Friday, November 16, 2007

What about "Il changeait la vie"?

Don't worry, this blog is in English but last night this song by Jean-Jacques Goldman got me thinking. I think it will make you think too. I think you'll see how this can help not only your writing but your perspective as well.

The story in the song is a few different people who were ordinary but became extra-ordinary by changing the way people looked at things. Goldman presents this thought in a super clever way.

The title of the song is Il Changeait la vie which loosely translated means "He changed life/the world".

BUT when it is spoken [not written] it also sounds like Il changeait l'avis which translated means "He changed the way we look at things."

There is the craft and the art. In this song he evokes strong emotions in the mind of the listener. He uses just a sentence to create an entire picture in the listeners mind. Think about the implications for your writing. Think on how you could use just ONE sentence, only a few words, to paint an entire scene in a readers mind. What word choices would grab the reader and hold on to them?

Then there is the subtle under story. This song can be listened to in a couple of different ways. It has layers!! Are you layering your stories? That is how you'll have a reader mulling your story over and over in their head. When they realize that the assumptions they brought in to the story influenced the way they saw things but if they looked at the story with a different set of would be totally a different read.

Since many of you are loyal readers you know my thrust is marketing. I don't spend a great deal on craft and today is no exception.

It occurred to me that if I try to make my back cover copy a song...what would happen. If it suddenly become a short story with an unknown ending how would it grab a reader? Think about it yourself. There were a series of commercials about a year ago on TV and Radio where they started a story and then said for the ending visit this website...WOW. They always grabbed my attention.

What if your back cover copy and other promotional materials did the same. What if you created a short story and left it hanging with a question? Would your reader buy your book to find out the answer.

One line from this song repeats over and over in my head:

Les reves de sa vie les prisons de son coeur.

I don't know how the french ear hears this but to me it says "His life's dreams, the prison of his heart". And inside me I think "Am I so passionate about my dreams that they imprison my heart?" Are you so passionate about your goals that you pursue them with singular focus?

When you become so driven then maybe you too will "Changer la vie". [Change the world]

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