Pages 18-19 (Eccl. 2:4-8)

If you have other feedback re. these two pages, please leave comments. We love comments.

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Posted on July 15, 2012, in Rough Drafts. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. slide 2 power point comment needs to be clearly snide. do you want to continue w/ telling the OT story as is or possibly reshape it in more current setting? instead of slaves use the power of exploitative business, out-sourcing and mechanization..reshape the story as if current?

    • In reworking this first draft I’m up to page 18 (now called page 27) and the first Power Point presentation. I’m choosing NOT to make student first reactions to PP snide or negative since there are still 6 PP slide shows to come and I want to show students’ growing distaste for antiquated visuals. As far as subplots go it’s trivial but does break up the monotony of student eye rolling, stifled gag reflex, and wise cracking retorts to Dr. Q. Most of this book will be student reactions to the lectures so I’m trying to add variety to the reactions. This is probably more info than you wanted but be assured, by the last Power Point presentation students will be rioting in the streets (or at least bored to death).

  2. Good feedback. I like the notion of calling attention to modern day business practices of debatable merit (and I’d love to work in a jab at mechanization). Since exploitation will play a large role in Dr. Q’s still-to-come pantheon of objectionable providences, at this point I’m merely suggesting Dr. Q was no saint….he owned and bred slaves. I’m attempting to mock the evangelical tendency to discount the seriousness of this offence. Keep those good comments coming! Thanks.

  3. Brandon Hahnel

    To keep threads clean, I’ll post my thoughts into several comments.

    My first thought is pacing. The text seems to be on track overall. There are approximately 5600 words in Ecclesiastes… so for 220 pages you’ll need to disseminate about 25 words per page on average.

    Have you storyboarded out the text? Are you going to keep the pace even, or ramp up and down?

    • You bring up a very important point–pacing. Yes, the whole thing has been story boarded (428 half pages = 214 full pages). The formula of two quips by Dr. Q per full page forces me to be concise but it also gets monotonous; breaking out of this mold would add variety but also add years to complete it. To slow the pace down I hope to render facial expressions, hand motions, and costume in a style that supports the text while giving readers a visual treat. I’m also hoping that as readers familiarize themselves with each character and their philosophical orientation, a narrative tension will emerge. Because it all takes place in one location so far (someone else wisely suggested I send the class on a field trip) I’m banking on the graphics and plot to aid and abet the novel…the interplay between pictures and words is something I’m grappling with as I go. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Brandon Hahnel

    After reading through all the pages in one go, I’m starting to feel a bit “lost” as an audience member. Without re-reading, I’m not sure what I should have latched onto. Granted – it is still pretty early in Ecclesiastes.

    One option to help keep us avid readers on track would be the inclusion of some sort of empty-shell protagonist. I imagine an empty shell would be somewhere between the teacher’s pet (the blond dude) and the Nike-hat listening dude.

    I need a character that can represent me and document my progression. Thought bubbles (instead of speech) might be key for this type of thing. Does this make any sense? Maybe I’m just short a few cups of coffee.

    • There are several challenges in this regard. Because EU is a work in progress you are of necessity limited to reading posts spaced far apart in time. Reading a serial certainly chops up the flow. Were readers able to read, say, 50 pages in one sitting, I would hope the slant of each character would have become evident more quickly.

      I’ve been tempted to provide a “who’s who” for each character (name, back story, philosophical orientation, etc) but chose not to hoping their personalities would eventually emerge.

      There are about 20 main characters (Breakfast Club had 6 or 7; 12 Angry Men had a dozen; The Flight of the Phoenix had about 10). I’m hoping among our menagerie every reader will find someone to love and/or hate. (I may include a line up of the cast in an illustrated appendix). The blonde guy and Nike hat guy are key players in this drama; stay tuned. An empty shell protagonist actually gets introduced in the next section (page 20-23)….he lacks personality, moves the plot forward, and serves as foil to many of the more outlandish characters. Watch for him…kid in the black tee.

      The garish drawings don’t do these students justice. I was torn between posting this rough draft with stick figures (very boring) or with more labor intensive, polished caricatures (very risky in the event my critics convince me to make major plot changes). I chose what I chose knowing full well the graphic novel in my head isn’t what First Readers are getting.

      Finally, since I’ve committed myself to sticking to the Eccl. text in its entirety I’m limited to how much action/dialog/subplots I can conjure. I welcome that limitation, however, as it forces me to be as creative as possible. Let’s see if it works! Thanks for posting.

  5. Brandon Hahnel

    I definitely dig the concept – it’s a clever approach to one of my favorite books. I’m looking forward to seeing where it will go.

  6. In slide 11, I’m not sure why the guy would say something about a temp agency. The idea of slavery is a good one to bring up, and makes me think that some might say, “ANY job is better than NO job” or perhaps more probably the opposite, “NO job is better than ANY job!”

  7. My rationale was quite convoluted. Apparently too much so since it didn’t come off as witty in print as it did in my head. (The guy with the hat was trying to give Dr. Q the benefit of the doubt….surmising that the slaves he had weren’t really slaves but work for hire). Critics often take less offense at the offensive parts of the Bible than the tendency of Bible readers to ignore, downplay, excuse, or sanitize them away. This is my halting attempt to say, “Um, yes, you’re right; it’s weird that a main Bible character owned and raised slaves.” I’ll keep working on this. Thanks for the feedback and keep those good comments coming!

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