Inspired by NB's blog post today...

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Quill
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by Quill » May 25th, 2010, 12:33 pm

lexcade wrote:A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside while searching for the reasons behind her change and outsmarting the scientist tasked with killing her.

better?
I like it. Might be even stronger and more essential by taking out the searching:

"A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside and outsmart the scientist tasked with killing her."

Also, not sure about "tame". Maybe "integrate" or "come to terms with"?

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dios4vida
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by dios4vida » May 25th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Quill wrote:
lexcade wrote:A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside while searching for the reasons behind her change and outsmarting the scientist tasked with killing her.

better?
I like it. Might be even stronger and more essential by taking out the searching:

"A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside and outsmart the scientist tasked with killing her."

Also, not sure about "tame". Maybe "integrate" or "come to terms with"?

I dunno, I kinda like "tame." The panther side of her must be feral and dangerous. In order to live with it she has to break those powerful urges and almost turn the panther into a housecat. "Tame" gives me a sense that there will be real battles of will and strength throughout the book, which appeals to me.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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polymath
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by polymath » May 25th, 2010, 3:56 pm

Looking at each of the one-liners posted under the topic, I've noted potrayals of pending and ongoing events, in other words, plot, but limited implied action or plot movement. Mr. Bransford's Jacob Wonderbar example again, Kids trade corndogs for a spaceship, blast off into space, and break the universe. Trading corndogs causes the universe to break through a series of related events, and causes an insuperable obstacle between outer space and home. There's causation flow. Causation is one of the main driving forces of plot. Causation moves a plot over time.

Quill's suggested revision depicts situations but only implies causation, as do the originals built upon by the suggestion. Causal events, and therefore plot, aren't as fully realized as might be ideal for a pitch. "A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside and outsmart the scientist tasked with killing her." There are hints of motive and stakes, conflict, and complications, but not so much causation. What caused the mutation? How does that cause the woman to struggle "to tame the animal inside"? What causes the scientist to want to kill her?

Note that infinitive verb constructs (as well as gerund verbs), "struggles to tame," "searching," imply pending and ongoing actions, where the intent seems to be portraying motivations. Further, "struggles" is the sentence's root action verb of the infinitives to tame and to outsmart the scientist, nonconcurrent actions.

Causal event one, a woman is mutated by panther DNA for some causal reason. Coincidentally or for who's ends? Causal event two, an insuperable self-control struggle is caused by the mutation's fallout. Causal event three, a scientist is "tasked" to destroy her for some causal reason, presumably because she's a menance, but implied is because she's a genetics experiment gone awry. To me, they seem to be not quite as clearly correlated causes as might be ideal for a pitch.
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Quill
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by Quill » May 25th, 2010, 7:57 pm

dios4vida wrote:
Quill wrote:
lexcade wrote:A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside while searching for the reasons behind her change and outsmarting the scientist tasked with killing her.

better?
I like it. Might be even stronger and more essential by taking out the searching:

"A woman mutated with panther DNA struggles to tame the animal inside and outsmart the scientist tasked with killing her."

Also, not sure about "tame". Maybe "integrate" or "come to terms with"?

I dunno, I kinda like "tame." The panther side of her must be feral and dangerous. In order to live with it she has to break those powerful urges and almost turn the panther into a housecat. "Tame" gives me a sense that there will be real battles of will and strength throughout the book, which appeals to me.
She does need to "almost turn the panther into a housecat?" I guess the author will need to verify. Also, not saying my suggested alternative are great. Just that maybe tame isn't the best word for the one-liner.

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Quill
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by Quill » May 25th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Polymath, I wonder if you happened to check out the two links I posted in the parallel thread "one-liners". That's where I got the inspiration to suggest shortening the panther story's one-line pitch. Wondering what you think of these, especially the two-adverbs link. I realize that one is mainly aimed at screenplay writers.

http://www.twoadverbs.com/loglinearticle.htm

http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... pitch.html

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polymath
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by polymath » May 25th, 2010, 8:51 pm

Yes, Quill, I'd looked at those. I've been following logline, pitch, and query discussions here and there and elsewhere for some time, as well as examining features of pitches that alienate or engage me. There's a lot of differing opinions about what works in pitches, what doesn't, and much variability between various emerging consensuses. Personally, I believe following any given set of guidelines only goes so far. The risk run of conforming to conventional expectations is that they will be seen as played out because everyone's doing similar things. For example, rhetorical questions in pitches used to be hot. They're not so hot anymore. They're even becoming passé in narratives in some contexts.

I'm inclined toward pitches emphasizing plot for action-oriented narratives, emphasizing character for character-driven plots, setting for setting driven plots, and in so-called plotless narratives, which I don't agree are necessarily plotless, slice-of-life experience emphasis, as in Joyce's Dubliners, Ulysses, Nabokov's Lolita.
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Re: Inspired by NB's blog post today...

Post by dios4vida » May 26th, 2010, 12:30 am

Quill wrote:She does need to "almost turn the panther into a housecat?" I guess the author will need to verify. Also, not saying my suggested alternative are great. Just that maybe tame isn't the best word for the one-liner.
Completely understand, Quill. Hope I didn't sound too nasty there, I just wanted to share an opinion, not to de-valuate yours.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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