Tuesday, April 26, 2011

42 Third Act Plot Twists

I can't fit the entire image on my blog and still make it big enough to read. (Plus I don't want to steal something and make it look like my own.) So go to Desden Codak's website here and see his genius table of 42 Third Act Plot Twists.

I can't pick a favorite out of all of them, but I'm particularly fond of "Food Starts Eating People" and "Ancient Druids Lose Interest."

I'm tempted to write 42 stories and incorporate each one. Which one will you write?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rock the Drop!

It's Teen Lit Day!

To celebrate and promote reading to teens, Readergirlz is promoting Rock the Drop - where folks attach the above bookplate to a YA book and leave it somewhere random for a lucky teen (or adult!) to find and read.

On twitter, authors and readers are tweeting photos of themselves leaving books everywhere from Panera to bus stops.  I'm printing up a bookplate and will let you know where my own contribution lands.

Interested in Rocking the Drop?  Check out Readergirlz, get a fave YA book, and do it!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Never Satisfied

I hope soon to post about how I got my agent, so that others will not despair in their own quests.

However, am a bit slammed - working the day job, family stuff, sleep, and trying to write a TV pilot.

I've got ideas for another YA book, but scripts are faster to write, and I think I've got an interesting pilot idea.  I hope to get a first draft down in another six weeks, depending on how crazy my already crazy life gets.

So, as is my usual wont, I'm taking a class to help along in this writing endeavor.  I favor mediabistro.com's classes - so far all three have been very much worth my while.  They feature professionals as teachers, who can pass on their real life experience as well as their more academic insights to their students.

My teacher in the TV Pilot writing class gave me a great insight I thought I'd share to any readers who either watch or write TV.  It's very simple, and maybe I'm simple for never quite seeing this before but...

In TV, the protagonist wants something they can never have.

Lightbulb!  I'm always thinking about my protag's desires and how active she is, and inner and outer goals and so on.  In books and films, usually the inner desire is fulfilled (in an unexpected way, hopefully) by the end.

But TV doesn't really end, does it?  You want an idea that a network will see possibly going five years, if not more.  So you must give your lead character a driving inner goal that can never be fulfilled. 

I just watched the ending of Big Love, and even before (spoiler alert!) Bill was killed, I kept thinking - he'll never get what he wants most, which is to live openly as a polygamist, in peace and harmony with his wives and society.  "How the heck can they end this?" I pondered.  They can't give him what he wants.  It just wouldn't be believable.  Sure enough, instead they got rid of Bill at the end.  That provided us with a conclusion without violating verisimilitude.

And think about it - all the most successful TV protagonists will never be satisfied.  Even the cops on shows like Law and Order and CSI have a driving desire for justice.  This can never be completely fulfilled because there will always be another murder to solve, another killer to find.

So I gave my protagonist an impossible goal that I think will work for the TV idea I have.  That's just one little step, but I think it helped me keep moving forward.

Do you have a desire that can never be fulfilled?  Atter all, life doesn't come to a conclusion either.