Transition Girl

Why transition girl?... Best answered by a quote from the Iliad....."The soul was not made to dwell in a thing; and when forced to it, there is no part of that soul but suffers violence."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A tagline is one of the most powerful elements of a story's marketing process, whether you are marketing a book, a screenplay, a movie, even work of non-fiction (as I have to do in my day job). Even a completely crap story can seem like the coolest thing ever, if you have a potent tagline that has people talking about it.

Making a good tagline is not easy and more often than not, we borrow heavily from words previously used. One of two taglines I'm using to pitch my trilogy is in fact a quote by Aristotle: "the energy (of the mind) is the essence of life". The other is an inscription on the temple of Apollo in Delphi loosely translated: "know yourself...and you will unlock all the mysteries of the universe". Both are cryptic enough to give nothing away about the actual story and both are descriptive enough to tempt someone to read on. Whether these eventually become the actual taglines to market the trilogy in practice doesn't really matter, at this stage of the writing process, they are providing me with a clear direction of what the story means to me.

Reflecting about a possible tagline of my environment the last two weeks and where I am right now, I can say it probably would be: "the pity party is over." I have worked the last 20 days straight on the day job, which means I've only been able to write two scenes in the third novel in the limited down time I've had given that extra workload. I've been more withdrawn than usual as a result. I forget sometimes how much I need to write fiction to keep my head space in a better place. Without the discipline of several hours of uninterrupted writing at least once a week, an unmet need builds inside of me and festers like a septic wound. Trying to squeeze two months work into one month is never a good place to be in any event. But I need to accept that this is what it is, move on, and look forward to the opportunity the next month of changed circumstances will offer instead.

One bright spot task I've been given during the last few weeks has been that I've been asked to facilitate one of my team's planning sessions. Normally I don't like getting up in front of large groups of people. I don't think anyone does. I work with such a wonderfully creative team and they have given me a lot of leeway to present taking full advantage of something I know something about - story telling. My preparation for that has allowed me to reflect on some of my favourite taglines from movies I've enjoyed over the years. One of my all time favourites was the tagline for the film "The Royal Tennenbaums": "Family isn't a word. It's a sentence." The film is not everyone's cup of tea - few people I know appreciate the pacing of this film, but I think it is a pearl. And THAT tagline reeled me in, hook, line and sinker.

I will have more time to write in July. The new month cannot come a day too soon. Beating down a desire to Spring clean in the middle of winter and wanting to give stuff away. Hard to know if this is a good or bad thing. Could be embracing my inner Buddhist. Could be clearing away the cobwebs. Could be returning to clean and clear clutter free lines within my home. Could just be procrastinating.


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