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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Latest Project: Channeling My Inner Tarantino

So you know how I’ve been blogging about my Adventures in Prequeldom? Well, I regret to inform you that prequeldom is on hold for the moment. But don’t worry, this is a good thing! (Though it’s not easy to stop when you’re 30,000 words into a novel. Insert sound of tires screeching to a halt.) Essentially, my middle grade WIP is getting a new spark of life. Specifically, I’ve decided to chop the book into pieces and paste it together into a fractured timeline in a manner similar to Reservoir Dogs—only without all the guns and sliced ears.



For those who haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino’s debut flick, it’s not for the faint of heart. (Seriously, it takes cursing and violence to a whole new level—I’m not joking about that ear.) But one of the less disturbing (awesome) things it does amazing well is tell its story in a nonlinear fashion. The film jumps around recapping the events right before and right after a bank robbery, without showing the robbery itself. It sounds kind of crazy, but it’s actually quite awesome.

And while making my latest revisions to my middle grade novel, I came to appreciate Tarantino’s style of thinking. The WIP already featured snippets of timeline jumping. Throughout the book (which is told from four different girls’ points of view), the story would jump to the height of the action and then rewind a bit to tell the reader how we got there.

So, the thread of timeline jumping was there already.

I’ve just deciding to split that thread in two.

Now, instead of finding out what happens to Deirdre, Amber, Allie, and Becca as their friendships slowly (or drastically) shatter, we see what happens right before and right after one of the major “incidents” in the book.

Sound confusing? Try laying it out in notecards.



Now, believe me, I debated giving an excerpt here. I even cut and pasted one in. But I just don’t think I’m ready. These things take time.

But, I will tell you that ultimately, my big writerly intention here is to show how four girls are affected differently by the same social events, because they’re seeing them through an entirely selfish light. (They’re 13, what do you expect?). So by adding the new timeline, it takes their viewpoints out of context, making their different perspectives even more drastic (because the reader hasn’t gotten to experience the “incident” in question). At least not yet.

Think of it like Lost, the answers are coming…


POP CULTURE RANT: General Hospital
I have mixed emotions about Kristina’s domestic abuse storyline. A) I like that it ties in lots of different cast members. B) I like that it’s not mob-related. (Don’t we all?) C) I like how all the actors seem to stepping up their game (Alexis, Kristina, and Sonny have been great). BUT, having a teenage girl depicted as lying about who abused her just seems irresponsible to me. It’s like they’re sending a message to families that they shouldn’t trust their daughters when they come forward about being attacked, because they might lie. And that’s a horrible, horrible message to suggest. Now, I know, soap operas aren’t there to teach us behavioral tips. (What, you can’t slap people in the face during boardroom disputes?). But still, it might have worked better if Kristina was in a coma and no one knew who abused her, so they blamed Ethan at first. Then Keiffer. Just sayin’…

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