1. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    This is a toughy

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Oct 14, 2012.

    Ok so I've got a problem with part of my novel which is very visual which I'm hoping some of the better writers here can help with.

    I need to write an advertisement, describing what happens in it.

    I'm writing in 1st person, so not sure how to approach it.

    I don't want to simply say 'he then goes over to the car and then opens the door' like the 1st person is narrator. I want it to feel much more like the reader is experiencing the advert too, with my MC.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Are you talking like he's actually in the advert, or he's just watching the advert on TV? I'm kinda assuming this is a car commercial? xD

    Most car adverts are often very loud, exciting, with the seller gesticulating with his arms while he goes on about how the car they're trying to sell is better than the other company's car.

    If he's in the advert, he could ride the car and can go on about how smooth the ride feels, how comfortable the seat is, the ease in which the turns feel, so much that he "barely feels any resistance, as it is so fluid...almost as if he's flying, rather than riding..."
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can't figure out what it is you need, from the wording you used... is this meant to be a tv commercial?... for what?... a car?... who is 'he'?... the actor in the commercial?... or the character?

    you'll have to explain what you want more clearly and in more detail if you want our help...
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What advert? And btw, your example of "he then goes over to the car..." etc is not 1st person narrative. First person narrative would be "I go over to the car...". What you have instead is 3rd person limited.
     
  5. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Sorry if I was unclear! My MC is watching the advert on TV, so he has little interaction other than visual. How do I go about describing what happens on the tv without the MC explaining to the reader eg 'he (the actor on tv) goes over to the car'.

    I hope this is clearer? :)
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yup this is much clearer. Is this advert particularly important? Perhaps tell us your MC's reaction and thoughts about the advert rather than describe the advert directly. You'll need a few direct sentences to give some details of the advert, but most of that won't be so important anyway.

    Like, instead of saying, "The man walks over to the car," you could have: "I wonder if they always made men like this these days, churning Mr Perfect out by the dozens with cookie-cutters in some far-away factory. How else could they all look the same, with the same smug smile and slicked-back hair and shining white teeth? The guy is smiling at the camera now, thinking he's sexy because he's driving a Volkswagen, now only £60,000 with five years warranty!"

    I dunno, I'm not saying my example's perfect and I think it has a touch of chick-lit sorta style, but you get my gist I hope!
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think we need to know what about the ad is important to the story. Because that's probably the only part that you need to worry about. Something like:

    "I was stumped. I knew the answer was right in front of me, but I just couldn't see it. I put the TV on to give my mind a rest, to try to take my mind off it. Maybe a good football match...but, no, there was the bloody advert again - the BMW speeding through downtown, as if there were no traffic jams to...

    "Wait! What was that? The drop box on the corner of First and Devon!

    "I grabbed the remote and hit rewind, to where I had first turned on the set. There was the advert, the white BMW; there was the turn...PAUSE...I leaned forward, studying the drop box. Cheney had said he couldn't remember anything but the heavy dent on the left side of the drop box where he'd been told to leave the envelope with the ransom. There was the dent!

    "I knew it was thin, but it was the first good lead we'd gotten. Maybe the kidnappers were just sloppy enough so that some prints would be left on the box. Maybe someone had seen something. At least we had something to go on."

    Or something like that. My point is, the reason the ad is important will determine how you describe it. And it's highly unlikely you need to describe the entire ad in detail.
     
  8. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Thanks for both suggestions so far, but neither is relevant to my problem. I think this is my fault though for holding my cards too close to my chest! The advert is one of many that the MC has to endure, so I can't really talk about the falseness of the actor as it is too day to day to really notice that kind of detail. Also the advert is not important in its content, but it sets a scene for a chapter as the MC finds himself in the advertising industry later. The advert is totally ridiculous to the reader but should appear mundane to the MC.

    My problem is I don't want to describe it as it happens like a narration. I think my only solution to to provide just an audio track of what the MC hears. But if anyone has another idea, I would be so very grateful. Thank you!
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My only suggestion is, as I said, limit the portion of the ad that you present to the reader, either what the MC sees or what he hears, to what has immediate relevance to the story. Here in the US, TV ads generally run either 60 seconds or 30 seconds. You will likely only need a fraction of that.

    This could be a problem, especially in 1st person, because it will requre the MC to explain why it strikes him as mundane. It may be easier to not "show" the ad but only the MC's reaction to it.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my advice is the same as ed's here...
     

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