Saturday, October 4, 2008

*sigh* Ignore the man behind the curtain

...it sure is harder than it looks.

I realized I'd need to spread out to work on my handouts, so I commandeered the kitchen table. It's covered with every reference book I have--everything from Story to Scene Structure, and everything in-between, along with random bits of paper, printouts and my arm (I write on my arm, doesn't everyone?)

I started in Word...and moved to paper. It seems easier somehow, because it slows my thoughts.

I have questions--

What is Emotional Structure?
Which led to a definition of "plot", which led to a definition of different kinds of pov, and the varying depths within varying povs, and what makes one better than the other, which led into characters and showing, not telling, which led into editing flabby sentences, which led into "self-editing" and a brief note about finishing your rough.

Everything interlocks, and while I can "see" it, translating it to something other people can see is kicking my virtual butt.

I've been troubleshooting random thoughts--y'know, how to get my point across?

..so I came up with this.

(the beginning of the lecture)

Hi my name is Jodi and blah blah blah, etc. Welcome to a place on the keeper shelf: structuring your novel for emotional resonance. In this hour long lecture, we'll go over parallel plot structure and utilizing pov depth for emphasis on emotional turning points.

Which of course--sucks badly. It gets my point across. It tells the participant what we'll be doing, and it's boring as all hell.

...so...what's my point?

Do I want to be boring?

uhm, no...

Emotional structure isn't just plots and turning points. It's about finding the vulnerable spot.

this is my revised opening--I lead into it from the first one. I bore them...then lean in to say,

"It's boring, right? You want to know why you should care? Pretend my intro is a book--you're bored, you don't care--your eyes are glazing over. Look over here. New book."

You want to sell?

I'll show you how.

Book.

Book with emotional structure.

*banging head* got to think some more. I have the words emotional-action/log in my head and I can't shake it. I think it's stuck.

6 comments:

Kaige said...

I like what you've got now, keep that "I'll let you in on some secrets" tone and it should go over well. I liked the way you tied the bland boring opening to the way NOT to do it in your book too.

Alice Audrey said...

I never write on my arm. If it doesn't fit on my hand, I use a spreadsheet. ;)

If you want to make the lecture interesting, keep the jargon to a minimum, no matter how tempting "emotional-action/log" may be.

jodi said...

Thanks Kaige, you should have seen me at Nationals. Me and Sara did the a/e appointments together (we're rs, and pushy, we tend to take over) and we were trying the mike on for size, and so it's having trouble working, and I said--"you probably just have to drop your voice and lean in." and said, "time is up. Leave the room now, because I'm an rs writer, and I will KILL you if you don't. I know ways to make it look like an accident. Mwah ha ha ha...." and EVERY single agent and editor (it was pre-appointments?) turned to stare at me :)

the coordinator told me to give the mike to Sara because I was a little extreme.

lol, Alice! I use my hand too. I tend to run out of room.

yeah...emotional-action log is a leetle top heavy....*sigh*

Jeanna said...

Remember in grade school when you got to dress up as George Washington and such to read your history paper, huh? Costumes and chocolate I tell you.

deanna said...

How's it going? You'll do fine, you know, because it's all related to the amount you sweat beforehand. Just keep head bruises to a minimum.

Unhinged said...

Something sticks with me the most when I see what is being explained to me in action. Are you allowed to take a flip board? Will there be one where you're going to be talking? Because you could illustrate some interesting points just by showing the "suggested" way of writing something versus the "not suggested" way.

You're good at explaining things, though. I've seen your critiques. So if you can somehow work the two together in order to get your message across, you've got it made.

Don't forget to breathe. ;-P