Summaries Are Difficult Beasts


totally should have written this last week, when I had better motivation. But it’s my birthday, so I’m gonna knock this out and hope for the best. That’s all I have for an attempted excuse. It’s my birthday and I planned this very poorly.

Chris Evans "Oops" GIF

[stares at him for several minutes and giggles]

Writing … journal post … right!

I learned something in these past two weeks. I learned that summaries are fucking hard. Especially when I don’t know how the hell the story I’m trying to summarize is actually going to end. Trying to nutshell Open Season has been like repeatedly beating my head against a piece of granite, and getting nothing but a migraine for my efforts.

Honestly, I anticipate gray matter leaking out my ears any day now. Every time I look at the swath of white space where the summary should be, there’s a high-pitched whining in my head. Like when the TV cuts out the audio on your favorite show to warn about tornados or the beginning of Ragnarok.

The … thing feels like it’s fighting any kind of containment. 5000 Miles to Vinland – hereby shortened to 5MV – was a breeze in comparison, and that took a week. It feels compact, concise and almost linear. I’m not big on outlining [another post, that] but I do know the beginning, middle and ending landmarks for 5MV. I can sum it up in two paragraphs and be happy with what those words represent in relation to the story. Even if I’m still looking for ways to give that last line more punch. [Because I am. Always. All the time.]

Open Season is a many-limbed beast that cackles at me whenever I try to fit it into a box. Like a Hydra had a love-child with a Cerberus. Every time I think I’ve contained all the limbs and shit into an interesting package, one more sneaks out from between the bars, and then the Hyderus snarls at me if I try to push it back inside the cell box with a broom.

Ariel Facepalm GIF

Whereas 5MV can seemingly keep it’s shit together, Open Season is this great big, sprawling story about love and loss and family and making choices that don’t always result in a perfect ending. It’s rather emotionally brutal in the beginning and end, and I don’t know how to convey that without making it sound like a depressing sob-fest.

Also the middle of it is just basically superhero mutants being awesome and blowing shit up. So, I have no idea how to reconcile those two very very different concepts, without it just being a mad mass of … plot … stuff. Thoughts, anyone?

On a more amusing, but semi-related note, I am waiting in terror to see what sort of ungodsly shipping names come out of my readership. People, especially fandom, are known for smashing names together to create couple-y, “one true pairing”, tear-inducing übernames.

Such gems include, but are not limited to: Brangelina (this should be obvious), Destiel (Dean/Castiel, Supernatural), Chara (Chuck/Sarah, Chuck), Pepperoni (Tony/Pepper, Iron Man), and Steggy (Steve/Peggy, Captain America).

You get the point, I’m sure. Just between us? [And everyone else reading …] I think Steggy and Pepperoni are clever and giggle-worthy. Yes, I just admitted to having a fandom past and – for bonus Embarrassment XP – it includes boy-band fic. The print-outs of which are currently hidden in a dark vault, waiting to be incinerated with my cold corpse.

Judge me as you will, I’ll wait …

Jensen Ackles Pout I'm Adorable GIF

There are virtually no good names for my pairings. I’ve tried with all of them, and the closest approximation of “cute” I came up with is “Lemie” for Jamie and Leah. Pairing names for Nora and Gregor sound like horrible venereal diseases, that kill you slowly. Or experimental drugs, or viking dinosaurs. I mean, look at the options!

Nora Holden / Gregor Kavanagh – Eleagory, Greganor, Nogor, Kavaden
Leah Holden / Jamie Ellsworth – Lemie, Jamah, Lemes, Holworth
Caleb Zellner / Liam Brennan – Calam, Lileb, Callian, Zellnan

Try it, I dare you.

I have to say, Kavaden and Holworth might work. Except Kavaden makes me think of some super tropical strain of marijuana. Bellner (not shown) could be adorable. Hollsworth, also cute.

Give me your best … or your worst. Worst would probably be funnier. You can tweet me at @jessicalzimmer or send an email to jessielzimmer@gmail.com with your suggestions.

I’ll be over here banging my head against the summary again.

Don’t mind the noise. Or the blood, I’ll sanitize it after. Promise.


Categories: 5000 Miles to Vinland, 5MV, Life, Writing
Tags: ,

One Response so far.

  1. So far, in my head the main contenders are Kaden, Hollsworth and Bellner.