard more than enough, poor people)

I can tell it to myself in the car, however, or under the duvet when we have switched off the lights :D

Jan Morrison said...

Elizabeth - yes, or the back of a cereal box! Ingredients and all...

Jan Morrison said...

Dorte - gotcha! Well, maybe someone who is facinated by the process and hasn't been spoiled by it yet?

Kari Marie said...

I need the practice. My Sister-in-Law asked me to describe my story and my words crumbled to the ground in a pathetic heap. *sigh*

Helen Ginger said...

Gonna have to wait until it quits changing before even I know what it's all about. At least it seems that way at the moment!

Carol Kilgore said...

I hate writing the synopsis, and it's gonna be that time in a month or so. This definitely gives me direction. Thanks.

Jan Morrison said...

Kari - exactly! And better than your relatives than some potential agent or publisher!

Helen - hmmm...yep, mine changes a lot too but telling the story helps me know where it is going next. Or not going...

Carol - I do too but I hafta do it. Tell me how your process goes.

Everyday Goddess said...

I like your perspective, and your advice on storytelling! I gave you one of my weekly awards if you would like it for you sidebar. Stop by anytime!

Jen Chandler said...

This is a great challenge, Jan! Thanks for the butt-kicking. Trust me, I need it :D Looks like I'll be bombarding my husband with five different synopsis of my story...as if he's not heard five different versions already!

Take care,
Jen

Anonymous said...

I will add this blog to my favorites, it is great.