Archive for the 'Plot' Category

July 18th, 2006

Describing a novel concisely

Steve is 100% correct in what he says, and in this respect, the movie business is akin to the book business.

Woody Allen, after speed reading War and Peace in 24 hours, said, “It’s about Russia.”

A somewhat more explanatory view can be seen at http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/warandpeace.php

This writer likes quotes and aphorisms and here is one by Tolstoy found at the same site, “”The most difficult thing—but an essential one—is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all, Life is God, and to love Life means to love God.”

I await Steve’s logline for Legend of Dagad Trikon with bated breath - well OK, not quite, but I would love to see his and other attempts too.

The main point being made is of course, the inanity of such notions, the work of a marketing man or woman, no doubt.

Posted in Plot | Posted by Alan Wherry
July 1st, 2006

Describing a novel concisely

A feature of modern book retailing ever since I came into the publishing business nearly thirty years ago, is that any book where you cannot succinctly say in a few words what the book is about, and what is unique about it, is likely to fail. For the reps cannot get it across in the 30 seconds or so that a bookseller takes to decide if they want to buy it or not.

In the case of non-fiction books, this is not such a difficult problem to overcome. e.g. “it’s a new diet book, that offers a high fiber approach to weight loss.” In the case of fiction, it can sometimes be very difficult to offer such a concise account of what the book is about. In the case of established authors, the bookseller of course, knows and understands something of the author’s track record, but especially with new fiction authors, publishers routinely print extra proof copies, to give away to booksellers and those who promote books in the media, so that they can read the work, given that a brief description can not do justice to the novel.

A facet of the past ten years or so, is that one is constantly asked to compare one novel with others - and such pressures end up forcing some into invidious and absurd comparisons. “It’s a sort of cross between the Bible, War and Peace and Harry Potter.”

In the case of The Legend of Dagad Trikon, how can one realistically and briefly, describe a novel with the following elements?

Climate change.
Good versus evil
Saga, quest.
Epic
Apocalypse
Gnosticism
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Excalibur
Holy Grail
Knights Templar
Catholic Church
Chastity
Virginity
Crusades
Cathars
Marriage
Cairo
Moscow
Washinton DC
Delphi
New Delhi
Riverdale, Bronx
Iceland
Glaciers
Gods
Mount Kailash
Archangels
Music
Divine Music
Soul Music
Sahara
Hanuman
Gabriel
Michael
Meditation
Yoga
Self-Realization
Transcendence
Transformation
Joy
Fulfillment
Success
Satisfaction
Eternal feminine
Divine Mother
Germany

Maybe if someone knows, they’ll let me know.

Posted in Plot | Posted by Alan Wherry