Everyone says you need to read, read, read to understand how story works. While this is true, sometimes you just need to give 3:08 minutes of your undivided attention. [Warning: Contains graphic scenes.]
I was turned on to this video by Tobias Buckell, who writes in his blog: “I will be using this as a teaching aide about story and plot, in all seriousness. The sequence in linear order is often what beginning writers attempt, but the drama of understanding what is happening in the first as you piece everything together, with the end being the confirmation of what the girl is and what happened, makes for a far more emotional punch.”
Yeah, no kidding. I cried like a little girl. Watching this last night made me want to return to bed and curl about the baby and remain that way until the sun came up. (Instead, I snuggled her up until she rolled away amid little baby snores, then returned to my desk for some writing. I would like my cookie now, please.)
I wish I could hear Mr. Buckell talk about this video in a teaching setting. It really is a perfect little piece of flash fiction. Buckell also includes in his post a recut version where everything is put into chronological sequence, which demonstrates his point.
I do think, however, that the one thing video has over us fiction writers is soundtrack. The music used in the video instantly filled up my tear ducts, I am not kidding. I wish there were a way to embed soundtracks into electronic copies of books. Wouldn’t that be grand? Another way to manipulate — ahem — draw your readers into your world. I’m sure it’s not too far away. Maybe e-readers will eventually track your eye movements so it knows when to cue forboding music. That would be cool…and a little eerie.
Anyway, many thanks to Tobias Buckell for sharing this. I’ve been following this guy’s blog since right before the publication of his first book, “Crystal Rain” (which is an incredibly fast and enjoyable read), and he’s now got his fifth scheduled for release in February of next year. Go read him. You could learn a thing or ten from him. He’s one of my Big Three Bloggers I keep on the toolbar of my browser. (In case you’re curious, Neil Gaiman and Marjorie M. Liu are the other two.)
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In other news, the dinosaurs are preparing for their end-of-the-month party in honor of…us! Thanks to Kathryn, with a fantastic 8,724 words, and Heather, with a whopping 15,959 words, we now stand at 44,793 words! Just 5,207 words left to go! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, guys!