The Michael Bay Treatment

So sorry I’m late with this update!  My internet wasn’t working yesterday.  And by that I mean I was hung over after a Blink-182 concert.

But anyway, good news!  It’s fine!  I’ve got it!  I figured it out!

You will recall I tried to palm you off with some audience participation last week.  Well, that’s because I was stuck.  Really stuck.  Super, super stuck.

And then three things happened.

Firstly, about a week ago, I was reading a few more tips from Melissa Donovan’s book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises (Adventures in Writing) on my Kindle and came across an interesting point she made about using plot formulae.  She demonstrated how several stories follow the same basic plot formula, but it’s not a problem because their execution is very different.  This got me to actually strip my story down to its barest bones to work out which basic formula I was unconsciously following.  I found three underlying plots all fighting for prevalence.  Overcomplicating it much?

Secondly, on Monday morning I stumbled across Eyes Wide Open by Gotye and immediately added it to my story playlist.  In my head I have a habit of making trailers or montages for my stories and that song is just the song to use for such a purpose.  It got me thinking about how damn interesting my story feels in that format, yet how far I seem to be from that image.  I’ve been struggling to find scenes I want to write or, indeed, that would appear in that montage at all.  That is definitely a bad sign.

Finally, I’ve found myself seeking out some action movies lately.  So there I sat a couple of nights ago, watching the latest Star Trek movie, observing the progression from one peril to another…

And then – then  – it hit me.  I’ve been genre jumping.

You see, I’ve been trying to coin this as an epic, so I’ve attempted to make it complex.  But to give my character an internal struggle it took on an element of self-discovery.  Then I tried to cram it with twists and turns, and it became a mystery.  Since my main character is a cop, and a murder needed investigating, it started to teeter on the edge of crime.  So I suddenly had a three plot-line crime-mystery-drama-epic of self-discovery (set in an alternate reality) so entrenched in fact-finding that my lead character seemed to be spending half her time in different poses on a chair in a police records department.

And then I realised: it’s action adventure!  I’m meant to be writing a bloody action adventure!

Time, methinks, for the Michael Bay treatment.  Less gum-flapping.  More kaboom.

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