Yesterday’s exercise focused on being detailed. Us writers, we love detail. Since the day we learn to control the worlds swirling around our brains, we are compelled to write long paragraphs with a beautiful landscape of meaning and language.
Today’s exercise from “A Writer’s Workbook: Daily Exercises for the Writing Life” by Caroline Sharp is one not only in plot, but also in being concise! Choose 15 movies or books or plays, anything, and write ONE sentence to summarize each one. As Sharp points out, this skill be useful when you need to pitch a story idea to a publisher or editor.
Please let me know where you think I could improve and/or provide your own list!
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Faced with an evil force powerful enough to destroy all of Middle Earth, a brave adventure begins for four hobbits and five other companions who work together to protect the One Ring from the dark forces which hunt it in this first installment of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the books, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
A young boy makes a wish to be “big” and, upon waking the next day to find his body to be that of a grown adult, has to deal with the complications and responsibilities that come with it.
3. Surf Ninjas
In this campy comedy, two surfer-dude brothers from California have to leave all they have ever known to return to their home country and overcome a cynical colonel to restore peace in Patusan.
4. This Is How I Live Now
As a nuclear war hits the UK, a young jaded American girl staying with relatives falls in love and has to adapt to her post-apocalyptic surroundings for survival.
5. Short Term 12
Short Term 12 follows the life of a supervisor at a teen group home, showing how her own experiences affect her work and personal life while addressing important issues surrounding love, trust and trauma.
6. Safety Not Guaranteed
In this film, a time-travel enthusiast claims to have figured out how to make his time machine work and puts out a personal ad seeking a companion for his trip.
A dorky college man, a loud-mouthed redneck and two con-artist sisters fight together through hoards of Zombies across the U.S. to reach an amusement park called Pacific Playland.
8. Inside Out
When a young girl moves to a new town, this ingenious animated film shows how her brain processes the emotional overload by using characters to represent the emotions of fear, anger, disgust, sadness and joy.
9. George of the Jungle
George saves Ursula from a lion in the middle of the African forest and falls in love with her as her fiance, his hilarious Swahili-speaking guides and two poachers hunt down George, who they believe to be the mysterious White Ape.
10. The Conjuring
A family moves into an old house and an evil entity attaches itself to the mother, terrorizing the family and prompting Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate.
11. Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie begins his freshman year of high school and navigates new friendships while dealing with emotional issues stemming from childhood abuse.
Lincoln gives us an inside look at the historical context surrounding President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as well the political events leading up to his assassination.
13. Good Morning, Vietnam
Adrian Cronauer becomes a DJ in Saigon for the Armed Forces Radio Service and refuses to lie to his listeners about the state of affairs, especially after he witnesses the impacts of war firsthand.
Zodiac chronicles a news cartoonist’s obsession with the Zodiac killer as he begins to independently investigate the case.
15. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
After a London man is unjustly incarcerated, he returns home to find his family has been torn apart and partners up with a pie-maker, butchering people to use as meat and preparing for his revenge.
Follow me on Twitter @amdenardo and please feel free to practice your writing in the comments!