Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Friday, May 3, 2013

What Puts the "U" in Your Man-U-Script?

It's okay to be a little different. 
 Isn't she cute?  Meet Pippi, a Zedonk
(zebra + donkey) who rocks both solids & stripes in Dahlonega, GA
at the Chestatee Nature Preserve. 
One thing I love about reading is discovering a certain type of flourish or feel that a particular writer expresses in their work. You can't find these nuances when reading a writer's first book, but it's so fun to recognize them when reading their second, third, or umpteenth offering. To me, it's what makes the writer unique and what keeps me buying their books.

I've been pondering this very thing as I write the sequel to my Evil Little Manuscript (E.L.M.) and an  Evil Side Project (E.S.P.). Both manuscripts are keeping me busy and are incredibly fun to create, but it would seem I've developed my own little "thing" within my first chapters.  Now I didn't know it at first, but it's definitely there, and it is the concept of synchronicity.

As a child of the totally awesome 80's, I was a huge fan of The Police and still am. In fact, I'm still mourning the fact I recently had to miss a free Sting concert in Centennial Olympic Park because of a manuscript deadline.  My loss of tantric ear-candy was profound, but I was glad to take care of business and do what I needed to do for my E.L.M.

One song in particular I wanted to hear was "Synchronicity II" and it reminds me of the wonderful time back in the day when I was assistant editor on the newspaper staff.  I'd stay up late at night and listen to the radio while creating the headlines for "The Trojan Times".  On one night in late October, I was stuck sitting at my typewriter, wracking my angsty-teen brain wondering how to capture the excitement of spirit week for a front page story when that song came on FM-100 (Memphis). I'd heard it before, but being stuck in "writing/editor" mode, I began to focus intently on the lyrics and discovered not only was this song amazingly angsty like the teen-me,  but it did something wild in the literary sense!  In the song there are two seemingly different stories presented, yet the way the tales meshed together at the frightening end was just too *rad* for my adolescent grey matter to handle.

*-If you were born after say, 1990, and do not know the meaning of the word, consult thine Wiki or watch "The Breakfast Club". 
A totally rad 80's flick. The plot showcases the concept of "synchronicity",
but we're just getting to that.
Hang in there. I'm trying to make a point.

 The Synchronicity II music video by The Police is sadly unavailable for me to share with you. I remember Sting's look in the video and could best describe him as a post-apocalyptic, "Mad-Max" newspaper editor clad in colored leather, who sang while papers blew all around.
I wish we had our MTV and could blink back to 1983 to watch the awesomeness, but alas we cannot. The DeLorean is still in the repair shop.  But I can  let you hear the song and show you the amazing lyrics to demonstrate the concept of synchronicity.
Needless to say, I went out and bought the album. Each time I heard Synchronicity II, another lyrical nuance jumped out at me like the monster at the end of the song, whose shadow falls upon the door of the cottage near the dark, Scottish lake. My hormone-fueled brain was overwhelmed by the concept of telling a story with different moving parts that somehow made the plot come together at the right time, thus causing the reader to blow their ever-lovin' mind.

Sort of like this:

 And especially like this! (Yay for chocolate and peanut butter! So different, yet so perfect together.)
At the end of the 80's I went to college, and during some psych classes, came to understand the actual concept of synchronicity as presented by the psychologist Carl Jung, who believed unrelated events can actually have meaningful coincidence.  Of course all of this blew my mind too. 

So now if you add twenty years of this wild concept floating around in my brain, you might better understand why I begin my tales a certain way. And since I write thriller/suspense sagas, to me it makes sense to present multiple events happening simultaneously in chapter one. Why? Well for one thing I believe when a nefarious plot is unleashed upon the world, it causes a karmic chain of events to happen. And two, it's fun to hint to your readers how you plan to take the main character, whose life is ordinary, and link them to the tidal wave of doom that's about to wash over them.  It goes together great, just like the peanut butter & chocolate. A yummy taste of evil!

What puts the "U" in your man-U-script? Do you have a certain "thing" or trademark you place in your work?  If your name wasn't revealed to the reader, would they know you wrote it?  What makes you write the way you do?  Tell me about it!  


77yankees said...

Appreciate the stroll down memory lane. Certainly remember that word "Rad".... in my circles the speaker usually prefaced it w/"totally". Those were the days...

As a beginner to the writing scene, am not sure yet what designates the "U" in my projects, but do find myself writing from the heart about personal experiences, so if I gain a faithful following, it will be evident to the readers how much my Pappy shaped/influenced my life in terms of examining core values, where my protagonist will always endeavor to do what's right instead of expedient.

Another informative and interesting post, Joey. Keep 'em coming. Happy Saturday!

T.J. said...

Taking a break from the puter, so I missed this awesome blog!!

Me? Oh dear, let me count the ways. LOL All of my MCs are slight klutzes to downright dangerous to be out without being covered in bubble wrap. My voice is loud and clear. No matter the different subjects or MC - it's me.

But here is the biggest - even the most girly of my MCs? They ALWAYS have some kind of tomboy thing going on. Trucks, boots, playing in mud...understanding of the combustion engine...

As an 80's girl...Oh the memories *G*