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No. 19 Memes for Writers

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

P A T T I E M = A Richly drawn thriller about an amorally compromised doctor’s failure to explore toxic friendships.

This meme by Electric Literature’s Halimah Marcus and Benjamin Samuel may be good news for writers like me who dread, after having written a play, having to think up a pitch synopsis. Marcus and Samuel recommend you use the letters in your first name but I wanted to try something else.

“This Handy Chart Automatically Generates a Pitch for Your New Novel. Feeling stuck? We help you skip the writing and go straight to the press release.”

Like many memes, it may be ridiculous, but I’m going to give this meme a try on the two plays I wrote last month for Seattle’s 14/48 Projects. Rather than using the letters in my name, I’m going to use what I think best describles my plays.

Here’s the format:

A/an A B about a/an C D E to F his/her/their G.

First play: "A Lyrical meditation about a hopelessly romantic man’s not - so - secret desire to pursue his ex-girlfriend."

Second play: "A keenly observed story about a dissatisfied women’s resolve to expose her visitor’s hypocrisy."

For both, I had to create my own G. The first synopsis pops better than the second. Lack of pop could be a sign the second play is not as well realized as the first, which give me excellent information. Both provide me with something to build on for a full summary of each play. This meme also offers useful writing and improvisation performance prompts.

It is easy for me to ignore all the writer’s memes that float around the internet. Playing with this meme is the first time I’ve stopped and tried to make one work. Why not describe my play using the unconscious story tropes our brains have been wired to find satisfying?

If allowing the typical and predictable to come to the forefront of my mind takes my imagination in a direction I would typically disdain, maybe its time to shake those cobwebs loose and look at my work with new eyes. Descriptions like this meme creates, operate at face value and give me a general way to start. I can then take my plays into more ironic territories in later drafts.


Marcus, Halimah and Samuel, Benjamin (2018 March 28) Electric Lit

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