Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: Signe Olynky

CAUTION – SPOILERS AHEAD (For the movies Life of PiBlackhawk DownDespicable Me, and Wild)

Adrift in a raft with a hungry tiger.  Surviving in a downed helicopter in the middle of a Somalia war zone.  Stealing the moon.

Does your protagonist have an impossible goal?  Have you pushed her as far into the corner as you can, and then poked her with a stick?  Have you set up a situation that has high stakes, and goals that are out of this world?  In Despicable Me, the goal was literally to ‘steal the moon.’  Great!  Now try pushing just a little bit more.

In Wild, written by Nick Hornby and Cheryl Strayed, the protagonist has embarked on the awesome task of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  And then she loses her boot.

In Life of Pi, based on the novel written by Yann Martel and screenplay by David Magee, Piscine Patel is uprooted from his home in India where his family ran a zoo.  When he, his family, and many of the animals from their zoo cross the Pacific by ship and a massive storm destroys the boat, he finds himself alone and lost at sea, trapped on a raft with a hungry tiger.  As if things weren’t tough enough!

Great drama, right?  Why?  Because these exceptional writers have created impossible obstacles for their protagonists to overcome.  They have created fascinating characters and put them into fantastic situations, and we are compelled to see what happens.  Let’s brainstorm.  In other words, let’s make a list.

Think of the most impossible situation you can.  Like being trapped on a raft with a tiger, for instance.  Let’s explore some of what your character might do to survive.

What to do if trapped on a raft with a tiger?
  • Stay awake!
  • Stay in the water!
  • Feed the tiger so it won’t eat you!
  • Use your skills as a trainer to dominate the tiger into submission.
  • Keep the tiger seasick by feeding it salt water.
  • Find land so that you can go your separate ways.

Wonderful – and that’s only a partial list.  Now let’s look at what happens if any of the above situations happen. What are the consequences?

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Read the full article HERE!

If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
Happy writing and running, Kathy 

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