1.10.2007

A Car Commercial Writer Gets Workshopped

…What I liked about this was the brevity, the way you told a complete story in what seemed like 30 seconds.

…I agree. Your language and use of imagery is extremely economical.

…But I wonder….well, maybe there are some parts that should be further developed.

…Yeah, I felt like this piece needed more. It’s kind of thin on characterization, actually…

…And the dialogue…

…Yeah, the dialogue was functional…..

…at best.

…the man and the woman, who I assume are married, they seem to be talking past each other.

…yeah, they are just delivering information to each other; there’s no deeper communication going on.

…they are telling us what I think should be shown, ultimately.

…I agree, I agree. They tell us the car is fast. Great. But how about showing us?

…Let us experience the fastness of the car!

…The same thing with the gas mileage. Can you make that a story? Can you make it come alive? Like they are driving in the desert and make it to the end because of their fuel economy? Maybe there’s another car that doesn’t make it….

…Right! And it creates a moral dilemma!

…Like the biblical parable of the virgins and the oil! Do they stop? Because if they stop, they might run out of fuel…with the added weight…they might not make it…

…And I know the salesman is a foil; he’s the one that should be communicating this information…I get that…but given the shortness of the piece I wonder if he’s even necessary…

…And I like the twist. I really do. The husband just wants the car that has the hot model sitting in it, while the wife has all the details and the facts down about the sensible minivan. I like that, even though, I will admit…

…it’s kind of cliché.

…And is it really female empowerment to want the minivan with the great fuel economy and removable seats that she can presumably fit all the kids in as she rides around doing traditional soccer mom things?

…yeah.. Exactly. It seems empowering at first, but when you think about it, it is just reinforcing traditional gender roles.

…I know, and the man wants the sports car for pleasure, obviously, and the woman wants the minivan for domestic chores…obviously we are tracking really close…

..very close…

…close to the paradigm of how woman were taught to approach a lot of things…

…like sex…

…but the man does not come off so well either…

…no, the man is just an oaf.

…maybe that’s where the salesman comes in. He breaks the deadlock.

…Maybe he’s gay?

…He’s gay, he’s the disinterested arbiter. He has all the facts. Something like that.

…you lose the twist, though…

…maybe the gay salesman’s repulsed by what he’s doing? He’s unhappy in his role?

…I don’t know if bringing that out helps the story, but…

…maybe keep it in the background. Hint at it.

…in that case, he may need some dialogue.

…yeah. Something that will deepen the his character, and by extension the plot…

…because do we really just want this story to be about a car?

…But what if this car…what if this decision about the car is like the key to the marriage?

…Exactly! It symbolizes their marriage and their conflicts as a couple…

…while also showing how their future hinges on this decision?

…maybe the husband’s gay? Hint at that, perhaps?

…On the surface here, we just have a couple arguing over a new car…

…but it could be so much more…

…I think you add 1,000 words or so and you’ll have something.

…at least 1,000…it’s so short anyway, it’s practically flash fiction…

…as is, this story has problems, not insurmountable, but…

…nothing a few thousand words couldn’t fix…unless…

…unless…maybe the hot model in the car is holding up flash cards!

…yeah! She’s holding up flash cards….

…that say things about the car…

…that aren’t true…but the man repeats them just to convince the wife to buy the car!

…Yeah, it’s a roadster or sports car, and this guy is going on about its removable seats and gas mileage and room for 8, and it’s…

…it’s obvious that this car can’t do that…

…and the wife is just getting so perplexed, because they are so obviously lies…

…yeah! And she looks in the car and sees the hot model with the flash cards…

...and pulls him away. To a minivan…

…that actually has those attributes.

…so you really don’t need the salesman, after all.

...Yeah, I would get rid of him.

5 comments:

dave said...

...I think what you really have here is a novel.

...yeah, just add maybe 80,000 words, change the setting from the car, to...

...Prague?

...Prague? What is this, 1991?

...Brooklyn, then. Williamsburg.

...post 9/11.

...of course, post 9/11.

...I don't know, there are all these post 9/11 novels right now. It's a little niche-y for something like this.

...maybe then a bit of a mystery.

...then one of them is going through a crisis, maybe. A, like, post 9/11 crisis.

...the husband is looking for his roots, let's say. He's adopted, his parents were immigrants.

...they were killed in the war.

...concentration camps.

...and 9/11 has sparked this identity crisis.

...which totally plays into what we have here, the car, the whole penis extension sports car versus soccer mom minivan thing.

...so it's like a post 9/11 sports car holocaust mid life crisis novel, then?

...yes.

Mike said...

Isn't the whole "car" thing kind of over-done? I mean, could it be a bus, or a cruise-ship, or a helium balloon? I feel like I've read this story before.

Also, there should be more fucking.

aaron said...

btw, how do you creat "jump" links for long posts?

Mike said...

Beats me. I barely know how to get my rotary phone to dial up to the interweb.

Seriously, though, I'm not sure whether that's possible in Blogger. It might only be an option with the slightly fancier blogging softwares.

kylos said...

how are you going to keep everyone's attention that long without blowing something up?