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!

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0 thoughts on “A COMPLETE STORY IN 3:08 MINUTES

  1. apparentbook says:

    Soundtrack idea = awesome. I’ll tell my phone ap developing friend about that. Perhaps we could extend the soundtracks to our phone conversations too? I’d gladly use the “dun, dun, DUN!!!!”

    I’m running so far behind with writing, but trekking slowly. I am eagerly anticipating the Dino Rave. That is how they party, right? Glow sticks; what those tiny T-Rex hands are for.

    1067 words yesterday!

    • mybluescreen says:

      That would be wicked. “OMG, you’re never going to believe what happened to me today!” [cue rising tension music] That would be so cool! Ooh, glow sticks…yep, I better put together a shopping list. And thank you, thank you for your lovely words!

  2. Heather says:

    “Get your knees flexing, and your arms T-Rex-ing, do the Creep,” I think we should all learn how to do the Creep for this Dino Rave that is definitely going to happen. ;P I only know what the Creep is because of the hooligans that call themselves my cousins.

    And aside from the fact that I had to hide my eyes a few times during that trailer (I’m rather squeamish) I do agree with that Tobias Buckell fellow.

    I especially love how you said we could “learn a thing or ten from him.”

    That made me smile.

    Thank you for sharing this! I will give you another word count on the 27th or sometime around then… maybe sooner. I just know that right now I have to leave for work.

  3. Kathryn McCullough says:

    My internet connection here in Haiti is usually too slow to watch video, but if I wait till later tonight , I may be able to catch the whole thing. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Like Heather, I will pass along my wordcount again in a few days. I suspect we’ll make our numbers. Thanks for the shout out!

    Hugs from Haiti,

    • mybluescreen says:

      Oh, that’s too bad. That’s gotta be frustrating. I hope you’re able to see it. I showed it to my friend Marian last night and ended up crying again. I can’t believe it! I’m such a sucker! 🙂

      Hope life’s treating you well and the writing is pouring like rain. 🙂

  4. Heather says:

    A stark-raving-mad blonde girl runs into the room shouting, “THIS JUST IN, I have a serious fiction update here!” Upon shouting this bizarre statement she stops and scratches her head, with a dumbfounded look on her face. As simply as buttering toast she says in a dull voice, “Well, that sounded much weirder than I thought it would.”

    She ponders the strange idea only momentarily before she skips the rest of the distance to the middle of the room. Placing her hands on her hips triumphantly she waves a book in the air. “It is true, I’ve seen it, I am holding it before you in my hands. Jodi Picoult’s latest novel indeed has a soundtrack,” she says the last part quickly but softly, as if the world will explode if anyone actually hears her.

    “At first I didn’t believe it,” she quickly carries on, waving her hands exasperatedly through the air and almost tossing the book to the wayside. “I was standing at the library’s front desk, helping a patron when my boss came and told me to check-in the new books when I got a chance. I assisted the patron quickly and began checking-in the stack of books before me, and I gasped and dropped the book when I saw the CD in a slip cover on the jacket of the book.”

    By this time the blonde’s eyes were very wide, and her pulse was quickening with her excitement. “Once I realized it to be true, I became frustrated that I didn’t do it first. Then I realized that even Jodi Picoult hadn’t done it first. There are several books that come with soundtrack CD’s out there… one of them is about musical instruments, and it is a Children’s Book… I think it’s by Lemony Snicket. Yeah, yeah, that’s it… the title is The Composer is Dead.”

    The blonde calmed down almost instantly, lowered her hands to her side letting the book rest quietly on the table beside her. “I knew that I had to share this information,” she finished.

    • mybluescreen says:

      Oh, man! I’ll have to check that out! I’ve only read one book by Jodi Picoult — “My Sister’s Keeper” — and I wept so hard at the end my eyes hurt. Good book. Good writer! Thanks for passing this on!

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