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Writing and Car Commercials Collide

Posted by shamrickbooks on April 8, 2014 at 9:35 PM

It is strange what you can learn from a simple commercial. It was not intended by the advertiser, I am certain. I couldn't even tell you which car was being advertised. All I can tell you is that the Muppets were in the commercial.


This really was a great commercial. I hated it at first as it seemed childish and it's sad that I can't remember what the car is. But I did learn something from it.


The other day I receive a critique on my recent work under edit. I thought I had improved it tremendously. Well, I had but as always there is something I missed. I was reminded that I had 50 pages of banter and then when the action arrived, it occurred off stage. Okay, a slight flaw in my plot that I was trying to fix with the addition of the spy but, in truth, I hadn't fixed anything. I just added more words and a new twist. Good, but not great.


So what is a writer to do. Start over? This was the first of my WIP and any changes would potentially complete change the pages that followed. How to add more action?


Then along comes a commercial about a new 2014 car. The scene starts like most car commercials with the happy couple driving on a country road, enjoying the luxuries the narrator is busy listing off on the background of orchestra music. Then ... Wham! The Muppets pop in the car shouting "Boring!". The scene changes to the Muppets driving the car away from the commercial filming set and off into the city or country, while using Muppets to show off the features of the car and singing a sing-along style song about the cars features. Those I remembered.


That's when it happens. I had not even been thinking about my story directly at that moment. I was going through the details of the marketing strategy I was working on prepping. All of the sudden, I see the Muppets popping out of my story singing "Boring!" Wham! It hit me. I was making the same mistake with this WIP as the commercial people were trying to imply that other car commercials did. I had written what I thought was a great, traditional, epic styled story. In reality, I had written a boring, talk, talk story and I was trying for an action adventure.


Okay, so the take away here is "Don't Write Boring". I get it. Now, just how to fix it? Maybe I can throw in some Muppets?

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1 Comment

Reply Elaine Faber
5:57 PM on September 26, 2016 
I always learned. When 'boring' hits, ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen to these character right this minute? Let imagination soar! Choose the most outlandish of the two or three things that occurred to you and make it happen! Boring gone. Excitement added... and story moves on. Good luck. You can do it!