Good to see old friends and this time a new face! Always welcome to add new experiences and interests.
For this meeting, one of our existing members happened to be in France, so instead of missing the meeting all together we decided to link up using Skype. Would it work technically or meet our needs? It did! Not only could we interact throughout the general discussion, it even worked when we split up into groups. Whilst we do not plan to use it all the time, it is worthwhile knowing that this can be achieved.
Our new member had been interested in the discussion, in last month’s blog, about the different types of writing software available.
We continue to explore this topic but feel we would have to gather more information and perhaps look at functions, applications, pros and cons. We will return to this but meanwhile, if anyone has experience in this area and can offer advice, please get in touch. Happy to collate information and share.
As a group, we had agreed to come prepared with our own example of a Logline.
What is a logline? – a very brief and enthusing synopsis of a script, screenplay or book, which includes a hook to stimulate interest. Usually one sentence but can be two.
It must be:
Here are some of our example loglines.
- Sam Duncan, must stay alive, find the people who want him dead and stop them killing his little sister…who they’ve mislaid.
- It’s a hot summer in Braeness, where visitors and locals mingle during the annual festival. Gossip abounds, old scores are settled, and many lives changed, not necessarily for the better.
- The past cannot be changed but can the truth? No matter how far down you bury a lie, somehow the truth will dig it back up again.
- The shepherd travelled far and wide and learned his treasure was already within him.
- Sir Edward Feathers QC, an aged and mysterious barrister, reflects on his eventful life in London and Hong Kong, giving a glimpse of the British Empire, through his mordantly funny wit.
What did we learn? That it is much harder than it looks! The question came up, “What is the difference between a logline and a mission statement? Good question, which we will return to, once we have mastered the former!
Character Development exercise
Over refreshments, we split into two groups and each group set the other a challenge to create a character in fifteen minutes. These were:
- an angry, destructive teacher
- a co-dependent, addictive woman
To help us, Mac prepared a help sheet with ten points and questions, to use as prompts. These included the character’s:
- goals, motivation, purpose which will become important
- fears, flaws, insecurities and how these might affect their success
- story-helping history and what is happening to them now
- personality traits or quirks that will prove to be significant
- name and how this will shape their emerging role
This proved to be an interesting experience, not least because we were working with others; writing can be a solitary business and working alone, we tend to get our own way! A valuable checklist, which we will no doubt use again.
To finish off the evening we shared our individual writing on the theme “jealousy”, in 200 words maximum, which we had agreed upon at the end of last month’s meeting. This was really enjoyable and what struck us was the variety of angles and styles that everyone took. Happily, the general consensus was that everyone had hit the brief successfully. Some of our examples are available here. See what you think!
On the basis of our follow-up discussion we decided to do a further example for the next meeting but this time on a standardised storyline. The advantage of this is that everyone knows the story and we can compare outcomes.
A logline tells the essence of a story. We chose Cinderella. Let’s see what we come up with!
You are invited to bring 200 words of text to share. The topic:
“You walk through a door and find a surprise, shock, something unexpected.”