Friday, August 23, 2013

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Last week, I blogged about my protagonist’s decision making process. I noted the passages that referred to the decision and assigned them a numerical ranking ranging from -10 = pretending the problem doesn’t exist to +10 = sealing the bargain. That means, the lower the number, the more negative my protagonist is, and the higher the number, the more positive she is.

Today, I graphed the numerical ranking vs. line number. Deciding to embark on the hero’s journey was neither straightforward nor easy. 

Since my numerical analyses make some you crazy, here’s Herbie Mann covering If (a Picture Paints a Thousand Words) by Bread.

Speaking of pictures, that album cover was ranked one of the worst of all time.


Wyman Stewart said...

"I've got heartaches by the numbers; troubles by the score." Or so a famous Country Music song says.

Do you do a Psychological Profile of your main character? (Before, during, or after writing?) Needs, drives, doubts, fears, and the child in us; those send us meanadering along life's highways and byways.

Are you being more Spock than Bones in your writing? Just curious.

Good luck. I'm returning to pretending my problems don't exist. Sigh! Ignorance is bliss!

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

Very cool to see the graph! I admire how much you analyze writing. I analyze it in a different way (Wyman's Psychological profiling: yes, I do that, usually before but sometimes during or after).
Herbie Mann's music: Nice, though I am not a huge fan of flutes (though we do own some James Galway and John-Pierre Rampal albums). His album cover: ew.

Ann Finkelstein said...

Wyman: I haven't done a Psychological profile for this project yet. Perhaps I should. Being more Spock than Bones is a constant problem.
Ruth: I used this version because the words to Bread's original are a bit sappy.

Ann Finkelstein said...

What I should have mentioned in the post, is I need to add more wavering/indecision/hand-wringing between lines 550 and 800.

TimInMich said...

I like the chart! (Hate the photo, eww!) My protagonist was originally just a charge-ahead kind of guy, but I'm backing off that a bit. In fact, I've been wrestling with having him wrestle with taking that first step on the journey. So I may well have a crack at your chart.

Ann Finkelstein said...

I almost didn't use the YouTube link because of the album cover. Still, the jazz flute is nice graphing music.

Ann Finkelstein said...

TimInMich: I had the same conversation with Amy. Every hero doesn't have to have an inner debate about going on his or her quest. The hero doesn't have to be reluctant. Mine is.